Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in a politically dark and dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring blogs that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
“I am hungry doesn’t mean that one’s identity is the state of hunger, but that one’s being is the equal to that of the state of hunger.”—Sune Bentzen, Linguist
The Committee for Better Mental Health (CBMH) is a group founded in the last eras of the First Age. Fully backed by the billionaire Felicity McCourtney, herself a self-proclaimed bipolar. She blamed her bipolar mental identity on society’s barriers as a youth and a young adult. The group sought changes to the discrimination laws to make mental health a self-determined identity issue.
CBMH was successful in nations like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Portugal. They followed this up with limited success in the United States. The states of Vermont, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, New York, and Maryland picked up mental health identity protections. California attempted a citizens’ ballot proposition, but it failed by an overwhelming majority because of a successful social media campaign mounted by the political advocacy arm of the APA. CBMH made multiple attempts to codify mental health identity in the civil rights acts at the US federal level, but all failed because of the APA’s lobbying effort.
Example of Legal Language Used for Defining Mental Health Identity
“Mental health identity” means the mental identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned mental status, which may be demonstrated by:
(1) Consistent and uniform assertion of the person’s mental identity; or
(2) Any other evidence that the mental identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.
The limited success spurred the group to press harder on their political agenda. The activities of the CBMH sparked political backlash across Europe and the US, with protests from both sides. The protests became violent, requiring police or national armed forces to deal with it.
The opposition accused CBMH of being nothing more than a Marxist front organization and a Nazi Übermensch theory based on its origin with Hans Asperger, who had ties with the Nazis. While CBMH accused the opposition to be in bed with big pharma and corporate elites.
An increased number of “hate crimes” was seen in those locations that had adopted mental health identity laws, which included school mass bullying. This resulted in some young adults and late teens committing suicide at higher rates in these locations. Various members of the APA were quick to point out that this was the opposite desired effect, and the direct result of self-diagnosis. The CBMH countered that this was the result of non-acceptance by some hateful individuals.
Meanwhile, in the locations where CBMH was successful in changing the laws, legislators dismantled government psychological supports provided to children and adults. The reasoning was that these were no longer needed as there was now no actual psychological science guiding the diagnosis and treatment. If people who claimed to have a disorder wanted treatment, that was now a private issue between them and a doctor. It was no longer a concern of public health.
Children were seen under these laws as having the same level of protections as adults and would be assigned government advocates to ensure parents would not force unnecessary treatments.
In the US, the state courts were mixed on the application of the discrimination by mental health identity, including how it was being applied within the context of criminal law. At the heart of the legal problem was the notion of self-determination of one’s mental health status. Some judges were accepting, while more conservative judges were not. At the Federal level, the courts didn’t entertain these protections with the minor exception of the Southern District of New York. The SCOTUS never picked up any of these cases.
The biggest opposition to CBMH came from a well-funded American group of neurologists in the field of neuroplasticity. They published scientific paper after scientific paper showing and countering “mental health identity” based on the natural adaptive nature of the human brain. And thus, provided the underlying mechanics for the possibility of treatment to recondition the brain into other behavior patterns. These papers became fodder for conservative talking points. CBMH struggled to find medical researchers willing to publish counter papers and stuck to the social sciences making political and moral arguments instead.
Then Sawa Kaneko and Ei Yoshimi, two Japanese molecular geneticists, discovered that autism spectrum disorder was a combination of micro-deletions across the human genome resulting in a differential neural development. The variations in phenotypes between cases were results from the amount of the deleted genetic information. This further explained the links between such syndromes as Angelman for also showing ASD. Scientists found poor neuroplasticity to be the culprits for mental comorbidities, such as anxiety and ADHD. Later, additional research would find that other common mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia were also related to genetic micro-deletions.
The CBMH used this genetic discovery to show mental health identity as being a form of evolutionary adaptation. In doing so, questions arose about the concept of self-determination of one’s mental health identity and if genetic testing should be the determining factor.
By this point in history, the whole notion of mental health identity hit a social brick wall when legislatures allowed human cloned reproduction using advance CRISPR technology to strip away many genetic based disorders. With advent of these technologies and advance A.I. systems, medical psychology was transformed, offering the “cure” for all known disorders without lifelong use of drug therapy.
CBMH tried to fight for the right to be born naturally, but it was too late. Society had bought into these new wonders. The political winds had changed, and younger politicians backed by these new technologies stripped away the old mental health identity laws.
Other Mental Health Postings & Stories
Mental Illness During Rosella’s Time
Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
On May 13th, 2021, Alexander Petrovnia wrote a Medium article entitled, “Cis People — Stop Trying To Understand Transness.” As an author, I agree with Alexander Petrovnia that I do not know what it’s like to be a trans person, because I’m not one. I wrote a piece about Xaku in the online game, Warframe, where the developers were citing it was a trans character representation. I couldn’t see it. All I saw from my perspective was a Frankenstein like creature (I’m NOT saying trans people are Frankensteins). But someone, who was trans, tweeted me telling me how they related to a such a jumbled mess of parts. I can understand that on an intellectual level. But like all things, if you don’t suffer from some disorder, or are not part of some community, you will never understand as a fellow human. You can only feel solidarity with them. But this doesn’t mean on an intellectual level, those who are not part of a specific disorder or community should cease all understanding. To do so would cut people off from knowledge and would also not allow solidarity to take place. This would have an opposite effect socially and cause nothing but more than panic and fear. It is under this reasoning, as a writer I continue to research, think about, and look at the directions of society to see where things like transgenderism will go. This is the nature of science fiction.
