Sorry, Sam Smith, but you’re still a ‘he’

How society sees Sam Smith matters more than how he sees himself.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill

Not content with committing crimes against music, now Sam Smith is committing crimes against grammar. He wants us to refer to him as ‘they’. Bizarrely – or not bizarrely, rather, given we live under a tyranny of wokeness – mainstream media outlets from the BBC to the Guardian instantly kowtowed to Mr Smith’s narcissistic decree. The BBC report contained the following sentence: ‘Smith said they did not feel male or female, but “I flow somewhere in between”.’ What? That makes no sense. ‘They’ in the first clause of the sentence, and ‘I’ in the second? Smith might ‘flow’, but this sentence certainly doesn’t. The BBC hack who wrote it should be packed off back to writing school.

But of course in the 21st-century media, being right-on counts for far more than being able to write. Being woke outweighs being clear or reasoned or just basically rational. And so the Beeb must butcher language to satisfy the self-delusions of a pop singer because it knows that if it doesn’t it will be accused of being phobic. Transphobic, or non-binary-phobic, or Smithphobic, or whatever bullshit phobia the language police have made up to go along with their patently post-reason idea that an individual can flow between the sexes and be both a man and a woman at the same time. Sexual minorities once demanded freedom from oppression – now they demand freedom from reality.

This is the news that Mr Smith, purveyor of beige piano pop, wants to spice up his life by joining the non-binary trend. ‘I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY / THEM’, he said on Twitter. (By saying ‘he’ I’ve basically committed a hate crime, which only shows how thoroughly the Orwellian idea of ‘hate speech’ is used to demonise everyday views, beliefs and, erm, facts.) ‘[A]fter a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out…’, said Smith.

I get this. We all strive at times to appear more interesting than we really are. And Smith might have more need than most of such striving, given he is known for producing insomnia-curing ballads and supermarket background music. But where others will don a cravat or take up a hobby to dispel rumours of their dullness, Smith has gone full non-binary and demanded that the rest of us dispense with the rules of grammar and the facts of sex – with both language and biology – and refer to him as ‘they’. Yeah, sorry, that’s a no from us, Sam.

There’s a really important question at the heart of this. At the heart of the entire fad for trans and non-binary living, in fact. Which is this: shouldn’t our perceptions of an individual matter as much as, if not more than, the individual’s perceptions of him or herself? (Or theirself… hmm.) More pointedly, shouldn’t society’s view of an individual count for something in this discussion? In fact, shouldn’t it count for an awful lot?

If Smith wants to go around calling himself ‘they’ and claiming he ‘flows’ between the sexes and insisting he has a ‘vivacious woman’ inside him, that’s fine. Knock yourself out. And if his friends want to indulge his eccentric, post-truth view of himself, that’s fine too. It might strike the rest of us as pretty darn misogynistic for a man to talk about having a ‘vivacious woman’ inside of him, as if womanhood was a mere feeling, a kind of dance move, little more than a mood that even people with penises can feel every now and then. Way to demean womankind! But if Smith and his circle want to play that game, that’s their business. The question is: should the rest of us have to play the game too? The answer seems pretty clear to me: absolutely not.

The bottom line is this: Smith might see himself as non-binary, as neither male nor female, but the rest of us, society itself, sees him as a man. And that matters. We see him as a man because he is a man. He was born male, he went through male puberty, he has a male body, he has a male name, and he has had a male life. The vast majority of people look at him and think, ‘man’. And they aren’t being bigoted. They’re being perfectly reasonable. Far more reasonable, in fact, than the woke non-binary lobby and its cheerleaders in the media elite who think a man can have a vivacious female soul or whatever.

It is testament to the wholly narcissistic and anti-social nature of the modern politics of identity that individuals expect the whole of society, everyone in the world, in fact, to play along with their moral and personal psychodramas. And to follow the script with unyielding obedience. To utter all the right words – trans, cis, they, ze – and never to question any of it. If you fail in this duty, you are a bad person, a bigot, and you must be hounded off university campuses, shamed in the national media, and shunned from polite society. These are the penalties for refusing to play the nodding-dog bit-part allotted to us in someone else’s fantasy.

This extreme narcissism has detrimental social consequences. Consider the case of Freddy McConnell, a journalist with the Guardian who transitioned from female to male. Only McConnell is not male. We know this because she recently gave birth. And if you give birth you are a woman. This is how we – as in society, the collective, the mass of biology-understanding, language-using citizens – understand things. And that understanding cannot be casually discarded. To do so would be to elevate the eccentric needs of infinitesimally small numbers of gender-confused people above the knowledge and understanding of society and its institutions and its history; it would be to prize eccentric individual conceits more highly than the commons and our shared language and beliefs. It is undemocratic and unreasoned. McConnell wants to be publicly, officially registered as her child’s father. No. This cannot be allowed. She can refer to herself as the child’s father if she likes, but she has no right whatsoever to override society’s understanding that people who give birth to children are mothers. Words have meaning; the words mother and father have meaning; they cannot be trashed at the behest of a few identitarians.

We are witnessing the destructive consequences of one of the key elements of the politics of identity: the cult of validation, the need of individuals in our increasingly divided, atomised, racialised and sexualised era to have every facet of their personality and lifestyle validated by the public and by institutions. But nobody has the right to constant validation. You have the right to live as you choose, to refer to yourself by whatever name and pronouns you like, and to pretend to be something you are not. By the same token, society has the right to say: ‘You are not the thing you think you are. You are mistaken. We will not validate your delusions.’

What the woke don’t realise, of course, is that the exercise of this latter right – the right of social dissent from the trans ideology and other identitarian beliefs – is far more progressive than their demand for permanent validation. Why? Because it values collective thinking and knowledge over the narrow, narcissistic demand that everyone change how they think and speak to suit me.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

Rod Liddle and Brendan O’Neill in conversation at Podcast Live!

Rod Liddle and Brendan O'Neill
– live in London

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Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:38 pm

When you call everyone who wants to just be themselves a “snowflake” but your poor sensitive soul can’t stand to use the word “they” instead of “he” when referring to someone. 🙄 It quite literally has no impact on you whether Sam Smith goes by “he” or “they,” so why are you getting your knickers in a twist over it? How about you just live and let live? Why do you think you get to define who other people are? Because you can’t deal with them being different? Do you need a safe space away from all the “theys” of the world? Do you need a trigger warning? It’s just so ironic the kind of people who lose their minds over this stuff are the same people who bitch about participation trophies (and then also want a straight pride parade and white history month 🙄). Get a grip, be an adult, let people be who they want. It’s really easy to not give a fuck what gender someone else identifies as.

Eve Davies

29th September 2019 at 9:32 am

Absolute gold. A voice of reason. Yes. Again. More.

Felicity McDowell

22nd September 2019 at 3:06 pm

I guess Sam is no longer gay as one can’t be both non binary and gay as being homosexual assumes a same sex attraction and if one has no sex then they can’t have a same sex attraction. If they are saying that it is their gender that is non binary not their sex, then they are still male just not feeling particularly womanly or manly so surely using he and him is fine.

I feel like there is a small group of people who should be given the respect of being called ‘they’ if they choose and that group is those who have DID (multiple personality disorder). For them ‘they’ describes their reality.

