In solidarity with Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull

Recently, a UK friend of Women’s Liberation Front members, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, was summoned for questioning by local police because she made Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids, feel bad about having taken her child to Thailand for a cosmetic gonadectomy for his 16th birthday. Green reported Keen-Minshull to the police for the ostensible crime of saying on Twitter that this incident involved castration, which is an accurate restatement of Green’s own public description of what was involved.

Here’s a link to a clip of Green laughing about how small her child’s genitals were when he went to be examined for surgery, because of the puberty blockers she’d taken him to the US to get at a young age. You can consider for yourself how distraught Green might now be to think that this incident is not as amusing to everyone else as it may have seemed to her when she was being interviewed by a journalist on the record.

Plainly, medically unnecessary castration doesn’t sound to us like an appropriate gift for a teenager. It also doesn’t seem appropriate to say that no one can discuss it in public except for people who think it’s a great idea, and to then get law enforcement involved to try and settle the debate.

And really, we are a bit shocked, as feminists, to get accused of being hateful for saying that a boy is a boy and should be able to keep his testes, regardless, but there it is.

In the ordinary course of our lives, we would prefer not to comment on incidents like this. Genital surgeries on children are a topic most people would rather avoid, and we are no different. But this isn’t a private, family matter.  Not least because the Green family has put these experiences on the public record in numerous interviews over the years, though more so because Susie Green wants to use the law to suit her own political interests, without any possibility of a contradictory public dialogue.

Susie Green used disparities in international legal standards to get her child treatments he would have been denied on the basis of his age in their home country, because of serious questions about capacity to consent, and this is a public policy concern. She has now spent several years lobbying and advising the UK government on policy, on the premise that the sort of treatment she pursued for her child — who’d been harassed and made to feel ashamed of his behavior since he was a toddler — should be readily available to others. She has also now decided that it should be a crime to accurately describe her actions publicly, or to question whether they might have been abusive, and has gotten the police involved.

Such surgeries on minors are allowed here in the US, and while there is no public data available on long-term effects, the Jennings family has made Jazz Jennings’ experiences similarly a matter of public record, through the reality TV show, “I am Jazz.” Jazz Jennings, whose pubertal growth was also stunted, was told very similar things about his lack of physical development by doctors as what’s described by Green regarding her own son, and has stated on camera that he has no libido and has never had an orgasm. When did everyone decide that this was an acceptable thing to do to a child because he didn’t act the way that he was expected to based on his sex, or a discomfort with social roles that often goes away?

“Gender identity” activists promote the idea that it’s wrong to talk about the topic at all if you disagree with them, or to mention that men and boys are male for the purpose of settling important medical and legal questions. They have further orchestrated mass public shamings and harassment campaigns against academics, media figures, and medical professionals who have brought these issues up. So it doesn’t seem to us that the subject has had an appropriately critical public airing before doctors decided it was fine to go ahead and start sterilizing otherwise healthy minors. Nor do we think that the public has had a chance to fully digest the idea that all of this feel-good “affirmation” they’re being pressured to participate in is an often irreversible step on a course to medically de-sex healthy children before they’re old enough for us to trust them to drink alcohol or vote.

So since the US has not yet revoked the free speech right to call a man a man in most jurisdictions, the very least we can do is say that the board of the Women’s Liberation Front wholeheartedly agrees with our sister, Kellie-Jay, that men are male and all children should be allowed to have a natural puberty and keep their healthy gonads until they’re adults. We think it’s appalling that women in a modern democracy should have to fear for their liberty because they dared to express an opinion about children’s health in public.