As I read Erin in the Morning today citing a lot of pearl clutching freakouts by Republicans about “sex change surgeries on children” (which, by the way, isn’t a thing) in order to drum up hatred and fear of trans people for their own political power grab, I was reminded of the Ashley Treatment.
In 2007 or so there was a public controversy over this procedure that I don’t think was limited to this one girl in Washington. In it, hormones and actual surgery were used on a disabled girl by her parents for a few reasons. They wanted to make sure she didn’t get appendicitis (which I think was probably reasonable); they felt that stopping / slowing her physical growth (via estrogen patches) would help them remain able to care for her in their home since they would be better able to lift and carry her; and, they got her a double mastectomy and hysterectomy because they argued it might make her less likely to be raped (and impregnated) by future caregivers. (Plus no painful cramps or annoying to your caregivers, menstruation.)
Hold up now!!!
That has so many things wrong with it I don’t even know where to start!! For one thing, as if young children don’t get raped or as if not having breasts made you less of a target. I mean you can not have a vagina at all and still get raped. But, anyway….
It has been on my mind today as I think about this ACTUAL surgery and hormone treatment on a very young girl, who had no choice or say in the matter, actually happened, with no giant freak out from the right wing.
Interesting isn’t it?
And, thanks to F.R.I.D.A. and other orgs like DREDF for fighting against the idea that it’s OK to so high handedly modify the bodies of disabled people without their consent.