Miranda and mother church

Ninglun has commented on Miranda Devine’s latest outpouring on the Bill Henson saga. I haven’t joined in this before because it all seems so pathetic and because it is just another instalment in the contemporary moral panic whipped up ostensibly for the kiddies’ sake, which I have commented on before on numerous occasions.

I was intrigued, however, by the following passage in Miranda’s piece:

As a reader, Nikki, wrote to me last week: “What’s next? Will Sesame Street have ‘young adult’ action soon?”

A randy Cookie Monster sounds preposterous, but so to a previous generation would the idea of a court ruling that a 12-year-old girl was mature enough to embark on a sex change, against the wishes of her father, as was reported last week in the Family Court of Victoria.

Note the straw-man tactic. No-one is actually suggesting a young-adult segment, let alone “action” on “Sesame Street,” which isn’t to say that there can’t be older-age-group angles on its themes, such as the delightful Avenue Q.

But back to Miranda (weary sigh).

Miranda’s account of the 12-year-old starting sex-reassignment treatment is misleading by omission. It is easy to find the source of her story because there is no such thing as the “Family Court of Victoria,” so if you google the phrase you find the story, in various News Ltd publications, eg here. There you find out that [I have not reproduced the whole story]:

An endocrinologist, a psychiatrist, a family counsellor, a Victoria Government watchdog and a lawyer acting on the child’s behalf all supported the plan.

Only her father, who lives interstate, opposed the proposed sex change, though he did not attend the final court hearing and could not afford to send a lawyer on his behalf.

The court was told the father could not accept that his daughter had always seen herself as a boy and he considered her too young to make such a decision.

The mother expressed sadness and deep concern for her daughter, but said she would stand by the girl.

The child’s lawyer told the court she considered the girl capable of making an informed decision about the procedure.

The court was told early intervention was needed because the child was stressed and anxious at the prospect of starting her period and had threatened self-harm.

The court decision means hormones can now be implanted under the girl’s skin every three months, which will stop her menstruating and suppress her hips and breasts from growing.

The court heard the therapy is reversible and would give the family “breathing time”.

A further court application must be lodged in coming years for testosterone treatment to deepen her voice and promote growth of facial hair and muscles.

Surgery to remove her womb or ovaries, or build an artificial penis, must wait at least until she turns 18.

The key to this and likely source of the story, as well as Miranda’s look-what-they’re-up-to-now passing outrage, lies in the following snippet in that piece:

Medical ethicist Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini said yesterday the decision was astounding.

Nicholas Tonti-Filippini is, amongst other things, Institute Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Research) and Head of Bioethics at the “John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.”

3 Responses to “Miranda and mother church”

  1. Legal Eagle Says:

    The response to that girl’s alleged “sex change” has been ridiculous. I have written a post on it myself. The fact of the matter is that the treatment is reversible, and it does not constitute a “sex change”. Experts have said that it is necessary for the “girl’s” mental health. Surely it’s better that the girl have hormone treatment than kill herself? Wouldn’t Dr Tonti-Filippini think suicide was a sin? (sanctity of human life and all that…)

  2. boynxdor Says:

    How very interesting. You should alert Media Watch on the ABC website, this is exactly the kind of suff they can use.

  3. marcellous Says:

    I’m sure Media Watch know all about it already. I think the chances of anything I tell them make it onto the program are about the same as those of my many aggrieved clients who think that their case will make it onto “Today Tonight.” As they say, there’s a million stories in this city/country.

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