Feeds

French judiciary makes transgender boob

Ruddy Europe wants to standardise everything

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A peculiar obsession with breast size as the test of true womanhood popped up in a French court last week, as the Chief Prosecutor in Nancy ruled that a transgendered woman couldn’t possibly be a woman unless her breasts measured up to size.

Argument is raging over the case of Delphine Ravisé-Giard, who first transitioned back in 2007. She is a long-term and serving member of the French Air Force – and the French Military had no problem recognising her new gender, in accordance with her own self-identification.

But she suffered a setback last year, when a civil court refused to accept that she could possibly change gender unless she undertook permanent and irreversible surgery.

There was better news in March of this year, when the Justice Minister rowed back from the previous requirement that an individual should actually have undergone reassignment surgery in order to gain recognition for their new gender. Rather, according to the Minister: “The principle of respect for private life requires that the state recognise gender according to a person’s appearance”.

He clarified this by adding that so long as an individual was en route to their chosen gender, via hormone therapy or other means (including cosmetic surgery), that should suffice. This brought France into line with the views of the European Commission on Human Rights for the recognition and treatment of transgendered individuals.

All should have been plain sailing, then: but the legal authorities in Nancy are making things difficult. The chief prosecutor simply moved the goalposts, acknowledging that the Justice Minister has spoken but now demanding proof of some permanent enhancement, such as breast augmentation or cosmetic surgery.

Ms Ravisé-Giard is predictably unimpressed. She told us: "If the state applied the same test to cis women [women born biologically female], it would have to redefine the gender of many French women. But of course, this would never happen."

She added: "What size breasts are required for a change in civil status? Will that breast size be established nationally by the Minister of Justice or will it be up to the personal tastes of individual attorneys?"

The case is likely to return to the French courts in the autumn.

The boob-kerfuffle français follows recent moves in Australia to ban pornographic material featuring small-breasted women, on the grounds that women in such pictures might not look like "proper women", and that therefore the pictures might encourage paedophiles – and similar moves in Germany to block publication of Hustler’s Barely Legal magazine on much the same grounds. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.