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By Jason Michael
FOLLOWING A SERIES of articles published on this website on the current shape of the so-called ‘gender debate,’ a number of people have attempted to situate my position in this discussion. In a private forum on social media, a forum I have consequently decided to leave, a friend and colleague (who, owing to the private nature of the discussion, will remain anonymous) passionately articulated a summation of this opinion:
Jason you are on the side of the far-right when you line up with the gender woo woo brigade. When you have Rosa Zambonini and Mhairi Hunter agreeing with YOUR hate speech it should be a tip for a clue! You are calling the women defending their hard earned rights ‘fascist,’ ‘alt-right,’ ‘far-right,’ [and] then you are bleating about hate speech??? Physician heal thyself!
This, of course, will require some degree of unpacking and will require some definitions, so please do bear with me. And I will do this without animus towards my interlocutors. What this discussion sorely needs, as was underlined by a recent Chris Cairns comic, is to have some of the heat drawn out of it. It is certainly not the intention of this piece to pour more fuel on the fire.
Clearly this is a subject the internet has opinions about. Since 25 October 2020, when I first engaged in this discussion, I have lost somewhere in the region of two thousand Twitter followers, been on the receiving end of a handful of stressful dog-piles, and have experienced a shunning (where online followers are either too nervous or too angry to like or retweet anything posted by the shunned) — all indications of the internet’s displeasure. Lots of people in every corner of this furious argument have suffered similar, and sometimes worse, experiences. These indications are shaped by the constitution of our social media audiences; an indication that we have failed to read the room — that perhaps we are in the wrong room — and operate to keep us in line.
So, and without prejudice, let us briefly look at the two contesting positions; that of the movement for gender recognition and transgender inclusivity, and that of trans-exclusionary gender critical feminism. The progressive tendency of the transgender rights campaign, which is present and widely supported in liberal democratic societies around the world, seeks for transgender persons the right to self-identify as the gender they believe themselves to be without legal or medical-therapeutic barriers. This would have transgender women recognised as women in law and transgender men likewise recognised as men. In the main, this proposal is supported by LGBTQ+ people and organisations and by mainstream and radical feminists. According to research published by the World Economic Forum, the states most resistant to the extension and protection of these rights are Russia, Hungary, South Korea, and Poland — countries noted for their right-leaning social conservatism.
Gender critical feminists adhere to a strict hermeneutic of biological essentialism — the belief that biological sex determines gender (qua the performance of socio-sexual characteristics and behaviours) and physical sexual difference — which dictates that sex is immutable. Consequently, it follows from this thesis that trans-women — ‘men in dresses’ — are not real women and so, given the threat they pose to women and girls, must be excluded from female-only safe spaces; public toilets, changing rooms, refuges, prisons, and such like. The ontology of this argument does follow a coherent logic insofar as one accepts the assumptions of essentialism and the categorical differences between women and men as defined by gender critical feminism. Concern over the vulnerability and safety of female-bodied people in such safe spaces is a detail readily accepted by Charlotte Jones and Jen Slater in their 2020 article in The Sociological Review Monographs:
…the security of women’s toilets is also recognised as precarious due to their potential misuse, wherein ‘people are undressed, vulnerable and engaged in a private act.’ Women’s toilets are therefore positioned as both especially safe and (potentially) especially dangerous.
Evidently, this is not an attempt to furnish the reader with a comprehensive definition of either position, and neither is it intended to be. The purpose, then, of these outlines is to demonstrate that these are two opposing, mutually exclusive, and irreconcilable philosophies. One simply cannot support both positions. Yet, it is important to state that while one cannot both support gender self-identification and be a gender critical feminist, neither is it the case one has to accept one or the other of these positions. It is entirely possible to hold a third position — not a neutral position or one ‘sitting on the fence,’ but a genuine and discrete third position. And this brings us to my positionality in this whole discussion.
