Features Australia

Luvvies guide to defining a woman

Trans rights do not trump women’s identity and safety

23 April 2022

9:00 AM

23 April 2022

9:00 AM

Should someone who cannot define a woman be the nation’s top health bureaucrat? ‘Balls’, said the Queen. ‘If I had them, I’d be King’. Jill Clayburgh’s lament in An Unmarried Woman might assist Professor Brendan Murphy. Is he medically illiterate or just too cowed by the trans bullies? Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson declined to define a woman because she’s not a biologist. Do you need to be a vet to tell a dog or a cat? Health Secretary Murphy also declined, saying it’s a ‘very contested space’. Not for Ukrainians, whose policy on allowing some to flee is based on biological sex and age. A punishing standard of moral purity has become endemic in Western institutions and leaders. Asked, ‘Can a woman have a penis?’, UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer bobbed and weaved and refused to discuss it. Opposition frontbencher Yvette Cooper didn’t want to go down the ‘rabbit hole’ of defining a woman. Annaliese Dodds, on International Women’s Day no less, said it ‘depends on what the context is’. J.K. Rowling suggested Dodds be sent ‘a dictionary and a backbone’: The Lancet replaced ‘women’ with the distasteful and dehumanising ‘bodies with vaginas’.

Ideological redefinitions of gender identity have harmful consequences in the real world that most of us live in. In the UK’s NHS rabbit hole, male cancer patients must answer if they are pregnant before being X-rayed. A hospital denied a woman had been raped because no males were present in the female ward, until CCTV footage forced them to admit the presence of biological males. Male transgender police officers are able to strip-search female detainees. Convicted sex offenders exploit trans-rights policies to be housed with, assault and rape female prisoners. Serial sex offender Andrew McNab could get a lighter non-custodial sentence for his latest conviction for having transitioned into Chloe Thompson and the resulting difficult time he has faced.

In Canada, Jonathan/Jessica Yaniv, with a history of racist posts against immigrants, filed 16 complaints, ultimately rejected, with British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal against female cosmeticians for refusing to perform Brazilian waxing of male genitalia. Vancouver trans-activists were blind to the irony of nailing a dead rat to the door of a transition house for battered women and threatening and harassing a rape crisis centre, all the while accusing critics of ‘hate speech’. Girl Guides WA’s CEO Karyn Lisignoli was sacked because her efforts to protect biological females, which parents would have a right to expect, ran afoul of the legal obligations to protect trans-Australians from discrimination.

You’d think they’d know, Murphy from Biology 101 and Jackson because well, she wouldn’t have been nominated but for being a black woman. They deflected for fear of the perpetually angry gender activists ready to pounce at the slightest deviation from the approved orthodoxy, to threaten careers, upend lives and cancel them from the public square. Only one side engages in angry denunciations and abusive behaviour – all in the name of tolerance, diversity and inclusion, you understand. In a climate of bullying, only a few like Rowling are too big to cancel. Non-celebrity academics like Kathleen Stock have been hounded out of professorships. Views held by a fraction of people within a tiny minority of the populace override the understandings of the vast majority backed by the weight of science and history.

Once society has given legal protection to a tiny minority of biological males claiming to be women, they cannot be excluded from gender-segregated arenas. This creates acute problems of privacy, safety and fairness. Sports in particular have the potential to be the biggest catalyst to returning to gender sanity. The masses get passionately involved, it’s dominated by public events (unlike prisons, toilets and refuges) where the gross unfairness is seen by all present plus a global TV audience, and the physiological advantages of male bodies in height, speed and strength cannot be hidden, as with cyclist Rachel McKinnon and swimmer Lia Thomas. Millions watch brilliant women being robbed of recognition and rewards by men who can’t beat other men. No surprise that amateur girls and women are reported to be quitting sports in droves after facing male-bodied opponents.

Language matters, for it controls the narrative. Jordan Peterson was right in 2016 to reject government diktat on pronouns untethered to biological reality. The war against women’s identity, rights and dignity is lost at the point where you accept the science fiction of addressing as ‘she’ a 6’6” bearded man, with a functioning male organ which he will proudly display in a woman’s spa heedless of how embarrassed and offended the girls and women in there might feel. You have locked yourself into a lose-lose trap. How can you possibly refuse someone you call ‘she’ the right to compete in a women’s swimming competition? Yet almost universally, the media – even accounts that questioned the fairness of the win – used ‘she’ to refer to Thomas. Judith Hunter’s letter asked why men ‘sell out’ their mothers, wives and daughters to appease ‘powerful, entitled and Orwellian lobbies that are redefining society and demanding complete subservience’. Good question. Why cancel the core identity of over half the population, take away their rights hard won over more than a century and assault their fundamental dignity as human beings? And while doing all this, have the chutzpah to call themselves social justice progressives? A policy that balances the needs of all individuals and groups would exclude trans people from some women-specific spaces and activities (refuges, rape counselling, wards, changing rooms, toilets, relevant sports) on grounds of safety, trauma, privacy, dignity and fairness.

Change will not come until the majority turns on the spineless cowards at the top of social institutions. Time to awaken and turn the sullen but silent majority into the angry vocal majority. Get militant. Refuse to answer when asked what your pronouns are. Challenge departmental or company mandates to indicate preferred pronouns on all communications. Let them continue to respect the trans minority, as everyone should, but to fear the mainstream community who will come after them like a swarm of angry bees.

Women in particular must no longer shut up and put up. Instead, they should stop being a good girl and make their voice count. One pathway to fighting back has been demonstrated in the US with growing parental anger at kids’ indoctrination in schools. A second has been identified in the UK where three different women’s rights groups have combined to take the fight to the local elections next month by urging voters to ask a simple question of every candidate: Can a woman have a penis? Australia too needs someone to organise a high profile campaign that asks every candidate in next month’s election two simple questions: Can a woman have a penis? Can a man be pregnant?

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