Thanks for untangling that mess

Here’s a story that had me hopelessly confused: according to this one woman in the UK, she was denied essential surgery because the hospital wanted to pander to the transeses. It sounded unlikely to me, but hey, I don’t trust hospital administrators myself. Here, though, is an article that explains it all, using the woman’s own words.

It turns out she made a whole bunch of unreasonable demands, triggered by seeing someone she thought was a trans woman looking at her. So she insisted that no men be allowed anywhere near her, that she get a private room that allowed no men to enter, and that she would not agree to use pronouns or otherwise engage with such manifestations of gender ideology. She also accused men in general of having mobile phones that they use to look at sick, perverted pornography. The hospital told her that they could not meet her demands and told her to go elsewhere.

It’s all there at the link, but be warned: the complaining woman is a retired solicitor, and her complaints are lengthy and outrageous.


  1. says

    This must be her first time inside a hospital for any reason. I guess this because anyone who’s been to a hospital should be able to understand that hospitals are very busy places even in the best of times, and are constantly responding to unexpected emergencies and maladies such that there’s NO WAY they can organize doctors’ or nurses’ rounds to ensure that every patient is assigned people who BOTH are qualified to handle their particular issues AND are the kinds of persons they want to see. If your preferred doctor is suddenly called away to deal with a gunshot wound or heart attack, tough shit, you probably won’t be able to wait for them to get back to you.

    This person was acting like an idiot, but I’m kind of willing to forgive her because people in hospitals generally don’t want to be there at all, aren’t having a good time, are probably scared of whatever made them go to hospitals, are feeling very powerless and vulnerable, and are likely to make all manner of nonsensical or irrational demands, just to make themselves feel a little more in control of their circumstances. (But if she wasn’t cooperating with anyone, then they couldn’t help her, so it probably made sense for them to boot her out.)

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    She also accused men in general of having mobile phones that they use to look at sick, perverted pornography.

    Perhaps she is an acquaintance of Randy Kaufman.

  3. says

    She also accused men in general of having mobile phones that they use to look at sick, perverted pornography.

    First, ALL hospital personnel have mobile phones, and they use them all the time in their normal work. And second, when does anyone in a hospital have time to look at porn?

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    So she insisted that no men be allowed anywhere near her, that she get a private room that allowed no men to enter… She also accused men in general of having mobile phones that they use to look at sick, perverted pornography.

    Yup, just another data point for my theory that the “gender critical” crowd are just stereotypical man-hating feminists.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    I should actually have put that “feminists” in quotes, seeing that feminists in general don’t really have animosity towards men.

  6. Allison says

    ….feminists in general don’t really have animosity towards men.

    I think it’s more common for feminists to feel sorry for (cis) men. All that awful stuff that men have to do and put up with and all the nice stuff that they are forbidden to have or do.

  7. tacitus says

    Many years ago, while I was in the process of buying a house, I stayed in a long term B&B hosted by a middle aged woman whose husband was away at sea most of the time. She told me that she was experiencing ongoing harassment from former neighbors of theirs from the other side of the city, which did sound concerning, but she soon started talking about them planting bugs in her house and playing her words back to her at random moments to spook her, and this was long before cell phones were a thing. There was absolutely no sign of anything untoward in the house while I was there.

    Then one day she walked in rather shaken saying that she’d just had a woman stop and glare menacingly at her while she was in the local corner store picking up a few groceries. Again, she was convinced it was all part of her former neighbors’ vendetta against her.

    Clearly, she wasn’t well, perhaps suffering from schizophrenia or some other delusional disorder, and it’s that “glaring menacingly” aspect of this hospital case that makes me suspect something similar is going on here too. If there was a man in a blonde wig at the door at all, most likely he was a member of staff dressed in drag for some kind of fundraiser, and it’s easy for someone in a fragile state of mind to misinterpret a look, especially when driven by paranoia. It’s worth noting that private hospitals in the UK often keep odd hours for consultations because many of the doctors also work for the NHS during the normal work week, so see private patients on evenings and weekends.

    The only thing the hospital could have done better was not cancel the surgery by email. They really should have contacted her directly by phone when canceling something as major as that, and she may well have backed down from her unreasonable demands when forced to discuss them with someone as opposed to enumerating them in an indignant email. Given how much of a hassle it is to book a major procedure like that, there’s a very good chance they could have talked her round and they would have pocketed the money for their services.

