NOW Adopts Intersex Resolution

Classification: News


ISNA Applauds NOW's Passage of Intersex Resolution

[July 1, 2001] The National Organization for Women (NOW) today became the first national feminist group to call for intersex children's right "to choose and be properly and fully informed regarding cosmetic medical procedures involving their bodies or genitals."

NOW's action follows four years of intense effort by the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) and GenderPAC, and culminated in a sometimes emotional address by both organizations before NOW's National Board at the invitation of NOW President Patricia Ireland. "After so many years of silence, it was deeply gratifying to have NOW's board listen as I spoke about the surgeries performed on me," said ISNA representative Janet Green.

Declared GenderPAC Executive Director, Riki Wilchins, "We hope this resolution sends an important message to the medical community: Public opinion is turning against genital surgery whose only purpose is conforming intersex bodies to narrow, outdated, binary gender stereotypes."

ISNA Executive Director Cheryl Chase added, "We applaud NOW for taking this important step. We appreciate that NOW has spoken on behalf of girls and women subjected to unnecessary genital surgery, just as they have spoken on behalf of girls in other cultures who are subjected to genital cutting. ISNA's mission is to end the shame and secrecy surrounding intersexuality, and putting a stop to unnecessary genital surgeries regardless of the child's sex is just one piece of that work." "I commend NOW for having listened and acted," said Curtis Hinkle, NOW's Coordinator-Elect for South Carolina. "However, some of us are not girls or boys; we are intersex and are only beginning to have the courage to say it openly."

Chase added that a recommended sample resolution on intersex rights can be viewed at: