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The gender wars are not a gift to the Right Concerned women are hardly extremists

A very confused dad (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

A very confused dad (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)


June 7, 2023   7 mins

As a critic of transactivism, one thing you hear a lot is how you are “propping up” the Right — or even the far-Right. You may think that all you are doing is pointing out some fairly obvious downsides to putting violent unstable men in women’s prisons, say, or cutting off the healthy tissue of confused and distressed young people. It turns out, however, that the real sin for many Left-leaning people is not to do these things, but rather to talk in public about them.

At the weekend, in his Times column, Matthew Parris decried current media discourse about gender as unnecessarily polarising and a “gift” to the Right. Nearly everyone he mentioned got short shrift — “nutters in the Guardian”, professional anti-woke commentators, Stonewall fanatics, and “terfs” alike. As it happens, I was one of the few people cited in the piece to emerge unscathed. They say you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you, but I’m afraid that in this case I’m feeling quite carnivorous.

On the face of it, Parris seemed to be taking a familiar route for nervous commentators entering the fray. This strategy involves acting a bit like a weary parent, coming across a fight between unruly children halfway through. You know you have slim hope of reconstructing exactly who did what to whom and why, so for the sake of expedience will put both on the naughty step, causing festering resentment all round. (When pursuing this strategy, it really helps if one of the concerned parties likes to wear masks, defame women and threaten violence, while the other looks middle-aged, female and terrifyingly cross.)

Certainly, this approach annoyed the hell out of me when presenter Ed Balls used it on Good Morning Britain last week. On the one hand, Balls castigated the transactivists who would harass me under the guise of protest as “extremists”. On the other, he implied that my views on sex and gender — of which he showed no detailed knowledge whatsoever — were also “extreme” and “not where the centre ground is”.

At one point in our rather confused discussion, the former Labour cabinet minister exclaimed dramatically: “Why do you want to tell a vulnerable 21-year-old that they cannot be a woman because you’ve decided not to allow them to be one?”. He seemed to think that womanhood was in my personal gift, either to bestow upon troubled young men or to withhold cruelly from them, a bit like driving lessons or a gap year.

But later on, Balls revealed that, like me, he also believes that a woman cannot have a penis — a view which only a few years ago might have caused his employer to investigate him for heresy. Luckily though, we “extremists” have made it acceptable for him to say this.

In contrast, when it comes to Parris’s approach, such intellectual confusion can’t be the right explanation. In the past, the journalist and former MP has voiced strong and coherent objections to transactivism — admirably so, in fact. I have no doubt that, as a co-founder and former supporter of Stonewall, he took some flak for doing so within his professional circle and friendship group. On what grounds, then, would he readily ostracise certain women of a roughly similar mindset, otherwise known as the “terfs”?

I suspect that part of the answer is implicit in his generously allowing that — presumably like him — I count as their acceptable earthly representative. And he isn’t alone in this. I seem to be the only gender-critical feminist neutrally mentioned in the Guardian or invited onto the BBC, even occasionally. Yet there are hundreds of immensely capable alternative candidates out there.

Much as I’d love to put this preference down to overwhelming magnetism on my part, I fear something else might be at work. A more compelling explanation is that, first, I’m a lesbian; but second and just as importantly for the purposes of optics, I’m a former Professor with the “right” vocabulary and vowel sounds. So-called “ordinary” women can say roughly the same things as me but in plainer, franker, or more ribald language, and still be considered unseemly, obsessive, or even unhinged.

Yet it’s thanks to the sustained efforts of thousands of such women that the Overton window for what counts as reasonable discussion has been moved, painfully, a bit further towards freer expression, and away from automatic accusations of transphobia. This was by no means a given when we started (or, more accurately, when they started, years before me). And yet now some onlookers seem to want to perch me on the windowsill, my views at the very limit of what counts as acceptable gender-critical discourse, looking down at those still shivering outside.

I won’t do it, though. The vast majority of my fellow combatants in the gender wars — including self-described “terfs”, radical feminists, gender-critical feminists, and women who refuse to call themselves feminists at all — are not extremist in any way. They are not the ones notifying bosses about employee wrongthink, harassing individuals or sending threats.

Rather, they organise meetings where women can speak in public about what matters to them. They think up publicity stunts with great wit and ingenuity. They write letters to MPs and sign petitions. They make podcasts and videos. They tell jokes, compose songs, and sticker everything that moves. They get involved in endless arguments online, including (of course) infighting like mad among themselves. You may find them completely inspiring or highly annoying — probably partly depending on your background attitude to your own mother — but extremist they are not.

It is true that often the arguments get heated and insults are chucked about. I’m not saying this is good. I am saying that insulting people online, even horribly, doesn’t put you on a par with those who make banners saying “Arm Trans Kids” or who assault speakers at conferences, or who stop film screenings from going ahead, or who decide to show up every day at someone’s workplace until they leave their job. At worst, launching insults makes you a fairly standard sort of tweeter, easily triggered by algorithms and frustration. And that’s without facing all the usual doublethink, DARVO, bad faith takes, and random accusations of fascism from opponents that would turn the most sanguine of people into gibbering wrecks.

Nor are the conclusions of some of my fellow dissenters particularly extreme, even where they differ from my own. It does not make you an “extremist” to say that you won’t ever use the preferred pronouns of a transperson, as this admirably clear recent monologue by former transactivist ally Megyn Kelly also demonstrates. It doesn’t make you an “extremist” to argue that the Gender Recognition Act should be repealed, on the grounds that you think that the Equality Act (suitably clarified, at least) would protect trans people adequately anyway.  Neither of these positions are mine, but each falls within the ambit of reasonable debate and should be discussed. If Mizzy can get on Newsnight, I certainly don’t see why Maya Forstater or Kellie-Jay Keen can’t.

It’s a daft form of credentialism that means doors have opened for me that remain shut for others. Among a lot of progressives, there is deference to technical language and a love of quirky-looking, counterintuitive conclusions; a fondness for the kind of point that makes you look clever for grasping it, or at least pretending that you did. Many first became convinced that human biology was chimerical yet gender identities were real, simply because academics told them so. Now the only thing that will persuade them otherwise is a different academic, telling them that the first lot were talking nonsense. Most ordinary people have not been educated into this level of stupidity.

Even so, the women I fight alongside have learned all the jargon, analysed all the quasi-technical concepts, and launch themselves onto the internet every day to argue the toss with all-comers. A lot of them do philosophical and political analysis far better than transactivist academics intervening in the same debates. It’s my impression that, over time, blind adherence to a basically incoherent ideology tends to make you stupider — but trying to demolish that ideology sharpens you up.

They also do a brilliant job of explaining things for the watching public. Such is the contamination of everyday language with academic pseudo-technicality and impenetrable jargon that the average person cannot follow disputes about gender for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Is a “transwoman” a male who wants to be female, or a female who wants to be male? Is “nonbinary” a bit like “bisexual” or something else? What in god’s name does “cis” mean? These are not the questions of troglodytes or moral reprobates. They are the questions of your well-meaning, basically tolerant, but very confused dad.

But in fact, it’s worse than this. For, in tandem with academics, contemporary progressives have adopted a whole raft of new concepts, with which they try to control the speech of others. Whether by accident or by design, some of these concepts turn the language of those not versed in the relevant speech codes — that is, those who didn’t do the right degrees, or even go to university at all — into something suspect and potentially blameworthy.

Attempts to express kindness or curiosity about another person can get rebranded as “microaggressions”. Apparently sincere efforts to communicate a particular message in good faith are framed as “covert dog whistles”. Reasonable concerns are dismissed as “moral panics”. The phrase “cancel culture” — as good a tool as any other to discuss the silencing of many, via the visible punishing of a few — is batted back with lofty condescension, dismissed as conceptually deficient and not really capturing the right phenomenon in quite the right way. What does “cancellation” mean anyway? Are you really cancelled if you’re still upright after some horrendous ordeal or other? Was it even cancellation at all, or were you just facing “consequences”?

It’s almost as if the game is rigged. Parris would criticise a lot of this too, I think. Still, he says he detects in gender discourse “a growing relationship of mutual dependence, a symbiosis, between quite small, obsessive minorities on opposing fringes of a society that is itself neither divided nor angry, but enjoys the fireworks”. I think I detect something different. It’s the growing sound of women’s incandescent fury, as Left-liberal elite types trace a slightly more permissive boundary for polite discourse about sex and gender, and then put direct, unvarnished, angry or jokey working-class speech on the other side of it. Cue a lot of simmering or even boiling resentment, and the sense that Left-leaning people really don’t care about women’s interests at all. This, I’m afraid, will be the real gift to the Right if we don’t all watch out.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
11 months ago

The obvious question to ask Parris and all the rest of the fools caught up in this absurd gender identity/trans nonsense is: “what changed?”
From time immemorial up until approximately ten years ago, everyone but a small number of obscure academics inhabiting dark little offices, and other assorted goofballs, agreed with the conception of gender now characterised as “extremist”.Our politicians, our institutions (the education system, the Police, NHS, Civil Service, Armed Forces, etc, our MSM all operated on the accepted basis that sex was binary.
If the human understanding of man and woman that has endured for millennia is to be thrown over with such rapidity and with such an acute change, there must be some extraordinary new scientific discovery against which established biological ideas cannot stand? Perhaps some flawless logical argument has been devised by a philosophical genius that inexorably necessitates the change?
No, nothing has changed. No new discoveries. Just a silly postmodernist mind virus that escaped from the bowels of academia via indoctrination of naive undergraduates who carried it in to our public and private institutions.
It is genuinely difficult to understand how anyone could do anything other than shamelessly ridicule this trans nonsense. But I think the author has it right about the appeal it has to those who fancy themselves as sophisticated intellectuals, but make themselves complete fools.
Perhaps someone can put the question to Parris: if there has been nothing new discovered to challenge established biological orthadoxy, how can maintaining it become an extreme position?

Last edited 11 months ago by Marcus Leach
j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

What changed? Well much like we’ve moved on, thankfully so, from seeing Gay Men and Women as abnormal, we’ve also begun to recognise Trans isn’t something new and much as Gay Men & Women don’t have any physical indicators of their sexual preference but ‘feel’ fundamentally different perhaps that’s much the same for Trans? That’s what has changed for most of us.
There is a Trans-Activism that is new and more strident. Is it less so then previous LGBT campaigning? Not sure. Are Trans in prisons a new phenomena? Have our public services never dealt with any of this before? Do the outliers in stridency miss the point that the majority just want to quietly lead their lives being a little more understood than they were?
I suspect in time this settles down and some of the bellicosity from extremes dissipates in so far as we pay much attention to it.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re making the same error as Parris did in his column in suggesting that there are two extreme sides in this debate. There’s only one. It’s common sense and scientific reality against madness.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I seem to recall early on Parris sided with self -identification using much the same Centrist Fag argument as jWatson .

