Getting to the heart of the ethical dilemma of an eleven year old’s desire to re assert their gender and human rights group stage protest in Berlin.
The case of an eleven year old child who goes by the alias Alex Kaminsky has once again stirred debate as to Germany’s stance towards gender neutrality, sex and clinical devices of purity, especially in light of its torrid history with respect to forced sterilization and aspirations towards racial purity.
At the heart of the matter can a young girl and her mother decide what is best for her daughter who biologically was not born a girl but wishes to pursue a female gender or are they obligated to subscribe to the courts view which at present allows open the possibility of the child being institutionalized whom according to human rights group now fear the child will be exposed to a type of redressing with the expressed intent of correcting what is implicitly perceived to be mental deficiencies of a the child.
The commotion came about as Berlin’s Kammergericht this past Thursday re affirmed a lower court’s decision allowing the state to institutionalize an eleven year old. At the time of the ruling, the child’s mother who had sought therapy for her child but to date has been inexplicably denied reiterated that she will now take her case to the constitutional court in an effort to allow her eleven year old to remain living as a female despite being born a male, something the mother supports.
The incident initially found itself in front of the courts as a consequence of the girl’s parents separating and being of different opinions as to how the medical treatment of the child should proceed, with state youth office mandating that the child should be treated in an institution before eventually being made available to a foster family.
Implicit in the court’s decision is the very real possibility that the child may now be preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female, and exposed to a type of indoctrination that does not promote gender neutrality or choice. Also of concern is whether the child is too young to completely understand the ramifications of her choices and the technical legality that German law requires before one can have a sex change or at least begin the process of hormone adaptation to become one’s innate sense of gender.
To date the youth office has asserted that it believes the best interest of the ‘child ‘ would be achieved if it were removed from a sphere of influence that is predisposed to the girl asserting a female identity . This of course raises the question can a child’s ‘transsexuality’ be induced without the child resisting?
To date no reported incidents exist where a child was forced to accept a gender re alignment against their will, which has stirred the plaintiff’s lawyer to argue that a nurse which the youth office assigned has on the back of one single solitary hour long meeting been able to insist that the mother has sought to unduly influence the child in their choice of gender. The plaintiff’s lawyer has also expressed shock and reticence that to date their client, the mother and daughter have been denied the right to an expert report or therapy, something that the youth office is unwilling to yield to.
Come this Monday at 3pm, human right activists will protest on behalf of the child. Argue the group who go by the banner attache ‘Stop Alex forced into institutionalization at once’: “Institutions like the youth office and the Charité use force on humans through enforcement and psychological pressure! Each gender and each gender identity is a right, not a disease.”
Activists are particularly disturbed with the state’s view that the child might be mentally diseased and thus seeking to institutionalize it to ‘correct’ what it perceives to be mental deficiencies which would run counter with the notion that gender isn’t necessarily what one is born with but what one innately relates to and chooses.
Already a signature campaign as organized by British transsexual activist Katrina Swales is under way to challenge the court’s decision. Asserts Katrina Swales who to date has amassed over 9000 signatures: “This young girl gets taught that her feelings are wrong. She gets pushed into self denial more and more. Something that has already cost the lives of so many transsexuals.”
In light of the court’s current stance a deep mistrust amongst human activists has been instilled who fear clinical assessments may be adopting sterile dispositions towards gender choices and other aspects of human rights manifestations especially in light of a nation known to have had a torrid history with respect to gender rights, discrimination and what has to date been publicly left unsaid, previous ethnic purity aspirations.
As translated by google: taz.de