Signing off on his comment, my abovementioned friend wrote: ‘Physician heal thyself!,’ a nod to the Gospel and, I assume, to my Christian faith. The cura te ipsum — ‘heal thyself’ — is found in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke and marks the centre-point of a discourse Jesus has with the religious leaders at the synagogue at Capernaum. It follows Jesus’ reading from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah wherein good news is announced to the poor in the great proclamation:
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free…
And it precedes his observation that ‘no prophet is accepted in [his] home town,’ before he was driven out of the place by people who intended to kill him. The cura te ipsum, then, is not a comment on the accused but an indictment of the accuser. They have heard the divine intention to release the captive, to restore the sight of the blind, and to end the oppression of the oppressed, and they do not like it. The prophet heralds the end of their rule; their domination, their place of privilege, and so they demand cura te ipsum — ‘heal thyself’ — and drive him out. It is them who utter this who are rejecting the message and shooting the messenger.
My friend, along with other gender critical feminists and their allies, clearly does not accept the ‘gender ideology’ of those who want to extend and protect transgender rights, but it is equally clear my friend and others reject my position. But what is my position?
My habitus in this discussion, as I hope it is in all such discussions, begins and ends with the Great Commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’ and ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).’ This dominical injunction speaks to a radical acceptance of the other; an indiscriminate love for and acceptance of the known other and the stranger alike — a position of unconditional positive regard. This applies to the ‘captive’ — the criminal, the prisoner — and to the innocent alike. Christian ethics rejects completely the idea that wrong has no rights. With regard to the present discussion, then, irrespective of my thoughts on the beliefs and opinions of another, I am duty bound to see in them the same humanity as my own; worthy of love, dignity, and respect.
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
Looking at gender critical feminism and at the idea of gender self-identification I see two sets of ideas and philosophies with which I have reservations and disagreements. While I accept a priori the physical difference of sex, I neither subscribe to biological essentialism nor accept the notion that gender and biological sex are inseparably linked. The concept of essentialism originated with Plato (428-348 BCE). His argument was that the phenomena of the natural world were simply a reflection of a finite number of fixed and unchanging forms — which he called eide. In the medieval period the Thomists changed the name of these eide to essences, arguing that an essence is changeless and is categorically different from other essences. Hilariously enough, however, it was these same Thomists — or ‘Scholastics,’ the students of St Thomas Aquinas — who articulated the Catholic understanding of Transubstantiation; the belief — and later formal doctrine — that the species of the altar (bread and wine) are transformed in essence into the real body and blood, soul and divinity, of Christ.
In all its philosophical articulations and reformulations through history the idea of essentialism has been laden with exceptions and contradictions. Like almost everything in the marketplace of ideas, it has its uses and its limitations. In an outstanding article by John D. DeLamater and Janet Shibley Hyde on this subject, ‘Essentialism vs. Social Constructionism in the Study of Human Sexuality’ (1998), we discover what is perhaps the most devastating answer to those who make appeal to science and biology as the basis for their essentialism. The authors write:
Ironically for the purposes of the current discussion, Darwin was one of the first to reject essentialism, at least partially. His reward was rejection of his work by the philosophers of the time. His notion of change through evolution was fundamentally at odds with the notion of constancy in essentialism.
Karl Popper too, the philosopher who critiqued the use of essentialism by the fascist and totalitarian regimes of the early twentieth century and who gave us the paradox of tolerance — that we cannot tolerate the intolerant, rejected it on the basis that theories are never more than hypotheses. ‘They are conjecture rather than true knowledge.’ Essentialism, therefore, has to be taken as a type of scientific fundamentalism, which is a profound misunderstanding of the scientific or empirical method. In a word, biological essentialism is bad science. It is equally bad philosophy.
In a similar manner, one can be critical of gender theory — it too, following Popper’s analysis, is only a theory. One can fully appreciate the idea that gender is a performance and that it is shaped by the assumptions and expectations of the society in which we happen to live. There are different masculinities and different femininities; the macho masculinities of the football ground stand in stark contrast to the bookish masculinity of James Joyce, and the domestic femininities of 1950s housewives are entirely different from the bold new femininities of Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, and Angela Merkel. Again, it is for this reason we can reject the over-simplistic and reductionist ‘definition’ of ‘woman’ as an ‘adult human female.’ It may pass in a dictionary, but there are an almost infinite number of ways to be a woman. All of this might well support the theory of the malleability or ‘fluidity’ of gender, but it falls a long way short of supporting the idea that sex itself can be anything but a binary physiological reality — a philosopical necessity as opposed to a freedom.
