Has anyone read The Wasp Factory
Have a look at what humans commonly do.
1. Club foot. A natural condition that without surgery and corrective plasters etc would leave the patient crippled for life. Few would argue against 'corrective' surgery in infancy when it is easiest and most effective.
2. Cleft palate. A natural condition that has some long term health implications, but huge social implications. Surgery is again much easier in infancy but is more 'cosmetic'. Likewise, the amputation of extra fingers or toes, or webbed digits.
3. Unusually heavy breasts A natural condition the appears at puberty and has some health implications but 'corrective' surgery is mainly carried out for cosmetic reasons.
4. Circumcision. A cosmetic mutilating amputation carried out for social and religious reasons.
5.FGM. A cosmetic mutilating amputation carried out for social and religious reasons.
6. Castration. No longer much practiced.
7. Dentisty. Universally practiced in the West for health and cosmetic purposes.
8. Skin-lightening. a non surgical intervention carried out for cosmetic social reasons.
It is surely clear that the distinction between health benefits and purely cosmetic reasons is blurred. It is surely clear that it is normal practice to make some surgical interventions in infancy for reasons of social conformity.
It is clear that humans spend a great deal of time, money and effort in the manipulation of their own and each other's bodies, mainly for reasons of tribal conformity and tradition, and (not separate) sexual identification and attractiveness.
There is a strong demand - social pressure - for gender conformity. This leads to the deliberate exaggeration of sexual tendencies, to the extent that, for example, a bearded lady is regarded as a freak and women go to great lengths to remove any trace of hair from face and elsewhere. And so on and on.
Folks here talk as though they are not immersed
in this global cosmetic culture; as though there is no need to conform; as though it is not mandatory from childhood to hide one's genitalia and yet display by coded signals one's gender at all times. As though not being clearly identified as to sex were not seriously deviant behaviour.
What are the limits of surgical and related interventions in infancy?
At what age does body autonomy prevail?
Are there any limits to individual's freedom to modify their own body?
And so on. The interrelation of personal identity and autonomy with social identity is fraught
Not all women can gestate or give birth, so being able to gestate or give birth is not what it means to be a woman. — Michael
My first wife killed herself because she was unable to give birth and felt that she was a failure and "not a real woman". Gender and sexuality are not just a matter of physics or of definition, but of identity. "What it means to be a woman" is always contested
. It changes. But @Andrew4Hande
articulates a feeling
that women (and many men, vicariously,) often have, largely socially and historically formed, that means that they define femaleness primarily