Sometimes A Comment Can Make You Stop and Think
Turner Syndrome and Sex - Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde
The above link actually goes to a "shadow" blog I use on Wordpress. Essentially, I import all of my posts from blogger into my Wordpress account. There are several reasons for this. 1. I can reach more people. 2. I have a back up version of my blog if something ever happened to Blogger. 3. I wanted to learn how to use Wordpress.
Well, from time to time, I get an e-mail saying that I have a comment on the Wordpress version of my blog. Sometimes it is spam, sometimes it is a nice note. This time, it was a revelation.
Here is the comment I received from Actorgirl:
"As someone who also only recently found out that some people are calling TS an 'intersex' condition, I'm with you. Not only puzzled, but really kind of offended. I am female, as is every other woman I know with TS. It's bad enough having my doctor (who I really do love, but she occasionally blew me away when I first starting seeing her) say, "You know, you've really changed my mind about TS." She had also been under the impression that women with TS were mentally retarded. This bothers me even more than that-- almost as much as the 'professor' in the graduate level Child Development class who called girls/women with TS 'creatures.' ::SIGH::
You are SO right about the questioning whether you are a 'real' woman, and it does NOT make it any easier to be told that you really aren't even FEMALE. Particularly for those of us who are mosaic or who are not 45X but who have one partially missing or partially repeated X chromosome... as you stated, no confusion about genitalia, no confusion about chromosomal gender. But a LOT of possible gender identification issues when you're told you're NOT what you ARE. I really honestly don't think TS meets the definition of an intersex condition, and we are all most assuredly females!"
This is what I wrote in response:
"Actorgirl, thank you so very much for commenting. I couldn't agree with you more. It seems to me that the most likely people to treat us (Turners women) as anything other than the women that we are are in fact doctors. It seems as though all too often doctors can’t get past the diagnosis to see that a human being is there right in front of their eyes.
How on Earth anyone could characterize Turners women as retarded is beyond me. Quite frankly, I don’t know any Turners women who haven’t at least earned a bachelors degree. I say that because it means that despite the fact that some may have learning disabilities, they are more than capable of managing the educational system.
(You can read the original post here.)
As you can see, I have some definite views on the subject of intersex conditions and how Turners Syndrome is perceived by many people. What angers me is that there are so many people who want to label it a disability. A disability? What has it prevented me from doing in my life, besides reaching things on high shelves and having children the old fashioned way?1. There are a lot of short people out there who don't have Turners Syndrome. Are we going to consider everyone who is short disabled?
2. The same thing goes for men and women who are dealing with infertility. There are many, many people who are unable to have children naturally.
I realize that there are a whole host of issues that can arise with Turners Syndrome, but most of the women and girls affected do not have serious physical disabilities (if any). With regards to mental disabilities, aside from very specific learning disabilities related to math and spatial reasoning (which are not always present), the rate of mental disability is comparable to the rest of the population.
Why then do we try to put artificial limitations and labels on individuals because we perceive them as different? I know that it is a human trait, but it has serious consequences. It just goes to show you that a simple comment can make a person angry all over again. I just wish that there was something constructive that I could do about it (aside from correcting misinformation when I see it).