Welcome to Transtopia

 

Hi. You’ve reached Lily Maynard’s blog. Welcome.

If you’re a first time visitor, please start here.

In late 2015, my teenage daughter Jessie declared she was transgender and the experience tugged us into a rabbit hole of Orwellian double-speak and general insanity. I read so much during that time and it was such a vast learning curve that I felt compelled to bring all the threads together in an article.  I was especially struck by the exponential surge in the number of teenage girls who were ‘identifying’ as boys, usually young lesbians and usually after lengthy sessions on social media.

After Jessie desisted, I wanted to share what I’d read as well as what I’d learned and eventually I finished writing an article which contained over 100 links. Jessie added a short postscript of her own and I was delighted when 4thwavenow published it in December 2016 under the title ‘A Mum’s Voyage Through Transtopia – a tale of love and desistance’.

I’ve since re-published the article here on my own blog.

Before you ask me any questions; before you critcise or praise my stance on transitioning kids, or the appropriation of womanhood by men, please read that. It’s where it all began.

After Jessie re-realised she was a girl and things settled down at home,  I expected to put my time in Transtopia behind me and move on. Instead I became more fascinated- and angry- with the culture of misogyny and homophobia which underlies transgender theory.

For without stereotypes there can be no ‘brave transgender children’. Without the dolls and the pink tutus, a love of glitter, a gentle nature and a will to dance, what could possibly make girls of the little boys of ‘My Transgender Summer Camp’? What other than her love of Batman, karate and jumping around could make that short-haired, fierce little girl into a boy trapped in a female body? A feeling?  How does a boy feel? How does a girl feel?

Without sexism, there can be no transgenderism. Without the idea that there is a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ way to be a boy or a girl there would be no need to beguile and medicate these kids in an attempt to make them ‘fit in’. Our current culture of blind affirmation is not doing anyone any favours.  It is nothing short of abusive to tell a child that they are ‘wrong’, that they have been ‘born in the wrong body’ or that medication and surgery can make them into the opposite sex.  Affirming a trans-identified child- and many of these kids are LGB, autistic, have suffered trauma, abuse or loss, or have co-existing mental health issues- is to set them down a path to becoming a life-long medical patient.

This first step down this pathway begins with agreeing with a confused girl that she is a boy.  21st century kids who undergo social transition young frequently progress to puberty blockers. Children given puberty blockers almost always go one to take cross sex hormones. This combination leaves a child sterile and without sexual function.

What would have happened if I had affirmed my child when she told me she was a boy?

I would have called her by her new name and ‘he/him’ pronouns.

This would have told her that I believed she was not a girl, that I thought she had been ‘born wrong’ and needed fixing in order to be her ‘authentic’ self. It would also have affirmed her delusion, every day.

I would have paid for her to see a private therapist.

Most private therapists will tell you trans-identified children become suicidal if not transitioned. The reality is, there is no data to support the idea that they are more at risk than any other child being seen under child mental health services.

I would have accessed my child cross-sex hormones.

Don’t believe those who tell you about lengthy waiting lists. If you are broke and follow the NHS route, yes. If you’ve got a couple of hundred quid spare, you can get hormones for your child quickly and easily. Gender GP is just one of the services that has prescribed testosterone for girls as young as twelve. Before we jump to blame the parents, consider: is it any wonder parents resort to this when they’ve been told their child may kill themselves otherwise?

Girls on testosterone often develop acne and male pattern baldness. They grow beards. The beards, baldness and deepened voice are irreversible. They are also at higher risk of heart attack and other diseased and illnesses. Most doctors recommend a hysterectomy within 5 years of being on testosterone.

Top surgery would be next.

Why wouldn’t it be? By this point everyone would have been using my child’s new name and pronouns. Everyone would be agreeing with her that she was a boy. She would probably be using a binder, with all the health risks that entails. It would seem like natural progression to have an elective double mastectomy. In the USA, girls as young as 13 have undergone this procedure.

