Patrick West, Spiked
The recent remark by Dawn Butler, shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, that ‘a child is born without sex’ is certainly one of the most bizarre things said by a politician in my lifetime. It is surprising that it hasn’t attracted more derision than it deserves. Or perhaps it isn’t. The transgender myth – that one’s actual sex, not one’s gender, is entirely of one’s own choosing – is firmly embedded as the definitive popular delusion of the 21st century. It will take future historians of a more rational age to assess it more soberly and explain its origins.
My theory is that it is the consequence of what might be called the Discrimination Dialectic. Our society is constantly at war with itself between two conflicting imperatives: the need to have an Other (every culture needs one) who we can define ourselves against and be mean about, and our more contemporary, and culturally specific, progressive imperative to ceaselessly end discrimination against minorities and erstwhile Others. This dialectic involves identifying, or maybe even inventing, the next Other in order to emancipate them.
When I was very young it was still acceptable to be a misogynist – television comedians still made jokes about wives and mothers-in-law – and it was acceptable in certain circles to be racist. Homophobia was even more mainstream well into the 1980s, when ‘poof’ and ‘homo’ were unremarkable playground insults.
Going back further, misogyny, racism and homophobia were all pretty mainstream in the 1960s. They are all taboo today. Most people under 30 probably don’t even know that Irish jokes were commonplace until the 1980s. So what discriminated Other should our society campaign for now? What minority can we be progressive about now? Trans people, it transpires.
It is owing to our culture’s cult of progress, and the liberal-left’s compulsion of forever ending discrimination, that the trans movement has captured the Labour Party so virulently. While Butler’s remark raised some eyebrows, a recent statement by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, raised none, when he asserted that ‘Trans women are women. Trans men are men.’ Another transparent falsehood. A trans woman is a trans woman.
Trans is a powerful myth, which explains how it demands some curious mental gymnastics and strange doctrines. First was the notion that by having cosmetic surgery you can change your sex. (You can’t, because you can’t change your chromosomes or biology. I never have and never will menstruate or give birth.) Then came the idea that you can change your sex through performative utterance, by merely declaring you have done so. And now comes the literally – literally – unreal dogma that babies have no sex.
Most people, especially those of a woke persuasion, like to ridicule Christian creationists who believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old. They are certainly irritating, such is their wilful, wanton resistance to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution. True trans believers have become intolerable for exactly the same reason: their flight from reality and denial of not just science, but also what is staring them in the face. You don’t even need a doctor to tell what sex a baby is.