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The week the trans spell was broken It's finally ok to say that gender extremism wears no clothes

Stonewall’s grip on British politicians has started to loosen. Credit: Guy Smallman/Getty

Stonewall’s grip on British politicians has started to loosen. Credit: Guy Smallman/Getty


April 7, 2022   7 mins

I always knew it would start with sport.

Back in 2018, when the obvious fallacies of gender ideology made me feel merely puzzled as opposed to completely enraged, a friend of mine went to the Commonwealth Games. He’s a sportswriter, and a few years younger than me and so – adhering to the generational divide on this issue – he disagreed with me about gender. He thought I was too rigid in my belief that changing gender is not the same as changing sex, which I maintain is impossible. He also thought my fears that males would disproportionately benefit and potentially exploit from the blurring between gender and sex were overblown. Stop being so binary, daddio, we’re all fluid now!

It so happened that it was at this Commonwealth Games that a trans athlete was allowed to compete for the first time: weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Hubbard was widely expected to win gold, despite being 40-years old and therefore about twice as old as her competitors. My friend watched Hubbard’s event and he texted me afterwards. Hubbard hadn’t won, he wrote, because she injured her elbow. There was a pause while he wrote the next text. Then it came through: “But OK. I understand what you have been saying.”

So I always knew it would start with sport. The great advantage sport has over, say, prisons and refuges is that it happens in public: people can see it and they are interested in it. That’s why when historians write about that relatively brief but extremely toxic time when gender extremism gripped western countries, and they describe the moment when that grip loosened, they will start with the photos of Lia Thomas, the Ivy League trans swimmer, towering over her teammates. These caught the mainstream interest in a way feminist arguments about trans women in prisons never have: here is an issue where even Homer Simpson can see the obvious problem.

While Hubbard was middle aged and in far from peak condition, Thomas is, visibly, a very different story, and her teammates and the parents of other swimmers have been extremely vocal in their protests. Encouraged, no doubt, by the openness of the arguments about Thomas, protests kicked off again when it was announced that 21-year-old Emily Bridges — who, until last month, was racing as a man — would compete in the women’s British National Omnium Championship. Bridges was ruled out at the last minute when someone realised she was, rather awkwardly, still registered as a male cyclist. But a change of tone was palpable in British Cycling’s announcement afterwards that “fairness is essential”, and Sara Symington, the head of Britain’s Olympic cycling programme, said the UCI needed to change its policy of allowing transgender riders to compete against women.

Not very long ago, the fear of being denounced as a transphobe meant that doubts about extreme gender ideology were confined to private WhatsApp groups and quiet conversations among friends. This is very much no longer the case. Two weeks ago, the Times’s chief sports writer, Matt Dickinson, wrote on Twitter, “Are we really talking about fairness in sport in the transgender debate – or fear and prejudice?”

“Fairness” replied hundreds of women, including some from his own paper. The only replies agreeing with Dickinson were from other male sports writers, insisting that the way the trans women athletes had been treated was “horrendous and disgusting” (John Cross, Daily Mirror ) and “awful” (Martyn Ziegler, The Times) It’s sweet how males always stick together, isn’t it?

Gender ideologues complain that this shift in public tolerance is merely a conservative backlash against trans rights, but they are wrong. What we are seeing is the inevitable result of trans activists – and, most of all, Stonewall – pushing far beyond civil rights for trans people and insisting instead on unpopular and unworkable policies, such as trans women in sport, child transition and any open acknowledgement of female biology.

This third issue caused the Labour Party to have one of its regular internal breakdowns, as its politicians – and leader – became unable to answer the question, what is a woman? And not only could they not answer the question, they couldn’t think of a way to not answer the question, hemming and hawing about it being a “gotcha” question. Yes, it is, interviewers replied, and what we’re trying to get is an answer that a three-year old could provide. Last month, Angela Rayner came up with a solution: “I think we should be taking it off social media and taking it away from commentators,” she intoned solemnly. Ah yes, censorship from the left. That always plays so well! Oddly, only a month earlier Rayner had been loudly insisting that the next leader of the Labour party will be a woman. Presumably that kind of woman-chat is permitted by Rayner, just not what a woman actually is.

The Tories have certainly not been spared from all this. On 30 March, at 2:48am, the Tory MP Jamie Wallis posted on Twitter to say that he’d been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and would like to be trans. Suddenly, his long history of dodginess – from running companies that attracted more than 800 complaints, to being affiliated with a sugar daddy website, to fleeing the site of a car crash – was instantly forgotten and his honesty and courage were trumpeted to parliament’s rafters by, among others, the Prime Minister. It was strikingly reminiscent of that time, in 2015, when Glamour magazine named Caitlyn Jenner Woman of the Year, two months after she was involved in a car accident in which a woman, Kim Howe, died. The district attorney ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Jenner, but Glamour decided they had all the evidence they needed to cite her as the year’s best woman. At least Caitlyn bothered to make an effort: in the sobering light of day, Wallis tweeted, “I remain the same person I was yesterday, and so will continue to use he/him/his pronouns.” So no change at all, then, other than the identity of being trans. Or wanting to be, anyway.

For several years now, Stonewall has been campaigning hard for self-ID, which is when a person can be whatever gender they say they are without any physical intervention, to be recognised in law. Wallis can now self-identify as a woman and he is a handy illustration of what happens when theory collides with reality. Nothing else about Wallis has changed, not even his all-important pronouns. But according to Stonewall’s argument, he’s a woman. As much as gender ideologues try to paint gender critical feminists as “radical”, they are the radical ones, insisting that everything we know about biology and society is wrong, and that people can see one thing with their eyes, but must say something else with their mouths. How far was the Conservative Party going to allow themselves to go with this new radical position?