Jim Lawrie

22nd September 2019 at 10:43 pm

“I feel like there is …. ” fill in the blank with your desired situation and hey pressto, it come into existence, or it becomes the new status quo. I feel like there is a lack of substance and reason to your post.

Chris Peacock

22nd September 2019 at 11:15 am

I’m just here to marvel at the creative usernames.

Trouble McTrouble

21st September 2019 at 9:07 pm

I’m 54, straight, in a happy relationship and have also struggled for years with depression, self harming and poor physical health – to say I hate myself is no understatement.

So when my daughter came out as pansexual at 18 (she’s now nearly 22), I vowed to ensure she understood that being happy and true to herself is all me and her dad wanted. I’m sure Brendan would laugh at me and say I’m wrong. But I would reply, the cemeteries and crematoriums are full of the remains of people who spent their lives trying, and usually failing, to conform to whatever society deems in ‘normal”. Heterosexual, birth gender, whatever…..that’s normal and that’s what we must be.

But the world is not so black and white, nor so simple and it’s about time everyone understood that. Sam Smith isn’t hurting anyone – it’s not going to affect world peace, cancer cures or global economies if we call Sam Smith they and them when talking about them. They say ‘i’ when talking about themself because there’s no gender affixed to ‘I’.

Same goes for anyone else in this position. There are already too many people killing themselves because they hate who they are – I nearly did (though for different reasons) – to not allow people this simple courtesy to be addressed as THEY choose… allow them to date who THEY choose. So long as everyone involved are consenting adults and no one’s being hurt then everyone else needs to be able to just accept it and move on. It’s genuinely NOT up to society to decide what to call someone. We all struggle enough with our looks, our bodies and our acceptance of ourselves – take it from someone who sees her self inflicted scars as an outward sign of how ugly I feel inside too – and so, for me at least, if calling someone ‘they/them’ saves them that struggle then I’m fine with it. If me calling them that means they feel happy in their skin, then I can do it no worries.

There’s a word I still remember my late mum telling me about – sonder. It means that every person you pass, every stranger you even glance at in passing or see fleetingly has a life as complex as mine, which they are constantly living and dealing with even though I know nothing of it. So I ALWAYS remember that and try to treat everyone I meet with kindness and compassion……unless or until they give me a reason not to. So please, PLEASE remember – not everyone, even if rich and famous, is fine and living the best life…..many are really struggling.

Hugh-Person Earthecosphere

21st September 2019 at 2:02 pm

It might be interesting to explore that in this case a public person is by implication using the media to insist how others ought to refer to this person NOT how we should refer to them in person.
In a one to one conversation with this person the question of gender pronoun usage is ‘unlikely’ to emerge, as one would, in most cases, use I; you; we.
In a one to one I may or may not decide if it came up to be ‘kind’ or ‘polite’ or ‘nonconfrontational’ and allow myself to use their preperred gender/non-gender descriptor. However, I agree with Jordan Peterson on this that one’s freedom to belief and free expression should in no way infringe anothers beliefs and freedom of expression if one believes in these concepts.
If one believes in such things one needs to allow that if one airs them ‘out’ either with the intention of self expression or for existential exposition that in order to gage the reflection of acception and degree of self justification, one by necessity allows for scrutiny by others.
Acceptance of diverging views, not their conclusions naturally, is necessary to civil discourse.
Frustration is natural sometimes but blind raging belief against other viewpoints is neither civil nor fruitful.

I am 57 years old I am not them same person as I was when I was a teenager, both a positive and negative thing but it is a universal human condition that we change and hopefully grow, mature and gain a little wisdom or insight.
While I understand the gushing invective of youth against age having been there myself at times, most of us have, I am increasingly concerned the way politics is trying to crystalise the idea of an ‘age-phobia’ (ironic use of phobia) as one of the weapons to use to close down arguements without respect to the actual life experiences of the individuals it is used against.
Several young probably well-meaning posters here have tried to nullify arguements here by assuming one is just an old, valueless, worthless individual because they have a different ‘current’ view.
Every social movement (being generous here) assumes their moral view point is the last and final word, the utopia of thought and moral system. Of course history has disproved that time and again.
We are in the midst of huge social and political changes trying to catch up with the scientific, technological, informational and societial changes that are out pacing our ability to process and integrate them in a way human civilation has never yet had to attempt.

It distresses me deeply that so many individuals on all sides of the arguements have become such blinkered irrational demagogues. All my life I have wanted to grow and learn, I cannot fathom how so many people can fool themselves so much that they know best and pretend that they have all the ‘facts’ or that just feeling something makes it natural and right in of itself, when never before have I felt so bereft of ‘fair’ data and argument from which to extract meaning.
I do not agree with every view point expressed on this site but I do appreciate the amount of reasoned arguement, as a source of ideas and view points many of which I can share for their intellectual authencity if not always for their conclusions. Those who rage and fume against it need to take time out and consider honestly if that rage is not a symptom of frustration given they cannot ‘authentically’ argue with the need to examine their own preconceptions.
Socrates was not a popular person on the streets of Athens, questioning and infuriating those citzens examining their cherished ideas of self and moral rectitude. The wider echoes of history too? I fear we are in for worse to come with no guarentee of a happy hollywood ending.

Marvin Jones

21st September 2019 at 12:40 pm

His rectum must in reality be a vagina, that’s why this freak has these abnormal feelings.

Eric Lauder

20th September 2019 at 4:48 am

“It might strike the rest of us as pretty darn misogynistic for a man to talk about having a ‘vivacious woman’ inside of him, as if womanhood was a mere feeling, a kind of dance move, little more than a mood that even people with penises can feel every now and then. Way to demean womankind!”

“EVEN people with PENISES”

Oh, look Brenda is trying (again) to use radical feminism to fight against the trans madness.

No way that you’re man, Brenda: men don’t hysterically embrace radical feminist theories, just because they feel threatened.

I’m going to bash you, Brenda, every time that you’ll show your obsession with penis, just like every radical feminist do.
Your alternative being banning me. Just like a radical feminist would do.

Roger Ramjet

18th September 2019 at 7:28 pm

What I really don’t understand is why this matters to anyone. Why does it matter to Brendan O’Neill or anyone else what Sam Smith calls himself. Maybe it’s silly. Maybe it’s justified. But really, who cares? It seems

Tom McClelland

19th September 2019 at 3:16 pm

If it were only a biological male wanting to be called “she” or “they” then I don’t think many people would care much. But the reductionist nature of typical reasoning behind transexual claims (“I like wearing lovely dresses and high heels and makeup”) encourages the dangerous and regressive belief that gender-stereotypical roles significantly define one’s gender, which is the exact opposite of the battle that feminism has been fighting and winning for the last 100 years. Do we really want to define femininity as “doing lady things” like the cross-dressing character in Little Britain?

A further problem arises when people with penises and testicles demand the right to use women’s toilets, or criminal biological males demand that their imprisonment must be in a female prison because they self identify as female. It really doesn’t take much imagination to see that a huge can of worms is opened up the moment people are allowed/encouraged to separate their gender from their biological sex.

Roger Ramjet

24th September 2019 at 8:26 am

Stop obsessing about someone else’s testicles. It’s creepy. Go for a walk. Read a book. Get on with your life and leave other people’s sexual politics to themselves. Eeesh.

