Friday, March 9, 2012

3 Year Old Run Over And Killed

This is the saddest story I have read for quite a while, and I am sending my thoughts and love to the community where this happened.

Last night, 8th March, in a suburb near Cairns, Nth Queensland, a 3 year old was run over by two cars, and died later in Cairns Base Hospital.  The little boy was disabled, and could not walk.  

Apparently a door didn't close properly when someone went outside, and the little boy crawled out and into the road.  It was about 8.40 p.m. and the drivers of the two vehicles had little hope of seeing the small boy, who was wearing dark clothing.  It appears that he was hit by one car, and thrown into the path of the second.

Shocked and desperate neighbours tried to resuscitate little Lachlan, whose foster father was distraught.

A police spokeswoman, Sergeant Coolican, said  "Everyone involved in the incident is terribly upset, and that includes police and paramedics who did attend and the people involved in the car crash".

2 Year Olds To Get Lessons In Anger Management?

Dear reader, why is it that every time there is some article online which catches my attention, it is about some utterly ridiculous theory by a supposed 'expert' on children and their behaviour?

This time it was the Mail Online (or should I say, as usual it was the Mail Online?) which reported that a UK Government 'discipline expert' - a Mr. Charlie Taylor, has drawn up a proposal which was designed to  "improve provision for disruptive youngsters in the wake of last summer’s riots". Fair enough so far?  Sounds good doesn't it.  But when you read through the article, you won't think it is quite as sensible as it sounds.  

Mr. Taylor thinks that children at risk of turning to crime and aggression "can and should be identified at the age of TWO" and that children who are likely to 'go off the rails'  should be "sent to specialist behavioural institutions at the age of FIVE - to stop their bad behaviour escalating"??

The most frightening thing about this is that the article states that Mr. Taylor's report was likely to be endorsed in full by the government.  Mr. Taylor does not hesitate to say that he thinks nurseries should be able to spot the ones who have behavioural 'issues' and to then "provide them with boundaries and social skills".  Hello, hello?  That is what we parents strive mightily to provide for our kids!

I don't know about you Mr. Taylor, even if you are the headmaster of the Willows School - I sincerely doubt whether you have had experience of an ordinary toddler going through the 'terrible twos'  or threes or fours come to that.   In my humble opinion it is simply not logical thinking to believe that we can identify future problem kids at age two.  I mean, for pity's sake, these are BABIES, who are learning what the word 'no' means, and learning that they actually have a separate identity from their mum.  They are bound to be little horrors at time, it is all part and parcel of the growing up process. 
If some nosy do-gooder like you told me that my two year old needed to be put into a 'specialist nursery' - well, gee I would want to give you the other side of my tongue to be honest.  As for your totally ridiculous statement about "some difficulties around speech and language very often as well. Often not potty trained".   The article didn't state at what age the kids weren't potty trained, or at what age they had difficulties with speech and language - but surely you simply CAN'T be talking about two and three year olds?  Surely not?   And what do you do about the little one who is behaving like a fruit loop until mum works out that she is having a reaction to chemicals in her food?  (And it took one of my daughter's acquaintances twelve months to identify and isolate 24 E numbers that were doing her child great harm.)  Would you have the love or patience to do this, or would you just keep her locked up until she turned 21?

Fair enough to say that some five year olds are disruptive and probably some younger ones as well.  My own reading of this situation is that you surely shouldn't be taking the children and putting them into what amounts to an institution - even if you try to get them back into mainstream school quickly.   Surely the ones to be taught are the parents?   Wouldn't it be far far better for schools to have parenting classes?  And if a child is proving to have problems with relating to others, aggression etc., wouldn't it be better to have classes which include the parents - most of us fly by the seat of our pants, and if a few have no idea what to do when their child throws a wobbly, then show them!
About the statement you made that "the aim was to help children early ‘rather than waiting until they are throwing tables around when they are 14 or 15"?   Quite a feat if you can do that, my lad.  It often happens (and if you lived in the real world you would know this) that a decently brought up child falls in with some not so respectable mates at school, and peer pressure does the rest.  All the early intervention in the world will not prevent this from happening.  Peer pressure is mightier than the teacher, on any day of the week.  And for heaven's sake don't forget hormones during the teen years!

