Hanging over this whole debate is the stench of cowardice. A nation whose young men, in my parents’ lifetime, went ‘over the top’ into machine gun fire now finds itself unable even to whisper what every sentient being knows to be the plain truth.
The people who run the Centre for Global Development would sooner sack a blameless employee than speak the truth. Keir Starmer would sooner obfuscate than speak the truth. Boris Jonson would sooner tiptoe round the subject than tell the truth. The people who run the NHS would sooner instruct their employees to lie than tell the truth. The BBC would sooner bury inconvenient facts than tell the truth.
Dress them up how you may; mutilate them how you may: a man is still a man and a woman is still a woman. You know it, I know it and in their quiet, silent moments, the trans activists themselves know it. But they have cowed us into submission. Shame on us.
Everyone knows Hans Christian Andersen’s fable of the emperor’s new clothes, and yet many of us can’t see its relevance when it stares us in the face.
Boris has just – at last — told the truth!
I was just about to point that out to the previous correspondent. His stance seems to have been overlooked by the media AND the opposition. I expected Sir Keith to be all over that like a rash.
‘Dress them up how you may; mutilate them how you may: a man is still a man and a woman is still a woman. You know it, I know it and in their quiet, silent moments, the trans activists themselves know it. But they have cowed us into submission. Shame on us.’
They haven’t shamed me into submission. I refuse to acknowledge the lies. We need to risk the ridicule and isolation in order to fight back against the insanity.
Ketanji Brown Jackson said that she couldn’t say what a woman was because she was not a biologist, but, and I could be wrong here, does not this reply imply that she believes that “woman” is a biological category and not an identitarian category?
I heard part of her grilling by Ted Cruz (of all people) on CRT. I don’t know her at all, but she didn’t strike me nearly as articulate as Amy Coney Barret
So what you’re saying is that KBJ meant to say that she actually DOES know even though she said she DOESN’T know. Just like when Trump said he meant to say “wouldn’t” when he actually said “would”? Please, let’s remember that we are talking about a Supreme Court nominee. If a society can’t even agree on what something is and what something is not, and if judges begin speaking Cantinflesque to get a point across, how can we expect the legal system to work?
If a society cannot agree on the most basic of facts, or agree on what is right and wrong, then it is not a society anymore. It is merely a group of humans co-existing on a large sphere.
If Ms. Brown Jackson cannot describe what a woman is, then she was nominated by president Biden as something that cannot be described. Wasn’t the whole point about her being a black woman?
She probably can’t define “race,” either…
Now that would be rational if she can’t define race given that it is a piece of 18th Century unscientific classification that has no support in modern science. We are all one race originating from Africa with different skin tones.
Race can’t really be defined, it is a social category, and it can legitimately be called a spectrum, but sex is a reality, there are basically two of them.
Presumably Biden was constrained by the current absence of male lawyers of sufficient authority who present as women and had to plump for a real woman although one who doesn’t know what a woman is. Above her pay-grade as Obama once answers to a tricky question.
It would be wonderful if she identified as an Asian male or perhaps a Norwegian Viking. That would make headlines.
Brilliant observation. Someone should tell the reporters and commentators because you are absolutely right.
To be both fair and accurate, she was asked to “provide the definition” of a woman. In context, she did not say that she couldn’t say what a woman was, but that she could not provide the definition. To your point, I think it’s actually a positive consideration that she stated that a correct definition of “woman” is a matter of biology. It does not depend either on identity or on common practice, but on objective, physical facts, as entailed by empirical evidence.
This whole thing will depend on how society as a whole responds. There has to be a critical mass of people willing to risk the full wrath of the radical left. Now is not the time to take comfort in being part of the ”silent majority”. While the number of people actively speaking up and questioning the whole thing is somewhat significant, I don’t think it has reached that critical mass as yet. Too many people who disagree with what we are being fed are silent. If that silence continues, the impact of gender policies can be ignored, especially by those in charge who do identify with the radical left anyway. When you have something to say, silence is a lie. And tyranny feeds on lies.
I don’t think you understand the extent of the problem if you think it is limited to the radical left.
I dont understand why you got the downvotes. Many conservatives in the UK and US Republicans are enthusiastic supporters of trans rights. The left are the demented cheerleaders but many on the right are hitching on the bandwagon too.
Teweezer May, for example.