    Sometimes talking to someone directly is all that’s needed to sort things out, but talking requires more staff, and more staff cuts into corporate profits.

  8. Louis says

    I sympathise for this woman who, it appears, is a victim of sexual abuse, and therefore might have a heightened sensitivity to threat perhaps (rightly or wrongly, and wrongly in this case it appears). No idea. However, I do get the sense that she’s gone in with an agenda. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. More meat for the transphobes though, and I doubt the fact that the Daily Mail is involved will improve anything…


  9. moonslicer says

    I’ve looked at this story as recorded by the woman in question and friends, and I would simply dismiss it out of hand. Frankly, if someone was freely throwing the N-word around, would anybody be inclined to believe some elaborate tale she was telling about a black person? The transphobic language used by this woman puts her in my (very) doubtful category.

    I think that if anything at all happened, some woman peered in the examination ward at a moment when this patient didn’t have her glasses on, and she took it from there. Would a trans-hater deliberately fabricate some tale designed to defame transgender people? Oh, yes, she would. It wouldn’t be the first one we’ve heard.

    Truth is more prosaic. I once had a stay of five days in the hospital, and in accordance with my legal status I was placed on a women’s ward. Some TERFs got wind of this and they raised the usual TERF outrage. One of them said, “I just wouldn’t be comfortable.” Oh, well, I suppose I need to wait to enjoy legal rights until TERFs are comfortable with me.

    But not a one of them asked any pertinent questions, since they knew they couldn’t answer any them because they weren’t there at the time. E.g., how many times was I caught violating any woman’s privacy in any way? (None.) How many complaints did I receive from nurses, doctors, other staff and fellow patients. (None.) How many women, because I was present, failed to get the medical treatment they were expecting and were entitled to? (None.) Do silly TERFs really think a hospital is going to allow me to be a bother to anybody else there? (Yes, I’m certain they do.) Do they really think a transgender woman is unable to behave as a responsible adult in such a situation. (Yes, they do.)

    The irony was that during my time there, we did actually have a real, genuine, bona fide man with us on the ward. (I asked to see his Man Card, which he cheerfully produced. /s) His younger sister, like him a refugee from a Middle Eastern war, was awaiting surgery. As she was someone who could use an extra degree of family support, the hospital allowed her brother and sister to stay with her until she was discharged. The two of them slept on pallets on the floor.

    So, for three or four days we had a genuine man constantly going back and forth through our ward. And what kind of problems did he cause any of us? No more than I myself caused anybody. He minded his own business and didn’t bother a soul.

    And one thing I am seriously tired of hearing at this point: a woman who has been raped/assaulted/otherwise harassed by a cisgender man expecting/demanding that we transgender women meekly allow her to erase us and drive us back into the closet. We can give her all our sympathy, but that doesn’t mean that we’re required to allow her to label us “males ID-ing as females”, thereby lumping us in with the worst of cis-male offenders and demanding that we be penalized along with them. If she can’t grasp the difference between us and them, we’re not required to cater to her wilful ignorance and general bad-mindedness.

    I’m currently preparing my 10th anniversary celebrations. More or less by accident I came out full-time the day Obama was re-elected. (Thanks, Obama!) Let the TERFs point out one single offense I’ve committed against cis women/girls during that time, or else shut up. I think we can be certain they will do neither.

  10. Louis says

    @Moonslicer, #9,

    Couldn’t agree more with your penultimate paragraph. (and, well, all of your comment!)

    Bigots exist, some bigots may even have (what they think is) a good reason for their bigotry. We may even sympathise with that reason (if it is sympathise-able with, i.e. “good” for that loose definition), but we don’t have to endorse the bigotry or tolerate it. It’s the difference between “understanding” and “agreeing something is the right thing”.

    For example, someone might be rude to someone else in the street and get a smack in the mouth for their troubles. Now we might all understand why the first someone was smacked in the mouth by the second someone, but that doesn’t mean the second someone was right to do it. As the second someone had to explain to the magistrates at Bosher Street magistrate’s court yesterday in a very humbling manner. Allegedly.


    P.S. Nothing happened, I were making an joke!

  11. seachange says

    #7 tacitus


    We still live in a sexist society. It allows and expects violence towards women. Rape culture is a thing. This woman might be in dire mental straits for however godsawful she is and we shouldn’t forget that.

    Unfortunately, her coping mechanism is not adaptive.

