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I post this letter written to Alberta Health Services regarding the experience one Albertan woman had in the context of the language being used in a letter to her regarding pap testing.  She has given me permission to reprint her letter in hopes that more Albertan women will also write to Alberta Health Services or the Alberta Public Ombudsmen to tell them in no uncertain terms that erasing females from our healthcare system is an unacceptable practice.

   “To Whom It May Concern,

     I hope this finds you well. I am lodging a formal complaint re: the language used in a recent letter from the AHS in regards to pap testing.

      The letter asks, “Who should have a pap test?” and the answer is “women and people with a cervix”. All “people with cervixes” are women so this sub setting of women informs me that AHS is now practicing Gender Ideology as opposed to neutral, clear and scientific language one expects from an institution dealing with medicine. As the AHS now defines women as an identity what the author should have written was “cis women and people with cervixes”. That would clarify for all readers that the AHS has joined the zeitgeist which allows men to identify as women, teaches children they have a “gender identity”, and dehumanizes women by “queering” our language from mothers to “birthing parents”.

      I AM a woman.

     I do not identify as a woman. I do not like the word “woman” being disappeared in order to be more “inclusive”. Inclusive to who? Not to me. Not to women from religions who do not believe in “gender” and/or whose beliefs dictate a separation of men from women in public spaces. Not to women with mental health issues like Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Not to women who have depression and anxiety as girls and women are called dehumanizing/disassociative terms like “bleeders”, “menstruators”, “birthing bodies”, “pregnant people”, “bodies with a vagina”, “cervix owners”, “chest feeders”, “womb carriers” etc. by institutions supposedly serving our health & the health of our children.

     And this adaptation does not serve women and girls for whom English is a second language and who already have far more challenges navigating a medical lingo which is now also “queering language” in the name of equity. I assume that this wording was brought in as a part of a formal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy. Yet the vast majority of indigenous women generally do not like being called “native womb carriers” and many black women are not overly fond of being called “black birthing bodies”, both terms I have recently seen used by institutions in the medicine and publishing fields.

     Ostensibly this linguistic split is to support the women and girls identifying out of their sex class and into Identitarianism, a belief system which all of society, no matter what reasons they have to resist, are being made to affirm. While this is being framed as a help to women/girls who it really helps is men who now can identify into every sphere of the hard-won sex-based rights of girls and women with no more than a magical declaration: “I am a woman.” It is via this linguistic practice that a woman who was raped in BC was compelled by the court to call the man who raped her by “she” and “her” pronouns while giving her testimony.

     In the same vein, convicted rapists and violent men are now living in women’s prisons throughout Canada where, if we’re interested in Equity, indigenous women are very over represented. So, were putting rapists and violent men into prisons to bunk down with the indigenous women we’re supposed to be practicing reconciliation with? That seems counter intuitive!

    This process of identifying also allows men/boys access to any women/girl’s sex-based space or sport. For example, in the US this weekend a 29-year-old man (ranked 838th in the men’s division) stole a woman’s skateboarding title & prize money from a 13-year-old girl because he identifies as a woman. That couldn’t happen without Gender Ideology, an ideology which the AHS is now promoting in it’s communications. As the AHS serves all women and girls, it would also do well to remember the lesbian population. When the AHS practices Gender Ideology by reframing women as an identity you cement a belief system where men are women on demand.

     So heterosexual men who identify as women now demand sexual relations from lesbians under the auspices of “breaking the cotton ceiling”. When those women have to courage to refuse, they are called bigots and transphobes. Sometimes they lose their jobs and are cancelled. Sometimes, as in the case of Allison Bailey, a black lesbian barrister in the UK, you have to go to court for stating the truth. Finally, did it occur to anyone at the AHS that women with cervix cancer themselves might be upset at the term “people with a cervix”.

     Every girl and women on this planet understands the immense challenges of our sex but to be dehumanized from the material reality of being a woman when fighting for your life because you are a woman is a grotesque charade. Shame on the AHS for adopting and enforcing this de-facto religion which is both misogynistic and anti reality. This belief system is decoupling our youth and mentally ill from reality and turning them into life long medical patients because of a supposed “identity” and forcing all of us, even women fighting cervical cancer, to go along with it.”

We have to act now folks.  This toxic gender ideology will not go away on its on.

It certainly seems like the religious, libertarian hard right fringe has made its way from the US to Canada.  The illegal occupation of Ottawa and border crossings are prime examples of the profoundly undemocratic/reactionary roots of this ‘movement’.

The police are reacting with a glacial slowness that is exacerbating the situation.  Much more needs to be done to protect our civil society, public health, and democratic institutions.

There you have it folks. What has changed from a medical standpoint with regards to masking efficacy from the beginning of the school term until now? Absolutely fucking nothing from an epidemiological standpoint.

