Keir Starmer is still confused about biological sex
The Labour leader tried to clear up his party's position, but is still denying reality
Prime ministers should have a firm grasp on reality. So what are we to make of the fact that the man who aspires to lead this country apparently believes that one in every thousand women has a penis? Not just that, but Sir Keir Starmer thinks that saying so will reassure women who don’t trust him to protect our rights.
He likes this line so much that he tried it out in an interview with the political editor of the Sunday Times. “For 99.9% of women, it is completely biological…and of course they haven’t got a penis,” he insisted, as though he was saying something every reasonable person could agree with. But what about the other 0.1%?
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It looks as though Starmer is talking about the 2021 census, which did indeed find that 0.1% of people in England and Wales identify as trans women. But that makes them trans-identified males, not women. To claim otherwise is straight out of the trans activists’ playbook — as absurd as the Labour leader’s announcement in 2021 that it’s not just women who have a cervix.
Labour can’t even get its story straight. Starmer’s current stance is that reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act is not a priority for the next Labour government. It’s a big change from two years ago, when he was recklessly promising to “modernise” the act, something many observers took to mean introducing a form of self-ID. In his Sunday Times interview, he called once again for a “reset” in Scotland, burbling about going on “the right journey” like a New Age guru.
He will no doubt be pleased to see headlines suggesting that Labour’s position on the conflict between women’s rights and the demands of trans activists is now clear. But it isn’t. On the very day Starmer was talking to the Sunday Times, Labour’s official Twitter account marked ‘International transgender day of visibility’ with a pledge to “modernise the outdated Gender Recognition Act”. So what exactly is Labour policy?
The other reason to take Starmer’s assurances with a pinch of salt is that he’s still misrepresenting campaigners for women’s rights. He talked again about “a toxic divide” that doesn’t advance “the cause of women or those that don’t identify with the gender that they were born into”. It’s the old ‘toxic on both sides’ language that ignores the actual violence directed at women, as seen a week ago in Auckland.
We’ve seen the videos: the furious trans activists screaming abuse, threatening and assaulting women. Some of us have experienced it ourselves and told Starmer to his face, but he’s never acknowledged the virulent misogyny we’ve been subjected to. On the contrary, he’s still using the language of gender ideology, spouting nonsense about people being “born into a gender”.
Human beings are born with a sex, which is observable at birth. The ones with a penis are male and they can’t change it. Many women won’t trust the Labour Party until Starmer can bring himself to get this basic fact right.
Someone needs to remind Starmer that women make up half of the voters in this country, and many of them will not vote for his party again until there is clarity that biological sex is real, immutable and important.
If you think all of those women will care about this issues and, if they do, will all agree with you and vote on that basis alone, you are deluded.
Dont agree – most Ladies I discuss this with loath the efforts of people with penises to get into their spaces. And will vote against it.
Do you discuss this issue with the entirety of the female electorate in Britain? No, you don’t. Most women probably won’t cvare unless the issue grows, and even then they will vote on a range of issues. You can’t say how important this will be – nobody can.
Galvatron, I assume you are a man. I agree that the issue needs to grow to make it important enough for most women to react.The announcement that most women wont care covers a multitude of sins, not least one person of whatever sex pronouncing on behalf of all. In my female opinion this issue is growing and will continue to do so until enough is enough. I accept women can be slow to rebel but but push it too far and we will. Even us boring housewife types will get pushy if we have the required biological bit nature gave us. Dont doubt it. Many of us have male lovers, husbands sons and friends. We know that very few of you are out and out weirdos and Im sure my female friends are quite capable of getting very umpty if we see any of the hard won freedoms gained over the last 100 or so years being eroded by someone debasing the idea of femaleness of whatever sex. My hope is that this is a short term headline hitting issue for several reasons, not least that I know for sure that my daughternd her friends have taken full adantage of their relatively new freedoms and will get very reactive if someone attempts to clip their wings. My daughter has represented this country in her field all over the world. Are you going to be the one who says ‘Its all over dear because youre a woman!’ Good luck with that!!
You are right that this has room to grow.
