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Opinion

Transgender ideology has enabled people to ‘identify’ as amputees

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Jørund ‘Viktoria’ Alme, a Norwegian man who believes he is a paralyzed woman

From LifeSiteNews

By Jonathon Van Maren

Those who challenge the view that a person can identify as an amputee despite being healthy must also challenge the assertion that one can simply identify as the opposite sex.

Almost ten years ago, I wrote a column in this space on the phenomenon of the so-called “transabled” – people who identify as amputees or suffer from a mental illness that causes them to loathe one of their healthy limbs. In 2022, a high-profile (alleged) example of this emerged when a 53-year-old healthy, non-disabled Norwegian man began identifying as a woman paralyzed from the waist down  and took to a wheelchair to give media interviews.  

Those who found his claims to be somewhat suspect were in a bit of a bind – which of his assertions, after all, is more ridiculous – that he is a woman, or that he is paralyzed? Our culture has accepted that he can claim to be a woman, and that we must all nod solemnly in response. “How brave of her,” we must all say in unison as his loyal wife pushes him away from the cameras in his wheelchair. “No, not the wife. The other one.”  

A grimmer but no less disturbing profile was published recently by the National Post titled “Quebec man has two healthy fingers amputated to relieve ‘body integrity dysphoria.’” It’s a sad story; the young man said he had “intrusive thoughts about his left hand’s fourth and fifth fingers, the sensation they weren’t his, that they didn’t belong to his body” since he was a child and would even have nightmares about them. He fantasized about cutting them off himself. From the Post: 

Instead, a surgeon at his local hospital agreed to an elective amputation in what is being called the first described case of ‘digits amputation’ for body integrity dysphoria, or BID, a rare and complex condition characterized by an intense desire to amputate a perfectly healthy body part, such as an arm or a leg. The Quebec case involved an ambidextrous 20-year-old whose attempts at ‘non-invasive’ relief, including cognitive behavioural therapy, Prozac-like antidepressants and exposure therapy, only increased his distress.

What is significant about this case is the way it was described by Dr. Nadia Nadeau of the department of psychiatry at Université Laval in a case study published in the journal Clinical Case Reports. Nadeau describes the young man’s mental and emotional distress, and notes that this distress apparently ceased after the “elective amputation” and that “he was able to pursue the life he envisioned as a complete human being without those two fingers bothering him.” One month post surgery, he had no regrets. 

The particularly significant conclusion came towards the end of the report. According to Nadeau: “He is now living a life free from distressing preoccupations about his fingers, with all his symptoms related to BID resolved. The amputation enabled him to live in alignment with his perceived identity.” This, of course, is precisely the argument used by transgender activists making the case for sex change surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers – that these “treatments” will help the recipient “live in alignment with his perceived identity.” Although they wouldn’t call it a “perceived” identity – they’d call it his real identity. This perceived identity, however, was considered real enough that a surgeon removed two of his fingers.  

The justifications for these “treatments” that include bodily mutilation are similar, as well. The Post noted that “Nadeau’s patient, after doing some research, ‘related his condition to gender dysphoria’… People with BID often feel their physical body doesn’t align with the image of the body they have in their minds.” 

Furthermore, although “cutting off healthy, functioning body parts for psychological distress raises ethical concerns, BID sufferers sometimes resort to self-mutilation or ‘black-market’ amputations, risking their lives.”  

A similar argument is made for “transgender care”: if extreme medical intervention does make the mentally ill person’s body resemble the image of reality in their minds, they might harm themselves. That’s the catch-22, of course. Isn’t surgical mutilation also harm, by definition? Not if you redefine it – that’s why trans activists no longer refer to sex change surgeries, but “gender-affirming care.” According to Nadeau: “Recognizing and addressing the unique needs of (BID) patients can lead to a future where they can live with more dignity, respect and optimal well-being.” 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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New Documentary Details Female Sexual Assault Survivor’s Story Of Being Incarcerated With Trans Inmate

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By KATE ANDERSON

 

A sexual assault survivor gave an inside look at living in a female prison with male criminals identifying as transgender in a new documentary by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) released Tuesday.