What has changed is that we have anti-vax lunatics closing border crossings and disrupting traffic in Alberta cities. These foolish ignorant people make up a significant part of the UCP’s ‘base’. And thus, despite what the science indicates or even what the precautionary principle suggests we’re just gonna do the opposite because it is politically expedient.

Gonna take this week off of teaching and let the COVID party take place in the schools without me.

This is what happens when you let the dipshits dictate public health policy.

There has been much controversy over lately at Science Based Medicine as they seem to have been institutionally captured by gender ideology and turning away from the foundations SBM was founded on.  When gender woo-magic takes precedent of science based facts the lambasting by those who keep their scientific integrity intact is inevitable, hence this letter by Emeritus Editor Kimball Atwood to Steve Novella about his decent into gender-woo.

 

Thank you for Jessie Singal for posting the letter.

 

 

Hi Steve,

Harriet has told me that you stated that her article “dragged SBM into a raging controversy.” She feels, and I agree, that it was your retracting that article and replacing it by very bad articles written by advocates of “gender affirmation” that dragged SBM into a raging controversy. I’ve attempted to explain why previously, but here I’ll mention a couple of the most obvious reasons.

You claimed that Harriet’s article was below SBM’s minimal standard for “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning to inform medical issues.” Yet you replaced it with articles stating things such as the following:

  • “Biology is a binary and differences of sex development (DSDs) are vanishingly rare”. False. DSDs are as common as 1 in 5,000 births, and increase to 1 in 200 or 1 in 300 if you include hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Biology is very, very well known to be a spectrum.

[Lovell attributes the sentence in quotes to Shrier; I’ve been unable to find it in her book]

Do you, Steve, think that sex is a spectrum? Yes, I know Lovell wrote “biology is a spectrum,” but that is an incoherent claim. Her implication is that sex is a spectrum. If that were true, it would upend all that we know about sex in mammals and many other life forms, including sexual dimorphism, reproduction, and selection. Do you think that Lovell’s statement constitutes “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning”? OMG, apparently you do. What’s happened to you?

Do you think that hypospadias and cryptorchism are DSDs? They are not, and to suggest that they are does not meet SBM’s minimal standard for reasoning about medical issues.

The citation is to a paper that discusses real DSDs, not cryptorchism or hypospadias, and makes no claims about a “spectrum.” It supports the very statement that Lovell claims to be false (even though Shrier seems never to have made that statement). Where was the editor here?

According to Eckert,

  • Throughout her book, Shrier refers to her subjects as “biological girls,” a term that conflates sex with gender and mischaracterizes Shrier’s subjects. The reason is that a person’s sex refers to the identity assigned by doctors, parents, and medical professionals at birth, most often based on external anatomy (genitals).

Do you, Steve, think that Shrier’s subjects were not biological girls? Do you think that this characterization conflates sex with gender? Do you think that sex is an “identity assigned by doctors,” rather than a fact noted by everyone in the delivery room in almost every case? Do you think that “human” is also an identity assigned by doctors? How does such an absurd passage meet SBM’s minimal standard for scientific evidence and reasoning? Do you really think that “this is good scientific practice—not political correctness”? How can you be so naive?

Finally, I’ll remind you of a previous objection that you haven’t answered, which refutes the crux of Lovell’s claim about “gender affirmation” for biological girls “lead(ing) to improved psychological outcomes”:

“Lastly, as clearly noted in the American Academy of Pediatrics statement, complete with many citations of their own, we use affirmation, pubertal suppression, and hormone therapy in youth because it leads to improved psychological outcomes. The literature is abundant and clear on this topic.”

The “abundant” link is not to several studies or a review of several studies, as the adjective implies, but to a single study that is irrelevant to Shrier’s thesis because it looks at a group of pre-pubescent, transgender children (age 3-12) undergoing only social transition, not at adolescent girls. It’s also not a good study because it controls its cohort with a cohort of non-transgender children, rather than with the appropriate control group (transgender children not undergoing social transition).

The “clear” link is to a paper that does not reveal whether its subjects were gender dysphoric (GD) in childhood or not, but whose abstract states:

Implications for impact: This study suggests that gender-affirming hormones are a helpful medical intervention for transgender youth. Gender-affirming hormones were found to be associated with decreases in suicidality and improvements in general well-being.”

That is all most SBM readers will read, if they even bother to click on the link. But in the discussion (behind a paywall; I got it on ResearchGate) we see this:

“Hypothesis 3 (i.e., those assigned female at birth will experience greater improvements in general well-being and larger decreases in suicidality) was not supported.” (My italics; parenthetical phrase in the original)

Need I mention (again) that this is the only outcome of the study that is relevant to Shrier’s book? Where was the editor here?

