On SAAB for Boosters
There is no good reason to collect Assigned Sex at Birth.
This morning there are more points of data, and it has become clear that certain providers of booster shots across this nation that kills LGBTQ and BIPOC and lets 6F folks get away with it regardless of age of ours are collecting demographic data and asserting they are doing so on behalf of the federal govenrment’s center for disease control.
SO let me point out something that is true and cruel and unvarnished by shit to make the folks who hate human rights feel better.
There is no good reason to collect Assigned Sex at Birth.
Now, bear with me a moment, because I can hear the ground teeth of my fellow researchers and those who have gone into this in the past and reached a point where they have a reason to collect, and it is a reason that many of us — including myself – are getting the feds to use (and it is even successful, since it is one of several recommendations).
I said there was no good reason. There are reasons, and they are simply not good, but build off the ignorance, hostility, and ciscentric BS that cishet folks generally have placed in the way to limit access and create barriers to care because while they can say out loud that they believe in human rights and in letting trans folk get medical care, they are liars and we know because they keep showing us the truth anytime they can act in a collective manner and we cannot readily make them visible to their neighbors.
So I am going ot lay out a long post. It is long because there are points that require background and context, and I sorta am in a really pissed off mood and well, remember that the end result is still going to be that collecting ASAB is horseshit and the only reason to do it is marketing.
So, the way that we use sex, in the first place, is flawed. It is a social construct that is fairly basic in structure and readily apparent as a rough estimation among the bulk of the population, and is influenced by mass, regional, local, and familial custom and tradition and culture. (I mean, you caught how I said “social construct there, right? Well, all social constructs are affected by those things, each and every time, so that influence should be a default inclusion needing no supporting statement but given that less than 1% of the world seems to actually understand what a social construct is and the other 99% all think that is either something bad by default or that things like Gravity, the sun, and humanity are not social constructs, and so I have to actively include those elements because people are not legally nor culturally required to understand super meta shit like social construction in order to be sure that they get it.)
The ignorant, UN enlightened view is that sex is a binary. Hell, let’s back up a second. The ignorant and UN enlightened and uneducated view is that sex is a function of phsyiology, and has a distinct sociocultural position that differs from the concept of procreation, which we also call sex, because to think of people making the beast with two backs every single time we really just want to talk bout boobs and dicks is just super distracting and right now how many of you are thinking about fucking?
Note: in English speaking cultures, all of the above makes a lot of sense. get away from European heritage or influenced cultures and things get a lot less sensical.
And absolutely none of it is sensible.
Now, Science is a constant, changing, adaptive thing. It gains new information and it adds it in and then, supposedly, is going to discard old and outdated notions and then pass that information back to the great unwashed masses. OK, so, they probably wash because science showed that washing is healthier about a two hundred years ago in the US and while it took a few decades to really catch on it is pretty common now and we should all be glad that even if they don’t use Dial, they are still not as bad as they were back when.
Science has shown us that that cisgender men and women have a thing called chromosomes. And that there is this thing called genes. And this other thing called epigenetics, and then there is the whole “holy shit, people’s developmental process has a shit ton of places for things to go differently, and some of them are regularly occurring and can *probably* be predicted once we do enough shady and deeply unethical shit to be able to identify every single thing and that only means making Mengele seem like a nice reasonable person.
SCIENCE, bitches! But we generally (and legally) ignore all of that because it is really just a serious fucking pain in the ass that makes us have to consider things like actual human beings as people instead of just as a collection of carnivore food on a slab.
I mean, when was the last time you realized that you are eating chromosomes and genes and epigenetic stuff, and that without warning and to a degree that may startle you, your body will add some of that mitochondrial data to your own cellular system?
(Every time you think “you are what you eat” in truth, but folks don’t really see that phrase that way, but there you go)
So, as a baseline, and for a really long time and to a degree that is exceptionally difficult to move the needle on, we basically just use external, visible characteristics, even though doing so is the intelligence equivalent of a six year old.