She might have chosen to go on to have phalloplasty, where the skin of the arm is stripped to form a tube of flesh that’s attached between the legs. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong with this procedure.

And there we would have it.

My dysphoric child would have been left dependent on drugs and the affirmation of others to maintain this illusion for the rest of her life. And you know what? She could still never be a man.

In what world is this progressive?

You can read mine & Jessie’s story here with a post-script by my daughter.

 

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Transitioning kids – why it’s always about sexism & homophobia

A clip posted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Twitter a couple of days ago has been shared all over the world on various social media platforms, reaching millions of viewers and provoking diverse reactions in those who view it. The clip is of father Brandon Bouleware, lawyer and self-described ‘Christian son of a Methodist minister’, addressing the Missouri House of Representatives on March 3rd, 2021.

House Joint Resolution 53, if passed, Bouleware tells the House, “will have real effect on real people. It will affect my daughter. It will mean she cannot play on the girls’ volleyball team, or dance squad or tennis team.” Bouleware’s voice breaks slightly as he begs,“I ask you, please don’t take that away from my daughter.”

Bouleware clearly cares about his child. He has travelled to the House of Representatives to fight her corner. We don’t know how old Bouleware’s daughter is, but we do know one significant thing: Bouleware’s daughter is a boy.

Bouleware is calling on lawmakers to reject House Joint Resolution 53 which would write into the Missouri state constitution that boys could not play on girls’ sports or athletics teams, even if they identify as girls. Missouri is one of 20 US states considering taking such action after Mississipi passed such a bill earlier this month.

“US father pleads against bill that would ban trans daughter’s right to play sport” reports the Guardian, but this isn’t entirely true, is it?  Bouleware’s child is not being ‘banned from sport’, it’s just being suggested that he shouldn’t be allowed to play on the girls’ team.

The child may really, really, really want to play on the girls’ team and yes, when your kid really wants something and they can’t have it it breaks your heart, but there is more than the feelings of one child to consider here.

Because this child is not a girl.

Who gets to play

There are lots of different criteria which decide who can play on a sports team. A Missouri child cannot, for example, play on an Illinois team, because they are not from Illinois. A child without mobility issues cannot play on a team for kids in wheelchairs, because they have full use of their legs. A seven year old cannot play on an Over 11s team, because they are too young.  And a boy should not be allowed to play on a girls’ team, because he is not a girl.

Allowing this to happen will indeed have “a real effect on real people”. Those people are girls: because once you let boys on the girls’ team, it isn’t a girls’ team any more. Once you tell girls that a boy can be a girl, the word girl doesn’t mean much anymore.

How can we understand that the other scenarios above are unreasonable and yet be so blinkered on this issue? How does a culture reach a point where its sexism is so ingrained that it is willing to call a boy a girl and a girl a boy and pat itself on the back for doing so?

Despite our current protestations to the contrary, our culture remains both sexist and homophobic. There are still restrictive rules concerning how boys and girls should behave and woe betide those who break them. In pre-pubescent children, as far as appearances go, these rules are more obviously restrictive for boys. A girl who likes jeans and football may well be called a tomboy; but this is often said with a grudging admiration and the presumption that she will ‘grow out of it’. So we often hear women say, “I used to be such a tomboy as a child!” but rarely will a man declare to his peers,”I used to be such a sissy!” because society deems it shameful. A boy who wants to break the rules, who wants long hair, who cries easily and loves sparkles and all things pink will be judged and found lacking by a culture that expects men and boys to perform masculinity at all times.

Bouleware tells the house about his response to his son’s wish to break these rules.

“For years, I would not let my daughter wear girl clothes. I did not let her play with girl toys. I forced my daughter to wear boy clothes and get short haircuts; play on boy sports teams.”

Bouleware goes on to explain.

“Why did I do this? To protect my child. I did not want my daughter or her siblings to get teased…”

Nobody wants their kids to be teased or bullied.  A boy who likes to wear dresses and play with dolls is an easy target; it’s a sturdy soul indeed that can make light of such teasing. No wonder Bouleware was concerned for his son. While some boys may turn back to the Barbie Princess castle with a shrug, for many even casual jibes can be shattering.

