The gender-neutral attack on motherhood

The gender-neutral attack on motherhood

There is a biological basis to bearing children that no amount of trans activism can erase.

Frank Furedi

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I was genuinely shocked by the news that Freddy McConnell, a transgender man who retained his female reproductive organs and gave birth to a child, lost his High Court case to be registered as the child’s ‘father’ or ‘parent’.

I wasn’t shocked because I disagree with the court’s judgement that the status of ‘mother’ is correctly afforded to a person who carries and gives birth to a baby. And I wasn’t shocked because I support the growing trend towards detaching female biology from pregnancy and motherhood. No, I was shocked precisely because the High Court did not grant McConnell’s wish. And because it did so at a time when Western societies have become so confused over gender and sex that they have usually been more than willing to call into question the biological distinction between men and women.

Even trans activists have been surprised at the ease with which conventional distinctions between men and women have been eroded. Noting the acceptance of gender-neutral pronouns, the emergence of ‘all-gender’ restrooms, and the growing number of US states recognising a third-gender category, one American professor of law, sympathetic to trans activism, noted the ‘stunning speed [with which] non-binary gender identities have gone from obscurity to prominence in American public life’ (1).

The UK and parts of northern Europe have also been hospitable to a dramatic revision of gender identities. It is now sufficient for a biological male to self-identify as a female in order to gain access to women’s toilets, refuges or prisons. Even hitherto girls-only institutions, such as the Guides, are now open to boys who self-identify as females.

Until now, most of the debate around the rise of transgender culture has focused on the rights and wrongs of allowing people to self-identify as male or female in line with their personal inclinations. However, as the McConnell case indicates, the trend towards gender-neutrality promises something more radical still: the abolition of the distinction between the biological category of man and woman. While, in this instance, the law adhered to the distinction, formulated during the case by Ben Jaffey QC, between a ‘person who gives birth and a person who does not’, it is only a matter of time, if present trends continue, before this distinction is eroded.

Not simply about gender

Since its conception in 1955, the term ‘gender’ has been used to distinguish the variable social and cultural roles of men and women, from the biological attributes, from genitalia to chromosomes, of the two sexes. Until recently, even the most radical opponents of conventional gender norms did not question the biological distinction between man and woman.

In recent decades, however, the biological distinction between the sexes has been called into question. Some claim that the variations in hormone levels and chromosomes show that biological differences are far less distinct and far more fluid than previously thought (2). Trans activists even cite the existence of a tiny minority of intersex people, whose reproductive and sexual anatomy diverges from that of the typical male or female, as proof that there are more than two sexes, rather than just deviations from the norm. This argument relies on expanding the meaning of gender and downsizing the significance of sexual differences.

In some cases, it involves giving gender a physiological basis. According to one account, ‘brain anatomy may play a role in one’s gender identity’, which means that ‘identification with a gender contrary to one’s biological sex has physiological roots’. These new forms of gender identity therefore ‘destroy’ the binary conception of sex differences based on the ‘archaic understandings of biology’ (3). Little wonder many activists are now calling for an end to the distinction between sex and gender. As sociologist Rogers Brubaker writes: ‘In recent decades, the distinction has been challenged by those who argue that sex is just as socially and culturally constructed as gender, and that it is therefore misleading to treat sex as biological and gender as cultural.’ (4)

Paradoxically, this means that gender theorists, having once emphasised the cultural dimension of sexual behaviour, are now trying to naturalise gender identities. Their objective is to detach men and women from their biological sex. Hence, for trans activists, gender identity trumps biology. This is why, as the McConnell case illustrates, there is so much focus on what is to be written on a birth certificate. The aim is to erase or marginalise biological sex.

Indeed, so determined is that effort that there are now numerous calls to stop attributing a sex to newborns on birth certificates. So ‘male’ or ‘female’ would be replaced with a simple common gender identity instead. As one gender theorist writes:

‘Put simply, newborns have not yet formed gender identities, but from the very first moment of their existence in this world, they are placed into a binding, binary sex category that may or may not be true to them. A better approach is to create a universal and unifying gender identity until individuals are able to exercise their right to choose it themselves.’ (5)

Gender-neutral parenting certainly sounds liberal and liberating. But in practice, freeing children from ‘binding, binary sex categories’, and burdening them with an unnecessary, life-changing decision, means that adult society evades responsibility for socialising young people.

Gender-neutral parenting also ignores the elementary facts of biology. Children don’t get to decide whether they will become boys or girls. They are not born biologically neutral. When they leave the womb they are already boys and girls in the making. It is not nasty mothers and fathers who impose these biological facts of life on their gullible children. Children may get to decide how they express their girlishness or boyishness and what kind of identity they adopt in later life, but they don’t get to decide the chromosomes they are born with.

Unsexing pregnancy

The project of eliminating binary sex categories also focuses on eliminating the connection between biological women and giving birth. In a world where someone who has given birth can claim to be a father, it is not surprising to discover that the term ‘pregnant woman’ is increasingly criticised as too exclusive. The British Medical Association’s (BMA’s) guidance on ‘inclusive language’ advises its readers to use ‘pregnant people’ instead of the stereotype term ‘pregnant woman’. Why? Because although ‘a large majority of people who have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women’, there are ‘intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant’. But given that virtually every pregnancy involves someone in possession of their female reproductive organs, the attempt to eliminate the term ‘pregnant woman’ is driven by more than the existence of a tiny minority of intersex men. It is driven by a determination to separate women from motherhood.

Unsexing pregnancy constitutes the next stage of the campaign to eliminate the distinction between men and women. Take ‘Unsexing Pregnancy’, a recent essay by David Fontana and Naomi Schoenbaum in the Columbia Law Review, which questions ‘sexed pregnancy’. Its main focus is on unsexing carework, but by questioning pregnancy as a ‘sexed experience unique to women’, Fontana and Schoenbaum implicitly recast pregnancy in sex-neutral terms.

