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Last week the petition against the blatant human rights violations against intersex individuals got 33 new signatures. This compared to the 7 signatures the week before and the 1 signature the week before that.

While an improvement it is still worrisome how little attention this issue gets. Maybe a short documentary is in order? Something which shows in graphic detail what the intersex issue is about, from genital mutilation on infants to the psychological impact on adults when they learn of the past which was kept hidden from them.

Maybe try to interview a doctor or two about their insistence on removing functional organs from intersex children in order to make them 'normal'?

It could wrap up with the 1960s (IIRC) case of a boy who got turned into a girl after a failed circumcision, leading to decades of tragedy.

It'd certainly be a better documentary than the current ones out there, such as the BBC one. They do not show even remotely the horrors being inflicted upon intersex individuals like myself.

Would you like it if others decided what your physical sex and gender role is going to be? Would you like it if you had unneeded surgery forced upon you? Would you want to learn as a young adult that the scar on your abdomen is due to having had a full set of reproductive organs removed?

Would you want others to decide about how you should think, act and look without any recourse on your side?
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Maya Posch's profile photoLil Peck's profile photoLeonard Suskin's profile photoNik Markwell's profile photo
33 comments
 
I think a documentary is an excellent idea, and perfect also for kickstarter.
 
Perhaps you should do a documentary. I'd suggest Indiegogo for it though. 
 
I also know a Dutch/American dual-citizen filmmaker that I could probably get to work quite cheaply for something like this. I think this might be right up his alley...off to make a call. 
 
A documentary sounds like a great idea. And as mentioned above, perfect for kickstarter or indiegogo (I've never worked with indiegogo, so can't say which would be better).
 
I don't do online petitions; I consider them too easily ignored and not worth the effort. I agree with you, though, that this is an important issue which deserves more attention. Some way to humanize it for people - give specific examples of sympathetic victims of discrimination - might help make the intersex population seem less "other" to those in the mainstream.

In any event, good luck.
 
Indiegogo is better for films and art, Kickstarter is better for electronics, gadgets, games, stuff like that. 
 
Anyone has some thoughts on a good (working) title for this documentary? :)
 
If she gets two doctors talking on opposite sides of it, one doctor whose compassion clearly shows, and one who is toeing the party line, that would work just fine. 

But yes, politicians. Meat. 
 
Noms on a leg of politician~ :D
 
Nah Jules, it is how it works. Perfect example: the bus monitor lady. I'm sure she was treated like ass before the video, but until people actually SAW it happening, they didn't care. Afterwards there has been such an outpouring of sympathy that she won't have to work again. 
 
I guess it's all a matter of how you bring it. If both sides find enough ammunition to feed their views nothing changes, but if the evidence from one side is overwhelming, the impartial(-ish) viewer will have no choice but to relent to that side's view.
 
Exactly. Its also about having a good editor for the film. 
 
Fucking google notifications stole my comment again. ARRGGH.

What I'm suggesting is showing some old ass doctor who is clearly a relic spouting the party line that people like Maya "don't exist", which is clearly not true. Contrast that with a compassionate doctor who explains the birth rates of intersexed persons, and how horribly they are treated by "modern" medicine. 
 
The compassionate doctor should be the one to talk about the failures of the healthcare system. 
 
Maybe visit a few hospitals, get proper statistics of how many infants receive genital mutilation there every week and try to get a few shots of the resulting damage, moving over to interviews with adult intersex people who got such mutilation as a child and are still horribly pissed about it.
 
Really Jules? When was the last time you looked at the rates of intersex births? 

Let's be honest, you're just here to be difficult. If you don't want to help, don't. 
 
David Reimer you are thinking about?

I am not sure how operations, scars, and so on would work actually. It can easily turn the focus over to more "gore" then anything else. It is cliche, but simple slideshows or rather short clips of several people might be just as effective. You can also show a huge spectrum quite fast, and in a easily digested way, and now just focus on one persons story.

The challenge here would be to find enough intersexed people, and the logistic to get everything fiddled together.

(A bit on a tangent, but Google coughed up http://queersunited.blogspot.no/2008/10/im-80-girl-20-boy-intersex-documentary.html might be relevant, although a bit on the old side)
 
+Jules Mudkips Viva #26 of this year. See my site for the article.

As for intersex statistics, there are none because the only researchers who are interested in getting an accurate picture can only see a small part of it and hospitals around the world aren't cooperating in gathering proper statistics.

The Belgian UZ Gent hospital claims that only about 14 children with ambiguous genitals are born in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (see the quote from the 'specialist' in the Belgian Dag Allemaal magazine article on my site). This would be contrary to what US and Australian hospitals are reporting, and contrary to most recent articles in medical journals.

Just read the medical protocols used... do they seem like they are interested in gathering accurate statistics instead of just 'fixing' the issue ASAP? They call it a disorder and treat it like a taboo.

It's hardly an environment conducive to proper statistics gathering. In that vein I do find it unfair of you to demand statistics when the medical world is so hell-bent on ensuring none are gathered. What are we supposed to do, occupy every hospital in the world and keep an eye on everything? What world is this where most doctors can simply not be trusted with informing parents and dealing with our children?
 
"As for the statistics, I Believe if surgeries were done on a weekly scale at individual hospitals, intersex would be a lot more societally accepted and understood here and globally."

That's called a non-sequitur.

I haven't looked at Indiegogo or similar yet. Contacting film students might be a very good idea. There are a number of good schools which might be interested...
 
Uhm... homosexuality was unknown in Dutch society until the 1960s.

Kinda destroys your basic premise, doesn't it? :)
 
+Jules Mudkips - estimates are that .1 to .2% of live births have sufficiently ambiguous genitals to warrant surgery. In the US, there are about four million live births per year, so that would be between 4 and 8 thousand in this country alone. If you very conservatively assume that only half of these children get surgery, that's between 40 and 150 surgeries per week in this country alone. So yes, weekly isn't a bad way of looking at it.

So far as media is concerned, this is still tabboo. Parents who believe that they birthed a "freak" aren't going to be eager to talk about it; they will want it quietly "fixed" and to speak of it no more. This makes future parents of similar children feel alone, and creates a self-perpetuating cycle.
 
Pretty much unknown. People just knew about some 'strange people', but what the matter was never occurred to them.

I guess I'll need to find some producers now :)
 
"if it happened at a rate where people considered it 'normal', it wouldn't be so taboo."

Again, non-sequitur. There's no logical or historical basis for such an assessment.
 
That's the point of course, you need those people fighting for visibility, not meekly shut up and go along with the rest of society. Mere presence does not suffice.
 
+Maya Posch question from friend of mine that is not active on g+: Does this petition have a FB page? Might be easier to spread that way, and should be fairly fast to set up?
 
+Hilde Ulvøen Well, there's the WISH page, but I guess it's not specific enough. I can set up a FB page specifically aimed at spreading the message of the petition. Get in a few thousand likes or so :)
 
I'd say go for it, don't let people have to look around for you, most are far to lazy for that :p
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