What gives men the right to use gender activism as a cover for misogyny?
And lo, it has come to pass. The rise of gender ideology — which for too long was dismissed as too niche and irrelevant to discuss by those too sexist or just too cowardly to listen to women’s concerns — has now exploded into a constitutional showdown, with the UK government blocking Nicola Sturgeon’s wildly unpopular gender recognition reform bill.
For those of us who have been writing for years about the insanity of rewriting the law to accommodate something no one can even define (is gender a feeling? A soul? Simple masculinity or femininity?), this feels a bit like watching your local cult band play at Wembley. Or, to put it from the perspective of those who desperately tried to pretend no problems could possibly arise from a philosophy that tries to rewrite the human experience, insisting being a woman is a mere feeling rather than a fact, this is like having a stain on your ceiling which you tried to ignore, only for it to then cause your whole house to collapse.
It was inevitable the fantasies sold by gender activists would crash on the hard rocks of reality, and not just because of the endless internal contradictions (if gender is different from biological sex, and given that sport is segregated by sex, why are trans women now on women’s sports teams?). The movement is increasingly underpinned by a frothing misogyny that is becoming all too visible to even the most casual observers. Some insist it is impossible to engage rationally with this “debate” because, they say, “both sides are equally toxic”. Parliament last week gave lie to that. When Rosie Duffield spoke on Tuesday, calmly — and rightly — saying that Scotland’s bill “clearly conflicts with the Equality Act and would have repercussions for women across the UK”, she was jeered by men in her own party, most obviously Ben Bradshaw and Lloyd Russell-Moyle. After Conservative MP Miriam Cates spoke about the threats the bill poses to women’s “dignity and safety”, Russell-Moyle, pink with rage, called Cates’s speech “disgusting” and added, wagging his finger: “You should be ashamed!”