World

I stand with Macy Gray

6 July 2022

2:56 AM

6 July 2022

2:56 AM

There’s a new heretic in town. It’s the great Macy Gray. Ms Gray has uttered that most blasphemous of beliefs – that a man can never become a woman, even if he has his bits lopped off. Cue the pointing of fingers and howls of ‘BIGOT!’. If this were the 15th century this is the point at which Ms Gray would be marched off to the stake.

It was on Piers Morgan’s Talk TV show that Gray came out as someone who understands biology – a dangerous thing to do in the 21st century. In her soulful, plain-speaking style she said:

‘Just because you go change your parts doesn’t make you a woman.’ 

For me the most sublime moment was when Gray did a chopping motion with her hand as she said ‘change your parts’. This is clearly someone who will brook no nonsense.

‘You feel that?’, Morgan asked. ‘I know that for a fact’, Gray clarified, sending a clear signal to any members of the mob who may have been watching and warming up their thumbs for a good ol’ cancellation on Twitter. This is the truth, Gray was essentially saying, whether you like it or not.


The cancellation has come nonetheless. Like many other women who have questioned the idea that someone born with a penis and testicles can become a woman – whether by hormonal intervention or simply through self-ID – Gray has been mauled online. TERF, bigot, hater – all the usual slurs have been hurled her way. ‘She’s dead to me now’, some have claimed, as if she murdered someone or came out as a lover of Hitler. Reminder, folks: she said men are not women.

But that is all you need to say these days to feel the flames of the intolerant mob. There is no better proof that the transgender ideology has crossed the line into being a modern-day religion – and a fiercely unforgiving one at that – than the fact that any woman who questions it will be raged against, demonised, sacked, cast out of polite society. Religions have always had a problem with pesky women who say: ‘Hang on a second…’. The religion of genderfluidity is no different.

Just stop and think about how odd it is that there should be such a furious reaction to a woman saying what a woman is. If someone had told you ten years ago that one day Macy Gray would become a figure of hate for saying that a castrated man is not a woman, you would have thought them mad. And yet here we are. The speed with which the idea that human beings can change sex has become an orthodoxy that you question at your peril is terrifying. It should worry everyone who believes in freedom of conscience and open debate, regardless of your views on transgenderism itself.

What is most striking about Gray’s heresy is that she very clearly knew there would be a horrible, violence-tinged response to her perfectly reasonable comments. ‘Everyone’s gonna hate me’, she said to Morgan before committing her speechcrime. ‘Sorry’, she said at the end of the interview. This is the world we live in today: where women feel cagey about expressing their opinion, about giving voice to biological reality, because they know what the consequences will be.

Imagine how many women there must be who are in a more precarious position than Macy Gray – or JK Rowling – and who have calculated that they simply cannot afford to raise their voice in defence of the reality of sex. That they just cannot afford to lose their job or to be hounded online for months on end. That they do not have the means, financial or personal, to withstand such an onslaught. This is the truly baleful consequence of cancel culture – the chilling message it sends to people lower down the pecking order about how foolish it would be for them to say what they believe.

This is what is wonderful about what Gray has done. And about what Rowling does, and Maya Forstater, and Kathleen Stock, and Posie Parker, and Helen Joyce, and Julie Bindel, and all the other women who put their heads above the parapet to say: ‘I am an unbeliever.’ They chip away at the culture of intolerance and help to make other people feel confident enough to speak out. They create the conditions in which it becomes at least a little bit more acceptable to dissent. Men need to do their part too, by fully supporting the Macy Grays of the world when they come under attack for saying normal, rational things.

Gray has helped to expose just how serious the assault on freedom of thought has become. She pre-emptively apologised for her comments, and even made it clear that she is happy to refer to trans women with the words ‘she’ and ‘her’, even though she doesn’t believe they are real women. But that wasn’t enough. Because here’s the thing: there are some who don’t only want to police what we say about sex and gender, but also how we think about sex and gender. Gray’s offer to use female pronouns is insufficient – they want to remould her actual mind, her moral belief system, so that she starts to truly believe that trans women are women. This is some Room 101 nonsense.

Enough is enough. I’m with Macy Gray and her right to think and say whatever she pleases. It is a right everyone should enjoy.

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