What you are saying is similar to what Manhattan Institute Fellow, Leor Sapir said in an interview:
…so many of the policies on the ground depend on left-of-centre voters … who just want to be kind. For them, all of morality reduces to the imperative “be kind.” And “be kind” they interpret as “don’t be judgemental.” And “don’t be judgemental” they interpret as “don’t care what somebody else is doing if it doesn’t affect you personally.” At bottom, it’s a kind of apathy. The philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville famously warned in his book Democracy in America that this is what democratic societies tend to produce—this kind of individualism and apathy, a total lack of concern for anything that doesn’t directly affect me.
Interesting. Thank you, Julian. I will chrck out that interview.
I said in a debate here last week that this was primarily a women’s issue. I received many downticks and was told I was a misogynist. My point was simple. There will be men invading women’s spaces, not men invading men’s spaces. Women will suffer.
Offices will have to recruit their quota of trans people – there will be positive discrimination. I even said (and believe) that when women go off on maternity leave, trans people will also claim leave because, otherwise, they are being ‘victimised’.
I am reminded of when I saw some police videos of a drugs raid by two male PCs. The boys hid the drugs on their person and were searched so the drugs were found. The girls held the packet of drugs between their legs daring the police to try to take them away. They had to wait for a woman PC to find the drugs. So if there are trans people with drugs, who can search them? I am sure that trans-PCs will be recruited quickly but there are different types of ‘trans’ aren’t there?
Maybe the trans person would not mind, as they would consider themselves a full member of their new group.
Trans people are two things at the same time. They are both “trans” and the new thing. Very new to me.
So is that the entire female electorate? No it isn’t.
“Many of them”.
It’s not that many, at present anyway.
Most women don’t really know this debate is going on and won’t until the come face to face with a naked man in the changing room.
Thank you, Hugh
One wonders how long it took his advisors to come up with the form of words he used in The Sunday Times yesterday. Whilst the TRAs react with horror, thinking he has made a significant concession to the GCs, it is nothing of the sort. In any case, we know that his policy position on almost everything is rather labile.
Labile was a new word to me, and it seems curiously apposite, combining Labour, l***a, futile etc
censored letters were A, B and I – hope these don’t give too many readers the vapours, our algorithm has only your best interests at heart
On the Times site yesterday I was forced to write ‘pen is’ because the word was permitted in the story but not in the comments section.
Sir IKEA tries to triangulate a political stance when there is *effectively* no middle position.
Yes there are trans people who experience issues, but you could reasonably argue that they are not a big enough constituency to reshape politics entirely.
Because he’s a Blairite and triangulation is what they do. Like one club golfers.
One female in a thousand has a male member. Drivel. Pure, unadulterated drivel.
Starmer still trying too annoy the 100% of women who do not have a p***s.
Lisa Landy has more guts and in answer to questions about gender self identification asserted 1) trans women are women 2) where a trans identified male is convicted of sexual offences against women or children, the sentence should be served in a women’s prison and 3) she fully supports gender self identification law reform to make it easier to legally change sex. I appreciate this honesty. I won’t vote Labour again.
It’s really not complicated. Starmer is not ‘confused’ about anything. He’s lying.
He is being tactical with the truth. He has a massive poll lead as the head of a woke party. His job is to win an election. Opening the trans issue means potentially losing some of his lead.
This is a managed retreat by Starmer, conducted in the same way as his distancing himself from Corbyn. He needs to manage the ultras in his own party, and also the conservatives who have little to say these days that isn’t culture war. Not much to see here
Thank you, Doug!
Human beings are born with a sex, which is observable at birth. The ones with a p***s are male and they can’t change it.
Hm. Human beings are born with an observable sex that is the result of an in utero developmental pathway determined by particular genes in chromosomes.
Having an observable p***s is not strictly a determinant of sex however – if that is what is meant. IIRC, the DSD lack of 5-alpha reductase, due to a gene mutation, may lead to underdeveloped or external genitalia. As such, examination of internal sexual organs would define the sex in this case.
Internal organs? It would be gamete production type that determines sex
Feminism has made transgenderism inevitable. Because feminism has to keep men on the defensive to retain influence, it has created a world where men are evil or useless, where the only option for men is to be subservient to women. Or become a woman. I mean, I don’t see feminists complaining about female-to-male transitioning. Or men complaining about it.
