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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #244 - Medicalization of women's bodies and trans: Face to medical technologies (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:16:35 +0200

With assisted reproduction, surrogacy, but also transition protocols for trans people, which is questioned today is the weight of the techno power over the bodies of women and trans. ---- Some speeches are as defending the cause of LGBT people argue liberalization necessary procedures for access to assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Surrogacy (GPA) and hormones and operations for operating a sex change. But these claims are without taking sufficient account of the implications for the submission of techno-body power. ---- Exclusion of women, LGBT pathologisation ---- Several studies have highlighted the dominance exerted What representatives of modern science on women and LGBT. And Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English in Witches, midwives and nurses, remember how modern medicine has been built by discrediting traditional knowledge, particularly related to plants, possessed women.

These knowledge from practical experience are released into obscurantism and quackery in the name of reason. Midwives become witches and lose their legitimacy in favor of male doctors. Michel Foucault his side has also sought to examine how medical knowledge was formed in normative power over the body and sexuality. Pathologizing of homosexuality and transsexuality by psychiatrists is one of the examples. Thus homosexuality was classified as a mental illness by the diagnostic manual and Statistics of Mental Disorders (DSM) until 1973 and transsexuality until 2012.

Faith in medical science, which characterizes modernity should not lead to pause while critically. De-pathologizing of homosexuality and transsexuality shows that the medical power can admit mistakes and abuse.

A fallible medical power

In addition, medical power is not independent of the economic interests of pharmaceutical industries. Regarding the plants, they can not be patented: they are classified world heritage of humanity. Therefore, it is understandable why the lobby has interest in promoting molecules derived from chemical rather than "grandmothers remedies" that can be just as effective, but with which we can more easily make money. Similarly, it is also possible to relativize the role of pharmaceutical industries in contraception. There has always had traditional contraceptive techniques, but for political and religious reasons natalist, the propaganda attached to these practices was doomed. That did not stop the demographic transition to be largely performed before commercialization of the contraceptive pill. He is not here to return to the control of women's fertility. But it is interesting to note that today a number of women refuse birth control pills because of side effects or the potential dangers to their health and prefer to turn to other methods. Women also claim a de-medicalization of childbirth: unlike France, the Netherlands, for example, more than 20% of births taking place at home.

For their part, the associations of intersex people struggle against the excesses of medical intervention on the anatomy of the newborn leading to assignment to an office sex medical decision. In addition to these criticisms from the grip of the power of medical technology on the body, other claims are more ambivalent. Thus, associations of transgender people rightly demand not to be subjected to a psychiatric process to be able to change sex. But this claim is accompanied by a request for liberalization of sex hormones and sex reassignment surgery.

A paradoxical naturalization

Such a claim may lead ultimately to strengthen the development of an economic market for surgical transformation of the body which we fear further its highly prescriptive in terms of gender stereotypes. For their part, some homosexuals - men and women - heterosexual or claim the "right to have a child." One may question this notion of "right to a child" to the extent that a child is not a thing but a person. It is not a product that could be accessed as a consumer in a supermarket. PMA and GPA may thus lead to assimilate procreation to a market transaction: choice of donors and surrogate catalog with pay to the key of the service.

Definitely, the paradoxical nature of these claims, is that while they are supported by the defenders of the deconstruction of genres, close queer theories, they lead to a re-naturalization of gender and parentage. Procreation is an operation validated by medical technology and affiliation, an oocyte and spermatozoon history. Being a man or woman would be a matter of hormones, vaginal and phallus.

Anthropology serving the LGBT movement

Being gay or transgender is not a reality that appeared for the first time in the twentieth century. These are situations that anthropologically existed at different times and in different societies. These situations have not been resolved by repression. It has existed in various corporate institutions that have sex and not a biological reality filiation, but social and cultural. One of the most common institutions in terms of descent was the adoption, but also multi-parenting. Contrary to what we say religious, for human beings, sexual identity and family ties are not natural standards instituted by God, they are cultural institutions.

And several companies, without resorting to hormones and surgeries sexual reassignments have practiced sex changes. This is the case for example of what is called in the North American tribes, the berdache. An individual considered biologically at birth as a man or woman can then be designated socially, given his behavior, as belonging to another gender. Anthropology shows that it is possible to propose the parentage issues or sexual identity solutions that do not involve the submission of bodies and identities techno-scientific and medical power.

Irène (friend of AL)
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