Transgender: The Island of Doctor Moreau

What would H.G. Wells think of all of this?

The Island of Doctor Moreau is a science fiction book written in 1896 by H.G. Wells. I well remember reading it as a boy.

During this period, Darwinism was just being discussed along with the concept of vivisection. The word vivisection was first coined in the 1800s to denote the experimental dissection of live animals – or humans. It was created by activists who opposed the practice of experimenting on animals.

This argument, of course, continues to this day as we deal with the morality of experimenting on animals versus the substantial results that have been obtained in human medicine.

According to the book, Dr. Moreau has found various ways to surgically modify animals to become more human-like.

These creatures you have seen are animals carven and wrought into new shapes. To that, to the study of the plasticity of living forms, my life has been devoted. I have studied for years, gaining in knowledge as I go. I see you look horrified, and yet I am telling you nothing new. It all lay in the surface of practical anatomy years ago, but no one had the temerity to touch it. It is not simply the outward form of an animal which I can change. The physiology, the chemical rhythm of the creature, may also be made to undergo an enduring modification,—of which vaccination and other methods of inoculation with living or dead matter are examples that will, no doubt, be familiar to you. A similar operation is the transfusion of blood,—with which subject, indeed, I began. These are all familiar cases. Less so, and probably far more extensive, were the operations of those medieval practitioners who made dwarfs and beggar-cripples, show-monsters,—some vestiges of whose art still remain in the preliminary manipulation of the young mountebank or contortionist. Victor Hugo gives an account of them in ‘L’Homme qui Rit.’—But perhaps my meaning grows plain now. You begin to see that it is a possible thing to transplant tissue from one part of an animal to another, or from one animal to another; to alter its chemical reactions and methods of growth; to modify the articulations of its limbs; and, indeed, to change it in its most intimate structure.

Emphasis mine.

This was shocking and considered immoral by many of the period — and science fiction. Today it is science fact. We take this all for granted today but it’s good to remember that the first human heart transplant was done in 1967 by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. If you weren’t alive then, you probably don’t have a sense of how miraculous this was at the time.

This leads me to transgender conversion surgery.

Changing a person’s sex through surgery no more makes them that sex than Dr. Moreau’s attempt to change a puma into a human.

What it does is create the outward characteristics of another sex. And I’m OK with that. What I’m not OK with is accepting that we have modern day Dr. Moreau’s who have turned one kind of human being into another. This, in my view, would be immoral and unethical.

If a person gets value from transgender conversion surgery, that’s fine and I don’t want to impinge on your freedom to live as you want. I’ll also try to be polite and call you by whatever pronoun you want; it’s not that big a deal to be polite. On the other hand, don’t ask me to give you any special considerations.

Something else that’s immoral and unethical in my view is performing conversion surgery on a minor.

In return, a little consideration from transgenders would be nice. If you look like a man, use the man’s restroom and if you look like a woman, use the woman’s restroom. Go in, do your business, and leave. This is about pooping and peeing and is not a social engineering moment!

Hopefully there aren’t many woman undergoing conversion surgery so they don’t have to wait in line at rest rooms.

To sum up here, surgery (or vivisection) does not change who you are any more than Elizabeth Warren can become a Cherokee through a blood transfusion. If you started out a man, you’re still a man. If you started out a woman, you’re still a woman.

And NO, you can’t be in men’s sports if you’re a woman and you can’t play in woman’s sports if you’re a man. I realize that the train has left the station but this is all to the ultimate detriment of the transgender community because it will backfire someday most likely through the virtual elimination of woman’s athletics.

I have to wonder what H.G. Wells would think of all of this.

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

Site owner and bilagáana

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