Did you know that 4th and 6th grade reading levels, in the US, are considered the most important because those are the points where people’s expectation of education attainment stops? It is effective policy for most folks to argue that that is the particular level at which we are to write materials and publications and even films and TV shows and books and commercials so that folks can understand them.
Also, that’s a talk for another day where it intersects with ableism and the systemic failures of our education and socialization system in the US — we could end most social ills within about three generations if we stopped letting the evil mother fuckers run the school boards.
Sorry, that was unfair. I mean, I am sure that you don’t care about the reality of how letting evil mother fuckers running school boards impacts the decision to collect data on sex assigned at birth, but you should because otherwise you really arent’ seeing all the pieces, and besides it is a pet peeve of mine and I am the Imperial Bitch writing this so sit down, shut up, drink your coffee, and let’s move on.
Now, thiis deeply calcified system has, like many paternilizing and patriarchal structures, hardened along with standard responses that are meant to preserve it. “We must have a way of identifying such things” people will tell you.
Goody for them. I will laugh, because if the goal is to be deeply truthful and genuinely concerned there, then we should be doing two things: a complete genetic health assay that would undermine three entire industries because it would subject that data to pateint privacy accords and a few billion dollars a year in economic development is enough to stop that shit cold.The seen thing is a complete organ screen, because, well, then we could treat not a generic, failing to catch all people thing that roughly assembles people into two groups and falsely and deceptively creates the appearance of and furthers the bias around the patternistic system of a binary that then, in turn, minimizes the particular value of any given person who might not be within the general parameters of the “default/baseline” human (IE, Cishet masculine people) and promotes discrimination and hostility because now treating them is “harder” and “more of a pain int he ass” and let us not forget that old standby of “whiny little bitches”.
Which, I will note, is how we get racism, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia as the default presumptions within health care at the core level of education.
One of the most egregious recently added (comparatively) examples of this is BMI. Whis has been proven, multiple times, to be utterly and completely useless for any segment of the population that does not have a significant physiological heritage linked to a 400 mile square area of what we call Germany right now because the presumption (notably one made by 6F, cishet, masculine folks who held on to belief in the general superiority of their own particular demographic group) that ultimately drives its use right now, even though there is no evidence at all to support its use outside of that population.
But there is a lot of support for using it that usually goes along with “well, these are things we run into trouble with and we should mitigate those things because they reduce the overall outcomes” and sorry, but even your conclusion is faulty because hello, mother fucker we got this cool invention and social construct called logic and another one called Science and science and logic say that if you don’t study something you should shut your fucking mouth lest you fuck up the data.
But I might be a tad bit cynical and snarky there. Also correct.
That same process holds for sex, because we like to constantly simplify things so that we can get a better mental and intellectual grasp of them — to Grok it, if you will — and so we end up with a nice little binary that we all have sorta drilled into us starting even before we are born via the expectations and socialization of those we will be born and live around during *our own* experiences of socialization and acculturation.
These things will, in turn, inform our self identities, and that is still s little understood in general that we still have folks arguing that transness and cultural blackness (to use two distinct examples) are “nurture” issues, but only for the individual, because the argument fails at scale (and that, boys, girls, and theybies is why no, you cannot be 6F and culturally black just because you were the only person to benefit from the cultural hegemony of 6F-ness in the US cultural structure).
So, the system is self perpetuating. How much fun can you have? Well, it gets better.
So, now, we have a system that has “baked In” all these excuses to retain a binary notion of sex, and the core of it is is the whole “well, this phenotype has these sex organs and gives live birth” and “this phenotype fertilizes the eggs and then runs off to play whatever game fertilizer plays”.
And if you have ever studied feminism, you can see the problems there. IF not, well, I feel immense pity for you, but that is because I know something said about folks who have historically been described using an ableist term by a character created by a science fiction writer, and trust me, it is a great definition of Darwinism in action for those who strongly seek to operate in a world and pretend that random ass categorizations like “male” or “female” according to a less than three minute external examination of still mostly unformed biological material has any real fucking value or meaning.