The six-minute documentary, part of IWF’s “Cruel & Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Female Prisons” series, focuses on the story of Evelyn Valiente, a sexual assault survivor and former inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility. Valiente, who is using a pseudonym to protect her identity, was forced to share a housing unit with a male inmate identifying as a woman while serving time for killing someone in a shooting.

“At first I thought it was going to be okay and it didn’t take long before this one particular individual was manipulative, calculating, vindictive and always looking and seeking to do harm to another person,” Valiente said regarding the inmate, who had a history of sex crime convictions.

In 2020, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed legislation requiring the state’s prison system to house inmates based on their gender identity and not their biological sex. Under the law, corrections officers are required to ask inmates privately how they identify and then work to house them accordingly.

Before her time in prison, Valiente had been sexually assaulted, and said that being in the same housing unit as this individual, who had been convicted of sex crimes, as well as other men made it “scary” not only for her but for many women who had “come from very abusive backgrounds.”

“It’s a lot of walking in trauma,” Valiente said.

WATCH:

Andrea Mew, IWF’s storytelling manager and co-producer of the documentary series, told the DCNF that while California lawmakers claimed that the transgender inmate bill was about keeping inmates safe, the law actually further victimized women in prison who often have been abused.

“It’s really interesting that California, at the same time that they are focusing on being all about rehabilitation, are subjecting women to being re-traumatized by a lot of their personal triggers,” Mew said. “Many women who are in prison are victims of sexual assault, emotional abuse, physical abuse and having men in their spaces can be a very big trigger for them. At the same time, it’s allowing violent male criminals to have unbridled access to, in many cases, the thing that got them there in the first place.”

Currently, five states: ConnecticutRhode IslandMassachusetts; California and New Jersey as well as New York City; have passed laws allowing men identifying as women to be housed in women’s prisons. However, other states, such as Wisconsin, have reportedly moved biologically male offenders identifying as transgender into all-female facilities despite their violent criminal history.

In September 2023, a female inmate sued the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in New Jersey after allegedly being assaulted in prison by a male inmate identifying as transgender. Another female inmate from New York City filed a lawsuit in January, claiming that a prison official instructed a male inmate who reportedly sexually assaulted her to identify as transgender so he could have “access to female inmates.”

Mew told the DCNF that she and co-producer Kelsey Bolar wanted people to imagine how they would feel if someone they loved in prison was forced to share a cell or a housing unit with a transgender inmate with a history of violence.

“People need to put themselves in the shoes of people who are in prison and just imagine yourself in there, imagine your own daughter in there,” Mew said. “There are a lot of things that could happen that could get you into prison that are complete accidents, so imagine yourself or your own daughter is in that sort of accident. Put yourself in the shoes of the person there and think about how it would feel if you’re being physically, emotionally and in some cases, as we’ve seen, sexually threatened by male criminals while you’re just trying to do your time and get home.”

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment

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Australians Abandon Physical Cash, Financial Freedom

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From Heartland Daily News

By J.D. Tuccille

Australians abandon physical cash for digital payments that are easy to use, monitor, and block.

The end of cash has been heralded for years—mostly by government officials eager to end the expense of minting coins and printing banknotes while pushing transactions to digital forms that can be tracked and taxed. The transformation has met varying degrees of acceptance or resistance from people around the globe. But Australians appear to be eagerly advancing down the road toward a cash-free world.

Disappearing Banknotes and Coins

“Cash was once a staple in the economy, but it’s fast becoming a relic of the past,” according to an April report on Australia’s financial evolution from SBSNews. “Just a decade ago, more than half of transactions were cash. Now it’s just one in seven, and it’s happened at an alarming rate.”

Various forms of digital payments now account for the lion’s share of transactions, with a growing number of merchants now refusing coins and banknotes, and ATMs disappearing around the country. That means cash is increasingly difficult to find and use even for those who prefer physical money.

The transformation was turbocharged by COVID-19, as people moved away from any sort of contact. But usage of cash was already plunging, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, from almost 70 percent of transactions in 2007 to less than 30 percent in 2019. “Cash payments accounted for 13 per cent of the number and 8 per cent of the value of all consumer payments in 2022,” the bank finds.

