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polidori redux
polidori redux
7 months ago

“Both sides take for granted the collapse of the traditional “gender binary” and its replacement by a novel and fluid suite of gender identities.”
Then both sides are as mad as hatters.
There is of course the scene from Life of Brian where it is agreed that Reg should have the right to have babies, even though he couldn’t have babies. So this claptrap was floating around fifty years ago.  

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
7 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

If I remember correctly, the nuttiest stuff floating around fifty years ago was ‘childrens’s rights’. However, these were conceived as personal autonomy and political rights. I suspect the far-left envelope-pushing of rights was what Life of Brian was satirising. I think they used the right of Reg to have babies as an element of absurdity because it was so obviously outside the envelope. No one (except perhaps the most far-out) suggested that the radical extension of rights included pretending objective reality doesn’t exist. However, there is certainly a direct line from the constant pressure to destabilise social norms fifty years ago and the attempt to deconstruct our objective world today.

polidori redux
polidori redux
7 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I am sure that you are right Judy. Your memory is better than mine!

polidori redux
polidori redux
7 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Not really that pompous.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
7 months ago

‘Gender identity’ reinforces oppressive and sexist behavioural stereotypes. However, instead of saying that girls should wear pink and high heels it says that anyone who wears pink and high heels is a girl. Feminists, rightly, oppose both.
Girls and women are female human beings. Like other female mammals, they play the female part in the reproductive process. Any purely human behavioural norms, relating to dress, naming conventions, jobs, housework etc are social constructs in a particular society at a particular time. No one has to observe them but it doesn’t change their sex if they don’t.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
7 months ago

Indeed in an Islamic world where covering oneself in a black garment is the correct norm were a man to do the same he does not thereby become a woman.

Robert G
Robert G
6 months ago

They are not entirely social constructs. Behavior is influenced in many regards by biological factors. But I agree with the larger point, which you stated very clearly and persuasively!

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
7 months ago

“Both sides take for granted the collapse of the traditional ‘gender binary’ and its replacement by a novel and fluid suite of gender identities.”
No they don’t.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
7 months ago

This must be one of the least convincing of explanations. Gender theory is rooted in an effort to substitute old religions of the West with a new religion, which is “of the mind”-you are free to imagine what you like. Vis. That if I jump from the Eiffel Tower, I’ll grow wings(if I believe it enough).

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
7 months ago

Hipsters were a little late to the party to cause the shifting of gender toles. It’s not like June Cleaver woke up in 2011 and suddenly discovered that, while she was busy making meatloaf dinner, Wally had changed his pronouns and was now a non-binary. trans-woman named Wanda.
The decline of men has been going on since the industrial revolution. A world in which success and physical work are uncorrelated is not a world conducive to men. “God created men and women; Smith and Wesson made them equal.” Bessemer, Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Moore and Gates all had a hand in it too.
The metrosexual hipsters just happened to show up at the point that 150 years of inertia was coming to fruition.

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
7 months ago

Strangely only happening in Western societies

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
7 months ago

“Only that both movements are responses to the unraveling of settled gender roles that is one of the most transformative events of our lifetimes.”
“Both sides take for granted the collapse of the traditional ‘gender binary’ and its replacement by a novel and fluid suite of gender identities.”
Really? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, one of the most liberal places in the United States. The gender wars have had no effect on me, my family, or my community, let alone a transformative one.

Jamie Ken
Jamie Ken
7 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

No, but the groundwork is being laid to fundamentally change human societies.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
7 months ago

At one stage, Western scientists believed the Colltaz problem (“hailstone numbers”) was invented by the Soviets as a distraction, the scientists would be too busy trying to prove such an addictive and seemingly simple mathematical conjecture that they would forget about semiconductors, nuclear weapons, early-warning systems, etc. I think the same was said about Tetris, at least it had such a distracting effect on my classmates in Physics. I don’t know about these examples, but (half-) seriously, I do think Gender Theory was invented in (i) either a CIA psych lab, to distract the masses from the iniquities of Capitalism or (ii) an FSB lab to fatally undermine the West from within. If (ii) is true, then Putin has blundered, a few more years of gender wars and the West would have been on its knees (zher knees?).

Emre 0
Emre 0
7 months ago

If you like a conspiracy theory, my favourite one would be, that a good deal of this was invented by Foucault to get legal and socially accepted sexual access to children – as he publicly asked for in 1977. We know now about his trips to north Africa for this where he could avoid the law as well. Why Foucault became a part of the foundation for the Left is though an interesting unanswered question.

