Brendan O'neill #enbyphobia spiked-online.com
It’s time to call out the nonsense of nonbinary
What’s more important – women’s rights or Sam Smith’s feelings? We’ve had a loud and clear answer to that maddest of questions over the past few days. It’s Sam Smith’s feelings. Of course it is. The right of this ear-piercing nonbinary balladeer not to suffer the indignity of winning an award with the word ‘male’ on it – despite his obviously being a bloke – takes precedence over the right of female pop artists to have their own sexed awards category and to pick up gongs for their work. Smith’s eccentric identity trumps your right to win prizes, ladies. Suck it up.
It’s their surprise that is surprising. Gender-critical voices warned that collapsing the male and female categories into one flabby, woke, unsexed Artist of the Year field would disadvantage pop’s women. Even the Brits itself seemed to see the downsides to genderfluidity. In 2021, in response to the trans lament that having male and female categories excludes those, like Smith, who fantasise that they’re post-sex, the Brits said it would make changes. But if change ‘unintentionally leads to less inclusion, then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality’, it warned. That’s now happened. The infinitesimally small number of nonbinary pop acts are included, women are not. In 2023, anyway.
There are some important points to make here. First, Sam Smith was not ‘excluded’ from the Brits. That’s just nonsense. It is demeaning to those who have suffered real oppression to describe a bloke’s infantile, hammy refusal to accept a gong with the word ‘male’ on it as oppression. A man saying ‘Ooh, I can’t accept that award because its wording will offend my outlandish identity as a “they”’ is about as far from Rosa Parks as you can get. Smith excluded himself from the Brits by being in denial about his maleness. He, and Corrin and D’Arcy and the other fashionably post-gender celebs, opted out of sex, and by extension out of sexed awards. It’s on them. Why should awards change to accommodate the faddish beliefs of a nonbinary clique?