X Close

Five rules for fighting transactivism Stonewall loyalists need rescuing from themselves

Credit: Getty


April 12, 2022   6 mins

It will not have escaped the eagle-eyed that something about modern transactivism seems to make otherwise Gillick-competent adults veer towards the infantile. From the EHRC’s recent clarification about the legality of single-sex spaces under the terms of the Equality Act, to the government’s announcement that it would no longer try to criminalise what is tendentiously named “conversion therapy” for people with incongruent gender identities, it seems that whenever an obstacle is thrown in the path of transactivists there is widespread wailing, dramatic pronouncements, and holding of breath until puce.

Given the radical scope of activist ambitions — basically, to restructure the English language so that no one refers accurately to males and females in any context it might matter — you’d think that they would be a bit more sanguine about the likelihood of an uphill struggle. But not so — every new challenge is received like an incomprehensible and crushing blow, and much drama inevitably follows.

What is it that produces such childish regression in the initiates of the new gender religion? At least part of the answer seems to have to do with the example set by Stonewall. For years now, the charity has acted like a demented primary school teacher gone rogue, encouraging all sorts of unsavoury habits in those under its influence. Via the use of an elaborate reward chart — otherwise known as the UK Workplace Equality Index — it has sown widespread misunderstanding within hundreds of institutions about the actual state of equality law. It has scared people silly with lurid fairytales of murder, suicide threats, and the hate crime of “misgendering”. No wonder the more impressionable are now getting so worked up.

The latest example of Stonewall’s wayward moral leadership came at the weekend, when it was revealed that its flounce from the government’s scheduled “Safe To Be Me” LGBT rights conference will cost the taxpayer at least £650,000, and probably more. Having previously been paid to co-organise the conference, Stonewall’s withdrawal statement was larded with the usual purple prose: hearts were heavy about the government’s U-turn on conversion therapy, trust was shattered, and so on. You would think the government had just announced compulsory heterosexuality for all, and not a pause in legislation threatening to criminalise talking therapies for gender-questioning people, including for gay adolescents at risk of starting a medicalised pathway they might later regret.

Many of those fighting Stonewall’s agenda are mothers — or as the Stonewalled maternity hospital where I gave birth twice would now have it, “pregnant people”. Since the opposition seem desperate to project their serious mummy issues onto us anyway, I reckon we should just lean into it. As most mums know, it’s important to have a few strategies ready for when things get tricky. So — with a nod in solidarity to beleaguered adults across the land having to deal with transactivist drama in their organisations, homes, and friend groups — here are five supernanny-style rules from me.

  1. Encourage them to use their words

As with toddlers, in transactivism there is a lot of shouting and stamping and strutting about, but not a lot of thinking. When next a transactivist intones a Stonewall-approved mantra or slogan at you, gently encourage them to use their words and unpack it a bit. For instance, you might ask: if any male who feels like a woman is a transwoman, and transwomen are women, what then is a woman? Don’t be put off by furious complaints that you must be a bigot for asking such a thing — this is a distraction.

Equally, you could ask them: if, as Stonewall tells us, “to be nonbinary is to exist outside of society’s confines and expectations”, then what does this mean for the countless gay people who have spent their lives facing discrimination and sometimes violence because they don’t fit heterosexual norms? How does having an interesting haircut stack up against that, exactly?

Or if, as Stonewall’s new campaign on behalf of “asexuals” tells us, a “grey-asexual” is someone who “may experience sexual attraction very rarely or only under specific circumstances”,  while “demisexual people only experience sexual attraction after developing a strong emotional bond with someone”, then in fact, aren’t most of us either grey-asexual or demisexual? And more to the point, how on earth does any of this count as a political campaign worthy of large amounts of taxpayers’ money?

  1. Praise the good

When raising offspring, it’s important to positively reinforce good behaviour when you see it. This can be an effective strategy with difficult people generally. Transactivists frequently claim that they want to break down regressive stereotypes about how males and females should be. If so, tell them this is fantastic! Give them lots of praise for it — though you might also ask them how they plan to smash stereotypes, when they also seem to think that playing with dolls and wearing dresses might turn a male child into a girl.

