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by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 14
March 2023

Joe Biden should listen to the BMJ on trans guidance

The President is confused about medical interventions for young people

I don’t suppose President Biden reads the British Medical Journal. If he did, he might not be so keen on defending all sorts of invasive procedures for children with gender dysphoria, including surgery. In a ground-breaking editorial, the BMJ has acknowledged that US guidance for treatment of young people is not based on evidence. 

An investigation of the practice in the US has found that “more and more young people are being offered medical and surgical intervention for gender transition, sometimes bypassing any psychological support”. Such practices are supported by guidance from medical societies and organisations, but the BMJ says the strength of the recommendations is not matched by the strength of the evidence — and “the risk of overtreatment of gender dysphoria is real”.  ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 7
March 2023

Even Eddie Izzard hesitates on Scotland’s gender bill

The comedian says it isn't transphobic to oppose it

I don’t know if the candidates to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP have had time to consult Eddie Izzard. But the comedian has entered one of the great debates in Scotland at the moment, advising that it is not transphobic to oppose the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Phew! It will come as a great relief to all of us who opposed the proposed law to discover that we’re not bigots after all.

Izzard’s foray into Scottish politics is instructive. He wants to be a Labour MP, confirming this week that he’s still looking for a seat after his recent setback in Sheffield Central. It must be hard for Izzard and anyone else with political ambitions to keep up: the Labour leadership at Westminster is desperate not to be accused of ‘transphobia’ but the Scottish legislation was a step too far even for them. Most Labour MPs abstained in a vote at Westminster on the UK Government’s veto of the legislation, with only a handful voting against. ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Monday, 6
March 2023

Why are trans activists trying to cancel a ‘silencing women’ event?

Protesters claim that a talk on sex-based research is transphobic

Female academics have a lot to talk about these days. Professors have been targeted, subjected to campaigns of harassment, and some have left academia altogether. On Wednesday, I’m chairing a meeting called ‘Silencing Women: Academic Freedom and Unthinkable Thoughts’, where three distinguished professors will talk about their fight for sex-based research — and activists are trying to stop it going ahead. 

Yes, you did read that right. The response of activists to female academics talking about how accusations of ‘transphobia’ are being used to silence them, is to try and silence them again. ‘We believe this event should not go ahead’, says a petition on, claiming ‘it will encourage transphobia…and this will be to the detriment of the safety of trans people’. ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Wednesday, 1
March 2023

Humza Yousaf is Nicola Sturgeon in disguise

The favourite to be the next SNP leader is in a muddle about gender self-ID

Does Humza Yousaf identify as Nicola Sturgeon? I ask because the Scottish Health Secretary sounds eerily like the soon-to-be-gone First Minister, who staked her career on a pile of nonsense about ‘gender identity’ — and lost. You might think that her toe-curling responses to questions about the sex of a convicted rapist, Isla Bryson, would have acted as a warning to anyone with ambitions to lead the SNP. Not, however, if you listen to Yousaf falling into exactly the same linguistic traps.

He is the only leadership candidate who continues to support Sturgeon’s suicidal legislation to allow self-ID. His take on the subject is every bit as incoherent as hers, even though there is no evidence to suggest that Scotland is keen on an ideology which insists that men can magically become women. In most people’s eyes, the question of whether Bryson is a man or a woman was comprehensively settled weeks ago, as soon as they saw pictures of him in leggings and a blond wig.  ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Thursday, 23
February 2023

The Onion’s J.K. Rowling ‘interview’ isn’t satire

Humourless personal attacks are now the basis for comedy, apparently

Satire is supposed to be funny. It can be shocking, like Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, and it is sometimes cruel. What it shouldn’t be is a cover for an outpouring of envy and malice. You might think that the publishers of a satirical magazine would know that, given that it’s their stock-in-trade. But the current top ‘story’ on the website of The Onion is a fabricated ‘interview’, with the author J.K. Rowling, whose sole purpose is to launch a series of attacks under the guise of satire. This isn’t the first time the site has mounted a lazy attack on her, either.