Jerry Owen

20th September 2019 at 6:17 pm

Do keep up.. it’s about how other people are pressured into accepting what isn’t and using terminology that is clearly inaccurate.

Roger Ramjet

24th September 2019 at 8:31 am

Aww diddums. Is some feeling pressurised into using terminology they don’t like? How dreadful for you. Let’s all have a whip round. Thoughts and prayers to you at this difficult time and let’s curtail the freedoms of a bunch of people you’ll never meet. Bless.

Oh and try and worry about something that actually matters.

Howard Wiley

18th September 2019 at 2:07 pm

One of the best articles I’ve read this year about anything.

We appear to be living in a multi-dimensional world – not a quantum one, but a personal one – in that we are all watching the same pictures, on the same screen, but enjoying a completely different movie.

Tom McClelland

18th September 2019 at 12:22 pm

I eagerly await Sam Smith returning all of his “Best Male Artist” awards. But I am not going to hold my breath for that.

What I never get is this “I feel like a man”, or “I feel like a woman” that trans people claim to experience. I have literally no idea what it feels like to “Feel like a man”, even though I am one. I just feel like me! It seems an incredibly reductionist view of gender to come out with things like, “I like wearing high heels”, or a trans man to say, “I love playing rugby and fiddling with diesel engines”. As it happens I like reading Mills and Boon romances; does that make me a woman? This is entirely independent of sex preference for sexual partners. Gayness is perfectly comprehensible even if one is not personally gay. Transexuality appears to be more a social/artifical construct.

Jamila Abigail

18th September 2019 at 11:36 am

Honestly all I can say is that i perfectly agree with the writer who wrote this. It’s just so wrong to adress someone like that if you can see that person is a male or female, it’s like against the forces of the universe. I’m not a hater, and I’m happy for Sam and all but nahh fam. It literally doesn’t make sense. And yeah if anyone wants to join his circle they can do that but not all of us want to play that game. Why would anyone in their right ass mind want to adress one person as “they/them”, even a person who didn’t go to school wouldn’t even think of doing that such because it’s common sense.
But anyways aye, goodluck with whatever is going Sam (I don’t even know what to call it), i won’t stop listening to your music bro!


18th September 2019 at 10:47 am

The uncomfortable and interesting truth is that all of this posturing, “what I say goes” and demanding the world on bended knee is all very male. Given more men decide to be a woman it’s not surprising this is the dominant theme. The female to male transitioner above also plays the whining victim which is what many many women can all too easily default to after a bad day or two.

The case that made it into the papers (which was a wonder) where the he who was now a she reacted to being dumped by an amour by taking up a baseball bat and smashing up the local supermarket was pure male aggression. What woman reacts to being dumped that way?

So is it that the testosterone suppressants do not work or is ‘gender’ a real and immutable thing? Once a male, always a male even in “I’m a woman today” mode. “Ladies” (of the temporary kind or formerly gentlemen) if you really ‘feel’ like a woman, then dump the male ego.

It feels to me (and if feeling something makes it so) that it’s men who are failing in some way here and being convinced women have it easier, they seek a solution to their failure by invading that world. That or they’re changing those they are competing with to assure a ‘win’ (until female sport is entirely made up of men self identifying as women that is). Competitive males to the last of them. Read any comments stream on an article about equality – it’s full of men absolutely convinced women have an easier life. Oh dear oh dear – life is not easier and has challenges men are not equipped for mentally.

I don’t really care if a man want to be a woman for a day, he can get on with it. As for being expected to ‘just know’ if the man I’m dealing with means I have confuse language – I’m no mind reader so tough. My concern is the men self identifying as women in order to get their way with women, or girls.

Jerry Owen

19th September 2019 at 12:05 am

Blimey .. I can’t believe I read all that !


19th September 2019 at 10:22 pm

You couldn’t help yourself, eh Jerry. I’ll take that as a good response.

Ward Anthony

19th September 2019 at 3:35 am

Remember when white, heterosexual males were public enemy number one? They ran government, business and the education system where their sexism, racism and patriarchal privilege seeped down and poisoned every social stratum…
But never fear, feminism, gay rights, civil rights and multiculturalism were on the march to rescue the world.
Except now the white, heterosexual males can ‘identify’ as women and what was once the enemy is now recast as the darling minority group du jour.
Trojan horse much?

Mark Lambert

17th September 2019 at 9:36 pm

I know people used to moan (twice in the 20th Century) about mods and rockers and moaned about punks and other youth cultures, but flipping heck, it is what the youth need right now.

Have an interest in dressing up in a fashion and dancing around at the weekend to the music you either saw on Top of the Pops, or were cool enough to go underground with non-chart stuff and brag about it at school.

Then later, when that is all worn off become an accountant or something.

That was all about identity and yes, there would have been some punch ups now and again, but mostly it was fun while looking like you had found something different.
But now the “finding identity” etc has become something quite different while disparaging anyone who questions, with even a visit from the cops if you “misgender” someone.

At least the mods and rockers would say to everyone else, “Yeah, this is ours – you stay away” and not try to get anyone arrested for criticising their fashions.

Jane 70

18th September 2019 at 2:22 pm

I was a mod and my pal was a rocker; we had a great time!

A Game

17th September 2019 at 8:28 pm

“We all strive at times to appear more interesting than we really are.”

Lol, lol, lol. Aint that the truth.

I don’t know about he/him, they/them, I’m still stuck on Who?

Randy Chasewater

17th September 2019 at 7:59 pm

Silly sod, but good publicity stunt though. I don’t even know who he is really, heard the name.. He brews beer in Tadcaster and incidently has the same name as the first person to be killed by ariel bombardment in England. Bless him, with such credentials he should know women only have one beard and its not on the chin….

Shred Red Red

17th September 2019 at 6:29 pm

Sam Smith may not be to everyone’s taste but I and my remain family like his singing. He is obviously a mixed up umanbean with a talent for singing helped by his parents. But, as s linguistic he is lost and he needs to examine the dictionary in order to find out what bloody gender he is. Perhaps he has a bugger’s muddle problem of deciding who gets it.

Jax Matthews

17th September 2019 at 4:35 pm

It must be so sad to be stuck in the old way of thinking… We move on and evolve as a species. Yes freedom of speech is a thing that is and should be allowed. However, when Ur concerning someone else’s life. Weather u agree or not it’s got nothing to do with u. If you don’t like a person’s preferred pronouns then don’t talk about them or write about them because u clearly can’t handle it. No need to make a person’s feelings any less because u lack the compasity to comprehend this topic.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 7:36 pm

You know you’ve totally hit on the solution to these pronoun power games, don’t you? Just don’t talk about the person.
Oops. And that would be counter productive to at least 60% of the reason for the exercise.
Evolved, but anonymous. I like it!

Jim Lawrie

18th September 2019 at 1:20 pm

We are a long way from the evolutionary result of hermaphrodites.

I continue to refer to men as he and women as she. I will not be compelled to recalibrate my speech or accept their refendition of biology and the meaning of words, with future or retrospective force. Whatever unions gays form, they are not marriage.

Just because someone declares themselves a vegetarian does not mean they cannot eat meat, or that I have to in any way cater for them. Nor do I.

Ruth Harte

17th September 2019 at 2:56 pm

What’s occurring today was predicted years ago.
PLEASE read this excellent article by John Allman on ‘Gender Fraud’.