Studies and Surveys
I’ve mentioned multiple times in this blog human sexuality and gender issues. I don’t prescribe to an absolute view of the current norms of society but see these aspects evolving. This is especially true as we deploy certain technologies, such as advance CRISPR systems to genetically remove any gender dysmorphia caused by our genes. I realize many people don’t want to hear that idea, but I foresee this as a possibility. I also realize that media tends to portray certain sexualities either in a positive or negative light depending upon the circumstances of media ownership, media audience, and/or hidden political agendas.
Social media communities can impact personal adoption, and reinforcement of ideas. This effect is well documented for Twitter and the echo chambers it tends to create. In a 2012 article published in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice it highlighted the importance of gaining trust as it relates to different genders in order to build communities for marketing.
Such online communities can impact the self-identifying population numbers. A 2017 meta-regression study found that U.S. population of transgender individuals is 390 adults per 100,000, or about 1 million adults nationally (0.4% of 2017 18+ population). While, various other studies have shown ranges from “1.2 to 6.8 percent of the adult population identifying as LGBT.” This only highlights the fluid nature of self-identification.
Meanwhile, another American national survey looked at the transgender issue from visual and self-identifying. Again, the results show how diverse the meaning of the word “transgender” is as it relates to physical appearance being congruent with broad social norms, and Americans’ willingness to accept someone’s word that they are what they say they are (as in they have no ulterior motive to lie to me about their gender identification).
Fluidity of Language
One issue is with the fluid nature of language. The term “cis” used in Alexander Petrovnia’s article (31 times mind you) has only been around since 2011 and refers to those “whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth.” Its original Latin root is not what the word is being used for. The word boils down to a descriptive term used by the trans-community as a way to refer to everyone else but them. It’s more of choice of Latin roots since trans, cis and ultra are part of the same family. Although I couldn’t imagine the trans-community wanting to call cis people ultra. Of course, I could be wrong about that as well. Who knows maybe calling some cis people ultra-lesbian or ultra-heterosexual would catch on?
Regardless of if ultra becomes used in the English language for gender is irrelevant, there are other fundamental linguistic issues with the phrase, “gender identity.” Here again, there’s nothing that says in this language that sex assignment surgery is needed if the person is not suffering from gender dysmorphia. Making “gender identity” a fluid choice. In Rosella’s future, there’s nothing that stops some from making such claims and still dressing and behaving like their assigned sex with only minor exceptions, like the use of a restroom. Sure, a few people are shocked and annoyed, but the majority don’t care. Of course, same sex restrooms have also become more common place by Rosella’s time.
An example of a new lexicon is in a yet unpublished USRM-ISB Installment, where Rosella Tolfree encounters Morgan, a spirit vampire known as a “Son of the Angel of Lust” who was a “Caeneist” as a human. The term Caeneist refers to the Greek legend of Caeneus, who was a woman abducted and raped by Poseidon. She then asks to be turned into a man so as not to be raped again. In the late eras of the First Age of Humanity, full anatomical transformation of a person from one sex to another becomes possible thanks to 3-D printed organs and genetic manipulation to avoid rejection. This allowed people like Morgan suffering from gender dysmorphia to embody the fullness of a transformation. Such surgical transformations are not possible today. Some today, for reasons they only understand, don’t undergo the genital surgery. Which has sparked social controversies today. This gets partially resolved with the newer technologies, despite some still not desiring a full transformation (as noted above). Thus, by some viewpoints, creating a pseudohermaphrodite.
Enter Phoebe Matthews
Phoebe Matthews was a gender psychotechnologist of the early 2nd Age of Humanity. She coined the term “gendernormative” to refer to those people whose scans and gender psychological profiles fit attraction, and sexual behaviors for mating with people of the opposite sexual characteristics and compatible organs. She based these on the gender understandings of the time surrounding the following five principles: Sexual Attraction, Sexual Behavioral Acts, Sexual Self-Identity, Anatomical Realties, and Genetic Realties. Taken together, the five areas would define where someone was on the Kazuko Scale. A gender psychotechnologist measurement developed by Kanbayashi Kazuko in Japan some years before Phoebe Matthews. The original scale made no attempt to define a normative point but created intersectional groupings. It would be Phoebe Matthews with her published paper that would assign one of the intersectional groupings as normative for humans.
Her assignment came from a specific intersectional grouping, that despite social trends away from the labeling of people’s sexual activities and desires, still showed up for most her test subjects. All this even with the heavy global female average demography, lowering the male availability and historical research showing women were more “bisexual than men.” Later, her peers repeated the original study in multiple cultural locations and found similar findings. Scientists from other disciplines chimed in on the research noting that if this wasn’t true then the species would have died off, and that Phoebe Matthews’ research is confirming a fact of human biology. This despite our large brain allowing for a diverse human sexual experience.
Other Blog Posts Dealing with Sexuality
Human Sexuality, Sex, and Genderism in Rosella’s Dystopian World
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella’s World- Part 2
Dr. April French-Wolfe's Res-Pangenderism theory
From Artificial Wombs to Human Clones
The Fourth During Late 1st Age of Humanity
Seth Underwood writes adult science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com