Last week, the Tories executed a double U-turn, the result of which was to press ahead with banning conversion practices in regards to sexual orientation – in other words, outlawing “pray away the gay” practitioners – but not in regards to gender. Iain Anderson, the Government’s LGBT business champion resigned, saying that the Tories were putting “dividing lines between LGB and Trans people”. Stonewall pulled out of the forthcoming Safe To Be Me event, the UK’s first LGBT+ conference, followed by a consortium of LGBT+ voluntary and charity organisations — including “Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales” and “Claire’s Transgender Talks”.

Ultimately, Safe To Be Me was cancelled, but this has certainly not stopped the angry discourse. The author Philip Pullman tweeted, “To ban conversion therapy, so-called, is good. To make a deliberate exception for trans people is pure, cold-eyed evil. No justification, no reason, no excuse: just to appease the transphobes. Evil.”

Language matters. Trans activists know this better than most, which is why they’re so insistent about pronouns and trans inclusive terms such as “pregnant people” and “uterus haver”. Conversion therapy is a terrifying term. Exploratory therapy, or talking therapy, is much less so, and that is actually what was at issue here.

Contrary to what Stonewall, Pullman and the rest of them think, there were many reasons for the Government’s decision, and they are laid out in the Cass review, which was published last month. This echoes concerns already expressed in the courts, and by several NHS whistleblowers. Namely, that gender dysphoria is not the same as sexuality (as Stonewall — of all organisations — surely knows), and there may be many reasons for a child feeling confused about their gender. At the moment, two-thirds of gender dysphoric young people are girls, many display signs of autistic spectrum disorder, some have eating disorders, some may be gay. Stonewall and other organisations insist that the way to treat these children is through “affirmative therapy”, which tells them they are correct to feel uncomfortable in their bodies and should change gender.

But as the Cass review stresses, so much is still unknown about gender dysphoric young people: there may be many reasons for their distress, ranging from sexual abuse to internalised homophobia. These young people need to explore their feelings with a professional, not be rushed into medical treatments that can have deeply damaging long-term effects. That is not an endorsement of conversion therapy, but of good therapeutic practice. After all, in what other scenario are distressed young people encouraged to diagnose and treat themselves?

Then, yesterday, the Prime Minister felt sufficiently emboldened to say what the Labour leader still cannot, and what so many women — from Kathleen Stock to Maya Forstater — had been sacked for expressing in the past: gender ideology, in its extreme form, doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t work.  “I don’t think it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick-competent to take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments that they may have,” he said. He added that “biological males” and should not be competing in women’s sports, and that private spaces in hospitals, prisons and changing rooms should be single sex, thereby echoing the EHRC, which this week said that transgender people can be excluded from single-sex services for reasons of privacy, decency, to prevent trauma and to ensure health and safety.

In other words, the feelings of trans people do not, in all instances, trump the needs of women — which is what the gender ideologues have been arguing for all along. Johnson added that he is “immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender… But these are complex issues and I don’t think they can be solved with one swift easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”

The gender activists loudly cried that this was a re-run of Section 28. But if you heard bigotry in the PM’s words, you weren’t really listening: Johnson sounded moderate and realistic. Meanwhile Labour continues to flail in the background over whether or not men can get pregnant. The Left have handed the Right this victory on a gold platter.

This was the week when the wheels started to come off the ideological bandwagon, when Stonewall’s grip on British politicians began to loosen. Quite how it all started in the first place is a story for another day, although that story could well start in 2016 when Ruth Hunt — then the CEO of Stonewall, now in the House of Lords — admitted in a speech that Stonewall was having difficulty raising donations after gay marriage was legalised, as donors thought gay people were “all right now”. “And what we’ve had to say to them is, well, you still wouldn’t feel safe enough if you were on the night bus, but well done for being rich enough to get an Addison Lee,” she said. She then reeled off further examples of people who might need Stonewall’s help, and concluded with “You still wouldn’t be safe enough if you were transitioning in your gender.” Did Hunt hype up the gender campaign and sell out women – which, of course, includes lesbians and bisexual women – just to ensure Stonewall’s revenue flow? Like I said, a story for another day.

In the end, it wasn’t one person who pointed out that gender extremism wears no clothes. There were so many: therapists, academics, parents, authors, athletes, politicians, barristers, journalists, scientists, feminists, gay activists, all shouting over the years that this ideology would hurt women, children, gay people and trans people. And this was the week the spell began to break.

Suggested watching
The week the trans spell was broken

By Sally Chatterton


Hadley Freeman is a staff writer at The Sunday Times. Her latest book, Good Girls: A Story and Study of Anorexia, was published in 2023.

HadleyFreeman

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Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

“Sweet how males always stick together”.

Oh, nearly. So, so close. I mean, I was right with you all the way up to then, but the Guardian staffer just came roaring up to the surface, didn’t it? You simply HAD to have a dig at an approved target. Close, but no cigar. But if it’s any consolation, no Guardian writer ever came nearer to getting me to read one of their contributions in its entirety. Great try.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Haha, I spotted that too and it was a completely unnecessary and divisive comment. We all know that most men (and women) are anti biological men in women’s sport.
I find a pro trans in female sport stance coming through from both males and females and think these people equally stupid.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago

think these people equally stupid.’

Knaves, yes. Fools, no. They all know exactly what they’re doing.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I can’t believe that the majority of people adding to the evil chorus are intelligent and cunning. They think they are moral and ‘on trend’, but actually they are immoral and are incapable of critical thought. Stupid.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago

I agree. From conversations I have had with some who support this (both men and women), they are utterly clueless but not malicious. I most certainly did not appreciate the ‘sticking together’ comment.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Al M

Maybe we should have compassion on them instead of getting irate? What stops me being compassionate is thinking about all the young people who will be damaged because of the confusion they espouse.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

The hooded men issuing death threats to normal women will need to be neutralised. By whatever means necessary…only then can any sense of compassion be shown to the remainder.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

I imagine she is juxtaposing male commenters with herself and writers like her colleague Zoe Williams, who just put out a totally doolally piece asking Labour to own and double-down on it’s and the left’s trans-stance. And if I’m honest, I’m far less interested in what both ladies are actually saying than the spectacle of the cat-fights and the parallel humdinger row brewing across the entire left ecosystem over this stuff, which I cannot help but view as free entertainment. I long for UnHerd to pull in a graun staff writer who is willing to report on the confrontations and slanging-matches at the graun christmas party, ideally with naming names.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I don’t think we can afford to sit back and enjoy the spectacle, because it is NOT just the Left and the Guardian. Science and common sense is not (yet?) winning, not by a long shot.

