This post covers an example of the enthusiastic embrace many educational entities currently have of narratives that validate the body dysmorphia of teenage girls around trans/genderqueer identity. There is an increasing number of girls chest binding and girls identifying as trans or non-binary. Mackin, a company providing educational materials to schools, circulated a book suggestion via email to teachers and other contacts.
A description of the company:
For more than 35 years, Mackin has provided library and classroom materials for grades PK-12. Working with over 18,000 publishers and an age-appropriate database of nearly 3 million print titles and more than 2 million digital titles, Mackin supplies print books, eBooks, read-alongs, audiobooks, databases, videos and more, along with digital content management and custom collection analysis services.
A true partner in education, Mackin’s continued success and unblemished reputation is known by thousands of teachers, administrators, and librarians across the country and throughout the world.
Below is an image of the book Some Girls Bind that was endorsed by School Library Review:
Below is a description of the book:
Jamie knows that she isn't like other girls. She has a secret. She binds her chest every day to feel more like herself. Jamie questions why she is drawn to this practice and why she is afraid of telling her friends, who have their own secrets. Could she really be genderqueer?
Chest binding is not a safe activity, according to Peitzmeier et al., 2017:
Over 97% reported at least one of 28 negative outcomes attributed to binding.
Girls should be encouraged to wear sports bras, not to bind, for safety reasons. And with such a long list of psychic contagions and socially contagious body harming fads, fomenting and celebrating breast hatred by validating this behavior that used to be very rare may do more harm than good.
A section on the GHQ website covering the culture’s current positive promotion of chest binding can be found here.
An article about the previously unheard of numbers of females binding in school can be found here.
Another example of the cultural promotion of binding to female youth can be found in a recent Cosmopolitan article called “A Complete Beginner's Guide to Chest Binding.”
James, R. (2019). Some Girls Bind. New York, NY: West 44 Books.
Moore, L. (2016, March 21). A Complete Beginner's Guide to Chest Binding. Cosmopolitan. Retrieved from https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a55546/how-to-bind-your-chest/
Peitzmeier, S., Gardner, I., Weinand, J., Corbet, A., Acevedo, K. (2017). Health impact of chest binding among transgender adults: a community-engaged, cross-sectional study. Culture, Health, and Sexuality 19(1), 1-12. doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2016.1191675
Transgender Trend. (2016, August 3). Breast Binders In UK Schools. Retrieved from https://www.transgendertrend.com/breast-binders-in-uk-schools/
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