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Does Owen Jones have a woman problem? Certain journalists aren't allowed to express scepticism about the transgender debate

Does he really still have a column in the Graun? (Credit: Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Does he really still have a column in the Graun? (Credit: Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


August 6, 2021   5 mins

Does male privilege really exist? I did not used to think so. But in recent years, I’ve come to realise that not only might it exist, but that, at least in one respect, I may also benefit from it. That is, I have the privilege of being able to write about certain contentious issues without being singled out and demonised for doing so.

In no area has this become more apparent than in our perpetual “gender wars”. My own views on the issue are fairly well-known: I believe human beings have chromosomes. I believe gametes exist. I don’t think homo sapiens are a hermaphroditic species. And I don’t think that the existence of creatures like the clownfish mean that humans are hermaphroditic.

My belief is that something exists called “gender dysphoria”, but we know almost nothing about what causes it, know almost as little about how to respond to it and know infinitely too little to be assertive about it — let alone enough to medically experiment on children.

Why do I mention this? Only because, as I first expressed publicly to Lionel Shriver some years ago, it has become clear that men and women are treated differently in this debate.

Perhaps I am wrong and I have merely been able to express my views on trans issues either because nobody has noticed what I have written or because everybody knows I am a lost cause and highly unlikely to be bullied into silence. But then it may simply be the fact that I am a man.

After all, countless female authors have written articles expressing scepticism towards the transgender movement — many of them more moderate than my own. Yet almost every time, I have watched in horror as online and offline mobs are stirred up against them and not me. Julie Bindel, Kathleen Stock, Selina Todd, JK Rowling, Abigail Shrier, Helen Joyce — some of these women have been subjected to physical assault; the rest threatened with it.

Joyce, whose excellent book Trans came out last month, is just the latest to be hounded. For her troubles — a deeply researched, humane and thoughtful piece of work — she was subjected to entirely baseless and libellous claims of, among much else, anti-Semitism. Because there is nothing a trans extremist won’t say to try to intimidate their opponents. Libel laws appear not to bother them.

Another of the things that all these attempted witch-hunts have in common is that they are orchestrated by a small number of highly motivated activists who behave as they do precisely because they are so deliriously certain that they are on the right side. And no one is more certain in this regard than the YouTuber Owen Jones.

Like me, Jones happens to be a gay man. But unlike me he seems to think that transgender activism is simply the latest, logical progression in the gay rights movement. I think that transgender people are as deserving of dignity and respect as anyone else in society. I never have, nor ever would, treat them with anything other than courtesy and respect.

But I remain deeply uncomfortable about the idea of a young effeminate boy being told he is actually a girl or a young tomboyish girl being told that she is a boy — and then being medically transitioned to approximate the opposite sex. Rather than being seen as an advance for gay rights, I see it as the opposite. In fact, knowingly or otherwise, it absorbs one of the most homophobic tropes of the past: that men and women should fit a particular stereotype.

But so high on certainty is Jones that he consistently uses his considerable social media platform to denounce “transphobes”, who invariably end up being women.

That isn’t to say that Jones has never targeted a man. He has, for example, on a number of occasions libelled me, and on one occasion I suspect tried to have me sacked. So much for his concern that gay people are underrepresented in journalism.

But none of this bothers me. What does bother me is that he was one of the people — along with the very weird gays at a pseudo-publication Pink News — who has repeatedly tried to destroy JK Rowling’s reputation after the country’s most successful author had the temerity to say that women exist. Jones, Pink News and others consistently suggested that Rowling had said things she had not said, deploying one of the nastiest tactics of this inquisition. They pretended that rather than expressing a view they disagreed with — and that Rowling had every right to hold — she was, in fact, attacking trans people.

This is, of course, a deranged claim. But it is not an uncommon one. Last year, for instance, Jones was one of the more prominent figures in the witch-hunt against the then Guardian journalist Suzanne Moore. Moore happens to be someone I often disagree with. She is Left-wing; I am not. But by any standards, as a columnist she is one of the standout talents of her generation.

She is also one of the rare examples of a working-class woman who has made her way up the ranks of Britain’s commentariat solely through her own talent. But for Jones, any professed solidarity stopped the moment that a working-class woman dared to disagree with him on the issue of transgenderism. Eventually Moore was indeed pushed out of her position at The Guardian.

There is now a pattern. This week, Jones targeted another exceptionally talented female writer, Sarah Ditum, for the same reason: she disagreed with him about trans issues.

But this time, people started to notice the trend. As the Left-wing journalist Helen Lewis — formerly of the New Statesman — observed, it is becoming increasingly clear that Jones only seems to go for female journalists. She pointed out that a male journalist recently wrote something similar to Ditum, and did so in the low-circulation New Statesman to boot, yet Jones did not organise a pile-on against him.

And so I wonder if it’s time to start treating Jones in the same unforgiving way he treats everybody else. In a discussion with the campaigner Nimco Ali, which Jones enjoys circulating online, he obsesses over a single stupid phrase (“bum boy”) used by Boris Johnson in a Telegraph column a quarter of a century ago. He then asks Ali, who is godmother to Johnson’s child, whether she believes he is a homophobe.

But let us apply the same endlessly uncharitable interpretation to him. Owen Jones’s problem is that he hates women. He is a misogynist. Using his skewed logic, we might even say that because he treated Nimco Ali with such visible disdain he also has a particular problem with women of colour.

This is how Jones and his supporters treat their opponents. They distort their opponents’ language and demonise them. So why not treat him in a similar manner? The answer, of course, is because it would be terrible to live in a world where the rules were set by such awful people.

According to Helen Lewis, a number of her mutual friends with Jones no longer speak to him because they believe he has become a bully. She also observed that Jones has spoken publicly about feeling like an outsider, and about the times he’s been the victim of abuse in the past.

If that’s true, one might expect Jones to act with more compassion. But self-reflection has never been his forte — as countless women are starting to discover.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Adam Wolstenholme
Adam Wolstenholme
2 years ago

Jones strikes me as someone who is terrified he might be wrong. Having decided that those he disagrees with are bad people, he’s in no position now to concede that they might be right. How could he live with himself if he changed his mind? So he lashes out with increasingly self-destructive viciousness.
The contrast with Douglas is instructive. Douglas appreciates the limits of our knowledge about the trans issue so leaves himself open to shifting his position should new evidence arise.
This vindictive, predatory cancel culture will always beleaguer the left until lefties accept that they might not always be right about every issue forever, and that their opponents aren’t all evil.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Logical Adam, but isn’t the problem with the left exactly that it tolerates one opinion on everything, and that it is morally narcissistic? Thus leftists by definition don’t tolerate different opinions; their own opinion is necessarily virtuous, because they are virtuous and they hold it; other opinions are therefore vicious; hence they hate as clearly evil those who profess them. Hence to disagree with the left is always to espouse, and be, evil.
This is why, in democracies, you almost always get multiple parties on the left but only one on the right. The left hates absolutely everyone who holds a different opinion, including other leftists. As a result, the left is almost always an angry little heap of smithereens, while the right is a big tent with room for amicable disagreement about odd areas of thinking.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The events following the Russian revolution support what you say; the multiple socialist parties were steadily whittled away until but one was left, and it wasn’t by superior argument.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

As a left winger, I agree with you. There is an alienating tendency to see ourselves as morally superior and virtuous. Sanctimonious finger-wagging, lecturing and intolerance go hand in hand with this quite often. The right has its own demons to face up to – all tribes dehumanise each other – but the left has some soul-searching to do in this regard.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

There was an interesting thread on another website a few years ago where people were invited to say something sincerely complimentary about “the other side”. If you had to applaud something sensible that they’d done, what would that be? It was essentially an intellectual exercise to see to what extent tribes found it possible to admit where the other tribe had a point.
It proved notably harder for the commenters of the left to do this than the right. The right cited things like making the BoE independent, the minimum wage as having actually worked out OK, the decision to spend money on sports so we’d be cheered by winning more Olympic medals, and stuff like that.
The left really struggled to identify anything at all they were prepared to concede was a good idea – or if they did the mask kept slipping. If they admitted the Conservatives had achieved record in-work figures, for example, they couldn’t help themselves from going off on one about the “violence” of unemployment.
A good exemplar of this mindset is Neil Kinnock. Asked once in an interviews if he could think of anything good the Conservatives had done, his answer was “nothing”. After every Labour election defeat he can be counted on to pop up to scold and reproach the voters for their selfish, disgusting, shameful, odious failure to vote Labour.
The problem boils down really to the fact that the right sees the left as profoundly misguided, whereas the left sees the right as evil. These political positions appeal, I think, simply to very different personality types.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I see the traditional left as somewhat misguided in some respects, but the left in its modern i.e. extremist iteration as genuinely evil.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I agree. The problem with the modern left — and it was much less of a problem with the traditional left — is that they are theologically and philosophically illiterate. They simply cannot understand that a DESIRE to be good does not equate with ACTUALLY being good; they have no comprehension of the road to hell and its paving design. They look at people on the right making hard decisions which often impact immediately and unfavourably on certain sections, but which may have longer term benefits for all, and they scream about “compassion”. Then, when they have an opportunity to “put things right”, they usually end up making them harder for everyone but they give themselves a free pass because they had “good intentions”. It never occurs to them that they just haven’t grown the hell up.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago

If you replace the word “modern” with the word “extreme” I’ll agree with you. And that’s from someone on the Left!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Excellently put.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I, an old Radical, feel similarly.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I’m inclined to disagree. Misguided applies to the hard Left. Evil applies to the extreme Left. Just as greed applies to Right, and Evil to the hard Right.
The majority on the Left, like me believe in sharing wealth more evenly and looking after the disadvantaged through progressive systems of governmental support.
The majority on the Right believe the same but on a very limited basis, ie crumbs rather than a slice of the cake to be shared.
The extreme Right believes in socialism for banks and big business (themselves) and capitalism, ie austerity for ordinary people!

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The problem boils down really to the fact that the right sees the left as profoundly misguided, whereas the left sees the right as evil.

This is a very significant point, one that is addressed in Jonathan Haidt’s extremely important book The Righteous Mind. He is not alone in his concern that nearly all in the academy in the USA (and probably elsewhere in the West), both teachers and students, are on the left.

And it is not merely the misguided/evil cleavage, but the ability even to conceive the other side’s analysis of an issue. On Brexit for example, I think most Leavers could see the Remain arguments, but were ultimately unconvinced of their merit. In contrast, many Remainers literally could not imagine how anyone could vote Leave.

If you can’t even imagine how someone else can think differently from you, how exactly does your own brain work?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Exactly.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

It isn’t just that many Remainers couldn’t understand the desire to leave the EU. A great many that I spoke to thought that Cameron was conned into having a vote and that it would have been better not to have had a referendum at all.
A similar thing has happened in the US where Trump’s supporters (of which I am most certainly not one) are considered not worthy of any voice at all.
In both cases this is (or would have been) a denial of the right of about half the population to have any access to democracy. Sadly many on the left really do think this way.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I was thinking earlier today that I’m glad we don’t have the death penalty because the way our ‘woke’ system is going they will be after heads next if they could.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Wow.. pretty thought provoking take on the issue. Very inciteful indeed! Still, the Right really are a selfish, greedy, corrupt bunch dont you think! Just kidding! ..or am I?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There is no “Right” in the UK.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I overheard someone in a pub once say ‘Labour may be wrong, but the Tories are evil’.
The neutral language used in the MSM perpetuates this thinking. Progressive is used synonymously with good, with any dissenting opinion seen as regressive. In addition, the phrase ‘right wing’ is always used in a negative sense.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

You could, if you were so minded, blame religion (or philosophy) for that. The ideas inherent to the scriptures of Abrahamic religions (sharing wealth, care for others, love thy neighbour, prodigal son etc) are seen as progressive while the rich man squeezing through the eye of a needle is seen as regressive. Back to morality, again.

Last edited 2 years ago by Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

‘making the BoE independent, the minimum wage as having actually worked out OK, the decision to spend money on sports so we’d be cheered by winning more Olympic medals’ – none of the above are really left wing. A minimum wage in the current position is a means to reduce public spending on wage subsidies needed to keep workers fed and housed. Spending money on winning Olympic Medals is not especially redistributive and actually quite elitist (especially the way the money is focused on the sports most likely to return a high medal quota) and giving independence to the Bank of England is in no way a left wing policy.
I do think you simplify the difference in the way left and right view politics – both sides have a tendency to caricature the views of their opponents. I’m on the left but I can understand that some on the right genuinely believe that free market capitalism is the best way to distribute the resources of the world and that this will eventually lead to better lives for all. There must be some on the right who accept that seeking equity of outcome for some on the left is rooted in a genuine desire for equality and better lives for all. But there is some truth in that many on the left think politics is a moral question while many on the right think it is a question of practicality.
I think you are onto something when you say the difference in outlooks is due to a fundamentally different view of human nature, or personality type, as you put it. The left are generally optimistic about the potential for humans to co-operate and act in unselfish ways while the right generally think humans will usually act in their own (short term) best interests.
The arguments also get confused when the idea of coercion or control is brought into it with the left thinking equality is evidence of freedom from external control and the right thinking inequality is evidence of freedom from external control.
ï»ż

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Do all tribes dehumanise each other?

All tribes, always, everywhere?

I think there are plenty of tribes who mostly just concentrate on living their harmless little lives. And many tribes openly operate on a live-and-let-live principle with other tribes (that is, they recognise that different tribes exist and ought to exist).

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

When the labour Party was founded it was based upon Christianity, many of the founders were lay preachers ( Keir Hardie) and his continued with E Bevin. up to J Callagham who was a Sunday School teacher. Hardie did not want to class war but to improve the quality of lives of ordinary people through practical measures; shorter working days and weeks, paid holidays, education, medical care, etc, . The labour Party posed the question ” As Britain is a Christian nation why do so many people lived in squalid poverty ? “. Also after WW1 it was agreed that those from the squalid slums had fought bravely and deserved a better life. The working class produced tough practical patriotic down to earth leaders, perhaps best personnifed by E Bevin, described as ” The Working Class J Bull ” by Churchill. Owen Jones, The Guardian and most of Labour MPs are as about as far away in character from E Bevin and C Attlee as one can be. It has been said that the finest Foreign Secretary since WW2 was E Bevin and Secretary of Defence was D Healey. Can ome imagine any Labour MP earning these accolades in the last 50 years ?
Ever since the Webbs joined the labour Party and especailly post mid 1960s, the Hardie, Bevin, Attlee and Callaghan types have declined and the Jones, Corbyn and Guardian types have increased.The HBAC had the ability to earn respect fom people from all walks of life including military officers wth combat experience.
The problem for The labour Party today is that they have few people who can earn respect from a wide range of peole such as Dr John Reid, Frank Field, David Blunkett, etc, in the recent past.
The problem for the Labour Party is that it attracts under- achieving resentful and spiteful middle class people who want some person or organisation to blame for a lack success to which they feel entitled based upon their conceited belief in their moral and intellectual superiority.Labour very raely attracts practical tough patriotic cheerful people who are capable of undertaking measures to improve the lives of the less fortunate such as founding Friendly Societies, Mechanics Institutes , etc.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The Webbs were lying filth. The history of the Labour Party is a history of conflict between loyal, patriotic working and middle class Christians and cultural Christians like Clement Attlee, and parasitic vermin like the Webbs. Looks like the parasites have won.

George Stone
George Stone
2 years ago

Vermin and filth? Who do you think you are, Angela Rayner?

Last edited 2 years ago by George Stone
R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

…harsh, but true.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Agreed. “The righteous are bold” but sometimes too much so. If only the Right didn’t make itself such as easy target?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The “left” is not a homogenous group who all think the same thing. 

Exactly. The left is a load of smithereens who hate everyone who thinks any different thing. Such people are all class traitors exactly because they don’t “all think the same thing”. They think different things. Disgraceful. Wicked.
This includes other parties of the left, which is why they campaign against each other.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I think you should cut MJReid a bit more slack. 99% of her comment is utterly reasonable.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Except maybe for the socialist bit that blew the ‘reasonable’ stuff to smithereens?

Phillip Bailey
Phillip Bailey
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

An excellent point, which I think is approached with humour (and perhaps a touch of regret?) by Mark Steel in his book ‘What’s going on’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Going-On-Meanderings-Confusion/dp/1847393209

Last edited 2 years ago by Phillip Bailey
Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

That is increasingly noticable here in VT. Although someone on the Right reently called me a “communist” for defending Mario Cuomo.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Probably what fuels that defect in Lefties is the fact that Rightwingers prove themselves so often to be selfish, greedy and cruel.
I believe what what you say about Jones applies to the extremists on the Left only. Sadly, greed, corruption and a dismissive attitude to the unfortunate / disadvantaged applies more generally on the Right. Am I wrong in that belief?