  1. Set boundaries

This appears to be a particularly hard one for transactivists to accept, tending as they do to think that all boundaries are fascist — so start small. Begin by casually saying things like “apples can’t be oranges” and “tables can’t be chairs”. (If they get cross and start calling you the “fruit police” or the “furniture police”, calmly ignore). Eventually, work your way up to males and females in non-human species on earth: “bucks are not does”, “bulls are not heifers”, and so on.

Once that information is well-tolerated, gently introduce the idea that humans are a sexually dimorphic species too; and that, as with other species, we need mutually exclusive names for the two human sexes in order to talk clearly about them. And after this radical idea has taken root, you could perhaps start to talk about other kinds of boundary too.

For instance, you could talk about the physical boundaries of women’s changing rooms and dormitories and refuges, and what those boundaries are actually supposed to do to protect their occupants from male predation. Or you could talk about the personal boundaries of women who say they don’t want men in public spaces where they undress.

At all times throughout this process, maintain your own boundaries by example. A firm and consistent “no” will be your friend.

  1. Ignore derailing attempts

Kids like to copy what you just said and repeat it back to you (“no, YOU are!”). Sometimes they do it just to annoy you. At other times, it’s because they want to argue the toss but don’t know how, so just parrot a version of what you just said in the hope it will stick. In a similar vein, some transactivists like to take points originally made by gender-critical feminists and throw them back, only lightly altered.

For instance, gender-critical feminists often express concerns about the lack of safe-guarding in self-ID policies, and about the negative effects of such policies on female survivors of male sexual violence. Not to be outdone, last week my former colleague and fervent transactivist Professor Alison Phipps wrote on twitter that: “When I go in a public toilet I am incredibly vigilant — I scrutinise every woman I come across and wonder whether she is a “gender-critical feminist”. Their obsession with what’s in everyone’s pants is frightening and as a cis woman and survivor, it makes me feel very unsafe”. Now, either this displays a level of paranoia on a par with Q-Anon worries about lizard people in the White House, or it’s an unsubtle attempt to wind gender-critical feminists up.

Or take Professor Grace Lavery of Berkeley University, in the UK to punt a new book about her penis on Woman’s Hour, and who gave a talk at UCL a few weeks ago. Lavery’s talk was entitled “The Gender Critical Movement Is the Biggest Threat to Academic Freedom in a Generation”. I am told that in the talk, my name came up — you know, that former Professor who got harassed out of her job for saying that biological sex matters —  as someone supposedly personally responsible for recent serious declines in academic freedom of thought.

As with the more junior version, mindless “no YOU ares” like those of Phipps and Lavery are likely to drag you into pointless back-and-forths, which is probably the intention. Try not to let it get to you. Do what mums have done since time immemorial and pour yourself a large gin. Take a swig and read this marvellously warm, perceptive, and witty piece by English scholars Christopher Castiglia and Christopher Reed, written in response to an attempt of Grace Lavery — you know, that Professor who is Very Keen to protect academic freedom — to cancel them in 2018 for allegedly enabling transphobic “fascism” in their writing. (Their alleged crime, according to Lavery, was to defend the sometime use of trans birthnames and accurate sexed pronouns. And the cancellation attempt was eventually successful: the pair later released an abject apology, terrifying for its newly-leaden, generically contrite prose as much as for anything else.)

In particular, as you read Castiglia and Reed’s piece, linger over these prescient words: “what we too often face today in the academy is something that looks less like activism or scholarship and more like adolescent acting-out. Now that scientists have decided that adolescence — itself a recently invented identity closely linked to advanced capitalism — persists into the third decade of human life, perhaps we should not be surprised to find behaviors associated with adolescents proliferating, tolerated and sometimes even encouraged within educational institutions. To be specific, we identify as adolescent the furious response to the discovery that others do not perceive you exactly the way you’d like to imagine to yourself”.

  1. Get them out in the fresh air

This final one is simple enough. Get your transactivist troublemaker away from their screen or phone and into the great outdoors. Inhibit the flow of crazy pronouncements flying into innocent minds via LGBT organisations and bluetick accounts on Twitter. Encourage them instead to run around, take their shoes off and paddle, get muddy and out-of-breath, and generally to reconnect with their physical bodies and the natural world.

And if a member of the opposite sex is around, why not encourage them to arm-wrestle each other, or have a throwing contest? They both might learn something interesting. Perhaps this teaching moment could even feed into later conversations about transwomen in women’s sport


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
Docstockk

Join the discussion


Rejoignez des lecteurs partageant les mêmes idées qui soutiennent notre journalisme en devenant abonnés payants.

