‘Nonbinary’ Person Complains About First Pap Smear. Prepare Your Eyes For Rolling.

Mockarena, Co-Founder

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.

It’s written by this person:

SE, as she states in the opening line of her article, says that she didn’t want to get a Pap Smear.  Not for all the regular reasons that every woman dreads them, but because of the “misgendering and awkward questions” she worried would go along with it.

It wasn’t her first rodeo.  SE had had an exam a few years back, but since then, you see, she’s decided that she’s nonbinary, a term that she says enveloped her like “a warm blanket.”  She’s gotten herself comfortable with correcting people who use the wrong pronouns with her, and to “challenge the gender binary whenever it felt necessary,” even though that doesn’t actually mean anything.

But whatever.  SE is nonbinary and comfortable with it.  But she was worried about the discrimination she might face in a medical setting.  But because she’s an Actual Woman with an Actual Cervix and Actual Female Reproductive Organs, and she is health conscious, she made the appointment.  It started out “rough.”

The second I checked in, I could tell it was going to be rough. The receptionist handed me a form to complete—with no option to note my gender—and I overheard someone say that “she” was here. I cringed and wished I could fold into myself until I became a black hole. I didn’t just want to disappear: I wanted to suck the whole building in with me.

As I waited for the nurse to call my name, I rehearsed things to say, but when she introduced me to the nursing student working with her, I froze. I had been prepared to tell one person my truth, but two was too many. We rushed through the standard questions before, I waited for the nurse practitioner. I wiped the stress-sweat from my brow, anxious to see who would be analyzing my body and my health.

I’m calling her “she” and using she/her pronouns because she’s talking about a pap smear, for crying out loud.  And because I have no idea what pronouns she uses anyway.  As I’ve stated more than once, I have all kinds of patience for trans folks who, as they transition from one gender to the other, ask to be called the opposite pronoun from their biological sex.  I am totally down to do that, which is why I don’t particularly care when some of my fellow conservatives criticize me for calling Caitlyn Jenner a she/her.  But this nonbinary bullsh*t? With its made up terminology that includes a ridiculous number of words that like 7 people decided they wanted to demand everyone use?  Nope.  Not gonna happen. And I’m not gonna use they/them pronouns for a singular person.  I don’t break grammar rules for someone who can’t decide what gender they are from moment to moment.

Anyway, SE went on to tell of her traumatic experience:

Luckily, I liked my nurse practitioner. She was kind and handled a lot of things well. She asked about my sex life, whether or not I felt safe, and my sexual partners—and when I answered with perhaps atypical answers (I’m also bisexual), she marked the answers down without judgment. She also explained what the exam entailed.

“This is the speculum,” she said as she held up the vaguely familiar metal object. “It’s going to feel like a lot of pressure as the speculum opens your vagina, then it will probably cramp when I scrape your cervix.”

I cringed—not just at the idea of being pressed open by a metallic device or having my most inner innards scraped, but at the words chosen to describe my body. No one had used the word vagina in reference to my body in years. And, cervix? Yikes. That term felt so clinical I didn’t feel human, but rather a cadaver being dissected. All the work I’d done in therapy exploring my gender felt like it dissipated and instead of being the complex, beautiful, layered human who is body, identity, gender, sexuality, and more, I became a checkmark. I was no longer me, but rather a W, a pink gown, a reproductive system.

What in the holy hell did you expect, SE?  For the nurse and doctor to make up new nonbinary words to describe your 100% female organs?  Did you want to be offered dinner and a massage?  Doctor visits and pap smears ARE CLINICAL by definition.  You’re not supposed to get the warm fuzzies from them.  You’re supposed to be checked for abnormalities and disease and you’re supposed to be diagnosed and or given the all clear.

SE went on:

From the first awkward interaction to the nurse practitioner notifying me that I was bleeding from the scrape took about 20 minutes. And, in that time, my nurse practitioner did a lot of things right. But she and the entire staff at my clinic also missed the mark on being affirming and inclusive.

Give me a f*cking break.  I don’t see medical doctors to feel affirmed or included.  I go to them for MEDICAL CARE.  Is good bedside manner a plus?  Sure.  Of course.  But on top of all of the schooling that physicians go through, we’ve now got people complaining that there need to be additional steps taken to affirm and include, like the ones SE outlines in her whine-fest (they include asking for patient pronouns, making sure to identify the terminology that the patient wants to use, apologizing after misgendering, being dedicated to learning all about gender identity, and “honoring the realities” of patients.)

The most 2019 sentence in her piece?  When she said, “We also know that Black people with uteruses experience deadly and intersectional forms of health-related racism.”


In her conclusion, SE wrote:

For people who ascribe to the gender binary, this can all seem like a lot of work. I invite you to sit with that feeling, question where it comes from, and realize that we don’t need you to understand us to respect us and to make our health-care experiences equitable, inclusive, and without harm.

But here’s the thing.  She offered exactly ZERO EVIDENCE of how her Pap Smear was anything other than completely appropriate.  The few examples she gave of how terrible it was included that she was expected to talk to two people instead of one (umm…OK?), she was informed of what the procedure would be like with correct medical terminology (THE HORROR!), and she bled a little after the scrape (which, by the way, is not unusual).

So basically, she was treated like literally every other person who gets a pap smear ever. OH NOES.

Look, nonbinary person.  The world cannot be expected to bend to your every whim and demand to avoid hurting your feelbads.  We’re all unique individuals with different needs, fears, insecurities, etc., and we don’t all demand that every person with whom we come into contact rearrange their routines to accommodate those needs, fears, and insecurities.

I am so sick of these people demanding not just to be treated equitably, but with special kid gloves.  NO.  We’ve already got idiots on the Left devaluing the talents and skills of physicians by telling everyone we all have a RIGHT to their care.  No we don’t.  No one has the right to demand the services of another.


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