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

…yes you are. But as you are on the left, no argument will convince you that you may not necessarily be on the side of the Righteous…and those (like me) of a more conservative disposition might well be decent and well-intentioned people as opposed to wicked ones. You should read Haidt, as it might give you a useful insight as to why you find the rest of us…the majority of your fellow-countrymen, assuming you are British, and on the basis of the Brexit vote and last year’s General Election…so incomprehensible, and so vile…
…although it probably won’t, in that it was often well reviewed by people on the Left. But most of those reviews concluded by continuing to assert that whatever the merits of Haidt’s arguments…people on the Right are still selfish and evil, which rather proved his point about how narrow-minded most people on the left are.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

WHY does an article on this creep, and this petty topic, get 65 posts, wile articles on the rise of China globally, the economies of covid, the migrants mass movements, etc, get 6 – 18 posts? The Daily Mail, UK, is pretty much Markel and Henry, Love Island, and covid. Is this the information super-highway? A maze of one way streets, cycle lanes, and cul-de-sacks lined with burger joints and massage parlors?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I’m not sure the topic is as petty as you imagine. Jones might not be worth a column in himself but he is the breathing exemplar of everything that’s poisoning public life, not alone in the UK but the whole of the west.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

…if this sh!te wins, we won’t have the backbone to give China the hammering they so richly deserve, as and when it becomes necessary…so I suspect we engage with it for pretty much the same reason my Uncle (Communist TU Official, National Fire Service when the Blitz came) and my Father (Old-fashioned Liberal,TA, Commisioned 1943, wounded in Normandy 1944) agreed on practically nothing at all from 1936 bar the need to give the Blackshirts a beating whenever the opportunity arose…because we need to prevent it from undermining our capacity for self-defence against the Celestial Emperor Xi and his Middle Kingdom, Reborn…
And yes, it is that serious…when the numbskulls were lapping up Fukuyama’s “End of History” I was footnoting Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”…and I’d suggest you all do the same…

Last edited 2 years ago by R S Foster
John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

yes

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago

Mr Jones has always come over to me as trying to be clever, a bit full of himself and being a bit angry at the same time: not a good mix. To maintain this he needs to behave the way he behaves……

Gia Underwood
Gia Underwood
2 years ago

Women only toilets, shelters, rape and domestic violence refuges, hospital wards, spas, sports, schools, accommodations, shortlists, prizes, quotas, political groups, prisons, clubs, events, dating apps and language have taken a long time to get and to be generally accepted.

These are some of the things that women have fought for, often in the face of opposition from men including left-wing men. Women having to fight for a domestic violence shelter in a heavily unionised mining town in Queensland against the opposition put up by their men-folk, for example.

Or women in Iran being accused of middle-class privelege as they protest against the ayatollahs taking over after the Shah was ousted, or women using their ‘cis-privelege’ when they object to trans identifying men in their spaces.

There has always been a tension between feminism and socialism/left wing politics.

The trans rights movement has created a boon for left wing or ‘progressive’ men who dislike women and particularly feminists – men who know this is deeply wrong (or should I say ‘problematic’?) but have now found a cause that not only allows them to vent their rage at ‘radical feminists’ but to get praised for it. Hey presto, they are now ‘on the right side of history’*

*even though one could argue that is the side of the victors, the side that is the establishment and thus by definition neither left-wing or progressive – something conveniently overlooked.

Kathryn Allegro
Kathryn Allegro
2 years ago
Reply to  Gia Underwood

The trans movement is dominated by men, by which I mean people with male bodies, however they ‘identify’. And because the vast majority are actually transvestites/ cross-dressers rather than transsexuals, they will always have those fully functional and functioning male bodies.  Some of them even have the temerity to claim that they are lesbians. They are the ones who are demanding access to the sex-segregated spaces you list, Gia. 
The whole trans movement has a woman problem.
Meanwhile, how many female-to-male trans people were in the Olympics? How many are demanding the right to be incarcerated in men’s prisons or hospitalized in men’s wards? How many are demanding the right to use men’s changing rooms? How many f-to-m trans people claim to be gay men?

 

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

The trans unit is dominated by men, but a lot of the trans defenders are women
.. looking at comments on social media for sure. Squadroons of them!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

The whole trans movement has a woman problem.

Because it’s more advantageous to be a woman than a man, so some men want to appropriate those advantages. It’s a way for men to enter female changing rooms and toilets and to wear women’s clothes.
There are no corresponding advantages for women in impersonating men, so by and large, they don’t.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

What advantages do women have over men? From a lifelong female point of view, we don’t have many except for those our grandmas and great grandmas and maybe some of our mothers fought for. Women have never had the advantages men have been given from the dawn of time.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

All-women shortlists, favourable treatment by divorce courts, default custody of children, the right to abort a father’s children without his consent, not subject to conscription, less likely to be jailed for the same offence as a man, carte blanche to exhibit sexism without challenge, less likely (3% vs 97%) to be killed at work, less likely to do dirty or dangerous work, contribution to domestic violence overlooked.
For example.

Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Male “advantages”, just the most recent ones :
Do you mean being blown to smithereens on the Somme or Dunkirk, or gassed at Ypres ?
Or blown to bits in by cannon ?
Or being pressed into the navy to face death by drowning or more cannon ?
Or working 12 hour shifts half a mile underground in the mines from the age of 9 until you died ?
Or digging out canals and tunnels with picks and shovels ?
Or having your home and land taken away from you so that one family could have a nice view ?
Or die a violent death in an industrial accident in the steel works, shipyards and factories ?
Or being sent away to boarding school run by sadists and bullies ?
I think your envy of “male advantages” is misplaced.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Women-only clubs, societies, networks, literary prizes, Oxbridge colleges; women’s refuges from domestic violence (no refuges for men against domestic or financial abuse by women); half as likely to be murdered; disproportionate amounts of public money spent on women’s illnesses; women’s suicide not laughed at in the House by Labour MPs such as Jess Phillips.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago

…as you say. I wonder how many of them tried on their sister’s clothes at puberty, and discovered it had an invigorating effect in an unexpected place…and have been desperate to get into women’s spaces in that guise ever since…and for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with Gender Dysmorphia…

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

Autogynephilia.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

…looked it up, and it sounds about right. Unsurprisingly, most recent citations are articles by members of the TG lobby attacking previous generations of academics for suggesting such a thing might exist…all a bit “newspeak” for me…

E H
E H
2 years ago

‘…the whole trans movement has a woman problem’. Indeed.
But as to the last query, sadly many young women now drawn to identifying as transmen are sexually attracted to males and are indeed indoctrinated to reinterpret themselves as ‘gay bois’. Yaoi is an influence.
There’s not yet much awareness of this demographic. There’s far more understanding now of how young lesbians are being harmed by the trans movement.
Just one of many damaging lies young people are led to believe via gender ideology.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago

“…the whole trans movement has a women problem”…correct… most men are quite keen on Women…rather less of us are keen on surgically and hormonally altered blokes, and certainly not if they bang on about how they used to be a coal-heaver called Trevor if we take ’em down the pub of a Friday night…

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

This column was urgently needed. As a life-long left winger, I’m overjoyed to see it, so many things there that needed to be said. Owen Jones’ pure hatred of women has gone unchallenged for too long. The Guardian have made an insufferable monster of him, indulging his bullying intolerance at every turn. As Janice Turner has since pointed out, he has only one reaction to anything any woman says that questions his arguments: blocking, silencing and demonising. A ghastly, self-regarding little twerp.

Last edited 2 years ago by Miriam Cotton
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

The most misogynistic person I have ever met was a Cambridge graduate gay man. We attended the same gym for afternoon sessions and he used to follow me around making smart remarks and sharing these opinions.
He absolutely hated women, whom he called “fish” because their genitals stink (how he had established this I can’t imagine) “and look like something’s been gnawed off”. Besides being disgusting and second-rate, women were also his competition for the sexual attention of men, so that was another reason to resent them.
So if you don’t want to use them for sex, and they interfere with your getting it, and they’re mostly thick and all disgusting anyway – what’s the point of women at all? Ghastly things. This closely parallels, of course, the Julie Bindel view of men.
You don’t get this attitude to the opposite sex from heterosexuals. Straight women don’t despise other straight women because they have no interest in sleeping with them. Is it a left-field gay thing?