Subscribe

To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

82 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jason Highley
Jason Highley
2 years ago

I could not love this article more. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have shared it liberally.

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson
2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Highley

Yup. Kathleen Stock has been slowly publishing a full dressing-down of contemporary gender theory and I am here for it.

Terry M
Terry M
2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Highley

Most important, don’t use their vocabulary. Don’t be ‘cis’ be a natural born woman (or man), or “I’m XX, what are you?”. Don’t display pronouns.
Control the language and you control the thoughts.
“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world−view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.” – 1984

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

Excellent point. A propos, here is the phrasing I used a few minutes ago to terminate a conversation on Quora:-
“I’ve just noticed that you disclose your pronouns. I’m very unwoke and am sadly unable to continue this conversation.”

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I suggest two new pronouns, very and obvious.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Knight
I came up with some of my own a few months ago:-
https://amoebadick.blogspot.com/2021/10/my-pronouns.html
Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

I chose my own adjectives. I am not a cis man, I am a natural born man, or if you prefer, man. Do not insult me by referring to me as cis

Mark Epps
Mark Epps
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Kelly

Yup, I’m going to get a “Don’t call me cis” t-shirt. I think someone does them

Victoria Hart
Victoria Hart
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Epps

It’s easier if you’re a woman. I have a t-shirt that simply reads: Not your cis.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

Good to see the whole farrago of nonsense that emanates from Stonewall treated with humorous contempt by Kathleen Stock who has every reason to feel aggrieved over her treatment but seems unembittered. .

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeremy Bray
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Constructive and generous, but…

You want to engage in dialogue and persuasion as with a child. But there is no point in treating idiots like children, if in fact they are not children. A more robust approach is: treat idiots like idiots – don’t bother with argument and reasoning, because you will be wasting your breath and energy to no purpose.

In fact, the best cure for delusion is a head-on collision with reality. And, as providence would have it, a very, very bad, downright vicious, global economic climate is brewing, one which will likely last for years, perhaps decades. And although the narrative cultivated by the left will be that the world is quickly heading towards fascism, in fact events will tear huge chunks out the entire strata of woke delusion-pushers in the corporate world, (unconscious bias, diversity, pronouns, and so on), because they (both the people and their ideas) are of no productive value, they are just a poisonous luxury indulged for the purposes of projection, and luxury is the first thing you dispense with when the money dries up, and the house you inhabit is about to burn down.

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Exactly. This is the true meaning of the story of Sodom and Gomorrha. If people lose their morals and virtue, they become hollow materialistic creatures fixated on consuming rather than building. A storm of meteoric proportions is just the natural result of that.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Absolutely! I find myself torn between the dread of the coming hardship and, in contrast, hopeful that it will provide the proverbial slap in the face that these idiots need!

Edward Jones
Edward Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Brilliant comment. Wish I had said that — and, who knows — I might! Thank you.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Would that this outcome were certain. But the strategy of the cultural warriors is to capture the ever growing, ever more powerful, state and intervene in every aspect of people’s lives to intimidate and deconstruct any cultural certainties – all the while funded by the production of true contributors, whom they will tax ever more heavily.

Kieran Saxon
Kieran Saxon
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

There is merit in this. However, a big problem is that the route for CSJ into the workplace is via what was HR, now often called People/Culture departments. These are the ones who also oversee hiring and firing, and one of the last to go in redundancies.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Kieran Saxon

They don’t oversee it in all organizations. Tech firms in particular don’t allow HR to have any involvement with hiring at all. They do or did allow a bit of involvement in firing, but I always felt that was a mistake.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago

So rare to read such brave writing in this day and age. Congratulations to Kathleen Stock for her insightful and humourous tongue in cheek writing and to Unherd’ for not bowing at the alter of wokeness.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

… 6. Tell your lodgers before they move in that you have absolutely zero tolerance of wokeness, and that Black Lives Matter is a racist hate group and transwomen are men. I did this, and seeing the look on their faces whenever I speak the anti-woke truth is absolutely hilarious.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

…7. Tell them it’s time to grow up and put their big girl/boy pants on. Life is hard, being an adult is hard, the truth can be hard to swallow but swallow it you must, and society is not your parent!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Amen to that.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago

Rule Number 6: Take away the pocket money. Or, in the case of activist NGOs operating with no democratic scrutiny, take away the taxpayer funding.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

6(a). When the university alumnus association rings up with the begging bowl, tell them NO, and tell them why not.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

I’m not sure this light-hearted essay really works. Toddlers are powerless unless we give in to them. The transactivists are not powerless. On the contrary, they have far too much power. They can end careers in an afternoon. What we need, in dealing with them, is not a strong sense of humour (which Kathleen commendably displays) but a ruthless, inflexible determination to break their power, defeat their misguided efforts to police our language and thoughts and get them out of academia where they have already caused more than enough trouble.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

The essay I expect to work because it is actionable to ordinary people in our daily lives. “Kathleen’s rules” will help inform those in real power who base their current views on those noisy, but tiny minorities which have crowded out the voices of the silent majority. Kathleen is advocating not being silent – and it is important that the majority stops being afraid of voicing their opinion. She is giving a simple, doable plan with examples of the language to use.
Whereas it sounds like what you are suggesting is the end goal institutionally, that is something that only the most dedicated would consider getting involved directly. Getting intolerant activists out of academia is a noble aim – but what are the practical ways of doing that?

Mark Epps
Mark Epps
2 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

I don’t see it as light-hearted. It’s humorous, but acidic. I kept going ‘ouch’.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Epps

Yes, humorous is a better word.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
2 years ago

Owen Jones is like a twelve year old boy getting up to something (‘We Hate Girls Club’?) with his mates in his bedroom & then his Mum finds out & it’s game over.

She’s coming up the stairs.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Melissa Martin

He’s the “hero” of my heroic couplet satire, 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 be11end, wet behind the ears
Some thirty summer suckling prone to tears. 180
His name is Legion, though, for he is many,
His kind’s superfluous and two a penny.
I face a cute 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 p155
A Gaveston unsponsored by Marquis, 190
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’,
‘A Dozen Recipes For Curing Pork’, 200
‘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
Andy Aitch
Andy Aitch
2 years ago

Brilliant! I can almost hear the prams bouncing in indignation…

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago

Thank Goodnees for Kathleen Stock.

Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
2 years ago

There has been a huge shift in how we deal with this nonsense and you have have been at the forefront.
Thank you for this and keep up the good fight. I hope the biggest baby of all reads it. I am of course referring to Owen Jones.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
2 years ago

And if a member of the opposite sex is around, why not encourage them to arm-wrestle each other, or have a throwing contest? They both might learn something interesting. Perhaps this teaching moment could even feed into later conversations about transwomen in women’s sport”
I think this conversation could include the innocent question: “I don’t hear of any transmen aiming to compete against (biological) men in top-flight sport: I wonder why that is? Perhaps those male bigots can’t face the challenge of competing against transmen.”

Richard Barnes
Richard Barnes
2 years ago

If I may be so bold as to add a sixth rule: use democracy.
So when a transactivist puts forward their latest loony proposition, say “great idea! Let’s find somebody to stand in the next council / general election on that platform. Do you know somebody who’d do that? Would you stand?”

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

A wonderfully amusing antidote to the ever-growing assault upon culture by the poisonous ideologues of the progressive persuasion.

But ridiculing these social justice warriors as children does not dispel the danger of their successful invasion of every institution. We should never forget that Mao indictrinated armies of children to promote his power, and enlisted them to denounce their parents and teachers for any thought or action contrary to his doctrine, and resulted in the cancellation and imprisonment of perhaps millions during the Cultural Revolution. The SJW’s of our day have studied this much history at least.

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago

Quite a witty article, but in all seriousness: don’t engage with these people. Doing that means you will lower yourself to their level, and that alone lifts them up and gives them power. They already win as soon as they have wasted even a second of your valuable time. Indeed, by distracting productive people they are wreaking havoc on the very society that feeds them.
Should you decide to engage with them anyway, you will suddenly find yourself intellectually naked out on the street. You will be bewildered and surprised, you will realize the rules have changed and maybe you will even find your composure and ready yourself for a fistfight. But they have been intellectually naked for years now, and they know the rules of the jungle. Thus, while you are getting ready for hand-to-hand combat, they will comfortably sit in their tree and fling feces at you. Too late you will realize that you can’t block dung. It will hit you no matter what.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

And it sticks! Good analogy Michael K.