John Allman

17th September 2019 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for that recommendation, Ruth Harte.

Last Friday I joined in the Birmingham City Council case that seeks to no-platform critics of the transgender and other LGBT indoctrination introduced at one of the two out of 258 primary schools in BIrmingham. (That’s a bit more recent than 2005.)

The queering of primary schools

Paul Diamond is my barrister.

Emma Thomson

17th September 2019 at 12:11 pm

Brilliant. Keep fighting for truth in this crazy mixed up identity obsessed world.

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:30 am

I disagree with any one person self-identifying as plural. If not a he or she then its an ‘it’.
Simple grammar, innit?

Jerry Owen

17th September 2019 at 7:45 am

One of the results of the idotic idea that a man can self identify as who they like and we have to believe them , is that criminals can self identify as female .. thus ending up in a female prison and then raping women.
Is this a price worth paying ?
The madness of where identity politics can end up should give the left a wake-up call , but quite frankly they appear to be past that stage now.
They are reduced to a howling wailing mob as we can see here.
All rather pathetic really .

Hana Jinks

18th September 2019 at 3:38 pm

Hi Jerry Oven-Bitch. How does it feel to have a song written about you?

You’ve been sussed as a red bitch, and a total nazi. I’m getting my kicks.

Zack Shillingford

17th September 2019 at 7:17 am

Jesus Christ, that hurt to read. As a trans man, I have been through a lot more than what most cis people have and to be perfectly honest, I don’t get any help on a day to day basis. So, constantly, I am having to validate my masculinity all because of bigoted assholes like you. I am seen as a man, I am a man, and being born a female doesn’t make me any less a man. That goes for everyone else that identifies as they/them, he/him, and she/her, as well.
Further more, go ask science again for more facts on this matter because, I think you will find, that there is physical differences in the brain that determine your sexual orientation and gender identity.

John Andrews

17th September 2019 at 8:03 am

If I say I am Napoleon Bonaparte, am I in fact Napoloen Bonaparte?
If I say I am a black man, am I in fact a black man?
But if I say I am a woman, according to you I am in fact a woman. Even though the genetic differences between me and Napoleon Bonaparte, and me and a black man, are small compared to the genetic differences between me and a woman.
That’s not a logical or consistent position to take, is it? If I can be a woman just by saying I am, then I should also be able to be Napoloeon Bonaparte or a black man if I say I am, shouldn’t I?

Neil McCaughan

17th September 2019 at 10:19 am

“I don’t get any help on a day to day basis”
Why should you? No one else here does.

Tim Hare

17th September 2019 at 11:13 am

That is a very arrogant attitude to say that you have been through more than others have. You have no idea what some people go through in their lives. Not everything is about gender. No one cares what gender you claim to be but they do care that you have such an arrogant attitude to other human beings.

You don’t need help. You need to find security in what you think about yourself and what you have possibly done to your own body. That security comes from self belief and peace of mind. Nothing anyone else does or says can diminish that if you truly possess it.

Michael Lynch

17th September 2019 at 1:01 pm

Zack, about 5000 children will die today in the third world from drinking dirty water (UNICEF report). Some have to walk miles to fetch and drink this filth. So think carefully about the difference with your predicament and theirs before posting again. The world is an unfair and cruel place for the vast majority of humans so you can thank your lucky stars that you were born into a paradise that allows you to ponder such questions. I should imagine when one of those poor children are carrying their gallon of dirty water back to their families questions about gender are the last thing on their little minds.

Jane 70

17th September 2019 at 1:50 pm

Two points: I’ve experienced some fairly horrible set backs along the way, one of which took years to recover from-( however, no wish to start a victim ladder,so enough said);
secondly, do you never worry about the possible long term consequences of this extensive pharmacological and surgical transformation?

This is not meant to be offensive, but surely, the imposition of an opposing phenotype on one’s genotype must entail some risks in the long term.
Is there any evidence of increased morbidity?
Presumably you have to take testosterone regularly to maintain the assumed male identity, and yet your body cells are still expressing XX.

marie k

17th September 2019 at 4:24 pm

Oh my god. That is literally all I can think right now. Who the actual FUCK are you to say such awful things about the LGBT community???? I am a TEENAGER and I can comprehend this basic idea of life. NOT EVERYONE BORN A GENDER IS EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TO THAT GENDER!!! Since mankind exists, there have been people with these problems, and it is UNFAIR AND PURE STUPIDITY to refer to them as not worthy/serious. These are NORMAL PEOPLE, it would be the same if I was going around and telling every person with a mental illness that they are not normal. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING THESE PEOPLE WHAT TO THINK/BE/ACT?? IT IS THEIR DECISION; HAVE YOU EVER EVEN COME CLOSE TO IMAGINE WHAT THEY ARE CURRENTLY FEELING?? THEY ARE CURRENTLY FACING HATE EVERY DAY BECAUSE OF BASTARDS LIKE YOU THAT CANNOT COPE WITH THE FACT THAT NOT EVERY PERSON IS THE SAME AND EVEN IF YOU AREN’T SUPPORTING THEM, MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS!!
Love goes out to every LGBT person out there, reading this unbelievable article. The younger generation is on their way and trying to fix things as fast as possible. Stick in there, we’re trying to help as much as we can <3

Jane 70

18th September 2019 at 2:20 pm

Calm down dear.

Jane 70

18th September 2019 at 2:33 pm

Put aside your outrage for a while and consider the implications of long term hormone therapy combined with drastic surgical procedures: the initial stage of the reassignment programme involves inducing chemical castration; when this has been achieved, administration of the relevant hormone is started: far reaching changes result.Masculinisation or feminisation.

This is then possibly followed by surgical removal of the parts one was born with: a number of studies have attempted to measure morbidity in trans individuals over a fairly lengthy period of time.

These have been done in broadly supportive Scandinavian countries.

Just consider what the imposition of such a massive change to the phenotype of the affected individuals might entail: one’s genotype is, say,XY, while one’s assumed phenotype is now XX, provided treatment is maintained.

I find this deeply disturbing, not least on basic health grounds.

There are also inevitable risks to mental well being and sense of the self’s integrity.

You may not agree with me, this is your right, but just consider what exactly is involved.

Finally, while working in various hospitals, I came across 3 individuals who were attempting to change gender; they were all tragic and disturbing.

Tom McClelland

18th September 2019 at 5:03 pm

What does “emotionally connected to that gender” even mean? No-one knows what it is like to feel “male” or “female”. All we know what it is like to be ourselves. By all means let people with testicles and penises decide to refer to themselves as “she”. If I knew such a person I wouldn’t love (or loathe) them any the less because of it. But to demand that everyone else goes along with their delusion is arrogant and presumptuous.

There are commonplace social constructs of maleness and femaleness, such as the desire to talk about fast cars and football as opposed to clothing accessories and makeup. But it is ludicrously reductionist to say that someone who enjoys the social constructs of maleness (eg belching and farting when one can get away with it) is therefore male, and likewise absurd to say the someone who enjoys the social constructs of femaleness (eg the wearing of high heels in public) is female. If we’ve learned anything from the hard-won battles of feminism over the last century it is that social roles and constructs should decidedly *not* be gender-stereotyped! These social constructs of gender aren’t even consistent across global cultures…

Jerry Owen

19th September 2019 at 12:08 am

You forgot the Q gender … Are you a bigot ?