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I hope and trust you very swiftly told him to do one.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

There is a cohort of deeply misogynist gay men who have done a lot of harm. The Catholic priesthood – in fact the priesthoods of many denominations have manifested a visceral hatred of women like you describe while operating as gay clubs. A lot of misogynist law and societal attitudes towards women can be traced to these powerful groups.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

That’s a really interesting point.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

…I hope you beat him senseless, but then I’m a gruff old Yorkshiremen as opposed to a comic poet like the esteemed Drahcir..!

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I believe that “fish” is a common disparagement of women by gay men, so perhaps he was just following the crowd on this one. I first heard the term used to refer to females on the American television show “In Living Color”, where Keenan Ivory Wayans and David Alan Grier played two gay men in a set of skits.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

He remarked once of women that ‘I call them “fish”‘. I had never heard this expression before so I asked him why and he gave the above explanation.
As I say, I don’t know how he’d have known; it was just an unpleasant piece of gratuitous dislike.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Arguably, straight women are not in competition with gay men as straight men are hardly going to jump in the sack with a gay man, whereas straight women are in direct competition with other straight women, which is why we can be so b****y towards each other.
However, in regards to misogyny and the most misogynistic men that I have come across. Look no further than the male feminist! Condescending, rude and disrespectful all the while patting themselves on the back for being the champion women need!

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay S
John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Male saviour complex?

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

There’s always been a similar strain in feminism – a strong dislike of gay men, not out of sexual jealousy but because women generally don’t have the same power over them as they do over straight men. Even though those feminists may be political lesbians, and therefore not personally invested in this idea, there’s a resentment that gay men can keep women out of their private/social lives if they wish, lessening overall female control usually exerted through the gatekeeping of sex.

Some feminist groups have been niggled about this since the early 70s.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago

Here’s what I don’t understand. In the real world where ordinary people live, there is much too much going on to be bothered about any of this. Nor care about it. There are homes to be cleaned, families to be fed, hanging baskets to be watered, dogs to be walked, elderly parents to be checked on, runner beans to be picked, cricket to be watched (goodness that is soooo time consuming), coffee to be drunk, socks to be paired up, iPhones to be rescued from down the crack in the sofa …. and that’s before any work gets done.
My sincerest hope is that everyone involved in all forms of the current culture wars get so steaming furious with each other that they self combust. Or maybe disappear up their own … well you can guess where.
Our job on this platform should be to pour great stinking buckets of verbal ordure on the lot of them.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

they are orchestrated by a small number of highly motivated activists who behave as they do precisely because they are so deliriously certain that they are on the right side

I think that Douglas Murray may have this precisely upside down. The people who are certain they are correct tend not to go on witch hunts. You go around silencing people, not because you are certain they are wrong, but because you are afraid that they may be correct.
And, with respect to bullying, Douglas Murray might be interested in reading Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist by Richard Rhodes. It’s a fallacy to expect people who have been abused to act with more compassion than those who have not. When you deal with the people who physically abuse others, to cause pain, on purpose, you always find somebody who has been themselves physically abused. Usually they have also been coached in a way out of victimhood through abusing others. There is generally a plank in that thinking that goes ‘these people deserve to be hurt because I was once hurt and before they make me hurt’. Greater compassion is not welcome here.
One hesitates to apply the lessons learned in dealing with dangerous violent criminals to the public at large, but these days the internet most certainly is the place to go if you think some violent coaching is what is missing in your life.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Yes, certain individuals might have different motivations, but in my opinion times like these have shown that Social Justice Warriors (caps used deliberately!) firmly believe their beliefs are right – even if they are really just group beliefs. One of their foundations is groupthink rather than individual thought.

David B
David B
2 years ago

But maybe the SJW adherence to the collective compensates for and masks the deep insecurity around their viewpoints. The scapegoat bullies phenomenon

Satyam Nagwekar
Satyam Nagwekar
2 years ago

Nice comment. Would have been great to have a rebuttal from Douglas…

Geoffrey Wilson
Geoffrey Wilson
2 years ago

I agree nice comment, but I think no rebuttal from Douglas is needed. People like Owen Jones “feel” certain of their beliefs, which in their view justifies acting aggressively and nastily to promote them. I think that is what Douglas meant in this article. Owen Jones’ inner psychology on the other hand is probably a morass of self-doubt – I really would not want to pry into that cesspit.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
2 years ago

No, you are the one who has it the wrong way around. Ideologues certain in their dogma invariably try to shut down questioning or debate. Consider the Left’s ‘intolerant tolerance’, or reactionary religions’ suppression of education, and damnation of doubt. They are the ones fearful of having their certainties undermined. All ideologies are overtaken and rendered obsolescent by reality-based growth of knowledge and developments in society; all respond by becoming more repressive the more obsolescent they become.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  GA Woolley

I’m not certain what you mean by “having their certainties undermined”. If you mean the certainties in their own minds, that’s essentially what Laura Creighton wrote. If OTOH you mean that their mentalities remain adamant, but they are afraid of losing many erstwhile allies, that may well be true. The problem with both that viewpoint and that of Ms. Creighton’s is, not being blessed with mental telepathy, we can only speculate. Those holding such intolerant views, whether self-styled progressives or religious reactionaries, will never be honest about their thoughts. Well, maybe some of the religious sort will. They may be genuinely afraid of more people going to Hell if certain ideas aren’t suppressed. But the secular “Left” are a different matter.

Natasha Felicia
Natasha Felicia
2 years ago

Owen Jones’ vitriol against women for at least the past 5 years, has been helpful in having the scales fall from the eyes of many women on the left. So many women who were relatively neutral toward The Guardian now refuse to buy it or contribute anything to its on-line begging. He has been a gift to those supporting common sense and has completely discredited himself. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t hold him in disdain for his absolute refusal to admit he knows what women and men are. It’s so obvious as he always knows that women deserve to be bullied and vilified by him. He is a little toerag.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Agree. He reminds me of those leftists who insist that race doesn’t exist while also insisting despite this obvious obstacle that racism does.
Clever lot, obviously, these racists, unerringly spotting somehow a feature in common that doesn’t exist.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

What I want to know is why he keeps appearing on television. It is always certain what he will say, which he does at considerable length and speed.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

I think Jones hates everybody and everything.

dphiggins.dh
dphiggins.dh
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Including himself

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  dphiggins.dh

If I were Owen Jones I’d hate myself because I’d deserve it.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

On the contrary, he is highly selective.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

The thing I would really like to see is for it to be made illegal to solicit the sacking of another person, to try to have people deprived of their livelihoods merely for holding views that others find objectionable. Employers should be fined heavily for submitting to blackmail as should the blackmailers. It amazes me that this doesn’t seem to have occurred to anybody else, yet. Glad to find out I’m wrong about that, however, if so.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

An excellent idea. I think we also need to make certain libels criminal offences again. If you call someone a racist, you commit a crime unless you can prove they are.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
2 years ago

Some gay men can be numbered amongst the worst misogynists. I remember working for one during my youth. He didn’t waste any opportunity to belittle his female workers including numerous childish sexist comments.
I came across another one through a gay friend. He was conducting an affair with an ex Anglican priest, with whom I very speedily got into an argument due to his neanderthal views about women. Fortunately for me, my friend did not keep up the relationship for long as he most definitely wasn’t a woman hater.
As regards the trans wars, I’m against anyone who tries to enforce their views on others via bullying and threats – and think that childhood is too soon to start the process of gender reassignment.Otherwise, this whole obsession with identifying as this that and the other bore me to tears, as do those who insist on being referred to as ‘they’ or ‘their.’
As always, its probably a small number of aggressive social media participants who are stirring up all the trouble.
Owen Jones now writes columns for the Guardian on a fairly regular basis. The G is his natural home, being the frontrunner in peddling identity politics.
A poor substitute for Suzanne Moore.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Jones and his ilk display many of the deranged, dogmatic, pitchfork-wielding attributes of their medieval forbears.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Indeed, witch finding…

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

in the image with this article, is that Onan Jones “mostly peacefully” telling women where they are relative to him in the oppression hierarchy?

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Uptick just for “Onan” Jones 🙂

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

I know Douglas Murray writes about his own male privilege here with tongue firmly in cheek, but it’s worth stating clearly exactly where the “privilege” to speak unguardedly about trans-rights comes from. This “privilege” is actually something everyone used to have until recently, and now only exists for people like Douglas Murray because he belongs to the shrinking group of people which has so far refused to surrender free speech.

The growing group of people elsewhere who might be tempted to describe or complain about this apparent male privilege are in the ludicrous position of having pointlessly surrendered their own rights at nobody’s behest and are now complaining about other people not being stupid enough to do the same.