Logically, it is possible that both positions can be — at least in part — wrong. They are only theories. So, this is where I am. Both are neither, as far as I am able to understand them, fish nor fowl. Now, naturally, I reserve the right to change my mind on this as I continue the process of reading and educating myself. Yet, whilst not subscribing wholly to either position, my criticism has been and remains that the entrenchment of these positions and the emotions and fears with which they have been infused has led to a climate of intolerance and violence. This is not to say that there have been many or any examples of physical violence (in Scotland), but abusing and dehumanising other people is a very real kind of violence — and one which all too easily results in physical violence. In fact, there is no hate crime which has not first been preceded by a process of demonising and scapegoating the other. It is this position — the rejection of hate — that first motivated For Women Scotland and certain gender critical activists on social media to brand me a ‘Be Kind misogynist.’
It has been put to me on a number of occasions lately that I have been partisan in my criticism of these two positions; calling out the abusive language, the transphobia, antisemitism, and Islamophobia of some gender critical activists while giving ‘TRAs’ — trans rights activists — a free pass, and that this has amounted to me engaging in ‘hate speech’ (inter alia the ‘Rosa Zambonini and Mhairi Hunter agreeing with YOUR hate speech’ of my aforementioned friend). It is not hate speech to call out hate speech. Let us be very clear about this. And neither is it fascistic of far-right behaviour to raise legitimate concerns about far-right influences in the discourse around us. What this is, is a clear example of the appropriation of the rhetoric of the left to silence criticism — itself a hallmark of extreme political ideologies.
A number of people have insisted that I also call out the bad behaviour of trans rights activists. The problem here, situated as I am in a particular social media echo chamber, is that I genuinely see very few examples of hate from trans people or their allies. This is not something I go out of my way to find either. But my timeline, given my current locus, is swamped in some pretty nasty examples of transphobia with the odd reminder that antisemitism and Islamophobia have not gone away. And yes, this is instructive about the company I have been keeping online (so much so in fact that I am listed on Shinigami Eyes, an extension for Google Chrome that highlights transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ social media users, as a transphobe).
Still, one example of misogynistic hate speech by a trans person was brought to my attention, and I was asked to ‘condemn’ it. This was a young trans woman at a recent demonstration outside the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh aggressively shouting ‘Witch! Witch! Witch!’ into the face of a Women Won’t Wheesht gender critical demonstrator. In fairness, not much context was provided by the video and so it is difficult to assess what level of provocation had occurred. Regardless, yes, this is an example of someone taunting a woman with gender-based hate speech. This, along with the obvious degree of physical intimidation displayed by the individual, amounts to serious bad behaviour. It certainly didn’t help matters for the Scottish National Party that this transgenger woman was doxxed, revealing the fact she is — or was — an employee of the SNP.
This said, however, the story of this transgender woman has taken a sinister turn. Her image has been propagandised by gender critical activists online, the object of which is transparent: to generalise and demonise transgender people and so encourage others to see transgender people — transgender women in particular — as dangerous outsiders. This trans-woman has become a symbol of the threat — real or imagined — posed to women and girls by their existence and recognition. Propaganda works not in arguments but in symbols deployed to stimulate an emotional response — in this case fear — which causes ‘affective override;’ the moment when emotion shuts down critical thinking. In reality, this snapshot of someone’s bad behaviour in what is unarguably an emotionally charged situation — a political demonstration — says little about their everyday character. It says even less about the characters of other transgender people. We can say that it was wrong, but we have to acknowledge the limited nature of the context provided by the video. So yes, we can condemn this person’s behaviour so long as that condemnation is mitigated. We certainly cannot use this as any form of evidence supporting a case against transgender people.
When we allow this generalisation of propagandistic symbols to inform what we ‘know’ of the other bad things happen. There is no shortage of examples of women and girls being policed, harassed, and ejected from bathrooms by ‘gatekeepers’ because they look too masculine. This happens to butch lesbians with terrifying regularity. It also leads to situations where everyone is left uncomfortable when a transgender man — and someone who ‘passes’ as a man — enters female public toilets in US states where this has been legally enforced.