Have feminists ever considered that their pathologising of masculinity and men will make more men trans? Have they considered that their war of psychological abuse has replaced one thing they don’t like (men) with something they really don’t like (trans). If you make manhood undesirable, which feminists have, then men will become passive and weak (which feminists complain about even though they have made it inevitable). Or, men will transition in the knowledge that some feminists will give them special treatment.
Think about it. If you are a young white man growing up, you have two choices. Be blamed for every problem in the history of human existence. Be discriminated against in job applications. Turn on the TV and see yourself as protrayed as stupid or a maniac.
Or become trans. Gain instant membership of a minority group. Part of the alphabet mafia, part of the liberal elite’s wider in-group. Lots of trans people earn silly money on social media. Blaire White. Dylan Mulvaney. Keffals.b I know of teenage boys who have been encouraged to transition by teenage girls. And they are going ahead. Why? Because having a few friends who are girls is preferable to being the boy with no friends at all.
Feminists who dislike trans (not all feminists by any means) would have to make transgenderism illegal. As long as you have trans people, you are going to have the debate about women’s spaces.
As for the people saying “women will all vote against Starmer”, you have forgotten that 1) there are women who are pro-trans 2) most women don’t care 3) women vote and abstain for lots of reasons 4) the Tories let trans happen and everyone else supports it
So many misunderstandings there. Women hate men? And yet men kill women not the other way round?
Women are now more visible in power positions than ever before which threatens the patriarchy? Isn’t that just as likely? Now men who adhere to gender ideology are legally changing language in an attempt to erase the concept of woman to include them. As Orwellian and unbelievable that this is probably accounts for so few women taking it seriously. They will just laugh it off. How ridiculous but in the meantime women are arrested in their family homes for challenging it on social media because a trans woman has contacted the police and the police are contracted to Stonewall and arrest her on hate?
This is where we are at.
The trans activists and stonewall forbade debate because any discourse would show their stance as ludicrous. And now people like Starmer say both sides are toxic. Saying that women hate men only reveals your deep misogyny.
It is hard to argue with the fact that chemicals & hormones given before or after birth can indeed change ones gender or sex.
Have to hand it to him. He made the point in the most objective, statistical way he could. He knows the media will come after him if he does any different. Why jeopardise his poll lead over an issue which is predominantly an online one?
The issue is not some hobby horse of a handful of activists and always-online hysterics. It cuts to the very core of what is normative in the modern west. It is arguably one of the most important issues of the age, given that it touches on the attempted re-definition of human identity and biology.
I see your point, but at the moment, in party political terms, it is not worth him saying much beyond the bare minimum. He knows that raising the issue hurts his support.
It wasn’t an ‘online’ issue for Sturgeon. Kellie-Jay Keen is preparing to stand against Starmer on this very issue. If the media do its job properly this will become an issue for all politicians in the election campaign. I’m already keeping an eye out for the best popcorn recipes ….
Because Sturgeon was in power and pushed a reform at the same time as a court case involving a person who became trans. Keir is more intelligent than Nicola. KJK will get a few hundred votes. The media are pro-trans, so the anti-trans side are going to box very clever to win. See KJK’s tour of Oz and NZ.
And who were the first to deny reality and thus make transgenderism plausible? To assert that men and women were interchangeable, that there were no difference between men and women other than anatomy and that any assertions that there were any difference were patriarchal sexist myths?
It’s getting boring reading this same nonsense from men. Feminists seek equality of opportunity; they don’t assert that there are no biological differences between men and women. In the UK, women retire with a pension pot that is on average 38% lower than men’s; because women do the majority of unpaid care work for family members. This is an example of inequality – work mainly done by women is valued less than work mainly done by men.
It’s been boring for years reading the same doggerel from feminists.
“Feminists seek equality of opportunity”
What opportunity do men have that women don’t?
“they don’t assert that there are no biological differences between men and women”
They spent decades saying that though. All differences between men and women were “patriarchal constructs” created by those evil straight white men. If men and women are naturally different, then these differences are immutable and will result in disparities in field of activity, which feminists will say is evidence of sexism (unless, of course, those disparities favour women).