As far as this intervention helping to prevent things like the riots happening again in the future - dream on kiddo!   It wasn't toddlers and tiny tots who were doing the rioting and thieving, as you well know.  It was disenfranchised youth - perhaps your government would be better served by someone working out how to help the underprivileged and the homeless, the jobless and the hopeless.  While these situations exist you have the potential for riots at any time in your future, whether you tame a toddler or not.
Read more:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Women Rapists of Zimbabwe

What was your first reaction when you read that title?  Mine? I started to laugh, 'cause I'm human and a female - and there doesn't seem to be an epidemic of female rapists - in fact it appears at first thought that there can't have been many female rapists throughout history.  And a man being raped by a woman usually doesn't appear to involve extreme violence and pain. But that is another blog! A further cause for amusement is that this happened in Zimbabwe, a male dominated country.

From media reports, there was a gang of women operating in Zimbabwe, who were 'terrorising' men from 2010 until their arrest in 2011.  These women would pick up male hitch-hikers, and sedate them by spraying "some liquid" in their faces.  They would then be forced to "be intimate with women at gun point".  (Africa Review)  The women used condoms to harvest and save the men's sperm.  They used aphrodisiacs to cause the men to have an erection.

In one incident, a 30-year-old man was kidnapped by, and forced to be intimate with three women for five days,  after they drugged him.  At one stage a couple of men were assisting the women with their kidnapping activities.  Various other methods of capturing men were employed, including luring men with the offer of work.  One man was promised employment in the town of Mutare.  He met a man he knew,  in Harare, and was introduced to another man and two women who were described as 'friends'.   They headed for Mutare, where they had promised the victim  employment.  During the journey they bought drinks, with one of the women handing her unfinished drink to the victim, who drank the remaining liquid.

Zimbabwean Police

He "suddenly felt dizzy and started sweating before falling unconscious".  He awoke feeling weak, and  found himself in a wooded area near Magamba Training Centre in Mutare. At the time of his awakening, he found one of the women having sex with him.

Mutare, Zimbabwe

"The police spokesman added: “In that state, he was forced to have sex with both women who are said to have been wearing female condoms. (female condoms?) The alleged female rapists drugged him with a stimulant before they both had sex with him till about midnight.” (approximately twelve hours total)
The attack stopped when the man started “producing blood”, Inspector Chabata said, forcing a member of the gang to observe that he was “no longer useful”.
The man was dumped at the spot and did not regain consciousness until noon on Saturday. He was treated at Mutare Provincial Hospital."  (From Zimeye)
The media speculated that the attacks were made to gather sperm for either ritualistic purposes, or for traditional medicine.  I am wondering if it was for the purpose of selling on the internet, but maybe that is a bit way out as a theory!  Whatever the use, the returns appear to have been lucrative, by all reports.

The three women who were arrested
As often happens, the accused women were caught purely by accident - literally!  A male accomplice, Thulani Ngwenya (24) was apparently driving a car which was involved in a road accident.  The women reportedly rushed to the scene to collect their valuable loot, which was in the car - 31 or 33 (depending on the source) condoms, 4 of them containing sperm.  The women were unfortunate in that the police arrived at the scene before them, and discovered the condoms.  That's a big ooops, girls!  And after their arrest?
Harare, October 15, 2011 -A group of women accused of raping men around Zimbabwe at gunpoint brought the Harare magistrate court to a standstill on Friday.
The three women dressed in designer clothes and fancy hairstyles looked unfazed by the bizarre charges that they are facing. They were quite relaxed as they appeared in the dock.

Sophie Tendai Ngwenya, 26, Netsai Monica Nhokwara, 24 and Rosemary Chakwizira, 28, attracted a huge crowd of onlookers when they were brought before Harare magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini on Friday.

Whatever the sperm was being 'harvested' for still remains a little mysterious.  The trial has been delayed because DNA evidence has yet to be produced by the State, apparently because of logistical difficulty in transporting the results from South Africa. 
And at the accused's first appearance in court?  Seventeen men, including a soldier and a policeman came forward, claiming that they were “raped” by the three women. 

One of the women accused of rape
In the most bizarre end note, the women, who claim to be busy prostitutes who didn't have time to dispose of the fruits of their labours, cannot be charged with rape because Zimbabwean law does not recognise that women can rape men.  I wonder how long it will be before that law is changed? 