We know nowadays that lemmings don’t really jump off cliffs en-masse, but to be honest it’s not a problem that the metaphor isn’t accurate, because liberal-orthodox wokies are now doing a precise parallel of this and can now be used as a replacement for the metaphor. We just need to compress it into a handy phrase and job done: the hapless lemming can live in peace, free at last from it’s long stint as the poster-child for self-destructive mob-mentality cretinism.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Sarah H
Sarah H
2 years ago

Great stuff as ever. I would quibble over the slack use of the word “believe”, being a bit absolutist about these things. “I believe human beings have chromosomes. I believe gametes exist.” I suggest these are not prone to belief or not. Indeed to implicitly accept they are renders it all a matter of preference, doctrine, credo, religion, ideology such that OJ’s opinion is as valid. They are established facts about the material world on which our medicine and much else are built, not beliefs, even if at the leading edge, much science is as yet unresolved.

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago
Reply to  Sarah H

Indeed. I believe the moon is made of green cheese. And that everybody has a right to sleep peacefully at night. Etc.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Sarah H

I suspect DM is portraying what you accept as fact in terms which comply with Left’s preference for feelings over evidence. Subtle satire.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
2 years ago

Great article Douglas, thank you. You say you don’t want to go down the same road as this odious little man, and I agree. Attacking him with words through newspaper and social media won’t stop him. But then, you say he libelled you? So where’s your crowdfunded lawsuit, Douglas? I’ll chip in. I mean it.
The only way we will stop this nonsense is to use the law. Libels and lies should result in civil lawsuits – every time. And damaged pile-on victims should demand that the police and the DPP investigate Coercion, Conspiracy, Incitement, Threatening behaviour and so on and pursued ruthlessly through criminal courts, until some semblance of equilibrium is restored.
The social media platforms that allow and support these attacks should be included in reports, as accomplices – over and over again – until they change their ways.
This won’t stop until it gets forcibly stopped. Surely we all know that by now.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

I’ve been writing poetry about him:-
……….
From The Wokeiad, by Richard Craven
……….
Wokeness observes it all, and is well pleased
To see the body politic diseased.
And yet one element eludes her eye,
One piece is missing from the jigsaw lie.
“It wants,” she snarls, “a useful idiot,
Some naive kidult who resents his lot,
Some milquetoast bellend, wet behind the ears
Some thirty summer suckling prone to tears.
His name is Legion, though, for he is many,
His kind’s superfluous and two a penny.
I face acute embarrassment of choice.”
Just then is heard a chafing, peevish voice,
The whine of angel fallen into Hell,
Not so much ringing as to crack a bell.
Wokeness looks down to see who harshly moans
And fixes basilisks on O___ J___.
Half Oxon scholar and half stream of pi55
A Gaveston unsponsored by Marquis,
Vile parcel of caught dirt from Shoreditch pub,
A chrysalid which hatched a writhing grub,
A scribe who now the noble chav defends
And now with fierce polemic gammon rends.
Today, quite out of countenance, young J___
For his oppressive whiteness thus atones,
Reclined like Chatterton without his looks
Upon his bed of anti-racist books:
‘Why I’ll No Longer To Pale Cracker Talk’,
‘100 Recipes For Curing Pork’,
‘On The Fragility Of Mr Snow’,
‘Laugh At The Tears Of Mrs Wypipo’.
A hundred other tomes haphazard spill
O’er unwashed coffee cup and unpaid bill.
While J___, this farouche starveling Jabba Hut
Troubles deaf Heaven with his scuttlebut.

Last edited 2 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Some milquetoast bellend would have done for me. Enjoyable but please do not give the “half stream of pi55” little creep oxygen ever again.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

I’m afraid this is going to be 1600 lines long. Once finished I promise never to mention the little schidt again.

Last edited 2 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

unless it is to get it published in the Guardian. They’ll think you are a Bohemian anarcho syndicalyst with such mirror spelling.

Last edited 2 years ago by Zorro Tomorrow
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Thanks, but I think it’s vanishingly unlikely that the Guardian would publish something like this.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Oh thank you for this

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

Thank you for thanking me!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Heroic couplets to be exact; rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter

Julia Wallis-Martin
Julia Wallis-Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Excellent. More from ‘The Wokeiad’ please.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Glad you like it. This bit’s from a bit later, concluding Book 1.:-
**********
To these, the sybils of her facile cult,
Wokeness announces J____ as fate’s result,
Frog spawn of dialectic, Hegel’s toy,
The Karl Marx Brian, her anointed boy.
“Woke Ganymede!” her luminaries cry,
“Your column full of woke philosophy
Will make grown adult shed a bitter tear
And pink-faced gammon choke upon his beer.
Each straight white cis undeconstructed man
Shall be cast out by the woke Taliban.
No curator of Heritage or Trust
Without a rainbow lanyard on her bust.
Let teacher thank us that she now can teach
Without the crushing burden of free speech,
And let the scowling trans woad-painted smurf
Expel from academia the TERF.”
Now prating profs update the Twitter hordes
And fling into the air their mortar-boards,
And, wrapped in gown and enveloped in guile,
With research postdocs form a crocodile
Proceeding solemnly to Formal Hall
And the prospect of port postprandial,
Where toasts to the Woke Laureate are drunk
And Fellows fill their Meerschaum pipes with skunk.
And now beyond the candelabra’s glow
Primordial Nox insinuates a toe.
The porters pick up all the hardcore p.ornn
Composting on the College Master’s lawn,
And jowly Fellows yawning stretch their legs
And drain the Tawny down to its last dregs,
And mouldy Stalinist and Maoist creep
Leave off their quarrel and retire to sleep,
And soon the quad resounds with gurgling snores
Of rat-arczed monomaniacal bores.

Julia Wallis-Martin
Julia Wallis-Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Again, excellent. Are you published? If not, why not?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Thanks v much. My most recent publication was of 9 sonnets in the Hypertexts:-

http://www.thehypertexts.com/Richard%20Craven%20Poet%20Poetry%20Picture%20Bio.htm
John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Genius

Nicholas Bundock
Nicholas Bundock
2 years ago

I see OJ is having a meltdown on Twitter in response…

Last edited 2 years ago by Nicholas Bundock
Mary Carter
Mary Carter
2 years ago

None of us women can see it! He’s blocked most of us for daring, politely, to have a different opinion.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago

…I’m afraid experience suggests that for every gay man with an affectionate crowd of women friends…there is another who is deeply misogynist; and I strongly suspect (from current evidence) that they are pretty much all lined up with the TG lobby and against Women (the ones who menstruate, have a cervix and are biologically equipped to give birth)
It’s my view that in that rather unappetising corner of the alphabet soup occupied by “TG allies” there is a considerable concentration of psychosexual weirdness going on…of the kind which in less enlightened days led some gay men to hunger for attention from what were then described as “real men”…ie, straight ones…as opposed to those who shared their own desires and feelings…and I’d be interested to know what others think?

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

This is the elephant in the room. Aside from a minority of genuinely gender dysphoric people, who deserve support and understanding, there are far more repulsive perverts and chancers riding the tidal wave of misogyny, salivating over the possibility of, literally, getting their eyes and hands on women. Cf the male ‘lesbians’ dominating lesbian dating apps, demanding sex from women. It’s now officially OK to openly hate feminists, to resort to violent threats against us, to taunt us with boasts about blatant pervision. And yet it is feminists and defenders of biological fact who are made out to be the villains of the piece. And all of this lethal poison is being ushered into schools in the name of ‘inclusivity’. I constantly feel as if I must have dropped acid, the situation is so disgusting and unreal.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

…we may end up in a situation where traditional feminists end up making common cause with old-fashioned red tory/blue labour chaps of a more traditional disposition (like me, frankly)…which would be a triumph for the identitarian left on a par with their brilliant decision to paint all the working-class folk who voted Brexit as racist morons, who should be ignored and if at all possible deprived of their civil rights. Maybe the Gods are actually after them, and not us!

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

More than a few leftwing Brexiteers have had the same thought! The left is blowing itself to smithereens over identity politics. It’s nauseating to watch Starmer and Sturgeon cravenly appeasing this vile movement. The seem to think it makes them ‘progressive’. Wondering when they will finally notice the haemorrhaging of support.