Others have gone further. Jessica Clarke, a US-based law professor, suggests that ‘the law could see pregnancy not as something that only happens to women’s bodies, but also as a bodily condition experienced by people who do not identify as women’ (6). She would also like to see changes in terminology from ‘women affected by pregnancy’ or ‘gestational mothers’, to ‘persons affected by pregnancy’ or ‘gestational parents’ (7).

Clarke justifies changing the language of everyday life on the basis that ‘all pregnant people deserve inclusion’. Unfortunately, this talk of inclusion renders motherhood meaningless. It turns pregnancy into a technical accomplishment performed by de-sexed, binary-neutral individuals.

The subordination of biological sex differences to the imperative of gender-neutrality turns the bringing of children into this world into a socially engineered melodrama. But, as always, it will be the children who will pay the price for the confusion of their elders.

Frank Furedi’s How Fear Works: the Culture of Fear in the 21st Century is published by Bloomsbury Press.

(1) They, Them, and Theirs, by Jessica A. Clarke, 132 Harvard Law Review 894, 2019 ,p896

(2) See for example ‘Bye, Bye, Binary: Updating Birth Certificates to Transcend the Binary of Sex’, by EM Lamm, Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality 28, 2019 p6

(3) ‘Bye, Bye, Binary: Updating Birth Certificates to Transcend the Binary of Sex’, by EM Lamm, Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality 28, 2019, pp8-9

(4) Gender and race in an age of unsettled identities, by R Brubaker, Princeton University Press, 2018, pxi

(5) ‘Bye, Bye, Binary: Updating Birth Certificates to Transcend the Binary of Sex’, by EM Lamm, Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality 28, 2019, p22