For example, I was recently completing a survey from the City of London – a rather notably conservative local government institution – about the Highgate bathing ponds, to find that I was asked what gender I was ‘assigned’ at birth! My walking club has also become obsessed with LBGTQ+ and particularly trans issues. Douglas Murray wrote a couple of years ago about the Daily Telegraph’s Diversity Manager, whose entire assumptions and world view would probably have got 90% of the readers of that newspaper spluttering into their coffee!

Highly contentious ‘woke’ political positions are being enforced through hundreds of institutions with cowardly, cynical or lazy management just going along with it for an easy life. That is where the rewards are, questioning and resistance brings brickbats and a threat to careers.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

You make a valid point of course, and when the media circus moves on from asking “define what a woman is” to asking “should you encourage an irreversible transition for a ten year old who is confused about their sexuality” then the debate will get deadly serious, but for example I have to admit I was laughing out loud at the sight of Annalise Dodds squirming during interview recently.

And why on earth does the Torygraph have to have a ‘Diversity Manager’? Why does anyone at all? And I guess this illustrates your point – if nominally soft-right institutions start to participate in this stuff, then of course woke type narratives will start gathering momentum – a strata of HR type people are created whose salaries and indeed existence then depend on pushing and policing these narratives, so they are of course going to fight to preserve that, and since they are then gatekeepers for employment, they influence creating a workforce that is on board with their views. And one of the grimly comical things few comment on – at the *precise moment* when traditional newspapers are under assault from the social media platforms for content delivery, they all decide that the best way to parry existential threats is to burn money…. on a ‘Diversity Manager’.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Once the Diversity Department is in place they behave exactly like HR – create things to justify and grow their existence.
A couple of nights ago we were talking about the days of team building facilitated by HR teams – closing your eyes and allowing yourself to fall from a height into the arms of a colleague, making strange human chain links with colleagues on the sand at the seaside etc.
Those were just hilarious things from the early days. Now the intent and results are much more malevolent. I have utter contempt for these people.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago

“Malevolent”, a word well chosen.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
2 years ago

This is happening in many American universities – once there is hiring based on diversity – incompetent people can be removed on good grounds – try doing that with a diversity hire and you’ll be cancelled even before they all start shouting “racism” with the white victims of CRT and Unconscious Bias training shouting loudest and longest.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

I would as well.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I recall reading an American article a few years ago about bullshit jobs. It was taking a swipe at the bloated HR industry etc etc. diversity officers are just an extension of that. It’s particularly true in the public sector because no one has enough nous there to ask what all this costing & if it’s really needed

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The problem is every single institution now has a ‘diversity manager’ or ‘inclusion officer’ who is the 21C equivalent of political commissar.

Last edited 2 years ago by Judy Englander
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Indeed most firms are still asking my “gender” with a range of choices, including male and female. I now tick “other” and write in “my sex is female I don’t have a gender identity “ This ridiculousness swept in and most people weren’t noticing until now.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

A couple of years ago I was filling in a medical-type registration form at a dentist. The last question asked which gender I identified with.

What’s that got to do with teeth?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Off subject – I was asked late last year when I went for an Xray if I was vaccinated. I politely asked why as they didn’t convey immunity or the inability to transmit the virus. Plus I was paying for this Xray. Effing cheek. They sat there with a mouthful of teeth.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

You left their teeth intact then?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Well they didn’t want to offend you if your chosen identity was as a woman as we know that many transgenders will get irate if you do not address them as their chosen gender. You must understand that your gender is what you choose not what you actually are. The advantage would be you could rob a bank as a woman and get lost in the crowd as a man and the police would be none the wiser.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Whenever my dentist hands me one of these forms to fill in, I just scrawl “I’m not woke” across it.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Mustn’t offend now Wilfred. Anyhow they’ll have paid a big fee to the diversity specialist who provided that form from a template on their computer

miss pink
miss pink
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Yes,I do this as well. The question isn’t “what is a woman” but what is this BS gender ideology!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  miss pink

True but Starmer wouldn’t have the guts to say that.

Bridget Mcintyre
Bridget Mcintyre
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Yes, It’s all about guts in calling this gender fascism out.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Good answer.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Allow me to suggest that you tell the City of London and your walking club that you have zero tolerance for woke nonsense, and that any further attempt to impose woke values will result in the immediate termination of your relationship.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

That is a good way to fight back I think. Nothing else seems to work at the moment. We will have to learn how to be wise in our quips without offending the actors who don’t believe what they are saying themselves.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I often think a good tactic is to express one’s disbelief in or disdain of a current fatuity not to convince the person addressed (who may subscribe to the nonsense or be paid to support it) but rather to convince any others who may hear that there are others out there who do not agree with it.  The audience is really the bystanders who, one hopes, may gain some confidence in learning they are not alone.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I agree; I do not understand why it is assumed that ridiculous opinions are always on the left. Boris has disproved that theory (but I agree with his caution in the area of gender ideology while wishing he had the guts to speak out against trans extremism).