While Australian consumers and central bank bureaucrats embrace the shift, there are serious downsides to an all-digital economy.

“Digital payments have shortfalls, including their reliance on the internet—which can prove problematic in times of crisis,” cautions SBSNews. The report described the plight of people cut off from processing services by wildfires that severed communications; those with cash could still buy necessities.

Digital transactions also require people to have accounts in their names, which is a challenge for young people and immigrants. And budgeting can be easier with paper and coins than with abstract numbers.

Unmentioned in the piece are any concerns about lost independence when all transactions can be monitored and, potentially, blocked. But that’s a major concern elsewhere.

‘Printed Freedom’

Printed freedom” is how German economist Lars Feld described physical money in 2015 while responding to a push in his country to abolish physical cash. He defended banknotes and coins on the grounds that people “should be entitled to an escape from all-out state control,” as Hardy Graupner of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle put it.

Such concerns came to a head in 2022 when the Canadian government cut off Freedom Convoy protesters’ access to their own bank accounts and blocked digital donations to their cause.

“It’s a Western version of China’s social credit system that does not altogether prohibit political dissent but makes it so costly that it becomes impractical to the ordinary citizen,” commented David Sacks, former COO of PayPal. He had already warned that electronic payment processors were working with governments to deny access to the financial system on ideological grounds.

Canada’s crackdown was dramatic, but it didn’t stand in isolation.

Digital Transactions and Targeted Industries

In 2022, American Banker reported that “a new code identifying credit card sales of guns and ammunition has been approved by the International Standards Organization, creating a potential path for card networks to help law enforcement agencies identify suspicious sales of guns and ammunition.”

Amidst concerns that banks would help government officials track gun owners, and several states banning the gun-specific merchant codes, the financial industry “paused” implementation.

The merchant code controversy was reminiscent of earlier government efforts, under programs including Operation Choke Point, to cut off businesses disliked by politicians from financial services.

“Operation Choke Point was created by the Justice Department to ‘choke out’ companies the Administration considers a ‘high risk’ or otherwise objectionable, despite the fact that they are legal businesses,” summarized a 2014 House Oversight Committee report. “The sheer breadth of industries affected – including firearms and ammunition sales, adult entertainment, check cashing, and payday lending – has generated significant concern with the objectives and scope of Operation Choke Point.”

Notably, physical money offers a workaround for businesses that government officials don’t like. To this day, marijuana is a largely cash industry for businesses legal at the state level but still illegal under federal law—a serious concern for heavily regulated financial institutions. For pot growers and vendors, cash may not always be ideal (it’s a target for thieves), but it offers the freedom to operate.

Use It or Lose It

That was the sort of concern that pushed Germany’s Lars Feld to describe physical money as “printed freedom.” It also inspired Swiss activists last year to urge their countrymen to vote “yes to a free and independent Swiss currency in the form of coins and banknotes.” Swiss officials rejected the initiative as insufficiently specific, but they also promised to incorporate protections for cash into the constitution.

Many Australians appear to feel otherwise, and they’re not alone. With demand plunging for cash, Denmark stopped printing and minting kroner in 2016 (private companies will be commissioned to produce more as needed).

“One of the reasons why it is no longer profitable to produce coins and banknotes in Denmark is that the Danes increasingly pay with either credit card or mobile phone,” BT reported at the time.

There is no denying that digital transactions are easy—sometimes too easy—requiring only a card or app, and not sufficient paper in your wallet. But despite the still largely unrealized promise of Bitcoin and other cyber currencies, most digital transactions leave records and require processing by third parties. Those intermediaries, under political pressure, can turn our own funds into tools of control. The more accustomed we become to digital payments, the more likely physical money and the freedom it offers will slip away.

“If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it,” Steve Worthington of Swinburne University’s School of Business, Law, and Entrepreneurship told SBS News. “The less and less we’re able to access and use cash, the more likely it is that we will lose access to it the same way we have with paper cheques.”

It’s something to think about the next time you head for the store to make a purchase.

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