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UK: The week Britain finally came to its senses on trans extremism and cried: enough!

Monday 11 April 2022, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


The week Britain finally came to its senses on trans extremism and cried: enough!


April 8, 2022

THIS was the week in which Britain finally came to its senses. We reached a tipping point, when people on all sides decided the madness had to stop.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister declared that ‘biological males’ should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports — and he also dared to suggest that parents should have a say in their children’s potentially life-changing decisions about gender identity.

Separately, a key public watchdog announced on Tuesday that women must have safe spaces, including female prisons and domestic violence refuges, that neither men nor trans women can enter.

Also this week, a former cabinet minister, Damian Green, said to a BBC interviewer who had criticised him for saying ‘biology is real’: ‘You’ve said that I’ve asserted that “biology is real” as though that’s something controversial. I think once we start saying scientific facts are not real then we really are in a difficult place.’

Many of these conversations would have been unthinkable only a few weeks ago. Boris Johnson would have been monstered as ‘transphobic’ by his screeching critics, and Green would have probably had to resign for his ‘bigoted’ defence of science.

For years, trans-rights extremists have successfully bullied and shouted down reasonable, mainstream opponents on an array of issues from sport to politics, science to gay rights.

Almost invariably white, highly paid and male (even if some ‘identify’ as female), they insist they know better than any woman what it means to be female — and they subject any woman who disagrees to a vile barrage of abuse and threats.

Women have seen their rights stripped away and, in many cases, their lives destroyed. Academics have been hounded out of their jobs, authors have seen their books banned, journalists have been driven from their newspapers.

The most successful novelist in the country, J.K. Rowling, has been virtually airbrushed out of the history of her own film franchise and faces sneers at awards ceremonies from the mediocre actors who are famous only because they played the characters she created.

And now — suddenly — right-thinking politicians’ patience with this obnoxious charade has snapped.

Why has it happened? Cancel culture has been terrifying — but there has also, I believe, been a growing sense of frustration among voters who cannot understand why our elected representatives, particularly among Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems, appear unable to say what a ‘woman’ is.

The British public, though instinctively tolerant, is also fed up with hearing sinister medical jargon about ‘birthing parent’ and ‘chest-feeding’ from doctors afraid to use the words ‘mother’ or ‘breast’.

But one essential recent contribution has been the Daily Mail helping to publicise the Respect My Sex campaign. Spearheaded by three female campaigners, this movement has sent a powerful message to politicians: ‘Respect my sex if you want my X.’

This is a rallying cry to all women and everyone who believes that biological sex isn’t simply a matter of personal choice.

Trans extremists have used intimidation, violence and smears to silence individuals who have bravely stood up for women’s rights. But however loud they chant, they won’t be able to bully an entire country into submission.

If only politicians were more in touch with the times.

Keir Starmer has been a coward when it comes to this issue — silenced by the rabid trans-rights extremists in his own party. This has led to the sight of the Leader of the Opposition, clearly not a stupid man, unable to give a straightforward answer to the question ‘Can a woman have a penis?’ — which any child can answer.

Starmer’s front-bench colleague Lisa Nandy has insisted that trans women criminals ‘should be accommodated in a prison of their choosing’. Another Labour MP, Dawn Butler, believes ‘a child is born without a sex’. And the former Plaid Cymru mayor of Bangor, Owen Hurcum, memorably puts it thus: ‘Some women have penises, some men have vaginas.’

Other newspapers have shamefully ignored the Respect My Sex campaign. The Mail has publicised it, recognising that trans-rights extremists have been attempting, with some success, to erode women’s rights hard-won over more than a century.

I have been embroiled in this row, though not by choice, for 18 years. In 2004, I wrote a newspaper report denouncing sexual ‘self-identification’ and the invasion of women’s spaces. All hell broke loose.

At the time I was incensed about a legal battle in Vancouver, Canada, where a women’s rape-crisis centre was under attack. A male-bodied trans woman was suing the charity after applying to be a volunteer counsellor for rape victims. This application was turned down — and the ensuing court case almost destroyed the charity.

The trans activists’ definition of what it meant to be a woman seemed deeply misogynistic to me. It still does. They appeared to be saying that any man who liked ‘girly things’ such as teetering around on high heels was intrinsically a woman, and had the right to be treated as such.

I believe that to be nonsense. At the same time, I’m more than happy to support anyone’s desire to dress and present however they wish. If a biological male wants to wear women’s clothes, adopt a woman’s name, use female pronouns and live as female a life as possible, good luck.

I’m an old-school feminist and a lesbian, and people like me have been fighting against narrow gender norms all our adult lives. Trans activists do not represent the great majority of trans people who just want to get on with their lives without fuss.

But tolerance for trans women does not mean we have to accept biological males insinuating themselves into rape refuges. Nor does it mean we have to put up with male genitalia on display in women’s changing areas — or men identifying as women in order to compete in women’s sport.

The sight of Lia Thomas, a trans woman who has competed in women’s swimming events in the U.S., winning a top college trophy, has forced millions of people to confront reality.

This isn’t about tolerance, it is about standing up to a blatant lie.

I know all about standing up to bullies. I’ve had to do it since I came out as a lesbian in my teens more than 40 years ago. Sexually harassed at school, I was angry at being forced to wear a uniform that I felt demeaned girls.

I was angry too that, as a female, I was not free to do all the things boys could. And of course I hated my periods and other changes during puberty — lots of girls do.

But today I see teenage girls being told that if they feel as I did, they are in fact transgender: boys trapped in a female body. This is a deeply damaging ideology and one that tries to reverse all the gains that women have spent decades fighting to win.

Girls who don’t feel comfortable in their changing adolescent bodies deserve love and support. They should be told that they’re great just as they are — not that they need a hysterectomy, a double mastectomy and lifelong testosterone treatment to enable them to be their ‘true selves’, treatments that carry serious and permanent risks.

They already are their true selves. Incredibly, the trans extremists insist that when teenagers are denied surgical sex changes, they are effectively being subjected to the sort of ‘conversion therapy’ that has just been banned for gay and lesbian people.

(The Government this week U-turned on plans to outlaw ‘conversion therapy’ for trans people, while retaining the ban on inflicting the treatment on gay people.)

I’ve undergone gay conversion therapy myself — voluntarily as an investigative journalist. I can tell you it is vile. Dodgy therapists and pastors who attempt to persuade gay people to live their lives as heterosexuals inflict immense harm on their subjects.

Suggesting professional therapy or advice for young people confused about their gender identity is a very different thing — as the Government has rightly recognised.

Now the trans activists’ lies have fallen apart. People have seen through the ghastly charade and cried: ‘Enough!’

Boris Johnson is nothing if not canny, and he timed his intervention perfectly. I’m never going to be a Conservative voter, but I didn’t disagree with a word he said, nor the way he said it.

Now the issue has been brought into sharp focus. Ordinary voters can see that a politician too spineless to say what a woman is will never have the guts to fight for any serious principle.

Either they recognise and point out the truth when they see it, or they don’t.

Women especially know that such politicians will also duck and hide on women’s issues such as sexual violence, safety on the streets, equal pay, healthcare for conditions such as cervical cancer and childcare.

Historically, these have been core issues for Labour. But not any more.

Boris stepped in and seized the high ground. His statement was urgently needed — and at last began to sweep away the insanity that had taken hold.