A Game

17th September 2019 at 7:47 pm

Don’t do that. The hint that the “science” is in. Its not. Anyone spending time in the trans debate knows WPATH is nothing more than a fake cabal of lobbyism.
You want for yourself what you want… but do not dictate to others what they must think. You opted out of womanhood. I don’t blame you. Now enjoy it without the victimised whining.

Darter Noster

21st September 2019 at 6:53 pm

What is masculinity? What does it feel like?

iz scott

17th September 2019 at 7:11 am

SEEING IS TIED INTO THE WAY YOU THINK AND THE IDEALS YOU ARE BROUGHT UP TO BELIEVE IN. AND JUST BECAUSE THIS WAY OF SEEING IS HABITUAL DOESN’T MAKE IT NATURAL. (so fuck off spiked . com and you’re lame platform of cruelty). Sam looks like someone I don’t know, Sam looks like a pop-star, Sam seems pretty brave to me and i’m going to use their pronouns because its kind. Further, being kind brings more love into my life. And it actually feels great to do the non-violent favours and requests that people ask of me and that seem to mean an awful lot to them. I don’t know about Sam’s case, but for many ‘preferred pronouns’ is a step away from terminal sadness. UPYOURS SPIKED

Jerry Owen

19th September 2019 at 12:14 am

Love in your life is .. capital letters and saying up yours Spiked !
How ironic !!

Catalina Urse

17th September 2019 at 1:01 am

How about calling him it? I see a male of the human species at the outside. So it would be more PC to call him that and he can be or feel whatever he likes. I don’t have a problem with the way he is feeling, but is so confusing. And I don’t understand why would you feel the need for people to define you through the way they refer to you. I love him as a singer, btw.

Tim Hare

16th September 2019 at 11:58 pm

He doesn’t feel male or female. There is not much point in telling us how you feel unless we can relate to your feelings. If you tell us you are afraid or angry then every human being can relate to that and perhaps show empathy if it seems reasonable. Telling us you do not feel male or female cannot engage us in any way because unless we know how that feels we cannot respond appropriately. Whatever response we make will not come from any genuine empathy since most of us do not have those feelings.

The only people who can empathise are those who also do not feel male or female so it might be appropriate to tell them how you feel. It is not appropriate to tell anyone else since they cannot genuinely relate. We can only assume the act of ‘telling’ is aimed more at oneself than any particular audience. It seems he is trying to convince himself that he does not feel male or female.

Hugh Oxford

17th September 2019 at 5:50 am

You don’t “feel” male or female. You are male or female.

Anyway, Mr Smith has never been a woman and can never be a woman, and consequently has no idea what it would “feel” like to be a woman, and never can.

Being a woman isn’t a “feeling”, it’s being a human being of the female sex.



16th September 2019 at 10:49 pm

I have no interest in, or opinion about, this issue whatsoever.

olivia henderson

16th September 2019 at 10:42 pm

WOW i love that this is how you spend your time. petty as fuck. don’t tell someone who/what they are.

Kip Kunkle

16th September 2019 at 9:14 pm

Christ, just sing your music. I don’t care what you call yourself, but I ain’t calling anyone a ‘them’. Grow the fuk up. ‘Them’, what a sad pathetic world… you have a cock, you’re a guy. Duh. Non binary nonsense.

Andrew Mawdsley

16th September 2019 at 8:59 pm

This really isn’t hard. If you have a penis and a Y chromosome
you’re generally a fella. Also, if there’s only one of you you can’t be “they” because you’re not a multiple of persons. If you think otherwise then you’re retarded. Not woke, retarded.

Ryan B

16th September 2019 at 9:10 pm

Have you really never said “they” in the singular? Let’s try “Did you hear about that criminal on the loose?” ” No, what did THEY do?!” English has been used this way for centuries.

Alex G

16th September 2019 at 10:06 pm

It’s much clearer in that use though as you have a singular noun “the criminal” which makes it clear that singular “they” is meant here. If a block of sentences uses singular “they” often, then more nouns need to be thrown in to maintain clarity. “I hope they catch the crook” (“I hope they catch them” would be weird though).
Nouns sound unnaturally distant in many contexts though. “The singer released an album they are proud of.” “The artist moved to America to try their luck there.” So the person’s name ends up being repeated weirdly often as the simplest way to anchor the “they” to the singular

Jerry Owen

17th September 2019 at 10:02 am

Ryan … It’s all in the context.. do keep alert at the back !

Andrew Mawdsley

17th September 2019 at 2:21 pm

Ryan B. Regardless of whether or not I have used “they” in the singular isn’t the issue. This ludicrous attempt by a particularly tuneless tosspot to make himself appear more interesting is just yet more chipping away of the English language by people who’s only interest appears to be narcissism. Let’s just agree that he’s not a very good singer and whichever way he / she / it chooses to live their life is perfectly fine, as long as it sits within the boundaries of a civilised society.

Thomas Smith

16th September 2019 at 8:38 pm

To paraphrase Queen Victoria, and bring her up to date, “WE are MUCH amused” at this insanity.
Here’s an editorial from a Brendan, for a change, of which WE heartily approve. Not a whiff of nationalism here. It’s all spot on good sense.

Happytobe Woke

16th September 2019 at 8:07 pm

Sorry dude, you’re still a jerk! Scientifically and psychologically there is overwhelming evidence about gender being non-binary. If your source for information says anything about politics in the search bar… Move on. Look at real evidence, talk to real trans and non-binary people. Stop hiding behind a keyboard, if you were to actually take the time to get to know people somehow I know you wouldn’t be able to say that to their face.

Jerry Owen

16th September 2019 at 9:01 pm

What proportion of the population behave like this ? .. I’ll tell you’s virtually impossible to measure as it’s insignificant.
This is the issue you are not clever enough to grasp… Insignificant minorities are just that and should remain that !
I couldn’t give a toss about how anyone thinks about themselves because it’s a matter for them and should remain in that realm.. which is not in the real world that I inhabit.

Ryan B

16th September 2019 at 9:13 pm

No worries Jerry, from my experience old crotchety jerks like you are a minority, so I’ll just ignore your opinion. Thanks for the tip!

Jerry Owen

17th September 2019 at 7:32 am

Ryan B
Is that your best shot ?

Happytobe Woke

17th September 2019 at 12:54 pm

Not that insignificant is it, since it’s hit the small population of pop stars… And now that Sam is a voice I guess you better get ready. I don’t know what country bumpkin town you live in, but the rest of us are surrounded by individuals who “act this way”. Come out of the dark hole you have been living in and enjoy that rainbow light 🙂

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:59 pm

Wow, you are a gigantic piece of shit.

Kip Kunkle

16th September 2019 at 9:15 pm


A Game

17th September 2019 at 8:00 pm

I could say it to their face, if they put down the pink baseball bat. Yeah?
Trans and non-binary are not comrades in arms. At the moment you are making up each other’s numbers for noise, but you are actually arguing for extremely opposing things. Trans WANT the binary, they just want to be on the other side of it. You want to abolish the binary.
You obviously haven’t seen Mermaids Gender Spectrum… it will fix up your confusion about where you stand re gender identity, toot sweet.
Your case for gender being non-binary seems to settle nicely along the Radical Feminist line that we are our biological sex and gender is stereotypical rubbish. But they are your sworn enemy, aren’t they?
Hot mess, hot mess, hot mess.