Lia Thomas did not so much “soar” to the top of the rankings of the women’s category, rather than gatecrashed it
Too many making policy decisions in the public sphere are intellectually corrupt. Anyone who repeats the absurd lie that sex is “assigned at birth” falls into that category. Sex is observed and recorded. There may be a few cases where there is ambiguity and uncertainty but the numbers are small and it is not what this debate is concerned with which is the idea that people can reassign their sex entirely at will.
If authorities promote lies it weakens and corrupts faith in their pronouncements on every level. They become ideological propagandists.
On a personal level it may be perfectly legitimate when faced with an individual who declares he is of a sex different to his actual sex not to challenge that self-identification but it is not for the organs of the state to enforce that delusion on others who for whatever reason do not wish to accept the lie. One obvious reason not to accept it is in a sporting event designated for women only. There is nothing hateful or phobic to sticking to the biological truth in such situations but it is oppressive and dictatorial to insist on the validity of the lie in those circumstances.
Who makes these decisions in the NHS and why are they apparently not answerable to our elected representatives who should be deciding on these questions, which are ultimately philosophical rather than medical in nature?
In case you had not noticed – its our elected representatives that can’t answer the question “What is a woman”
Check what happens in private hospitals, which have to compete for patients. The NHS doesn’t have to bother about its patients’ preferences.
Private rooms with en suite facilities so the issue does not arise (at least in the context raised in the article)
There are shared rooms / wards in most private hospitals too. It would be interesting to know how they handle situations like this.
“male athletes are competing in women’s sports, the media is reporting on male serial killers but using female pronouns, and a rape victim is told that the assault she experienced must have been a figment of her imagination.”
Imagine if you had a time machine to go back in time, not very far just 20-30 years, and suggest to people the above might be possible. You would probably be put in a mental hospital.
Which is why I am worried. What if we are not at peak absurdity, and there is stuff waiting for us 20 years down the road that we think unimaginable today.
If you think about it, there are virtually no limits as to what one can “identify” as – a hedgehog, a tree, a torpedo – the sky’s the limit – and beyond! Quite a fascinating religion, this. Imagine yourself as virtually anything you want to be, adopt that identity as dogma and compel the rest of society to buy into it – or else. In 20 years it’s entirely possible that you may be sacked for the heresy of not believing that people can identify as onions.
Feline identification recently presented itself.I wonder it also means eating birds for breakfast?
I saw one of those at Libs of TikTok. This girl had actually done herself up with makeup to have “whiskers,” and was describing the different gender categories she felt like that day, including “a little cat-like.” Then she licked the back of her hand. The level of mental illness on public display now is historically unprecedented.
Narcissism created by these online giants is making people stupid and vulnerable too.
I’ve been identifying as an aardvark for some time now; it doesn’t seem to be bringing me much benefit and my attempts to keep the ants down in the garden have led to little success.
The thing is though, someone identifying as an onion doesn’t affect me, society or kids being told that people becoming onions is normal.
What I would fear greatly is firstly, normalisation of child grooming and paedophillia under various pretences, and secondly a complete distortion and mangling of the concept of marriage, especially in terms of education of young children.
You can see signs of the first and the second is already well underway.
Wait until marrying one’s pet is legal. “This is my husband, Spot, please don’t mind his sniffing your bum.”
No human can “know” what it feels like to be someone else, we can only “know” ourselves.
This does not stop sympathy for others (no shared experience but a knowledge of the facts) or empathy (shared experience and knowledge of the facts).
If you have an XX chromosome at conception then you have developed into a human as a biological woman with all of the attendant feeling and experiences that ensue. Th same is true of biological XY men.
It is therefore impossible for a man to “know” what it feels like to be a woman or visa versa.
The best you can expect is to be treated as if you are the opposite to your biology and that requires that you make efforts to appear as such but also on how others find they react to you (with kindness but truthfully).
It is impossible to see/hear the stories in the article above without the logical assessment that it is wrong to reduce this to self declaration.
That was always my argument as well. How would they know what it feels like to be a woman, if they were born as a man?
How do they know that there is a certain way that a woman feels?
What does it even mean? That they feel like they are small and need protection? That they would like to look beautiful? That they would enjoy wearing skirts and putting on make-up? I’m not sure that’s all there is to being a woman…
Another possibly apt comparison is that of the anorexic. They only feel like they are too fat, but in reality, everybody can see that they are, well, anorexic.