“In the UK, women retire with a pension pot that is on average 38% lower than men’s”
Because men work longer hours and work in more productive roles. There are a number of infinitely more interesting and complex reasons than just “because sexism”. Anyway, women live longer. I don’t hear feminists moaning about that.
“women do the majority of unpaid care work for family members”
Not the whole story by any means, but then that would require thinking beyond the simplistic “opperessor-oppressed” binary that feminists view the entirety of reality through. Also, you want to be paid for caring for family members?
“Work mainly done by women is valued less than work mainly done by men”
At least there is some plausible explanation for this. Men work in fields which can be more closely linked to value output and thus easier to value in terms of worth. It’s much harder to say what “care” should be worth.
Bear in mind that I am providing unpaid intellectual labour in replying to your drivel. I will end by saying that feminism is a gloriously dishonest triple-think of “women are betterr” women should be equal” and “women need protection”.
The many misrepresentations/misconcepions in this comment perfectly demonstrate why women still need to fight for equality and for for liberation from ‘good’ old-fashioned patriarchy!
Well, it’s my “lived experience” of feminism (another woke gift to the world) and nothing you can say will ever make me think I am wrong, because I am right and you are wrong. If I were wrong, you would tell me why.
Feminists need to “fight for liberation” because it is a pretty good grift, all told. And “liberation” can lead to some very strange places, as we are now seeing.
What happens if you want to be liberated from biology? Why is that illegitimate if everyone has couched everything in terms of “liberation”?
You’re simply proving the feminist case.
You do realise that… don’t you?
I am proving they have nothing. Although nice to see you again after I buried you in our last debate.
Back in your box, Steve.
“I am proving they have nothing” is an utterly meaningless statement, which only proves that you have nothing.
It’s precisely the type of blather that gives males a bad name. If you had any sense you’d stop embarrassing yourself like this, but i doubt it’ll make any difference.
I am not embarrassing myself in any way. I know you ran off the last time you tried to argue with me, but I couldn’t care less what anyone on here thinks. Especially you.
If you really think people get their ideas about men from a comments section, I have a bridge to sell you.
Im not sure how the ‘feminist case’ has changed over the last 30 years but its certainly far more accepted than it used to be to the extent that some sort of balance has evolved between men and women. As a woman, if you want to develop your working life and youre good enough then you can, like any man. That seems fair enough to me. The fact that not all women, or men are capable of fighting their way to the top is just tough. The idea that women can sleep their way to the top doesnt really hold water any more.
Please…do not assume that because there are noisy weirdos waving their flags on all issues, male and female that there are not millions of perfectly normal men and women with or without families, carrying out their normal lives in an averagely normal life style, whatever their personal leanings with no one cheering for them.
“ All differences between men and women were “patriarchal constructs” created by those evil straight white men. “
In most cases feminists are talking about gender as a role, while not denying biology. As in the person with the uterus (biological fact) can’t own property (gender role).
As a lifelong feminist, I can safely say that I have never heard anyone say that ALL differences between men and women are patriarchal constructs.
They weren’t though. They were trying to circumvent the evidence that men were stronger in certain aspects than women. Feminists thought that any hint of natural male advantage would discredit their theory or endanegr their position, so they had to frame it as an illusion.This led to feminists embracing absurdities like “physical strength is a social contruct”.
That’s a rose colored summary. Feminism has been in bed with blank slate theory all along. The entire sexual revolution discarded ideas about evolutionary emotional bonding and replaced them with the “liberation” to act like men. As if a natural affinity toward emotional bonding was oppression.
In relation to that the belief in maternal instinct is derided everywhere. NYT ran a piece recently I saw Jerry Coyne debunk about it.
The erasure of women as a natural category is just the logical end to their tabula rasa junk theories.
Thank you Kirk. Glad to know I am not on my own in thinking that.
Evidence, please, for your assertion that feminists have claimed that there are no differences between men and women other than anatomy? I’m not an expert in feminist theory. It sounds like you are.