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I seem to recall early on Parris sided with self -identification using much the same Centrist Fag argument as jWatson .

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

“trans isn’t something new”
You are right if one is referring to Gender Body Dysmorphia “GBD”, in which a tiny proportion of the population feel a mentally distressing alienation from their physical body. This a long recognised mental illness.
Both homosexuality from GBM are atypical, but that does not make them of a similar nature. That a person is sexually attracted to people of the same sex is a fact. Believing that one is born in the wrong body is a delusion. That the delusion causes distress is the fact. Although mental health experts have controversially approved the use of drugs and radical surgery to abate the distress of acute GBD suffers, until relatively recently it was never accepted by mental health professionals that the suffer’s delusions were actually true.
But when “trans” is being discussed today, the vast majority of the time it is not referring to traditional clinical GBD dysphoria, but to to people whose personalities and preferences simply differ, to a greater of lesser extent, from those that have been observed to be typical and distinct between males and females.
It is, of course, perfectly true that individuals of either sex can have personlities highly atypical from the norm. There has always been a good proportion of effiminate males and masculine females and people with atypical sexual preferences. That people are “trans” and the notion that everyone has a “gender identity” is simply an unnecessary confection resulting from the work of of scientific frauds such as Dr John Money, allied with the application of pretentious postmodernist philosophy.
In answer to the question: “what changed?” your only substantial answer is that it is “Trans-Activism that is new and more strident”. That was the precise point I made. There is nothing new but dangerous, vicious ideologues pushing absurd ideas that have been knocking around in academia for decades. Only that these silly ideas were transported in to our institutions by indoctrinated graduates, and lobbied for by an army of tax payer funded grievance mongering NGOs, is new.

Last edited 11 months ago by Marcus Leach
Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Surely being a gay man or woman relates to sexual attraction, that is not the same as a persons feeling about themselves.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Karen Arnold

There for centuries have been a tiny tiny minority – men and women equally – who suffered from the sense they were born in the wrong body and are worthy of compassion. What has happened since 2010 and our Equality Act is a 1000% surge in teens suffering from gender dysphoria; and the overwhelming majority – freakishly – are vulnerable teen GIRLS. Not boys. This surely is not Nature’s Way. Some are arguing that Trans is replacing anorexia as the way to express disquiet with the onset of young female adulthood into our mad frightening porn perfect world. Who knows…This mad spiral began when the State added the T to its Equality/Diversity mission, battering it into schools. It then was spread like a virus by the diversity/rainbow compliant media. Only a change in the Equality Act and a revolution at the BBC and MSM will stop this. And who exactly is going to enact that? Penny?? Kemi maybe. The Cavalry are not even on the plain.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Karen Arnold

There for centuries have been a tiny tiny minority – men and women equally – who suffered from the sense they were born in the wrong body and are worthy of compassion. What has happened since 2010 and our Equality Act is a 1000% surge in teens suffering from gender dysphoria; and the overwhelming majority – freakishly – are vulnerable teen GIRLS. Not boys. This surely is not Nature’s Way. Some are arguing that Trans is replacing anorexia as the way to express disquiet with the onset of young female adulthood into our mad frightening porn perfect world. Who knows…This mad spiral began when the State added the T to its Equality/Diversity mission, battering it into schools. It then was spread like a virus by the diversity/rainbow compliant media. Only a change in the Equality Act and a revolution at the BBC and MSM will stop this. And who exactly is going to enact that? Penny?? Kemi maybe. The Cavalry are not even on the plain.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

For the record, I happen to be a gay man (no need for “Gay Man”) who definitely does not feel “fundamentally different” from straight men (or even from straight women, for that matter). There are some things that make me different from many or even most other people, sure, but that’s not among them.
It’s true that gay activists now tend to argue that gay people and straight people might as well belong to different species, by the way, but that’s typical of all woke political discourse and has been since feminists began to argue in the 1980s that women and men might as well belong to different species (the former being innately superior, of course, to the latter). Activists, mainly but not only transgender activists, now insist that gender identity–unlike, of all things, sexual identity–is innate and boils down to nothing other than power relations. It’s all nonsense (let alone mendacious and divisive).

fel rembrandt
fel rembrandt
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

There are physical indicators of homosexuality — they show up in the symptoms of sexual arousal. A straight person will not get aroused over images of a person of their own sex. But there is absolutely no physical evidence of any sort that can even suggest, much less prove, that anyone is in the wrong sexed body.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re making the same error as Parris did in his column in suggesting that there are two extreme sides in this debate. There’s only one. It’s common sense and scientific reality against madness.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

“trans isn’t something new”
You are right if one is referring to Gender Body Dysmorphia “GBD”, in which a tiny proportion of the population feel a mentally distressing alienation from their physical body. This a long recognised mental illness.
Both homosexuality from GBM are atypical, but that does not make them of a similar nature. That a person is sexually attracted to people of the same sex is a fact. Believing that one is born in the wrong body is a delusion. That the delusion causes distress is the fact. Although mental health experts have controversially approved the use of drugs and radical surgery to abate the distress of acute GBD suffers, until relatively recently it was never accepted by mental health professionals that the suffer’s delusions were actually true.
But when “trans” is being discussed today, the vast majority of the time it is not referring to traditional clinical GBD dysphoria, but to to people whose personalities and preferences simply differ, to a greater of lesser extent, from those that have been observed to be typical and distinct between males and females.
It is, of course, perfectly true that individuals of either sex can have personlities highly atypical from the norm. There has always been a good proportion of effiminate males and masculine females and people with atypical sexual preferences. That people are “trans” and the notion that everyone has a “gender identity” is simply an unnecessary confection resulting from the work of of scientific frauds such as Dr John Money, allied with the application of pretentious postmodernist philosophy.
In answer to the question: “what changed?” your only substantial answer is that it is “Trans-Activism that is new and more strident”. That was the precise point I made. There is nothing new but dangerous, vicious ideologues pushing absurd ideas that have been knocking around in academia for decades. Only that these silly ideas were transported in to our institutions by indoctrinated graduates, and lobbied for by an army of tax payer funded grievance mongering NGOs, is new.

Last edited 11 months ago by Marcus Leach
Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Surely being a gay man or woman relates to sexual attraction, that is not the same as a persons feeling about themselves.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

For the record, I happen to be a gay man (no need for “Gay Man”) who definitely does not feel “fundamentally different” from straight men (or even from straight women, for that matter). There are some things that make me different from many or even most other people, sure, but that’s not among them.
It’s true that gay activists now tend to argue that gay people and straight people might as well belong to different species, by the way, but that’s typical of all woke political discourse and has been since feminists began to argue in the 1980s that women and men might as well belong to different species (the former being innately superior, of course, to the latter). Activists, mainly but not only transgender activists, now insist that gender identity–unlike, of all things, sexual identity–is innate and boils down to nothing other than power relations. It’s all nonsense (let alone mendacious and divisive).

fel rembrandt
fel rembrandt
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

There are physical indicators of homosexuality — they show up in the symptoms of sexual arousal. A straight person will not get aroused over images of a person of their own sex. But there is absolutely no physical evidence of any sort that can even suggest, much less prove, that anyone is in the wrong sexed body.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

So to summarise your post, now there’s little difference between goofballs and Ed Balls.
(Note to moderator: it’s his surname, you idiots!)

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Follows
P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Indeed. And a fair question to Parris and those who fancy themselves as sophisticated intellectuals would be, “where do you get your certainty from?”

Ben P
Ben P
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Journalists, students and academics with too much time on their hands.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Everything has changed!! The trans spat on its own may seem very odd and unthreatening..but only if you are not a woman and wholly blind to the enormous unacknowledged revolution that has unfolded since 1997. The nation state was dismantled by the Blairites and the entire legal cultural and political Orthodoxy up to our accession into the EU overturned – systemically. This new elite has been committed to an ever more aggressive Equality/Anti Discriminatory ideology which now embraces American CRT. This Equality mania sees capitalism as a discriminatory evil and welfare benefits as a human right; it devours everything. It drove the insane lockdown policy (all must suffer even if the only people threatened – and worthy of special protection – were over 80). This hysteria has captured the vast army of affluent grad liberals who fill the Blob and see all whites as racist and happily besmirsch our history while bending the knee to BLM and drag queens in primary schools. It is toxic. It is changing everything. Ridicule is not enough.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Matthew Parris seems to be in the grip of some kind of weird cognitive dissonance. Perhaps it’s the non-posh bluntness of delivery of K-J.Keen et al which makes him squeamish rather than the actual content of their message.
Ed Bo11ocks just sounds really thick.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

What changed? Well much like we’ve moved on, thankfully so, from seeing Gay Men and Women as abnormal, we’ve also begun to recognise Trans isn’t something new and much as Gay Men & Women don’t have any physical indicators of their sexual preference but ‘feel’ fundamentally different perhaps that’s much the same for Trans? That’s what has changed for most of us.
There is a Trans-Activism that is new and more strident. Is it less so then previous LGBT campaigning? Not sure. Are Trans in prisons a new phenomena? Have our public services never dealt with any of this before? Do the outliers in stridency miss the point that the majority just want to quietly lead their lives being a little more understood than they were?
I suspect in time this settles down and some of the bellicosity from extremes dissipates in so far as we pay much attention to it.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

So to summarise your post, now there’s little difference between goofballs and Ed Balls.
(Note to moderator: it’s his surname, you idiots!)

Last edited 11 months ago by Stephen Follows
P N
P N
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Indeed. And a fair question to Parris and those who fancy themselves as sophisticated intellectuals would be, “where do you get your certainty from?”

