Alan Finch, Helen Finch, Alan Finch the Revenge
Looking over our logs, it’s incredible how much global traffic we get from people searching for information on Alan Finch (August’s #1 ASHC keyword and a top-30 quantity since February). Perhaps a little odd for a blog that tends to focus on American party politics, economic theory and international affairs.
To recap you, Alan is an Australian man who had a double sex-change (first from male to female and then from female to male). He was the subject of a very brief AtW post by myself in February, and thereafter became the source of all this traffic.
Since I’m always intrigued by what our readers like, I went looking for more recent news on him and discovered this cautionary page (via Skepticlawyer) from Lynn Conway, who is a quite content male-to-female transsexual very involved in community awareness issues. The page contains profiles of several women who suggest that Finch’s regrets on becoming a woman weren’t so unique after all. Firstly the very famous transsexual tennis-pro Renée Richards (featured in the New York Times last year under the revealing title “The Lady Regrets“), the late software designer Dani Bunten Berry, Sandra MacDougall and the aristocratic Samantha Kane. In several ways the women tend to bear resentments against their doctors not very dissimilar from Alan’s.
In my original comment on Alan I was somewhat dismissive of his complaint. Partly because it’s hard for me to sympathize with his lawsuit against physicians, given that it was an purely elective procedure, partly because I’m an Enlightenment liberal who is sentimentally fond of the idea that the cruelties and injustices of nature can be tamed and controlled by man, partly because there is a public policy debate with cultural reactionaries who wouldn’t mind restricting or even abolishing the procedure, and partly because he looked better as a lady (subjective, I know).
URNotAlone is a big transgender web community that naturally communicates the reassuring message that “you are not alone,” in wanting to change your sex in some or all aspects. But it seems that one might occasionally put the statement out in reverse, for people who have changed their sex and are not exactly thrilled with the results. That as with Mr. Finch, they too are not alone.
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