Roger Helmer: A special type of stupid
January 16, 2011 6 Comments
Roger Helmer MEP for the East Midlands region asked on his twitter feed today:
Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to “turn” a consenting homosexual?
At first the question seems stupid – what’s the connection between homosexuality and gender reassignment? Isn’t this blatant homophobia? As David Allen Green has put it, has Helmer not confused “the distinct issues of gender identity and sexual preference”?
Then you read it again.
It’s still stupid.
For a longer discussion on the issue read Heresy Corner, I’m going to keep this brief. Gender reassignment is, as it is well known, the process of altering the sexual characteristics of an individual. That means a therapeutic measure of hormone replacement, replacement of organs, and other secondary sexual characteristics that aren’t reproductive organs (such as facial hair or breasts). As far as is physically possible an individual reflects the gender they have been reassinged to – nowhere in the surgery is there any attempt to mentally reassign a person, to make him/her feel like a man/woman (perhaps because there is no such feeling at all).
The notion that Helmer is comparing this with is the attempt to change, not a set of physical characteristics, but the complex psychosexual structure of an individual, which is far trickier in many ways to reassign, some would say impossible.
I’m of this latter opinion; you can’t try and “turn” a consenting homosexual, you can only try and make a person forget he or she is homosexual, or do things contrary to his or her sexuality (like be attracted to, or enjoy sexual practices with, a person from the opposite sex). And it ought not to be available by national health services like gender reassignment is. However if you want a homophobe to rub you with salts and tell you that you’re really attracted to people of the opposite sex, and that homosexuality is a myth or a lie one tells themselves, then what people get up to in their spare time is up to them – like with homeopathy it will be incumbent upon sane people to promote the truth of such ridiculous practices.,
Once again therefore, Helmer is way off the mark.We can add this to the list of other gaffes and witless opinions such as:
- Beating “dumb” cubs over the head was “humane” and that they deserved to die because they were “guilty” of eating too many fish.