Ben P
Ben P
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Journalists, students and academics with too much time on their hands.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Everything has changed!! The trans spat on its own may seem very odd and unthreatening..but only if you are not a woman and wholly blind to the enormous unacknowledged revolution that has unfolded since 1997. The nation state was dismantled by the Blairites and the entire legal cultural and political Orthodoxy up to our accession into the EU overturned – systemically. This new elite has been committed to an ever more aggressive Equality/Anti Discriminatory ideology which now embraces American CRT. This Equality mania sees capitalism as a discriminatory evil and welfare benefits as a human right; it devours everything. It drove the insane lockdown policy (all must suffer even if the only people threatened – and worthy of special protection – were over 80). This hysteria has captured the vast army of affluent grad liberals who fill the Blob and see all whites as racist and happily besmirsch our history while bending the knee to BLM and drag queens in primary schools. It is toxic. It is changing everything. Ridicule is not enough.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Matthew Parris seems to be in the grip of some kind of weird cognitive dissonance. Perhaps it’s the non-posh bluntness of delivery of K-J.Keen et al which makes him squeamish rather than the actual content of their message.
Ed Bo11ocks just sounds really thick.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
11 months ago

The obvious question to ask Parris and all the rest of the fools caught up in this absurd gender identity/trans nonsense is: “what changed?”
From time immemorial up until approximately ten years ago, everyone but a small number of obscure academics inhabiting dark little offices, and other assorted goofballs, agreed with the conception of gender now characterised as “extremist”.Our politicians, our institutions (the education system, the Police, NHS, Civil Service, Armed Forces, etc, our MSM all operated on the accepted basis that sex was binary.
If the human understanding of man and woman that has endured for millennia is to be thrown over with such rapidity and with such an acute change, there must be some extraordinary new scientific discovery against which established biological ideas cannot stand? Perhaps some flawless logical argument has been devised by a philosophical genius that inexorably necessitates the change?
No, nothing has changed. No new discoveries. Just a silly postmodernist mind virus that escaped from the bowels of academia via indoctrination of naive undergraduates who carried it in to our public and private institutions.
It is genuinely difficult to understand how anyone could do anything other than shamelessly ridicule this trans nonsense. But I think the author has it right about the appeal it has to those who fancy themselves as sophisticated intellectuals, but make themselves complete fools.
Perhaps someone can put the question to Parris: if there has been nothing new discovered to challenge established biological orthadoxy, how can maintaining it become an extreme position?

Last edited 11 months ago by Marcus Leach
R MS
R MS
11 months ago

Typically good article.
3 points.
First, those lamenting the likes of Trump and others on the right are exploiting the Trans issue ought to draw the obvious conclusion. Not that the likes of Bindel and Stock have suddenly become MAGA devotees. That’s ludicrous. But Transactivism is so extreme that it has the capacity to let even the likes of Trump seem sensible.
Second, if it bothers you that that gives an opening to the likes fo Trump – and it sure bothers me – the solution is obvious. Get off your comfortable backside and do something to defend free speech, scientific method and women’s and children’s rights yourself rather than leaving the field to him while writing smug specious ‘2 siding’ articles along the lines of Parris.
Third, you ought to do that anyway based on the substantive merits of the issues in play – let alone any second order political considerations.
Among many surprising things about this debate one that has particularly struck me is how it demonstrates just how many self-identified liberal progressive reasonable men, generally lovely people like Parris, really, when it comes down to it, just don’t consider women’s rights and children’s rights that important.
That’s the only way to read his column. For him, getting his hands dirty taking on the activists and possibly tarnishing his self-image in the inevitable fight that would ensue is a price he is simply not willing to countenance to defend what is at stake.
Really, he would rather not.
Better to leave that to the likes of women of courage like Stock. Rowling, Forstater, Bindel, Joyce etc.
Thank God for them.
I like Parris. I honestly think he is one of the most talented UK columnists of his generation. But by heavens that smug, cowardly column was an absolute stinker. A very black mark in the balance to set against the positives.
If you really can’t be prepared to stand up for what is right yourself, save us at least the faux high minded reasonableness masking comfortable cowardice and indifference to the suffering of women and children.

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

With you on this RMS – Parris was lambasted in the comments for basically ignoring women’s safety.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

“I honestly think he is one of the most talented UK columnists of his generation. But by heavens that smug, cowardly column was an absolute stinker.”

Matthew Parris is the definition of smug. This column could only have been written by him.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

To be fair Mathew Parris used to regularly write very good pieces in The Times and still can occasionally. But I think Brexit and Boris Derangement Syndrome has taken a terrible toll on him. Perhaps it’s time someone developed a treatment or vaccine for this condition.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I think it is only curable with a bullet!

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

A few years ago, in the middle of the Brexit wars, Parris wrote a very snooty piece in the Spectator contemptuously dismissing below-the-line commenters (like us). I’m not sure if his reputation has ever recovered there.

Ben P
Ben P
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Along with the BBC, I can no longer abide The Times. Hose them down the drain and search for intellectual stimulation elsewhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben P

And the FT, very sadly.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben P

And the FT, very sadly.

Andrew Mckay
Andrew Mckay
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree. As a Times reader for over 30 years, Parris has, in fairness, been a very good political commentator for a long time. But yes, Boris and Brexit haven’t done him any good!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Parris is good example of the effete type which dominates the FCO who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to others. They lack experience and ability to cope with rough, dangerous and arduous conditions.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I think it is only curable with a bullet!

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

A few years ago, in the middle of the Brexit wars, Parris wrote a very snooty piece in the Spectator contemptuously dismissing below-the-line commenters (like us). I’m not sure if his reputation has ever recovered there.

Ben P
Ben P
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Along with the BBC, I can no longer abide The Times. Hose them down the drain and search for intellectual stimulation elsewhere.

Andrew Mckay
Andrew Mckay
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree. As a Times reader for over 30 years, Parris has, in fairness, been a very good political commentator for a long time. But yes, Boris and Brexit haven’t done him any good!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Parris is good example of the effete type which dominates the FCO who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to others. They lack experience and ability to cope with rough, dangerous and arduous conditions.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

To be fair Mathew Parris used to regularly write very good pieces in The Times and still can occasionally. But I think Brexit and Boris Derangement Syndrome has taken a terrible toll on him. Perhaps it’s time someone developed a treatment or vaccine for this condition.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Why would Parris put himself on the line for anyone in this debate? He is one of those evil white men who is responsible for everything bad ever and, as such, is probably wary of both sides.
Most of the GC side support all the stuff that led to trans anyway.
Interesting that Stock is raising a child with another woman. I guess that makes one of them a trans-dad.

Last edited 11 months ago by Galvatron Stephens
Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman
11 months ago

Parris an “evil straight man”? Hardly. He is openly gay with a male partner whom he often mentions in passing in his columns.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Hoffman

Well he ticks two of the evil boxes, which the GC lot all still believe in.
Am barely surprised he is homosexual.

Last edited 11 months ago by Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Hoffman

Well he ticks two of the evil boxes, which the GC lot all still believe in.
Am barely surprised he is homosexual.

Last edited 11 months ago by Galvatron Stephens
Richard Gasson
Richard Gasson
11 months ago

I hardly think that you can describe Matthew Parris as a straight white man. In older times a phrase containing “nine bob note” would have been attached.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Gasson

Well he ticks two of the evil boxes, which the GC lot all stil believe in.
Am barely surprised he is homosexual.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Gasson

Well he ticks two of the evil boxes, which the GC lot all stil believe in.
Am barely surprised he is homosexual.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Do not be ridiculous – it makes them two lesbians, ie WOMEN, raising a child, presumably created from donor sperm, its not unusual with lesbian couples who wish to have children. Lesbian women and gay men have zero to do with trans people. They are comfortable in their female and male bodies, but happen to be same sex attracted.

Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman
11 months ago

Parris an “evil straight man”? Hardly. He is openly gay with a male partner whom he often mentions in passing in his columns.

Richard Gasson
Richard Gasson
11 months ago

I hardly think that you can describe Matthew Parris as a straight white man. In older times a phrase containing “nine bob note” would have been attached.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Do not be ridiculous – it makes them two lesbians, ie WOMEN, raising a child, presumably created from donor sperm, its not unusual with lesbian couples who wish to have children. Lesbian women and gay men have zero to do with trans people. They are comfortable in their female and male bodies, but happen to be same sex attracted.

Douglas H
Douglas H
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Thanks, very good comment.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Excellent comment, R. I’d add only one thing, which most people forget about. There’s an additional problem with trans ideology, the proverbial elephant in the room. You refer to the threat to “women and children.” I refer also to the threat to reason in general and science in particular. This is not an abstraction of concern only to intellectuals but a mentality that ultimately endangers our entire civilization and therefore all of its people.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Absolutely.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Yes, this is a really important point.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Absolutely.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Yes, this is a really important point.

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

What exists in our heads is a mental construct of reality. It is not reality. Every person has a construct of their own gender in their minds. They may feel they are too masculine or not feminine enough, whatever. It’s human nature to compare yourself. But these impressions, this mental construct is not ‘true’ in any literal sense, any more than our opinions about how babies are made are true in a literal sense. Yes, we have the big picture. But no one person understands the microbiology behind reproduction in entirety. We don’t need to. We just think we do. No one knows how the periodic table of the elements came to be and how they ended up as dust in this planet we call Earth. We have imperfect thoughts because reality cannot be fully known. But reality exists. It’s not reality that needs to change, but our understanding of it.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Tavanyar

I think, at a macro level, there is a material world we are all pretty much agreed on. It is true, it is as impossible to prove the material world exists as it is to prove God exists and idealism is the more logically consistent position, but nobody really doubts only biological women can naturally give birth and only biological men can produce sperm. The confusion between gender and biology has resulted in men believing they are women (usually parodies of women) because they are attracted to feminine attire and believe traditionally feminine roles and behaviours feel more natural to them. Similarly some women feel more comfortable dressing and behaving in a way they believe to be more masculine. To be a woman is not a feeling, it is a fact. If a man says he feels like a woman, the comment is meaningless.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Simon Tavanyar

I think, at a macro level, there is a material world we are all pretty much agreed on. It is true, it is as impossible to prove the material world exists as it is to prove God exists and idealism is the more logically consistent position, but nobody really doubts only biological women can naturally give birth and only biological men can produce sperm. The confusion between gender and biology has resulted in men believing they are women (usually parodies of women) because they are attracted to feminine attire and believe traditionally feminine roles and behaviours feel more natural to them. Similarly some women feel more comfortable dressing and behaving in a way they believe to be more masculine. To be a woman is not a feeling, it is a fact. If a man says he feels like a woman, the comment is meaningless.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

”But Transactivism is so extreme that it has the capacity to let even the likes of Trump seem sensible.
Second, if it bothers you that that gives an opening to the likes fo Trump – and it sure bothers me”

Hahaaa TDS hysteria….

