New hotness: ‘Body diversity’ and self-disabling for authenticity

New hotness: ‘Body diversity’ and self-disabling for authenticity
Clive Baldwin, eager to disable the abled. (Image via National Post video)

If a person can claim gender based on their mental and emotional orientation, what other forms of “body diversity” exist? The rapid acceptance and even celebration of Caitlyn Jenner’s debut onto the social scene (and social media) may soon bring another form of body diversity into the light, or so the Canada National Post argues today. “We need to move away from pathologizing people,” says Clive Baldwin, including those who chop off their limbs or fake paralysis in order to live as disabled people. “For many, amputation is the only way forward,” the St. Thomas University, Frederickton professor tells Sarah Boesveld, and “it isn’t beyond the pale.” …

[T]his is not a hoax, or at least the story isn’t. The impulse to mutilate one’s body in various ways has been known and documented for a long time, but only recently have we begun to accept it as an expression of self rather than a pathology, as Dr. Baldwin dismissively notes. The measure of the latter, though, has never been the sincerity of those impulses but their destructive nature and disconnection from reality. …

Baldwin and others propose…to supply medical treatment not to the mental issues that drive these impulses, but to conduct drastic body modifications to cater to those impulses. It won’t be long before we start hearing arguments about the dangers of allowing people to do these amputations and the like on their own as a way to press for allowing and even demanding such surgeries, just the way some now expect taxpayers to pay for gender-reassignment surgeries for prisoners and people on public medical coverage.

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