Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's not be ambiguous

By Curtis E. Hinkle

We in OII do not wish to get involved in a debate over terminology with Alice Dreger and we hope we have not been ambiguous about this. Yes, we don't agree with the new terminology but that is not how we in OII wish to have this debate framed. It is about much more than terminology and by focusing only on the "name" that is being used for "intersex", we trivialise the debate. We, therefore, want to be clear and unambiguous about why we are in such fundamental disagreement with Alice Dreger and why we disapprove of what she has done to the intersex community.

We are concerned about the following and it has little to do with terminology.

This is what Alice Dreger has done:

1- DSD is now a genetic defect. (Intersex was not and she encouraged the medical community to replace intersex with DSD because it is more "precise". Yes, it is and we are the targets of that precision.

2- More and more DSD's will become detectable in utero and screened out of the population because the genetic name (based on the cause) will make this possible.

3) She is defending a eugenics proponent. Download his homosexual eugenics paper here.

4) DSD makes it totally legal and ethical to perform all types of normalisation procedures on children because legally a DISORDER can be treated without consent of the child - it is a genetic disorder and disability now, thanks to Alice Dreger.

If Dreger were using the word "intersex"to refer to the items above, we would oppose the term "intersex" in that case.

Alice Dreger seems more concerned about pro-choice rights than our rights. This unfortunately can result in not just the choice to have a baby but the choice of which babies are worth having at all based on genetic defects. This is eugenics and not just the right to choose because some groups as more valuable than other groups and modern methods are used to screen them out of the population. We in OII are going to resist this. We look forward to a real debate and to real freedom of speech. Would it not be reasonable to let intersex people speak about these issues instead of a woman who is not intersex, Alice Dreger, who is more interested in abortion rights than our rights?