(6) ‘Pregnant People?’, by JA Clarke, Colombia Law Review Online, 2019

(7) ‘Pregnant People?’, by JA Clarke, Colombia Law Review Online, 2019

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

A Game

8th October 2019 at 4:23 am

Really good read, but boy, oh, boy, it touches on a mere few squares of the patchwork quilt that is this hideous coup being enacted on society.
We all know its a power grab. Look at what they are upending with this ideology. Not a single thing is left untouched. Language. Science. Tradition. Institutions etc etc etc etc etc.
It began with post modernism in universities in the 90s. Hideous cranks like Judith Butler have made a nice earner of unreadable hogwash, and is now niche superstar. They leaned heavily on peds like Foucault. That would create Queer Theory.
So, yes, academics are to blame as the source.
What we now have is the Trans Ideology happily taking advantage of the post modernist idea to its fullest. The groundwork has been laid already with language control, gender bending, the emergence of gender replacing “biological sex” in our lives – it happened, did anyone notice on forms you get asked gender? People use “gender” instead of “sex” when talking about men and women. These small erosions, these little dupes, even people arguing against Queer Theory often erroneously say gender when they mean sex. That confusion is very handy.
I believe Douglas Murray’s latest – “The Madness of Crowds” goes into where this started, and I saw an interview where he said he finally got around to reading Foucault. Lightbulb. (I’ve ordered it… I await.)
Organisations like Stonewall saw power and money in the Trans and Queer side, so once marriage equality was achieved, they happily threw their lot in behind the T and the Q. Taking down the LGB in the process. (On ongoing issue that looks like they are slowly having to move on and break away. Queer Theory goes after homosexuality, too.)
Did any of this have to ever make sense? No. Not the point of power hungry academia. Does it have to be constructive and helpful? Nope. Not the point of the exercise.
Everyone wonders, where on earth has this come from? What’s been going on?
Radical Feminists have been the only open opponents of this, but being Rad Fems, its been easy to no-platform them, sideline them, marginalise them. The mainstream media has happily played ball in not talking about it. Seriously, don’t read the word feminist and freak out. They have copped it for going against the grain, and they have refused to budge… they have lost jobs, they have been fighting in courts, they are abused, threatened by trans and queer nasties. They refuse to dismantle the reality of biological sex.
Diversity training in all of our institutions has included this stuff, but not as advertised. They have quietly been changing the language of literature, replacing sex with gender, being indoctrinated, ready, we all just thought it was about women/ethnicity/religion. Nope. Midwifery has really copped a bashing in UK. Australian Midwifery Board sent out a question about 3 years ago, asking if everyone was cool about “pregnant parent” and “chest feeder”. They got a resounding “no”. But its creeping in the backdoor, instead. Very sinister. All executives of all organisations and professions are terrified of being labelled “bigot”, not being woke and cool and forward thinking. So, they are signing up to this stuff for all the wrong reasons. They are adding to the success of the brainwashing, the normalising of this nonsensical tripe. Sporting Bodies have shown this in their ineptitude with men competing in women’s sports. Only weightlifting sports bodies have had the guts to put their foot down and say, nah… this is the end of our female category. They are copping it. How dare they not go with the groupthink.
Politicians tend, before legislating, only listen to Trans Activists like Mermaids. So they get smothered in propaganda, and all their tacky bits of “science”. It all sounds so fair and straight forward, right? These poor people, born in the wrong bodies… yes, yes, birth certificates are fair game… whatever these poor people want. They have happily appropriated homosexual civil rights and racial civil rights. (Oh, boy, have they exploited racial civil rights.) Intersex people have been exploited terribly as “proof” of their claims. You either have an intersex condition, which is steeped in biological reality, or you do not. There is no middle ground on that.
In the mean time, the identity politics has been doing their bit by carving society up into identities. “Woman” and “man” are now identities. The introduction of “cis” (they can go f**k emselves on that one) is the effort to take people who just accept that they are their biological sex, because that was the lottery of life, and have no problem with it, either way, and turn it into a choice. Of course, you ask the vast majority of men and women on the planet, what do you identify as… huh? Nothing. No, no, what gender are you? (And remember, gender does not mean biological sex) and they will answer, Man or woman. They don’t know they are now playing the game. The sub-binary of “cis” is the ugly face of this cause. Of course, its a pressure that has been applied mercilessly on women… rarely do you hear about men being forced to conform. Alison Moir the singer, copped it last year or the year before because she said, “I’m a woman, not a cis woman.” How dare she refuse a label someone else has created for her!
Its been bogged down in “toilet use” campaigns… again, those poor people. But that is, again, just another little piece that has been allowed to be seen publicly, working in tandem with everything else, working with what is happening behind the scenes – politicians, bureaucrats, institutions.
Canada, oh, Canada has of course been the trailblazer’s with compelled language and thought control. Legally enforced. Remember that’s how Jordan Peterson got his start.
The scientist, Gad Saad, was almost reduced to begging the committee in charge of crafting the C-16 bill, to understand that tampering with biological reality goes after the very heart of the biological sciences. That his personal field will be wiped out – Evolutionary Psychology, it relies on the whole sex binary of men and women – if you tamper with reality… but no. The feminists, even a Transgender activist who was against the changes, couldn’t crush their wokeness. Its on youtube, if anyone is interested.
Then you have the individual useful idiots, doing their bit because their whole disorder hinges on being validated by society. Like this case. Instead of accepting that society allowed for some tinkering with traditional roles… no, not good enough, it must be total. (I agree with FF – its f**king surreal that finally a wall of sense has been put up.)
BON has done a few articles in “The Australian” newspaper about trans issues, the fight to erase sex from birth certificates. He uses the erasure of historical fact as one of the big reasons its so wrong. And as you can see, Fred’s campaign… paperwork forever will be a muddle, completely useless as an historical, evidentiary trail of society. Shows like “Who do you think you are”… you wouldn’t be able to do anything like that. Genealogy would be gone. 200 years… what’s real, what is a “fact” and what isn’t?
Medically they all hit the wall and have to come clean. There are reported cases where they try not to… but men and women when they have diseases etc… biology still matters. So the arguments FF includes from these crackpots, you can see how self serving they are, but when the rubber meets the road… suddenly its all just play. But language now gets controlled. “Her” prostate cancer. “His” pregnancy, “his” ovarian cancer.
IN the UK, its illegal to not have single sex toilets. That’s been steamrolled, without changing the legislation. Why? For an easier life? For who? (And creating a wealth of problems. Girls not drinking, trying not to need the toilet during the day.)
Its important not to include the homosexual cause in this. Whether you agree or disagree with same sex parenting, you notice that they aren’t destroying biological sex? They are only changing traditional, sex passed parenting roles, but two men as parents… they aren’t lying to their child and saying they aren’t men. They freely acknowledge they are two men. (Or women.) There is no dupe about biological sex. Important not to let that issue interfere with this issue. Which is part of the fun the Trans/Queer ideology has had.
This has to be fought… its grass root campaigning. Letters to MPs, street protests, point of contact protest – at the hospital and being called a pregnant person… correct it, enforce your own label. We are the majority. The woke set are fighting tooth and nail to blackmail and gaslight people into being “good” and therefore, unquestioning of this revolution being enacted.
Posie Parker wrote an in memoriam of Magdalen Berns, recently. This is the issue they found each other in. Completely different women, living quite different lives… but they saw an enemy when it approached.
Graham Linehan has devoted his Twitter account to this cause. (Remainer dick, but he’s got this one right. He wrote Father Ted…if that means anything to anyone.) People should look it up, because the links to everything you need to know are on his page. He has acted as a very good lynchpin in bringing people who have been no-platformed, together. Feminists, lesbians and gays who disagree, Milo Yiannoppoulous (?) has recognised trans/queer is homophobic. This is a cross issue support.
Julia Beck and WoLF are working with The Heritage Foundation in America. There are, of course, those, who are enraged about that. How dare you work with the other side?
UK Labour have a particularly nasty POS called Liam Madigan as a Women’s Officer (apparently successful after a malignant campaign against women) for a constituency or ward. 19 year old, heterosexual male who identifies as a woman. Right. I’m sure we all are dying to be represented by what he thinks about what women’s needs are. Time to abolish women’s offers, methinks.
This is probably a ramble. But as an issue, its bigger than Ben Hur. Its tentacles spread across so many fields, and can only cause the breakdown of any sense of a functioning, cohesive society.
We all have to stand up and attack it, never accept it.
Most people, the vast majority, have no problem with people expressing their personalities (yeah, sticking point with a lot of this crowd… what to do when you don’t have one?) in whatever way they want. That they should be able to move freely without abuse or nastiness, certainly without discrimination is a given. (Which is already legislated for. No appeasing this lot… all or nothing.) But that doesn’t come with the price tag of us all ending up in this black hole of f**kwittery, that serves so very few.
Tasmania in Australia, apparently extremely slow with supporting same sex marriage, so the theory goes, have without batting an eye, legislated blank birth certificates and self ID, to compensate.
Someone brought up the children agenda. I read recently, Susan Nunes describing Queer Theory as anti-woman, anti LGB, and is basically a cult for perverts and degenerates. Boy, the case is to be made that she is completely, utterly right. Someone touches on the children issue and bestiality… yep. The gatekeeping of children has been undermined by wokeness… Mum’s handing their kids over to Drag story time, a classic example. We all know, you discover subculture as you grow up, mostly in your teens. There is zero need for children to be exposed to this. What’s left to discover when they are 16? You can see the jaded degeneracy this ideology wants to create.
Then capitalism has their role. Someone showed a link to an article about the Industrial Medical Complex. Its a great start to how deep the astroturfing goes. People who support the Republican Party with donations, are also funding fake Trans Lobbies and buying up some doctors to spout their rubbish. Why? Isn’t that a clash?
Fight for language. Fight for reason.