Hugh Oxford

16th September 2019 at 7:50 pm

When I refer to someone as he/she or him/her I am not referring to their “gender”. I am referring to their biological sex.

Three billion years of evolution have equipped me to tell the difference between males and females of my own species, as the ability to make such distinctions is necessary for survival.

Additionally, I don’t even recognise the concept of “gender”: a bizarre metaphysical belief system to rival any of the most ludicrous mutterings of the most demented religions, and in a free country, we don’t get to impose our metaphysical beliefs on others.

Ian Batterham

16th September 2019 at 7:31 pm

Next he’ll be complaining he can’t get a young lady in a beauty parlour to wax his testicles or vagina, depending on what he’s using on the day. What a total Muppet!

Lisa Balderson

16th September 2019 at 7:05 pm

I’ve registered on this distasteful thing merely to say. Brenda O’Neil, you seem like a very angry and bitter man. Sam Smith can be whoever, as cananyone else, regardless of who they are. Nobody is being bullied into anything, or being grammatically incorrect, just a mere statement of choice expressed by a human being. Some will care, some will not, but those who choose to vilify should perhaps just ignore what they don’t like, rather than inciting others to also dislike. Petty at best.

John Andrews

17th September 2019 at 8:08 am

“Sam Smith can be whoever, as can anyone else”. If I say I am Napoleon Bonaparte, Lisa, am I fact Napoleon Bonaparte? If I am I have the power to insist that you address me appropriately on pain of being thrown in prison.

Joanna Waters

16th September 2019 at 6:22 pm

Sam’s mountainous group ( “How do you sleep” has an overflowing 107 million view on Youtube) of fans might call this author a rude asshole who doesn’t care about Sam’s feelings, and only cares about the author’s understanding on what defines gender. Is this author a rude asshole since millions would see him that way? Or should we define the author by the way the author thinks about himself?
Also — is the argument really “the majority thought matters?” because if so, perhaps the popular vote should become a thing in America 🙂

Tim Hare

17th September 2019 at 12:12 am

Sam’s feelings are irrelevant. He says he does not feel male or female. This is not a feeling but an expression of opinion. He THINKS he is neither male or female. When he expresses it as an opinion he is able to be challenged as the author has done but when he says he ‘feels’ something everyone rushes to defend him. That is how we manipulate others into doing what we want. We dishonestly appeal to their emotions rather than their reason.

It is this manipulation that passes for genuine debate and people like Sam believe that they should get what they want just because they substitute the word feeling for thinking. A little more honesty and he might be taken seriously.

Len Fiske

16th September 2019 at 6:06 pm

Len Fiske
Perhaps “they” should not have grown a beard. I suppose on one side of the face only would have been acceptable.

James Knight

16th September 2019 at 6:04 pm

Define Me! Define Me! I need Love!

Nathan Bradshaw

16th September 2019 at 5:02 pm

This posts is one of the most hateful things I’ve ever read. Jesus Christ! If they want to be known as a non-binary person and feel more comfortable being reffered to as neither male not female then who the fuck are you to tell them they can’t? Honestly! Leave Sam alone and keep your bigoted, negative views to yourself instead of forcing hate on a world that’s trying to move forward.

John Andrews

17th September 2019 at 8:15 am

Since you mention Him, Nathan, if I decide I am Jesus Christ, and you must henceforth address me as “Our Lord”, is that OK with you? Jesus is much closer to me genetically than a woman is.

If you refuse to accept that I feel more comfortable being reffered [sic] to as “Our Lord”, who the fuck are you to tell me I can’t? By refusing to do that you would be being bigoted and negative and forcing hate on a world that’s trying to move forward, wouldn’t you?

Neil McCaughan

17th September 2019 at 10:23 am

You mean you disagree with it, and can’t construct a reasoned critique?

Mike Ovington

16th September 2019 at 4:46 pm

I don’t know much about gender identity but I know what I see.

Identity Redacted

16th September 2019 at 4:36 pm

The/she/it/they can identify as whatever they please but I and others shouldn’t be bullied into buying into their delusion and ignoring biological fact. How one sees themselves is not how the rest of society should be forced to see them

Jennifer Gainsborough

16th September 2019 at 4:10 pm

Wow. What an angry little rant 😂
Brendan O’Neill seems to be confused about a lot of things. Granted I got bored of reading his drivel after just a few paragraphs but perhaps he could learn to educate himself on a number of things he likes to cry about before publication embarrassing himself. Just a thought.

Jerry Owen

16th September 2019 at 4:20 pm

J Gainsborough
Perhaps you could give us all a clue on what we need to educate ourselves on ?

Ryan B

16th September 2019 at 9:06 pm

Here’s an example: “The BBC report contained the following sentence: ‘Smith said they did not feel male or female, but “I flow somewhere in between”.’ What? That makes no sense. ‘They’ in the first clause of the sentence, and ‘I’ in the second? Smith might ‘flow’, but this sentence certainly doesn’t. The BBC hack who wrote it should be packed off back to writing school.”

Yes it does make sense moron. When “they” is used, it was from the authors perspective, while “I” was from Sam Smith’s perspective. The irony is palpable that he goes on to criticize the other authors writing when this author lacks basic comprehension.

Toni Pereira

16th September 2019 at 5:15 pm

Lol!you aren’t able to see a connection between sex and biology but don’t worry,It is O’Neill who is embarassing himself!!!😂

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:45 am

“before publication embarrassing himself. Just a thought.”
Or perhaps not thought enough?


Gerard Barry

16th September 2019 at 2:31 pm

Sam Smith looks like a man to me. One has to wonder what happened in his life – or what is happening at the larger cultural level – that makes him feel that he is not a man. Has the increasing femininisation of society and all this talk of “toxic masculinity” made some men feel that it’s somehow better to be a woman than a man? We’re living in very strange, decadent times when someone who is quite clearly a man no longer wants to identify as one.

Ward Anthony

17th September 2019 at 3:02 am

There’s a school of thought that this is a backlash against decades of feminist policy. If men and women are completely equal – socially, politically and intellectually – then what fundamental difference is there between them? What could be more equal than being interchangeable?
So take that Germain Greer et. al. you paved the way for this.

Gerard Barry

17th September 2019 at 9:22 am

Good point. But there seems to be more men wanting to be women than the other way around, which is interesting.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 8:11 pm

No, this is post modernist Queer Theory. Radical Feminists are opposed to the appropriation of womanhood by men. Liberal Feminists embrace trans in good faith, probably until the trans person gets in the way of their career. They also both support the sex positive, sex work as agency bunk. Intersectional feminists will see women squashed flat in their race to represent everyone but women.
Its just a way for white people to get in on the oppression stack. So, this singer, white, hetero (?), male… he’s bottom of the heap. Not anymore!

Simon Everett

16th September 2019 at 1:57 pm

In the words of Jordan Peterson (roughly): I can just about live with being told what I should not say, but I absolutely will not accept being told what I must say. You’re a bloke mr Smith – end of

L Strange

16th September 2019 at 1:39 pm

Very good article.

People here may also be interested in a recent article in Quillette (In Praise of Renoir’s Male Gaze) that refers to this subject – the widespread and extremely narcissistic notion that everybody else must share one’s view of oneself. Which is, of course, impossible.