So Brandon, like many in America’s ‘bible belt’, holds very strict ideas about what constitute ‘girls’ toys and ‘girls’ clothes.

There is a certain standard of manliness that even the smallest boys are held up to, and in Brandon’s eyes his son falls far short. And he, with his Methodist upbringing, is well aware of this, adding:

“ Truth be told I did it to protect myself as well. I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions as to while my child did not look and act like a boy…”

It was hard for Bouleware to accept that his son was not successfully playing the boy role and it is honest of him to admit that. We can imagine that he was embarrassed; that he was worried about what friends and neighbours might think; the people at church; perhaps he felt his child’s effeminacy reflected badly on his own manhood and his parenting skills. Social pressures mean it isn’t always easy for parents to feel relaxed if their children break the unwritten rules surrounding gender.

A different child

After years of forcing his son to perform masculinity, Bouleware had a revelation, that “as a parent, the one thing we cannot do is silence our child’s spirit.”

Brandon now believes that his son’s  behaviour can be explained by the fact that he has a girl’s spirit inhabiting his boy’s body. Once he comes to this conclusion, the boy is allowed to wear the ‘girl’ clothes and play with the ‘girl’ toys.

“On the day my wife and I stopped silencing our child’s spirit, the moment we allowed her to grow her hair, wear the clothes she wanted to wear, she was a different child. It was immediate. It was a total transformation. I now have a confident, smiling, happy daughter.”

This is how you maintain your beliefs about gender roles when confronted with a child that doesn’t want to play by the rules of the gender game; this is how Bouleware believes he can best protect his son and let him wear those clothes and play with those toys. The boy is really a girl. The boy has to become, as Brandon says above, a different child.

The boy need no longer be an anomaly, an effeminate embarrassment: he can become the ‘wonderful and beautiful transgender daughter’ that Bouleware now tells the world he has.

“I need you to understand… let them have their childhoods; let them be who they are,”  he pleads, with no sense of irony.

Letting a children truly ‘be who they are’ during childhood would involve letting them make all their own choices about clothing, hair and hobbies.  In all but the most radical of radical unschooling families there will be limits imposed on these choices- but an adult who will only allow a child to pursue the hobbies and clothing that they think appropriate for the the child’s sex is an adult who is sexist.

The uncomfortable question we have to ask is why can his culture- our culture- not tolerate long-haired, dress-wearing little boys? The answer is a mixture of sexism and homophobia.

Sexism

Sexism puts restrictions on what men and boys can and should do and what women and girls can and should do.

Sexism is everywhere. Sexism says that little boys shouldn’t wear dresses and little girls shouldn’t collect bugs. Some parents have incredible difficultly dealing with kids that don’t play by the rules.

In her 2015 article, ‘My Child Is Transgender: This Is How I Know‘, Alex Bliss writes that buying her daughter clothes in the boys’ section felt ‘felt deceitful, wrong, like a lie’.

Once a psychologist offered a disagnosis  (after a 20 minute session) the girl’s parents ‘start allowing him (sic) to do boy things’.

“The signs had started in the womb when I’d been convinced I was carrying a boy.” writes Bliss of her daughter, who now ‘lives as a boy’. “The signs were in the loud burps he emitted at will, and the farting sounds he and his friends launched from their armpits.”

Sexism says hearts are for girls and farts are for boys.

Amber Briggle’s daughter Max, “has always identified as a boy.” How does she know? Max told her when she was two with the words, ‘Mom, I’m not a girl, I’m a boy, and I like Spider-Man.’

There was a while there in the late 80s and 90s where we were coming to an agreement on the fact that sexism was A Bad Thing. And then the gender boom happened.

Sexism is inextricably entwined with gender roles and gender. The au courant idea of gender identity links a child to a specific group of behaviours which define their sex. The idea of gender identity, by its very nature, is sexist.