A Game

8th October 2019 at 5:09 am

Yeah, bit rambly. Autocorrect guesses wrong too many times and that mean little box they give us… We want a bigger box!
Brexit has a powerful role to play in this. Countries need their sovereignty to deal with this. If the ECJ makes a ruling for the individual’s right over the good of the collective (which we know they already do, Human Rights is one massive campaign for that very thing and it overrules legislature and government policy in doing so), a country is powerless to disagree. But if MPs are answerable to their electorate, who then want the numbers to win government, you can see how democracy caters to what the majority want for their society. Another sly handing over of responsibility for governing by these amateur politicians. Don’t make me choose, don’t make me think, don’t make me commit to anything… but just vote for me. I’m really nice. Let’s stay in the EU!!
Getting out of the EU will be one of the most powerful tools for overturning this madness.
I’m thinking Freddy, who I saw an interview of, has been pleaded with not to appeal this decision (and guess whose thunderdome that will be…), not yet, with Brexit on the line and the Sup Court now under fire and many wanting to see it banished. They would side with Freddy. Precedent has shown that. But this ruling is most certainly not the end of the line for this case. If the UK Remain, the trans lobby will be waiting to fund the appeal.
The “fears” about HRT supplies running out in the case of a Clean Break Brexit, I’m deeply suspicious of. Part of the push to medicalise men who want to be women is to pick up the crashed market of synthetic hormones. HRT was shown to give women cancer. Its now out of fashion. What do with those drugs? Ahhh. Give them to teenage males and men. New market. New profits… essentially unlimited. So who is really sweating on the thought of synthetic estrogen being held up at the port? And who really wants centralised power that caters to individual rights over society’s? Everything ties in.
The NHS is not designed to cater to this. There are some awful things the NHS is currently paying for – sex lessons for trans, that sort of thing – that, frankly, is immoral. This issue gets bigger… its a nice way to undermine the success of countries with public health systems. Who will provide the private healthcare to replace it? Those who are building the hospitals for the expected glut of sex change surgeries. (Which are very hit and miss. They spend a lifetime getting “corrections”. Incontinence for both sides seems to be their fate. Atrophied “vaginas” and vaginas. Cha ching!

Marvin Jones

6th October 2019 at 6:09 pm

How the world has changed in the last 50/70 years. The laws that people make and interpreted by the judiciary surely point to the average intelligent human brain has not progressed but somehow succumbed to insanity and retarded rights of sub humans who are appeased to far beyond what should be regarded as evolution. This is not evolution, it is genetic mutation of the human race.

John Ost

6th October 2019 at 4:17 pm

We already suffer from ignoring biological constructs.
1. We are the only mammal that currently end up with malformed jaws. Yet when the jaws of those who lived in small agrarian or hunter-gather communities are examined, they do not have malformed jaws or teeth crowding. The need for orthodontist and oral surgeons to smash teeth into place and pull “extra” teeth is due to lack of jaw exercise from infancy onward. First infants do not get jaw exercise by nursing for the first 3 plus years of life and then soft foods do not require strong chewing. Sandra Kahn and Paul Ehrlich in their book, Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic”, expand on the above as one of the thesis of the book.
2. The other thesis of the book is that for the immune system to properly develop, infants needs to derive some of their nourishment during the first 3 years after birth from nursing.

Claire D

3rd October 2019 at 12:00 pm

I strongly recommend people and the Spiked editorial to read what Jennifer Bilek (The Federalist) has investigated and written about the billionaires and corporations who fund the Transgender lobby.

Dafyd Jones

1st October 2019 at 11:53 pm

Let’s remember that when a US academic is termed ‘professor’ it can be pretty informal. I’ve come across part time tutors who tout themselves as ‘professor’. When you read the term, prepare to be unimpressed.

Dominic Straiton

1st October 2019 at 3:50 pm

Unless you have been punched in the bollox aged 14 or so your not male.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 12:33 pm

“Clarke justifies changing the language of everyday life on the basis that ‘all pregnant people deserve inclusion’. Unfortunately, this talk of inclusion renders motherhood meaningless. It turns pregnancy into a technical accomplishment performed by de-sexed, binary-neutral individuals.”

It totally excludes the vast majority of people from these decisions.

If you are pregnant you are, temporarily, part of the group known as pregnant women. After a successful pregnancy, you become part of the group known as mothers.
The man who provided the sperm goes from being a man to being a man and a father. For him there is no transitional period or condition equivalent to being pregnant.

When a couple say “we are pregnant” they are abusing language, and worse still, social relations.

When Freddy says men have no idea what women have to go through during pregnancy, she is drawing on her experience as a pregnant woman and drawing attention to it.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

1st October 2019 at 11:47 am

‘It is now sufficient for a biological male to self-identify as a female in order to gain access to women’s toilets, refuges or prisons.’ —

The level of hysteria over this issue is quite something to behold. The Irish changed the law to allow tg people to self-identify legally as whatever they choose without any public reaction whatsoever. Ireland has not been overwhelmed by a plague of self-identifying tg perverts using the law to gain access to women’s spaces and behave inappropriately. It seems that the Irish are a hell of a lot more sensible and grounded than the hysterical Britishers.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 11:29 am

Freddy McConnell has a vagina, womb and ovaries because Freddy McConnell is a woman. Like all women she needed the input of a man to become pregnant.

She also needs a steady supply of drugs to fulfill her fantasy of looking like a man. The consequent facial hair and wearing of trousers does not make her into a man.

cliff resnick

1st October 2019 at 11:15 am

Winston Stanley, please get a life your contribution on these pages are really dragging it down, is that you intentioin are you a wrecker?

cliff resnick

1st October 2019 at 11:16 am

sorry about the spelling “should have gone to Specsavers”

In Negative

1st October 2019 at 11:43 am

I think he’s one of the more interesting contributors, but what would I know.