David Fellowes
David Fellowes
2 years ago

Just a couple of technical points:
“Gender Dysphoria” does indeed exist, as you say, but it is not a disorder; it is a symptom. All it means is gender-related distress. It is to the disorder what toothache is to a cavity. The disorder itself falls into the category of Somatic Delusions which, until recently, were very few and far between; people who thought their insides belonged to somebody else, and so on. Wikipedia is more than adequate on this, as it is on Delusion, defined as: “a fixed belief that is not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence”.
I’m a great believer in using the correct terms for things, and never more so than here. From the mother who is told that her child is simply deluded, to the whole range of Trans claims for their “fixed belief’, all that society as a whole would have to accept is that they have one of a range of psychiatric problems for which the best and kindest remedy is to humour it as far as is reasonable.
Technical or no, “delusion” best fits the facts, and causes the least harm.

Clara B
Clara B
2 years ago

Thanks, Douglas, interesting reading, but I’ve not taken Owen Jones seriously for years (years). Judging by the comments under his Guardian columns, many of his readers don’t take him too seriously as well. He’s more often wrong than right and appears incapable of reflection (look at his refusal to recognise the electorate simply didn’t want Corbyn. In this article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/26/keir-starmer-tax-pandemic, for example, he’s bigging up Labour’s share of the 2017 vote, but read the most highly voted reader comment underneath).

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Clara B

…it doesn’t appear in the highlighted “Guardian Picks”; I wonder why? 🙂

Clara B
Clara B
2 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

I take a particular pleasure in comparing the comments BTL with the Guardian Picks (I should get out more, I know). The Picks never reflect the majority of comments underneath. It’s so obvious (but I suspect the Guardian thinks we haven’t worked this. They always underestimate their readers).

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Clara B

Owen Jones is an ideologue, and hence is impervious to evidence which runs contrary to his argument. Likewise, he knows to ignore those party heretics who have been led away from The Truth; think Lenin’s treatise “Democratic Socialism; An Infantile Disorder of the Left.”

Hubert Knobscratch
Hubert Knobscratch
2 years ago

Maybe Jones is playing the victimhood Olympics and hates straight women as they aren’t as persecuted as he obviously has been?

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Our friend and neighbour, who leans heavily towards the Isle of Lesbos, tells me Jones & co have turned her into the most homophobic gay you’ll ever meet.

Tim D
Tim D
2 years ago

Brave article and thoughtful replies.
One missing piece is the biology behind gender. It is more accessible to superficially fling causations against our enemies. I am an over-trained OBGYN Physician. There are differences between individuals, and a large part of that is the way our bodies work differently in similar situations.

One example is the measurable different brain regions when a person is engaged in conversation. The conversation looks the same for an observer, but the scans show incongruence. 

A less obvious is behavior in a dangerous situation. How we respond to fear. Do we freeze, or do we impulsively act. I think you would find widespread examples that an individual might out of self preservation not act in the moment, and wait until they sense less retaliation for bringing it out. Safety in numbers.

I as a male (I have the 23 and me) can speak with some authority what happens when a male whines to other males. Backlash and shunning. Suck it up mentality. What happens when a female does? Comfort from the pity party crew. In either case you may not see the consequences from crossing that forbidden line and acting in a manner that threatens the sameness of the group, whether for expressing a cross-gender thought or a religious one

Many wait until there is a congregation of sympathizers before telling others. Me-too 30 years after the fact when it is deemed safe. Understandable. What some don’t see is the cultural pressures on boys to fix-it-yourself, and girls to fix-it-with others. Safety from attack in one way, safety from numbers in the other.

I cannot attempt to talk about women’s issues in this climate, despite quite an extensive knowledge of gender physiology. Purple people talk to purple, and those that don’t read books shout down those that do.

What are we going to do about stomping on the other half who may not be exactly like us?

A S
A S
2 years ago

It is sad that women get demonized when only a few things need to be observed about differences in sexuality. As a woman, I might notice but feel ok about a surgically transitioned man in a woman’s area – and I have experienced this more than once in recent years. I’ve also been in nude bathhouses with lesbians and do not feel uncomfortable at all. Women (of any persuasion) do not tend to act aggressive, coquettish, or exhibit any attention-seeking behavior in such areas. There must be exceptions – I have never as yet seen even one. Regarding Trans people, I agree with Douglas – anyone going through this hardship deserves our compassion and support.
However, what is all the fuss about? Selfish women?
Just look at the sex industry. There are women who buy sex and there must be some woman out there who frequents a male sex club alone (not in a group of giggling compatriots). Is this the norm? I have seen strip clubs in every city .. all catering to men. Male strip clubs will also predominantly cater to (gay) men. Sexual tourism is dominated by men – straight and gay. You throw a rock and you will find a girl who has been touched inappropriately (I am refraining from using the word “assault”) by a trusted far older man at some point in her childhood. Now could the perpetrator be a woman? Of course all this happens. Is it the norm? Most women just deal with such experiences (and will never reveal it) unless it was an extreme event or if they are emotionally fragile. Men walking in a dark alley fear getting robbed and beaten up. Women fear getting robbed and raped (and beaten up). Women and men are different in their sexual proclivities and stemming from that – their sexual fears are different.
Men do have some privileges and women have some privileges. The type of privileges each has reflects their underlying biological differences and different types of risky behaviors each has historically been expected to take on during the course of their lives. These expectations have been based on biological realities. Could some men deserve additional privileges. For sure. Do some women deserve fewer, For sure. A man will be more focused on the risks and hardships they are expected to take on and women will be focused on their own. We would do well to recognize each other’s unique challenges rather then entering into some childish and weird unrestrained competition, as is currently the trend, as to who has more problems and whose challenges are more meaningful or difficult.
If a non-surgically transitioned woman (in process of becoming a man) decides to expose herself in a male locker, they would do so at bodily (or psychological) risk. Have there been cases like this? If so, please do share – I searched but could not find any reports that came up. Why not? However, a non-surgically transitioned man exposing themselves in a woman’s locker will not be happily leered at by women or be in any physical danger. This is real life. There are differences between men and women in how they behave that not only have cultural underpinnings but undoubtedly biological ones too. Gay men are FAR more like straight men than they are like women. Lesbians are FAR more like straight women than they are like men. And I feel that is the case even for the most effeminate gay man and the most butch woman. That is my observation anyways.

Last edited 2 years ago by A S
Brendan Newport
Brendan Newport
2 years ago

Jones’ Chavs (2011) is a book I read on (paperback) publication and at that moment, nearly a decade ago, the author was absolutely on-message with a well-researched and well-written book of class analysis. Absolutely the best thing an aspiring leftist columnist and author could produce at-the-time.
Somewhere along the line though, Jones lost his way, and boy did he lose his way. Class analysis, the core of every form of leftist thought, from democratic socialism to full-on Marxism, was dropped for identity politics, which is absolutely not leftist, and if anything is an anathema to all left-leaning history and thought. Yet Jones embraced it wholesale.
And now he finds himself trapped by it, though he likely wouldn’t admit to that. Inadvertently he finds himself promoting the demands of white middle-class males in frocks who call themselves ‘lesbians’. On-the-way he managed to associate himself with ‘transing the gay away’; the ultimate betrayal of his sexuality, and likely the source of lost friendships.
In the world of gender politics, where debate is nigh impossible, Jones is not necessarily an asset for the transgender cause, though I’m sure he thinks he is. When it comes to who has managed to ‘peak trans’ the most people – the term used for when an individual, in the face of the cognitive dissonance of having to reconcile the narrative of transgenderism with science and reality – Jones can rightly, though I doubt he would, claim that he has managed to peak-transed a fair number. His lack of an international audience though limits him from getting anywhere the numbers that the likes of Laurel Hubbard, Alex Drummond, Jessica Yaniv, Veronica Ivy (previously Rachel McKinnon) have managed to peak. Domestically he is stuck competing with Shon Faye, Kathryn Bristow (well, virtually anyone in the leadership of The Green Party) and of course his Guardian editor, Katharine Viner, all of whom can rightly claim to have peak-transed millions of British citizens, and are seemingly intent on claiming those yet-to-be-converted to the GC view.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
2 years ago

Here in Vermont, USA, I was illegally put out of Liberty Union Party. It is under control of a clique that happens to control the intenet connections. I was labeled a “transphobic bigot” for opposing the drugging of chidren and erosion of Women’s Sports.
The leader of all this is a semi-public figure, Marina Brown, formerly Anthony Teski. I was close to Brown and their partner, Laura Potter, considering them family. (They are both transwomen.) I observed over a few years that Marina would sometimes condemn strong women. Pointing to them as political or personal problems, with no explanation. Evading when I questioned.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

Gosh, I didn’t realise Jones was like this. My only experience of his work was a video of an interview with Peter Hitchins about lockdown. He was more than happy to let PH express his views, although he came back strongly and persistently against them. Yet PH is ‘right wing’. DM must have a point if ‘left wing’ women are the ones getting the treatment from OJ here. What a business all this gender nonsense has become! xx xy

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

Jones, who I occasionally agree with and occasionally don’t, has backed the wrong horse here. If I were him I’d focus on the rest of his output.