It also facilitates the misidentification of men and women who do not fit the description imposed by gender-enforcing ideologies. This happened only yesterday when Krystal Jackson, a thirty-nine year old teacher in California, was arrested for the rape of a fourteen year old pupil. Assuming she was a he, Scottish gender critical activist ‘Meljomur’ took to Twitter to post: ‘Does this mean HE gets to be placed in women’s prison?? Yeah, but Self ID is SUCH a grand idea.’
Jennifer Rossotti cleared things up:
I’m just going to put this out there bc there seems to be A LOT of confusion. This is in fact a cis hetero woman. And I know this bc I know who this person is irl. We grew up in the same town.
The problem here is that self-declared gatekeepers are taking it upon themselves to decide, at a glance, who is and who is not a real woman. But what this amounts to is prejudice. Meljomur and tens of thousands of others deemed Jackson too manish — ugly(?) — to be a woman, and so manufactured yet another example of a transgender woman being a threat to children. But the reality is that without toilet inspectors invested with the power to ‘check folk’s junk’ there is no real way, in every situation, to distinguish between women and men. Once again we are brought back to these dated and useless Platonic essences, and they are being defined to conform to unrealistic Barbie Doll caricatures of real femininity. There is quite actually nothing more anti-feminist than this. It is a creeping totalitarianism, a proto-palingenetic ultranationalism — an absolute caste difference created by the gatekeepers to save perfect or pure womanhood from annihilation.
It is not siding with the far-right to point this out. This is an absurd accusation. And neither is it hate speech to point out antisemitism and Islamophobia coming from some gender critical activists. These bigotries, when spoken or published, are by definition hate speech. It simply does not follow that to acknowledge this and to call it out is hate speech. This is preposterous. Neither does it matter who else agrees with me on this. Rosa Zambonini and Mhairi Hunter are two people with whom I sometimes have political disagreements, but it is a nonsense to suggest that because we do not hold exactly the same opinions on the best way to achieve Scottish independence that they are incapable of recognising prejudice, bigotry, and hate speech when they see it. Just stop!
The thing about bigotry is that it is intersectional. It is rare indeed that someone who hates people of colour spends their time campaigning for the human rights of others. Like with conspiracy theories, people who hold bigoted opinions about one group of people tend to harbour other bigotries. And yes — absolutely — we are talking about gender critical bigotry here! We can acknowledge, as we have done here, that radical feminist gender critical theory, as a theory, has an internal logic. In and of itself it is not necessarily bigoted — so long as we accept its definitions. But all around it we see gender critical activists and their allies referring to transgender women as ‘men in frocks.’ We have countless examples of transgender women being degraded and dehumanised as ‘predators,’ ‘deviants,’ ‘perverts,’ and branded in toto a threat to women. While the theories of gender critical feminism may well not be bigoted, this language most definitely is. This is the kind of language which in every situation of violence leads up to and justifies acts of physical violence.
So, this is where I stand in this debate. I am neither one nor the other — exactly. I am a trans ally and a committed supporter of women’s rights. But I am not uncritical of gender theory or indeed the misguided theory of biological essentialism. Being a moral person, my position is on the side of people — no matter their gender, sex, or sexual orientation — and I will not be bullied into accepting false ideologies which function only to alienate other people and make scapegoats for the failures of a privileged dominant group (the one to which I belong as a cisgender heterosexual man). My only hope is that this helps to clear things up, but I am not overly optimistic — I have spent seven years of my life writing for people who struggle to read.
Endnote 2: White Fascism
25 thoughts on “Positionality in the Gender Debate”
A superb critique of the awful position we currently find ourselves in, vis-a-vis the entrenched positions being adopted. I have witnessed, from afar, the visceral hatred spouted by some (hopefully a small minority) on both sides of the argument. And therein lies the problem; apparently you have to take sides or you are deemed to be a …. (insert your preferred hateful descriptor).