(Edit to add, I’m not referring to the intersectional loons, of course, just to mainstream Second Wave feminism)
Try asking some educated women if they think there are any significant differences that aren’t “social constructs”, I think you’ll be surprised. The reason 13 year old girls prefer Instagram selfies and confessional poetry to coding and Call of Duty for example. Here are two recent feminist books to take a look at:
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference Cordelia Fine
The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain by Gina Rippon
Both assert that there might be tiny, unspecified differences between males and females, but any concrete difference replicated in dozens of studies (i.e. sex differences in baby monkey play) is waved away as bad data or sexist researchers in both books. Cordelia Fine is hugely popular among educated public-radio listening young women.
You’re out of touch with the trajectory of feminism. Biological denialism is seen throughout the entire movement. The sexual revolution itself treated the ability to act like men as a benchmark for “liberation”. Ignoring the more general evolutionary need for emotional bonding as a defect.
I saw a meme the other day that said maternal instinct was a myth which is a widely held feminist idea. It’s embedded in the feminist ethos. I mean you even said yourself “don’t bring up intersectionalists”. Like hey Newsflash: they’re leading the clown movement.
Elimination of the sex binary is just the logical end to the blank slate theory bullshit y’all have been pushing in the first place. You get what you wanted I guess
‘Men work in fields which can be more closely linked to value output…’ Oh dear. Is this supposed to support the argument, because it looks more like a prize example of how to beg the question (in the proper sense). Men set the rules on the ‘value of output’, and then (surprise!) their work turns out to be more valuable than women’s work. Unfortunately men can’t work out yet how to value ‘care’, which (surprise!) is mainly women’s work. What spinach.
Well female economists also find it difficult to value care, so there’s that.
There is a reference point for the value of goods. It is something called the market. There are also these things called companies that assess aptitudes and performance and reward employees according to these.
What is the reference point for the value of care?
I’m not a feminist. I don’t even accept your characterization of the disparities. These arguments have been had elsewhere. But I gave you an uptick because your point is valid. Campaigning for the rights or interests of a particular group is normal politics (we don’t have to agree on the validity or salience of the claims made). It’s just straightforward politics. Asserting that men who want to identify and present themselves as women – are actually women is just a lie.
So, AJ, what’s your position on quotas? They are specifically about equality of outcome, not of opportunity.
Again, no. The entire trajectory of feminism has been slanted towards blank slate theory and biological denialism. See the sexual revolution, which encouraged women to behave more like a men as a step to “liberation“. As opposed to recognizing their natural tendency towards emotional bonding as a quality.
Also see maternal instinct denial. I just saw Jerry Coyne debunk a piece in the NYT about it. Widely held false belief.
The elimination of women as a natural category is just the logical end to extreme existentialism courted by feminists for decades
A typical male response. We don’t buy it and we will make this clear at the next election.
Imagine if I wrote “A typical female response”. I would probably be arrested. More of that equality, I guess.
Also, who is “we”? There are many women who support the trans side. In fact, among younger age groups, the majority of women who care about the issue are pro trans.
Rather a lot of assumptions in there Galvatron.
All the studies conducted into views on the trans issue point towards a generational divide, with one of the largest studies indicating that millennial and Gen Z women who identify as feminists are more accepting of trans than other demographics.
But who will you vote for? Labour and the Lib Dems are all in on this nonsense, and the Tories are probably all in but more slowly, because they’re ’conservative’.
Exactly. The Tories let it happen under their watch and the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour are pro-trans
Was it a denial of reality or rather a move by postmodern intersectional feminists to lean into ‘gender” with a reliance on discourses etc, – who denied a link between sex and behaviours, behaviours that created differences between boys and girls and men and women. And these differences were not natural, essential or biological?
Hi Michael, I am not sure it was even deliberate. I think one of feminism’s problems as a (relatively young) school of thought is that it has not faced much of a challenge. Critiques of feminism have been instantly dismissed as sexism or patriarchy. So the scrutiny of feminism had been by feminists. A movement can mark its own homework for a while but reality catches up when exam season comes round.
It has only really become mainstream in the social media age. When the PoMo and social constructivist stuff was actually being written and discussed in universities, they probably expected, with good reason, for it to remain there and with nobody critiquing feminism from the outside, everyone saw the gains and nobody spotted the loopholes.
‘Gender-as-Performance’ comes from radical lesbian feminism. It’s main opponent – what is now derided as TERF, is also drawn at least initially from this same subset of feminism. It’s Judith Butler vs Julie Bindel.
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