Children’s brains are a wonderful kaleidoscope of elements which form millions of distinct personalities. It is not surprising when a child who is raised to believe that ‘boy clothes’ or ‘girl clothes’ are what define their sex begins to question if their personality has been somehow misplaced.

Bouleware had an effeminate son who might have grown up to be gay. Now he has an acceptable, ‘beautiful’, straight daughter. God be praised.

Homophobia

We can’t presume that effeminate little boys and rugged little girls will grow up to be gay and lesbian adults, although it is often the case, and the outcome is more likely for boys than for girls. So how likely is this? Looking at a couple of studies done before the current fad of transitioning pre-pubescent children we can see that it’s fairly likely.

Sex researcher Richard Green’s 1986 study of ‘extreme cases of boyhood effeminacy’ showed that 75% of 44 extremely feminine boys matured as homosexuals or bisexuals. Just one of the boys grew up to be transsexual. A Kinsey Institute survey of 1,500 adults singled out gender nonconformity in childhood as the most important predictor of homosexuality.

Researcher J Michael Bailey agreed with this view a decade later in 1995, as reported in the Associated Press.

“If you have a very feminine boy, one so feminine that he’s constantly wanting to dress up as a girl and wants to be a girl, chances are he’s going to be a gay man,″ reported Bailey, then a psychologist at Northwestern University. “The chance is probably about 75% for these boys.”

We- I use ‘we’ here to refer to what is commonly called ‘Western culture’ – now agree with confused, vulnerable, sensitive boys that yes, they’re girls. We do this despite knowing that social transition is highly likely to lead to puberty blockers and we know that puberty blockers almost inevitably lead to cross sex hormones and we know that the combination of the two leads to sterility and loss of sexual function.

We live in a culture that would rather sterilise little boys and make them lifelong medical patients than challenge the morality of imposing gendered behaviours on children.

Without irony, we call those who opposite child transition right-wing fascists and bigots.

We do this because our culture resents and reviles effeminate men. It is repulsed by girlish boys because it sees effeminacy as inextricably linked with homosexuality and homosexuality as an undesirable outcome, allied to the weakness and inferiority that our culture associates with all things female. Western culture cannot bring itself to gently insist to these boys that it’s ok to be a gentle, sensitive boy. Better that we pretend they are girls.

So we refer to them as girls, we dress them in the trappings of femininity; we block their puberty so they can continue to look like pre-pubescent girls, and when they are older we operate on their bodies so they superficially resemble adult women. We tell ourselves that transitioning children is progressive and inclusive, but it is neither.

As for lesbians, we don’t much like them either. Even many young lesbians choose to describe themselves as ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ rather than own the word.

Remember ‘trans ally’ Anthony Cooper, the compère of Manchester Pride who suggested that lesbian protestors should be ‘dragged off by their saggy tits’?

The LGBTQIA2+ movement may still have the L at the front of the acronym, but if lesbians want to be listened to and included, they’d better be willing to say that men can come under their banner.

Lesbian representation on television is limited: lesbian characters perform femininity, they wear make-up and high heels. They probably get killed off around the end of season one so the bi girl can go back to her boyfriend.

There is a deep homophobia in our culture and there is a deep homophobia behind transactivism.

It raises its head when transactivist Fox Fisher says, “It doesn’t help to have the T latched on to LGB because… it muddies the waters a bit because people start to think it’s a deviant kind of thing.”

Back on the ACLU post on Twitter, the comments come in thick and fast. Brandon’s video has received another 3k ‘likes’ in the 24 hours since I started writing this piece. Many of those horrified by the ACUL clip point out that Brandon’s child would probably have grown up to be a gay man if left undisturbed. Others disagree.

“I have an adult trans daughter – her sexual attraction is to women – how honestly difficult is it to understand that our gender identity has nothing whatsoever to do with our sexuality?”

