If you understand

A wisdom tweet:

I think the sentence “cis people shouldn’t be in charge of trans people’s healthcare” is just as true as “men shouldn’t be in charge of women’s healthcare”. If you understand why one is true, take some time to realise that it’s the same reasons that make the other true.

Well let’s slow down. Is the one true? Is it a general truth that “men shouldn’t be in charge of women’s healthcare”? In what sense of “in charge”? Setting policy, or administering policy that is already in place? Is it true that no men should be part of an administration that includes women’s health? My answer would be no. I think women should be involved, certainly, but I don’t think that has to mean no men should be involved. So I don’t think the one is true, let alone understand why it is. It’s too sloppy and general to be true, which is often a problem with Twitter – people hawk up clever-sounding aphorisms like this that turn out to be silly if you look at them for more than a second.

But even if I did “understand why” that one is true, that wouldn’t make the first one true. If a trans person gets the flu, is it bad or risky or unjust for a “cis” doctor to provide treatment? If so, why, exactly? Can the principle be extended to everything? If you’re a person who climbs mountains, does that mean you need a doctor who climbs mountains? Or a hospital administration that does?

If it became a principle that only trans people can be in charge of trans people’s health, where will they come from? Are there enough medically trained trans people for this to work?

I think further consideration is needed before we take this bold step.


13 Responses to “If you understand”