A S
A S
2 years ago

When the shoe is on the other foot 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5065072/

“
 heterosexual females are substantially more understanding and compassionate of gays and lesbians than are heterosexual males (Herek, 2002; Raja & Stokes, 1998). They are more likely to be proponents of employment, adoption, and civil rights and less likely to hold negative stereotypical beliefs about the population. “

Last edited 2 years ago by A S
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

Or very many women?

ml holton
ml holton
2 years ago

… Well, well. I did not know Owen Jones was gay. That explains a lot. There is a commonly held view, seldom ever said in public now, that ALL gay guys are, at core, misogynistic. They just hate women, for a myriad of social and psychological reasons. Saying so, out loud, immediately incites damning proclamations of ‘homophobia’. ~ So be it. Truth is truth.

Aligning with the trans (male) community to perpetually dump on ‘uppity & outspoken’ women seems a ‘natural’ follow through for the giddy gay brigade.

Dear Mr. Murray would appear to be the exception to this gay ‘norm’. He generally takes the high road and leaves the vicious and vitriolic fem-bashing to his less-elegant gay brethren.

Last edited 2 years ago by ml holton
John McIntosh
John McIntosh
2 years ago
Reply to  ml holton

Oh dear! What unmitigated nonsense and bigotry.

ml holton
ml holton
2 years ago

… ha! I see my earlier comment was removed … On Point, I guess. ‍♀ ie. Censored ~ even with a paid annual membership.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  ml holton

What did it say? 🙂

ml holton
ml holton
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

… Thanks Miriam. At this point, the comment itself is of little interest.

Rather, it is sadly revealing and profoundly disappointing to me that my comment was ‘censored’ at all on ‘UNHERD’, a supposed last bastion of ‘free speech’.

My comment was apparently deemed ‘unworthy’ of either positive or negative ‘UNHERD’ reader engagement by an unknown ‘UNHERD’ ‘gatekeeper’.

I just paid for an annual ‘UNHERD’ subscription. How disappointing it is.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  ml holton

Someone could have flagged it and it goes into a queue to be checked. Send them an email and they will get back to you.

Daryl Old
Daryl Old
2 years ago

Great article, thanks.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago

I’m an admirer of you both though you are very different people. You do share a deep desire to speak truth as you see it. I have not heard Owen say what you say he said (I haven’t heard all his podcasts: nor yours).
Had I done so I would have taken him to task because I am very much in your camp on the issue.
One can only hope Owen will take your piece to heart and mend his ways on that and other issues: though he is very young! At his age I was angry and single minded as he is though far less articulate.
Here’s hoping you two close the gap on issues far more real than the idiotic trans thingie.

Matty D
Matty D
2 years ago

I

Last edited 2 years ago by Matty D
Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
2 years ago

‘Beware the leaven of the Pharisees’ as someone famous once said.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago

Can someone who is a genuine Christian ( or Muslim for tgat matter) explain how it is possible to be a Rightwinger? I cannot see how one can “serve the two master”. Or is it possible no genuine Christian is a Rightwinger? Surely that cannot be so, can it?

Julia H
Julia H
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why not ask how it is possible that our prisons are full of members of the religion of peace?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

There are a couple of flaws here.

Firstly, those being hounded are mostly women because it is mostly women complaining about the trans intrusion.
Why not men? Because men:
a. Have little to lose, unlike women who have lots of nice, privileged spaces as such as special women’s sports categories, women’s shelters (the large numbers of males suffering from domestic violence are treated as a joke), special women’s diversity quotas…
b.Men have been silenced from such discussions after decades of being demonised as an evil, homogeneous mass, even when it is pretty well proved that the “equality” gang are speaking rubbish (gender pay gap for instance)

The second, more important factor?
Those supporting the tiny number of Trans idiots are mostly women – of the college educated (non STEM mostly,), upper / middle class.
Because such tactics are very typicality female (another reason why men stay away from the debate – other than samples like Owen).
But also, because women are the ones propogating biology is a myth, for their own benefit. These women stand to gain overall by pushing “equity”.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago

A debate. Is it really? Let’s take a closer look.
For one side, it is just that. A debate. There is almost nothing to lose and nothing to gain, maybe a few brownie points here and there, but that’s it.
For the other side, for the transitioners themselves, it’s life or death. It’s existential. There is everything to lose and everything to gain.
From a journalistic point of view there is probably nothing better than a debate. Just think of all those lovely column inches that can be filled and the nice fat cheques that follow.
Perhaps if the side that considered this issue to be a “debate” would show more understanding of the fact that to transitioners this is not a debate but a matter of life and death the fervour of the other side might be reduced.
As for the more scientific arguments promulgated here that chromosomes and gametes exist, that humans are not hermaphrodites and that what is actually taking place is some form of “gender dysmorphia” – what is actually happening here? We start off with three straightforward scientific facts and use them to jump to a pseudoscientific conclusion.
Leaving aside, for the moment, the extremely prejudicial, dismissive and pejorative meaning contained in the word “dysmorphia” the scientific argument about sexual relations could, and has been in the past, used against everything from masturbation to gay sex and to promote only heterosexual sex purely for the means of reproduction.
If we are going to be scientific about it, sex is for reproduction. Period. Not for indulging our pleasures and preferences. It is the civilising and liberalising forces that have shaped our societies in the last several decades that have allowed us to indulge our sexual preferences and pleasures not scientific advance.
Ironically, the one area of sexual activity that scientific advance has allowed to flourish is transsexualism.
This is not an issue that should be discussed or decided on scientific terms. This is an issue that has to be discussed and decided on humanitarian terms. The introduction of scientific terminology is simply being used as a smokescreen by people who would like to believe that a superior education makes for a superior opinion in this discussion. It does not. This is a (journalistic?) fallacy.
Returning to that word “dysmorphia” this is a concept that is fraught with difficulty in the extreme. As soon as you start asserting that anybody’s sexual preferences or desires occur as a result of a diagnosable medical condition then you throw the door wide open for those who would claim that homosexuality, among other things, is a condition that can be “cured” with the proper medical treatment.
Medically transitioning the sex of any individual is an extremely serious undertaking and is probably best undertaken in adulthood but can anyone explain the difference in confusion levels that two sixteen year old boys would feel if one was told he couldn’t have sex with another boy because he wasn’t allowed to be homosexual until he was twenty-one and the other was told he couldn’t have sex with another boy because he wasn’t allowed to transition until he was twenty-one.
The issue of reversal is obvious to the observer but the confusion felt by the individual is the same.
Just as we have discovered over the last fifty years or so that there are far more gay people than we realised we are about to discover in the coming years that there are far more transsexuals than we have suspected so far.
Greater understanding of these peoples difficulties is required which would hopefully be met with a reduction in rhetoric from transsexuals themselves.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

…I’ve no problem with those willing to undertake life-changing surgery and a permanent drug habit in order to live quietly as a faux-woman without constantly shrieking “look at me!”, and I doubt if most here have…my problem is with those who demand the right to be treated as a Woman, and given access to Women-only spaces…at some risk to actual Women…whilst still being a fully intact and fully functioning bloke in a frock. And in the case of those claiming to be “trans lesbians” not even pretending that they don’t desire Women..!
That is a whole other thing, and often (in my view) about the physical pleasure they experience putting on women’s clothes…and their expectation that getting access to Women’s spaces in that guise will enhance that pleasure tenfold…why in the name of heaven are we making public policy to accommodate what looks to a lot of us like a rather threatening sexual fetish?
And that leaves aside how profoundly offensive many of us find terms like “menstruator” – “cervix-owner” – and “birthing parent” – how dare anyone reduce half of humanity to a bald statement about one aspect of their anatomy? That really is disgraceful for allegedly progressive people…

Last edited 2 years ago by R S Foster
Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  R S Foster

It is nice of you to talk about people you have no problem with in such derogatory terms but leaving that aside everything else I agree with.
But the problem is: who are these people, these men in dresses?
Are they transsexuals? Or are they just men in dresses, female impersonators, fetishists, voyeurs or sexual predators.
If someone is simply impersonating a transsexual to committing crimes why is this the fault of transsexuals?
As a society we have to learn to deal with these issues. Transsexuals don’t make public policy. If public policy is wrong, blame the people who make it. Change it. Some of it is easy – no access to female shelters. If as fully physically female as modern medical procedures can make them, only then should they be sent to female prisons.
Some is more difficult – toilets for instance. Maybe we need a third option.
Changing rooms – sending a fully transitioned, young, physically attractive transsexual into a male changing room is not practical either. So when do they change?
But one thing is clear – transsexuals should not be blamed for actions that men in dresses (non transsexuals) take anymore than all priests should be blamed for the actions of someone who just puts on a cassock.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

So when Julie Bindel spouts one of her rants about “male violence” would you agree that she is in the wrong?