The three suspected female rapists — Netsai Nhokwara, Rosemary Chakwizira and Sophie Nhokwara — shy away from the camera before their release from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison 

And just for interest - here is a link to a very thought-provoking editorial about the bias being shown toward these women.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Is This Gina Ford? She Is Obviously Unbalanced..

Those of you who know me also know I don't live in England (although I did at one stage!) so have never heard of this Ford woman.  She sounds like a complete moron, to be honest.

She is described in the Mail Online as "Britain’s most popular childcare writer" - which has me baffled and stunned, as according to the article she has never had children?   How on earth can anyone write about child care when they have never been a parent?   It's beyond me how she can be the most popular, particularly in light of what appears to be her latest effort at advising mothers of a new baby.

According to her, "women should show sexual interest in their man four to six weeks after having a baby".... even if you don't feel like it!   She must be from some other planet I think.  Whatever happened to new mums being advised to refrain from sexual relations until six weeks, at least, after the birth of their baby?
This Gina dame is quite insulting towards men - she seems to think that your man will lose interest and trot off somewhere else for the odd bit of nooky if you don't come across asap.  Never mind that you are both overwhelmed, exhausted, shell-shocked,  and generally struggling through the toughest time you have experienced as a couple.  Especially if mum has been through a traumatic birth experience, is stitched from here to there and back again, has had a c-section, is still bleeding,  or is just plain still horribly sore from the birth.

She actually advises that sometimes "you may just have to grin and bear it"......what?  That is sure the way to stop your partner from feeling 'emotionally closed out' - come on you stupid woman, do you have any brains at all?   Do you honestly believe that our men want us to go along with 'sex'  just for the sake of their 'needs' ???   Where the hell is the intimacy and emotional closeness in that?   What, lie back and think of England?    Think about what colour to paint the ceiling?  Meanwhile trying not to shriek because it hurts so much, and your breasts leaking all over the shop, and the baby screaming in the crib next to the bed?

How unreal is her advice?   I am frankly appalled that anyone could write such complete drivel, and then even more appalled to read that she has "made millions from her childcare manuals" - now I really really would love to know who has paid for advice from this idiot?  And now this advice from a new book she has apparently written, laughing all the way to the bank, whilst merrily wrecking people's lives.  Never mind the extra, unwanted pressure she happily puts on new mothers - as if they needed extra stresses at this time.  You want an extra guilt trip?  Buy this idiot woman's book.

This woman is a troll, pure and simple, and she is taking the mickey out of anyone who is foolish enough to fork over hard-earned money for anything she has written.  She obviously has the lowest opinion of men, and is extraordinarily ill-advised about what a breast-feeding mum can and cannot drink  -  one of her tips  -  "getting in the mood by drinking wine".  So in other words you feel so unwilling and unable that you will need to get drunk and let your partner use you like a prostitute?

That is healthy, is it not?  Really good for your relationship.  I noted also that :

Miss Ford has been criticised for her views, such as those in 1999’s The Contented Little Baby Book, which urges new mothers to let their babies cry themselves to sleep via her ‘controlled crying’ technique. The most controversial tips in her new book come from mothers who have contributed to the forums on her website, 
Oh my, oh my - so any mother, whether she is knowledgeable or not, whether her parenting methods are poor or not, has been quoted in her book - as some sort of expert one assumes.  How bloody dangerous is that?   And the controlled crying thing?  Everyone (I hope) knows I do NOT and never will agree with this.  And now?  There is extremely credible information published, about how the danger of letting a baby cry it out at night.  Leaving an infant to feel alone, abandoned, insecure and desperate creates unnecessary hormone surges, which can greatly affect them for the  rest of their lives, and also affect  how they deal with stress.  One article from Natural Parenting in Sydney states:
Controlled Crying, also referred to as Comfort Crying or Sleep Training, are well documented to be harmful to the child's brain development and her emotional connection to her mother and even in other relationships later in life. 
When you leave a baby to cry, you are not teaching her independence, or the ability to 'self settle', rather the  baby is learning not to ask for her needs to be met, because 'no-one is listening and nobody is coming'.  In effect, the baby shuts down emotionally on some level.  Crying also has negatitve physical effects on the baby's brain development and through the high level of stress hormones that are released into the baby's body during prolonged crying out. 

