This Week in “Things That Shouldn’t Surprise Us”: COVID-19 Is Extremely Racist
I had a thing today. Fuck doctors
I had a thing today. Fuck doctors.
Discussing the medical and financial disparities African-Americans face and ways to identify them and correct them
I wish I lived in the world my doctors believe we do.
I wish all my health problems were caused by my weight and
I wish I could just lose it all, easy-peasy, forever, like they think I can.
Can you imagine how wondrous that would be. With one simple treatment, everything comes right. No more pain. No more nausea. No more disability.
But it turns out health’s a little more complicated than fat = bad.
There’s so much wrong with this study.
As someone who has basically none of these ‘attractive’ traits I’m extremely concerned that people will take this too seriously and start telling 'unattractive’ people they can’t have endometriosis. My experience with doctors tells me that some absolutely will do that. This will be used as a yet another reason to deny fat people healthcare. Another study we need to argue with to access the medicine even thin people struggle to get.
The second problem is that they studied the “attractiveness” of these patients. They’ve used a clearly biased term, one with no objective meaning. Its informal and unprofessional. They could have just compared appearances. But they didn’t. They went and asked if people thought the patients were hot as well. Why? Seriously, why? Why did they need endo patients for this? It gives a strong impression of triviality.
They have conflated thinness with feminineness and attractiveness.
Two hundred years ago it was the other way 'round. There’s no reason fat people with ovaries are less feminine, except how we perceive them
at this point and in fact they’ve been found to have slightly more
estrogens than thinner people with ovaries.
There’s just a boatload of assumptions built on our current society’s ideas of beauty and femininity which aren’t at all objective. But these people’s opinions on the patients’ bodies are treated as objective assessments of attractiveness. That’s not a thing. You may as well throw it all out anyway, because fat people with ovaries have slightly more estrogens. So, clearly our current ideas of beauty aren’t much related to hormones like this study assumes. There’s basically no reason to believe it would be if you look at history and how beauty changes over time. So, why was this study done?
This study sucks for 'unattractive’ (ie. mostly fat, but also those with unpopular fat distributions) people and uses problematic language and makes problematic
assumptions. It uses people with endometriosis (risking disadvantaging
people who are not 'attractive’) to try and prove that current beauty
ideals have some objective component, which is hilarious, if you know
the first thing about it.
That’s why I don’t like it.
Oh yeah, I only mentioned that nurse being Jamaican earlier because honestly most of the problems I have run into have been dealing with (usually older) White British staff. Including the nurse I got hold of last time.
Today nobody I saw fit that description, and nobody seemingly hated me on sight. For whatever reason. Hmm.
I like Sawbones. I want to love Sawbones. But there’s something about how the podcast seems to always come so close to understanding the ways in which bigotry isn’t just present in, but perpetuated by science and then… swing and a miss.
Let me give an example:
On the most recent episode - where Dr. McElroy answers medical questions from viewers - she talks about whether asexuality and/or low libido would ever be listed as a problem on someone’s chart. She points out - correctly, I would argue - that someone being asexual with a low libido would not lead to them having their low libido listed as a medical problem on their chart, nor would it lead to their practitioner attempting to treat them. (Inversely, she asserts - again, correctly, in my opinion - that someone who does have a low libido and wanted it treated would have it listed as a medical problem on their chart.)
What’s missing from this discussion is the hidden third possibility: the patient has a low libido that isn’t distressing them, but they think they should be distressed by it because they have been taught that to not have a libido is not normal. This path also has a different variant, in which the patient mentions their low libido, and the doctor perceives that as the patient complaining about it as a medical issue, and notes it on their chart and tries to treat them for it. This is what I mean by the sciences - in this case, medicine - perpetuating bigotry.
It’s complicated, of course, because there are certain movements (anti-vaccination, essential oils, etc.) that are so radically anti-medicine that it can make you want to dig your heels in and claim that doctors know best for their patients, but that only serves to invalidate groups that are at-risk for medical discrimination, mistreatment, and abuse. Being able to look past these things is, for lack of a better term, a privilege, in the same way that people without stigmatized mental illnesses fail to see the massive gaps in mental health care.
All in all, it’s quite frustrating, as someone who is a part of a number of marginalized groups, and has friends in a number of others, and also works tangential to health care. It’s what makes me turn off more episodes of Sawbones than I would like to. I want to live in a world like Dr. McElroy describes - one where only patients who actually have a medical problem get their low libido treated. And then I remember all the horror stories that I have heard, and I close the podcast, and I consider whether next week’s episode will be better.
hey so uhhhhhh the role of body positivity in fat activism is different from the role of body positivity in disability activism, they are definitely connected but let’s all try to keep in mind that chronic pain (for example) is INHERENTLY unhealthy and that fatness is NOT, and you can’t always just copy-paste the same aggressively cheerful affirmations from one topic to the other
Transmeds don’t even realize that “tucutes” aren’t the ones making it harder for “real” trans people to transition. It’s transphobic insurance companies and doctors. You know, the ones who lie about hormones being a limited resource (even though thousands if not millions of cis people take them for a variety of reasons, which is possible due to the abundance of HRT resources)
If a trans person is denied care, it’s not because someone has used neopronouns, or didn’t suffer from gender dysphoria I was able to get HRT, fully covered by my insurance (aside from a monthly $10 co-pay), before I ever got my dysphoria diagnosis And I was very open about being non-binary (genderflux) You know how I did it? Because my doctor wasn’t a transphobic piece of feces
Yeah like, I’ve been denied access to trans healthcare despite having dysphoria, as have loads of others. Not because of the threat of ‘transtrenders’ but because I didn’t fit the exact stereotype my medical gatekeepers wanted me to be.
Trans healthcare has been declared medically necessary across essentially all major health orgs in the west, with loads of supporting documentation that (while flawed) presents overwhelming positioning for trans healthcare as necessary for insurance to cover, and yet loads of insurance companies don’t because they don’t actually care what the medical community says. Something can be deemed medically necessary by all healthcare pros and researchers, and insurance companies will still cut coverage to save whatever tiny amount of coin they’d save.
Doctors and insurance providers hold the power. They act as arbiters on who gets access to healthcare, who gets access to ID changes, etc. Transmedicalists and truscum run on the idea that medical professionals and insurance companies are just and play by some pre-set collection of rules where if certain conditions are met on the definition of trans people, they will provide unfettered access and coverage for the trans people that fit that description, whereas that’s just not the case.
Defining trans people by experiencing dysphoria won’t help trans people get better access to medical resources and coverage. Defining being trans as a medical condition won’t help trans people get better access to medical resources and coverage. Disavowing and dismissing non-binary folks, and/or folks without dysphoria, it won’t help trans people get better access to medical resources and coverage. It’s never worked out like that.