Just in

A feature of the modern world

With a nod to “When did you last stop beating your wife?” – the legal phrase allegedly deployed recently and controversially by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC – I wished to turn today to the vexed subject of gender.

In doing so, and being (as I am) sufficiently ‘in touch’ to be aware of the sensitivities of our Millennial ‘woke’ generation, at the outset I am happy to hold my hand up and plead guilty if my viewpoint is deemed by the Thought Police to be terminally old-fashioned, out of touch, colonial, non-PC or indeed appears to have come straight from the Middle Ages.


It seems to me that there is a fashion these days for those already on (or even trying to join) the PC-campaigning bandwagon to fall over themselves in an effort to win a never-ending unspoken contest to see who can espouse the most ‘wokest’ – I might say “ridiculous” –  cause of all.

A great deal of soul-searching has thereby directly arisen as even those regarding themselves as PC find themselves wanting to get off the “PC bus” now careering down the endless ‘spectrum of wokeness’ road to nowhere – a vehicle, incidentally, that some of us disembarked from about eleven steps (and two counties) ago.

Let me expand.

I am not talking here about the battleground between the binary sexes over aspects like – on the one hand – a female’s ‘absolute’ right to dress and act exactly how she likes (even to the point of resembling a slut or hooker if that is her fancy) and – on the other – her simultaneous right at all times not to be treated as anything but a virginal beacon of purity and innocence by men. Unless she wants to be.

Or indeed, the subject of whether or not the next James Bond should be a woman – but see here for a worrying link to a piece by Holly Bancroft as appears today upon the website of the – DAILY MAIL

No – they are more muddied waters that I’m straying into today.

Whether it’s former colonial powers apologising for e.g. Captain Cook’s crew killing Maori warriors two hundred and fifty years ago, or the life-work of Cecil Rhodes in Africa, or returning museum-held artefacts either plundered or bought from natives of … er … somewhere/anywhere – or indeed paying reparations to modern descendants of anyone who was ever exploited (or benefited from?) by former Empire-builders – it seems to me as a dinosaur that there’s far too much supposed ‘guilt’ being accepted/imposed and/or general virtue-signalling going on.

Ditto applies for me when Fireman Sam get axed as a recruiting symbol for the Fire Service because he allegedly puts off girls and a new edition of the Monopoly board game is issued in which female players get issued with £250 more starting-money than their male equivalents “to represent the fact that females have been denied equal pay for centuries”.

Don’t get me wrong.

I can and do gracefully accept many of the advances of the past sixty years, e.g. the fact that there ought to be far more and better toilet facilities generally for females in public buildings like theatres, cinemas etc.; that recent developments in ‘discovering’ and celebrating great female artists, composers, musicians, writers of the past are welcome; and that equal pay for equal work is a sound principle.

No harm and plenty of good in those – and too many other examples to mention.

And yet in fields like transgender issues everything begins to get very complicated.

Are these ‘feminist’ issues, or not? Are they LGBT issues, or not?

Or are they both – or neither?

Nobody seems to know – or perhaps that should read “the variations are manifold and you can argue any which way you want”.

I’m just about okay with the concept that someone can genuinely find – or think they find – themselves born in the wrong (binary) gender [by which I mean either male or female] … and might want to change to the other.

But I’m not so content with five year old kids being taught at school that “any old how will do” and/or that whether you are male or female is entirely a matter of choice that everyone is free to make – if only because (for me) such things are far too difficult for anyone below the age of ten to twelve to understand let alone deal with.

And then, when – as happened on ITV’s Good Morning Britain a week or so ago – a discussion was had about a new list of I think it was 80 [YES – 80!] different ‘genders’ that had now been identified as existing … and from which anyone could pick their choice of the moment – and then perhaps make a different choice the following day if he/she so desired – I became overwhelmed by a desire to stop the bus again and get off.

We also seem to have reached the position where, e.g., a boy can self-identify as a girl and immediately has the right to use a school’s female toilets rather than the male ones.

This feels completely crackers to me, but apparently schools all over the country are not only spending hundred of millions of pounds converting their lavatories to cater for this new phenomenon but also holding seminars to explain both girls and boys their new supposed ‘human rights’ in this regard.

This is where plain common sense and normality collides with PC ‘wokeness’. In the real world out there, certainly in the circles I frequent, the overwhelming majority of females – wherever they sit on the PC-campaigning spectrum – are opened-eyed in astonishment and outrage at this pandering to the ‘transgender lobby’.

Having fought so long to get adequate female toilets at all, let alone decent ones, even right-on feminists are aghast that these ‘sanctuaries’ where females (especially young ones pre-puberty, or going through it) have hitherto been able to regard themselves as ‘safe’ could – or are about to be – invaded (sorry, I meant “joined”) there by Smith Minor – a sixteen year old lout from Form 5A with a day and a half’s growth of beard, a full set of hormone-driven male wedding tackle and a mischievous sense of fun who’s doing it for a dare to impress his mates – who walked into assembly one morning and told the headmistress that he’d decided he was a girl, is simply beyond the Pale.

Apparently there is an ongoing and growing split occurring between feminists who balk at the above scenario and those who espouse the cause of transgenderism to its fullest extent.

Here’s an example which may amuse or raise eyebrows that I spotted overnight:

Emer Scully reports upon the latest from the transgender front line on the website of the – DAILY MAIL

About J S Bird

A retired academic, Jeremy will contribute article on subjects that attract his interest. More Posts