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes! Totally agree!
I have no interest in people who rant and pay zero attention to the opinion of others!

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

…I was very careful to distinguish between the tiny number of genuine transexuals who want to quietly and invisibly live as women, and probably always have done…and the explosion of “performative” types of various sorts who are essentially about shrieking “look at me!”…who seem to me to be dominating the debate, and who I believe almost always have an ulterior motive, often peverse and sometimes downright wicked…
…I suspect the first group have always passed unnoticed, and most would much prefer to do so now…and some of the “performers” have achieved widespread public support and affection…this Country has a long history of tolerance, going back to the Molly-houses of the C18th…and the cross-dressers of C19th & C20th pantomime, music-hall and variety…but they never demanded the right to be thought “real” Women, nor to have free access to Women’s private spaces…which most of us consider an unreasonable demand…
…and is it the fault of the Transexuals? In most cases, no…in the case of those who are genuinely in that painful situation but are willing to go along with the shriekers, as opposed to disowning them…to some extent, yes…

Last edited 2 years ago by R S Foster
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

The nub of this is that recognising a segment of people’s human rights should not impinge on another segment’s human rights. Trans rights should not negatively affect women’s rights and that is exactly what is unfolding.

Julia H
Julia H
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

This contribution to the debate appears fundamentally flawed on a number of grounds. Firstly the premise that “For one side, it is just that. A debate. There is almost nothing to lose and nothing to gain, maybe a few brownie points here and there, but that’s it” is simply wrong. Women have much to lose including the sense of security achieved by single sex facilities, to say nothing of the erosion of our collective experience by denying us, or appropriating, the natural language that we use to describe ourselves.

Secondly you appear to conflate biological sex with sexuality. There are entirely separate concepts. Biological sex is an objective and verifiable scientific fact with only a tiny number of exceptions created by ambiguous biological features (intersex individuals). Sexuality is independent of biological sex. You misguidedly propose that gender reassignment can be a response to homosexuality.

It is helpful that you appear to understand that dressing up in the clothes of the opposite sex is for many people (men, mostly) simply a sexual preference. It was easier when we were allowed to call this transvestism. Nobody then claimed that a transvestite was an actual woman. We are in the current situation precisely because people have confused and conflated biological sex, gender identity and sexuality. Your contribution exemplifies this confusion.

Heidi M
Heidi M
2 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Agreed. To dismiss our concerns as women, as mothers, as simply trying to get brownie points shows just how little Neil knows about it. This attempt to reduce what it means to be a woman to a simple matter of a taking the right hormones and a few dashes of knives and needle in the right places (and equally so in the opposite direction for a man) is incredibly cruel and irresponsible. It reduces what it means to be a woman and the amazing things that our genetically female bodies are able to accomplish.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

I divided this debate thus: transsexuals and everybody else and my original comment concerns itself solely with the issue of should people be allowed to change sex or not.
The reason I say “be allowed to” is because this is not something you can simply do with a partner. You need the assistance of highly skilled, well trained individuals.
If gender reassignment surgery was banned “everybody else’s” life would carry on as normal, totally unaffected, but transsexuals would lose “everything”.
If gender reassignment surgery is allowed to continue “everybody else’s” life would still carry on as normal, totally unaffected, but transsexuals would gain “everything”.
That is simply all I meant.
Female only shelters are sacrosanct in my opinion and should remain so. Some other means of shelter for fully transitioned transsexuals in need would need to be found.
I don’t understand how you think I conflate biological sex with sexuality but I agree they are separate things.
As for “You misguidedly propose that gender reassignment can be a response to homosexuality.” I have no idea how you came up with that but I in no way propose any such thing.
I thought I had made a reasonable attempt to tease out the confusion that exists in this issue, especially in my second comment, but I shall try again. In my opinion the very grouping of LGBTQQ etc is where the problem lies. The only logic in this grouping is “safety in numbers”. That somehow the so called “normal” people are a huge homogeneous blob of sameness and that the only way for the “different” people to deal with us is group together. But as we are discovering that is not the case. Both gay and straight women have the same problem with men in dresses using female toilets etc. While men in dresses could come under the QQ umbrella they are very different to a true transsexual.
The confusion is not of my making. I try to treat everybody as an individual. The “straight” world is not a homogeneous blob of sameness but is made up of people who are just as different from each other as gay men are from straight men or gay women are from gay women.
I believe that we have not only reached the point where each group CAN stand on it’s own but that each group NEEDS to stand on it’s own in order to reduce the confusion.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

One of the central problems is that transGENDER men who have not transitioned only have to identify as female to get into female spaces like inter alia prisons, women’s and girl’s changing rooms and the like. As an example, in California when being processed into prison you simply check a box – male of female. Something like 260 males were processed into female prisons in the first few months of this year.

Julia H
Julia H
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

Gender dysphoria, which DM mentioned, is not the same as dysmorphia, which you mention. It helps to avoid conflating terms that have different meanings.

Last edited 2 years ago by Julia H
Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

This is simply wrong. Read it again.
He writes and I have copied this “My belief is that something exists called “gender dysmorphia””
I know what dysphoria is.
You should address your complaint to the original author.

Julia H
Julia H
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

“My belief is that something exists called “gender dysphoria”, but we know almost nothing about what causes it, know almost as little about how to respond to it and know infinitely too little to be assertive about it — let alone enough to medically experiment on children.“ Copied from the article.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

It’s still there. It’s still dysmorphia. Something is not only wrong with your reading but your device can’t copy either.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

You are reading the weekend edition. They have done a “1984” and edited it.
Read the daily edition, it came first!

Julia H
Julia H
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

You could simply apologise for your rudeness.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

I could. If I had been rude. You could apologise for claiming I was in error when in fact I was correct.
If you want an apology from someone seek it from UnHerd or the author for editing the text without a footnote explaining that it had been edited.

Heidi M
Heidi M
2 years ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

I agree that much of this issue should be looked at from a humanitarian side. All people should be treated with dignity and respect and thus careful and thoughtful concern should be given to investigating what is going on here and what is truly best for people who experience this difficult conflict. Which also means we must look at what harm might we cause by promoting transitioning as the answer. Might it be harmful to one’s mental well-being to constantly be told they are a woman, to certify them as a woman and yet they will always be unable to accomplish the most fundamental of female functions (childbirth and milk producion)? Is it harmful to promote the idea in children that if they do not fit into typical gender stereotypes it is because they are the wrong gender? How does it harm the human body to be swimming in hormone levels way beyond what is naturally produced? What does it really mean to deny who we fundamentally are? The genetic make-up of a person leaves indelible marks which can not be erased, what harm might it cause to deny that these exist? I don’t know the answers to these or many other questions but nor does anyone else because it is full steam ahead in the name of kindness.

To say that science has no say is irresponsible. The body is quite a delicate symphony in some ways, all revolving on DNA from our very conception. When we start to experiment with it, especially in young children, even with the best intentions, the results can be catastrophic in the long term. There are of course many other critical considerations including health and the brain, but that is an entire book in and of itself, in particular when it comes to reproduction, which is still largely one of our fundamental desires (and needs) as human.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago
Reply to  Heidi M

A very thoughtful comment. Supporting an individual who is experiencing gender confusion without either encouraging or discouraging any particular action but simply trying to guide them through to make their own final decision is a very difficult task indeed.
While the rest of us can experiment in our youth, chop & change then reverse course at the drop of a hat with the only casualty being a broken heart (who hasn’t had one) for transsexuals it is a one way ticket. There is no way back.
These people deserve more than to be at the centre of this screaming match played out in social media even if they have made a significant contribution themselves.
It is time to cool the rhetoric.