Stonewall’s dystopian attacks on gendered language

5 June 2021

10:35 AM

5 June 2021

10:35 AM

Today brings yet more proof that Liz Truss is dead right to want to withdraw government departments from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The Telegraph reports that one way institutions and companies can rise up Stonewall’s ‘Workplace Equality Index’ is by ditching words like ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and using more ‘gender-neutral’ terms instead.

Apparently, words like ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ are too ‘gendered’ and thus they might offend trans people. So if you want those precious brownie points from Stonewall, and if you want to be beatified as a ‘diversity champion’, you’ll have to stop using these loving, everyday terms that the entire population understands and instead parrot the gobbledegook of woke identitarianism. For example, you should say ‘parent who has given birth’ rather than ‘mother’.

This isn’t about equality. It’s not about diversity, either. It’s social re-engineering. It’s an effort by Stonewall to reprogramme the populace to make us think and speak in what it considers to be the correct fashion. It’s dystopian. The question we should be asking isn’t: ‘Should government departments withdraw from this nonsense?’, it’s ‘What the hell were they doing in this programme in the first place?’

Stonewall’s Diversity Champions initiative has taken a lot of flak over the past couple of weeks. Much of it deserved. Many are wondering why so many companies and organisations — including Whitehall departments that we fund — have signed up to such an eccentric programme of workplace speech-policing and attitudes-correction.

Stonewall says its programme is just about providing diversity training. Institutions fork out at least £2,500 a year to be instructed by Stonewall on how to make their work environments more inclusive. Local councils, police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service, private companies and loads of Whitehall departments, including the Ministry of Justice, have paid Stonewall to graciously share its gospel of diversity with them.

But now some people are asking awkward questions. Is Diversity Champions really about making workplaces nicer, happier places, or is it about controlling what workers can think and say? Especially when it comes to transgender rights.

The instinct to control how we think and speak runs deep. So the Telegraph reports that Stonewall advised Edinburgh University to start using the phrase ‘parent who has given birth’. Merseyside police were reportedly told that ‘pregnant employee’ is preferable to ‘pregnant woman’.

Madly, many institutions appear to have caved in to Stonewall’s instructions. In 2019 the Welsh government deleted the term mother from its maternity policy. It also started using the term ‘chestfeeding’ over the apparently non-inclusive term ‘breastfeeding’. The Ministry of Justice admits that it has incorporated non-gendered language, and has even removed the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from some internal documents.

Every institution should withdraw from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme for the simple reason that this programme seems far more likely to create work environments that are hostile rather than inclusive. Hostile to women who don’t want biological males in female changing rooms; hostile to people who baulk at terms like ‘chestfeeding’; and hostile to anyone who hasn’t fully submitted to the lingua franca of the new and increasingly intolerant elites.

Stonewall has feverishly embraced the modern mantra that ‘trans women are women’ — and appears to have adopted the corresponding belief that anyone who thinks otherwise is a transphobic bigot — which means its devotion to ‘inclusivity’ is pretty partial, even hollow. Is a Stonewall-approved workplace ‘inclusive’ of people who don’t believe that trans women are women? Does it have any space for women who think biological males should not share their bathrooms, or for people who prefer the word ‘mum’ to the phrase ‘a parent who has given birth’?

Consider the case of Allison Bailey, the criminal defence barrister who is suing Stonewall and her chambers — Garden Court — after she was put under investigation for the supposed offence of founding the LGB Alliance charity.

The persecution of Ms Bailey has been deeply disturbing. She is an accomplished barrister, a lifelong feminist, a lesbian and a gay-rights activist. Yet because she set up the LGB Alliance — an organisation devoted to defending the rights of homosexual men and women and which doesn’t accept the transgender ideology — she has been investigated by her chambers and branded a bigot by a ferocious online mob. Ms Bailey has accused Stonewall of meddling in her workplace — her chambers is a Diversity Champion. One of the reasons she has been hounded is that she holds the apparently ‘non-inclusive’ view that biological sex is real and that gay men and lesbians deserve their own organisations.

Here we can start to glimpse the doublespeak behind buzzwords like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. Stonewall’s vision of diversity clearly isn’t about diversity of thought or belief. Say something that runs counter to the orthodoxies of genderfluidity and these ‘champions of diversity’ will turn on you. And ‘inclusion’ clearly doesn’t extend to including people who have the temerity to hold moral convictions on sex, gender and even biology that Stonewall disapproves of.

This isn’t about equality. It’s about control. It’s about remoulding the speech, and fundamentally the minds, of workers up and down the country. It’s about pressuring us to ditch our attachment to supposedly archaic ideas — like, erm, biological sex — and to stop us using words that come naturally to us all: man, woman, mum, dad, pregnant women, breastfeeding. We cannot allow our language and our thoughts to be so sinisterly tampered with by ideologues.

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