John Riordan
John Riordan
7 months ago

Actually I suspect, if anything, that it’s China helping this one along. Nor is this idle speculation: China is openly financially involved with our major educational and research establishments, and it is impossible to believe that the amount of money involved doesn’t provide the CCP with influence and authority within the institutions in question. In other words, if Critical Race Theory and gender politics is dominating in our universities, that is only happening with the consent of the CCP.

AC Harper
AC Harper
7 months ago

Thank goodness we have someone to blame. I used to lie awake at night worrying about the gendered dimensions of techno-capitalism, and now all is clear.
Not.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
7 months ago

Beards just came back into fashion. You’re overthinking it, mate.

Emre 0
Emre 0
7 months ago

In a progression that is still scarcely believable

Call me cynical, but I think the roots of this go back to the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. Establishment Democrats were able to topple the left-wing populist candidate Sanders in part due to the power of the superdelegates (who came overwhelmingly in support of Clinton), establishment Republicans lost to Trump.
This meant, all of the establishment put their collective power behind culturally left concerns under the Democrat party roof in an attempt to tilt the political climate.
Were it the other way around, and Bernie Sanders got the nomination (and likely the election against whichever Republican candidate), there would be an oppressive conservative push in American politics the other way towards conservatism instead.
Yet it all seems to be backfiring. The winds are blowing the other way, and only so much can be done to move public opinion.

John Riordan
John Riordan
7 months ago

“The fact that the unraveling is taking place is one of the few points on which the Right and Left can agree. Both sides take for granted the collapse of the traditional “gender binary” and its replacement by a novel and fluid suite of gender identities.”

Really? I am not persuaded of that at all. Non-binary genders remain a daft obsession of a minority of adults amongst the chattering classes, and a means by which adolescents, who now can be as old as their late twenties instead of merely teenagers, seek to piss off their parents.

Almost nobody is stupid enough to actually believe, sincerely, that there has always existed a spectrum of genders hitherto undiscovered until a self-appointed enlightened elite chose to reveal them all to the rest of us. Nobody really believes that sex is not binary and not determined at the point of conception. These new “ideas” are not sincere convictions, but merely a means by which progressive activists attack norms and conventions for their own cynical reasons, that’s all.

Last edited 7 months ago by John Riordan
Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
7 months ago

I was at a discussion meeting once; a sort of trade union group and one of the party, after listening to a lot of waffle, made the comment: ‘Sure, we can decide that the sky is purple if you like.’ Sort of rings a bell with the nonsense that one hears bandied about.

Sorry to digress but that last sentence reminds me of Bob Monkhouse: ‘Oh, you didn’t know I was from from Kent. I hear people muttering it as I pass by.’

Have a good weekend.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
7 months ago

Well, how would a George W Bush-era Supreme Court nominee have answered when asked whether he or she can provide a definition for “woman”? What would the good nominee have said?
“Come again.”?

Vince B
Vince B
6 months ago

Interesting take.
I am reminded of “Pajama Boy” who President Obama used in an ad to try to sell ObamaCare. He was a late ’20s hipster in thick-framed glasses, sitting in a plaid onesy holding a cup of cocoa in his hands, looking out onto the world with the smug, ironic smile of detachment which was the mark of the hipster. The ad read something like “Talk to your family about getting health insurance.”
I admit I was one of those who had an immediate, visceral loathing for this little twerp and everything he stood for. Not for the insurance program, but the flabby, soft, permanent boyishness he represented. I couldn’t imagine him being a truly helpful neighbor, or useful father or husband, or having any connections with anyone or anything that could possibly rely upon him if the going got rough. It seemed like he rejected everything about traditional, strong, sturdy, conventional maleness as passe’. I hate Pajama Boy.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
7 months ago

The West is now full of this pushing the envelope stuff. And childhood is a short time. The very young have for a while now no longer been walking on sunshine: much less so as the analogue age becomes ever more distant (an age in which phrases like ‘endless summer days’ were commonly heard).
Instead, increasingly, the very young have been walking on … eggshells. Much more so as the digital age is increasingly stamped on society (an age in which there is no time to seem endless: time must be fully occupied. There is no surplus time in the digital age).
And the world increasingly becomes miserable and vexed.

Robert Eagle
Robert Eagle
7 months ago

I must apologise. I misread the title “Did hipsters start the gender wars?” as Did hipsters start the genital warts?
Which was rather worrying. Until I saw the truth in my error.
Not the bit about hipsters (who will soon be gone anyway), but the realisation that gender wars and genital warts are equally dangerous and undesirable.