Helen Joyce’s ‘Trans’ exposes the false promise of gender identity ideology

Sep 26, 2021 by

by Helen Dale, CapX:

It’s startling how much public discourse is being driven by trans activism and trans issues. Not a week – or even a day – goes by without something trans-related scorching like a tracer bullet across the headlines.

Last Saturday, transwoman Alana McLaughlan won her first MMA bout – to a decidedly mixed reception – against a natal woman. Last Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service left Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme, following outfits like the EHRC and Ofcom out the door. Newton’s Third Law of Culture War Shitfights ensured the reception was similarly mixed, just in an equal and opposite direction.

Then there’s Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who has decided not to attend her party’s annual conference after a typically spittle-flecked online response to her voicing ‘gender-critical’ views.

And all of that was before last Friday’s ruling in the Bell v Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust appeal came down.

Trans people are, after all, a small proportion of the population, whose individual cases are riddled with complexities. And yet we’re currently being offered striking and simplistic narratives that must be upheld if one is to be considered among the morally meritorious. It’s why I don’t want to write about trans issues with the same enthusiasm I did about Brexit. If you’re interested in intellectual history, constitutional law, and parliamentary procedure, then Brexit was like Christmas morning. Apart from certain Continuity Remain conspiracists and Leaverish swear-bears – both easily avoided – the arguments for and against were finely balanced.

Trans isn’t like that. One ‘side’ is clearly right; the other ‘side’ is clearly wrong. Yet it’s the side that punches through wrong and comes out near Young Earth Creationism that, until recently, held the upper hand in local controversies and still does in the United States.

Reading mathematician Helen Joyce’s Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality was a salient reminder that if I don’t draw the line at reviewing ‘trans book number four’, and you come to me in three years’ time to find I’ve written as much on ‘the transgender debate’ as I did about Brexit, stick a fork in me. I’m done.

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