What a hard position your ilk are in – seeing clearly the destructive insanity of one side, but then being so thought controlled you cannot accept the other side either. Against prisons, yet against crime – and all which is left is to complain about both wile society comes apart.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

I agree the article is informative. I have been mystified for a long time now as to what constitutes the left and what constitutes the right. Kathleen Stock is listened to and accepted by the left as she is a lesbian. (Plus her accent which she has no doubt nurtured as it is an asset). It seems the right is now those who uphold traditional family values and the left those who seek to undermine them. I do wonder at Kathleen Stock’s conversion to lesbianism. Did she suddenly discover she was really a lesbian? Did she, like Julie Bindel, choose to be a Lesbian? Did she realise she had greater authority at Sussex university as a Lesbian as until recently lesbians would have been at the forefront of progressivism? Does she know why she decided to be a lesbian? Her true motives could well be buried deep in her unconscious which is an extremely powerful slave to self interest. Does it matter? I used to think not but now my thoughts are changing. Now I am leaning towards truth matters absolutely or not at all. Philip Scofield was lauded for announcing his homosexuality on TV, nobody spared a thought for his wife and children.
As to who is doing the most to fight trans ideology, it is probably Matt Walsh whose ‘What is a woman?’ documentary was watched over 170 million times when posted on Twitter. Initially it was blocked for inciting hatred of transgender people, then Elon Musk stepped in. It seems universities are now in the business of brainwashing as only the totally indoctrinated could actually believe the total BS highlighted by Matt Walsh.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Why is it that those who write essays on this topic, many of them (like this one)very good writers, fight so unsuccessfully against opacity? Why is it so difficult to put a definitive finger on anything trans related? We complain about it (as this writer did) but seem powerless to do anything about it. Is it this: We are now in a debate the contours of which do not correspond to the real world? And if we are in such a debate, is that not all by itself a clue? Can there even be a real debate outside the confines of the “walls of the world?” Have the idealists now landed in the one and only spot that gives them hope, beyond the rational?

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

With you on this RMS – Parris was lambasted in the comments for basically ignoring women’s safety.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

“I honestly think he is one of the most talented UK columnists of his generation. But by heavens that smug, cowardly column was an absolute stinker.”

Matthew Parris is the definition of smug. This column could only have been written by him.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Why would Parris put himself on the line for anyone in this debate? He is one of those evil white men who is responsible for everything bad ever and, as such, is probably wary of both sides.
Most of the GC side support all the stuff that led to trans anyway.
Interesting that Stock is raising a child with another woman. I guess that makes one of them a trans-dad.

Last edited 11 months ago by Galvatron Stephens
Douglas H
Douglas H
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Thanks, very good comment.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Excellent comment, R. I’d add only one thing, which most people forget about. There’s an additional problem with trans ideology, the proverbial elephant in the room. You refer to the threat to “women and children.” I refer also to the threat to reason in general and science in particular. This is not an abstraction of concern only to intellectuals but a mentality that ultimately endangers our entire civilization and therefore all of its people.

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

What exists in our heads is a mental construct of reality. It is not reality. Every person has a construct of their own gender in their minds. They may feel they are too masculine or not feminine enough, whatever. It’s human nature to compare yourself. But these impressions, this mental construct is not ‘true’ in any literal sense, any more than our opinions about how babies are made are true in a literal sense. Yes, we have the big picture. But no one person understands the microbiology behind reproduction in entirety. We don’t need to. We just think we do. No one knows how the periodic table of the elements came to be and how they ended up as dust in this planet we call Earth. We have imperfect thoughts because reality cannot be fully known. But reality exists. It’s not reality that needs to change, but our understanding of it.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

”But Transactivism is so extreme that it has the capacity to let even the likes of Trump seem sensible.
Second, if it bothers you that that gives an opening to the likes fo Trump – and it sure bothers me”

Hahaaa TDS hysteria….

What a hard position your ilk are in – seeing clearly the destructive insanity of one side, but then being so thought controlled you cannot accept the other side either. Against prisons, yet against crime – and all which is left is to complain about both wile society comes apart.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

I agree the article is informative. I have been mystified for a long time now as to what constitutes the left and what constitutes the right. Kathleen Stock is listened to and accepted by the left as she is a lesbian. (Plus her accent which she has no doubt nurtured as it is an asset). It seems the right is now those who uphold traditional family values and the left those who seek to undermine them. I do wonder at Kathleen Stock’s conversion to lesbianism. Did she suddenly discover she was really a lesbian? Did she, like Julie Bindel, choose to be a Lesbian? Did she realise she had greater authority at Sussex university as a Lesbian as until recently lesbians would have been at the forefront of progressivism? Does she know why she decided to be a lesbian? Her true motives could well be buried deep in her unconscious which is an extremely powerful slave to self interest. Does it matter? I used to think not but now my thoughts are changing. Now I am leaning towards truth matters absolutely or not at all. Philip Scofield was lauded for announcing his homosexuality on TV, nobody spared a thought for his wife and children.
As to who is doing the most to fight trans ideology, it is probably Matt Walsh whose ‘What is a woman?’ documentary was watched over 170 million times when posted on Twitter. Initially it was blocked for inciting hatred of transgender people, then Elon Musk stepped in. It seems universities are now in the business of brainwashing as only the totally indoctrinated could actually believe the total BS highlighted by Matt Walsh.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Why is it that those who write essays on this topic, many of them (like this one)very good writers, fight so unsuccessfully against opacity? Why is it so difficult to put a definitive finger on anything trans related? We complain about it (as this writer did) but seem powerless to do anything about it. Is it this: We are now in a debate the contours of which do not correspond to the real world? And if we are in such a debate, is that not all by itself a clue? Can there even be a real debate outside the confines of the “walls of the world?” Have the idealists now landed in the one and only spot that gives them hope, beyond the rational?

R MS
R MS
11 months ago

Typically good article.
3 points.
First, those lamenting the likes of Trump and others on the right are exploiting the Trans issue ought to draw the obvious conclusion. Not that the likes of Bindel and Stock have suddenly become MAGA devotees. That’s ludicrous. But Transactivism is so extreme that it has the capacity to let even the likes of Trump seem sensible.
Second, if it bothers you that that gives an opening to the likes fo Trump – and it sure bothers me – the solution is obvious. Get off your comfortable backside and do something to defend free speech, scientific method and women’s and children’s rights yourself rather than leaving the field to him while writing smug specious ‘2 siding’ articles along the lines of Parris.
Third, you ought to do that anyway based on the substantive merits of the issues in play – let alone any second order political considerations.
Among many surprising things about this debate one that has particularly struck me is how it demonstrates just how many self-identified liberal progressive reasonable men, generally lovely people like Parris, really, when it comes down to it, just don’t consider women’s rights and children’s rights that important.
That’s the only way to read his column. For him, getting his hands dirty taking on the activists and possibly tarnishing his self-image in the inevitable fight that would ensue is a price he is simply not willing to countenance to defend what is at stake.
Really, he would rather not.
Better to leave that to the likes of women of courage like Stock. Rowling, Forstater, Bindel, Joyce etc.
Thank God for them.
I like Parris. I honestly think he is one of the most talented UK columnists of his generation. But by heavens that smug, cowardly column was an absolute stinker. A very black mark in the balance to set against the positives.
If you really can’t be prepared to stand up for what is right yourself, save us at least the faux high minded reasonableness masking comfortable cowardice and indifference to the suffering of women and children.

Peter Lucey
Peter Lucey
11 months ago

Usual excellent piece from Ms Stock – I’d just like to show my admiration for the sentence:

“Most ordinary people have not been educated into this level of stupidity”

Beautifully put!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lucey

Almost every single article by KS contains at least one sentence that deserves to be preserved for posterity, and you’re right, this one meets that criterion.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
David B
David B
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lucey

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” (Orwell)

carl taylor
carl taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  David B

Yup. I’d put money on Stock knowing exactly who to paraphrase to make that point.

carl taylor
carl taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  David B

Yup. I’d put money on Stock knowing exactly who to paraphrase to make that point.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lucey

Almost every single article by KS contains at least one sentence that deserves to be preserved for posterity, and you’re right, this one meets that criterion.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
David B
David B
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lucey

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” (Orwell)

Peter Lucey
Peter Lucey
11 months ago

Usual excellent piece from Ms Stock – I’d just like to show my admiration for the sentence:

“Most ordinary people have not been educated into this level of stupidity”

Beautifully put!

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
11 months ago

Nowadays, the trouble with seeking the middle ground (“there are extremists on both sides”) is that it requires a healthy balance between right and wrong. There is no healthy balance between mutilating children and not mutilating children. If you will pardon the expression, these things really are binary.

Last edited 11 months ago by Lennon Ó Náraigh
polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

I agree. The term “The middle ground” is so often used to hide cowardice.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
11 months ago

Yes. Another way of putting it: What’s the healthy balance between a glass of water and a glass of poison? A 50/50 mix?

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

I agree. The term “The middle ground” is so often used to hide cowardice.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
11 months ago

Yes. Another way of putting it: What’s the healthy balance between a glass of water and a glass of poison? A 50/50 mix?

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
11 months ago

Nowadays, the trouble with seeking the middle ground (“there are extremists on both sides”) is that it requires a healthy balance between right and wrong. There is no healthy balance between mutilating children and not mutilating children. If you will pardon the expression, these things really are binary.

Last edited 11 months ago by Lennon Ó Náraigh
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

Excellent analysis, with a healthy dose of humble pie – an admirable quality for someone thrust in the role of the spokesperson for the skeptical majority.

Important point to remember;”…contemporary progressives have adopted a whole raft of new concepts, with which they try to control the speech of others.”

That’s why everyone is labelled a transphobe. The ideologues can launch missiles without addressing their target’s real concerns.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, and the suffix “-phobe” is of particular importance. It allows activists to say that their adversaries are not merely wrong or even immoral but also neurotically fearful. What’s the point of even arguing with people who are out of touch with reality?

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Nathanson
M Harries
M Harries
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The non-‘transphobe’ position is one which asserts that whether one is determined male or female at birth is an assignment – as if it were determined by a coin flip. As such, because it is a ‘whimsical’ assignment, it can later be declared to be in error; thus the insanity of the ‘wrong body’ notion.

IF accused of being a Transphobe respond with “whether a child is male or female is determined by observation, not a whimsical choice assignment; you can call that ‘transphobic’ or call it ‘sausages’, I know it to be reality.”

