Trans rights

Children need protection from adult madness

The Texas Supreme Court just upheld a state law banning so-called gender-affirming care for minors, to explosive consternation from predictable quarters. Progressive commentators portray this and similar laws passed by more than a dozen Republican-controlled state legislatures as ‘anti-LGBTQIA+’. In truth, the laws are aimed not at that whole bramble of capital letters, but solely at the ‘T’. The left claims withdrawal of puberty blockers and sex ‘reassignment’ surgery violates trans kids’ ‘rights’ Slamming these bans histrionically as ‘genocide’ (four in 15,000 patients of the Tavistock or on its waiting list committed suicide between 2010 and 2020, but according to propaganda it’s up to 50 per cent of trans kids

Toilet politics needn’t be difficult

August is traditionally the silly season in politics but we seem to be stuck in silly decade of policy, and not in a funny way. Even ten years ago, few might have imagined that the minister for equalities would have needed to open up a debate on toilets. Yesterday, Kemi Badenoch announced that the government is publishing draft guidance that will protect the dignity, privacy and safety of all. In particular, she insisted that so-called gender-neutral toilets are no longer an option. In this country, a woman would not be committing a criminal offence if she chose to use the cubicle in the men’s to avoid a long queue The

Socrates meets Keir Mather, the new Labour MP for Selby

SOCRATES: I was walking back from the gymnasium when I saw Keir Mather, the new MP for Selby, on his way there. I had been told he was young and good-looking and went to a world-famous Oxford College, so I have been very keen to meet to him. Hello, O Keir. MATHER: And you too, Socrates. But what, therefore? SOCRATES: Now that you are an MP, you must tell me what justice is. For that surely is a lawmaker’s main concern. MATHER: Enough verbal games. Justice is defined by the laws. My job is to solve problems in the real world. SOCRATES: Are Tory laws, then, just? MATHER: Of course

The UN is wrong about Britain’s treatment of trans people

Is Britain a hostile environment for trans people? The United Nations’ independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity has delivered his verdict – and it isn’t good. Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a lawyer from Costa Rica, said following a ten-day visit to the country: ‘I am deeply concerned about increased bias-motivated incidents of harassment, threats, and violence against LGBT people, including a rampant surge in hate crimes in the UK.’ But his statement was stronger on rhetoric than evidence. An unnamed ‘elected officer’ in Belfast told him that ‘I have never seen so much unadulterated hatred as currently directed toward the trans community’. He also claimed in his report, which is to be presented to the

The shameful persecution of Posie Parker in New Zealand

This is what it must have been like when women were marched to the stake. Yesterday in Auckland the British women’s rights campaigner Posie Parker found herself surrounded by a deranged, heaving mob. She had tomato soup and placards thrown in her face. She was doused with water. Huge men screamed insults and expletives in her face. The shoving of the crowd became so intense that Parker feared for her life. ‘I genuinely thought that if I fell to the floor I would never get up again’, she said. ‘My children would lose their mother and my husband would lose his wife.’ It was a truly chilling spectacle. The mobs’

Are Holyrood and Westminster heading for another Supreme Court showdown?

The UK government’s threat to block Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill took many by surprise. The powers, under Section 35 of the Scotland Act, have never been used before. The assumption from some observers, this one included, was that this was a negotiating tactic ahead of inter-governmental discussions on the Bill’s implementation and cross-border issues that might arise. That assumption appears to be wrong. I understand that raising the spectre of Section 35 is not a negotiating tactic: ministers are seriously contemplating it and legal advice is being sought. Among ministers’ concerns are questions over passports, driving licences and public safety. Michael Foran, a lecturer in public law at

How the BBC was captured by trans ideology

During Pride month this year a banner has been emblazoned across the BBC’s internal staff website used by every single employee. It features the following text: ‘BBC Pride 2022: Bringing together LGBTQ+ people of all genders, sexualities and identities at the BBC.’ Most people who work at the BBC aren’t concerned about this. But the slogan really should ring alarm bells, because behind its seemingly benign message of inclusivity is a latent political message about trans rights that is undermining the corporation’s impartiality. As a BBC employee I am proud and delighted that the corporation is striving to be a welcoming employer for people from all walks of life, whatever

Why should I be ‘cancelled’ for arguing that biological sex is real?