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

It came into the Tories from Europe via Cameron and then by May and now it is affecting Boris who does seem to lack a bit of sense concerning this. Fortunately we can still believe what we choose to in our own minds but you do hear of governments who are trying to govern your own thoughts like the communist countries do. Once this happens you are in danger of becoming a yes sir cabbage.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Big institutions like banks etc. who should know better are coming out with statements and pictures pushing these things. I felt like closing my account. They are trying to please 100% anyone who might open an account. No courage of conviction seems to be expressed but many organisations toe the line through fear of offending anybody and gradually the people who think straight are perceived as being in the minority. My trust is at an all time low in my bank and in my MP who both toe the line not to lose any woke adherants. Actually I don’t vote for her anymore.

Alice Bondi
Alice Bondi
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Your misogyny is showing. Women can disagree and discuss, argue their points, without having a ‘cat-fight’. If you find the efforts of women to retain women-only sports, women-only hospital wards, to keep domestic abuse refuges single-sex, etc etc as mere entertainment, then your view of women is all too clear. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Alice Bondi

Be careful you misandry is showing

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Alice Bondi

Women are people, not one iota unequal to men, and should be free in all circumstances to do as they see fit – pursue whatever goals in life they want, just like men.

What I object to is the notion that women are biologically the same as men, or that anyone can reclassify themselves as a different gender, because that is patent nonsense.

As to the “cat-fight” language which you picked out, well that illustrates a whole bunch of things, lack of humour not least. My language was a patent bit of horseplay and provocation, because I also object to the notion that a society should become so sensitised to words and language, that someone somewhere can object to anything anyone says. Such a society is repellent.

Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Physically different, but equal.
There, I fixed it for you.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Thanks Brian…

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

So women are “not one iota unequal” to men

And they are not physically “different”
Women are dramatically weaker than men in terms of physical strength, muscles and endurance.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

That is just a fact but there are many other differences if you really study it. I know that many of their abilities complement a man in marriage and vice versa.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Do men also have cat fights?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Absolutely they do. And dog fights, they have those too. And ferrets (in a sack) fights too.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

The magnificent Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) being the preferred weapon of choice.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

They also – occasionally – when the mood takes them – have bun fights.
My weapon of choice is a cream doughnut.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Anyone who cannot see the difference in men and women in addition to physical differences must be blind or biased.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Alice Bondi

Nobody has doubted they are people. The trouble has been that the men have not been counted as people.
Feminism is simply the female version of humanism where the intellect is all and God doesn’t exist..

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Alice Bondi

‘Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.’ If only that were true. Feminism was built on a series of falsehoods, and the results have been apocalyptic.

Tex Sotn
Tex Sotn
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Your misogyny is showing.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

Sorry to hear you didn’t make it to the end. I agree the “males sticking together” was a foolish “It’s the patriarchy in’it” moment. But she went on to give credit to Boris Johnson and highlighted the roll of Ruth Hunt of Stonewall in setting the stone rolling as it were. So she managed to step away from many of the Guardianist ideological prejudices so it was worth staying through to the end.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

She did not step away she just let the mask slip for a moment

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes. I can’t see the sentence ‘Johnson sounded moderate and realistic’ ever being allowed in The Guardian.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Indeed, all graun journos are required to sign an undertaking in their contract that they will not say anything positive about any Tory government ever. That, and an undertaking to make at least one mention of ‘racist extreme right wing neoliberal newspapers or politicians or Koch Brothers (tick as appropriate)’ per article. They can face serious disciplinary action for failing to do so – facts!

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

They sometimes do say positive things about the Tory government, but it’s rare. It would take me too long to find an example though

Hector Mildew
Hector Mildew
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m not disputing what you say but I find it quite extraordinary, even for a publication like the Guardian. If these employment conditions for Guardian journalists are “facts” can you provide a link with the evidence?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Hector Mildew
Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
Hector Mildew
Hector Mildew
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

The link is to the Samaritans website ???

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Hector Mildew

A dead end for sure…

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Hector Mildew

By their fruits you shall know them. Read it. If you like it you are probably leftwing.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

Yes, but it actually IS fascinating how most of the fanatical trans promoters and activists ARE in fact men. (Phillip Pullman, a writer of children’s books, what the ** is his particular understanding?) Of course this doesn’t mean most men.

There is in my view in fact a hidden misogyny going on, because if large parts of the Left (and, even more depressingly, some on the Right) can airily dismiss the completely obvious concerns of women – real biological women – then frankly, what else can you call it? (Either that, or they are all utter morons, which they are probably not).

In a not entirely dissimilar way, many supposedly anti-racist activists in fact have deeply racist assumptions (you can’t expect black people to study, or be punctual or disciplined, those are ‘white’ values etc).

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Steve Sailer long ago pointed out the irony of women’s organisations, which invariably become dominated by high-testosterone lesbians (with their particular skew of preferences), now falling under the sway of even higher-testosterone ex-men.

Michael J
Michael J
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There is a certain type of man known as the “nice guy”. The sort of man who wears a “this is what a feminist looks like” t shirt. Often just a competitive virtue signaller using that to get ahead of the pack or as some sort of mating strategy but sometimes also as a facade to hide his own poor behaviour.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael J

Men can’t be feminists their sex disqualifies them! Allies yes of course.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

The word ‘ally’ has fallen a long way.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael J

The relevant couplet from my heroic couplet satire The Wokeiad by Richard Craven:-
……….
The creepy masseur and the mesmerist,
The slightly rapey male feminist.
……….
(n.b. To comply with the iambic pentameter format, you have to construe ‘male’ as two syllables, as in ‘Rik Mayall’.)

Last edited 2 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I have to admit that whenever I hear a man claim to be a feminist I assume he has a vial of date rape drugs in his back pocket.

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

How can you be slightly rapey?
You either rape or you don’t.
Rape is serious. There is no crime of slight rape.
I see what you are getting at, but rape is not something that can be put on a scale, and to my mind your couplet trivialises it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tim Knight
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim Knight

I don’t tolerate having my language policed, so you can do one.

