My interview by FiLiA – A Feminist Doctor on Gender Identity Policies, Institutional Capture and Medicine

In March this year spoke to FiLiA about my work. Here’s a short excerpt, you can read the whole interview on the FiLiA website.

“What was your initial assessment of how medicine understands or manages patients who identify as other than their biological sex?

 Working in psychiatry, I encountered several transsexuals who became acutely suicidal following sex-reassignment surgery. They were homosexual males with a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID), who had undergone a thorough assessment and counselling to ensure their suitability for these procedures and to help them manage their expectations. When their psychological distress didn’t go away following surgery, they described feeling mutilated and wanting their old bodies back, which was unfortunately not possible because these operations were irreversible. I had a great deal of empathy for these patients, but I also understood the impulse of a doctor to do something, anything, as a last resort to help alleviate a patient’s distress at being born male. I wasn’t convinced that sex-reassignment was the best way to go about achieving this, but I trusted my colleagues, who were experts in this area, to have solid science behind what they were doing.

When I started examining this issue in detail, I first wanted to familiarise myself with the scientific rationale for sex-reassignment. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any studies that showed long-term improvements. Instead, the biggest study on sex-reassigned individuals showed significant increase in mortality, morbidity and suicide over time. Despite this, a whole new population of patients, mainly girls but also some boys, were being diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” and instead of being offered counselling, they were fast-tracked to a medical pathway to “gender reassignment,” that involved hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones and eventually, irreversible surgeries such as double mastectomies, hysterectomies and surgical castration.

I looked up Gender Dysphoria (GD) and found that it had replaced GID in the diagnostic manual for psychiatrists (called DSM-V). The criteria appeared very similar in spirit, but the persistent discomfort with one’s biological sex and identification with the opposite sex, that I have seen in my patients, was now redefined as a mismatch between one’s “experienced/expressed gender,” and “assigned gender.”

The criteria never define “gender,” but judging by the description of boys and girls as “assigned genders” it is safe to assume they are referring to biological sex.

But if this was the case, why do they also talk about “desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from assigned gender)”?”

13 thoughts on “My interview by FiLiA – A Feminist Doctor on Gender Identity Policies, Institutional Capture and Medicine

  1. cleo133 says:

    Hey thanks for this – wonderful interview. Here is something I wrote several months ago and have repeatedly posted in response to the various postings and commentary from gender ideologists and trans-activists. You are welcome to take any part of it you find useful. I don’t care about or need credit. The very first line is a quote but I can’t remember who said it first. If you wish to I would be glad to hear any feedback you might have, but that is neither required or expected. Clearly we both see this trend as catastrophic for anyone who becomes captive to these ideas. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do.

    Warm Regards, 🙂 Carmine Leo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. la scapigliata says:

      Dear Paltry Sum, thank you so much for your kind comment. I had to retire early from working with patients due to autoimmune illness, so these days I mainly write, which is why I had time to look into all this over the last few years. But I do miss my patients, and hope I have done my best for them when I was still working.
      On a different note, I looked at your blog and I am already addicted to it. Cried a couple of times too. You are an incredible writer and I look forward to reading the rest of your blog, and your novel too.
      I write fiction too, having started when I first retired, writing semi-autobiographical blogs and short stories in my native language. Now I’m trying to finish my first novel in English. It is such a treat to meet a like-minded woman online. Wishing you all the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Paltry Sum says:

        Oh! La scapigliata, after a few days of threats and general nastiness of men who came to my blog, read, and decided they had the right to tell me I am an awful woman and a terrible mother, I cannot tell you what those words mean to me. It feels like someone opened the curtains and let the light in. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to write to me. I am sad for you and your community that you had to retire early due to autoimmune. I have celiac disease with skin involvement, and know how hard it is for me to keep it under control despite being a very good girl indeed with my diet, I dread to think how difficult it must be with a more serious autoimmune disease. I don’t doubt you were an empathic and kind physician who did your best – your brave stance shows that.
        I look forwards to getting to know you better through your writing. I am trying to get a group of women bloggers together to host on my blog in a series of interviews/guest posts called “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens: What makes you happy?” Or something like that…but the idea is to ask women bloggers what makes them happy, or what the focus of their life is that gives them satisfaction and it meaning. It could be as minor as good socks, or growing flowers, or as huge as your work in feminism. Would you please please consider indulging me and contributing? I promise to find a better title for the series!
        It is always a joy to meet another like minded feminist woman, please stay in touch. Wishing you all the best too, TPS xxx HUG!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. la scapigliata says:

