A public hospital in Portland is using a robot to create artificial genitalia.
Following the French Revolution, the British philosopher Edmund Burke signaled a note of caution, warning that the desire for progress, uninhibited by convention, can lead to disaster. Revolutions in the name of lofty ideals—liberty, equality, science—can yield their opposites. A revolution in our time merits similar consideration: the transformation of human sexuality and, in particular, the rise of so-called transgender medicine.
The gender surgery program at Oregon Health & Science University, a public teaching hospital in downtown Portland, provides a productive tableau for analysis. The program is led by Blair Peters, a self-described “queer surgeon” who sports neon-pink hair, uses “he/they” pronouns, and specializes in vaginoplasty (the creation of an artificial vagina), phalloplasty (the creation of an artificial penis), and “non-binary” surgeries, which nullify the genitals altogether. Peters and his colleagues have pioneered the use of a vaginoplasty robot, which helps efficiently castrate male patients and turn their flesh into a “neo-vagina.”
Today’s transgender medical providers conceal the barbarity of their practices in euphemisms. They are not postmodern Dr. Frankensteins but providers of “life-saving, gender-affirming care.” The model patient is no longer the middle-aged autogynephile but the troubled teenager, sold a new identity, mediated through technology, that promises to resolve deep-seated sexual anxieties—and advance the political cause of transgender activists.
Approved ~ FS