Robert Langley
Robert Langley
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

In Geordie, male always has 2 syllables

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Where can I get hold of a copy of the Wokeiad? Not fussed whether it’s hardcopy or electronic. I’m thinking it would make a nice present.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ludwig van Earwig
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

It’s not quite finished yet – I’ve still got another 40 lines to write. When it is, I’ll produce hardcopy and electronic versions, although this will probably take a few weeks. Thanks v much for your interest. It’s most heartening.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There’s certainly a lot going on and it is worth pointing out – my view is that it has less to do with male solidarity* (after all, if trans women are women then she’s not a man, is she, bigot?) and more to do with incentives. If you’re a man in the public eye, you have absolutely zero reason to paint a target on your back by getting yourself called a ‘phobe’ of any kind. Doesn’t matter who agrees with you out there in the wider world, your entire social and professional circle are those fully paid-up paramilitary progressives who in Orwell’s time got their cooking from France and their opinions from Moscow, would rather be caught with their hand in the poor box than standing for the national anthem etc. etc.. So naturally, trans women are women are trans are women as far as you’re concerned because when it comes down to it, most people are Havel’s grocer rather than Solzhenitsyn.
If you’re a woman in the public eye, you’re subject to those same incentives but you’re also acutely aware of the importance of the formal distinction between ‘woman’ and ‘man’ in what’s otherwise an age of equality. Rightly, you perceive any blurring of that distinction, whether in the field of sport, business (witness the guy at I think Credit Suisse who was named one of the City’s top women in banking a few years ago because he showed up to work in a pink dress a few times a week) or wherever else, as a threat to the position of women as a whole in society, as so much of that position depends on the legal protections/privileges (depending on your view) that were hard-won by earlier generations. This is to say nothing of the personal safety issue – prisons, toilets, refuges etc. So although you still have a huge amount to lose by going against the grain (possibly more), you feel far more keenly that you have a great deal to lose by staying silent also.
I’m not sure it’s male solidarity that explains why it’s always women who suggest the emperor’s got no clothes on, as much as male apathy. Just look at the mountains of excrement heaped on Forstater, Stock, Rowling etc., and tell me you’d throw yourself into that firing line unless you felt you absolutely had to. Cowardly on the part of those men who don’t of course, but sadly understandable. I’d be very interested to see survey data on views on “TWAW” broken down by sex, suspect much as with the abortion issue women would be slightly more in favour because it’s the ‘compassionate’ belief, but women’s opinions would be more strongly held in either direction while men would cluster around the centre.
*Incidentally, I think women drastically overestimate the extent to which male solidarity exists, in part because of this same perception. Seeing yourself as a member of a group called ‘women’ between all of whose members there exists a basic commonality of interests, such that when the chips are down there’s at least some extent to which they can rely on each other, it would be natural to assume that those in the other group think along broadly similar lines. But I don’t think men do, really – certainly you’d favour your friends and those are more likely to be other men, but a consistent baseline sympathy for men over women? I don’t think it exists to anything like the same degree.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Doesn’t research support men having more out-group bias and women tending towards in-group bias?

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

That is was my thought as well.

Michael J
Michael J
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

I have more solidarity with the women I know in my family and among my friends than with any other random man. Men care about women’s rights because they have sisters, daughters and nieces and mothers.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael J

That could be my husband talking…

Martin Coombs
Martin Coombs
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Very clearly put. I particularly noted the final starred paragraph about women over-estimating the strength of male solidarity. The same thing happens when the left over-estimates right-wingers’ supposed tendency to conspiracy. In other words people always assume that the ‘opposition’ suffers from the same tendencies as they themselves.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Is that the same Philip Pullman who became so incandescent with rage over the Brexit result, may I ask?
If so he seems to be a particularly spiteful and unpleasant individual if I may say so.

Last edited 2 years ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Such a shame, he’s a brilliant writer but yet another of my heroes bites the dust.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Yes what extraordinary bad luck. He has the all the venom of a teenager, yet is well into his seventies.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

It’s just positioning. He lost readers (and a good job) over the Kate Clanchy incident and is now trying to get them back.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

He is spiteful and nasty. And I say that as a Brexit sceptic. This is a strange hill to die on, as banning conversion therapy for Trans is actually banning therapy for trans as Haley pointes, particularly for young children who might, or might not, have gender dysphoria. This won’t age well for him.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Pullman is just trying to some of his fanbase back after he made the ‘mistake’ of supporting Kate Clanchy.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

This pair of statements:
“actually IS fascinating how most of the fanatical trans promoters and activists ARE in fact men”
=
There is in my view in fact a hidden misogyny going on
(With a tonne of upticks)

Highlights how infantile and moronic social discussion has become

The real reason why men dominate trans discussion is simple and two fold and both arise from a LACK of women participation.
Firstly, most such discussions or debate is dominated by men: Wikipedia editors, YouTube comments, even this Unherd forum.

Secondly and more specifically, women tend to be less vociferous because they are major beneficiaries of sex based discrimination (separate sports / Title 9, women’s facilities or centres, quotas where they are underrepresented)
In contrast, you have no male only spaces, no quotas for men in college admissions or education.

So of course women would lose out under a trans world which strips away those benefits.
Pretty much all the “trans” athletes are men.
It’s not because “misogyny” but because there is no benefit for women to compete in men’s sports.

The real question is why we have no male only spaces or quotas. Because the main driving force for society is misandry, not misogyny, and that’s the real explanation why most trans beneficiaries are men.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

No male spaces? What do you call men’s toilets and male prisons? If there is a female only space, it stands to reason that there are male only spaces too! Plus it wasn’t that long ago that Golf was actually Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden and Gentlemen clubs!

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Men’s toilets are just like men’s sports: created because women didn’t want to be in the same space.

