I said in a previous post that I was going to try and stay a little more topical on the blog, and start covering the odd news story and just give my take on it. So here we are, with this headline via the Mirror:
Mum of ‘gender non-conforming’ child sells fake ‘extra-small’ penises for transgender kids aged under five
Let’s be honest before I go any further. That headline is a ridiculous one. The idea of someone actually going out and purchasing a fake penis for their 4 year old daughter to wear is just utterly bizarre. Is it something that I would ever do for Isabelle? Probably not. But then I’m also not in that situation.
As a general rule, I’m someone that genuinely doesn’t care what people do, as long as it doesn’t affect others in a harmful way, even then I still don’t always care, so if someone does wish to do this then that’s ok. I’m just a little bit surprised that there’s even a market for a product like this. I mean, I know people say to try and find your niche, but this has to be a pretty small market size that you’re appealing to with a product like this. Which might explain why they’re $45.
And also, why do you want to wear one? I mean, it’s one thing to want a penis, but what you’re selling here is a bulge. You’re effectively telling your daughter “look, if you’re going to have a penis, you have to have people be able to tell that it’s there.” And that’s a pretty strange message to be sending. That’s probably not what they’re try to convey with this, but that’s how I’m reading it. It’s probably more about giving a girl the opportunity to be more male.
It also gets me wondering whether this would be sell-able to adults? I mean, I’m not entirely sure this would be something I’d want if this was me, as I’d be completely aware that it’s fake and, at least to me, slightly silly. But we’re all different, so if this helps someone in some way, then of course, I’m all for it.
Oh, and you can also buy ‘Stand-To-Pee’ devices that enables your girl to pee whilst standing so she can feel more like a boy. I don’t know exactly why you’d want that, peeing whilst standing is far less enjoyable than sitting down. Unless it’s very cold. If it’s that cold then I would certainly be using this if I was a girl, but I don’t think they intended this to be used by women who don’t like a cold toilet seat.
Anyway, here are some fake penises designed for children under the age of five. A sentence I never thought I’d write:
Well, Are We Going Too Far?
Look, gender dysphoria is a real issue. I’ve had my battles with depression in the past, and I know what it’s like to hate a part of yourself or feel uncomfortable in your own skin. But waking up everyday feeling like you’re in the wrong body, and you’re not the person you see in the mirror, must be excruciating. But when it comes to children, can we really judge that anyone around the age of five is actually going through gender dysphoria? I’m not sure we can.
What we can do is constantly talk to them. Ask them how they’re feeling, and empathise with them. Don’t tell them it’s just a phase, or tell them not to think like that. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s you don’t choose how you feel. A child feeling this way didn’t suddenly go “screw it, I want to be a boy.” No, the feeling is there much in the same way happiness or fear, or any other emotion is.
I could sit here and list the research that suggests that around 80% of children who are seen as having gender dysphoria have the issue naturally resolved and end up accepting their birth gender when they’re older. But I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly trust the research on this matter due to the biases that people may hold. The Trans community obviously have their bias, and so do others. It’s not like this is a black and white issue where you either have a broken leg or you don’t. This is incredibly complicated, and way too much so for a quick blog post about a news article.
My only real issue comes with treating children at such a young age. I personally don’t see any problems with just letting your child develop, at least until closer to teenage years, and seeing how it goes from there. Children explore things, so it’s only natural for them to consider exploring genders too, I know I dressed up and wore make-up as a child, albeit very rarely. Is that an expression of desire to be the other sex, or merely children being children?
Of course, you could argue that I have no business commenting on an issue that doesn’t affect me. Which I’ll admit that it doesn’t. But I do have a daughter, and this is something that could come up at some point in the future. But I will wait for more and more research to come out and see what happens from there. At the end of the day, it’s very hard to have a representative sample for long term study when the trans-children issue is only really a pretty recent thing. Don’t worry, I know it’s not actually new, and children in the past have had it, but a lot more of that is anecdotal and it’s a much more accepted thing these days, so there will of course be more people diagnosed with it. I guess we’ll have to see how a lot of this plays out.
If you do suspect that your child may be suffering from gender dysphoria, then feel free to read this. Whatever happens, please just accept your child for who they are, if they are actually going through all this then they really do need people who can back them up and support them.