A boy in a dress is just a boy in a dress

Nov 26, 2019 by

by Debbie Hayton, UnHerd:

As a trans woman I’m horrified by the pressure we’re putting on children to choose their gender.

As a child of the 1970s, I can still recall the trauma of watching Elvis Costello jab his finger at me as he sang “Called careers information; have you got yourself an occupation?” My dreams of becoming an astronaut had already evaporated by then and I feared I needed to make a hasty decision before I was conscripted into Oliver’s Army — or worse.

A generation later, the stakes are far higher for our kids. Today the refrain might be Called social media; have you got yourself a gender identity?

It is remarkable that, although we spend so much time talking about gender identity these days nobody can define it without recourse to either circular reasoning or sexist stereotypes — and usually both. Even legislators are guilty; the State of Massachusetts, for example, defines it as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behaviour, whether or not that gender-related identity or behaviour is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth”. Which doesn’t exactly sound very progressive.

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