    Implicit in the TERF view is that violence is eternal and must MUST must happen always in between all humans of any kind all of the time forever. Once this is “agreed to” (by them) everything else follows. Sex therefore must be (to them) always permanently violence going from a man to a woman always permanently. (Some of them have problems with lesbian sex too and do domestic violence to their partners. As someone who is sex-positive I find this is the very saddest.) The reification of it in porn real-ifies it in a public way outside of the safe confines of academia. Therfore porn is (to them) an social and political celebration of this implicit and ultra-necessary violence. Sontag’s and Paglia’s male gaze is excruciating to them.

    The only question is in which direction this necessary and totally required (to them) violence must apply. She is using words, legal words, to do that required violence in the ideologically required direction. Ms Cheever has put it in order.

    Transness transily upends this modernist and fascist view entirely. The intellectual? technique that they use to either cope with/deal with real or perceived violence towards them is postmodernly deconstructively destroyed. And it is not in just words, this reification is in action.

  12. JoeBuddha says

    I lived on the other side of this. My wife, mother of my children, was always a bit paranoid. But some folx are, and I didn’t think anything of it. Until she went on a work conference and completely broke down. The CIA had rented the house next door, We were wiretapped. Her brother (who lived hours away) was constantly driving by the house. Then finally, she wanted to visit my parents. When we got there, she got the keys for the car and drove head-on into a dump truck on the highway. Everything is fine now, but Whenever I read stories like this, it brings me back to those days.

  13. moonslicer says

    @ Louis #10

    Like most other transgender people, I often ask myself the question, Why do certain cisgender people hate us so much? There are plenty who don’t. So why the difference?

    As you say, bigots often/always believe they have a good justification for their bigotry. Obviously, they themselves don’t see it as bigotry. I myself have never seen anything approaching a GOOD reason to hate transgender people. Some people simply don’t like us and then they go looking for justifications of that dislike. That’s all there is to it.

    But where does this dislike come from in the first place? There are many explanations offered. For me, I look at the huge importance of the male-female dichotomy in human affairs. Basically, sex is a lot of fun and sometimes it produces babies, who are actually needed on occasion. The male-female dichotomy is one of the most important psychological foundations that people rest their lives on.

    People, in our part of the world at least, have long been in the habit of believing that it is a basically simple thing. Male-female, with a sharply drawn line between the two, is a very simple concept. And we transgender people (along with non-binary and intersex people and other groups) mess up that simple concept. All of a sudden what should be a neat and tidy affair becomes complex and messy.

    And that simply doesn’t sit well with some people, and so they react quite furiously to it. Other people, who are more open to or acquainted with the complications that life can produce, have much less difficulty in taking it in their stride. It’s just one more little problem that they have to incorporate into their world view, and they don’t make much of it.

    Basically, in my view, we’re talking about a question of personal maturity to some extent. Some people can face many of life’s complexities with relatively little trouble. Others cannot endure them at all. And they’re actually willing to use force against, to suppress those who are the source of this intolerable inconvenience in their lives. You look to each person’s individual psychology.

    My view, for what it’s worth.

  14. Tethys says

    This person is suffering from PTSD. She is a rape victim who displays the symptoms of hyper-vigilance and paranoia towards any perceived threat.

    Sadly, she is projecting her fears onto Trans people, or anyone she perceives as Trans or male.

    The idea that a supposedly trans medical staff member is going to sneak into her room and take pictures of her genitalia for porn purposes is a rather detailed obsessive delusion. I would blame the right- wing media for flooding the public sphere with a campaign of transphobic lies that equate transwomen with rapists and pedophiles.

    Propagandists tools always involve accusing group X of being sexual deviants, pedophiles, rapists, baby-eating, perverts etc…(possibly Soros funded and or Jewish too). Pizzagate? Jewish Space Lasers?

    It’s like the Vietnam Vets who had psychotic breaks and started shooting at neighbors, friends, and family because they imagined themselves back in a war.

    I wouldn’t let her in the hospital either, as she would be a dangerous liability ( by her own admission) to any patients, visitors, or staff.
    She says straight out that she will abuse and harass anyone she perceives to be trans.

    If she had a psychotic break it’s possible that she would think a broom was threatening.

  15. Silentbob says

    She effectively refused consent unless the hospital agreed to violate the privacy of all their staff and agreed she had the right to harass and abuse them at will.