The insanity of those who recognise reality being accused of being neurotically ‘transphobic’ is causing me to have mental health issues. And I often feel suicidal because of it. Those people who claim that non-binary gender/sex exists, who are denying my GC existence, are literally causing me and my ilk to commit suicide – they are killing us. Agree with me and stop killing us you hateful bigots!

THAT ^ is how the insane game is played.

Last edited 11 months ago by M Harries
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, and the suffix “-phobe” is of particular importance. It allows activists to say that their adversaries are not merely wrong or even immoral but also neurotically fearful. What’s the point of even arguing with people who are out of touch with reality?

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Nathanson
M Harries
M Harries
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The non-‘transphobe’ position is one which asserts that whether one is determined male or female at birth is an assignment – as if it were determined by a coin flip. As such, because it is a ‘whimsical’ assignment, it can later be declared to be in error; thus the insanity of the ‘wrong body’ notion.

IF accused of being a Transphobe respond with “whether a child is male or female is determined by observation, not a whimsical choice assignment; you can call that ‘transphobic’ or call it ‘sausages’, I know it to be reality.”

The insanity of those who recognise reality being accused of being neurotically ‘transphobic’ is causing me to have mental health issues. And I often feel suicidal because of it. Those people who claim that non-binary gender/sex exists, who are denying my GC existence, are literally causing me and my ilk to commit suicide – they are killing us. Agree with me and stop killing us you hateful bigots!

THAT ^ is how the insane game is played.

Last edited 11 months ago by M Harries
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

Excellent analysis, with a healthy dose of humble pie – an admirable quality for someone thrust in the role of the spokesperson for the skeptical majority.

Important point to remember;”…contemporary progressives have adopted a whole raft of new concepts, with which they try to control the speech of others.”

That’s why everyone is labelled a transphobe. The ideologues can launch missiles without addressing their target’s real concerns.

Andrew H
Andrew H
11 months ago

This is right on the money. Delighted to see explicit support here for Kellie-Jay Keen, who is a truly heroic warrior but not an academic and therefore snobbily, haughtily derided by some even on the gender-critical side. As you rightly say, her campaigning not only expertly marshals the arguments, it demonstrates bags of wit and ingenuity. Great stuff.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

It wasn’t completely explicit (I don’t believe Kellie’s name was mentioned unless I missed it), but for anyone in the know she was clearly referring to her.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

She was named in the article.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

She was named in the article.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

It wasn’t completely explicit (I don’t believe Kellie’s name was mentioned unless I missed it), but for anyone in the know she was clearly referring to her.

Andrew H
Andrew H
11 months ago

This is right on the money. Delighted to see explicit support here for Kellie-Jay Keen, who is a truly heroic warrior but not an academic and therefore snobbily, haughtily derided by some even on the gender-critical side. As you rightly say, her campaigning not only expertly marshals the arguments, it demonstrates bags of wit and ingenuity. Great stuff.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

The trans lobby have gained control of discourse on this subject by defining the terminology with which it is discussed. Their terms are a mixture of
(a) using familiar words in an unfamiliar way (“gender”, “hate”)
(b) using unfamiliar abbreviations that very few understand (“cis”, “terf”) and
(c) introducing mantras for sheep to bleat (“a trans woman is a woman”).
An example of the success of the trans lobby’s strategy was when the Office for National Statistics consulted the trans lobby on the phrasing of a Census question. The ONS asked people whether “the gender you identify with is different from your sex registered at birth.”, a question that bewildered the vast majority of the population.
In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon handed large amounts of taxpayers’ money to the trans lobby so that the trans lobby could brainwash kids and politicians with this nonsense.
There seems to be little that can be done, apart from letting it run its course and get replaced by some other fad (which will probably be even more injurious).

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago

The trans lobby have gained control of discourse on this subject by defining the terminology with which it is discussed. Their terms are a mixture of
(a) using familiar words in an unfamiliar way (“gender”, “hate”)
(b) using unfamiliar abbreviations that very few understand (“cis”, “terf”) and
(c) introducing mantras for sheep to bleat (“a trans woman is a woman”).
An example of the success of the trans lobby’s strategy was when the Office for National Statistics consulted the trans lobby on the phrasing of a Census question. The ONS asked people whether “the gender you identify with is different from your sex registered at birth.”, a question that bewildered the vast majority of the population.
In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon handed large amounts of taxpayers’ money to the trans lobby so that the trans lobby could brainwash kids and politicians with this nonsense.
There seems to be little that can be done, apart from letting it run its course and get replaced by some other fad (which will probably be even more injurious).

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
11 months ago

Matthew Parris is an unrepentant and elitist snob, please see his comments on people who live in seaside towns. He is also the authentic voice of the workaday establishment in UK politics, media and public life.
Sad, but true.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Nailed it.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That original article on left-behind seaside towns and why we should just write them off was an utter disgrace and really marked out his decline. A year or two ago, he revisited that piece and doubled-down on his original position that there’s nothing we can or should practically do for these places and that those who can should move out, abandoning those left behind to their fate.
You’re quite right that there must be some urban, progressive, elitist snobbery behind these delusions and contempt for his fellow citizens.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The left-behind weren’t his only targets. He once had a go at people who post comments in the Spectator. As I remember it, the article was dripping with snobbery and contempt.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Hell hath no fury like ………..scorned”.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The left-behind weren’t his only targets. He once had a go at people who post comments in the Spectator. As I remember it, the article was dripping with snobbery and contempt.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“Hell hath no fury like ………..scorned”.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Nailed it.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

That original article on left-behind seaside towns and why we should just write them off was an utter disgrace and really marked out his decline. A year or two ago, he revisited that piece and doubled-down on his original position that there’s nothing we can or should practically do for these places and that those who can should move out, abandoning those left behind to their fate.
You’re quite right that there must be some urban, progressive, elitist snobbery behind these delusions and contempt for his fellow citizens.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
11 months ago

Matthew Parris is an unrepentant and elitist snob, please see his comments on people who live in seaside towns. He is also the authentic voice of the workaday establishment in UK politics, media and public life.
Sad, but true.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
11 months ago

Kathleen writes very well with clear, easy to read prose and I agree with everything.

Well, one thing bothers me; maybe I’m reading to much into it but that last sentence. The “gift to the Right”. I wonder what she thinks will happen if the right of politics become seriously influential again (the current government are as social democrat as they come).
Will women be ordered back in the kitchen, gay sex outlawed, mass forced migration?

I make the point because I believe that attitudes like that I’m, perhaps unreasonably, attributing to Kathleen are I fear what has brought us to this point. There is a demonisation of the Right.

Of course, the Right have different ideas but mostly these surround economics and small government. It is true too that the right took longer to address racial, sexual and gender equality but these ideas are pretty firmly established even with most old facts.

The trouble is that this demonisation has allowed the Left to call themselves progressives and to take a moral high ground. It allows them to stamp on those who think differently. The traditional Mary Whitehouse conservatives tried to defend Christianity as they saw it from too much sex or blasphemy. They were often hostile to immigration partly through bigotry but also because they had a vision of Britain that was changing in their eyes too quickly. However, they failed.

The bigotry of the left sees senior politicians afraid to say what a woman is. Had they not pushed so hard on equality issues since they achieved a great success in gay marriage, I suspect we all be rubbing along a little better. I doubt that racism would be any worse, women would have just a fair opportunities and generally no-one would much care about men who wanted to be women and would probably call he, she.

For all the failings of the Right, this culture war is the fault of the Left and it needs to be owned.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

You’re equating being “right-wing” with ordering women back to the kitchen, gay sex outlawed etc? That’s precisely the sort of stereotype that unthinking left-wing commentators evoke as a scare tactic. The rest of your post suggests you’re far from being unthinking so why fall for that trope?

Laurence H
Laurence H
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

He’s precisely pointing out that is NOT the equation to make . . .

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Laurence H

I had assumed this was clear

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Laurence H

I had assumed this was clear

David B
David B
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think it was deliberate exaggeration to ridicule the reflexive anti-right sentences that all bien pensants must include in every article. The right they contrast their arguments with is so ludicrously strawman.
And yet, so many of them argue from a classical rightwing perspective yet mimetically label themselves as Left. I believe this is in order to preserve their belonging to the correct set, even whilst shifting its perspective slightly more towards reality. (The facts of which are conservative, of course!)

Laurence H
Laurence H
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

He’s precisely pointing out that is NOT the equation to make . . .

David B
David B
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I think it was deliberate exaggeration to ridicule the reflexive anti-right sentences that all bien pensants must include in every article. The right they contrast their arguments with is so ludicrously strawman.
And yet, so many of them argue from a classical rightwing perspective yet mimetically label themselves as Left. I believe this is in order to preserve their belonging to the correct set, even whilst shifting its perspective slightly more towards reality. (The facts of which are conservative, of course!)

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago

“It is true too that the right took longer to address racial, sexual and gender equality …”
The general point of your comment is well made, Jonathan, but I’ll quibble with that one sentence. The meaning of any word can shift over time, and few words have shifted more often than “Right” (along with “conservative”) and “Left” (along with “liberal” or “progressive”) At the moment, Americans generally refer to Republicans as the former and Democrats as the latter. Within living memory, however, Democrats (including Biden) supported racial segregation. Voters in the segregationist South called themselves “Dixiecrats.”
And even now, many Democratic policies (such as those on crime and affirmative action) are deceptively benign. The party routinely panders to black voters on ideological and emotional grounds but refrains from actually helping them in practical ways. Far from doing that, Democratic policies and rhetoric infantilize black people (along with, of course, “dis-favored” people such as poor whites and academically ambitious Asians).
I suspect that, until very recently and possibly even now (to the extent that we can know what people actually think, and why, apart from whatever we hear from political pollsters), there has been considerable overlap on at least some basic moral principles.
I’m always shocked by the extent to which the manipulation of language for ideological purposes has poisoned public discourse. Even seemingly harmless words such as “compassion” can come to signify very different things, even opposing ones, to those at both ends of the political continuum. I don’t know that this is a recent phenomenon (probably not), but it’s currently wreaking havoc.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Excellent post.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Excellent post.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Opposition to the “culture wars” is neither left nor right – or, more accurately, it encompasses both. In my opinion, most people have no time for the trans idiocy – at least that is my experience online and through various acrimonious Twitter debates.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

You’re equating being “right-wing” with ordering women back to the kitchen, gay sex outlawed etc? That’s precisely the sort of stereotype that unthinking left-wing commentators evoke as a scare tactic. The rest of your post suggests you’re far from being unthinking so why fall for that trope?