Patrick Butler
Patrick Butler
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

I couldn’t agree more! Lyndon Johnson put it this way: “Never mud wrestle with pigs; you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

Michael K we got to where we are, because we did not engage with “these people”.
I am a woman and look like a woman – I always did.
Once I faced a middle-aged man in a business suit with his back to the lockers in a female changing room in a gym in Melbourne’s (Australia) CBD observing young women in various levels of undress as they used their lunchtime to get some exercise. No one dared to raise an eyebrow, let alone question what he was doing there. He made no effort whatsoever to make it look like he was interested in doing any exercise at all himself. I feel outraged about the incident to this day. I didn’t know – I still don’t know – how to get a parasite like this out of female changing rooms. I don’t go to changing rooms any more, I go to the gym in active wear instead changing in my car/home/workplace. Imagine women in female prisons and refuges being confronted by biological males gaming the system and not being able to get away.
We might be lucky indeed with Covid, Putin etc. to have “these people” and their agendas to sink into oblivion as they deserve.
If not, we must do our best to fight toxic nonsense. Finding and sharing non-aggressive ways is a good strategy. The ones who suffer the consequences of this insanity the most don’t have the necessary Testosterone-levels to use aggression usually.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

Out here in the real world where we are too busy cleaning up dog sick and fretting about why the heating is making that funny noise, we don’t have any truck with folk that have ‘activist’ in their job title. I’m being charitable here, the lot of ’em wouldn’t know what a proper job was if it bit them on the behind.
So a note to the inhabitants of wokeland. We don’t care. And we are in the vast majority. And … cue drum roll … some of us are greatly inspired by the idea of asking a pesky local councillor who might want our vote … tell me now, can a woman have a ….? Can’t wait to hear the response. Beats unblocking the drains any day.

Richard Riheed
Richard Riheed
2 years ago

Fantastic article. The only way to deal with this absurdity is through ridicule, satire, etc. If we meet it head on by taking it seriously, we’ve nowhere to go
– as anyone who believes that biological sex is a social construct is clearly so deluded that they are incapable of reasoned argument. Put them in the (metaphorical) stocks and laugh ourselves silly as they scream and stamp there feet.

Last edited 2 years ago by Richard Riheed
Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

I am so thankful that Kathleen Stock has stood up for women and, indirectly, men everywhere. Men want the females in our lives to be happy, worry free and, where there is risk, protected. Kathleen and many other brave women and a few brave men in the public eye, say normal things that they realise, sometimes too late, some activists take incredible issue with.
The bullying from these activists is quick and savage – like the executioners axe – and it’s wielded by these few in the medieval town square of Twitter. And if the conventional media (TV, Newspapers, etc) stopped paying so much attention to social media, their constantly skewed view would get back to normality and the reality of most people’s lives in Britain.
So thank you Kathleen and all those that stick up for women’s rights for girl’s rights – your brave, moral and pragmatic lead is such a fine example and so critical for the health of our nation.

John Davies
John Davies
2 years ago

To the list that Kathleen has set out I would add ‘when did you start to use terms such as ‘trans’, ‘cis woman’ and ‘birthing person’, and, assuming you did not think these concepts up yourself, who implanted the terms involved in your head?’ It is also worth posing the question ‘why do you think there has been a massive increase in the idea of changing sex, especially from young girls, in this age of social media?’ It might just occur to the other party that the ‘trans’ movement could be a sophisticated campaign to corral insecure and identity-hungry young people into a cult which may be superficially welcoming but in essence shamelessly uses individuals for political ends. And before signing up to a cult which may not be easy to leave, they should perhaps ask themselves why organisations with a clear political agenda, or people they only know from TikTok, are investing so much energy in pressurising them to change their lives irrevocably.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
2 years ago

When you are different, try to blend into the crowd and work hard quietly to become better than the rest of the crowd. This is the lesson I learned in the ‘70s’ London as an immigrant child dealing with open racism.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
2 years ago

All ideas and concepts must first be open to ridicule; and if they survive without resorting to violence, only then they should be taken seriously.