The technical term for all this is “somatic delusion”. A delusion is a belief that is objectively untrue, but is subjectively indistinguishable from plain old-fashioned certainty. The sufferers themselves, therefore, do “know” that they are what they say they are. That is the nature of delusions.
Unfortunately I do not know where the psychiatric profession stands on humouring delusions in general or this one in particular. Who knows? Perhaps it will catch on.
In fact I remember my grandmother, a doctor, recalling that patients with personality delusions would become very upset when not addressed “correctly”. Most Kings and Napoleons demanded Your Highness.
Surprised it not on the list of options for the Soho House membership application.
I tried to reply to this factually and got censored
First time a comment of mine has ever gone into moderation and I don’t understand why so shall repeat it. Psychiatry treats this particular delusion with hormone therapy or by referral to an endocrinologist.
I would go even further. I don’t know what it feels like to be man because I was born and raised to be a woman, but equally I don’t know what it is like to be a woman because I have no comparison, it’s all I know. If I had to explain to a man what words would I use? What aspects would I think make me a woman? Which is why I don’t know how someone who is born male can know he is female, there are no objective citeria except, of course, biological. All of this also applies to a natal woman saying she feels like a man.
Very well put.
(profuse apologies for multiple posting: I am trying to discover if the AI is selecting for words or account)
Andrew, when speaking to the FSU and Toby Young this week you stated that you would use preferred pronouns for people struggling with dy*phoria but not for seri*l k*llers. This you said was a compassionate practice. I wanted to ask where the line is drawn between s*rial kil**rs and genuine tr*ns people? A Gender Reassignment Certificate might be a good place or the intervening time when they are applying for one. Would you grant this politeness to male-bodied people winning female competitions?
I find it very difficult to lie out of politeness. I was also a science teacher which is dissonant to pretending that feelings are more significant than biochemical facts. I wonder if our instinct for politeness is also being used to force language conformity along with the usual ph*be pejoratives. However, overall I like people and so this egg-shell perambulating is very uncomfortable.
Aha – the AI doesn’t like the asterisked words!
Looks like Unherd has selected an AI with a woke moderation policy, even as they enrourage open debate on controversial topics. Does not sound real smart.
How about setting the filters so you do not get moderated for using words that are in the article you are commenting on?
I found I was getting blocked for very tame comments on other articles – I still don’t know why.
I am a great enthusiast for Unherd. It is often the first thing I look at in the morning and there are often refreshingly individual articles published that might struggle to be published in the MSM.
However, their comment moderation policy has been partially captured by algorithms and moderation practices that are dominated by woke thinking. That may well be because of cost constraints as off the shelf systems have probably already been captured by woke thinking.
The inclusion of the provision in the moderation guidelines that comment that upsets someone in my view is a woke provision that should not be either there or enforced – particularly since enforcement is inevitably going to be pretty arbitrary. I am entirely in sympathy with the idea of moderation I would just like to see Unherd shake off the shackles of the woke so far as they can do within practical constraints.
Above all in a publication aimed at expanding the sphere of public discourse they should be prepared to be more open about the practical constraints they face in rolling back wokedom in this area.
“Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”
The inimitable Douglas Adams, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
We are losing our society due to a million daily small acts of cowardice. However it is difficult to stand up to this as cancel culture is real and it’s adherents ruthless. I am not all that convinced we are at a tipping point. With respect to transgenderism run amok – unless women en masse start advocating about it nothing will happen. I don’t think women will because the issue doesn’t fit neatly into the rubric they have been raised on that everything is the fault of men.
It used to require courage to dissent openly from the prevailing opinion. Nowadays it takes courage to say what nearly everyone else is thinking.
A Supreme Court judge nominee can’t define what a woman is.
I think even Kafka would struggle with this.
Gaslighting us into believing that men are women or women are men is a purposeful attempt at creating chaos in society. Up is down, down is up too. Good is bad and bad is good. It will be increasingly difficult to get along in this world, whilst holding fast to objective truth.
And chaos in society will lead to its dismemberment and the activists’ goal of replacing it with s totalitarian Marxist society will be achieved.
I just asked my husband if he’d be happy for me to be in a hospital ward with a “t* w o m a n” (sic). He said yes. I asked why. He said, it’s their choice.
