What are the options?
I think when letters for appontments etc go out, ask about how a person wants to be called right at the start. This isn't just about pronouns, but other social identifiers- eg some folk from other generations/cultures/beliefs might want to be called by a formal name, not their first name etc.I know there is usually a question on forms etc but maybe it needs to be more visible.
Secondly, as this is about services for women , I do think there needs to be a way to manage the needs of natural women as opposed to trans/non binary/ other genders where there is a conflict.
I know this is going to be inflammatory to some, and if I am hospital isedfor a "womens' health" matter I don't actually want to be recovering with someone who looks like a man or who still has male genitals. There are vulnerabilities that women can experience being around "male looking" others tha are detrimental to recovery and just as valid as anyone elses concerns. That goes for mixed ward spaces in other specialities too; I know it is very hard to manage with the pressure on beds and single sex spaces are better in my view.
I actually feel sorry for the decision makers trying to navigate the competing needs of a diverse society where, increasingly, debate is shutdown because people perceive a differing narrative as being anti-. We are all free to state our own needs and views, and just because it doesn't align with a different view doesn't mean it is not valid. In the highly personal and sensitive area of health, we must be free to say what we feel would help/hinder us in treatment and recovery.
We need to be providing services for women in environments that are conducive to recovery and that includes a peaceful place, where sleep is possible and food is nutritious and palatable. Where women feel safe and able to rest. Does this mean all single rooms?
Why the contribution is important
Because there needs to be support for the majority as well as the minority.
by AngryofEketahuna on March 16, 2023 at 06:10PM
Posted by AceTimelord March 18, 2023 at 07:43
As a nonbinary person, it would be fantastic if forms included pronouns.
But trans women are women and belong in women's spaces, and women's wards, why on earth is it necessary to bring in a narrative that actively harms a vulnerable section of society. There is absolutely no need to fear trans women, and they are in hospital because they are sick and need care, not because they are out to make you feel uncomfortable. You are so concerned that a cis woman might feel uncomfortable at the existance of another woman, just trying to get better in hospital, that you are advocating for women to be placed in the mens ward. How do you think that would feel? Because, as I say, transgender women are women, and placing them in the mens ward, or forcing them into an individual room against their will, is horrific.
However, some transwomen may feel more comfortable away from attitudes like this, and would definitely feel more comfortable with people who are going to be rude about their existance not being on the ward with them, so the voluntary option to choose a solo room could avoid this.
I would also like to point out that so called women's health matters affect all genders. And no one should be putting a guy in the womens ward just because he had to get a hysterectomy. The deviding of wards by sex is outdated and strange, honestly, I didn't know they still did this. I assumed wards were arranged by medical specialty. I have only been in short stay, and that of course included all genders, and I was much less disturbed by the existance of my fellow patients than by the incessant beeping.
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Posted by AngryofEketahuna March 18, 2023 at 15:29
It doesn't mean I am anti anyone in the overall scheme of things, I am stating a need. It is really hard for people to be honest about feelings in this, because to have a less than "all in favour" view is often jumped on harshly. I would readily engage with you for a cuppa in a cafe, on a bus , in a shop etc without issue- just for my own health recovery in that very defined setting I would like it to be as stated.
It is not outdated to have gendered wards (or shared rooms within wards), and it would be interesting to see a properly conducted survey of patients' feelings on this matter.
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Posted by AceTimelord March 18, 2023 at 23:42
I agree that those who need a private room for their mental or physical wellbeing should absolutely get one. I am Autistic and would struggle on a ward with other people always around, and would do much better in a private room. Those with specific needs for privacy should absolutely have opt-in access to private rooms, except where that would be dangerous for health outcomes (ie someone in intensive care can't be left alone, so obvs they can't have privacy).
However, and I come accross this all the time in disability spaces, there are conflicting access needs here. Women need access to the women's ward, unless they opt out. Trans women need that women's space as much as anyone else does, and have often encountered violence from men, and may in fact be in a similar situation to yourself, from what you are implying, or your situation may be totally different, it's none of my business.