And that’s not even getting into my personal favorite thing: the assigned part. I will get to it in a moment.
Now, let’s say that you have an adult specimen of something we will grudgingly call human because we all agree that human have human rights and we are decent people.
We don’t know what that person has gone through or is. THey could have organs on the wrong sides, in different places than we think, they could have had surgeries that moved them or removed them or altered them, they could have had an accident or been harmed by violent circumstance or any one of hundreds of possibilities, and many of those things have socio-emotional consequences on that person as a result that they may or may not be aware of and that we are most certainly not aware of.
So, with that as a starting point, to make informed, logical, medically sound and scientifically accurate decisions about the care for that person, we need to know a fucking ton more than what their fucking assigned sex at birth is.
It is useless, because the information we need to know does not link up with or have real ties to ther practical reality of that persons physical presence.
Gender, now, well that has a shit tos of things, since gender is the social manifestation of sex, and the principal concern and if your doctor is more concerned about the M or the F then he is more concerned about the paperwork than the person and I personally would recommend getting a new doctor (I know a few).
But that’s me. MAybe you want substandard, gut feeling, likely wrong professional opinions from someone licensed to do so in life or death circumstances.
(Yeah, I know, that’s super harsh, but like I said, I am really fucking angry this morning)
Now the next point actually supports that, and that point is the whole thing around “assigned”.
Assigned is something that is supposed to suggest to you that your birth certificate be referenced. Because, for those of us in the US, the Birth certificate is the Start Of Authority for the assignation, and medical personnel who fill in the documentation are acting in the capacity of an Agent of the State (and this is one of the many other reasons that they have to be licensed and why we take that shit so seriously).
When someone like me writes the words “the State”, with state in capital letters like it is some kind of deity or something, we are referring to the overarching cultural (national) investment of Power and Authority; the government, and all its practical parts. Laws, policies, policing, rules, leadership, representation to powers within and without. That kind of thing.
City, County, Regional, Local, State, and Federal governments in the US.
They are “the State”.
That is why they keep the records of births and deaths and they use those records for things like figuring out taxes and property and division and a host of shit that we want them to do to varying degrees depending on our political persuasion and our desire to cling to those aspects of those outlooks, creeds, and philosophies.
Now, these days — and for Good Reasons that have to do with important things like decency, humanity, kindness, propriety, human rights, and both moral and ethical reasonableness — we have folks who have an N or an X on their Assigned Sex at Birth.
Now, I note that once we start teaching OB-GYN’s to use that as a default unless they are so freaking sure of a newborn’s still not fully formed genitals that they have magically gained the power to determine the future for a given individual that is, in and of itself, infallible, we will see a lot of folks making corrections to that well after the typical three to five minute mark of a person’s life.
And yes, I did just subtly argue that everyone should be listed as non binary until they decide what they fuck they are. Suck my left testicle while entertaining my right breast if that bothers you, so that at least one of us can get three points of entertainment from your despair.
As they say, I am more than a mouthful either way.
But with N or X, now, and the fact that most systems (including the CDC) do not have the ability to record an N or an X in the documentation, this renders the whole purpose as useless, since the Record Of Authority — a birth certificate — has been changed to reflect the truth as opposed to someone else’s estimation prior to an individual speaking up for themselves through an Act of Agency, which is a wonderful thing that has the incredible power to change Structure (and, in this case, Structure is the State), making it the most human of social constructs, imo.
But that’s not where most folks go in their minds — most folks think that all government records are unchanging and static, and so they act and behavior as if they are. Meanwhile, those who are aware that is not the case act and behave as if the question of what was on an assigned basis as if it were to reference what was there “before it was changed”.
WHich in many cases may be asking someone a question about something they know nothing about. Hell, I promise you that David Reiner didn’t know until he was a teenager.
WHich defats the point of the question.