Jerry Owen

1st October 2019 at 11:48 am

Cliff Resnick
I’ve asked the same question before, unfortunately i now find it difficult to recommend this site to my friends because of this garbage posted on a more and more regular basis.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 1:11 pm

Why are the mods passing it? One of mine is still held up.

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 1:56 pm

You are total nazi, Jerry Oven-Kraut, so l guess your friends are too. Get ’em on here…then we’ll know for sure.

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 2:20 pm

You have been a total nazi to everyone ever since l got here, Oven-Kraut, and that includes me. I’m not gonna let up on you. This is about the fourth time that I’ve had to go thru this now with you, and it’s my fault because l kept forgiving you. Only for you to turn aroynd and continue to be a prick.

Ven Oods

2nd October 2019 at 8:39 am

“i now find it difficult to recommend this site to my friends..”
You’d rather it was a ‘we’re pleased we all agree’ echo-chamber like the Guardian’s comments section?

Ven Oods

2nd October 2019 at 8:48 am

On the other hand, this thread does read like Winston’s been at the mind-altering substances again. In which case, he’s likely not caring about admonishments.

Amelia Cantor

1st October 2019 at 11:10 am

Human beings are not prisoners of their so-called “biology”.

This is a basic tenet of progressive, humanist politics.

I therefore ask, in all seriousness:

How on earth can Spiked claim to be progressive and humanist when they spew so much hate towards the very community (trans folk) that is right in the vanguard of human progress and the rejection of biological essentialism?

Huh?

Of course, it won’t be long before Spiked and their transphobic hate will be history, because
a progressive majority of wombyn, LBGTQIA+ folk, Jewish folk, Muslim folk and other vulnerable communities of colour will lock in here. And those folk have no time whatsoever for “free speech” or any other weird political fetishes of the so-called “Enlightenment” (a white-supremacist racist crypto-genocidal project if ever there was one).

Ward Anthony

2nd October 2019 at 2:36 am

Human beings are not prisoners of their so-called “biology”.

Take a stroll through a palliative or hospice ward and spread the news to the patients.

Cedar Grove

4th October 2019 at 10:46 pm

You mean like those switched-on Muslims baying at LGBQT parents outside Birmingham primary schools recently? The ones terrifying infants on their way to class, because they were reading about two male penguins who took it in turn to keep an egg warm?

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 11:03 am

A child raised by two homosexauls of whatever sex who each claim to be his mother or father will be utterly confused by trying to reconcile the make believe at home, and the reality outside.

The child will be acutely aware that he lacks one or both of a real father or mother, no matter what the homosexuals claim. That child will want to know who his real father or mother is. That child knows the correct meaning and use of the words real, father, and mother.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 1:09 pm

This is why Ruth Davidson’s much publicised move to lesbian motherhood troubled me, and yes I know I’ll be condemned, but for two lesbians to bring up a male child makes one wonder how the boy will learn to accept and develop his innate male identity.

Of course there was a surrogate father, but I don’t know whether he will have any say in the child’s future upbringing.

A friend whose brother is happily married to his husband did point out that it might be better for a child to be brought up by a happy and committed gay couple, than in a dysfunctional heterosexual relationship: witness the recent horror stories about tiny babies being battered by their erstwhile casual fathers/stepfathers.

What do others think? It’s a difficult one.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 2:11 pm

A child has the best chance of success in a family with mother and father.

Social engineering away from that means creating more problems. The middle class gay couple scenario is just whataboutery. It is dangerous because it says that they are better suited to bringing up a child that is not theirs, and the converse, bad parent argument leads to calls for removal of the child. Invariably, it is working class people who lose their children.

Tim Hare

1st October 2019 at 2:12 pm

There is no such thing as innate maleness or femaleness that needs to be nurtured by same gender parents. How do you explain single parenthood? What a child needs to learn to mature into an independent adult can be nurtured by any independent adult regardless of gender. The problem is that not all adults who are charged with nurturing are sufficiently independent enough to do the job.

Independence has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with maturity.

Gareth Edward KING

1st October 2019 at 6:06 pm

It’s quite clear. Gay parents of either sex are two fathers or two mothers as befits the case. No problem there. Of course, the most important thing is that the child grows up in a loving environment. For sure, two men or two women can provide that, or not. Obviously, when a famous gay swimmer (can’t remember his name) says that ‘we’re going to have a baby’ when he refers to his male partner, we all know that there must’ve been a woman in there somewhere. Good luck to them. So, they’re two good-looking men who are ‘going to have a baby’ and it’ll probably be brought up in a wonderful environment to boot. However, the case with this trans-man having a baby is different, it’s obviously an original woman. It can’t be that ‘she’ becomes a ‘he’ and then claims to be its father that’s plainly impossible-men can’t have babies and that’s the end of the story. Sorry to be so ‘old-fashioned’.

Chris Peacock

2nd October 2019 at 10:40 pm

My 2 cents on your question. The kids will be fine, but with a few caveats.
My friend raised two kids in a lesbian relationship, whilst the kids new their father he was pretty much absent until they reached their late teens(my friend and the father of her kids were married then divorced), those kids are now both married with kids of their own, I think what is important is good role models of both sexes in the extended family and friends, the problem I see arising more in these relationships whereby a surrogate/donor is used and not the result of a previous marriage or relationship, is that only one of these two is the biological parent, I do think it is very easy to love a child that is not your ‘own’, I do think this part of the dynamic is what will cause strains in that relationship further down the line, its just an opinion that will be proved one way or another in time, as this is all pretty new territory. So, as long as their are good healthy relationships with males in the extended family these kids will be fine.
I personally think it is a bit selfish to use ‘sperm banks’ and I think it is selfish when gay men use surrogates, more so the latter, it’s one thing for a relationship to breakdown and children to be raised by one parent and in time their new partner, but to ‘remove’ a parent from the equation completely could have detrimental effects on these kids later on in life, the effects of never knowing your mother is going to be interesting, even when in tragic circumstances a child loses their mother her memory will be kept alive by relatives, people will remark on the similarites between the child and their mother, when a surrogate is used it is like ‘a mother’ never existed, for me that would be a constant source of sadness, a sadness that the child will probably not even understand until it is an adult in therapy. What do you think?