The fact is, no one gets to decide if your needs are worthy, they are your needs, you need them.
The fact is that no one gets to decide other people's needs either, or their identity, and women need to be in the women's ward, not the men's ward, because that would be silly and also incredibly detrimental.
I see this similarly to when two people's health or disability needs conflict. For example, I don't use a guide dog I use a white cane, but my friends who use guide dogs have a right to go to almost every public place in New Zealand, and that right is protected by law, as it should be.
But, some people are very allergic to dogs, have religious objections, etc. That is not legally considered to be a valid reason to refuse entry to a blind person with a registered guide dog, but that doesn't make the allergic reaction go away, or make people feel more comfortable about their religious concerns. It also doesn't make the blind person any less entitled to go wherever anyone else can, and to get around safely. But guide dog handlers also generally try not to be awful about it. They will understand if you need to leave the room, take an allergy med, not get too close, etc. No guide dog handler is going to bring their dog right up close to someone who is uncomfortable just to be mean. Things will be reshuffled where possible, so that someone who is mentally or physically unfomfortable can maybe trade out with someone who is comfortable. Measures can be taken to reduce the sighted person's discomfort, but not to the point where it impedes the rights of the blind person to safely go anywhere anyone else can.
Similarly, you both have needs.
So your needs conflict.
You need to not be in the same ward as them.
They need to be in the women's ward.
Their need is enforced by law, as they are legally women.
However, that doesn't mean that your needs are not important, or shouldn't be respected.
You are in control of yourself, not of them, therefore you should have the ability to request a private room, as should anyone in my opinion.
You cannot remove their rights, as dictated by the law, and by decency, but measures can be taken, without impacting on their rights, to meat your valid needs.
While curtains are obviously there, they are of course not good at blocking sound, and can be moved aside. So as I say, anyone who feels uncomfortable discussing sensitive subjects, or having sensitive exams, in a public ward, should have the ability to either request a private space for the exam/discussion, or should be able to request a private room.
I have entered into this discussion in absolute good faith, and assuming you are also in good faith, then no offence is intended.
However, I do find it interesting that you assume you can guess my genitalia through comments on a website where we don't so much as include our first names. If you are basing who you are comfortable being in a ward with based on no more than a wild guess as to genitalia, then this may in fact be a different problem, and may not be such a good faith argument.
I am not going to tell you my genitalia, it is none of your business. And there comes the next problem. Are you needing to ask the genitals of everyone in the ward before you will be comfortable? As many many instances have shown that people are actually terrible at guessing who is trans and who is not. And will confront cisgender women who happen to have features people might associate with being transgender, while ignoring the transwoman standing next to her, who they perceive as cis.
Even if you were able to tell by looking who is trans, which as I say, you often can't, then how on earth could you tell who has had bottom surgery or not? If you are seeing your fellow patient's genitals on the ward, then something has gone very wrong indeed. So, how on earth would you be able to tell? You wouldn't, and like I say, other people's genitals are not your business. But, if you couldn't feel comfortable in a ward that could not guarantee the genitals of everyone present, then you should absolutely have a right to privacy and that is fine.
I am interested as well, in the destinction between patients and hospital staff. Like I say, I have only ever been in the short stay ward, which is mixed, but there seemed to be hospital staff of all genders, doctors, orderlies, nurses, etc etc. If you are not comfortable with anyone with a penis being present, would you need only women on your care team as well? I believe it is well within your rights to request a woman to be present at any intimate exams, and where possible, a woman doctor. Again, these are reasonable requests, and your needs are valid. You should absolutely get the care you need, in a way that helps you feel calm and safe. As I say, up to, but not including, the point where it impacts another person's rights.
I hope that all makes sense, and as I say, I am making all these points in absolute good faith, and I hope you are as well.
Take care :)
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