A lot of men and too many women are scared to challenge the ‘transgender’ nonsense. Personally, I readily admit I was bewildered by the arguments and apprehensive about writing on the subject.
Establishment figures who support Stonewall’s utterances and edicts, and social media sites too, can shut you down for expressing a view contrary to the received wisdom. The press avoid the subject, bar a few courageous columnists. Why are intelligent people and those in positions of authority getting behind the faux trans ‘gender’ campaign? Well, it makes them feel good, morally upright; they support an allegedly victimised minority. This is a nightmare.
Some people are confused by the terminology bandied about and withdraw, others repelled by the aggression used to push opinion, especially trans people with a score to settle with society. The reality of alien laws, however, are upon us. By devious routes and stealth this warped doctrine has managed to become legislation in various countries, advocated by politicians for reasons that are obscure. Our own SNP administration has embraced it with a vigour one wishes they had applied to securing Scotland’s independence.
In effect, the SNP has declared war on women, the First Minister stating that objections to proposed laws are not valid. Seeing a cash-strapped City of Edinburgh Council put £5 million of rates into creating single sex public toilets should tell women fighting to retain their rights the end is nigh. When our institutions are against women’s very existence they need a revolution, a popular mass movement, if they are to repeal laws, bills, and heal the damage done so far.
As a male of the species, one who penned a much praised screenplay exploring the sources of male aggression on women, physical and psychological, I cannot believe the fiasco has gotten this far. Do parent know what is being taught in our schools on this subject? I am all for children being knowledgeable not kept innocent, but trans gender theory is dangerous indoctrination. Scots are supposed to be famous for our down-to-earth common sense. And yet some women are leading the trans gender contortions as if biological fact.
All the experts tell us the ‘trans‘ gender does not exist. I see it as a patriarchal invention to make the categories of women and men invisible, to substitute feminism with something more generic. It undermines the feminist struggle for equality. As one feminist put it, “The word ‘gender‘ has replaced those of ‘women‘ and ‘men’; ‘gender violence law’ has replaced patriarchy, feminism, feminist struggle.” To my certain knowledge, trans people share the same civil and human rights as the rest of us, which makes the screams and squeals from certain frantic quarters very odd.
A man can become a woman just on saying that’s what he wants to be. And he can retain his beard and join all-women sports. The radical feminist Germaine Greer who knows her subject inside out – if you can forgive the pun, and is not someone to annoy by spouting waffle (I’m six feet, she’s taller), put it succinctly. “If I put on a long brown coat with big black buttons, and a pair of ear muffs, that doesn’t make me a f**king bloodhound!”
As the gender debate has esculated so has the tiny transexual lobby increased its demands. The debate has become bitter. Suddenly ‘queer theory’ is defussed, sexuality a fluid thing. I do not recall any societal threat to their existence, but here we are liable to be faced by a long-running perverse conflict. Having worked in theatre with some trans actors, and having known a few in ordinary professions, one an accountant, another an antique dealer, their existence is part of life’s rich pattern. They are friends, and that is that. What I see now is a madness, a profound detraction from far greater pressures on society, namely Scotland’s destiny and climate change. And I cannot recall voting for this grotesque trans policy, or the SNP explaining their intentions in detail to the public before an election. It has arrived by force.
Anybody trying to study the arguments is confronted by incomprehensible discussions about the meaning of the term ‘gender‘. It has gone so far that women are now the people marginalised and oppressed. A massive amount of the SNP’s time has been devoted to and still is, invested in, pushing forward legislation that will see a small group dominate the mass of the population and effectively have women disappear. It is the rot that will kill the SNP.
On independence, the SNP has declared war on its own people, shutting down honest criticism and dissent about ways and means. They have also weaponised the trans ‘gender’ debate and used that too to declare war on women. The First Minister – a woman opf sorts – dismisses protest as ‘not valid’. Politicians are not elected to wave aside protest, but to listen and understand its source. Helping the SNP to build this Trojan Horse is their political partners, the Scottish Green party, and yet that party is also riven by the debate it has helped create and nurture.
Ask an SNP politician to define what a woman is and they choke on their words, scared, as I mentioned earlier, to give a straight-forward answer. This is a party that is in complete confusion about its role and its ideology. They have allied themselves with a fraudulant cause invented by the controllers of capitalist propaganda. We are liable to see us faced by the dangerous absurdity of passing laws to eliminate any reference to women and men. As it is, women are to be seen no longer the exploited class. This puts the women’s cause back a hundred years or more.
The distinguished author and journalist (and independence supporter), Iain Macwhirter tackled the subject in a recent newspaper column. I reprint his observations. They largely mirror my own. Whether his scrutiny or mine, or both, mean anything to readers curious about the bitterness of this supremely divisive subject, is another matter.
DO YOU THINK A WOMAN IS A HUMAN FEMALE?