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 10:38 am

One mother. One father.

No genital embellishment needed.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 11:21 am

O a cheer for refreshing good sense! Upticks galore!

Nettie G

1st October 2019 at 10:26 am

Omg! If a woman carries a child through pregnancy with her own reproductive organ and gives birth to said child than its the child’s mother not father. Biologically a man cannot carry a child has he has different reproductive organs. Therefore, he is the father. If you are biologically a woman = mother. Biologically a. Man = father. This world is going bloody stupid. No doubt because I have my own opinion and views because they don’t conform or agree otherwise I will get slammed with hate. God forbid people don’t always agree with others. Why can’t we all just agree to disagree.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 10:41 am

“If a woman carries a child through pregnancy with her own reproductive organ and gives birth to said child … ” there is no “if” Nettie. That is the only way it can be done.

Ven Oods

2nd October 2019 at 8:45 am

There is an ‘if’, since not all pregnancies are successful. At least, that’s what I thought was meant.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 11:10 am

Since the child will share your views it will be necessary to drum in daily an altered reality, which will not prevail.

For these people the best portmanteau of the words mum and dad = dum.

Michael Lynch

1st October 2019 at 12:09 pm

Excellent. Imagine both parents want to be gender neutral then you’d get a Dum dum pair!

James Chilton

1st October 2019 at 9:30 am

The “elders” who want to impose this gender-neutrality nonsense on children are not simply “confused”, they’re absolutely crackers.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 11:22 am

And dangerous

In Negative

1st October 2019 at 9:12 am

So I am confused. When I wrote on Brendan’s piece, I said that ‘father’ meant ‘parent with the penis.” Here we have ‘mother’ defined as “parent that gives birth”. One assumes that in cases of adoption it’s the female that becomes the mother though? Or are they both fathers?

I’m going to stick with my original definition I think: ‘mother’ = the biological female parent and ‘father’ = the biological male parent.

But again, I reiterate, this is in any case a radical departure from the meaning of the concepts as they were recently understood and experienced. Previously they referred to something more. They had a cultural meaning beyond what they designated as biological facts. ‘Father’ meant provider’, ‘head of household’, etc. whereas ‘mother’ meant ‘primary care giver’. They even had connection to religious text – Mary the mother and God the father. All that stuff came with them at the level of the sign and deep cultural connotation.

In this sense, it seems perfectly reasonable to think the concepts could detach from biology. It is perfectly understandable that one may experience themselves as a ‘father’ and experience their partner as a ‘mother’ even though the parents are the same sex. The cultural connection seems to me to be something that runs much deeper than designating a mere biological fact. To reduce ‘father’ to ‘biological male parent’ is a pallid bureaucratic reconstitution of the word and is in itself somewhat revolutionary.

But let us go deeper than just the word-games here. I am currently in the process of moving over to a far less dualist understanding of ‘reality’. When was it exactly that Cartesian dualism so thoroughly won the mind-body problem anyway? My own thinking today is that maybe there really is a profound link between what is thought/believed/willed and the actual so-called material world that we observe. There may even be a materialist way in which we can describe this.

Let us say that ‘Father’ defined as biological male parent’ is a superficial designation. It has no deep experiential quality – it merely describes the world. ‘Father’ defined in its cultural sense is a deep, experiential conception of the word. It goes to the heart of how we experience ourselves and *see* each other.

In the depth of this “experience of ourselves,” could we not say it has capacity for physiological reorganisation? Does it not even supervene on its own unique physiological state? So can we not say that there is an actual biological brain and chemical state that is suited to ‘gender fluidity’ that is different to the bio-chemical state that is suited to gender differentiation? And are we not changed, bit by bit, by what we think and how we organise culturally? When we do our experiments, measure our hormones, look at our brain shapes, scan our neural activity, we do so in a particular era at a particular time. We can say nothing about those biological states that never experienced central heating.

“Some claim that the variations in hormone levels and chromosomes show that biological differences are far less distinct and far more fluid than previously thought ”

Well, maybe they will become so the more we look for them and the more open we become to them.

Just some thoughts.

Tim Hare

1st October 2019 at 11:13 am

Whether those cultural characteristics were applicable to biological fathers is a moot point. What is relevant is whether they can still be sustained for cultural reasons now and if so what are those cultural reasons.

No one seems able to provide good reasons to sustain them now. No one can demonstrate why a parent needs to be designated as anything other than a parent. If a person says they are the child’s parent we can tell by looking at them whether they are the mother or the father. The only information any cultural institution might need is to affirm parental or guardian status. They do not need documentation to know what gender the parent is since it is obvious without bureaucratic intervention.

In the case of this person there is no good reason why anyone would need to know his current gender since they would deduce this from looking at him. If he is the parent and he is male then everyone would assume he is the father of his child. So what does he want and why are the courts involved in giving it to him?

He wants some official recognition of his fatherhood but no one else has such recognition by the state. It is not necessary to legislate for what is obvious. Why does he want it if not as recognition of his gender by the state? Presumably he already has that if he has legally changed his gender so what else can he be looking for except even more affirmation of his maleness by society. He wants what no other man has which is a statement by the state that he is male.

The courts and the people whom they serve should not be involved in giving something to an individual which he has no good reason to have.

Jim Lawrie

1st October 2019 at 12:43 pm

She also wants to impose on all of us her choice of meaning for the words father and mother. Such linguistic changes need direct intervention and are authoritarian. They restrict our freedom and ability to communicate.