Last edited 2 years ago by Vijay Kant
Kieran Saxon
Kieran Saxon
2 years ago

Thanks for this, Prof. One of the parts touched on at the end is Twitter. As Elon has figured out, Twitter has had its hand on the scales of fair and free debate for some time now. Its distortion of the discourse by banning, shadow-banning, etc, some voices, whilst boosting others has been moving the Overton window inexorably in one direction. I am seeing what I thought of as fairly sensible accounts that, for example, have opposed excesses of lockdowns, getting sucked into the narrative on this. The ‘you’re a facist/anti-Vaxxer/conspiracy theorist/eugenicist/racist/misogynist/homophobe/nazi/transphobe’ attack still really hits home for people with good intentions and compassion, and they find it hard to resist.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Kieran Saxon

Check out the article in The Guardian entitled “Musk has long advocated a libertarian vision of an ‘uncontrolled’ internet. That’s also the dream of every dictator, strongman and demagogue”. Of course I haven’t read their drivel which does sound unfair, but my life is too short.

Andrew Mckay
Andrew Mckay
2 years ago

Life is indeed too short to read articles in the ghastly Guardian. I did used to regularly hold my nose and give a few pieces a try up until about 18 months ago, but finally couldn’t take it anymore. Is Hadley Freeman still there? (If she’s now a semi-regular contributor here then I do wonder!) If not, then I think that leaves John Harris as the only reasonably sane one.
That said, I did notice a couple of things when I used to skim their website. The number of articles they opened up for comments was forever shrinking, and there was no chance at all when readers might disagree with the editorial line. Linked to that (and this is going back three or four years), even Guardian readers tended to defend freedom of speech in the BTL comments and, believe it or not, were sceptical of gender ideology. (Of course, when the articles were about the Conservatives or Brexit they reverted to type…)
That made me wonder just who is pushing the most extreme progressive causes, as even G readers didn’t seem impressed. What’s more, if you read BTL on the trans stuff the NY Times puts out then you see the same thing: by far the most liked comments are the ones that argue against it, not for it. So if even a majority of these papers’ left-liberal readerships take a sensible view, then who are the journalists speaking for? Is it just themselves?
My final observation was the amusing one that, going by the most-voted comments on Owen Jones’s articles, even the average Guardian reader couldn’t stand him…

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Mckay
Tom May
Tom May
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Mckay

Thank goodness! I thought I was alone! I cancelled my account and asked the G to delete all my data for all the reasons you set out. Thank you

Mark Epps
Mark Epps
2 years ago

Bloody hell Kathleen, no holds barred now! I read your book, liked it a lot, recommended it to everyone, but felt you were giving far too much respect to the nonsense you were criticising. Now you are showing the real you and I love it.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Epps

Yes – she was far too acommodating. You can’t be reasonable or ‘fair’ about something that is neither. Transgendersim and transgenderists are quite possibly the most collectively sociopathic group of people the world has ever seen – I mean those who claim to believe that you can literally change sex and demand that we must all go along with that lie.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

It’s actually even simpler than that. “The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy.” I stopped bothering to humour these loons long ago.

Brad Mountz
Brad Mountz
2 years ago

Love how it was written in the context of a mother’s knowledge about how to communicate with a child. Thoughtful. Loving. Perfect.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

Excellent.
The only observation is in No . 3 where you say,
“protect their occupants from *male* predation.”
I find that *male* rather grating and bindel-esque.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

With all due respect to the the vast majority of men who would never dream of sexually abusing a woman, unfortunately most sexual assaults upon women are committed by men, and most sexual asaults are on women. The reason for these safe spaces is that, unfortunately, one can’t know if that particular man is one of that tiny minority who is dangerous, so it is “male predation” that taht gives rise to the need of safe spaces, it just that it is (thank God) only a very small group. But maybe we do need a different term that makes it clear that most men are lovely p***y-cats really (oh, can I use the word p***y-cat any more).