I then asked if he’d be happy for a “t * w o ma n” (sic), who is basically just a bloke but calling himself a woman, to be in same hospital ward as his daughter or his mum, and i got a resounding “no”.
I’ve given him a rollicking for his first answer btw.
and my first attempt at posting this failed, because of the t-word.
Most people whom I know find this debate merely a source of comedy and good jokes, other than that, mention of the subject renders instant excommunication… along with racism, and global warming… simple social death!!!
We’ve definitely reached peak ‘not-giving-a-shit’.
Has anyone else noticed that there haven’t been many reports of female to male trans people rushing to compete in men’s teams or against men? Of course biology can’t have anything to do with it. This obviously needs investigating to make sure that such people have the opportunity to compete in their new chosen gender.
There’s a good article elsewhere on Unherd proposing a trans olympics, akin to the Paralympics in terms of the ranking scale it gives each athlete. Sounds like a very sensible solution to protect women’s sports, and it would give trans men a chance to compete at a high level too.
The problem with these culture war issues, like trans theory or CRT, is that they get sucked into the vortex of our political polarization where our political parties use them to bash each other over the head and no one gives an inch. Those of us hoping for reasonable discussion and compromise had better stop expecting it from the mendacious, hypocritical and stupid politicians Americans keep electing to govern our country. All you had to do was watch a few minutes of the Ketanji-Brown hearings to see that.
It is even worse for anti-woke progressives when it means aligning yourself with the likes of Hawley, Graham, and Cruz the three little pigs on the committee. Anti-woke progressives must wrestle with the uncomfortable fact that the cure will be worse than the disease.
There is a thesis out there, waiting to be written, on how persons in positions of authority could be subsumed into a philosophy that chosen gender is prioritised over natal sex. I would suggest starting with a precedent: the Emperor’s new clothes. Step forward the truth-telling child.
Andrew, when speaking to the FSU and Toby Young this week you stated that you would use preferred pronouns for people struggling with dysphoria but not for serial killers. This you said was a compassionate practice. I wanted to ask where the line is drawn between serial killers and genuine trans people? A Gender Reassignment Certificate might be a good place or the intervening time when they are applying for one. Would you grant this politeness to male-bodied people winning female competitions?
I find it very difficult to lie out of politeness. I was also a science teacher which is dissonant to pretending that feelings are more significant than biochemical facts. I wonder if our instinct for politeness is also being used to force language conformity along with the usual phobe pejoratives. However, overall I like people and so this egg-shell perambulating is very uncomfortable.
People really need to stop saying ‘male bodied.’ Just say ‘man.’
Repeating and upholding a clear like doesn’t make someone nice compassionate. At best they are useful idiots but many are far worse.
Have we reached peak trans?
> A question I posed a long time ago, I’m afraid.
Unless I can read the future, I had already read this article, but can’t remember where. Maybe the GB news website?
I suspect the subject has been talked to death and the articles are all now starting to look alike with the same analytic framework, same anecdotes repeated, same tone of shock and outrage at how transgenderism has become unmoored from reality. We await articles with solutions to these problems, but they’re much harder to write.
Doyle writes in a few publications, UnHerd, Spiked etc so it’s quite possible
Andrea, Andrew went over all these points on his Free Speech Nation show on GBNews. Julie Bindel wrote about the serial killer this week.
No, it was (largely) the same article. I could remember what came next 😉
I always wonder if trans women are women, then am I a trans woman? As a biological woman, if I am not a trans woman, then why not? Therein lies the rub.
Maybe you forgot the password for the house “another wonderful article from UnHerd” -))))
What is a man, but a miserable pile of secrets?
When my 9th grade daughter, fresh from school indoctrination, lectured me that a trans woman is ACTUALLY a woman, I disagreed with her and she of course, told me that I was trans-phobic.
I then told her that I identify as a 20 year old. She looked at me horrified, and told me that people can’t change their age. “You’re right sweetie, they can’t. But people cannot change their biological sex either.”
I’ve had posts disappearing and reappearing and disappearing again, and I can’t see anything in them that is insulting or abusive; perhaps I’m not as sensitive as the AI used here.
Bare-foot, pregnant and in the kitchen? I assume this is just to be provocative.
Not at all. If you find fault or disagree, I’d be interested in factual and logical refutation.