The interview opens with Rowling, or at least the website’s imagined version of her, demanding to know “which genitals you have right now”. The joke is actually on The Onion, because it’s trans activists who are obsessed with pronouns and how people ‘identify’; I’m sure Rowling belongs to the mass of humanity that is able to correctly recognise someone’s sex without even thinking about it, let alone believing it requires a discussion.  ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Wednesday, 15
February 2023

Don’t blame J.K. Rowling for Brianna Ghey’s death

Trans activists are holding the author responsible for the teenager's killing

Cults need enemies. Nothing else can explain the irrational level of hatred directed against the novelist J.K. Rowling in recent years. Her lawyers have taken on the worst offenders, prompting reluctant apologies, but the latest development is a terrifying example of where the forces of malice and unreason have been heading. In tweets that are too vile and defamatory to quote, trans activists are now accusing Rowling of being responsible for the death of a teenager in Warrington at the weekend. 

And not just Rowling, although she is the principal target; gender critical feminists have also been accused of having ‘blood on their hands’ in a series of crowing tweets. Obviously there is no connection between Rowling and the fatal stabbing of a transgender girl, which has left a family shocked and grieving. But there is a live police investigation, which means that strict rules exist about what can be reported. Anyone with an ounce of decency would respect those rules, for fear of obstructing a trial or causing further distress to the family. But this awful event is being shamelessly exploited by trans activists, who are using it to attack women who have spent their careers campaigning against various forms of violence. ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Wednesday, 8
February 2023

Why is Wales copying Scotland’s gender self-ID blunder?

The Senedd is about to make the same mistakes as Nicola Sturgeon

History is repeating itself fast these days. You might think that no one in their right mind would choose to walk in Nicola Sturgeon’s shoes after Scotland’s First Minister staked her reputation on a reckless and unnecessary piece of legislation — and lost. None of the arguments for her gender reform bill make sense, but she now can’t appear in public without being asked about pronouns and sexual predators, giving one stumbling performance after another as she sinks deeper into incoherence. 

The message for politicians elsewhere in the UK is surely to avoid Sturgeon’s mistakes at all costs: it would take a particularly obtuse bunch to ignore them. Step forward the Welsh Government, whose LGBTQ+ Action Plan, unveiled yesterday, could hardly be more beholden to gender ideology. It’s a riot of fashionable terms, throwing around nonsense about sex being ‘assigned at birth’ and ‘ace/aro’ identities with incautious abandon. It quotes a rise in recorded hate crime against transgender people, without acknowledging a Home Office warning that it shouldn’t be interpreted as evidence of an actual increase, rather than higher rates of reporting.  ...  Continue reading

by Joan Smith
Thursday, 26
January 2023

Why can’t the media get the Clydebank rapist’s pronouns right?

The press is prioritising a criminal's feelings over women's safety

Accuracy is the cornerstone of journalism, especially when it comes to news reporting. If a man appeared in court, claiming to be a brain surgeon when he was actually a hospital porter, we wouldn’t expect a headline announcing ‘brain surgeon convicted of rape’. The same rule should apply to other obviously untrue claims.

Yesterday, at the High Court in Glasgow, a man was indeed convicted of rape — two rapes, in fact. He now calls himself Isla Bryson and ‘identifies’ as a woman, but until very recently his name was Adam Graham and he has not had surgery. 

The court case was a mess, with prosecutors referring to Bryson throughout as ‘she’ while describing typical male pattern offending. ‘She’ apparently preyed on vulnerable women ‘she’ met online, and it took a brave Conservative MSP, Russell Findlay, to point out the blindingly obvious. ‘Rapist Adam Graham decided he was no longer a man AFTER appearing in court on rape charges’, he tweeted. ...  Continue reading

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