‘I just get the impression she hates men’, said a wound-licking James Max, on TalkRADIO, after he interviewed me on Wednesday. It’s a familiar accusation from those who fail to drum up rational arguments for the destruction of women’s rights. Max is currently filling in for Julia Hartley-Brewer this week on the station, which is a self-styled ‘home of free speech’ radio and TV station. In our interview, which lasted less than ten minutes and in which I appeared under my real name, Max offered a masterclass in how to ignore women’s concerns and centre men’s feelings above all. The tone was set when Max tried to link the views of

Why the targeting of J.K.Rowling is so terrifying

I know from bitter experience that you don’t have to be a best-selling author to be hounded by the trans ideologues. You don’t have to be an evil witch to be cancelled by the spoiled kids you made famous. You don’t even have to say you think gender identity is a load of poppycock to be accused of transphobia. And yet, once again, J.K.Rowling has been targeted by trans activists. Her crime? To speak up for women’s sex-based rights. The Harry Potter author has revealed that on Friday ‘three activist actors’ turned up on her doorstep. According to Rowling, the trio ‘took pictures of themselves in front of our house, carefully positioning themselves

Could the ‘Kathleen Stock’ amendment backfire?

The hounding of Kathleen Stock – who left Sussex university following a concerted campaign against her by trans rights activists – was a disgraceful indictment of freedom of speech on campus. But one remedy for preventing a repeat – the so-called ‘Stock amendment’ to the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, now passing through the Commons – isn’t the answer. Impetuous legislation is normally bad legislation; unless we think very carefully, we may end up with something ineffective or even counter-productive. At first glance, a simple ban on students piling in to demand the sacking or departure of professors on account of their politics or teaching might look good. Indeed, it could be defended

Un-cancel Terry Gilliam!

I am starting to wonder if the world of arts and culture is staffed, in large part if not exclusively, by massive whinging babies. What other plausible explanation is there for the frequency with which publishing houses, streaming services and theatres are going into open revolt because their employers have commissioned work by someone whose opinions they happen to find disagreeable? Terry Gilliam is the latest artist in the crosshairs. The Monty Python legend and director was due to co-direct a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Old Vic in London next year. Sondheim had expressed support for Gilliam’s vision for the show. But according to reports

The real issue facing trans people isn’t pronouns

It’s a strange reflection of our times that with so much else at stake, the leaders of both main parties have been asked, at their party conferences, whether they think that only women have cervixes. Both men prevaricated. Sir Keir Starmer declared this is ‘something that shouldn’t be said’. Boris Johnson avoided the question altogether. It is a straightforward biological fact that only women have cervixes, but simply stating it was more than the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition were prepared to do. Rosie Duffield, a Labour MP, faced such a ferocious backlash after making this statement that she felt she could not safely go to the

No, Keir, trans women like me do not have cervixes

Andrew Marr’s question was simple and straightforward, ‘[Is] someone who thinks that only women have a cervix welcome in the Labour party?’ As a party member who still clings to science and reason, I willed Keir Starmer to give a simple and straightforward answer. Instead, he blustered: Well, Andrew, we need to have a mature, respectful debate about trans rights and we need to, I think, bear in mind that the trans community are amongst the most marginalised and abused communities. It’s not true, Keir. Some of us in the trans community are doing rather well for ourselves, certainly in the UK. We have robust legal protections — we even