    And this is clearly an anti-trans activist. She refers to Maya Forstater’s tribunal makings her “gender critical beliefs protected under the Equality Act” – an anti-trans talking point. Some random traumatized person wouldn’t know who Forstater is or what “gender critical” means.

  16. says

    Some random traumatized person would very likely know who Forstater is or what “gender critical” means, if she happened to listen to a bigot or demagogue who was going out of their way to pander to traumatized people’s fears or delusions. And since that sort of bigot or demagogue tends to have access to LOTS of hate-peddling reich-wing media organs, covering most of the English-speaking world, I think it safe to say any traumatized person in the English-speaking world has a very good chance of hearing from that sort of bigot or demagogue one way or another.

  17. says

    Forgot to add: this person isn’t just another traumatized person — she’s a retired lawyer, so she has time on her hands, and lots of experience in amassing and organizing information, from whatever source, so support a case, or in this instance an otherwise indefensible prejudice/delusion.

  18. tedw says

    “Would not agree to use pronouns”? But her complain is full of pronouns; mainly first person as befits a narcissist, but still…

  19. silvrhalide says

    @15 You left out Gazpacho Police–To Protect and Serve Soup!

    On a more serious note, there are plenty of rape survivors who don’t turn into hateful bigots. It’s the cheapest of cheap excuses and she should not be allowed to hide behind it, no more so than Roman Polanski should be given a free pass to be a rapist because he is a Holocaust survivor. (France and Poland’s crap attitude towards harboring a rapist aside.But that’s a topic for another thread.) It’s a slap in the face of every survivor who dealt with the crappy crappy hand that criminals dealt them, soldiered on and stayed/became decent people. Chanel Miller is a survivor. She helped other victims using her words. Being a rape survivor didn’t morph her into some TERFy asshole.

    I see two basic possibilities here.
    1) This idiot woman is using her medical condition to shit-stir. (I’m leaning heavily towards this interpretation, since she seems to have a lot of time and experience to plan this particular nastiness.)
    2) This woman has a genuine mental condition, in which case she needs whatever the UK version of an involuntary hold is, because she is, as you pointed out, a danger to herself and others. In which case, she does indeed need a hospital and a private room, but probably not in the way she was thinking. (Psych ward, not surgical ward.)

    @9 Congrats on your anniversary!

  20. Tethys says

    @silvrhalide 21

    I think it is a combination of stirring-shit due to her very clear sense of entitlement, and classic PTSD symptoms that result from untreated trauma.

    She needs some mental crisis rape counseling in addition to needing a colorectal surgery. I hope the two conditions are not related, but might explain why she is so far around the bend about the slightest possibility of being in the same room with a penis.

    She also stated that she wanted to use this private hospital because of all the rape that occurs in NHS hospitals. I’m going to assume that is another of her delusions.

    The hospital made a good choice in canceling her surgery in order to protect itself from further attempts at anti-trans shit stirring. I do hope they refer her to all the health care she clearly needs, and she learned a lesson about making wildly ludicrous demands while playing victim.

  21. unclefrogy says

    the problem is when people are that far gone they no longer have the ability to distinguish what is reasonable and what is not. I do hope she gets the help she needs but do not expect some road to Damascus event however.

  22. Tethys says


    when people are that far gone they no longer have the ability to distinguish what is reasonable and what is not

    I don’t think what is reasonable applies to a person experiencing active PTSD. That’s rather the point.
    She is well enough to write this letter, but her incapacitating fear of all men and any trans people are completely real to her. That unreasonable fear is treatable with proper counseling, and her Dr absolutely should notice and treat obvious PTSD symptoms in a rape victim.

    There are many medical conditions that render the patient into abusive , rather horrible people. Nursing homes and hospitals still care for them even if there is no chance for recovery.

  23. KG says

    She also stated that she wanted to use this private hospital because of all the rape that occurs in NHS hospitals. I’m going to assume that is another of her delusions.- Tethys@22

    That may be related to the post-mortem revelations about the vile Jimmy Savile, friend of Margaret Thatcher and Charles Windsor among many other establishment individuals, who used his “volunteering” in hospitals to sexually abuse multiple patients and, reportedly, the dead in mortuaries.

  24. Tethys says


    Jimmy Seville

    Ew, that’s really horrendous. It could be the basis of her delusion. They are usually based on actual events that then feed the fear and anxiety of PTSD. She is freaking out, and obsessing over trying to control a situation in which she will be unconscious and vulnerable.