It’s the shortest questions that are the most dangerous for politicians.
On his television show, Andrew Marr asked the Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, what looked like the simplest question imaginable: what is wrong with saying that a woman is an adult human female? Mr Davey was stumped. He couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t answer after being asked three times. He flannelled about it not being relevant and said that Boris Johnson was “toxifying” the whole issue of trans rights. That may well be true, but it didn’t answer the question: is a woman an adult human female?
That is, of course, the dictionary definition of a woman. It is also a proposition that 99 per cent of British voters would see as wholly unobjectionable, indeed, self-evident. Obviously a woman is female. So why could Mr Davey not answer, and why, indeed, was a LibDem party member, Natalie Bird, banned from standing as an MP because she wore a tee shirt with this dictionary definition on it? Why has the Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, been forced to avoid the Labour Party conference on safety grounds for agreeing?
Is ‘convener’ male or female?
Earlier this year, the SNP’s elected Equalities Convener, Lynne Anderson, and its Women’s Convener, Caroline McAllister, both resigned over the definition of a woman. The Green Party has also split from top to bottom with departures and resignations, including that of the much-respected former Scottish MSP, Andy Wightman who said he couldn’t stay in a party that refused to discuss women’s sex-based rights. The UK Green Party co-leader, Sian Berry, resigned apparently because there was too much discussion of women being female.
Like Ms Berry, Mr Davey was trying to keep on the right side of the transgender debate by not deviating from the Stonewall mantra: “transwomen are women”. He appears to believe that this means it can never be assumed that a woman is actually female. Indeed, a “woman” could be someone who was born a man and has transitioned to female. But this involves an excruciating logical contortion. Why, if a transgender woman is literally a woman, should it not continue to be the case that a woman is an adult female? Hapless politicians like Mr Davey have been forced into holding a proposition which is manifestly absurd: that women are not adult human females but transwomen always are.
Mr Davey’s predecessor, Jo Swinson, got into similar difficulties. During the General Election campaign she dissolved when asked by a BBC presenter whether babies were born male or female. After much faltering and deviation, she said she didn’t think they were and that they might be “non-binary”. Labour’s then Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler, went further and asserted that “a child is not born with a sex”.
Both of them were basing this on the assertion by transgender activists that sex is “assigned” at birth and not observed. This has become an article of faith in the rarified world of non-binary theory, as expounded by the American gender philosopher, Judith Butler. She says sex is a social construct. Or to be precise: “sex is an ideal construct which is forcibly materialised through time. It is not a simple fact or static condition of a body”. Butler is herself non-binary and insists on being called “they”– which means they is always referred to in the plural.
Waffle and wiffle
Make of they’s definition what you will, but it doesn’t exactly make for a snappy sound bite. Most voters would prefer not to be bothered with incomprehensible structuralist jargon. But they are going to be very bothered indeed if they keep hearing party leaders, like Ed Davey, dissolving into confusion when asked whether a woman is an adult female.
This, of course, has been brought to a head by the row over transgender self-ID, which is coming soon to a parliament near you. One of the key planks of the Green-SNP alliance is a new law saying that, since transwomen are women, they should be permitted to change their legal sex merely by giving a declaration of such. No medical intervention, surgery or lengthy record of living as a woman is necessary.
This is presented as merely a means of simplifying the bureaucratic process of achieve gender reassignment, changing legal sex, which has of course been the law since 2004. But many women, sometimes called “gender-critical feminists” (or “fascists” according to Judith Butler), do not accept that it is or should be legal for people born male to be allowed to enter women’s spaces like changing rooms, prisons, or women’s refuges. Many say they feel threatened by the presence of male-bodied individuals.
The damn thing is everywhere
People may be surprised at how far down this road we’ve already gone. The CEO of Edinburgh Rape Crisis, Mridul Wadhwa, was born a man. Prisons are now legally obliged to place male-bodied transgender offenders in women’s prisons. Schools are being told to use gender-free pronouns and recognise primary children as transgender whatever their parents may think. Women are often now referred to as “persons with a cervix” or “menstruators” by medical professionals who fear that they might fall foul of the 2010 Equalities Act in which “transgender reassignment” is deemed to be a “protected characteristic”.
But the trouble with the Equalities Act is that it says a lot of things, most of them mutually contradictory. Sex is also a protected characteristic under the legislation, a whole section of which specifically refers to “single sex services” being a “legitimate aim”. A legitimate example given is a transwoman being excluded from counselling group of female victims of sexual assault.
Stonewall says that women do have a right to single sex spaces but do not have a right to exclude transwomen from them, because such exclusion would be discriminatory under other provisions of the Act. This abstruse legal argument used to be very much on the fringes of political life. But it is about to become centre stage.
Nicola Sturgeon says she has found a way of achieving self-ID without diminishing women’s sex-based rights. Good luck with that. We’ll know if and when she agrees that a woman is an adult human female.
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