Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Censored for your protection

The other night, way too late for my own good, I was watching a TV docu-thingy called "My Secret Female Body" on BBC America. It was the story of a female-to-male transgendered dude going through the process.

OK, here's what I don't get. He's going in for, well, boob-removal. He has female breasts which have, thanks to hormone treatments, shrunk down to size A, but he still has to cover them up on a daily basis and just wants them gone. OK. So he goes in to the doctor and when the doctor is checking him out, the American TV censors (I'm sure this wasn't an issue when this thing aired in the UK) blur out the breasts. Because, y'know, they're female breasts and we can't show them on TV. In fact, the guy looks at before and after pictures, and the "before" breasts are blurry but the "after" shots aren't. Because female breasts can't be shown on TV and flat male breasts can.

So he has the surgery done and there's a bit of a complication. One of his breasts is safely removed. In the other, there was a ruptured blood vessel (or something) and it was bleeding internally. Overnight, it bled internally quite a bit -- so, when he woke up the next morning, he was happy to find that one of his breasts had been removed, but quite depressed to find that the other was actually twice the size it had been before surgery.

And American TV censors did not blur it out this time.

I think the theory here is that his initial size A boob was Not Suitable For Television because it was, technically, a female boob. Whereas his substantially larger boob the following morning was Suitable For Television because it was, in fact, a male boob which had simply expanded due to a medical problem.

Regardless of what you may think of transgendered individuals surgically transforming themselves, this certainly illustrates the stupidity involved in television breast censorship.

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