Do you think men would care if women shared their toilets? Plenty of women reporters enter male locker rooms, when they are changing for instance.
Just like nobody would care if women joined the men’s segment at Wimbledon.

I am sure women were prohibited from a lot of things in an era when they sat at home while only men were supposed to die like flies in war, mines and factories.

What we have today, is boy scouts forced to admit girls and no male only spaces or quotas, while the reverse is rampant.
And that’s the explanation for largely male “trans” – decades of misandry.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Samir, your boo-hooing is wearing a bit thin.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Pretty certain when the ancient Greeks started the tradition of the olympics, not only could women not participate, they couldn’t watch either because all the men were naked! Today, women only sports is about having a chance to actually win something, hence the upset of trans women contenders, not misandrist gatekeeping!
I’m quite happy for men to have male only places, in my home my husband has his garage, my son has the cellar (man cave) and I have…. the kitchen, which if I’m honest isn’t my space I just use it the most.

When I was young the scouts seemed much more exciting than brownies and guides, the boys had pocket knives and went camping whereas we did needle work and did badges for safety round the home. It’s not so much about wanting to takeover boys only clubs and more wanting to do fun stuff!

Toilets however are another matter, as many women have already spoken about not feeling safe in mixed toilets, my preference for female only loos is largely down to hygiene and smells. You guys are notorious for peeing everywhere but inside the bowl! I don’t blame trans women for wanting to use the ladies, our loos are much nicer and don’t smell as bad!

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay S
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

“You guys are notorious for peeing everywhere but inside the bowl!”
Ha!

I have a young daughter, am all for women’s spaces and sports. And ideally – in case of scouts and guides for instance – you want a healthy balance of mixed groups as well as single sex spaces.

But this whole issue has become infested with false egos.
If you notice above, how difficult it is for people to admit that women are physically weaker
It’s just plain biology and you know what? Doesn’t matter, apart from sports and a few occupations.
In the home, male physical strength is something you use to help and serve your family, not dominate.

But this egotism is what led to this whole Trans mess in the first place. And even now it’s being blamed on “misogyny”.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Not by me, I don’t do the feminist thing but I am happy to play devils advocate on occasion. I think what complicates the trans issue is that different people are trans for different reasons and the activists don’t want to acknowledge that because it complicates the argument and stops the one size fits all approach they want to take. However in order to enforce their one size fits all approach they push for the don’t question just accept approach which is even worse as it enables loopholes for predatory behaviours galore!

Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Can’t say regarding the more evangelical activist cohort, but my own observations regarding the ‘pronouncers’ would suggest 10:1 women to men. I cannot find an explanation as to why this is.

Last edited 2 years ago by Al M
Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago

Shame, this is the equivalent of “not all men”. The rest of the article is very good and I’d encourage you to read it if you agreed with the first bit.

Paul Sorrenti
Paul Sorrenti
2 years ago

Waiter, can I get a pinch of salt for Mr MacGabhann please?

N Forster
N Forster
2 years ago

Yep, Totally unnecessary. An otherwise interesting article somewhat undermined by the writers momentary unguarded bitterness and bigotry.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

I saw this and my first thought was – oh dear, this is going to be picked up as the only sentence worth commenting on. I do notice it has a disproportionate sized thread here. It was a silly remark, but not important enough to ignore the rest of a very good article,

I didn’t know about Ruth Hunt, but it makes sense that Stonewall wants more dosh. This is another issue with any pressure group, even those with which one might agree, their sole purpose is to work themselves out of a job, but when they get near that point they panic “My God, I’ve worked myself out of a job! Quick, redefine our mission – add black cats to our BAME group. Do something!”

Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago

Organisations like Object are positing that Mermaids, Stonewall et al, sensing the house of Trans cards crashing down, are already moving on to their next “human rights” campaign…Surrogacy. Mermaids is hosting a conference on the issue soon. Why would they be interested? Well…they’ve promoted the sterilisation of children for a number of years so they see the market expanding?

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Harriet Wilder

Pederasty must be next?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

No it was not just a sill remark. The mask slipped to show she is not an honest narrator.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago

Concerning ‘working yourself out of a job’.

Imagine if the scientists who actually triumphed in eradicating smallpox instead wanted to keep the disease going to make sure their research funding didn’t dry up.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
2 years ago

Douglas Murray has a very good insight into this phenomenon in his book “The Madness of Crowds”. He calls it “St George in Retirement Syndrome”. (When you have conquered the dragon you go round looking for smaller and more pointless targets).

anna.draycott
anna.draycott
2 years ago

‘Every pressure group eventually becomes a business and, ultimately, a racket.’ (Anon, but true.)
Stonewall has salaries, pensions and mortgages to meet so needs the funding to flow in.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

So, what society obviously needs is an executioner. Someone whose job it is to go around shutting down all the institutions whose goals have already been fulfilled yet who for some reason are still sucking at the public teat.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

The fact is that right wing men have generally been the better friends of women in this matter. The left has mostly disgraced itself and it will take a very long time for it to recover. There’s no forgiving or forgetting the current shower for what they are doing to women.

Last edited 2 years ago by Miriam Cotton
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Is it really right wing men, or is it more likely that holding that position makes you right wing (from the perspective of the media/twitter)?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

From the perspective of the left-wing media holding that position makes you far-right. A bedfellow of Victor Orban worthy of being expelled from all right-thinking society.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

But Orban won the recent election hands-down; just as BoJo did here a little while ago. Or dosen’t democracy matter anymore outside of Ukraine?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Not in the world of left-wing media where having the approved views is more important than having popular views. Populist is the sneer against the politician that put forward popular ideas. For them Democracy has to involve politicians pressing forward with the approved policies never mind what most of the voters that basket of deplorables want.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Not in the world of left-wing media where having the approved views is more important than having popular views.

True. And indeed where having the approved views is more important than accepting reality.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Politicians on both sides usually use populist to describe popular ideas that they disagree with.

