review: born in the right body by isidora sanger


Paperback, £11.99

With a name that conjures ghosts of the first-wave past, retired medical doctor and women’s rights activist Isidora Sanger informs us that this essay collection is “a record of an ignoble moment in history that should not be swept under the carpet and forgotten.”

There could be no finer commentator. Ever since the gender wars came to England’s shores in the mid-2010s, Sanger has written and campaigned about the impact of gender ideology on healthcare policy, tracking the harms as they came to light, and mapping the fulfilment of Janice Raymond’s 1978 prophecy: the Transsexual Empire was a medical one.

The first chapter zeros-in on gender identity ideologues’ language games, and how they create a social reality in which human sexual dimorphism is secondary to gender-feels. The political erasure of sex starts a the level of language. By the power of naming, man purports to become ‘woman.’ Sanger is crystal clear about the medical consequences of that belief when applied to the human body in a surgical suite.

“Considering that evidence shows the long-term mental health outcomes worsen post medical gender reassignment (Dhejne, et al., 2011), it is not clear what the rationale is for these interventions, or why trans-identifying patients are encouraged to risk their own health in pursuit of a costly, yet unattainable, goal of sex change.”

This kind of insight is key to awakening medics from the denial they are encouraged to live with. It is not only unethical to sterilise children labelled “trans,” but adults, too. John Money’s ghoulish medical experiments in grafting gender role stereotypes onto human flesh have no curative value whatsoever.

Sanger goes on to detail the policy capture of healthcare by trans lobby organisations, per the ‘Dentons Document’ strategy of ‘getting ahead of the law.’ Anyone of this generation who understand the Dentons strategy will be well-placed to act fast when the next ideological medical malpractice scandal begins to bud.

To my delight, the author carefully catalogues women’s activism to counter the transgender juggernaut, accurately framing it as central to the process we are now seeing, whereby institutions are gradually emerging, blinking, from the peak of the “trans” social contagion. Yogyakarta, WPATH, Annexe B, the Forstater case – all the signposts are there in black and white, and cannot be lost in the fog of memory.

In one essay Sanger, despite her insight into the mischief of the language of gender identity, takes for granted that there is a social category of people that can coherently be labelled “trans” for healthcare purposes. Perhaps this was a necessary concession at the time in order to ‘meet halfway’, and be intelligible to, medics whose professional lives are saturated with gender identity ideology.

Whole sectors of society have been conditioned to believe that there are “trans people,” as opposed to “people who believe in transgenderism.” Linguistic capture and mission creep are the trans activists’ modus. I do not accept that there is a distinct, objective category of “trans people.” “Trans” describes a subjective, and often impermanent, belief only. Besides that belief, there are autogynephilic men who fetishise femaleness – some of whom immerse so deeply in that porn-fuelled fantasy that they dissociate (“born in the wrong body”) – and there are women and girls in flight from femaleness.

Research on the topic tends to take as givens concepts first articulated by John Money, the father of gender identity. The field of sexology identifies too closely with paraphiliac men and lacks objectivity about them – the kind of objectivity that, for example, a woman who has been married to an AGP would have. With sufficient objectivity, the motivations beneath the label come into focus.

“Men who identify as women often have desires to experience physiological functions that are unique to female bodies. These desires are sometimes motivated by the irrational belief that they were “born in the wrong body”, and other times, they are motivated by autogynaephilia – a paraphilic disorder whereby a biological male is aroused at a thought of himself as a female.” pp. 327

As in my response to the NHS consultation on the new service to replace the Tavistock GIDS, I would urge everyone in the medical field to reject wholesale the concept of “trans” which mis-categorises patients and covers up their genuine medical needs that have nothing to do with transgenderist beliefs. It is the concept that “trans” are a coherent group of people with unchosen characteristics that lies the root of our current problems.

That quibble aside, anyone reading this book could be left in no doubt that the current mainstream medical approach to all things “trans” is profoundly off-beam, and at odds with reality. Gender laws and policies compel institutions like the NHS to lie. They will also understand how much we have all been let down by mainstream media.

Comprehensively informative and closely referenced, Born in the Right Body is a vital book for historians of the women’s movement and medics invested in removing “born in the wrong body” pseudoscience from the NHS to return to its evidence-based roots. Highly recommended.


6 thoughts on “review: born in the right body by isidora sanger

    1. Any time! What an incredible in-dept piece of work it is, and what a valuable resource for the future. We all owe you a debt of gratitude for creating this XX

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your incredibly kind words! I worked hard on it and I hoped it would be a valuable resource as well as a good read. I wanted to mention so many women’s social media handles in the acknowledgements, but then I realised that TRAs would just use it to target them. We live in terrible times where male violence writ large and the authorities could not care less. In sisterhood we will prevail ! xx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It certainly is. Speaking as a grassroots, anonymous women’s rights campaigner, it’s far more important that the history is recorded than that every individual contributor is noted. Massive contribution from you! XX

        Liked by 2 people

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