I recently heard that Contrapoints (Natalie Wynn), a transgender youtuber, has been schooling JK Rowling on womanhood. I tried to watch it, but this type of saccharine play-acting, packaged as political debate, is more than I can cope with. Feminists I usually watch, rarely deliver opinion from a candle lit bath. She is more frequently situated in what is painfully obviously the smallest room in the house. She is sometimes squashed between a bookshelf and a musical instrument, often devoid of makeup and dressed in practical clothing. It may seem like I am judging politics by its packaging, but for me, the packaging of sexual politics says a great deal about how lies are being sold to women.
Until a few years ago, I maintained only a lay interest in sociology since completing my Humanities degree in 1994. As a mother, I re-ignited my long dormant interest in gender theory in 2017 when Australian sociologist Roz Ward, was trying to make 40-50% of young people some version of “queer”, through a new generation of sexuality education in schools. Keen to see what twisted mess gender theory had become, I turned to YouTube.
I first encountered the rather less glamorous, and then ‘gender queer’ ‘Contrapoints’ here, in a debate with transgender woman Blair White. Blair White, is a lifetime sufferer of Gender Dysphoria (GD), and cuts a sympathetic figure with conservatives. This is partly because she is despised by LGBTIQ activists for openly acknowledging her male biology. Blaire has paid a significant price financially and emotionally to transition. She claims she would like to see a more sophisticated treatment for GD, because transitioning is a messy and imperfect solution.
Quite a few transgender individuals initially come against the teaching of gender ideology to children and argued for a “wait and see” approach for the presentation of GD in children. However, transgender activists have ultimately won the gender wars over children, with the mainstreaming of gender ideology. This has culminated in the dominance of medical “affirmation model” for the treatment of GD. This model locks, sometimes very young children, into a transition path. It’s not just that it is harmful, as the UK Tavistock scandal has shown, this approach comes with a suspicious range of cultural re-engineering objectives. These objectives, I would argue, are the end game of the LGBTIQ lobby groups and their powerful backers, who now stand opposed to, not just the conservative right, but much of the gay community, gender critical feminists, a tragic raft of de-transitioners, and a growing population of fair minded people.
By purporting to defend the mental health of a small group of GD sufferers, transgender activists initially gained large scale support from the general community. Media showcased case after case of children tortured by the disparity between their biological sex and their gender. The solution was only ever presented as transition, even though 75 per cent of children who are gender expansive will identify with their assigned gender at birth.
The key to affirmation model is that it is linked to the cultural acceptance of gender ideology, that gender and sex are separate and that gender is the “true self”. We, who have been encouraged to “educate ourselves”, have learned that because gender is a “true self”, and for the health and safety of our fellow citizens, we must embrace a range of adult human males as trans-women (real women), including those who don’t suffer GD, who have not medically transitioned and have no intention to do so. There is clearly no scientific, moral or legal basis on which this belief should be forced on liberal populations.
With the theological disconnection of “trans” from GD one would assume that they can no longer claim that contrary speech is a suicide risk to dysphoric individuals. This horrible claim has been used to justify the limitation of the speech rights of opposing arguments via the liberal “harm principle”. This suicide risk has been disputed by some, and even where it was not, the ethics of the suicide narrative to limit speech has been long questioned. Sufferers of GD, especially children were always the strongest case LGBTIQ lobby groups had to limit speech, in order to make way for the raft of social engineering objectives of the progressive movement. Also, vulnerable individuals with intersex are frequently cited. Only the worst dictators put their most vulnerable at the front of a fight. And I want to state clearly that I am in now way opposed to these people or their liberal right to a path to a full life.
In a clever bit of sleight of hand, activists have declared that “trans” is no longer a conflict between the suffers gender and sex, but a problem in the beliefs of the population about the binary nature of sex. People with intersex conditions (which are all sex specific conditions) are being claimed as evidence of sex variance in humanity. Therefore, a raft of cultural re-engineering measures is being sold as a social justice movement, a health care program, and a virtuous revolution. Many people with intersex conditions and intersex advocacy groups, have resisted this scientifically incorrect narrative.
Institutional capture of universities has meant that scant evidence is being mined by academics, seduced by grants and career goals, to claim that birth sex is of secondary importance to gender, and sex itself is not binary. It now requires bravery to tell the truth about gender and sex in academia. With the help of legal fiction, biological sex is openly declared a “philosophical view”. In a massive win for the progressive left, the ethereal belief of an inner “gender identity”, evidenced by a declaration of faith, has been given priority over biological sex in the recent Biden EO. Hence “gender”, which has always been used by feminists to describe a range of roles and stereotypes that are placed on the sexes by culture, is now legally recognised as an internal sense of self, as an identity, that can be called any number of things, one of which is “woman”.
Therefore, stage actors like Contrapoints who identify into being a “woman”, are given the academic and political weaponry to boldly and aggressively accuse JK Rowling of being Nazi adjacent, simply for declaring the biological reality of womanhood. By declaring the vulnerabilities of female biology, as Rowling does, women are accused of using a victim narrative to harm, demonise and exclude trans women. Dissenting women are met with the accusation that things are worse for tans-women than “cis women”. This claim is disputed in data, conflated by lifestyle, and dwarfed by the size of the murder, abuse, rape, trafficking, enslavement and oppression of women. But before a woman can get that sentence out, she will be called a TERF. As soon as a woman is labelled a TERF, she is marked for societal justified vile harassment, and her opinion is declared void.