This is one of the reasons it’s crucial to have ideas that are rationally defensible as well as democratically attractive, because ideally a mandate to govern must be based on both.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

It is useful to look at the really great piece of gerrymandering done in Hungary to ensure Mr Orban’s super majority. Kudos to Mr Orban for managing such a massive political coup.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

Bravo! Spoken as a true disciple of Diogenes.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

I agree. A friend of my husband’s is still not talking to me because we had a difference of opinion years ago over gender neutral toilets. He doesn’t think women should be allowed female toilets until there is safety for all. He is a giant of a man and yet could not understand the physical vulnerability that so many women feel.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

I suppose so, but isn’t the prospect of men-claiming-to-be-women, swanning around female-only changing rooms with their d**ks out trying to engage in feminine chatter the ultimate misogyny?

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
2 years ago

I thought it was ineed an odd remark — but as I did not understand what may be the background to it, I simply passed by on the other side

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
2 years ago

Well quite. I linked to the article on a forum that I use, as I found it an informative read,. But I did point out, and apologise for, the uncalled-for throw-away misandry with which the author indulges herself.
It’s sad to see such thoughtless casual abuse from a supposedly professional writer. I expect it may have been unintentional and if the author would like to apologise on here, then I’ll happily forward her apology to my forum’s members.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago

Yes, gaslighting again, by ignoring the fact that broadly speaking, the base supporters of “wokeism” are majority-female, especially younger women. Their natural empathy has been weaponized to encourage them to support today’s latest Leftist outrage. For “white” women, supporting wokeism is also a way to claw back some social credit.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Thank you. You have provided an answer to my conundrum elsewhere on this thread.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Side-note on your point: I understand that in the US universities, there are now about two women students to every one man.

The prevalence of wokeism in US universities and the the reluctance of men (‘toxic males’, I meant to say, of course) to endure that environment are, I would guess, not exactly unrelated.

Adam Wolstenholme
Adam Wolstenholme
2 years ago

Yep.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago

My thoughts exactly. It is a long while since I read such a fair and well-written article from anyone at The Guardian, but then in came the snide dig and typical Guardian devisiveness. That said, as Guardian writing goes it was at least a humorous snide remark.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

The world would be a better place if people stopped the nonsense about “I didn’t read past this sentence”.

Ruth Ross
Ruth Ross
2 years ago

I can’t believe you took that ONE piece out of the article and used it to divert the conversation. The Trans men in women’s sport conversation must remain honest. My personal opinion is that men have no place in girls or women’s sport nor in their locker rooms. How did thinking people get so off-side?

Last edited 2 years ago by Ruth Ross
Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright
2 years ago

And the irony – as if women like her don’t always stick together against what women like her regard as the common enemy! Utterly pathetic.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

I was confused when he called a male transgender sports person she instead of he.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
2 years ago

Given context, I thought she was being ironic

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

“they will start with the photos of Lia Thomas, the Ivy League trans swimmer, towering over her teammates.”
*they will start with the photos of Lia Thomas, the Ivy League trans swimmer, towering over his teammates.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I think Lia Thomas HAS transitioned, so I think it is fair enough to say she / her in her case. I think the whole notion of radically changing your body to ‘change sex’ is deeply questionnable, but it has been happening for decades now, recall the historian Jan / James Morris in the 1960s.

But in any case she should certainly not be allowed to compete against biological women in any sport where strength and stamina matter.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

One of the things his teammates are objecting to is seeing his p***s as he walks around naked in their locker room.
[Edit] Interesting. I did not place the three asterisks in this reply. Unherd’s software did that on its own and as I edit the note now, I see the original text as I typed it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

It is interesting that the asterisked word is clearly so trauma inducing that it has to be disguised in the safe space that is Unherd and yet the actual thing can cheerfully be waved about in front of women when they are changing without sanction. A strange world we live in.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

That was my thought when I saw it!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Correction… walking around with an erect p***s in their changing rooms!

Daria Angelova
Daria Angelova
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

No one can magically “transition” from one sex to another. But even if you’re talking about transitioning in quotation marks, Thomas hasn’t had any surgery at all and still has male genitals.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

The actress Ellen Page had her breasts removed (don’t know about below the belt) so she could look like an adolescent boy. But her chromosomes are still XX and she’ll always be female, sans quotation marks.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

But still has to be asked if he is pregnant before undergoing an X-ray in the UK!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

“I think Lia Thomas HAS transitioned”
No he hasn’t. He’s a 6’2″ bloke with an intact willy frequently visible to his fellow competitors in the women’s changing rooms.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

According to mermaids, you don’t need surgery or hormones to transition, all you need is to say your trans and voila! Which is pretty much what MP Wallis has done. I feel for legitimate trans people because these massive loopholes being pushed for allows people of questionable character to abuse the system and innocent people will suffer for it, trans and otherwise!

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay S
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Well said. I completely agree, and strongly suspect that there is an substantial silent majority of genuinely trans people who are not exhibitionists but just want to get on with their lives, and who feel utterly traduced by the so-called activists purporting to speak for them.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if the genuine Trans people are in fact the minority, the majority being made up of messed up/confused kids, criminals with an eye on an easier sentence and s3xual predators exploiting the movement.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay S
Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

“Legitimate trans people” do not exist. Some people have medicalised more than others but they remain the sex they were born. It’s all just cosmetic surgery and dangerous wrong sex hormones.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

In which case, as Germaine Greer once said, I am a cocker spaniel.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

‘legitimate trans people’. What a world.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I refer to those who have been having years of therapy rather than those who self diagnose after wallowing in social media.

Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

6’4″

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Harriet Wilder

Thanks for the correction.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  Harriet Wilder

If it’s that size, it’s not surprising that he can’t keep it in his pants.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

6’4”!

Last edited 2 years ago by Alison Wren
ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

In height!