I stared at this tweet for a while, trying to work out what his point was. Whatever it was, it certain was difficult to understand. Did he have a son who was his daughter? Or a daughter who was his son? Convention suggests that ‘trans daughter’ would refer to a male-bodied person. But if he believed his male daughter to be a woman who was attracted to women then surely that would mean he saw his daughter as a lesbian? But then if he knew that his daughter was really a man, then he would perceive his daughter as straight. As the point he was trying to make was ‘trans people are not necessarily gay’ then why would he use the example of his ostensibly lesbian trans-daughter?

My head is spinning.

‘He’s not pretending he’s a girl he is a girl!” retorted another Twitter user. The words, ‘he is a girl’ suggests they know very well that this boy isn’t a girl – otherwise why would they refer to him as ‘he’? Or her. Her as he.

See how ridiculous it all gets when we can’t name sex?

Conversion therapy

Converting your effeminate little boy into a girl, denying his sex so he better fits society’s narrow views of how boys and girls should behave- surely that is the ultimate in conversion therapy?

Fiercely protecting the rights of both boys and girls to play with the toys they like and wear the clothes they choose – when did that become hateful right-wing bigotry?

Meanwhile, back in the bible belt, as the world continues to be gaslit into believing that transitioning children is enlightened and wonderful, a little boy who loves dresses is finally allowed to express himself.

But at what cost?

 

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It Izzn’t funny – how male appropriation of womanhood has gone way too far

 

The Guardian newspaper front page, 12/3/21

 

For those involved in the ongoing debate about what constitutes a ‘lived experience as a woman’ the Guardian today sported a very poignant cover.

The top left corner of the  front page featured a heavily photoshopped picture of comedian Eddie Izzard sporting a long blonde wig and lipstick, informing the readership of his delight in having been ‘promoted to she’.

Further down the page, beneath the photo of Izzard, are smaller photographs of sixteen women.

These women are featured on the front cover because, on March 11th 2021, as she has done annually since 2015,  Jess Phillips MP read out the names of the women killed by men in the UK in the last year. The House of Commons listened in silence as she read out the one hundred and eighteen names on the list. The women in the photos are sixteen of these women.

“How long would it take for her to read out all the men killed by men? asked one Twitter user, predictably.

“I’ll play,” retorted another, “What’s the list of men killed by men as a result of domestic violence or sexual intention. In the last year?”

The murderers & the murdered

Men and women are killed for different reasons. Men are more likely to be killed on the streets, for example, women in or around the home.  The charity ‘Refuge’ reports that two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. But what percentage of murders are committed by women? Just seven percent, it seems.

Scrolling past articles with titles including, ‘Meet the hottest real-life female murderers’ and ‘8 sensational female murders from history‘, I eventually learn from the Office for National Statistics that between March 2018 and March 2020, 93% of suspects convicted of homicide were men. 27% of their victims were female. So while yes, more men are killed than women, it is almost always the men doing the killing.

Trans-identified people make up a small – if ever growing- population. Because of this is it not entirely surprising that, in contrast to the 118 women, last year in the UK no trans-identified people were murdered.

Between 2008 and 2017, it was reported by Channel4 fact check that nine trans-identified people were murdered in the UK. Two of these were later confirmed as suicides and one was found alive. In 2018 and 2019, Naomi Hersi and Amy Griffiths were murdered. In 2016 and in 2020 there were no trans murders in the UK.

Eight trans-identified people in the UK were murdered in the course of eleven years.

2019 Amy Griffith (age 53) – killed at home
2018 Naomi Hersi (age 36) – killed by date
2015 Vanessa Santillia (age 33) – Sex worker from Mexico killed by husband
2013 Chrissie Azzopardi (age 22) – killed at home by an acquaintance
2012 Suzi Morl (age 49) – killed by drug addicted friends
2010 Sonia Burgess (63) – Immigration barrister killed by trans client/friend.
2008 Andrea Waddell (29) – sex worker
2008 Destiny Lauren (29) – sex worker

I’m going to say it:  these victims were men, killed by men. And yes, that’s awful. It’s awful. Nobody should die like that. The tragedy does not change the fact that despite frequent claims that transwomen are at greater risk of being murdered than any other group, in the UK this is just not true.