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 months ago

“It is true too that the right took longer to address racial, sexual and gender equality …”
The general point of your comment is well made, Jonathan, but I’ll quibble with that one sentence. The meaning of any word can shift over time, and few words have shifted more often than “Right” (along with “conservative”) and “Left” (along with “liberal” or “progressive”) At the moment, Americans generally refer to Republicans as the former and Democrats as the latter. Within living memory, however, Democrats (including Biden) supported racial segregation. Voters in the segregationist South called themselves “Dixiecrats.”
And even now, many Democratic policies (such as those on crime and affirmative action) are deceptively benign. The party routinely panders to black voters on ideological and emotional grounds but refrains from actually helping them in practical ways. Far from doing that, Democratic policies and rhetoric infantilize black people (along with, of course, “dis-favored” people such as poor whites and academically ambitious Asians).
I suspect that, until very recently and possibly even now (to the extent that we can know what people actually think, and why, apart from whatever we hear from political pollsters), there has been considerable overlap on at least some basic moral principles.
I’m always shocked by the extent to which the manipulation of language for ideological purposes has poisoned public discourse. Even seemingly harmless words such as “compassion” can come to signify very different things, even opposing ones, to those at both ends of the political continuum. I don’t know that this is a recent phenomenon (probably not), but it’s currently wreaking havoc.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Opposition to the “culture wars” is neither left nor right – or, more accurately, it encompasses both. In my opinion, most people have no time for the trans idiocy – at least that is my experience online and through various acrimonious Twitter debates.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
11 months ago

Kathleen writes very well with clear, easy to read prose and I agree with everything.

Well, one thing bothers me; maybe I’m reading to much into it but that last sentence. The “gift to the Right”. I wonder what she thinks will happen if the right of politics become seriously influential again (the current government are as social democrat as they come).
Will women be ordered back in the kitchen, gay sex outlawed, mass forced migration?

I make the point because I believe that attitudes like that I’m, perhaps unreasonably, attributing to Kathleen are I fear what has brought us to this point. There is a demonisation of the Right.

Of course, the Right have different ideas but mostly these surround economics and small government. It is true too that the right took longer to address racial, sexual and gender equality but these ideas are pretty firmly established even with most old facts.

The trouble is that this demonisation has allowed the Left to call themselves progressives and to take a moral high ground. It allows them to stamp on those who think differently. The traditional Mary Whitehouse conservatives tried to defend Christianity as they saw it from too much sex or blasphemy. They were often hostile to immigration partly through bigotry but also because they had a vision of Britain that was changing in their eyes too quickly. However, they failed.

The bigotry of the left sees senior politicians afraid to say what a woman is. Had they not pushed so hard on equality issues since they achieved a great success in gay marriage, I suspect we all be rubbing along a little better. I doubt that racism would be any worse, women would have just a fair opportunities and generally no-one would much care about men who wanted to be women and would probably call he, she.

For all the failings of the Right, this culture war is the fault of the Left and it needs to be owned.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

Well….I agree and I disagree.

I agree that women standing up against the trans ideology craze are not extremists. In fact, I am the proud owner of a “Team TERF” shirt.

Where I disagree is this; The actions of the hard, progressive left and the trans ideology activists are alienating people right, center and old school left. The tighter the democrats or the labor party tie themselves to these people, the more they are associated with them, the more they are going to pay an electoral price.

Do I think that Gloria Steinam will run out and vote for Donald Trump? No.

Do I think that women like her just may not vote or donate time or money? Yep. Not voting is almost as good as voting for the other side.

Do I think that there are those in the middle that could be so permanently alienated by this stuff that they start to vote more conservatively? Absolutely.

And…I will say this, it may not make allies or friends out of the Gay community and republicans/conservatives, but it does give them a common cause.

Also, the same crazies that make up the trans activists make up the environmental activists pushing Net Zero and other woke policies, all of which are starting to get on the nerves of the average person/voter.

The impact could be greater in the US where you only have two parties to choose from.

Last edited 11 months ago by Daniel P
Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I have up voted your comment Daniel and I agree with you but I will not pander to these gender fascists’ by using terms such as TERF, cis, gender critical, pregnant person etc. In my view this ads a veneer of legitimacy to their hatred.
I have only, personally, known a couple of people struggling with gender dysphoria, both male to female. One was successful (in her view after a number of years) and one wasn’t.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Andrew, I have often thought that one great tactic when dealing with people who will give you a negative label is to turn it on them and make it a badge of pride. Take ownership of it.
You want to call me a TERF. Well, it just so happens I LIKE and agree with everything that you say a TERF believes, so, rather than be insulted, I am going to embrace it proudly. I will wear it like a badge of honor to let those who also agree with me know that they are not alone.
When some activist tries to throw that at you as an insult, you just say “Thank you, I am glad you understand my position.”
And, I think it is increasingly important for those of us who disagree with the trans insanity, who make up the large majority, to make ourselves known, to them and to each other. For too long we have expressed ourselves carefully, avoided conflict, responded to these people the way we might to a toddler having a tantrum, stay calm and do not escalate. It has not been working. Unfortunately, the toddlers appear to need a good spanking and a timeout.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Andrew, I have often thought that one great tactic when dealing with people who will give you a negative label is to turn it on them and make it a badge of pride. Take ownership of it.
You want to call me a TERF. Well, it just so happens I LIKE and agree with everything that you say a TERF believes, so, rather than be insulted, I am going to embrace it proudly. I will wear it like a badge of honor to let those who also agree with me know that they are not alone.
When some activist tries to throw that at you as an insult, you just say “Thank you, I am glad you understand my position.”
And, I think it is increasingly important for those of us who disagree with the trans insanity, who make up the large majority, to make ourselves known, to them and to each other. For too long we have expressed ourselves carefully, avoided conflict, responded to these people the way we might to a toddler having a tantrum, stay calm and do not escalate. It has not been working. Unfortunately, the toddlers appear to need a good spanking and a timeout.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Steinem is pro-trans

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

You need to define the degree to which she is pro-trans.
I doubt there is anyone sane on this forum that would advocate beating trans people for being trans or who would suggest that they should be excluded from society.
That is not the same thing as saying that a biological male should be able to coerce their way into a woman’s locker room or prison or be allowed to compete in women’s sports.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Well, the space here is somewhat limited. If you are so bothered to query it, look it up yourself.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Well, the space here is somewhat limited. If you are so bothered to query it, look it up yourself.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

You’re missing the point. Stock isn’t anti-trans.

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

You need to define the degree to which she is pro-trans.
I doubt there is anyone sane on this forum that would advocate beating trans people for being trans or who would suggest that they should be excluded from society.
That is not the same thing as saying that a biological male should be able to coerce their way into a woman’s locker room or prison or be allowed to compete in women’s sports.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

You’re missing the point. Stock isn’t anti-trans.

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I have up voted your comment Daniel and I agree with you but I will not pander to these gender fascists’ by using terms such as TERF, cis, gender critical, pregnant person etc. In my view this ads a veneer of legitimacy to their hatred.
I have only, personally, known a couple of people struggling with gender dysphoria, both male to female. One was successful (in her view after a number of years) and one wasn’t.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Steinem is pro-trans

Daniel P
Daniel P
11 months ago

Well….I agree and I disagree.

I agree that women standing up against the trans ideology craze are not extremists. In fact, I am the proud owner of a “Team TERF” shirt.

Where I disagree is this; The actions of the hard, progressive left and the trans ideology activists are alienating people right, center and old school left. The tighter the democrats or the labor party tie themselves to these people, the more they are associated with them, the more they are going to pay an electoral price.

Do I think that Gloria Steinam will run out and vote for Donald Trump? No.

Do I think that women like her just may not vote or donate time or money? Yep. Not voting is almost as good as voting for the other side.

Do I think that there are those in the middle that could be so permanently alienated by this stuff that they start to vote more conservatively? Absolutely.

And…I will say this, it may not make allies or friends out of the Gay community and republicans/conservatives, but it does give them a common cause.

Also, the same crazies that make up the trans activists make up the environmental activists pushing Net Zero and other woke policies, all of which are starting to get on the nerves of the average person/voter.

The impact could be greater in the US where you only have two parties to choose from.

Last edited 11 months ago by Daniel P
Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
11 months ago

Trans people don’t want privacy. They want to walk down the street in woman face. Use our toilets, changing rooms, rape crisis Centres and sports. They want public affirmation because they know a man cannot be a women.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

Please remember you are describing the activists. There are trans people who do want privacy, and are being hurt by the insanity going on right now, and just want to live their lives in the way they feel comfortable without bothering anyone or being bothered by anyone. I know two such people (one 70+ yrs old who came out about 25 years ago, one 26 who came out 7 years ago). I am in complete agreement about women’s spaces and sport, and am against doing permanent damage to children who aren’t mature enough to understand what they are doing, and I think you are right about why they want public affirmation, but it helps the conversation to be clear that you aren’t against all trans people by not making a blanket attack.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Yes, most trans people just want to quietly get on with their lives. The rabid activists are actually harming them by stirring up hatred.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Yes, most trans people just want to quietly get on with their lives. The rabid activists are actually harming them by stirring up hatred.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  Tina Lennon

Please remember you are describing the activists. There are trans people who do want privacy, and are being hurt by the insanity going on right now, and just want to live their lives in the way they feel comfortable without bothering anyone or being bothered by anyone. I know two such people (one 70+ yrs old who came out about 25 years ago, one 26 who came out 7 years ago). I am in complete agreement about women’s spaces and sport, and am against doing permanent damage to children who aren’t mature enough to understand what they are doing, and I think you are right about why they want public affirmation, but it helps the conversation to be clear that you aren’t against all trans people by not making a blanket attack.

Tina Lennon
Tina Lennon
11 months ago

Trans people don’t want privacy. They want to walk down the street in woman face. Use our toilets, changing rooms, rape crisis Centres and sports. They want public affirmation because they know a man cannot be a women.

