Pilloried as a transphobe

The Sunday Times reports:

A woman who asked for her NHS breast-screening to be carried out by a female-born clinician was pilloried as a transphobe by a hospital trust.

Clare Dimyon, 54, who was raped as a teenager and is a lesbian, wrote formal letters asking to be seen by a “natal female” when she went for a mammogram on Christmas Eve last year.

She made clear that after being violated by a man when she was “little more than a child” she did not consent to intimate procedures being carried out by people born as boys.

Hey you know what, we shouldn’t have to cite traumatic experiences to want a woman doing that job. I’ll tell you why: it hurts, and you want a person who knows how much it hurts doing it to you. Of course it should be women doing mammograms! Literal women, people-with-breasts.

The mammographer signed one letter confirming she was female and another letter was placed in Dimyon’s medical records. But two weeks ago she saw her letters highlighted by the trust as examples of “unacceptable” and “highly discriminatory” communications in guidelines to support trans patients and staff.

Her requests had been anonymised, but were not given any context. The trust failed to say that they were written before a mammogram, an intimate procedure.

An intimate procedure that involves handling and arranging the breasts on a plastic plate. No thanks, don’t want a man doing that. Have every right not to want a man doing that.

This weekend the trust defended its stance.

“It is not possible to guarantee to any patient that they will only be treated by a clinician assigned to a specific gender at birth and, as an organisation that prides itself on our commitment to diversity and inclusion, nor would we wish to do so,” it said.

Their commitment to diversity and inclusion which excludes women who don’t want men squishing their breasts between two plates. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion which is all about trans inclusion and not at all about women inclusion.

In a statement, the trust stressed the importance of patients seeing the clinician with the most relevant skills, adding:

“We have a duty to apply the same principles here as we would if a patient requested clinicians from particular backgrounds/ethnicities or any of the nine characteristics protected by law.”

In effect, the trust was arguing that for a woman to ask for an intimate examination by another biological woman was as offensive as to request a medic of a particular religion or skin colour.

Which sort of frames all women as the equivalent of racist, because we keep having this evil instinct to try to preserve some privacy around men.

Dimyon, who was made an MBE for her LGBT work, said she was shocked because it was “long-standing practice to ask for a lady doctor or lady nurse”.

She said:

“We have an examination which involves clinicians handling your breasts and placing them on a mammography table in order for those pictures to be taken. Even on the door they say ‘gentlemen stay outside’, meaning husbands and partners, I suppose, because they recognise this is an intimate examination.”

And by “placing them on a mammography table” she means doing a good deal of lifting and pushing and prodding to get them in exactly the right position. It’s very “intimate.”

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said that it had now removed the letters from its equality and diversity guidance and was “very sorry for any offence or upset caused”.

Sigh. Don’t do that. Don’t say the generic “any offence.” We know what the offence is, they know what the offence is, so just apologize for that without any blame-shifting “any” added. Just apologize for shaming a woman for a perfectly reasonable, ordinary, commonplace request.

They’ve all lost their damn minds, I swear.

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