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Call me an 82 yo, former socialist bigot if you must; but like 95% of the population I refuse to believe that while Thomas continues to retain those bits, and refuses to face up to the surgery required to remove them, he hasn’t really got sufficient committment to becoming female.
And while we are discussing this nonsense, mother’s sons are fighting and dying in Ukraine for real freedom and democracy. They and their loved ones are the ones my tears are for. If my body would allow me to “trans” into a young, fit male I’d be over there to help out in a heartbeat.

N Forster
N Forster
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

So now he is a male who has undergone hormone therapy and surgery to more resemble a woman? Still doesn’t make him one.

Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago
Reply to  N Forster

No surgery. Just testosterone suppressants.

N Forster
N Forster
2 years ago
Reply to  Harriet Wilder

Yep, still male.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

It doesn’t matter what he does to himself, he will never be a woman. This is a hugely important point. You cannot change sex – no policy or practice should ever be predicated on the fiction that you can. All children, women and girls are put at enormous disadvantages in all sorts of ways by transgenderism. Compassion for dysphoria, self-expression consistent with their private feelings without ridicule, yes. But a firm NO to unmaking and denying material reality in any context. No compelled language, no men in any women’s spaces – sporting, cultural, political, social or whatever.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Exactly.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

I think we’re all as guilty of this confusion – at least anyone my age or over.
Up to 10-15 years ago, anyone who ‘transitioned’ – at least surgically – was described as have ‘changed sex’. Anyone remember the tabloid frenzy in the 80s and 90s over people getting the op on the NHS? The words SEX CHANGE were always headlined in bold on the front page!

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

You’ve just described the probable opinion of 75% of the British population. The requirement to contradict reality should never be made of anyone.

Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The word “transitioned” has an extremely low bar then. He has grown his hair and taken some testosterone suppressants. Is that all it takes?

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Define “transitioned”

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

It’s a magickal process… and it mostly involves magickal thinking.

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 years ago

OK, I can understand women being unhappy about trans “women” competing in women’s sport. But complaints about being pipped to a gold medal by a biological man sound a bit precious compared to the risk that gender whisperers pose to vulnerable confused children. It’s a relief to learn in this article that the UK parliament has excluded gender identity from the conversion practices legislation that’s recently been passed. In New Zealand unfortunately our parliamentarians lack the good sense of at least some of their British counterparts. Our House of Unrepresentatives has recently passed similar legislation that unfortunately DOES include gender identity. Our air-headed PM admitted she could not rule out the possibility of parents being prosecuted under the new legislation, if they prefer “watch and wait” to “affirmation” of their child’s gender dysphoria. The trans activist position is that any child experiencing gender dysphoria is trans, and so must be transitioned. Which is inconsistent with the evidence that at least 75% of cases of gender dysphoria resolve by the end of adolescence if a “wait and watch” approach is taken. Our grossly negligent parliamentarians have sentenced many NZ children to mutilation and sterilization that they will later regret.
Boris Johnson is a flawed and maybe even dysfunctional character. Yet more often than not his government makes sound policy decisions. I hope the Brits have enough sense to continue to support his government, despite his frequent bumbling antics. The current iteration of “Labour” is unworthy of being anywhere near the levers of power – as unfortunately is also the case in NZ.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

I largely agree, but the situation is desperate, and allies are needed wherever possible and whatever their main focus. We have to gradually enable more and more people to be confident to fight back against this evil (which it is) in ever more contexts

David Lye
David Lye
2 years ago

Ed Miliband was on Times Radio this morning. Lord, did he flounder when asked if he agreed with Boris Johnson’s views. Labour is in a complete mess on this. And it’s entirely self-inflicted.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
2 years ago
Reply to  David Lye

Great strategy from Boris, then (at long last).

N Forster
N Forster
2 years ago

It isn’t just about medals. Its about biological males competing in sport against women. Rugby, football, any contact sport, we’ve already seen males fighting women in the MMA, I wouldn’t want my daughter on the pitch or in the changing rooms with males.

Last edited 2 years ago by N Forster
Harriet Wilder
Harriet Wilder
2 years ago

Children in Canada and some states in the USA have already been taken away from parents who don’t want them medicalised.

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
2 years ago
Reply to  Harriet Wilder

This I find deeply disturbing. Tell us more!

Lou Campbell
Lou Campbell
2 years ago

Thought it was a great article.
I’m guilty of seeing a phrase or two I disagree with and wanting to throw the baby out with the bath water.
It was too good overall to do that.

Plus extra points for well reasoned and evidenced from a guardian writer.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

“Last week, the Tories executed a double U-turn, the result of which was to press ahead with banning conversion practices in regards to sexual orientation – in other words, outlawing “pray away the gay” practitioners – but not in regards to gender. ”
Aaaaargggh!!! I could scream! What on earth is wrong with journalists that they keep framing this issue like that!!! The UK government is NOT endorsing ‘conversion practices’ for sex dysphoric people. It is saying that automatic ‘Affirmation’ therapy for CHILDREN can be a very bad thing when those children may well turn out NOT to be sex dysphoric, but gay (as research shows is the case with 80%!!!) – and struggling with shame over their same sex attraction, or are autistic, or recovering from child abuse which has caused them to hate their bodies. ‘Affirmation’ – which is what the genderists want for chidren from 0 upwards, ends up being the very thing they claim not to want: conversion therapy for gay and confused children. The Affirmationists want hormones, puberty blockers, and social affirmation on the instant a ten year old child claims to be ‘trans’. With transgenderism now incorporated into school policy, thousands of children are being horribly confused and buying into this. Adults all around them are utterly failing them. It is a major scandal. And this is what the likes of Stonewall are now screaming in outrage about. Hold firm Boris – you’ve made a good start but it is imperative you face down this transgender mania.

Last edited 2 years ago by Miriam Cotton