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
11 months ago

I don’t think Megyn Kelly was ever a trans activist was she? Probably someone who was largely supportive and has now changed her mind. People who change their minds are the most interesting commentators. They are the ones who have taken the time to do some hard thinking, examine the issues, weigh up the trade offs, break with former allies and admit that they were wrong.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago

It is not unusual, in this sort of scenario, to see people applying purity tests about who has been right the longest.
I doubt Stock will mention how Julie Bindel, left-wing feminist who now writes daily for the Right-wing publications whose general world view she despises, once said trans-women were women in an interview with Paris Lees.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

I should like to see the source for that claim.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

The first point should not be a problem for any intelligent person to grasp.
The interview between Lees and Bindel is available online.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

Are you referring to the interview in Lees’ own online magazine META? All I see is “This video is unavailable”, with no link to a transcript. Though in any case it’s not clear what weight should be given to an unauthenticated claim by Lees about what Bindel said. (Of course if Bindel is on record as confirming it, that would be a different matter. But given her other recorded views I would in that case expect her to offer an explanation of the apparent discrepancy, if only along the lines “I changed my mind”)

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

Are you referring to the interview in Lees’ own online magazine META? All I see is “This video is unavailable”, with no link to a transcript. Though in any case it’s not clear what weight should be given to an unauthenticated claim by Lees about what Bindel said. (Of course if Bindel is on record as confirming it, that would be a different matter. But given her other recorded views I would in that case expect her to offer an explanation of the apparent discrepancy, if only along the lines “I changed my mind”)

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

The first point should not be a problem for any intelligent person to grasp.
The interview between Lees and Bindel is available online.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Whilst I am in no way left wing, I do admire Julie Bindell for taking a stand on this issues – we happen to follow each other on Twitter, following both of us participating in a particularly acrimonious debate about trans issues. The problem is, at the moment, the right are more inclined to come out against these issues than the left are – just look at how Rosie Duffield was treated by her own party (Labour)!

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago

I should like to see the source for that claim.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Whilst I am in no way left wing, I do admire Julie Bindell for taking a stand on this issues – we happen to follow each other on Twitter, following both of us participating in a particularly acrimonious debate about trans issues. The problem is, at the moment, the right are more inclined to come out against these issues than the left are – just look at how Rosie Duffield was treated by her own party (Labour)!

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
11 months ago

It is not unusual, in this sort of scenario, to see people applying purity tests about who has been right the longest.
I doubt Stock will mention how Julie Bindel, left-wing feminist who now writes daily for the Right-wing publications whose general world view she despises, once said trans-women were women in an interview with Paris Lees.

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
11 months ago

I don’t think Megyn Kelly was ever a trans activist was she? Probably someone who was largely supportive and has now changed her mind. People who change their minds are the most interesting commentators. They are the ones who have taken the time to do some hard thinking, examine the issues, weigh up the trade offs, break with former allies and admit that they were wrong.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

So right and important, the temptation for minor differences to divide people from the main point seems to be very hard to resist.
I support (verbally and small beer financially) all those fighting transactivism and gender ideology:
Hurrah for the bravery of Posie;
thanks for all the hard work brilliance and sacrifice of Graham Lineham,; of course to Maya for fighting a lonely court case; Alison Bailey equally so; Suzanne Moore for her incisive wit. Needless to say JK Rowling for her determination under fire. Helen Joyce for her book Trans. The women who weesh. And so miss Germaine Greer.
All have given us hope.
Haha it’s the burden you may have to bear Kathleen, ‘the acceptable face of gender criticals’ you might be a bad baddie but you are a finely wrought weapon.
So much so I dared send the vid of your Oxford talk to my daughter yesterday, (she has cried in the past at my adherence to the view that people can’t change sex), It’s the first issue we have ever fallen out over, subject verboten. And she applauded you for not shouting….
It’s a first, she didn’t blank it. But thank god we’ve got Succession to endlessly chew over as we walk the dogs.

Nancy G
Nancy G
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Thank you for mentioning the heroic people (Lineham, Forstater, Bailey, etc) who have been fighting the fight along with Kathleen Stock.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Thanks Nancy but careless of me to have missed Julie Bindel and Joan Smith, two of Unherd stalwarts

Last edited 11 months ago by CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Thanks Nancy but careless of me to have missed Julie Bindel and Joan Smith, two of Unherd stalwarts

Last edited 11 months ago by CF Hankinson
Nancy G
Nancy G
11 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Thank you for mentioning the heroic people (Lineham, Forstater, Bailey, etc) who have been fighting the fight along with Kathleen Stock.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

So right and important, the temptation for minor differences to divide people from the main point seems to be very hard to resist.
I support (verbally and small beer financially) all those fighting transactivism and gender ideology:
Hurrah for the bravery of Posie;
thanks for all the hard work brilliance and sacrifice of Graham Lineham,; of course to Maya for fighting a lonely court case; Alison Bailey equally so; Suzanne Moore for her incisive wit. Needless to say JK Rowling for her determination under fire. Helen Joyce for her book Trans. The women who weesh. And so miss Germaine Greer.
All have given us hope.
Haha it’s the burden you may have to bear Kathleen, ‘the acceptable face of gender criticals’ you might be a bad baddie but you are a finely wrought weapon.
So much so I dared send the vid of your Oxford talk to my daughter yesterday, (she has cried in the past at my adherence to the view that people can’t change sex), It’s the first issue we have ever fallen out over, subject verboten. And she applauded you for not shouting….
It’s a first, she didn’t blank it. But thank god we’ve got Succession to endlessly chew over as we walk the dogs.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

“Why do you want to tell a vulnerable 21-year-old that they cannot be a woman because you’ve decided not to allow them to be one?”. This absurd sentence illustrates trans lunacy as a whole. The answer, of course, is “A 21-year old man doesn’t need my permission to pretend he is a woman, nor will he get my affirmation, and certainly not by force. What is wrong with you?”
If we are going to put an end to this madness afflicting the West, let’s for God’s sake stop referring to a singular person as “they”. We went from adults being amused by drag and Eddie Izard to mutilating children because we allowed freak movements to change the language.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago

I also take umbrage at the term ‘vulnerable’. No-one should be allowed to be so vulnerable that they are afforded the luxury of forcing others to collude with their delusional sex fantasy

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago

To think that Ed Balls was once in government.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

But so was Harriet Harman.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

But so was Harriet Harman.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago

I also take umbrage at the term ‘vulnerable’. No-one should be allowed to be so vulnerable that they are afforded the luxury of forcing others to collude with their delusional sex fantasy

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
11 months ago

To think that Ed Balls was once in government.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

“Why do you want to tell a vulnerable 21-year-old that they cannot be a woman because you’ve decided not to allow them to be one?”. This absurd sentence illustrates trans lunacy as a whole. The answer, of course, is “A 21-year old man doesn’t need my permission to pretend he is a woman, nor will he get my affirmation, and certainly not by force. What is wrong with you?”
If we are going to put an end to this madness afflicting the West, let’s for God’s sake stop referring to a singular person as “they”. We went from adults being amused by drag and Eddie Izard to mutilating children because we allowed freak movements to change the language.

Susanne Schwameis
Susanne Schwameis
11 months ago

Indeed… “It’s the growing sound of women’s incandescent fury” and “a lot of simmering or even boiling resentment, and the sense that Left-leaning people really don’t care about women’s interests at all. This, I’m afraid, will be the real gift to the Right if we don’t all watch out”
I feel like a lot of women get caught up in being empathetic and so they support the movement as long as it doesn’t personally impact them (I see this with my sister) but once they realise waht all these things mean a lot of women realise. at least I feel in contintental europe thankfully it’s not as bad as the discours in the english speaking nations but I fear it has only started here.

Quetzal Seventyseven
Quetzal Seventyseven
11 months ago

And yes, some of the “incandescent fury” is now not especially about trans identified people at all but at the utter betrayal by the people and organisations who we thought we could count on to represent us…
… but turned out have ears only to trans lobbyists and not giving a single moment’s thought as to impacts on ♀️ rights and safety. Or if they did, they just didn’t give a toss. And for some reason that comes as a shock

To be fair to Keir Starner, he was the Only candidate for leadership of the Labour Party who refused Stonewall demands to declare AWonensPlace to be a “hate organisation”
https://womansplaceuk.org/
when it is a feminist one

I still feel sick when I think of those women , Long-Bailey, Nandy and Rayner, turning their backs on the right of other women to gather and organise AS women
Only Rosie Duffield stands up for women, and she is relentlessly bullied within the party

Which is why so many of us, coming from the Left and the Greens, now see ourselves as Politically Homeless.

Also see the Yogyakarta Principles. One of the drafters admits it just didn’t occur to them to think about impacts on women and children. Amazing.
https://sex-matters.org/posts/updates/yogyakarta-principles/

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
11 months ago

I believe several European countries have already passed “gender self-ID laws most recently Spain. We’ve narrowly avoided the Scottish enacting it so TERF island is doing pretty well these days, not least by the final advent of gender critical views into the MSM.

Quetzal Seventyseven
Quetzal Seventyseven
11 months ago

And yes, some of the “incandescent fury” is now not especially about trans identified people at all but at the utter betrayal by the people and organisations who we thought we could count on to represent us…
… but turned out have ears only to trans lobbyists and not giving a single moment’s thought as to impacts on ♀️ rights and safety. Or if they did, they just didn’t give a toss. And for some reason that comes as a shock

To be fair to Keir Starner, he was the Only candidate for leadership of the Labour Party who refused Stonewall demands to declare AWonensPlace to be a “hate organisation”
https://womansplaceuk.org/
when it is a feminist one

I still feel sick when I think of those women , Long-Bailey, Nandy and Rayner, turning their backs on the right of other women to gather and organise AS women
Only Rosie Duffield stands up for women, and she is relentlessly bullied within the party

Which is why so many of us, coming from the Left and the Greens, now see ourselves as Politically Homeless.

Also see the Yogyakarta Principles. One of the drafters admits it just didn’t occur to them to think about impacts on women and children. Amazing.
https://sex-matters.org/posts/updates/yogyakarta-principles/

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
11 months ago

I believe several European countries have already passed “gender self-ID laws most recently Spain. We’ve narrowly avoided the Scottish enacting it so TERF island is doing pretty well these days, not least by the final advent of gender critical views into the MSM.

Susanne Schwameis
Susanne Schwameis
11 months ago

Indeed… “It’s the growing sound of women’s incandescent fury” and “a lot of simmering or even boiling resentment, and the sense that Left-leaning people really don’t care about women’s interests at all. This, I’m afraid, will be the real gift to the Right if we don’t all watch out”
I feel like a lot of women get caught up in being empathetic and so they support the movement as long as it doesn’t personally impact them (I see this with my sister) but once they realise waht all these things mean a lot of women realise. at least I feel in contintental europe thankfully it’s not as bad as the discours in the english speaking nations but I fear it has only started here.

Douglas H
Douglas H
11 months ago

Great article. I particularly loved: “Most ordinary people have not been educated into this level of stupidity.”