BorisMay May

16th September 2019 at 1:14 pm

The point Mrs ONiel misses is that societies, languages and institutions change.

Sure, as you see things today, society is struggling to get to grips with these new ideas and how they will fit. But if you want society to change (are we allowed to want that?) you have to fight for that change. This is all part of the ongoing discourse in society, the battle for ideas and progress.

As Spiked often opines, good ideas win out and the end and the freedom to make these arguments is how we get these ideas into the world. It wasn’t long ago that society did not approve of same sex relationships, presumably you would have argued that society should have the final say there too? Society once accepted slavery ffs. Perhaps society isn’t always right!

Let’s see how it goes. If these ideas are gaining traction and coming more commonplace then clearly they are winning and you are not. And ironically it soon won’t matter what you think for the very reasons that you argue here today; society will have decided this is what we want and who are you to question that?

Tim Hare

17th September 2019 at 12:19 am

The problem is that it is not ideas being expressed but feelings. He does not feel male or female. How can you argue with that? Society should change because it is reasonable for it to change. It should not change simply on the basis of someone’s subjective feelings.

If he has a genuine argument then let’s hear it but let’s not be manipulated by appeals to emotion.

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 8:04 pm

This is a stupid comment. The article is about gender. The argument is about calling people by preferred pronouns. Yes, it’s based on their feelings, but why does that matter? Why should they have to prove to you they feel a certain way? Why are subjective feelings not a good enough reason to respect someone’s wishes? If your name isn’t Daniel and you prefer being called Daniel and not Dan, I don’t need some objective proof that there is something wrong with being called Dan. Your feelings on it are enough for me to respect you and call you Daniel. Why exactly is that any different when it comes to pronouns? It has no impact on you whatsoever, just like me referring to you as Daniel instead of Dan has no impact on me, but my refusing to do so? Might be very upsetting to you, and I would be a giant asshole if, even though I know you absolutely hate being called Dan, I continue to do so. It is exactly the same here with pronouns. If you know someone prefers “they” and you purposefully use “he” or “she,” you’re just being a prick for the sake of being a prick, and trying to use grammar or biology or whatever other bullshit you come up with as an excuse to continue being a prick.

Katherine Hackett

16th September 2019 at 1:10 pm

‘They’ can be used in a singular form. If you’re referring to an individual whose gender you don’t know, more often than not, you’ll use ‘they.’ For example, if someone says they’ve been to the doctor, you might reply, “Oh, what did THEY say?” I know that people can get very upset and be very sensitive to the possibility of other people not conforming to their expectations, but I’m hopeful that over time, they can grow up and stop crying over things that don’t affect them in any way. Sorry mate, you’re still an ignorant, narrow-minded, pedantic, and ill-informed person. Move with the times or get left behind.

Roger Dodger

16th September 2019 at 2:22 pm

That’s true, right up to the point at which you need to say something that means you have to conjugate a verb.

Ryan B

16th September 2019 at 9:18 pm

Uh, “say” is a conjugated verb in that sentence buddy.

Jerry Owen

16th September 2019 at 4:25 pm

So unless accept the wishes of Sam Smith who is one individual we will be left behind ?
No, I’m leaving Sam Smith behind , thank you very much.

Identity Redacted

16th September 2019 at 4:39 pm

“ I know that people can get very upset and be very sensitive to the possibility of other people not conforming to their expectations”

It’s not our expectations. It’s irrefutable biological fact. And you say it doesn’t affect us but it does. People have been threatened by police for not calling someone by their preferred pronouns. That’s forcing the public to change their everyday speech under threat

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:58 pm

Source? I would love to see a source that proves biological sex and gender (a social construct) are inextricably linked and/or are the same thing.

Nathan Bradshaw

16th September 2019 at 5:08 pm

I completely agree with you. Glad to know not everyone in this comment section is a twat

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:55 pm

Preach. This article is stupid and the comments are full of assholes who need to get over themselves.

Alisha Macklin

16th September 2019 at 1:04 pm

Why does everyone care so much lmao move on. There are bigger issues to worry about like the millions of child workers making objects that we buy everyday like clothes and phones… You all need a reality check !

Oliver Bailey

16th September 2019 at 12:45 pm

The Smiths

Samuel Turner

16th September 2019 at 12:36 pm

A great communitarian-style argument Brendan. The regressive entitlement culture in establishment circles needs to be challenged, and Spiked are doing this very well from a traditional left-wing perspective.

James Martin

16th September 2019 at 12:27 pm

He or she, it’s still a untalented, cowardly, narcissistic faggot.

Alisha Macklin

16th September 2019 at 1:05 pm

More successful than u tho… Someone’s jealous

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:46 am

So does Boris. Are you batting for him, too?

Nathan Bradshaw

16th September 2019 at 5:06 pm

Just are you are still a homophobic twat.

Toni Pereira

16th September 2019 at 5:21 pm

And you’re provably a pedophobic twat…

Neil McCaughan

16th September 2019 at 11:31 am

Actually, he’s still a nobody.

Alisha Macklin

16th September 2019 at 1:05 pm

Makes more money than you lol sourpuss

Neil McCaughan

16th September 2019 at 3:57 pm

And that’s your pitiful criterion to navigate through life, lamebrain?

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 11:31 am

International Pronouns day is on its way.

You couldn’t make it up.

Hugh Oxford

17th September 2019 at 5:53 am

Well that’s exactly what it is. Made up.

Eliot Jordan

16th September 2019 at 11:00 am

Look at me, look at me. Test

PS BON is also right about this cretins music

Eliot Jordan

16th September 2019 at 11:02 am

Auto correct changed Twat to Test

He is also a count then

Scott Buswell

16th September 2019 at 9:07 am

I think ‘it’ is more appropriate than ‘they’. Particularly when referring to a person who continually posts semi-naked selfies on social media.

In Negative

16th September 2019 at 9:06 am

Who’d have thunk that when Genesis P. Orridge was reinventing himself as the Pandrogyne, calling himself “We” and integrating his body with that of his lover that it would go so mainstream? Even in the early days of Throbbing Gristle, P.Orridge was referring to himself as “thee’ in order to interrupt/short circuit the inherent social control within language.

So here’s the question: was P.Orridge a disruptor of language and its inherent socialization or was he part of a future that we’re going to see more and more of? An artist in the proper sense – one that felt and lived the future before it began to happen. In this sense, the society that currently militates against these kinds of transformation may eventually disappear.

Was it Neitzsche that noted each leaf on a tree was an individual and that it was only through a particular habit of language that we referred to them as an ‘oak leaf’ or whatever?

Warren Alexander

16th September 2019 at 9:00 am

If a heterosexual uses a prostitute do they then become buysexual?

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 9:05 am

Brilliant! What about if a trans person uses a gender fluid sex worker?

Warren Alexander

16th September 2019 at 9:10 am

Gender fluids can make a terrible mess on your clothes. Just ask Bill Clinton.

cliff resnick

16th September 2019 at 10:32 am

“post reason”. Love it!

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 11:14 am

As to Gender fluids etc: doing a Monica?

Tom Taylor-Duxbury

16th September 2019 at 8:53 am

Today I’m identifying as a meerkat.

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 11:32 am

Are you comparing the market as well?

Neil McCaughan

16th September 2019 at 11:33 am

I’m an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. You won’t catch me selling insurance.