Stephen J

1st October 2019 at 8:42 am

For me, the argument is a bit skewed. Not only are the male accoutrements to be seen dangling in all their glory, and the female ones dangling from a different location, these are physical evidence that these are biologically different constructs.

But the minds of people are also biological in nature… Yes nurture can alter stuff, but we all know that a male will head for the guns and a female will head for the dolls, given the opportunity.

But you have to wonder why this is such a big issue now?

My feeling is that in the first world, we have become somewhat decadent, we have governments that believe that it is within their remit to lead people like sheep through life, make determinations on EVERYTHING, and make money out of those who disagree.

Actually, if government let people be, and did not try to control every single breath we take, these things would sort themselves out.

Special interest groups, virtue signalling, environmental oneupmanship, and other pointless games that are played by bored lefty/government types, are what we should be going after, rather than those who can’t remember what words they should be using, or prefer to be free to say whatever they want.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 11:19 am

You’re right and to me it’s a sign of corruption -the decadence that you mention.

Didn’t something like this occur in the Roman Empire?

https://www.historyextra.com/period/roman/in-bed-with-the-romans-a-brief-history-of-sex-in-ancient-rome/

Another possible outcome of this extreme tolerance/moral/ social relativism is that calls for lowering the age of consent might well follow: denying the legality of sexual relationships below the age of 16, might come to be seen as regressive and authoritarian and out of touch with ‘progress’ by the woke, though how they’ll manage to include this in their halo signalling agenda remains to be seen.

My previous comment raised this, but it’s stuck in moderation land.

And then what? Incest-a matter for consenting adults? Bestiality? I was showing love for my dog/cat/horse/snake : the mind boggles.

What do others think?

Claire D

1st October 2019 at 12:20 pm

I have argued on the Woke piece that we have probably reached the limits of our tolerance with regard to sexual preferences and I think you are right Jane, I cannot see how, unless we call a halt and backtrack on the Transgender policy, we can avoid venturing into the territories which you mention.

I also have known many underage girls get pregnant and happily go ahead with it, it has never stopped or declined very much. In my experience they want to be mothers, they take it as a given that they will enjoy it and usually do. Whether that’s right or wrong is another matter, it certainly costs money from the public purse. According to the testament of an old Norfolk poacher, in the 1860s it was common for girls to have 2 or 3 children before getting married followed by several after. Despite all the political machinations of our times I don’t think you will change human nature.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 1:00 pm

@ Claire D; your comment of 12.20 I think you’re right Claire,although it saddens me that virtual children think that getting pregnant is the way to a happy life.
My pal recalls from the in flight conversation that the youngster’s mother was not overjoyed: presumably, she will have to take on the role of grandmother/proxy mother while the child mother goes back to school.

Claire D

2nd October 2019 at 9:20 am

Just to correct an error I made; I muddled two books I read recently, it was A L Rowse, the historian, writing about his working class childhood in Cornwall, who referred to the marriage customs in that area in the late 1800s not the Norfolk Poacher of ‘ I walked by Night ‘ fame.

bf bf

1st October 2019 at 8:38 am

UTTER INSANITY

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 8:29 am

Forgive my going off message ,but here is another take on the whole topic of motherhood: a friend recently flew to Spain with her family and found herself sitting next to a very young girl who was using crutches.

A conversation ensued in which the youngster, who my pal judged to be 13 at the most, revealed that she was using crutches because she was pregnant! Apparently her hip joints have not yet developed full stability owing to her youth, and cannot support the weight of the foetus.

She then said that she was really excited and couldn’t wait for her scan on return to the UK.

Friend managed to conceal her shock and dismay, but what does this reveal about the state of our society when a 12-13 year old can be excited about being pregnant?

No sign of distress or worry about her future prospects.

The act of conception would be classed a statutory rape, yet here we are : motherhood now celebrated by trans gender folk and children under the age of consent.

This is all deeply disturbing.

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 8:44 am

Not to condone it, but lots of kids have sex at that age and a few of them are bound to get pregnant. I actually think it’s far preferable that she’s excited and positive about it, and it would be very difficult for her if she wasn’t. I lived in Japan for a while and abortion is used like the morning-after pill there. Lot’s of fourteen yr olds in my area were falling pregnant and the expectation was that if they wanted to avoid a difficult life, then they should have one.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 10:42 am

It is worrying though Hana; over here ,kids are fed a regular online diet of various celebs proudly displaying their bumps, usually with fiances, boyfriends, occasionally husbands

. It seems that after all our years of striving for careers, and equality, we now have young girls-and there are plenty of single teenaged mums in my small town-who see it as the ultimate-get pregnant .

Very sad and I would have thought, and I guess you won’t agree with me-that an early termination would have been the better choice for such a young girl. Plus advice on safe sex and contraception.

A reflection of our strange times.

Stephen J

1st October 2019 at 9:06 am

You have listed the drawbacks Jane…

But what about the benefits?

(Boom Boom!)

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 10:37 am

Ha, ha -more teenage mums?

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 11:08 am

And lots more benefits-ask the DWP

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 1:44 pm

Jane 70

Aaahh..l didn’t see that side of it…the badge of honour side, which is horrifying. And going on benefits is probably something that some people aim for. But no, l would never agree that abortion is the annswer. Why should the baby be punished because they can’t take responsibility for their actions? It’s a life, and it shouldn’t be killed for convenience.

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:28 am

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 7:52 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:21 am

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 7:26 am

My idea of fun is killing everyone. We must have the same hobby.

https://youtu.be/XDw6fpdPbSI

Tim Hare

1st October 2019 at 7:20 am

This is not about “the abolition of the distinction between the biological category of man and woman.” It is about wasting public resources on appeasing the insecurities of some transgender people.

If this person is truly convinced that he is the father of his child then he would not care what anyone else thinks. In practical terms it does not matter if he is the mother or the father. He is the parent and that is all he needs to know and all that society needs to know. However, he wants society to agree that he is the father not because it matters in any real sense but because he wants society to affirm that he is male.

