It takes a lawsuit

The Active Voice

June, 1967. A little boy, whose penis had been mutilated beyond repair as a result of a botched circumcision, lies on an operating table at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. The surgeons will remove his testes, and from that point on, the little boy will no longer be a boy. He will be Brenda (known to the public as “Joan”), a boy raised as a girl, and held up as proof of the malleability of gender.  Years later, the child’s doctor says, “The child’s behavior is so clearly that of an active little girl” – and the case is hailed as an unwavering success.

This story, as many of you probably know, does not end well. The doctor was John Money, and the child was David Reimer. As John Colapinto reported in his bestselling book, As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, the case was anything but an unwavering success. He…

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Hanging by a pink ribbon

The Active Voice

I hate the mall. The only time I ever go is with my mom – and last week, since my mom was visiting from New Jersey, guess where we went? The mall. It occurs to me that you can take the girl outta Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey outta the girl – especially when her mother’s in town.

So off to the mall we went. And when we got there, the first thing I noticed were all the pink ribbons. Pink ribbon signs, pink ribbon banners, even pink ribbon balloon sculptures. As it turns out, our local Race for the Cure was to be held that following Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation was holding a race sign-up event and fundraising drive. Interestingly, there were quite a few stores that were holding Mother’s Day sales, several of which brandished the familiar pink…

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