No, no, no, I’m not done ranting yet for today at all!
The world shocks and upset me.
And by ‘shocks and upsets me’, I mean things like this.
Parents of a severely disabled girl in the US have revealed that they are keeping her child-sized in order to give her a better life. Along with hormone doses to limit her growth, Ashley’s parents also opted for surgery to block breast growth and had her uterus and appendix removed.
“Dad is frequently the one that lifts her from one place to the other, so if she gets bigger that becomes much more difficult, as they get older it becomes more difficult. At that point in time they would be forced to consider using a mechanical lift, which is much more impersonal.”
“Ashley has no need for her uterus since she will not be bearing children,” they said, adding that the decision means she will not experience the menstrual cycle and the bleeding and discomfort commonly associated with it. The operation also removed the possibility of pregnancy if Ashley were ever the victim of sexual abuse, they said. The removal of the girl’s breast buds was also done in part to avoid sexual abuse, but was carried out primarily so she would not experience discomfort when lying down, the parents said.
The parents deny, of course, that Ashley’s treatment (and there’s been a lot of it) is for their benefit, but I can’t seem to believe that: she’s been through numerous irreversible operations so that her parents wouldn’t find it as difficult to care for her. Sure, it’s all under the guise of ensuring Ashley’s well-being, but such spurious arguments as, ‘we removed her breast buds to avoid sexual abuse’ only serve to heighten my suspicions. When does such a grave concern ever even become relevant in one’s mind, and why would one feel that such invasive surgery is the only option?! (And let’s not even get started on where they got the notion that being a victim of sexual abuse is somehow highly correlated with having breasts!) And as a woman, I can assure both of them that one’s breasts are very darned important to us ladies, and are worth the odd bit of discomfort when lying down! They’re your BREASTS, gawdammit!!! And so what if they have to consider using a mechanical lift!? I wonder if Ashley would prefer to have to use a mechanical lift to get around, or to have everything about her being and person altered just so that daddy could still lift her? Much more impersonal, my arse!
I’m not a parent, and I hope that I’m never faced with such issues, but at the moment I can’t understand what gives these parents the right to halt their daughter’s natural progress in such an extreme fashion? I never, ever use this expression (mostly because I’m not sure about the existance of a deity) but seriously: who said they could play God?
The BBC discussion page on this (most of which disagrees with me, but anyway).
Edit #1: a Comment is Free page on this issue. Unfortunately, it seems to have descended into name-calling as is too often the case on CiF but it might be worth the read.
Edit #2: there is further discussion on this issue on this post.
Edit #3: here’s another Comment is Free discussion page.
Edit #4: a further piece on Comment is Free. I’m not sure I’ve seen an issue get such attention in a long time. And proper order.
Just keeping everything up to date…