The nasty TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) is regularly mentioned in the same breath as white nationalists and Stalin. The reality is that those who are being called TERFs, are mostly grassroots feminists, who object to the loss of the sex-based protections associated with a particular “people”. The “people” who are born with female sex organs and reproductive systems. The “people” who are most often subject to issues like sex trafficking, sexual violence, domestic violence, pregnancy, breast cancer, menstruation and financial abandonment with dependents. “The people” who have birthed every human on the planet. “The people” we use to call “women”.
Particularly tragic is that girls are being encouraged to transition if they don’t fit into to a range of gender stereotypes, leading to a massive surge in girls being referred to gender clinics. Having fought tooth and nail for women to be free of gender stereotypes, seeing those same stereotypes presented to girls as “womanhood”, is hard to watch. Having these stereotypes acted out by Contrapoints from a bath, while demeaning Rowling for championing the rights of girls and women, feels like a cruel form of trolling.
But it is with the #StanilandQuestion, where things are getting fierce on the tweets. With the broadening definition of trans-women, to self ID, many feminists are insisting on the right to single sex spaces. They are not just being de-platformed en masse, Joanna Cherry has been sacked from her parliament position for merely indicating her support for these women to ask a question. What is the Staniland question?
“Do you believe that male-sexed people should have the right to undress and shower in a communal changing room with women and girls?”
Along with the obvious problems of self ID, women are pointing out that some trans identified men, with no intention to medically transition have autogynephilia, and their inclusion in female dressing spaces, is not just problematic but demonstrably harmful. These objections are consequently met with the foulest abuse.
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 adulthood. Having always believed that gender norms are, in part, socially constructed, I encouraged my children to develop their personalities beyond the restrictions of female stereotypes.
What I wasn’t prepared for, was to see first-hand the way the desire for cultural norms and gender roles is built into children. I never imagined how closely children would look for these certainties of sex and 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, and very much linked to sex. 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. I have since found these are also very much the findings of many evolutionary psychologists and biologists, who now sit rather awkwardly alongside feminists and Christians like myself, as gender ideology dissenters.
Modern gender studies sociologists don’t have qualifications to define sex or gender. These hacks have taken an ideological and political position first, and then looked for the science that corresponds. Marxists schools have always leaned further toward the nurture side in the nature/nurture debate in gender formation. Why wouldn’t they, if values and genders are developed in culture, they become the legitimate field of sociology in a big government model.
With the influence of postmodern thinkers like Pierre Bourdieu and his theory of “habitus” and “cultural capital”, certain neo-Marxist views of state management of capital, has extended to “cultural capital”. I am not blameless here, my own honours thesis I argued (wrongly) that cultural policing was a legitimate domain of government as a cure for a raft of urban population problems. Unlike radical feminists, I don’t deny the value of gender roles, I just believe in the sovereign role of mother and father in the family in developing these values and traits, free of state intervention.
Children learn from a million social cues that we give out every day, and they begin to build their self, instincts, personality and identity around simple understandings they take from family, media and community. This is not all innate “identity” nor is it all environment. Nobody knows the line between nurture and nature. But what I learned from my children, is that they divide the society around themselves into simple, easily understood categories for safety. Infants are hyper aware of their vulnerability, and they constantly search for signifiers of safety and risk. No one is as vulnerable as a child, no child is as vulnerable as a girl child, and no girl child is as vulnerable as a poor girl child, these are material realities.
Like all good mothers, I consciously 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 lot 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, sex 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.
Children notice difference, and they check with those they trust, those closest to them, how to interpret this difference. Every mother will remember their child looking at a stranger and then back at their face, then back at the stranger. Every mother of a child on the autistic spectrum will know the fear they feel for a child, when they know the child cannot properly read a face. We teach children overtly and by example how to identify certain cues, that certain people are safe, and some are to be treated with caution. 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, and it takes time to learn the complexities of risk.
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 reason is, to tell a child that a grown man in women’s clothing is a woman, is a lie. It is far better to normalise that people in society have different presentations of gender, than to lie about sex.
Neither the state nor the LGBTIQ activists have changed my core beliefs about sex, and I have studied both gender studies, and the French cultural theory, from which many of these ideas descend. If they want us to extend pronoun curtesy, that is one thing, 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 should be met with resentment and vehement resistance by women.
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 meeting a certain man while camping when my girls were young, he was a creep, made dirty jokes, was disgusting, but he was a friend of a trusted friend, so we were polite. My oldest daughter later said to me “mummy I got a sick feeling in my tummy when that man was around”. I did not say “don’t be judgmental”. I said “yes darling, he is creepy. Stay away from people that give you that feeling in your tummy”. These instincts are developed in complex social and cultural ways, I don’t even know how, but I won’t have the government tell me how to develop sex definitions in my children. As long as sex is a factor in risk, and it absolutely is, any intervention by the state in the process of sex classification or gender identity in any child is a dangerous 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 dysphoric person, it is to re-engineer gender in western civilization and redefine sex in law. 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 and sex definition in the family and they are endangering women and girls.
Gender ideologues 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 predators, this is dangerous. In fact, one of the key things the Daniel Morcombe Foundation teach children in protecting against predators, is to trust that ‘tummy instinct’. That innate feeling 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, is to teach our children they must believe in their heart, non-scientific theories about sex. 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 just because of what they wear? That they are not to question the inclusion of this person in the toilet or the dressing room? 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 Hitler or Stalin? What is the cost of teaching children a lie? I am not up for it, I dissent. I respect Blaire White, Catherine McGregor and Buck Angel, 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 away from our kids, and stay away from our beliefs, if someone is being Stalin here, it is not me.