So I’ve been spending some time listening to YouTubers talk about gender. I spent an hour last night listening to a video posted by Blair White, a popular conservative transgender YouTuber. In the video, she debated with a person who identified as ‘gender queer’ who calls themself ‘Contrapoints’.  Seeing these twenty something kids debating issues that are not new, but have been revived by their implementation into legislation, made me reflective. I remembered my days in gender studies, surrounded by young people of various sexual persuasions and life experience, debating issues of parenting, social constructions, life choices, justice, and a bunch of sociological terms that I have since forgotten. And I am wondering why all of a sudden, I am watching these debates again, after having no more than a layman’s interest in Sociology since I finished my degree twenty-five years ago. After joyfully declining the offer to do a PHD in favour of commencing employment, starting a business, becoming a mother and engaging in middle-class Christian life, I was pretty happy never again to think about gender theory. And here I am talking about this crap again…. ohh dear Jesus why? Well because when you try to change culture and religion as a cure for mental illness, you put your nose right in the middle of my business. My middle class mother of daughters, Christian business. This is a social re-engineering push by sociologists like Roz Ward, who dream of a world where 40-50% of young people are some version of queer. I went to University with the likes of this crew, and I thought their sociology was flawed then. Now they are using illness to spearhead social policy and I am getting a little annoyed.
I am actually enjoying listening to some of these kids talk through these issues. Blair White, I quite like. She is a lifetime sufferer of Gender Dysphoria, and is absolutely despised by the LGBTIQ activists. This of course is endearing in itself. Her great sin is that she openly acknowledges that she is a biological male and has a serious neurological condition. She has made a career of her story, political views and entertaining personality. Blaire has paid a significant price financially and emotionally to transition, but saw it as the only way of dealing with her dysphoria. She openly says that she would like to see a more sophisticated treatment for Gender Dysphoria than transitioning, because it is a messy and imperfect solution (another unpopular view). Along with the sin of acknowledging her biology, Ms White is also criticising the trend of transitioning children. She is not the only transgender person to do so.
The biggest reason Blair White has the LGBTIQ activists’ heads exploding, is that she cuts across their social agenda. LGBTIQ advocates’ argument is centred around specific treatments for GD. Completely ignoring that the overwhelming majority of sufferers will adjust to their birth sex after puberty, LGBTIQ advocates push for GD sufferers to ‘transition’. Along with transitioning, they push for large scale ‘support’ from the wider community, including the radical transformation of beliefs about gender. Part of this is the departure from the belief that gender is binary to the idea that gender exists on a spectrum. In addition to this, we have the push for the enforcement of appropriate pronoun use. According to the LGBTIQ story, any indication for the GD sufferer, that other humans don’t accept they are the sex they declare themselves to be, may trigger the negative feelings associated with dysphoria, and potentially suicidal thoughts. Hence Blair White, and any non conformity to the LGBTIQ agenda, are ‘literally’ killing transgender kids. Of course this is bollocks but it is essential to the narrative.
One of the more ridiculous things about this re-definition of gender, is that it is being presented as a transgender ‘social justice movement’. But ‘trans’ literally refers to binary things. Many people who become transgender, actually see gender as binary, which is why they want to be the ‘opposite’ gender. So gender binary is not a challenge for many transgender people. In fact, Blair White is not the only Transgender person to buck the narrative of Queer Theory. Cate McGreggor, a prominent Australian Transgender woman got in hot water for opposing the teaching of queer theory to children in ‘safe schools’. The push to normalise GD as a representation of the gender spectrum rather than an illness, seems like a case of the LGBTIQ putting their most vulnerable out front, to lobby for a greater raft of their own political and social interests. This gender spectrum ideology is being forced onto our kids in the form of sexuality re-education, teachers are getting fired for ‘mis-gendering’ children, and Christians are getting nervous about their rights to continue to practice and teach their religion that includes binary genders.
The heart of the offense, and the key issue of ‘Contrapoints’, is that Ms White, deep in in her heart, does not believe herself to be a woman in precisely the same way that a biological woman is a woman. This is a hot topic, and why activists are fighting to have GD not seen as an illness but as part of the Gender spectrum. Ms White claims that even if she has her penis removed, she will never have a real vagina, she will never have a womb, and she will never be a woman in the same way that a biological woman is a woman. But she has carved out a life for herself where she can find peace with that.
This puts us smack in enemy territory, right in the land of this new thing I have learned of, called the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF), who are declared in this debate to be “the worst”. Of course, this is not what Blaire White is, but even suggesting her beliefs are similar to the dreaded TERFs is considered a true insult. I have since looked up these forbidden horrid creatures, and reading about them comes with more warnings than a porn site (not that I have looked up porn). I found these nasties are mentioned in the same sentence as white nationalists and Stalin. Yes, the same Stalin who was responsible for the death of over twenty million people. Therefore, these TERFs are probably perfectly reasonable people, with just a contrary argument to the left, or maybe not.
They are, I would think, most probably old school feminists who have had a gut full of gender based social re-engineering agendas. And are probably sick of the political push for issues that have nothing to do with the experience of women who are born with female sex organs and reproductive systems. Women who are subject to issues like sex trafficking, pregnancy and financial abandonment with dependents. Or maybe TERFs really are monsters who seek the death of millions, but I doubt that.
