"I now live in a painful body that no longer belongs to me."
Put two things together, and think about each piece in the context of the other piece. Start by noticing this:
Necrotizing cellulitis after intestinal vaginoplasty: a fatal infection after a team of surgeons castrated a teenaged boy then cut a hole in his crotch and tried to turn it into a vagina by sewing in a chunk of his colon. Notice the abbreviated journal title up at the top of the image: The Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. So here we have a “pediatric and adolescent” case report that describes the death of a healthy eighteen year-old after surgeons carved up his body to affirm his gender. Jack the Ripper, you were born in the wrong era.
Now, add this piece: Watch protesters shout about their opposition to a bill before the Texas legislature that would ban “gender-affirming” medical and surgical interventions for minors, like the one that led to that case of necrotizing cellulitis. I still can’t embed tweets on Substack, so watch the video here. They’re chanting “no place for hate!” You can watch more examples of the “no place for hate!” chant here.
So if you think it might be a bad idea to castrate children, you’re expressing hate. If you’re a little iffy on carving vaginas into boys, using strips of their guts that might kill them with an infection, then, well, stop being a Nazi. Someone shot the Overton Window into the Oort Cloud while we weren’t watching. Mary Shelley is Literally Adolf Hitler, viciously maligning the wise and warm-hearted Dr. Frankenstein and his glorious monst— uh, his glorious achievement. Nature is a cruel impediment, but we have brave surgeons to conquer it by cutting us into our true form. Carving up healthy young bodies is health and love. Here, go watch some detransitioners discuss the health of their bodies after “gender-affirming” surgery. The subtitle up above comes from this discussion.
This psychotic inversion, actual cruelty as rhetorical kindness, happens with growing frequency and intensity in a discourse that increasingly doesn’t connect to physical things — the discourse of the reality-indebted, the laptop class, the symbolic analysts. I’ve already said this recently, but again: Someday you’ll watch someone in your family recover from major surgery, if you haven’t already, and I want you to spend some of that bedside time in the PACU and the ICU thinking about elective intestinal vaginoplasty. You decide, with your own senses and your own values, if gender-affirming surgery — cutting off genitals and sewing up some new ones — is kindness. Here are your two choices: Do you want to castrate teenagers, or are you a mean person?
Castration is kindness. Human trafficking is kindness. Death is love.
This sudden sensation of living inside a discourse that’s hurtling into real madness is an artifact — I’m pretty sure — of a long period of deliberate, sustained, aggressive dehumanization.
We’re having a failure of societal judgment at the conclusion of a long period of societal disconnection: severed relationships, severed conceptions of shared humanity. Things that would have been greeted as grotesque and obscene a very few years ago are embraced and socially recoded as being nice. Opposition to the infliction of death and pain is being mean. Shrug and be mean.
Death cults end with death. Be calm, be firm, and stay clear. The dominant culture of the moment is a corpse posed to wave and smile, made-up to look like a living thing. Whatever else happens, just don’t dance with the corpse.
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