No, Eddie, you don’t have to take sides. What any rational human being should do is look at the history of women’s spaces and rights and ask him/her self why any male bodied person would wish to break that taboo. That it has descended into verbal conflict should come as no surprise to anyone who has actually done this. There are not two sides. There is one group of people, GC feminists and other women, and their allies, who are defending females’ historical sex-based spaces and rights; and there is the other group, male-bodied people and their allies, who want to access those historical sex-based spaces and rights. What anyone rational person should be doing is asking why? Women did not emerge from their sex-based spaces and rights and issue a challenge to gender identity males. It has been entirely the other way round. We were minding our own business when a horde of males dressed as females jumped on our backs and said: gee up.
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Jeggit: Darwin did not say that evolution discounted sex. Flora and fauna evolve all the time – and, very likely, humans are evolving, too. However, our evolution appears to be situated much more in the mind than in physical changes. That said, it is not impossible that we evolve physically, too, but out of our sex categories as male and female when we are patently a dimorphic species? Where did Darwin say we are not a dimorphic species? You did know that Darwin did not believe in the education of females beyond a certain point? That’s not evolution. That is the deliberate suppression of one sex’s potential to evolve mentally. Why? It is a good question.
The opposition by gender critical feminists (and others) to trans genderism is very, very different from any other form of what you deem to be mindless prejudice. Black liberation does not come at the cost of white people losing their ‘whiteness’; acceptance of Jewish and Islamic people does not come at the price of losing one’s Christianity; acceptance of women’s rights does not come at the cost of men losing all of theirs. Nowhere in other prejudices does the tolerance come at the eradication of self, even if that might be feared.
Trans genderism will come as a massive cost to women as adult human females. Men that we, rightly, fear as potential predators and sex pests and fetishists and paraphilics, with self-ID, will be allowed unfettered access to our spaces and rights. It is very unfortunate that you don’t see that, but you are in good company because many people donlt see that. Many people don’t see a lot of things. Many people are incapable of seeing ahead to the very likely consequences of their actions. Many people cannot envisage a situation where a group of people might actually be pushing the boundaries on one issue in order to push the boundaries on many others – and that they are linked.
I believe giving in to the trans lobby’s demands now, will lead to dire consequences that few foresaw. GC feminists, and others, see those very likely consequences. GC feminists and others know that this is the age-old war, in a much more deliberate and cruel form, against females, that is waged regularly by misogynistic and opportunistic men. It really is that simple, Jeggit, and no one is denying trans people their rights. No one, because it is not about their rights. It is about women’s rights and how to divest women of them in a whole new way.
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Quod erat demonstrandum! No one made the claim that Darwin discounted sex. The authors of the paper wrote, quite correctly, that he rejected essentialism. I hear what you are saying, but – and as I said in the piece – I reject it. But I do not reject you.
Essentialism or determinism can be challenged, I agree, but only up to the point that sex kicks in.
I don’t reject you either, Jeggit, while I find your final paragraph troubling. I cannot see how trans rights and women’s rights will not clash, are impossible to reconcile with self-ID. The issue of women’s spaces and rights cannot be negotiated because the minute they are negotiated, they are lost. They have to be exclusive or they are worthless. If they are worthless, women and girls have no protections. If women and girls have no protections, we are condemned to live in the jungle and fend for ourselves. If men, in the guise of trans women, force women and girls to fend for themselves, they will fight and they will tear down the walls of our present societal structures to do it. If women are forced to defend themselves, they will, with whatever it takes.
You call it baseless fear. It is fear based on millennia of experience of ill-treatment at the hands of males. Not all males, but some males – enough males to make it a matter of sense to protect ourselves, our girls and our children. We wear seatbelts because experience has taught us that we could be catapulted through the windscreen to certain death if we don’t wear them; we don’t jump into a raging torrent if we are unable to swim because we will drown; we don’t put our hand in a fire because we now it will burn. These things are not innate, albeit some instinct might be involved; we don’t do them because we have learned the hard way or been sensible enough to listen to the warnings.