A woman according to Contrapoints is someone who declares themselves as such. They don’t even have to wear the clothing of the gender they identify as. Like Dorothy returning to OZ, all you need to do, is to declare yourself a woman, and it is so, just like that. And all society has to do, is adjust all conventions to fit in, because of the suicide risk. The idea doesn’t seem that radical when we are talking about using politeness for the sake of a dysphoria sufferer. However, it is not ‘politeness’, that is being suggested. It is an ideological shift where we must believe in our hearts that this lie is true, or else we are like Stalin and murderers of trans kids.
Unlike any of the young persons in the YouTube debates, I am a mother, and I have some stuff to say about this whole deal. In the years since I have been away from academia, I have had my own little sociological experiments, two girl children that I grew inside my body, birthed, educated and brought to (almost) adulthood. Having always believed that gender norms are, in part, socially constructed, I was happy to give my children opportunities to develop their personalities beyond stereotypical female types. What I wasn’t really prepared for, was to see first-hand the way culture, norms and gender identity is built into children. I never imagined how closely children cling to these certainties of gender, and how important they are to them. I have realised in watching my own children, that this need for concrete norms, gender and otherwise, is absolutely hard wired. Children watch and imitate everything you do as part of the learning process. They then roleplay gender roles, social situations and workplace scenarios with their friends, siblings and toys. They do this constantly. It is their full-time job. They learn from a million social cues that we give out every day. And they begin to build their life and identity around simple understandings they take from family, media and community. This is not just personal identity. They divide the society around themselves into simple, easily understood categories for safety. Children are hyper aware of their vulnerability, and they constantly search for signifiers of safety and risk.
Like all good mothers, I have concisely taught my daughters strategies of how to protect themselves as girls and women. But it took me years to realise that they were learning a bunch of stuff from the way I dealt with men, and how I have treated men fundamentally differently from women. Because the reality is, when you are assessing risk to little girls, gender matters. Norms and difference are noticed and classified by children, first quite simply as ‘danger, non-danger’, and as they get older with more complexity. They notice difference, and they check with those they trust, those closest with them, how to interpret this difference. Kids can misinterpret differences like mental illness, physical disability or brain damage in strangers as danger, but this is because difference is vital in identifying danger. We teach children to identify certain cues, to let them know that certain people are safe, and some are to be treated with caution. Children learn instinctively as well as overtly.
If I was asked by a very young child why someone who was clearly a man, was wearing a dress, I would never say “that is a woman”. I would say “some men feel more comfortable wearing women’s clothing”. I would be compassionate, but I would define this person as an exception to the norm. I would not define that person as the norm, for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it would confuse my child in their necessary skill of identifying male and female properly, as a point of risk assessment. The other is that, this is the truth. The truth is that, this is a man in a dress. Neither the state nor the LGBTIQ activists have changed my core belief on sex, and I have studied both gender studies, and French critical theory. If they want us to extend pronoun curtesy, that is fine, but bullying us and attempting to inject their belief through the school, or media, will not help us with courtesy. And this space here of the family, of the mother and daughter, and the dissemination of norms and culture and belief, that is no place for the State. Any attempt to enter this cultural space will be met with resentment and social division.
Girl children, for better or worse, do learn that men are a higher risk than women, because they are. We don’t explain this to them, they just pick it up. I remember when we met a man while camping once, and he was a creep, made dirty jokes, was disgusting, but he was a friend of a trusted friend. My oldest daughter later said to me “mummy I got a sick feeling in my tummy when that man was around”. I didn’t say “Ohh don’t be judgmental and gender discriminatory”. I said “yes darling, he is creepy. Stay away from people that give you that feeling”. These instincts are developed in complex social and cultural ways, around a range of norms, I don’t even know how, but I won’t have the government tell me how to develop gender definitions in my children. As long as gender is a risk factor, and it absolutely is, any intervention by the school in the process of gender identity assessment in a child is a violation of liberty, and an overstep of the State in the formation of cultural identity.
We are treating a cognitive problem like a problem in culture, because the activists’ goal is not to help the transgender person. It is to re-engineer gender in western civilization. These are sociological driven political goals, they are not health care objectives. By pushing these objectives in schools, they are seeking to bypass the process of gender construction in the family. They feel at liberty to teach children against the beliefs of their families, their religion, biology and more importantly the millions of social cues that they have learned that make up their instinct. In a world where we are teaching children to trust their instincts when looking out for child predators, this is dangerous. In fact, one of the things the Daniel Morcombe Foundation teach children in protecting themselves against predators, is to trust that tummy instinct they have that a situation is dangerous. Where do we think children learn these instincts?
The most dangerous and offensive thing that transgender activists are trying to push for, successfully in some places, is to teach children that they must believe in their heart, non-scientific theories about gender. What is the cost of having the teacher at school tell a child that they should look at a six foot person with a beard, and believe in their heart, that this person is a woman? That more than being polite, to be a good and decent person, they must repress that instinct inside them that says, “this is a man”, and truly believe it to be a woman? What is the cost of telling a teenager that if they do not believe a person is the gender they represent, then they are transphobic, responsible for death, just like Stalin? What is the cost of teaching children a lie? Well I am not up for it, I dissent. I respect Blaire White and Catherine McGregor and Carlotta, and any other adult that has made the choice to transition as an adult in order to deal with Gender Dysphoria, but LGBTIQ activists need to stay the hell away from our kids, and bloody stay away from our beliefs. Because if someone is being Stalin here, it is not me. After all it is not me that is using illness to spearhead politically focused social re-engineering programs.