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Comment: Ice Angel
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Ice Angel
Made for TV Movie. Heaven can wait type plot. Macho hockey star killed before his time accidently by an angel is sent back in the beautiful body of America's best female Figure skater to have a chance of winning a gold medal. He is not very happy about being a girl! But he learns to skate like the ...more
From: Duncan Scott FitzHugh* , 285 months, post #1
The problem with this film, SYNAPSE, and all other "give in to the new body" type of TG movies is that the human mind is biologically hard-wired to one gender while still in the womb, so that even time and hormonal inundation will never completely alter the inner perception of being male or female, no matter what the exterior form happens to be. No macho sports star (ICE ANGEL) or cold killer (SYNAPSE) would ever be able to completely "let go" and accept a new role, as real-life examples of penis-deprived little boys raised as girls prove (they are almost never comfortable as females and most eventually suffer mental illness). Unless, of course, the fetus was exposed to the "wrong" hormonal flow in the pre-birth development. These non-changing-back films would seem to say more about the fantasies of the writers (a la Hank/Jean-Marie Stine, of SEASON OF THE WITCH/SYNAPSE) than stand as logical examinations of involuntary transsexualism. Or perhaps I'm full of hot air. DSF

From: Suzanne de Nimes* , 285 months, post #2
(to Duncan): Maybe, but how do you know? Obviously, we don't have peoples' brains/minds/souls (and each of these might work differently) being transferred into other bodies in real life. (Not to mention that in cases like "Ice Angel," it's done with *magic*.)

But I don't think real life transsexuals, hermaphrodites, etc. are a good analogue to having your consciousness placed in the healthy, hormonally normal body of the opposite sex. It raises a lot of questions about what forces shape identity and sexuality, but I don't think there's any one correct answer. The approach taken in "Ice Angel" seems as valid to me as any other. (And in a practical sense, if you're in this situation and don't go insane or commit suicide, ultimately you *have* to deal with it somehow, assuming the change is irreversible. Who knows what might happen over time?)

From: Duncan Scott FitzHugh* , 285 months, post #3
Since we don't have magical transformations or (as yet) brain transplants to study, we must proceed with the most closely related examples available, in this case little boys raised as girls due to medical accidents. These children almost never accept their feminine roles and generally undergo severe psychological distress, even when estrogen is introduced during puberty. Seems much more likely to me than some macho hockey player would either submit to a sex change operation or commit suicide rather than accept life as a female. Then, again, who can say for certain? DSF

From: Suzanne de Nimes* , 285 months, post #4
(to Duncan) "Then, again, who can say for certain?" Exactly. That's all I'm saying. We don't know. I just suspect there'd be a big difference between an "altered male," which is essentially what all real life examples are, and a male whose consciousness is placed in a healthy female body that's naturally producing the correct hormonal balance for a young woman.

From: Duncan Scott FitzHugh* , 285 months, post #5
It's all in 'the wiring'. If you receive the male hormone surge while in the womb, you shall be biologically imprinted as masculine even if your brain is transplanted unpon birth into a female body, and vice versa, as well. The 'wrong' hormonal introduction to fetuses results in the poor people who actually resort to 'altering' surgery to 'correct Nature's mistakes'. ODIO MI CUERPO is a much more realistic examination of involuntary transsexualism than SYNAPSE or ICE ANGEL or 99% of all such titilating fluff. 'Celeste' and 'Sarah' surely must have harbored some secret desires prior to their 'unwanted' metamorphoses. Or so claims current medical/psychological research. Sorry. DSF

From: Miko* , 244 months, post #6
Sorry Duncan.

It *IS* all in the wiring. And in the impossible case of having your mind/soul placed in the body of a young girl, all the wiring is going to be that of the young girl. Whatever your mind thinks, it's going to be at odds with how your body reacts and even how your physical brain is wired to think, act, and respond. There can be no comparison to anything in real life.