Likewise, women know that, given the opportunity, certain men will harm them, female children and small children of both sexes, and experience also tells us that these particular men will go to great lengths to get to them because their drive is, essentially, sexual, so we protect them as best we can with prohibitive laws . Queer theory, beloved of the trans lobby, would cut down every prohibitive law. It is not about trans rights, Jeggit. Trans people have their civil and human rights. Please tell us what rights they don’t have? The thing they don’t have at present is access to female spaces and rights, so they have decided, many of them, that they ARE women, not like women, not trans women, but ACTUAL females, and the law is going to grant them that status, without a shred of evidence that they are anything other than deluded people or, worse, malign individuals, some of them. Women, from experience cannot take anyone on trust. That poor woman who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by an exhibitionist policeman probably thought she could trust a policeman. How wrong can you be when you stand between some men and and their libido?
Why would any man, knowing what the conventions against accessing female spaces and rights are, and which men have respected since they were instituted, want to access female spaces and rights for? Because he’s a woman? Is he? Where is the irrefutable evidence? Where is any evidence whatsoever? Saying you are something does not make it so. If you said you were the Pope, would that make you the Pope? Or would people think you were deluded or taking the michael? No, but I am the Pope, you might say. Okay, Jeggit, people might say, provide some proof – and speaking Latin and being able to quote the Scriptures is just not enough.
You ought to be congratulated for allowing this debate to see the light of day, and, for that, all of us who read your blogs, should be extremely grateful. If no one else is going to say it, I will: thank you.
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Yesterday informed us how impossible all of this is. The toilet watchwomen couldn’t even recognise a woman. There are trans women who will go in and out of ladies’ jacks and never be known.
Yes, we are all aware of that, Jeggit. We are all aware that trans women having been doing it for some time. We usually do know who they are, but we have been far too polite in the past to say anything because it has been the odd person, and because we did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I still would not wish to be unduly hurtful to anyone, especially those transsexuals who do respect our boundaries. Anyone can take short, but that shows all the more need for third spaces.
Self-ID is quite another thing, especially when you have some idiot boasting to a leering audience of fellow autogynephiles of how he w***s in ladies’ loos and smears the toilet handle with s***n, peeing on the seat out of sheer malice, too. He obviously gets a sexual thrill and kick out of using female spaces (classic autogynephile behaviour) and he likes to humiliate women and girls (also classic narcissistic autogynephile behaviour).
This information was passed on to me, from Twitter, by a friend (I have said before that I am not on Twitter). The named individual (he named himself, complete with photo, ostensibly of a ‘woman’) accompanied his nasty wee piece with a screed of misogynistic bile. And you don’t think there’s a problem? As Alex Massie stated (words to that effect) in a Times piece: it is not that women are angry, but that they are not in a state of permanent revolt. Yes, I know he’s on the right, but people on the right are not always wrong, and people on the left are not always right. This is a case in point.
You do, however, get to a point on the the far right and a point on the far left where they actually intersect and become the same intolerant, authoritarian, totalitarian c**p merchants whose only desire is to control others and create foot soldiers to do the dirty work for them. The trans lobby are foot soldiers and they do the dirty work for the far left misogynists who believe that women have achieved far too much and must be put back into their box. The only beneficiaries in the end will be the far right and the capitalist amoral globalists.
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No. You don’t know who they are. And what has a transgender woman having a shite got to do the ‘globalists?’ Are they shiting too?
That is not the point. Of course it is possible to “pass” at Goffman called it. What is at issue is the consequences, effects and potential dangers of obliterating sex based spaces and indeed of eliding the materiality of being sexuate, as Irigaray calls it, into the phenomenology of experience. It is surely also quite troubling if the toilet watchwoman would be unable to spot a man in a dress with evil intent from entering a female only space. I know you are clever enough to see that I am NOT implying here that this is what all trans women will do. Of course not. But there are some people out there stupid enough to draw this inference, people who have never learned about the consequences of their own conduct, let alone that there is a difference between what they intend or mean and the effects of what they do or say to do so. In my experience those most guilty of this particular stupidity (or if I am being benevolent, ignorance) are toxic males, those utterly incapable of understanding their desire as anything but entitlement.
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All people deserve respect regardless of characteristics. That is the default. So far so non-controversial and platitudinous.
