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Don’t you dare ask my pronouns Jeremy Corbyn may be determined to virtue signal, but this expectation that we clarify our pronouns is oppressive and absurd

Jeremy Corbyn at the PinkNews Awards 2019. Credit : Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn at the PinkNews Awards 2019. Credit : Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

October 18, 2019   3 mins

“My name is Jeremy Corbyn and my pronouns are he/him.”

These were the opening words from the Labour Party leader at the Pink News Awards yesterday.

Corbyn hadn’t want to miss an opportunity to virtue signal — on International Pronoun Day, no less. He has impeccable trans-inclusive politics, even supporting the inclusion of men who identify as women on all-female shortlists. Corbyn’s self-appointed advisor on all things trans, Owen Jones, has made it clear to the Labour leader that in order to be on the “right side of history” one must put male-bodied trans women before actual women.

So, as the bearded, twice married father stepped up to the podium at the awards, Corbyn ensured that everyone knew that he identified as male, as opposed to either a woman (she/her) or non-binary (they/them, or ze/zim).

Most of my friends and colleagues block the extremely trans-woke Pink News site from their social media feeds because of the toxic levels of misogyny on its pages. But Corbyn’s words did make it through to the mainstream. They were widely reported by the wokeing class dudebros who were as proud as punch of their Absolute Boy.

But I don’t see anything to be proud of. Indeed, this obsession with pronouns is extremely worrying. Especially now the police have joined in. The same week that government statistics were released showing rape convictions down to a shocking 1.4% of those reported, Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke of Cheshire Police found the time to make a video to mark IPD, telling us that for many people, “Being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal wellbeing.” So can being raped, but let’s get our priorities right, shall we?

For all those lesbians who are constantly told we “look like men” because we refuse to wear make-up, high heels and corsets, and dress for the benefit of men, it is offensive and deeply anti-lesbian to now get asked “what are your pronouns?” We have struggled for years to win respect and acceptance as women — why should we have to spell it out.

There are women I know that look absolutely nothing like men, but who are called ‘sir’ in restaurants or stores, for the simple reason that they reject femininity. The lesbians I know have developed a sense of pride to be able to assert that we are women, despite the fact that we do not exist only in relation to men. To then be asked whether we are he/him or even they/them is ridiculous.

One woman I know who is part of an LGBTQQI+ choir was even put through an arduous and upsetting disciplinary process because she refused to wear a pronoun badge.

The trouble with being able to choose your own pronouns is that it can be abused. If men aren’t identified as men, then they can no longer be held accountable for patriarchy and misogyny. And whether we like it or not, men are the ones to blame for the oppression of women.

Women, on the other hand, are unable, however much some of us may wish, to identify our way out of being oppressed by the male sex class. We cannot escape atrocities such as FGM, forced marriage, rape, or domestic abuse simply by giving ourselves new pronouns.

My generation of feminists fought for the right of women to have single sex services in order to protect us from male violence. We also fought for equal pay, maternity rights and abortion rights, and we stand up against male violence. If men are freely allowed to identify themselves as ‘she/her’, what will happen to all those rights? Our ability to evidence our discrimination and oppression in relation to men will be slowly eroded.

Jeremy Corbyn, the man who took money from a regime that executes men for being gay can present himself as super-woke by telling us he, ahem, identifies as male. But let us also remember that this is the same man who made the ludicrous suggestion that a solution to sexual attacks on the underground was to assign women-only carriages. Does he not see the flaw in his logic? If such a thing existed, all a male-bodied sexual predator would need to do to gain access would be to wear a pronoun badge declaring that his pronouns were ‘she/her’.

My badge? Stop/This/Madness.

Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.


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Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
3 years ago

And here I was all worried about human trafficking and climate disasters, and it turns out the crime of the century is misgendering someone.
The Wokish have caused me as of this day to renounce my affiliation with the left, progressive, liberals, and anything that reeks of their childish feelings worshipping narcissism.
I wonder how they are coping with the Romance language transphobia.