Speaking of editors, it appears that there have been none at SBM other than the original five. Of those, two ruled to retract Harriet’s review, two (Harriet and I) would have kept it, and one is dead. I knew Wally well enough to feel confident that he would have voted to keep the review, and that he would have been shocked, probably to the point of resigning, when you published the embarrassments by Lovell and Eckert and when you banned Andy Lewis from commenting.

No, it was not Harriet who dragged SBM into a raging controversy. It was you and David, because of some very poor choices, made worse by your doubling down after every reasonable objection by Jesse Singal, Andy Lewis, Michael Shermer, Jerry Coyne, Abigail Shrier, me, and several others.

Sincerely Yours,
Kimball

People are morons.  They are abusing health care workers who are trying to save their ignorant, stupid lives.  Can you imagine the audacity of some of these donkey-donuts cursing out medical staff while proclaiming Covid isn’t real?  It’s happening here in Texas-North, and i am fucking embarrassed to live in this clownshow of a province.

“While we’re on this unit, the doctors (and nurses) are just being horrifically, horrifically abused,” she said.

“(Health-care workers are) being sworn at, they’re being told that COVID isn’t real and (patients) don’t want to be intubated,” Christensen said.

“There are no words at this point. I’m just completely baffled. I’ve walked the halls of this ICU. I’ve seen that it’s real.”

Un

Fraking

Believable.

Dr. Paul Parks, the head of emergency medicine for the Alberta Medical Association, said the situation in Alberta hospitals will only become worse without an increase in restrictions.

“I am advocating so strongly for increased public health measures at this point in time and our government to take leadership and to put in some meaningful restrictions,” Parks said.

He said he believes the province is just days away from implementing critical care triage, with increasing COVID-19 patients and no workers to care for them.

“We’re for sure close,” he said. “We cannot continue to keep adding (patients).

This public health crisis was easily predictable and entirely avoidable, but our conservative UCP government led by Jason Kenny proclaimed the province was “Open for Summer!” and lifted all public health safety restrictions.

321 Albertans died for the “Open for Summer” debacle – and more are dying everyday – expect a big jump in the death toll once the medical triage starts.

 

What a tragedy, made worse with the knowledge that it was entirely preventable.

“Ok…I am ready to share whether anyone wants to read or not.
I am far more of a qualitative researcher than quantitative. I like themes and patterns. Swabbing today uncovered a theme I guess I didn’t expect. Yes there were lots of kids.
Tons of Close Contacts that created stress and confusion for families. There were a lot of 20-somethings who had friends test positive and most of them were unvaccinated. That wasn’t a surprise either. There were more unvaccinated than I anticipated and in groups I wouldn’t have expected. I did my darnedest to answer questions and hear concerns about this.
Maybe I swayed one which is a win no matter what.
But what became so evident was how so many aspects of this pandemic are dividing FAMILIES. The dangerous narrative Jason Kenney and the UCP have perpetuated that COVID isn’t a big deal if you’re healthy or younger has begun to show itself in the basic day to day functioning of families.
A parent with their under 12 child needing to get swabbed because grandparent came for dinner sick knowingly and it turned out to be Delta. The pain and anger was palpable and intruding into the marriage of these parents. Watching tears stream down mom’s face as she explained why they were there was excruciating because she understood the selfish risk the child had been placed in. A grandson and his grandmother being tested as he lived
in her home as well as his parents’ who had both recently tested positive and he was beside himself that he may have passed it on to gramma unknowingly.
He was angry at his unvaccinated parents. But when he described how ill his dad was, we had to discuss the need to seek medical
attention before it was too late. Likely another admission to hospital by my estimation. A father asked me how they might convince their teenage son to get vaccinated when there was so much misinformation at his disposal that fueled his fears. We sat for 20 minutes talking about strategies and questions to pose. He was desperate for a way to convince his child to do as they had and protect himself. He admitted that until his son was alienated from things he enjoyed because he wasn’t vaccinated, he didn’t think he would get it.
You see, these constant shifts over the last year created solely and purposely by Kenney have created imbalance at every level. It is exactly as he wants it to be. Because with imbalance comes distraction and with distraction comes Kenney’s ability to remain unaccountable. While families are struggling
to remain in tact with their heads’ barely above water, Kenney ignites kindling of a million little fires. It destroys the fibre of community.
That is what I saw today. I saw families in crisis. NOT because of COVID itself but the misinformation and anger and distrust that this government has planted and cultivated since day one. We only need to look to the east coast to see how doing things the “other way” could strengthen community and family resolve. We are a province divided…but today I witnessed how, like the crisis in our health system, the lack of empathy, compassion and leadership as caused a crisis in families.
There is a such a deep need for guidance and comfort right now. The vaccine debate is just another reflection of the turmoil that has been orchestrated in Alberta. What I witnessed today was people desperate for definitive compassionate leadership.
Desperate.
It will get worse before it gets better. This I know. I need to believe it WILL get better though. I need to.”

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