I could not love this article more. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have shared it liberally.
Yup. Kathleen Stock has been slowly publishing a full dressing-down of contemporary gender theory and I am here for it.
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
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.”
I suggest two new pronouns, very and obvious.
I came up with some of my own a few months ago:-
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
Yup, I’m going to get a “Don’t call me cis” t-shirt. I think someone does them
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. .
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.
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.
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.
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!
Brilliant comment. Wish I had said that — and, who knows — I might! Thank you.
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.
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.
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.
… 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.
…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!
Amen to that.
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.
6(a). When the university alumnus association rings up with the begging bowl, tell them NO, and tell them why not.
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.
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?
I don’t see it as light-hearted. It’s humorous, but acidic. I kept going ‘ouch’.
Yes, humorous is a better word.
Brilliant! I can almost hear the prams bouncing in indignation…
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.
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.
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.
Thank Goodnees for Kathleen Stock.
“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.”
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?”
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.
And it sticks! Good analogy 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Looks like I can’t say that word.
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”.
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).
Wasn’t it “manners maketh man” ? No definite article?
However otherwise you are perfectly correct, and long may it remain so.
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 ?
“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!
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.
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.
Somehow tenacity and resilience have become signs of weakness!
V well put. And thanks for being nice about us.
I get what you’re saying. On the other hand, the transactivist harassment of Professor Stock is a very good example of male predation.
Love how it was written in the context of a mother’s knowledge about how to communicate with a child. Thoughtful. Loving. Perfect.
Brilliant article – prob won’t be read by those who need it most – its in the nature of fake activists to be, well, fake.
What a joy. Thank you. Just a really sane engaging romp with reality.
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.
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
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.
And there was I convinced that Stonewall was a US hedge fund!!
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.