A Battle For Reality in a Post-Truth World.
This article will begin with a simple statement. Please read it, and take a moment to consider:
A male person is a female person on the basis of nothing more than their say so.
You can take this as a premise if you like, for what is to come; the root from which all else grows. A baby is born a boy, unambiguously a boy, with a male reproductive system, male genitalia. He is recognised as a boy by everyone with whom he comes into contact, and is treated accordingly from the moment of his birth. At home, at school, in the street, he is a boy. He has only ever been a boy, therefore boy is all he knows. In time the boy grows into a man: his voice deepens and he grows taller, more physically powerful. But at some point in his life — perhaps earlier, perhaps later — he says no…wait. In fact I feel I am not a man at all, but deep down inside a woman. And in that moment everything falls away. All that was distinctly male: the apple at his throat, the sperm producing testis, the years spent groomed for gendered superiority — all is rendered instantly female. Physicality and history now count for nothing, eyes and minds have been deceived all along. The boy was never a boy. His sisters, though they have little space of their own, must learn to budge up yet further.
It is from this beginning that everything follows. Papers are full of rows over safe space such as toilets and changing rooms. Jobs and sponsorships supposedly reserved for those of us born female and materially disadvantaged by the fact, are given to anyone who claims a passing entitlement. In two short minutes, as a direct result of women’s sports being thrown open to anyone who feels deep down inside they ought to be able to take part, MMA fighter Tamikka Brents is beaten so savagely by a biological male that her orbital bone is broken and she requires seven staples in her head.
While each of these issues can and do deserve to be taken separately, meriting full and careful consideration, what is clear is that all roads lead eventually to Rome: A male person is a female person on the basis of nothing more than their say so.
In other words, trans women are women, no matter their presentation, hormonal or surgical status, or whether they claimed womanhood twenty years or twenty minutes ago. No debate, no questions asked. It is here the root of gender self identification lies: the basis on which all changes to the equality act are proposed. It is here is all arguments begin, and here they inevitably end, and so no matter how compassionate we wish to be, our desire to compromise, or inclination to tiptoe, if we want to make the case for preserving women’s rights both clearly and boldly, we must find a space in which to state — unequivocally and with confidence — that it just isn’t true.
That’s right. No caveats, no flowers — it just isn’t true.
Bear with me.
It isn’t true doesn’t mean I do not acknowledge your gender identity. It isn’t true doesn’t mean I hate you. It isn’t true doesn’t mean I don’t accept the reality of gender dysphoria or empathise with the human suffering that accompanies it. Neither does it mean I question anybody’s right to exist, or dispute their entitlement to the same human rights as everyone else. It only means I do not accept the premise: that male human beings are female human beings on the basis of nothing more than their say so.
I don’t believe it, because it is false.
So if our boy born earlier sees a doctor and is prescribed certain hormones, he may well develop some secondary sex characteristics associated with being female. He may choose to dress or behave in stereotypically feminine ways if he likes, or identify strongly with gendered social roles. He can, at any point, surgically alter his body in order to relieve his dysphoria and better align physically with the gendered identity in which he feels more comfortable. And in the tolerant society we all want to live in, none of this will be news worthy. Of course we should enact laws that protect from discrimination, and that ensure equal access to housing, employment, and justice. Using preferred pronouns is, I believe, the polite and decent thing to do, and we should create third, gender neutral spaces in which to change, use the toilet, and serve prison time, because we acknowledge the danger posed to trans identified people by gender policing men.
But our boy is not sexed female. And given that female people are already disadvantaged by their sex and so have limited space, it is unreasonable to expect us to budge up yet further. Tangled up and furious over issues such as whether women have any entitlement to feelings of fear when forced to share sex segregated spaces with those who have penises, it is very easy to lose sight of the foundational lie upon which all of this is built:
A male person is a female person on the basis of nothing more than their say so.
It is incumbent upon everyone who claims a commitment to rationality, fairness and equality, to ask themselves if they honestly believe this statement to be true. More importantly though, what percentage of the wider public, when presented with the same, do we think would happily concur?
Labour party councillor, Tris Osborne, recently declared on Twitter that as far as the Labour party were concerned, the argument had been decided. Trans women were women, therefore entitled to jobs, space, and sponsorships reserved for female people, and that was that. “You’ve lost,” he gloated at the women expressing dismay on his timeline. But where, how, and by whom was this decided? Considering it is a decision that over turns everything we have ever thought true about sex and reproductive biology, whose expert opinion did the Labour Party call on? What consultations and discussions were held, and finally, where is the evidence to prove ‘trans women are women’ is anything more than a faith based statement akin to ‘God exists.’
One might have thought that if conclusive proof of a human ability to change from one sex to another, or of sexual dimorphism being a figment of our imagination had been discovered, then we would all of us be hailing it as the most revolutionary scientific breakthrough of our time. There would be prizes, newspaper headlines, fame and glory for the scientists involved. Yet somehow, we have managed to get to a point where stating one does not believe these things has become terribly controversial, and can lead to negative consequences, both socially and professionally. This despite most people knowing perfectly well they are not true.
In the face of this denial and intimidation, the more interesting question then becomes: If you know it is not literally true that males are, or can become real females, and yet you support the demands set by the proposals for gender self identification, then what is it that you do believe in?
Is it that male people should be able to use female spaces, compete in female sports, and be put forward for women’s sponsorships just because they want to? That sex doesn’t matter, despite our sexist society? Or is it that it is more moral to pretend to believe things one doesn’t, if denying them may cause great distress to a vulnerable minority? Perhaps you believe that facts of biology are meaningless, or at least less important, as compared to subjective ideas of a socially constructed gender? Or that feelings of distress experienced by a tiny minority of males count for more than the rights and safety of the natal women that make up fifty percent of the population? In other words, what exactly is it that you are arguing for, and why?
These are the questions that must be asked as part of an open debate on how best we reconcile the rights of natal women with the needs of those who identify as trans. Yet these are the questions being actively and aggressively suppressed by trans activists, specifically because any exploration of them threatens to expose the founding lie: that a male person is a female person on the basis of nothing more than their say so.
Decisions are being made without consultation, and rules quietly changed by the back door, precisely because this new agenda is so totally reliant on ignorance for its approval and success. Sex as a protected characteristic is still enshrined in law and so these policies that prioritise gender identity must be implemented while the majority of the public still do not fully understand the implications, because those pushing them know full well that exposed to light and viewed in full glare, the majority would never agree. There is simply nothing to be gained from opening up the floor. Done this way, when time comes to wield the rubber stamp, an argument can be presented that it already works like this, has done for some time, and that to go “backwards” is not an option. Laws based on faith as opposed to evidence, and which fundamentally change how we organise ourselves as humans, are being forced without consent onto a largely oblivious populace.
To add to the confusion created by a refusal to discuss terms, these issues are then dressed up in the language of civil rights and progressivism. Dissenters who point out already long established rights, such as freedom of association and expression, as well as sex based protections, as being actually under attack, can then be threatened and shamed with accusations of bigotry. Left wing men in particular have leaped on the opportunity to drag rebellious women through the mud. However I do not accept that a belief in the basic immutability of biological sex is unreasonable. My view that internal and subjective feelings about gender do not, and cannot, override ones biology, does not equate to a belief in anyone’s inherent inferiority or wickedness.
I just don’t accept the premise, that’s all. A male person is not a female person on the basis of nothing more than their say so. Call me a bigot if you must. But that won’t be true either.