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

Looks like I can’t say that word.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

Used to be called chivalry- bravery ,courtesy, good manners and readiness to protect the weak and women. If boys are taught boxing, rugby, cricket, courtesy and good manners from the age of 8 to 18 years, they will be brave, athletic, handsome and well mannered. Since 1919 the Marxists Frankfurt School and left wing middle class in general have attacked good manners as bourgeois and so we have the problems of today.
When desmond Tutu was undergraduate in the 1950s in London, an older white man held a door open fro him as he entered a building, coming from South Africa he was astonished. As Dr M L King said “Judge me on my character”.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Agree 100%. Courtesy and good manners not only oil social interactions, but they brighten one’s day or at least it does mine. Not long ago I was going into a shop when an an older gentleman held the door open and doffed his hat, not required, but some how it made me smile and think, for a moment, that the world is not so bad. Manners are never bourgeois, manners maketh the man (and woman).

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

Wasn’t it “manners maketh man” ? No definite article?
However otherwise you are perfectly correct, and long may it remain so.

Last edited 2 years ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

It is not just holding a door a open, it is the the knowledge one can give a good account of oneself in a fight in order to protect the weaker. When Edward III heard his son was fighting for his life at Crecy ” Let him earn his spurs “.
Manners maketh man means the manner in which one presents oneself to the world is the manner it which one is judged. Present oneself as a snivelling craven coward and one will be treated as such. Have the manner of someone who is courteous, polite, well mannered but can win a streetfight and one will be treated with respect; one will have charismos. I remember drinking with a Irish foreman scaffolder, he was not massive but a lean six footer, who was a boxer. He was friendly charming but everyone made sure they did not knock his beer; he had that aura of being dangerous, of being quick with his fists.
For women it is charisma, sexual allure, the most famous being Helen of Sparta(Troy). Perhaps that is why Transgender men are angry, they lack the charismos to fight men and the charisma of women such as Sharon Davies ?

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

“Perhaps that is why Transgender men are angry, they lack the charismos to fight men and the charisma of women such as Sharon Davies ?” Perfect and highly quotable!

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

There are occasions when another man has held a door for me. For me it is a signal of civilisation, where men treat one another with respect and kindness instead of the edginess of constant competition.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

That edginess of constant competition is usually a sign of inadequacy.
Unfortunately we have adopted the American tradition of bragging, of you if you got it, flaunt it.
In Jeremy Clarksons documentaries on the VC and St Nazaire Raid there are men wh do not need to compete- they have stood up to the test and passed. Clarkson’s Father In Law won a VC at Arnhem which involved several days of incredible heroism including knocking out Tiger Tanks with a PIAT. He did not think it worth mentioning it to his daughter.
A family friend won the DCM with the SOE in Balkans which required resisting torture by the Gestapo/ SS for four months. He described his experiences as ” Unpleasant ” which was an understatement after i read his citation for his DCM.. Another friend of my Father was asked what he did in the RAF ” I flew a desk ” which was true when he retired. At nineteen years of age he was flying a bomber back from raids with half the dead or injured: an engine not working, controls shot up, flying low enough to hit trees ( keep below radar ), flying across the sea suffficiently low to see the waves as altimeter shot up and told he could not bail out as the engines were worth more than his life and he had to crash land. He spent a month being tortured by the SS, survived the death marches at the end of the war and was test pilot afterwarsd when they were dying at rate of one a month.
People who have conquered the fear of death have nothing to prove. Threatening someone with pain and sufering who has been tortured by the Gestapo/SS is pointless. What I noticed by all those who survived was that they were polite, well mannered, courteous relaxed, cheerful and grateful for life.
It is the empty can which makes the noise when it moves. Deep waters run quiet, it is the shallows which make the noise.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Somehow tenacity and resilience have become signs of weakness!

Last edited 2 years ago by Vijay Kant
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Vijay Kant

Good points.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

V well put. And thanks for being nice about us.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I get what you’re saying. On the other hand, the transactivist harassment of Professor Stock is a very good example of male predation.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

A measure of the inroads the apostles of Woke have made into institutions at the very highest levels of power is the confirmation last week of Keyanji Brown Jackson (KBJ) to the US Supreme Court who, under questioning from the Senate to define what a woman is, deferred to biologists, as she was unable to do so herself.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

Brilliant article – prob won’t be read by those who need it most – its in the nature of fake activists to be, well, fake.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

What a joy. Thank you. Just a really sane engaging romp with reality.

Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
2 years ago

Funny

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
2 years ago

Are y’all required to use preferred pronouns for men such as Grace Lavery? That’d be number one for me, but in the UK, maybe y’all get sued for that.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

Not one single person whom I know, or within my circle of friends of acquaintances ever mentions, let alone discusses or cares a jot about this subject: having said that, the trans, eco, racialism majority dont discuss or have any interest in racing, hunting, shooting, horses, long dogs, or farming … showing, as always in Britain, that it is all just another lower middle class obsession

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

It is only very recently that it has become apparent what the transgenderists have been doing. Most people are as yet unaware of just how insidiously they have been operating. This will touch most people’s lives one way or another pretty soon. Kathleen Stock is in the vanguard of those calling a halt to the insanity.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

And there was I convinced that Stonewall was a US hedge fund!!

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

A brilliant article save for one thing. For pity’s sake, puhleeze Kathleen, stop using the wrong pronouns for men? If you give them the very words used to describe/signify us uniquely you give them evertying. You pander to their feelings over our reality. You are wholly complicit in the lie and the galsighting. And vice versa for men of course.

Alex Shipley
Alex Shipley
2 years ago

Spot-on, Kathleen Stock! We must refuse to use the enemy’s terminology. Never declare our sex-obvious pronouns. And “cis” is a repellent word that we must banish from our vocabularies. As is “transwoman”, which is no kind of woman; it’s a male who is deluded, and very possibly predatory.

M Theberge
M Theberge
2 years ago

Encourage them to use their words
Rather than asking what is women and putting yourself in a position of inferiority, why not ask what is a man? Or even a real man? There was a time a couple must do a blood test to ensure they could have a child…even then being just a man and woman did not work…so why defensive? My womanhood is not threat-able. I am not afraid of a p***s belonging to a woman just as I am impressed p***s looking d***o belonging to a lesbian.
Praise the good
Trans want to breakdown that we as women are empathic, nurturing, childbearers, and generally agreeable, less assertive. They showing us our dark side that were pushed aside in the patriarch society for so long. They want us to make a “peace” with our own aggression, reality, distinguishing that having a child is one area of being a woman and that what is in your head – subjective experience – that has been pushed into “being emotional” is part of you and now it is time for women to reckon with. No more playing to the identities given to us but to stand alone and say so…
Set boundaries
I remember one time a woman complaining about if she, as a journalist, can go to the men change room to interview them after the game or during the game? Remember that. No big deal. Penises in private places are not scary. And we do not want to be like Taliban either. Also we are animals with language, non-verbal, and high intelligence, and use language creatively just as we have done millennials. If a man wants to rape a woman in a washroom, he does not have to dress like a woman. Actually, putting all genders into one space, increases safety cause there are often other people around. The more the merrier when it comes to safety. If you are confused about goggling, visit Ticktock where a lot of women are advertising goggling other women.
Ignore derailing attempts
“female survivers of male sexual violence” = “male survivors of male sexual violence”. Most childhood trauma are done by women. Sit in therapy for one hour and listen women creating trauma, or being the invisible mother, or perpetuating. We as women are not weak, afraid, or even coward. Bring the men in, and we can put them in their space in our space..but trans people are not out to get you. They just want what anyone else wants in their society – to be left alone.
Get them out in the fresh air
Ask a difficult question, what is it that is causing you a “fear” about bunch of people who historically be oppressed just like women, blacks, gays etc? What is that fear?
I am not personally intelligent enough to breakdown all your arguments, but others can. There was a time when we had two doors for each space – one for whites, and one for blacks and the same argument was made —but the black men will rape our soft beautiful white women. 
Women are not weak. We can handle anything. Bring a change in the society and we can handle it. We are not threat-able.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
2 years ago

Culture follows the economy and its amazing to see the phenomenon outlined above moving in lockstep with the declining economy. Modern civilization actually collapsed some time between October and November 2018. In 2018 all liquid and alternative fuels peaked  the economy is running on four million barrels of oil per day less than it had been in November 2018.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

Very good.
Does Gillick competency apply to adults? I though it applied to people under the age of 16.
And if a member of the opposite sex is around, why not encourage them to arm-wrestle each other, or have a throwing contest?
Better still, have them realise co operation is the guts of competition

Last edited 2 years ago by michael stanwick
Bob Garey
Bob Garey
2 years ago

Very good.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
2 years ago

Kathleeen, well done and well written. Now you should Google Katherine Deves in Sydney. You will find a woman fighting the same fight and gaining public support from the Prime Minister. I think the tide may be turning.