There is an argument, strongly held, that gender is not biological. It is beyond me to understand exactly what this means, but I get the gist. The adherents of this idea claim that gender is what you feel you are, and they have become a big player in the cancellation culture that is growing in our society. It is estimated that about 0.005% to 0.014% of people assigned male at birth and 0.002% to 0.003% of people assigned female at birth would be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, based on 2013 diagnostic criteria. Given that these people are such a tiny minority, maybe their voice is a little too loud.
I watched a fascinating debate from Canada recently where it was claimed that in NYC there are thirty-one genders to choose from, a bit like an ice-cream shop. This figure was trotted out by a person who is the chair for ‘trans studies’ at the university of Toronto, yes, that really is a thing, for 0.005% of a population.
Some high profile characters have been axed after falling foul of the LBGTQ transgender identity politicos. The case that inspired me to write this was that of Baroness Nicholson, the honorary vice-president of the Booker Prize, this is a ceremonial role and she has no dealings with awarding the prize. Lady Nicholson was married to Sir Michael Caine, the man responsible for setting up the prize, and she has been involved with it in some capacity since its inception, standing down from the committee in 2009.
Baroness Nicholson is now a Conservative peer. She attracted the ire of gay people by opposing gay marriage, voting against the bill in 2013. They have never forgiven her. She may in fact be an evil phobe, I don’t claim to know, but whatever she may or may not be, the forces that combined to have her removed are truly devilish.
Leading the evil axis, Damian Barr, writer, playwright and self aggrandiser “I’m an award-winning writer and journalist and in-demand interviewer and host. I’ve talked song-writing with Dolly Parton, surviving with Rose McGowan and the politics of empathy with Nicola Sturgeon.” The last inclusion is noteworthy for its irony alone, Sturgeon could win a competition as being ‘human most devoid of empathy ever’, thus we may deduce that Barr probably has the empathy of a reptile. No surprise then that he scented blood when Baroness Nicholson aligned herself with JK Rowling’s recent campaign to have women’s safe and private spaces reserved for women only.
To explain, there are women and there are ‘women’, or men who claim that they are women in disguise. They know that they have been born into the wrong body, and with a lot of money, several eye-watering operations, and becoming life-long customers of big-pharma, they can become who they always knew they were. And, then there are the men who claim to be women but choose not to take hormones or to have their penis turned inside-out, so remain…. men, while also becoming what they always knew they were, men in dresses. While it is understandable, to me anyway, why the aforementioned delights do not appeal, I feel it is somewhat missing the point. It is these people that Rowling wants banned from using womens’ toilets, and it seems Boris has listened. There is talk of the law being amended to make this happen. Needless to say, this has caused outrage amongst the gender dysphoria sufferers, as well as their sympathisers.
Moving on. Lady Nicholson has recently been involved in a war of words with one of these trans pressure groupies named Munroe Bergdorf, a former ambassador of L’Oreal until it was sacked for speaking out in untempered tones about the Charlottesville protests. Making unfiltered comments about white supremacists, the company decided to part company with this charming individual for being a bit too vocal. Now, maybe it’s been a slow time, but this specimen has agreed to rejoin the company on their ‘diversity and inclusion board’ because it wants to see ‘full-bodied representation, nuanced representation, revolutionary representation. I want to see queer people basking in their queerness, not only showing one side of it.’ I wonder if it will be as nuanced as a recent tweet made by Bergdorf, ‘your womb is broken you hairy barren lesbian.’ Hmmm, we’ll have to wait and see. L’Oreal may regret inviting this creature back, certainly Labour will regret placing it as their ‘equalities advisor’. Yes, they did that.
Anyway, the spat between Lady Nicholson and this delightful chap was picked up on by Barr, a friend of the trans chap, who had festered in resentment since Nicholson’s opposition to gay marriage, a stance that she had every right to take and for which she had reasons which she gave at the time. He has said of Nicholson, “she’d have the wedding ring off my finger”, he is gay and married, having got what he wanted didn’t make him happy. Barr wrote to the committee of the Booker Prize to complain that “as a gay writer I feel very concerned that a person who is actively and publicly propagating homophobic views holds a position of such power & prestige in your rightly esteemed organisation”. This despite the fact that Nicholson has not publicly propagated homophobic views, unless you count her referring to Bergdorf as a ‘weird creature’, which may or may not have been in reference to the sex-change operation, but could equally have referred to the despicable attitude, and the poorly composed, extremely nasty and vitriolic tweets. Presumably if she’d merely called Bergdorf a queer creature it would have purred with delight.
Calling on other writers of his aquaintance he proceeded to have Baroness Nicholson fired from her position by a committee with neither spine nor testicles. Their lack of fortitude was exacerbated by whining from a past prize winner and some other lobbyists, who were all, needless to say, terribly offended. The action taken by the committee and the offended types has been described as misogynistic by many supporters of the sacked Lady. She has strong and vocal support as a feminist and supporter of minority writers worldwide, but this good work was not enough to save her from the axe. The protestors are still not mollified, however, they say that because the committee dismissed all the honorary position holders and the roles, and not just the one held by Nicholson, this was not specific to her ‘crimes’. I wonder what it would take to make them happy, nothing, I suspect could achieve that miracle.
In a recent interview Bergdorf stated that in reference to the black riots “Ultimately white supremacy is present in everything.” And, “ultimately, our society is built on the oppression of Black people.” The capital letter is not mine. Ultimately, it would be fair to say that this person and the groups that it represents are throwing weight around and causing damage that will be difficult to undo. They are getting into the ear of mainstream media and being heard. They have their agenda being sneaked into primary schools where books with explicit references to homosexual acts are recommended for young children by Mermaids, a charity purporting to support ‘gender diverse’ children and their families. Baroness Nicholson complained about a particular passage in a book and this may be why Mermaids are trumpeting that as “Nicholson is no longer their honorary vice president. This will be a great reassurance to LBGT+ writers and book lovers the world over. We thank those who made this difficult but appropriate decision.”
Presumably they hope their pornographic writing will pass under the radar and into the minds of youngsters without someone like Baroness Nicholson on watch
I have never been a fan of Rowling, but I am glad that such a wealthy and influential person has some of the same values about educating children that I do. She has been attacked recently for her outspoken stance on trans using women’s toilets, some writers threatened to leave her publisher unless she was released by them. That was never going to go any other way than the way it went, a publisher will not kill its golden goose, after all.
Common sense is not very common anymore, we are held hostage by the sensibilities of some insensitive people. I feel that there are probably two genders, with the exception of some who are born intersex, but they are essentially both sexes in one and not something apart. My belief is that the confused people would be better served by some understanding and not pandering to whims. Possibly some research on balancing body chemistry might bear results that would be better than cutting bodies around and pumping them full of hormones that will cause massive problems in years to come. Male bodies do not tolerate artificial oestrogen well, and I wonder how people like Bergdorf will cope when youth has gone and the Frankenstein job starts to fall apart.
Time will tell. Of course I wish them all well. As someone with a personal connection to the matter of gender identity, I couldn’t possibly do anything else. I just wish people would get on with their own lives and stop insisting on telling us all about it.