Which is all completely aside from whether this movie is a good portrayal of such, but your argument that forced gender transition (which, by the way, is only sometimes the big disaster you're talking about, not always) is in any way analagous to having your spirit placed in a healthy body of the opposite sex is patently ridiculous. This is fantasy, as you said -- trying to say it's "realistic" or "unrealistic" fantasy is a vain pursuit.

From: Daydreamer* , 244 months, post #7
I doubt that DSF will read your response, since according to Publisher's Weekly he was transferred back to London about a year ago. However, at the risk of being a buttinski, I think that he probably would point out that an individual's personality (and its male/female persuasion) is "hardwired" by hormonal activity in the pre-birth stage. So even if that personality were transferred magically to a physical brain of the opposite gender, the general sexual outlook would remain the same. Therefore, I think "ridiculous" is a rather over-bearing term. Also, more and more research suggests that virtually all of the "boys raised as girls" cases have turned out terribly. Dr. Money -- who is most responsible for this activity with his fixation that "nuture trumps heredity" -- is being discredited more each day, as dozens of young lives have proven to have been ruined by his reckless conduct. Seems that we are who we are (to paraphrase Popeye) once we leave the womb, no matter what happens thereafter. Daydreamer.

From: DW* , 244 months, post #8
There's a huge difference between and adult being stuck in this situation (as in the fantasy of Ice Angel and others) and the real life situation as "boys raised as girls". In the latter, you have individuals (children) who have certain feelings but are not given all the information. For all they know, they were born female. In Ice Queen, the protagonist knows what has happened as well as the fact that he was a mentally stable (relatively speaking) adult prior to the switch. While it's still possible that he could go mad, it's also possible that he would accept and learn to live with his new gender. We have a fairly uncanny ability to adapt to changes.

From: Miko* , 244 months, post #9

I'm well aware of Dr. Money and his goofy ideas that have resulted in the destruction of many lives, having read "As Nature Made Him" by John Colapinto.

My point is that you can't assume that gender identity is hard-wired into your soul and not just your brain. It might be, but there's no way to prove it, no way to produce evidence to support it, and no reason to make that leap in logic. In every case of gender reassignment you can cite, the person involved still has the brain thei were born with. Is their sense of self part of their soul, or just a part of their physical brain? Man has been asking that question for millenia, but still nobody knows. Nobody CAN know.

Therefore Duncan's flat, forceful statement that "this is the way it is" contains a leap in logic that is not an obvious or logical one. We are talking about an impossible fantasy scenario and we can't know for certain how a male soul in a 100% female body will react.

Certainly, the existence of gender dysphoria suggests that some or even most would not accept their new sex. But just because SOME people are born with the conviction that they are in the wrong body, and cannot be convinced otherwise, and just because some (or most?) people who have suffered gender reassignment as children (Dr. Money's specialty) reject it, does not necessarily indicate that ALL people are 100% locked into their gender identity at birth, or so identify with one gender that they could never accept being of the opposite gender.

I don't doubt in the least the real-life examples that you and Duncan cite regarding gender dysphoria and the discrediting of Money's ideas of "nurture over nature", which has held sway in the medical community for far too long and ruined many many lives. But you can't assume that everyone identifies 100% with one gender only, and you certainly can't know if one's gender identity is in any way wired into one's soul.

From: DEVIL SPAWNED FISH* , 244 months, post #10
God this topic is full of crap. I hate it when people get in to pointless arguments about hypothetical situations. It's just so depressing.

From: Screw that* , 244 months, post #11
who gives a damn. its a good topic.

Listen up, Ice Angel, the man was told he would be reincarnated to finish out his life he never did (but the ending changed). The reason you'd accept is because they picked the body that was avalable and put him in there, so you would have to adapt. Now with Synapse, you would if your body did not have a working brain. But if you had the chance you decide this. Either give up your baby you created as a man or kill that and go back into your body? which one? see my point.

From: jc* , 244 months, post #12
hey is there any pics or movie stills out there?

From: anon* , 244 months, post #13
Biological urges of the new body and brain, and the education of the old mind, not to mention society's expectations of proper behavior for the newly gendered mind transplant patient, would doubtless lead to changes in thinking.