“The limited data we’re working with suggests that in the UK at least, a trans person is less likely to be murdered than the average person.” reports Channel 4 fact check.

Prizes for womanning

Bergdorf: womanning all over the place.

The facts didn’t stop model and transactivist Munroe Bergdorf- who incidentally was today announced as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year– from claiming, in a Huffington Post article entitled ‘Model Munroe Bergdorf Is Beating The Odds As A Transgender Woman Of Color’:

“The average life expectancy of a trans woman of color is 35 years, and that’s because of male violence largely. Statistically, I’ve got four years left on this earth.”

The article Bergdorf is referencing was concerned with trans-identified men in South America, many of whom are at added risk of violence from prostitution. Even so, the data is taken out of context, and is discussed further here.

Bergdorf is the privileged, South-of-England-born, university-educated, child of middle-class parents.

Jenner collects his award

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Glamour has given the award to a man – in 2015 they gave their Woman of the Year award to Caitlin Jenner.

“I never felt good on the male side and I wasn’t obviously on the female side. I was kind of stuck in the middle,” said Jenner of his pre-transition life.

There are few areas in which male entitlement is so apparent than in the comments and observations of men who believe themselves to be women ‘on the inside’.

Too often, we women are surprised that to so many trans-identified men, womanhood is all about lipstick, being catcalled, looking sexy… but why are we surprised? Of course it is!  That’s the only part of womanhood that really interests them; that’s the only aspect they can ever even begin to grasp. They’ve never started their period on the tube, sitting with tightly crossed legs, praying they won’t leak blood all over the seat and their favourite pair of skinny jeans, or dribbled breast milk all over their favourite top. If we point this out, we are met with the cry ‘but not all women menstruate! But not all women birth and feed babies!‘ To which I would reply – just stop with the disingenuity. We all know what a woman is – we all came out of one.

 

Identify out of that

Surely we should be able to acknowledge that it’s not any inner sense of gender that we might or might not have that gets women killed?

It’s important that we are able to gather the data around men’s crimes against women and to do that we need to be able to acknowledge women’s biological vulnerability and we need to be able to define what a woman is. Saying ‘not all men’ is irrelevant. Of course ‘not all men’! That really isn’t the point.

As Joe Wells, whoever he may be, observes: “TV idea: #notallsnakes. Men who say ‘not all men’ are introduced to a variety of snakes. Not all of them are venomous.”

More and more frequently we see male crimes described as female crimes, because of the way the perpetrators identify. From possession of animal porn and images of child sexual abuse, to rape and battery, we read of male crimes in the press which are reported as female. Often it isn’t mentioned until the end of the article that the perpetrator is trans. Sometimes it isn’t mentioned at all.

This is not uncommon, and is recorded in the These are Not Our Crimes video. If you’ve never seen it, check it out. It’s shocking. As such a small number of women commit violent or ‘sex’ crimes, it only takes a very small number of extra crimes to tip the balance and affect the data gathered. Then those little voices calling ‘but women are violent too,’ grow a little stronger.

In relation to the third article  on the cover of today’s Guardian, concerning the disappearance of Sarah Everard, Jess Phillips talks about how violence against women is sex based. Violent crime against women and girls? Can we identify out of it? Of course not.

“It’s got absolutely nothing to do with anything I can do.” she says, in the same week that Scotland has decided misogyny will not be a crime under its new Hate Crime bill.

“I can’t change the chromosomes in my body … I’m not stereotyping women as weak, I’m not even stereotyping men as all being perpetrators. I am saying that the message that needs to be sent, is that male violence is something that has to be tackled and challenged – and the justice system and society has to wake up to that, because at the moment we just simply don’t take it as seriously as we take other crimes.”