I wonder if this ugly woman realises that even from as far back as five or more years ago it was recognised that controlled crying is dangerous?  And by ugly I mean her nature - anyone who writes the things she has written is truly ugly.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl - Botched Circumcision

You thought I was finished, didn't you?  I don't think I will ever be finished on this subject until not one boy in the world is forced to undergo this brutal and unnecessary operation.   I want to share with you a story that made me weep, and grind my teeth with fury, and made me want a gun.  It still makes me weep.   I apologise if the print is blurry, it will be from tears. I do urge you to read it, as it isn't a one-off as far as circumcision horror stories go, and the 'accidents' are still happening to this day. One accident is one too many.

In 1965 in Winnipeg, (Canada) a young couple had twin boys whom they named Brian and Bruce.  When the twins were around six or seven months old, their mother took them to the doctor, as they were having trouble urinating.  The twins were diagnosed with phimosis, and then given a referral for circumcision.   This procedure was carried out on Bruce on 27th April, 1966 by a urologist.  For some unknown reason, the urologist used cauterisation to remove the foreskin, and not a scalpel.  Something went radically wrong during the procedure, and most of the baby's penis was burned off.   There was far too much damage to the penis for it to be repaired surgically.   

Not unsurprisingly, baby Brian's operation was cancelled.  His phimosis corrected itself, as is most often the case. 

The newborn twins with proud mother

Baby Bruce's parents, obviously extremely distressed and worried for their child's future, consulted with many doctors, searching for help for their child.  All agreed there was little hope for repair.   Then, the Reimers saw a television program about an American psychologist, and his theories on sex and gender. Dr. John Money of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was developing a reputation as a pioneer in the field of sexual development and  gender identity.  This was based on his work with "intersex" patients.

"Money was a prominent proponent of the 'theory of Gender Neutrality'; that gender identity developed primarily as a result of social learning from early childhood and could be changed with the appropriate behavioural interventions. The Reimers had seen Money being interviewed on the Canadian news program "This Hour Has Seven Days", where he discussed his theories about gender. He and other physicians working with young children born with abnormal genitalia believed that a penis could not be replaced but that a functional vagina could be constructed surgically, and that he would be more likely to achieve successful, functional sexual maturation as a girl than as a boy." (From Wikipedia)

Bruce's parents were convinced by Money and others that this was the best hope for their son, and thus when Bruce was 22 months old, an "orchidectomy" (surgery to remove a testicle/testicles and the full spermatic cord, through an incision in the abdomen. Orchidectomy is one form of castration) was performed on the little boy.  Bruce was then  renamed 'Brenda', and was to be raised as a girl.  John Money must have been ecstatic at this 'gender reassignment' - he had just been handed the perfect control couple in Bruce and his twin Brian.

"What remained of his penis was left, not to interfere with his urinary tract. When Bruce was released from hospital, his parents were told to raise him as a girl. The family was told not to divulge anything to anyone. They went home with a girl they called Brenda.
"We relatively quickly came to accept that," Janet Reimer told CBC News in 1997. "He was a beautiful little girl."   (From CBC News Indepth)

"This reassignment was considered an especially valid test case of the social learning concept of gender identity for two reasons. First, Reimer's twin brother, Brian, made an ideal control since the two not only shared genes and family environments but had shared the intrauterine environment as well. Second, this was reputed to be the first reassignment and reconstruction performed on a male infant who had no abnormality of prenatal or early postnatal sexual differentiation."   (From Wikipedia)

Over the course of the next 10 years Money provided "psychological support" and saw 'Brenda' annually to assess the outcome of his case.

For some years, Money reported on Reimer's progress, referring to him as the  "John/Joan case". He reported successful female gender development, and he used Bruce's case as  support for the feasibility of sexual reassignment and surgical reconstruction -  even in non-intersex cases. He  reported -  "The child's behaviour is so clearly that of an active little girl and so different from the boyish ways of her twin brother."   He stated that the twins were happy in their assigned roles. Brian a rough and tumble boy, his sister Brenda a happy little girl. Money was featured in Time magazine and included a chapter on the twins in his famous textbook Man & Woman, Boy & Girl

However, in notes by a former student at Money's laboratory, it states that during the follow-up visits, which occurred only once a year, Reimer's parents routinely lied to lab staff about the success of the experiment.