Jess Phillips and the assault on biology

Jess Phillips thinks that transwomen — like me — are not female, but we should be treated as women. She has probably succeeded in upsetting both sides of what has become a toxic debate. Politicians entering these shark-infested waters do so at their own peril. If, like Rosie Duffield or Joanna Cherry, they stand up for science and reason, they put their careers at risk. If they go with the programme that we all have a gender identity, and biological sex doesn’t matter, they end up looking ridiculous, like the ‘jiggle on the stairs’ crew. Phillips worked for Women’s Aid before becoming a Labour MP. She knows about sex-based discrimination

Justin Trudeau isn’t the progressive leader he thinks he is

It came as no surprise to me to see activists ‘celebrating’ Canada Day by setting fire to churches and toppling statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, while chanting, ‘No pride in genocide.’ Canada has managed to cultivate a culture that is simultaneously self-hating and self-righteous. We have no pride in being Canadian. Yet we are confident we are better than everyone else. It is true that Canada has a shameful not-so-distant history. An estimated 751 unmarked graves were recently discovered at a former residential school site in Saskatchewan. This is not an imagined or non-serious issue. But calls to cancel Canada Day seem wholly misguided and typically Canadian, as

The triumph of Bangladesh’s third gender

Tashnuva Anan Shishir last week became the first transgender person to read the news on Bangladeshi TV. The 29-year-old broke down in tears, overtaken by the momentous occasion, after delivering her first three-minute bulletin on March 8. Shishir reached this milestone after facing years of marginalisation, bullying and sexual assaults. A 2015 study of the media’s coverage of the transgender movement in Bangladesh underlines the mountains of prejudice that Shishir has had to overcome. She now hopes that other transgender people in Bangladesh won’t have to suffer anymore. Transgender people in Bangladesh have made small strides recently in their uphill battle to achieve basic human rights in a society largely

Revealed: the secret trans-rights lobbying operation in parliament

This is a story about politics and influence and openness. It’s also about the drive for trans rights and some of the people involved in that push, but in a way, that’s secondary. Because the issues involved here and the questions raised are bigger even than sex, gender and the rest. This is, in the end, about how rules and laws and policies are made, and who gets a say on that. A lot of this story is about something called an All Party Parliamentary Group. APPGs are, as the name says, groups of MPs and peers who work together to investigate, report and campaign on a particular issue. They

Why the census sex question needs to be protected

Since 1801 the decennial census has asked us to state our sex. But never before has such a simple question generated such controversy. Yesterday, it ended up before a high court judge. With the 2021 census less than two weeks away, Mr Justice Swift ruled that the guidance accompanying the question should be changed. The legal action, brought by the campaigning group Fair Play for Women (FPFW), arose after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) backtracked on a promise made by Sir Ian Diamond – the UK’s National Statistician. In January, Diamond was very clear on the Today programme, when he said, ‘The question on sex is very simply your

The Green party’s woman problem

At the Green party spring conference this weekend, a motion which sought to introduce a party policy on women’s sex-based rights was defeated. A whopping 289 delegates (out of 521) voted to not include biological females in the party’s list of oppressed groups. All the motion aimed to do was simply add a paragraph to the Green party’s ‘Our Rights and Responsibilities Policy’. The motion reads: ‘This is to include the protected characteristic of sex as currently our Record of Policy statements supports the other eight characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, maternity, religion/belief, marriage/civil partnership) but not that of sex discrimination – aimed primarily at women…’ The

Why does Penny Mordaunt think ‘trans men are men’?

Something dramatic happened in the House of Commons yesterday: Penny Mordaunt told MPs that ‘transmen are men and transwomen are women’. This mantra – for that is what it is – has been said so often in recent years that it might now be an unremarkable way in which to wind up a debate. But it is a worrying sign to see it repeated so unthinkingly in parliament. Mordaunt is wrong: transwomen are male, and women are female. Male people are not female people, and therefore transwomen are not women. As a transwoman I should know: I fathered three children – I am definitely male. Their mother was a female person. She is