I understand that people feel do genuinely trapped in the body of the “other” of the human species. I believe it is called Gender Dysphoria. I first became aware of this about 50 years ago when, as a child, I watched one of these old “Panorama” tv programmes – in the days when it was worth watching – and Robin Day was presenting. It covered what was, at the time, the novel and (I imagine) extremely edgy topic of sex change. Specifically it reported on the actual case of one James Morris, a formidable and experienced ex-BBC journalist during the 1960s. Morris was a former colleague of Day and the latter was clearly very uncomfortable with discussing the matter with the ex-Beeb employee who had now undergone surgery and had transitioned fully and completely into Jan Morris. (The operation had to be undertaken overseas as Jan Morris and her wife were not divorced at the time and it was illegal to undergo such treatment in the UK if still married).
Eventually Morris had divorced her wife but they continued to live together, re-establishing their relationship formally in 2008 as a Civil Partnership. They had 5 children together and there was no other persons in their relationship. Jan Morris died in 2020 aged 94. They simply enjoyed living together, Morris happily as a transitioned woman and his former wife (and now civil partner) also as a woman.
So I ‘get’ why people which to change sex. There is nothing strange or odd and they are simply just more comfortable. And they have normal loving and caring relationships.
However, I am not sure why would a biological male would wish to identify as a female but not undergo counselling, treatment and, ultimately, surgery to complete the transition. Similarly, presenting as a male if you are a biological female when you have no intention to go the whole hog (as it were) is difficult for me to fathom.
I know from your posts and video-blogs, Jeggit, that you are a considerate, decent and caring individual who is always courteous and rationale.
I am not being facetious but I would appreciate it if you could enlighten me. (For information I have read your previous articles on this subject).
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Aye, I don’t know why a gay guy would want to get busy with a guy. Course I don’t. I’m not gay. You can’t understand being trans. Just trust people to know who they are. It’s not hard.
Jeggit: sorry, what? I suggested that the trans movement is being enabled by people who have a very different agenda from compassion for people who feel they are other than that which they are. Or perhaps Big Tech, Big Pharma, etc, are all so full of compassion?
If you feel you are a woman and you really can’t exist in the body you have, you get counselling, a diagnosis and psychological help to work out whether transition will help you. You become a woman through surgical intervention in order to become a facsimile of the sex that makes you feel at peace with yourself. Likewise if you feel you are man. You don’t make up a narrative that lacks any attachment to reality.
What was really interesting about the demonstration and counter demonstration outside the parliament was the fact that the trans women had lots of young, female groupies around them. Women are always so willing to abase themselves for a man and to betray their sisters, to be exploited by unscrupulous men. They remind one of those women who write to serial killers and ‘fall in love with them’: I know you’ve raped and strangled twenty women, but…
There are at least two very distinct groups of trans women: those who understand women’s boundaries and know they are trans women, and not women; and those who don’t. The Witchfinder General with the walking frame was in the latter category. Intimidating, threatening, shouty and aggressive. Just what we need in women’s spaces. It is not difficult to empathize with transsexuals who don’t try to bully women, those such as Dr Debbie Hayton or the late Jan Morris (Duncanio’s comment) or young Hex. I have listened to many trans women and trans men who do not try to pretend that they are other than that which they are: trans women and trans men. They might easily pass among us – and they did. Nobody was particularly bothered because they were no threat and because they were few.
The latest manifestation of trans, fed on the milk of distorted queer theory, wants us all – nay, compels us all – to believe that they ARE women and ARE men, albeit the compulsion part seems to be less strident in trans men, for obvious reasons. That way lies insanity. A social insanity nurtured and coddled by malign elements such as Stonewall and its allies, by power-hungry, pretendy goody politicians who will save oodles of lolly on the NHS and other areas of social service, including not having to finance third spaces and by corporations eager to make yet another fast buck.
Maybe we should just walk away from all this pseudo crapology and let them all immolate themselves, fuelled by their own brown stuff – because that is what is going to happen, but, unfortunately, not before a lot of innocent and naive people, most of them children, are destroyed, and society is turned upside down, never to recover completely.
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Big Pharma, Big Tech, the global elite … ‘the cabal.’ The money men etc. Whether you like it or not, this all begins to sound like ‘the Jews’ to me. And I’ve tweeted an expert from from an anti-gender book that actually blames the Jews. But everyone ignored it of course.