This is his real intent. Not content with having done all that he can to change gender and all that he can to get society to affirm his ‘feelings’ of being a man he now wants more. He wants more affirmation of his maleness from society by trying to get society to call him a father. He knows that fatherhood is synonymous with maleness. It is not his fatherhood that he wants affirmed but his maleness.

Society should be outraged not because of any threat to distinction between biological categories of man and women but because our most valued institutions of law and order are being abused simply in order to satisfy the rabid insecurities of a person who has changed gender and is not sure that they are what they claim to be.

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:16 am

British-India is the FASCIST STATE

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:16 am

British-India is suppressing me comment

Andrew Leonard

1st October 2019 at 7:18 am

Get a grip

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 7:22 am

Grip like a vice.

https://youtu.be/w6KfJcjrSTM

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:06 am

bRITISH STATE

COME AND FIGHT WITH ME
bRITISH sTATE WE fully INTEND TO EXECUTE YOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjuwD5MuhKI

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 7:17 am

If l make list of all the nazi’s that creep me out, then l feel a lot better.

https://youtu.be/OXjCQSksteI

Hana Jinks

1st October 2019 at 7:21 am

I tried to warn babydoll about this. Now he’s the living dead.

https://youtu.be/nlZkUUX7rCE

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:04 am

bRITISH sTATE WE fully INTEND TO EXECUTE YOU

..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjuwD5MuhKI

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:02 am

bRITISH state WE FULLY INTEND TO EXECUTE YOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjuwD5MuhKI

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 7:00 am

Fighting with the BS IN bwf

always FIGHTING WITH bs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtlUGNg_zrk

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:55 am

Po lice and thief

Fighting the nation with dem GUN and amination

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nz_uSssKTw

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:50 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:49 am

HOOORAY THE IRA

HOORAH THE IRA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_432s60y5w

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:46 am

F the British and the Irish state that hunted us down

And we hunted them down

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXLnSkGmTdQ

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:34 am

Armoured cars n tanks n guns

came to take away our sons

and every man must stand behind the wire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXzhEokVn0s

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:28 am

Come out ye black and tan come out and fight me like a man
Tell ye wife how ye won medal down in Flanders

Tell e’r how the IRA made you run like hell away
No surrender to the British State !!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCnGD6xv5ik

Jerry Owen

1st October 2019 at 10:18 pm

Your support for the IRA disgusts me .

H McLean

1st October 2019 at 6:26 am

It all goes to show just how misanthropic academia has become. The world would instantly be an order of magnitude better if every academic gender theorist across the planet just stopped.

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 8:19 am

If only

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:19 am

Come and fight with me

And I wish that I was home in Derry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCch_W2Ro38

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:21 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:13 am

British State is DELETING my comments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b21zIF3lAZo

jessica christon

1st October 2019 at 7:42 am

Go to bed.

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 6:10 am

Your comment is AWAITINNG MODERARTION

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 5:25 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 5:49 am

Sorry we n/ver intended to EXECUTE you all in public

But we is the British State

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwybxj0Dnzc

Jane 70

1st October 2019 at 5:09 am

Try as I may, I cannot understand why gender-bending is now viewed as a sign of progress.
Why the persistent, and to me, sinister attempts to undermine our basic biological attributes?
Furthermore, as I questioned in another thread, what are the long term physiological and psychological consequences likely to be? In other words, will morbidity increase in the years ahead?
If one’s genotype is XX, the body’s cells are programmed to express this and to maintain it, whereas hormone therapy will override this and impose a constructed XY phenotype,or vice versa.
This must have consequences in the long term.
What price for the children being born into this brave new world of fluidity, where nothing is fixed, all is relative, identity is whatever takes your fancy?
Another concern for me, is that if gender simply becomes a matter of personal choice, based on the supremacy of individual rights, what next?
The age of consent for sexual acts?
Will these so called progressives decide that children should not be constrained and that the present age of 16 is too regressive and authoritarian?
This could pave the way for a woke version of the awful paedophile information exchange; I hope this won’t happen, but the lunacy now on the march seems to accept no limits.

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 5:02 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 4:44 am

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 3:59 am

Wow Janet had a massive hit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCVR5XR04Mo

Andrew Leonard

1st October 2019 at 2:36 am

“[…] Western societies have become so confused over gender and sex that they have usually been more than willing to call into question the biological distinction between men and women.”

Unprecedented in the history of human civilisation.
Who benefits from theses trends?
What explains this desire to homogenise males and females?
I think all social trends should be examined in the widest possible context.
Is homogenisation a general trend?
I think the history of Brasilia is relevant.
https://blogs.ubc.ca/urbs/2012/12/10/le-corbusier-ruin-value-and-brasilia/
Brasilia was a social disaster, but was praised by bureaucrats.
Homogenisation of planning inputs, simplifies management and decreases costs. This is what bureaucrats and politicians want, but it can be a disaster for the public, whose needs and values are very different.
This is what occurs when government is given too much scope and power – it will begin to alter the very things it is supposed to be working for. Unfortunately ‘things’ includes people.

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 1:29 am

Frank wants to ‘ave a baby, well ironic. Anyways, nuff of dat nonsuns.

What about freedom of speech or just freedom? Well, dreadlocks cant live in dis tenement yard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5sOdcK2hp4

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 1:55 am

Maybe there are some basic truths and Frank has to reach for ‘is water pistol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehb6cqZZTdk

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 2:31 am

The poor woman kill ‘er baby but that is nothing to celebrate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WocrV1Mi494

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 2:51 am

Looks are deceiving, the last man will have the last say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_txjE3kmtVk

Winston Stanley

1st October 2019 at 3:29 am

Everyone knows, stick a bush

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIJBhetbtFI

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