So now we know that not only are the over simplistic, 6 year old level divisions of people into “male” and “female” useless, we also know that there are also options of “i don’t fucking know, I was a gosh darned infant not even in a diaper yet” and “Well, I am reasonably sure that my parents never changed it before I cam of age to have personal agency” as well as “well, here is what it is after I changed it”.
Oh, yeah, and X or N.
Now, I mentioned that there is a reason for asking the question. That is to help identify trans people. But asking that only works to help identify trans people if — and only if — at least one other question is asked.
Which is about your gender.
But here is the problem there, and for it, I will use myself an example.
My Birth Certificate — the only one that anyone can pull up in the location of storage for the record, regardless of what they do, even though later officials made unspecified changes that enable them to examine later changes and have a record thereby (due to hostility) — says my SAAB is Female.
As far as the Start of Authority is concerned, that is the only possible record. Even if I changed it, and I am not saying in this post if I did, I am merely pointing that out.
Therefore, no matter how I am asked that question, I am going to answer in accordiance with that document.
Now, when it comes to gender, let’s be real, I am a complete and total bitch about this stuff, and so if I see “male, female” I am going to, by default and with an automatic twitch, ignore the question.
Because Male and Female are not genders.
If I see Man and Woman and Trans Woman and Trans Man and Non-binary and Genderqueer and Gender Fluid and Agender and other related genders, then I am going to answer.
Now, some of you may be thinking “well, I don’t want them places to know that I am trans” and that’s ok. I get it. But I also get what we need to find out who is so that we can fix the fucking system that makes me want to write enormous and deeply critical posts filled with fucking shitty curse words and all manner of pop culture references when I am angry as fuck.
It matters. If we cannot be seen and cannot be heard and cannot be found, we cannot fix the problems — but at the same time, if those things can happen, we also have to deal with a shit ton more names to read off a list every year.
no a lot of people who are not healthy. So I am big on making sure that your medical care systems have a structure and system in places to care for trans people. And if they suck at it, then they shouldn’t have anyone in care.
Now, I will note that the standard recommendation if someone what to track trans people is indeed to ask those TWO (2) questions. I follow it, others follow it, it is a good best practice and it fits with current praxis and I really respect the folks who worked to determine that despite my own person being a thorn in the side of that system.
I tend to prefer to have a distinction related to care provision, but ai also am really big on doing that “what organs do you actually have” thing so that we don’t make stupid mistakes like assume that some big old bear doesn’t have a cervix and uterus. I mean, people die because of subconscious bias like that.
Now, if there is only one question, and it is jus about sex?? Then they aren’t looking to identify trans people, they aren’t looking to track meaningful medical data, and because of this, the CDC doesn’t ask anyone providing boosters to do that.
They are still doing it for a purpose, and there is the merest degree of trans awareness in it.
If they ask for “assigned Birth”, then they hav someone, somewhere, who at some time, was schooled by a trans person isn ot being a shitty fucking human being to a degree that it altered the cultural basis for that question in the company culture.
But they don’t give a flying fuck if you are trans. They just want to either get money for a reimbursement program, or billing system, and all of them still have fucking M, F or no report in them and fuck if I know why except old fucking habit.
They want collect marketing data.
So they can sell you more shit, or maybe, I don’t know, print out another mile and half long receipts. So you eventually read it and clip coupons to spend more fucking money there.
Nope, not even kidding a little.
And the best part of this?
You can always refuse to say. Really. There is little legal risk for them in deciding for you, at least right now, and they cannot deny you the booster on the basis of you refused to answer their marketing departmetns’ bullshit question that has nothing to do with getting your shot — even if they pressure you and use bullshiit things like “the CDC requires or says” and “well, you could be pregnant”.
Tell them that Empress of the KNown Universes Antonia D’orsay said they can take their marketing bullshiit and fold until all sharp corners and apply as a personal suppository to their regional operations chief.
Or, just check whatever and get on with the prick.
Edited to add a photo of my constant interruption as wrote this, lol.