I’ll assume your lack of response indicates you cannot refute. Let’s look at the facts of your adolescent comment. If you aren’t pregnant, you don’t believe in the future enough to populate it, so why would anyone care about your opinions (or vote) about that future? If you aren’t populating the future, Islam will – how many rights will that leave our children – particularly future women? Women, who do all the truly important things in the world (providing the next generation, feeding, clothing, nursing, educating), somehow have decided being men is a better deal. Which leaves civilization no future at all.
I just asked my husband if he’d be happy for me to be in a hospital ward with a “transwoman” (sic). He said yes. I asked why. He said, it’s their choice.
I then asked if he’d be happy for a “transwoman” (sic), who is basically just a bloke but calling himself a woman, to be in same hospital ward as his daughter or his mum, and i got a resounding “no”.
I’ve given him a rollicking for his first answer btw.
Ironically, Judge Brown Jackson’s answer, “I’m not a biologist” actually affirmed the reality of sex as integral to gender. While pretending that such a simple question was above her pay grade, she would have been better off saying, “I’m not a progressive sociologist.”
‘Peak trans’ was last year. I watched it reach the high water mark and recede around the late summer when I began to notice fewer teenage girls (who would have *all* been Emos ten years ago) saying they need a phalloplasty to make it through their days.
It’s about to stop being counter culture.
Whelp, it’s official, #metoo is dead. You can’t #believeallwomen if you can’t believe a woman who says she was raped if the fact the perp identifies as a woman and therefore could not have committed the deed (under these terms, at least; in some places the definition of rape is different so that women can commit it). It’s unfortunate this happened, but I can’t help but be amused how rapidly the left nullifies its owns orthodoxies. They’re like squirrels on crack, unable to focus on anything for more than a few seconds at a time, but with epic intensity for those few seconds.
A society in which the definition of “woman” is subject to public debate is a society in which the definition of “human” will soon be up for the same. No one who values real “human rights” would want to live in such a society.
I’m sure that – as the author suggests – much of this is coming from a place of empathy, but I’m equally sure that many of the people who are defending Lia Thomas’ right to compete against biological women will also have condemned Rachel Dolezal for identifying as black. My point is not to admonish Thomas or to defend Dolezal, but to ask why these two acts of self-assignment were met with such different responses? I agree with the author that trans people must be supported, protected and afforded equal rights. Unfortunately a lot of that support (at least at policy level) seems to be coming at the expense of the most consistently persecuted group in human history – women.
It’s unfair to expect Jackson – who is not a politician – to answer that question; from her perspective it’s a can of worms and a trap
Yes, her answer was a long the lines that she couldn’t address that because it would involve a hypothetical situation she could be presented with as a judge and she can’t pronounce on that because it would depend on the facts of the case. For example, what if it is a case where somebody is not trans, but has an intersex (DSD) condition like androgen insensitivity syndrome, in which case she would probably need a biologist to come in and give expert testimony. On the other hand, politicians are fair game and if they can’t say “adult human female” then that’s a problem.
That is an interesting remark. The difference between man and woman apparently has become politicised. Is that what you are meaning, sir?
It was a gotcha question because if she had answered it the way Blackburn had wanted, she would have caused a firestorm on left wing twitter which is what the Republican Senator wanted and if she answered it the way the left wanted, the right would have something to get riled up about, an equally good outcome for the Republicans. By dodging it she just looked bad. The question was a political stunt in the midst of a political circus.
There was a time, a long time ago now, when you could watch a hearing for a nominee to the Supreme Court and hear some pretty interesting exchanges about Constitutional law.
There are quite a few laws passed or being considered at state level that involve trans issues, and more than a few lefty folks in congress who would like some national laws on the subject. Given that at least some of these will be legally challenged, the views of a potential SC justice are very relevant
Oh, I think not. We can be certain that as a Supreme Court judge she will have to adjudicate things related to trans people and their rights vis a vis others’ rights.
The terms “woman” is used in thousands of places in federal law. How is it a “gotcha” question to ask how a potential justice interprets that term?
One of the other things asked was “when do legal rights attach to a human being?” She refused to answer that one as well, which is far more concerning to me. Wouldn’t you want to know if a justice interpreted “human” as excluding particular races, or ages, or disabilities? If she had a utilitarian view of human rights?
On a more basic level, anyone who refuses to answer a simple question about the definition of a woman is either a fool or a coward, and ipso-facto, not qualified to serve on as a judge in any capacity.