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 12:03 pm

Help us out and take aim at some wokerons.

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 8:33 am

Smith and McConnell are barmy narcissistic gender-benders .

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 8:39 am


Soon I fear that all 26 letters of the alphabet will be obligatory in ‘identifying’ the various oppressed persons who qualify for special status.

I wonder what the Russians and Greeks use ?

Stephen J

16th September 2019 at 9:22 am


Eliot Jordan

16th September 2019 at 11:03 am

The Alphabet People as Dave Chapelle calls them

Jerry Owen

16th September 2019 at 4:28 pm

Why would they stop at all 26 letters…they live in a reality where there can be more than 26 !!

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:38 am

I rather liked the LGBQERTY that I saw somewhere. It need go no further than that, surely?

Jane 70

17th September 2019 at 1:57 pm

Perhaps the infinity symbol might come in useful to denote an infinite regression of identities.

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:54 pm

God this website is toxic. Yeah it’s so terrible people want to be treated equally and with respect. 🙄 It’s not like LGBTQ+ people receive hate just for being who they are or commit suicide or are murdered or assaulted because of it or have ever been refused basic rights like the ability to get married! Oh wait, they have, and this entire comment section is extremely hateful! Maybe they have a point. 🤔

Michael Lynch

16th September 2019 at 8:32 am

He’s only engaging with this BS in order to revive a flagging career. They all do it and it’s a simple formula that’s as old as time; say or do something outrageous = media coverage = more fame or infamy = more money. Fonda did it in Vietnam because she’d typecast herself as a space bimbo a few years earlier.

Hugh Oxford

17th September 2019 at 5:51 am

Well that’s what I thought

John Strutton

16th September 2019 at 7:43 am

Brilliant article, perfectly reasoned and unassailable in its logic. However, to use “transition” as a verb is a bit hypocritical if you’re going to criticize the grammatical vagaries of the “Woke” brigade… Haha

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:35 am

The Oxford online dictionary states that it’s an intransitive verb, as well as a noun.

christopher barnard

16th September 2019 at 7:35 am

I shall start using the royal we to refer to myself at work.

It’ll be fun waiting to see if anyone is brave enough to ask why.

Jane 70

16th September 2019 at 8:32 am

Good for you! I’m increasingly irritated by having to trawl through tiresome lists of ‘gender identifications’ on ever more online sites.

Steve Roberts

16th September 2019 at 6:59 am

As is becoming the norm with identitarians this is not simply about respect,choice,acceptance or just entitlement. This is about imposition on society without debate or convincing others to adapt or change norms and practices consented and socially agreed to. Feet are stamped, shrill protest ensures in the hope that enough support is gained from those with power to impose upon the majority of us. Sound familiar ? Yes,ridiculous demanding ridicule.We should refuse to bow down to this anti social nonsense . I think it is all summed up in a comment by someone on another thread who said it’s ok to use his words “..Thanks for telling us how you’d prefer to be addressed Sam, but it’s actually out of regard for you that I’ll continue to refer to you using the the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’.

Because the only other way to address you, and your nonbinary brethren and sistren, is ‘self-important attention-seeking fuckwit’.
It really is time now to call these regressive anti social elements out as David Starkey has on BON’s most recent podcast. Enough is enough, give it to them as it is in the language most of us agree with and accept as relevant and justified.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 8:22 pm

Exactly, S. Roberts. The “imposition on society”. Using “astroturfing” as their primary tool. Not a grass roots movement, but funded from the top and spread downwards. You know the classic, 5 people on twitter pretending to be 100? Shout loudly so dopey politicians and diversity trained bureaucrats think this is a real thing.
Anyway, any self respecting homosexual can see their own oblivion in the making. Its been quiet because its only lesbians who have been copping the bullying thus far.

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 7:48 pm

Are you seriously trying to say that someone asking to be called “they” instead of “he” is an imposition on society? Really? Are you that sensitive that soneone else’s pronouns upsets you this much? This is a weird hill for all of you to die on. For you, it’s a word. For them, it’s an identity. It won’t kill you to be respectful and not be an asshole. If you want to talk about social contracts, having respect for other people is definitely one. Do you talk about a woman you see by saying “he”? No, because it’s disrespectful and incorrect. It is the same here, and it has literally zero impact on you or your life. Your psychosocial meltdown is your own, it is not on them. It’s really easy to not give a fuck and just address someone how they prefer. To dig your feet in and decide to be an asshole for some reason is a lot more work. And what exactly is the reason? What are you fighting or defending by refusing to use a pronoun someone asks you to? Your fragile soul can’t handle calling someone “they” instead of he or she? Do you need a safe space on the internet away from all the non-binary people who have the audacity to want to be themselves and be referred to as such? Purposely misgendering someone doesn’t make you a social rebel fighting the PC police or whatever you think you are – it just makes you an asshole who is being an asshole for no reason. Get over yourself, snowflake. No one wants attention more than someone who loudly and proudly proclaims they will be a total dick to random people just ‘cause. Ironically, doing all that will create a lot more attention than just using “they” and moving on with your life like a normal, respectful, well adjusted person and member of society.

Zammo McTrotsky

16th September 2019 at 6:53 am

Fuck off again, Brendan. The narcissism that infects what you lazily call “identity politics”(a slogan, that, not an analytical concept.) is a product of the wholesale marketisation of personhood, and the rejection of observer-independent knowledge is a product of the careful undermining of science in favour of an ideology that only prizes believing in and (more importantly) acting on your monetizable desires. Neither of which are the work of the woke, but are the ideological product of decades of neoliberalism and consumer capitalism. And of course, that is the very project to which you have sold yourself. You have transitioned. But you’re not stunning and brave. You’re a twat.

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:32 am

That may be your opinion… But not stunningly well-argued.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 7:39 pm

I think he has to talk quickly – he can hear them coming with the ice pick.

Jane 70

17th September 2019 at 1:25 pm

Erm, what has this got to do with biological differences? Translation please.

Andrew Leonard

16th September 2019 at 3:18 am

“And so, my fellow Wokerians, ask not what you can do for your country – ask what your country can do for me.”

Michael Lynch

16th September 2019 at 8:25 am


H McLean

16th September 2019 at 1:55 am

This well-reasoned and principled defence of rational thinking will no doubt be drowned out in a sea of woke spittle-flecked outrage that someone has the gall to question the validity of their quest for Orwellian thought control.

Jerry Owen

16th September 2019 at 4:31 pm

As we can see from the outraged comments.. how funny they are to with their faux outrage

Belle Russo

11th October 2019 at 8:11 pm

No it’s not, because “they” is used to refer to a single individual in other circumstances already, and language is always evolving and changing. Language is not some eternal thing that exists outside of human beings that we just so happened to discover. It is a tool created by humans so that we can communicate with one another. If language, or something within language like particular words/definitions or grammar, is not currently working in the way we need, then language changes and adapts so that it can. Trying to fight against people’s identity based on language makes zero sense. We don’t change ourselves to fit within the confines of our language, we change our language to fit us.

Danny Rees

16th September 2019 at 1:46 am

There’s a good chance Sam will read this.

But then again there’s an equal good chance Andora will qualify for the World Cup.

Toni Pereira

16th September 2019 at 5:17 pm

It Will be the Dark Horse,ye cynic!!!

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