        Dear Paltry, I’m so glad I was able to bring a bit of light into your day. I know how absolutely relentless and hostile men can be toward women who write personal blogs. I think weirdly, because blog is like our online house where we “live” alone, they feel they have us cornered and without any help and support. The best advice I can give you is to block them. Ban their IP addresses and delete all their comments. Completely refuse to engage with them. I skim read every comment I get and as soon as it becomes apparent it’s spam or threatening, I mark it as spam and delete it. I don’t even read all of it. It’s taken many years of writing online to get to a point where men threatening me doesn’t cause a fight or flight reaction though. I wish there was a way to ban comments that use certain phrases or words, so you don’t even have to see them.
        I’m so sorry that you are struggling with celiac disease, I’m sure stress doesn’t help! My autoimmune illness is better than it once was, so even though it still limits me, I’m much better these days and that fills me with hope.
        I love your idea for “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens: what makes you happy?” This title actually reminded me of two macro photographs I took and gave them these two titles! Unfortunately, the abuse women get online means that I haven’t been able to share my photography under this pseudonym, which is such a pity as it used to make me really happy, but I don’t do much of it anymore because most of creative energy these days is spent working on my novel. I’ll have to think about something else, but you can count me in!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Paltry Sum says:

        Please feel free to write to me at I totally understand about the need for privacy, it is dangerous to reveal actual identities. I guard mine very carefully, as you can imagine! Great minds think alike, I see! How lovely you had the same idea. I wish I could see the photographs.
        I am so glad your autoimmune is improved. It is so tricky isn’t it! Stress doesn’t help, but my DH rash is improved from where it was. Dead sea salt really soothed it. I still get very unwell if I accidentally get glutened. Labelling is not nearly as reliable as it should be! It is such a ridiculous hipster disease, that no one takes seriously. I blame the fad dieters! Going vegan really helped, I feel so much better for it.
        Ah, I so wish that wordpress had that option, to ban keywords so we don’t have to see them. The vitriol and the threats, even though they are toothless, really upset me. You are absolutely right, the fight or flight response gets triggered, and for me, I get absolutely furious that they come to my home and think they can waltz in and attack me here. I am so sorry you have had similar experiences.
        I’m afraid one of them got to me saying what an awful mother I was. After everything that hit me right where it hurts, and I got furious. I am not ashamed of it. I’m back to ignoring, promise. I really appreciate the advice and support. I feel very much cut off from any peer group that I should have around me to support me. I feel exiled from my ‘sisters’, the fact that you would not shun me, and instead show support and let me talk with you is an absolute joy. Thank you. I really hope we can work together on something, that would be my something that would spark great happiness! your friend and admirer, TPS

        Liked by 1 person

      4. la scapigliata says:

        I will email you Paltry, and I’m so sorry you felt unsupported. Truth is, in my hour of need, I found women in real life very unsupportive. It’s only been online that women seem to have developed the solidarity we lacked before. I hope the trend continues.
        You reminded me of this funny video on fake gluten intolerant people, maybe it will cheer you up 😁❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      5. The Paltry Sum says:

        I will look forwards to hearing from you! Fake gluten intolerant people videos are always amusing. I am so sorry that you haven’t been supported in real life, the internet has to be good for something, I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. cheriewhite says:

    Thank you so much for posting. Sadly nobody is raising the alarm about so many people committing suicide after surgery and the trauma it causes the patients once it’s too late. I can’t count the articles I’ve read about this same issue. Again, thank you for pointing this out because it needed to be addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. la scapigliata says:

      It was the first thing on my mind when I learned about what was going on. These patients were some of the most distressed I have ever seen, and there was nothing that could help console them, because there was no going back. And this was in the days of careful assessment and counselling. What shocks me all these years later is that the reality has become a taboo topic. That alone is proof we are dealing with a medical scandal, and antagonising and silencing of detransitioners carries on the terrible legacy.


      1. cheriewhite says:

        You’re spot on! It most definitely is a medical scandal- a money racket! And the medical community silences these people because they’re a threat to their business. It’s a damn shame!

        I wish you the best too, dear. Keep speaking out! 💗

        Liked by 1 person

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