From the first, 'Brenda' refused and was confused by her so-called gender, and was bullied and relentlessly teased at school for her masculine walk, behaviour and tastes and was called names such as 'it',  'freak', and 'caveman'.   At the age of only 2, 'Brenda' angrily tore off her dresses. She refused to play with dolls, she would beat up her brother, and take his toy cars and guns. She complained to both her parents and her teachers that she felt like a boy.  Because of Dr. Money's strict orders of secrecy, her parents insisted that she was only going through a phase. Meanwhile, 'Brenda's' guilt-ridden mother attempted suicide, and  her father descended  into alcoholism. Neglected, 'Brenda' eventually descended into drug use, pretty crime, and clinical depression. 

'Brenda's' visits to Money in Baltimore were a traumatic experience, rather than supportive, and when Money began pressuring the family to bring 'Brenda'  for follow-up surgery, during which a vagina would be constructed, the family discontinued the visits. By the age of 13, 'Brenda' had suicidal depression, and told his parents he would commit suicide if they made him see John Money again.   

From Wikipedia: Dr. Money forced the twins to rehearse sexual acts involving "thrusting movements" with (Brenda) playing the bottom role. As a child, Reimer painfully recalled having to get "down on all fours" with his brother, Brian Reimer, "up behind his butt" with "his crotch against" his "buttocks". In another sexual position, Dr. Money forced Reimer to have his "legs spread" with Brian on top. Dr. Money also forced the children to take their "clothes off" and engage in "genital inspections". On at "least one occasion", Dr. Money took a "photograph" of the two children doing these activities. Dr. Money's rationale for these various treatments was his belief that "childhood 'sexual rehearsal play'" was important for a "healthy adult gender identity".

From the age of 22 months through to his teenage years 'Brenda'  urinated through a hole surgeons had placed in the abdomen.  She was given oestrogen during adolescence, in order to induce breast development. Having no contact with the family once the visits were discontinued, John Money published nothing further about the case to suggest that the reassignment had not been successful.

When 'Brenda'  was 13, (the age varies according to the source) his parents finally told him the truth about his gender reassignment, following advice from Reimer's endocrinologist and psychiatrist.  At 14, Reimer decided to assume a male gender identity, calling himself David.

"Bruce Reimer said he had one thought at the time: to go to the hospital and track down and shoot the doctor who had botched his circumcision. In the end, he was unable to exact his revenge, but turned his anger on himself. "   (From CBC News Indepth)

Bruce attempted suicide three times. The third, which was an overdose of tablets, left him in a coma. When he recovered, he started on the long road to a normal life as a man.  By 1997, Reimer had undergone treatment to reverse the reassignment, including testosterone injections, a double mastectomy, and two phalloplasty (penis reconstruction) operations. 

"David soon embarked on the painful process of converting back to his biological sex. A double mastectomy removed the breasts that had grown as a result of oestrogen therapy; multiple operations, involving grafts and plastic prosthesis, created an artificial penis and testicles. Regular testosterone injections masculinized his musculature. Yet David was depressed over what he believed was the impossibility of his ever marrying. " (From "Slate")

He married Jane Fontaine and became a stepfather to her three children. 

"When David was almost 30, he met Dr. Milton Diamond, a psychologist at the University of Hawaii and a long-time rival of Dr. Money. A biologist by training, Diamond had always been curious about the fate of the famous twin, especially after Money mysteriously stopped publishing follow-ups in the late 1970s. Through Diamond, David learned that the supposed success of his sex reassignment had been used to legitimize the widespread use of infant sex change in cases of hermaphroditism and genital injury. Outraged, David agreed to participate in a follow-up by Dr. Diamond, whose myth-shattering paper (co-authored by Dr. Keith Sigmundson) was published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in March 1997 and was featured on front pages across the globe."  (From Slate)

Soon after this, David went public with his story.  John Colapinto, in December 1997's "Rolling Stone" magazine, published a widely broadcast and influential account.  David Reimer and John Colapinto then elaborated on David's story, in the book " As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl".

David's story came to a tragic end in 2004, on 5th May, when he shot himself.  Nobody really seems to know the exact reasons for his suicide, but his brother had committed suicide two years previously, (Brian had schizophrenia), David had become unemployed, he had lost a great deal of money through bad investments, and his wife had asked for a separation. His life as a man was far from peaceful and placid, David had numerous fears, cycles of depression and an explosive temper. 

David Reimer

The Intersex Society of North America, which opposes involuntary sex reassignment, treats the story of David Peter Reimer as a cautionary tale about why the genitals of unconsenting minors should not be needlessly modified. (Wikipedia)