Saturday, March 1, 2008

MACLEANS: I prefer Space Lizards

I prefer living with space lizards

Human rights commissions seem to believe that Canadians have some surprising rights


What does Maclean's have in common with a labiaplasty and blood-drinking space lizards from the star system Alpha Draconis?

Well, they're all part of the wacky world of Canadian "human rights."

First things first: what is a labiaplasty? Well, it's a cosmetic procedure performed on the female genitalia for those who are dissatisfied with them. I think I speak for many sad male losers living on ever more distant memories when I say that I find it hard to imagine being dissatisfied with female genita . . .

What's that? Oh, it's the women who are dissatisfied are they? Ah, right. Well, there's the rub. The Ontario Human Rights Commission is currently weighing whether or not to become the (at last count) third "human rights" commission in Canada to prosecute Maclean's for the crime of running an excerpt from my book. The Globe And Mail's Margaret Wente was interested to know what Canada's vast "human rights" machinery does when it isn't sticking it to privately owned magazines, so she swung by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to check out the action. And it seems the reason they haven't yet dragged Maclean's into court is because they're tied up hearing the case of two women who claim they were denied their human right to a labiaplasty by a Toronto plastic surgeon who specializes in that particular area. The women proved to be post-operative transsexuals who were unhappy with some of the aesthetic results of their transformation, and Dr. Stubbs declined to perform the procedure on the grounds that he usually operates on biological females and is generally up to speed on what goes where and, when it comes to transsexuals, he had no idea what he was, so to speak, getting into. Had he done it and it had all gone horribly wrong, the plaintiffs would have sued his pants off. So, as a private practitioner, he chose to decline the business, and as a result now finds himself in Human Rights Commission hell.

As Ms. Wente pointed out, you can see what got the "human rights" commissars' juices going: here was an opportunity to lay down a lot of landmark "jurisprudence" on the issue of "transsexuals' access to medical care," and if, in the end, it destroys Dr. Stubbs and his business, hey, that's a price worth paying: the human right to a labiaplasty is too important to a free society. So the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is solemnly deliberating on whether the party of the first part is obliged to take apart the party of the second part's parts.

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