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
11 months ago
Reply to  Douglas H

Yep, that was a keeper.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Douglas H

It’s a nice 21c gender-neutral reprise of Orwell’s “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”  (Notes on Nationalism, 1945)

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
11 months ago
Reply to  Douglas H

Yep, that was a keeper.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Douglas H

It’s a nice 21c gender-neutral reprise of Orwell’s “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”  (Notes on Nationalism, 1945)

Douglas H
Douglas H
11 months ago

Great article. I particularly loved: “Most ordinary people have not been educated into this level of stupidity.”

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

Did you kmow that The Times thinks it can charge £26.00 per month to read Matthew Parris on “digital media?” In saner times you could get a tour of Bedlam for one penny.
It’s a strange old world where you are tempted to feel sorry for Matthew Parris.

Last edited 11 months ago by polidori redux
Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

All you have to do is call the Times and say you want to cancel, and they will give you a special offer. I am currently paying £1.00 for six months of the Times online.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

You are a ruthless exploiter of an innocent media empire.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

I consider it bargaining. I canceled because it wasn’t worth the price, and they made me a better offer which I was willing to pay, probably to keep their subscriber numbers up. It is their choice to counteroffer; I don’t ask for it. I don’t see how that is exploitive.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

I was teasing you!

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

ohhh… sorry! I have a tendency to take things literally, both in person and in writing… it can make for some strange conversations… the downside of an overly logical brain.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

ohhh… sorry! I have a tendency to take things literally, both in person and in writing… it can make for some strange conversations… the downside of an overly logical brain.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

I was teasing you!

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

I consider it bargaining. I canceled because it wasn’t worth the price, and they made me a better offer which I was willing to pay, probably to keep their subscriber numbers up. It is their choice to counteroffer; I don’t ask for it. I don’t see how that is exploitive.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Yeah I do that periodically with the Telegraph – I am not paying £20 a month for that, so I keep cancelling and they keep offering me cheap “trials”.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

You are a ruthless exploiter of an innocent media empire.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
11 months ago

Yeah I do that periodically with the Telegraph – I am not paying £20 a month for that, so I keep cancelling and they keep offering me cheap “trials”.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

All you have to do is call the Times and say you want to cancel, and they will give you a special offer. I am currently paying £1.00 for six months of the Times online.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

Did you kmow that The Times thinks it can charge £26.00 per month to read Matthew Parris on “digital media?” In saner times you could get a tour of Bedlam for one penny.
It’s a strange old world where you are tempted to feel sorry for Matthew Parris.

Last edited 11 months ago by polidori redux
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Parris’ Times article was awful (he used to write some really good articles but has increasingly decoupled from reality). Claiming that this – the gender madness – was all a minor issue which didn’t matter and would somehow all blow over. He pretends there are “extremists on both sides” – the usual attempt to slur those on the “wrong side” of a discussion.
He also excuses Starmer’s moral cowardice – Starmer apparently knows what a woman is but is somehow justified and right in sitting on the fence on this in public. According to Parris.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Parris’ Times article was awful (he used to write some really good articles but has increasingly decoupled from reality). Claiming that this – the gender madness – was all a minor issue which didn’t matter and would somehow all blow over. He pretends there are “extremists on both sides” – the usual attempt to slur those on the “wrong side” of a discussion.
He also excuses Starmer’s moral cowardice – Starmer apparently knows what a woman is but is somehow justified and right in sitting on the fence on this in public. According to Parris.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago

I’m quite OK with being an anti-trans extremist.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Indeed. If ‘trans’ means, as it has come to, a systematic denial of the rights of women to their own spaces apart from men, an insistence that lesbians’ refusal to sleep with men is tantamount to racism if the men in question call themselves women, and the ongoing project to poison, sterilise and/or mutilate the healthy bodies of confused teenagers, many of whom would simply grow up gay if left alone, then anyone who disclaims the appellation ‘anti-trans extremist’ or ‘transphobe’ has some explaining to do. At best they are spineless conformists; at worst, willing accessories to some of the worst human rights abuses we have seen since the abolition of slavery.
Every human being with a working moral compass is automatically a ‘transphobe’ in this sense. How could they not be? Anyone not thus transphobic is a clear and present danger to the most basic civil rights of women, homosexuals and children. The attempt to conflate hostility to such horrors with an irrational hostility to the genuinely gender-dysphoric was plausible only when most people had not woken up to what was going on. But the transactivists’ ability to hold the genuinely dysphoric as human shields while they go about their evil work has thankfully now come to an end, and more and more people are seeing them for the virtue-signalling monsters they have always been.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Spoken like a true Ulsterman! No surrender!

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Indeed. If ‘trans’ means, as it has come to, a systematic denial of the rights of women to their own spaces apart from men, an insistence that lesbians’ refusal to sleep with men is tantamount to racism if the men in question call themselves women, and the ongoing project to poison, sterilise and/or mutilate the healthy bodies of confused teenagers, many of whom would simply grow up gay if left alone, then anyone who disclaims the appellation ‘anti-trans extremist’ or ‘transphobe’ has some explaining to do. At best they are spineless conformists; at worst, willing accessories to some of the worst human rights abuses we have seen since the abolition of slavery.
Every human being with a working moral compass is automatically a ‘transphobe’ in this sense. How could they not be? Anyone not thus transphobic is a clear and present danger to the most basic civil rights of women, homosexuals and children. The attempt to conflate hostility to such horrors with an irrational hostility to the genuinely gender-dysphoric was plausible only when most people had not woken up to what was going on. But the transactivists’ ability to hold the genuinely dysphoric as human shields while they go about their evil work has thankfully now come to an end, and more and more people are seeing them for the virtue-signalling monsters they have always been.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Spoken like a true Ulsterman! No surrender!

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago

I’m quite OK with being an anti-trans extremist.

Tommy Abdy Collins
Tommy Abdy Collins
11 months ago

I really don’t understand this “trans” business. If you have a willy you must – physically – be a man. If you don’t, because you were born without one, you must – physically – be a woman. Mentally and emotionally you might feel you should be on the other side of the fence. That’s fine by me as long as you keep it to yourself. If you are so extreme you need to dress in the opposite sex’s clothes, then that too, is fine by me but don’t think that gives you a right to go into the other loo or shower or changing room. There are always disadvantages in life and the disabled are a good example so that needs to be weighed up by those involved. There is too much media time being given to minorities of all sorts. We are bending over far too much to accommodate minority viewpoints – it is not democratic. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t sympathisewith the afflicted but at the end ofcthe day, the majority should come first. It is time the pendulum started swinging back to common sense rules. There are many more important things for the majority to be worrying about than a few people who can’t make up their minds whether to wear trousers or skirts and furthermore it is setting a poor example to our children who are now becoming muddled about what a willy is for!

Last edited 11 months ago by Tommy Abdy Collins
Tommy Abdy Collins
Tommy Abdy Collins
11 months ago

I really don’t understand this “trans” business. If you have a willy you must – physically – be a man. If you don’t, because you were born without one, you must – physically – be a woman. Mentally and emotionally you might feel you should be on the other side of the fence. That’s fine by me as long as you keep it to yourself. If you are so extreme you need to dress in the opposite sex’s clothes, then that too, is fine by me but don’t think that gives you a right to go into the other loo or shower or changing room. There are always disadvantages in life and the disabled are a good example so that needs to be weighed up by those involved. There is too much media time being given to minorities of all sorts. We are bending over far too much to accommodate minority viewpoints – it is not democratic. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t sympathisewith the afflicted but at the end ofcthe day, the majority should come first. It is time the pendulum started swinging back to common sense rules. There are many more important things for the majority to be worrying about than a few people who can’t make up their minds whether to wear trousers or skirts and furthermore it is setting a poor example to our children who are now becoming muddled about what a willy is for!

Last edited 11 months ago by Tommy Abdy Collins
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
11 months ago

“Cue a lot of simmering or even boiling resentment, and the sense that Left-leaning people really don’t care about women’s interests at all.”
Tragically, this has been true in the USA for decades: the American Left has always been extremely misogynistic. But we ladies were kept in our place by the threat of Roe v Wade being overturned. 
Well guess what? Roe was overturned. And you know what the American Left was most concerned about? Rebranding abortion as a trans rights issue rather than a women’s rights issue.
I am beyond done.
For the first time in my adult life I will be voting for a Republican or an Independent in the 2024 election.
The Dems cannot afford this. Recent presidential elections are razor thin.
But until they renounce the insane metaphysical belief in Gender ID, which has and will continue to harm the most vulnerable women in society, I will not vote for any Democrats. Ever.

Cate Terwilliger
Cate Terwilliger
11 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Wait, wait, wait! I completely share your disgust, but please do check out RFK, Jr. He’s running (as a Democrat, obviously), has come out against males in female sport, and has long been a powerful well-informed critic of Big Pharma, which implies the end of mindless “gender-affirming care” for minors. I suspect he would also more generally support historical sex-based rights (not just sports) for girls and women. So we disillusioned Democrats may still have a candidate! He’s polling at 20 percent — great given that many don’t know he’s running — and may have a real shot at the nomination, given how angry many Dems are with Biden.

Cate Terwilliger
Cate Terwilliger
11 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Wait, wait, wait! I completely share your disgust, but please do check out RFK, Jr. He’s running (as a Democrat, obviously), has come out against males in female sport, and has long been a powerful well-informed critic of Big Pharma, which implies the end of mindless “gender-affirming care” for minors. I suspect he would also more generally support historical sex-based rights (not just sports) for girls and women. So we disillusioned Democrats may still have a candidate! He’s polling at 20 percent — great given that many don’t know he’s running — and may have a real shot at the nomination, given how angry many Dems are with Biden.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
11 months ago

“Cue a lot of simmering or even boiling resentment, and the sense that Left-leaning people really don’t care about women’s interests at all.”
Tragically, this has been true in the USA for decades: the American Left has always been extremely misogynistic. But we ladies were kept in our place by the threat of Roe v Wade being overturned. 
Well guess what? Roe was overturned. And you know what the American Left was most concerned about? Rebranding abortion as a trans rights issue rather than a women’s rights issue.
I am beyond done.
For the first time in my adult life I will be voting for a Republican or an Independent in the 2024 election.
The Dems cannot afford this. Recent presidential elections are razor thin.
But until they renounce the insane metaphysical belief in Gender ID, which has and will continue to harm the most vulnerable women in society, I will not vote for any Democrats. Ever.