"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, May 19, 2006

"Japan Beats Taboo"

Quite as alarming as the story itself is the headline applied by the progressive, sophisticated editors of The Guardian:


You see, there are all these "taboos." The word even sounds like "tribe," and that's primitive, unsophisticated, ignorant. Unless the tribe practices, say, genital mutilation, and then we must prepare to celebrate a rainbow of cultural diversity.

There are "taboos" about incest, men beating the Hell out of women, setting dogs on fire, and so on and so forth. We swim in a sea of taboos. There's just so much fun stuff that someone, somewhere, insists is "wrong," (whatever that means). And Western society today is nothing if not Hell-bent on "beating" one taboo after another.

Now you might think that the subject news story is about some boy who wanted to do something "girly." Maybe dance ballet or something. (Of course, those of us who have ever had an up-close-and-personal experience with a ballerina know that there's very little "girly" (if one means weak or pain-free by that word) about ballet, but that's another story.)

But you'd be wrong. Here's what's up:
A seven-year-old Japanese boy with a gender identity disorder has been given permission to attend school as a girl in another sign that the country is relaxing its traditionally rigid attitude towards sexual identity. Local media reported yesterday that the boy, who has not been named, was diagnosed with the disorder before he started primary school in April.

He is said to have complained that he felt uncomfortable being a boy and asked his parents if he could have a sex-change operation. Japan's first such procedure took place in 1998, but patients must be aged 20 or over.

The school, in Kobe, western Japan, agreed to enroll him as a girl after consulting his parents and doctors in what is thought to be the first decision of its kind in Japan. According to reports, he will be allowed to use the girls' bathrooms and changing facilities, and to wear girls PE kit. Only his teachers have been informed of his condition.
Pretty impressive, no? Who knew that, in addition to advances in cardiology and oncology, doctors were now able to surgically correct being "uncomfortable."

The rest of the story is available HERE.

And, if you're interested in other Guardian insights into evolving Japanese culture, you can also peruse "Japanese firm to target children with sales of whale meat." But, alas, the story has nothing whatever to do with pelting little ones with blubber.

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