In November 2020 Rhonda Hotchkiss left the SNP writing, ‘I resign. I cannot be in a party where the abuse of women goes uncommented on, where campaigning around retaining the meaning of ‘woman’ will become a prosecutable offence & where our most vulnerable women are sacrificed on the altar of men’s feelings.” 

The fantasy of womanhood versus the reality

“You’re brave taking this on,” mused Emma. “People aren’t going to want to hear it. Eddie Izzard is a national treasure. People just won’t get it.”

So back to witty, funny, quirky, rule-breaking Izzard- who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity with his marathon running- what does he have to do with any of this?

Well, obviously, nobody is suggesting he composed the editorial for the Guardian, designed the cover layout, or that he is in any way personally responsible for the murder of women.

Nobody is suggesting that, and to claim they are is to totally miss the point.

The Guardian front page does, however, perfectly contrast the fantasy of womanhood so revered by Izzard: based on long hair, lippy and tits, with the reality: that women are killed, raped, trafficked and abused because of their biology.

The online article appears to have been originally titled ‘I’ve had boob envy since my teens’ but was modified later in the day to the more sympathetic, ‘I’m just trying to create a space for myself’.

It wasn’t always this way of course. Eddie used to luxuriate in his role as a cross-dresser, viewing himself as a true challenger of gender stereotypes, albeit one already showing a degree of entitlement. In his memoir ‘Believe Me’ he writes about changing his clothing in the ladies’ toilets in Highbury Fields and how he was chased out by some 13-year-old girls who had been smoking in the loos.

““Hey, mate! Hey, mister! Why are you wearing makeup? Why are you dressed as a woman?” the girls had called, with what strikes me as reasonable and justifiable concern on finding a strangely dressed bloke zipping around their single-sex space.

When he turned round and shouted at them they ran away screaming.  Tellingly, Izzard viewed himself as the victim in the exchange.

“I didn’t scream and run—in the end, they did.” Izzard ends the anecdote with misguided satisfaction.

Despite this delight in invading women’s spaces and yelling at teenage girls, Eddie only started claiming to be a woman himself in 2017.

Back in 2014, a few months before Phillips began reading out her list,  Izzard came out with his now famous quote, ““They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes. I bought them.”

But then his perspective changed.

In 2017, the reader of today’s Guardian is informed, Eddie was still unsure if he was entirely a woman.  Hatternstone clarifies. “She (Eddie) had always talked about being in boy mode most of the time and girl mode part of the time, and she was still hoping to keep her options open. For her first half century, boy mode had dominated, and now it was time for girl mode to take centre stage.”

We’re talking about a bloke in his 50s here, right? Sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl… this is deluded madness! Good grief, what kind of mid-life crisis is this? What on earth is he playing at!

“I’ve been promoted to she, and it’s a great honour,” beams Izzard.

Yeah, being a woman is great – until you walk home in the dark,” observed Lucy Bannerman on Twitter, “Or try to leave a violent partner. Does that count as “girl mode”?

“For Izzard it was never just about having a thing for dresses and high heels,” continues Hatternstone. A few paragraphs later he asks Izzard if he’d like boobs.

“Yeah! I’ve had boob envy since my teens. Just when teenage girls of my age were going ‘I want boobs’, I was thinking yeah me too,” replies Izzard, who has recently been sporting pert, orange-sized false breasts. “I’ve always had breasts envy.”

Izzard is aware of the controversy he has sparked with his claims to be a woman. “If you sat me down with some radical feminists I’m not sure whether we would sort everything out. I’d like to get to the place where we don’t have to have this fight…”

But it isn’t really a fight at all. Izzard is claiming to be something he is not, so he’s right. We won’t be able to ‘sort everything out’ until we stop encouraging, praising and fawning all over men who treat woman as a costume. We won’t be able to ‘sort everything out’ until men stop saying they’re women. It looks like a long road ahead.

Izzard wants to stand for Labour in the next election. One can only wonder if he plans on doing so on an all-woman shortlist.

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