How many changes is the only question.

From: Daydreamer* , 244 months, post #14
Many of you folks saboutage your own arguments while making them. The "gender dysphoria" people prove DSF's case much more than they damage it. According to current thought, the majority of these unfortunate people are influenced in the womb ("hardwired") by exposure to the "wrong" hormones, fixing their sexual identities at odds with their bodies. They grow up being inundated by hormones that are "correct" to their physical bodies, yet they still maintain the desire to live as the opposite gender, in spite of all of the chemical indoctrination otherwise (I once heard on Paul Harvey of a man who waited until his middle seventies -- after his wife died -- before undergoing a lifelong-desired sex change). Of course, we can never be 100% certain about any topic, especially when dealing with overt fantasy scenarios like ICE ANGEL, but given what research we do have, I think Duncan's argument has by far the most evidence to support it. Men changed against their will into women by surgery (or whatever) wouldn't HAVE to go mad or commit suicide, and they might even live fulfilling existences, but with our inner gender concepts being what they are, I believe it most likely that these individuals would seek out lesbian lifestyles, as in ODIO MI CUERPO, the most "realistic" unwanted sex change film that I am aware of. It's certainly much more realistic than ICE ANGEL, SWITCH, SYNAPSE (which is little more than its author's wish-fulfillment fantasy, since Stine later underwent sex reassignment surgery), or even GOODBYE, CHARLIE. Maybe someday we'll be presented with actual results of such a situation, if brain transplantation ever becomes feasible.

From: anon* , 244 months, post #15
Ahhhhhh, but brain transplantation would still involve a MALE brain!

The ice angel character has a totally female brain with no indication of prior transgender desires. So changes in the movie follow as shown reasonably, though a different soul might respond differently.

From: Glammazon* , 244 months, post #16
As I recall, in one of my stories I actually had a young man's brain transplanted into a woman's body with quite a graphic depiction of the medical procedure involved. I remember saying that the person's brain was slowly feminizing due to the level of female hormone reaching the brain, which is what I believe would happen in a real brain transplant.

From: Eric* , 244 months, post #17
Ice angel is a bad example for anyone to use to argue that a male mind or spirt would have to be still male and want a lesbain relationship even in a female brain & body. Rememebr the powers of Heaven itself or envolved in this. Not a human agency! It would be easy for them to to make the sexual preference of the new woman whatever they want & they do! As for Synapse again it is not a bran trnsplnt but a mind in a female brain & body. Also 'she' undergows extensive brain washing & mental conditioning. Plus the orginal was hardly a happy campier, bitter, lonely & miserable in a friendles loveless life. Don't you think they want want something a lot better? You can see 'her' fight her body brains instincts before she gives in & compfrts the male leader of the rebellion after his lover has been killed & also says to the genius doc "If you ever cared for me at all you keep quiet about this baby' its a very female utterence. But much of this is besides the point. They're just stories & cut the authors some slack!

From: poohead* , 244 months, post #18
blar blar blar blar blar blar blar blar blar blar blar blar

From: Logan* , 225 months, post #19
If there are any UK residents interested in catching this movie it is being played on Thursday the 10/March/2005 on channel 5 at 10 am. It's going under the title, "On Thin Ice: Going For Gold" but its still the same movie.

Great site by the way!

From: Goofus McDoofus* , 225 months, post #20
Never-the-less, you're born with a sexual identity pre-set in your brain. People who live for decades as amuptees or quadraplegics still experience "phantom pains" in limbs they no longer have (or can feel) and still run and jump in their dreams. A male brain transplanted into a female body -- or vice-versa --, if it had not been sexually confused beforehand, would retain an inner image of its orginal gender. Sure, most people would learn to cope I imagine, but deep down, where you can't lie to yourself, a boy would stay a boy and a girl would stay a girl. At least, that's the current psychological reasoning. Examining the topic from my preferred perception, a human brain transplanted into an animal might atrophy some or (more likely) go insane, but as long as that brain could continue to think with any clarity, it would continue to consider itself to be human, not animal. Goofus McDoofus.

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