    I have no sympathy for her transphobia, but the PTSD is obviously affecting her cognition.

  25. says

    To everyone:
    I hope PZ is just taking some time in peaceful remembrance of his brother, Jim. But, I am surprised that he hasn’t posted in two days. These are such stressful times without the added emotional burden of losing a loved one. I just hope he is alright.

  26. says

    It is sad that thoughtful, decent people like you face bigotry and hatred. But, bigotry, hatred, intolerance and violence seem to be a growing trend in society. I wish you all the best.

  27. birgerjohansson says

    Shermanj @ 29
    Delusional British? BoJo is trying to get back as PM. He is fortunately behind Sunak, but it will be hilarious if he is offered a seat in government, he will then go on bringing disgrace over the tories. Sunak is also a hyper-priviliged tosser, but not as obviously narcissistic as Truss or BoJo.
    A BoJo minister post will keep reminding the voters of the past horrors.

  28. moonslicer says

    @ 30 shermanj
    What with transgender people making progress in various places in recent times, a backlash was inevitable. What has stunned me is the sheer viciousness of that backlash. I’ve always been a naive soul who had trouble believing that bad people really were as bad as they appeared to be. Surely they have their good side. Surely you can sit down with them and reason with them and in the end they’ll come round. Well, they’ve at long last made a believer of me.

    For myself, I’m old and tired and past my sell-by date, and in recent times I’ve withdrawn almost completely from the fray. It simply wears you down. The ones I feel for are today’s young folks, who, being desperate to come out and live their lives, are the ones most in the firing line. Listen to young folks on-line and you’ll often hear a fair bit of despair.

    Recently I encountered one of those smug, smarmy little barstewards you so often encounter on-line who was touching on a common trope these days, to wit, the fact that you see so many transpeople coming out nowadays, whereas, say, 60, 70 years ago there were virtually none of us to be seen is proof that transgenderism is a recent fad, which, if they can knock it cleanly on the head, will disappear once and for all.

    You try to explain things to these little idiots: “Look, Jack, the reason that none of us were seen back then is that we were all in hiding. That’s kind of the point of being in hiding, you know, so that nobody will see you. Because we all knew good and well what would happen to us if they did. It’s not that we didn’t exist back then. It’s just that the world wasn’t ready for us and we knew better than to push things.”

    Looking back on it, I can see now how so many of us were living with the constant threat of serious violence hanging over us if we were found out. And I can also see how we never had a moment’s rest. Back then you had no safe haven, not even at home. Especially not at home. You were living with your worst enemies.

    That’s why, when I finally came out, it felt almost physically that a load had dropped from my shoulders. It was only then I began to understand the serious pressure that I’d been living under for decades. I’d never really been aware of that pressure because for me it was just a normal part of life. The relief of finally getting rid of it was indescribable.

    This is the sort of thing our enemies don’t understand, but which they instinctively want to impose on us again. If the far right gains complete control, as they seem hell-bent on achieving these days, there are lots of folks, not just us, who are going to suffer heavily. Those people have only one desire, to hurt as many people as they can. And, sadly, they are very, very good at hurting people.

  29. birgerjohansson says

    Moonslicee @ 33
    Opportunists like De Santis are doing this harm to help their political careers- the Soviet Union is gone so they can no longer exactly emulate Joe McCarthy and find new kinds of victims.
    The larger numbers are the enthusiastically bigoted and proudly ignorant (we recently discovered just how many of those we really have in Sweden, when the SD party became the second largest political party).
    I have no instant cure.
    But I use to wind down the evenings before Mondays with fun Youtube clips, in order to avoid anxiety-induced insomnia. I noticed God Awful Movies 004 “Left Behind 2000” just has been uploaded. Go try it if you also tend to loose sleep over the state of the world.

  30. says

    @30 moonslicer
    I’m not able to your exactly know experience. But, I, too, in my own way, feel so very anxious about the rtwingnut xtian terrorists and their hatred gaining power. While I can’t offer you physical respite, I can, and do, state that I truly value you as a decent person. Your comments help me to better understand your perspective and experiences. Thank you. I hope you can take comfort in the fact that there are many of us who gladly accept you as a valued peer.

  31. moonslicer says

    We’re always very grateful to our friends and allies, who keep us going when the going gets tough.

    It was inevitable that this issue would be politicized. It didn’t have to be, but it’s too useful a tool for rallying the troops on the right.