Jeggit: I never mentioned Jewish people, and I’d bet there are plenty of Jewish people against this stuff, too. It never even crossed my mind. You are taking this issue into territory that doesn’t exist in reality. I’m not going to play your game. The issue concerns the safety, dignity, privacy and, fundamentally, ALL the sex-based rights of females and children. It really is that simple. Really. That you cannot or won’t see that is deeply unfortunate. As I said in another comment, we who are still attached to reality should, perhaps, all step back from this and let them immolate themselves – as they will. Unfortunately again, before that happens, many people will have been hurt for no good reason at all – probably an entire generation of children, as well as a generation of young people who will be forced, finally, to understand that their ‘kindness’, actually shallow and vacuous virtue signalling, was directly responsible for putting them, and others, in the line of fire. The intended consequences of self-ID will be queer theory in action – no prohibitive laws at all. No prohibitive laws = a moral cul de sac, at best, the jungle, at worst. I’m just a female who doesn’t even deserve to have her own sex-based spaces, and certainly no human rights, a sub female and a sub human, so what do I know? My brain is probably not big enough to cope with all this carfuffle. I don’t require a reply to this comment, What would be the point. Jeggit, I wish you well.
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That is an appalling accusation!!! If a person claims that big pharma or capital or money are behind a phenomenon, is that person now being antisemitic???
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“I don’t know why a gay guy would want to get busy with a guy.”
Jeggit: I’m not asking about gay people. My question related to trans people who don’t actually transition. That’s quite clear in my original post.
The point I’m making, and that I’ve seen some people who have actually transitioned from woman to man and vice versa also make, is that those who self-identify (and no more) completely undermine those people who have genuine gender dysphoria and have gone through the full and actual transition process.
Fair enough if you don’t have an answer.
But it does seem to me to be the essence of the issue.
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Not buying it. You don’t know anything about their experience, the same way as I don’t know what it’s like to be gay. So peddle this elsewhere.
another fantastic piece. it is honestly incredibly refreshing to read intelligent words neither denying one side of this argument or the other, but instead speaking of the human side. back of the net.
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Jeggit: I take back what I was saying earlier about yourself and rationality.
You are correct I do not have any experience of being trans, gay, black, disabled. Does that mean I should not comment? Or, as you would put it “peddle this elsewhere”.
I am not peddling anything. Previously I had refrained from all comment simply because of the lack of control and reason.
However, I will respect your opinion and refrain from further interaction.
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Perhaps I was short with you. Apologies. But yes, we both lack these experiences. We can comment. Of course we can, but we are best leaving the definitions of other people’s identities to those who have those identities.
“Maybe”. No, Jeggit, the answer is: not at all. The issue was, is and will remain, one of safety in the face of millennia of experience of male aggression, violence towards the female of the species. That, and the ever-present capability of some people to be utterly malign for reasons that are not always recognizable for what they are at the time, and others for reasons that are money-based, both being, in their essence, utterly amoral.
Having a child who claims to be transgender – who may well be gender/body dysphoric – and having millions, does not entitle you to overturn the law and access women’s spaces and rights (and it is also our rights, hard-won, not just our spaces) by donating to lobbies that are determined to do just that. Being gender/body dysphoric and accessing women’s spaces and rights have no direct correlation or link or inevitability.
May I, with the best will in the world, recommend you read Robert Harris’s ‘Conclave’? It’s fictional, of course, but it raises the question of why one half of the human race – the half that has the greatest church-goer numbers – has consistently been refused access to the priesthood. I believe the RC Church bases it on scripture? Women base their refusal to allow access to their sex-based spaces on safety, dignity and privacy, and the refusal to allow access to their sex-based rights and gains, fought long and hard for, on their human rights.
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The answer is definitely ‘maybe.’ I have already highlighted some pretty obvious examples of antisemitism from gender critical activists. That doesn’t mean that you are, but it is definitely there. Let’s just be clear about that.
Jason you are a voice of reason in a sea of the most unreasonable behaviour I am sad to witness in my fellow independence supporters. Thank you.
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Thank you, Julie.