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.

 

Posted in Opinion Pieces | 11 Comments

Heretic – Jess de Wahls & the new censorship

Jess de Wahls grew up in East Berlin. She now lives in London where she has been nicknamed ‘the enfant terrible of the textile industry’. Her work features detailed patches weaving together feminism and plant life as well as complex larger pieces, many of which can be seen on her website here.

In 2018 the craft council ran a story about her work. You can read it here.

The first time I saw Jess’s work was at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, in early 2017. You may not imagine that the Knitting and Stitching Show would be a particularly exciting place but you would be wrong. Textiles are frequently derided and perceived as somehow secondary or ‘not real art’ and a moment’s contemplation will reveal why.

The knitting and stitching show is a giant arts and crafts meet up, sporting spectacular fabrics, hand spun yarns, bijou buttons and an array of wonderful art. There is also coffee and cake, albeit somewhat overpriced. The thousands who pass through it’s doors each year are, I’d guess, about 95% female, so there is a strange sense of freedom and camaraderie knowing that you’re in the company of so many other arty women.

On this particular day I turned a corner and was struck by a small but perfectly embroidered rainbow spanning a womb and ovaries, framed and mounted on a large white wall. The colours, accuracy and detail of the work was exquisite.

“I love that,” I said to my mum, looking over the other stuff on display. ” I want to talk to the artist.”

Having ascertained that the artist was present, I approached her, a striking young woman who gave me a huge smile, and then I realised I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say.

“I love your work,” I offered, with stunning originality. When she thanked me I added, rather awkwardly and obviously, “It’s feminist.” She nodded.

I think I asked if I could take a photo and she said yes.

Later, a friend and I blew up part of that photo and stuck it on a banner adorned with ribbons which we held proudly aloft on the 2017 Women’s March in London.

The next time I saw de Wahls was at the Women’s Liberation Conference in 2020 where she had a stall featuring and selling some of her embroidery. I bought two of her patches.

They sat in my needlework box for a while until a few months ago when I ironed ‘heretic’ onto the bodice of a tie-dyed dress. I was wearing it yesterday when I saw that Jess was in the news.

The ‘heretic’ patch on her website is currently sold out, but you can pre-order one here.

 

I’m told that just eight complaints about the views of Jess’s views were made to the Royal Academy (RA) but at the time of publication this has not been confirmed.

The Academy (which currently sports the awful flag which infers that gay people were previously not inclusive of people of colour) has issued a statement saying it will no longer stock her work in their shop due to her ‘transphobic’ views. On their Instagram story they posted this statement:

“Thank you to all those for bringing an item in the RA shop by an artist expressing transphobic views to our attention. The RA is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and does not knowingly support artists who act in conflict with these values. The RA shop previously stocked work by this artist when we were unaware of their stated views, and their work will not be stocked in future. We appreciate you holding us to account on this issue and we would like to reiterate that we stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”

It is interesting to note that the RA’s policy on Equality and Diversity has added ‘gender, gender identity or expression’ to the Equality Act’s list of protected characteristics. It has not removed sex, although its willingness to view de Wahls’ view that a woman is an adult human female as ‘transphobic’ suggests that this is not much more than lip service.

What was the piece stocked by the RA gift shop before it was so hurriedly removed, I hear you ask? Are you sure you’re ready for this?

Nothing less than a blue embroidered flower. Avert your eyes lest ye should receive the full force of its transphobic hatred. Those trying to find it via the RA website are now are met with this notification:A search by @adulthumanfemale also suggested that two more of de Wahls flowers had been in stock and had been removed by the RA.

Are we surprised? Well, probably not, to be honest. These days a mere whisper of ‘transphobia’ is enough to bring entire civilisations to their knees. And the Royal Academy, like so many great British institutions, does not have a glowing history of supporting equality of the sexes.

Laura Herford

The RA was founded in 1768. Despite two of its founding members being women, the painters Mary Moser and Angelica Kauffman, the first female student, Laura Herford, was only admitted in 1890, and that was by accident after she submitted work signed only with her initials. Pretty sure nobody asked her how she identified.

Johann Zoffany’s 1771/2 painting, The Academicians of the Royal Academy, shows the blokes getting ready for a life drawing class- the female founders are just pretty pictures on the wall. It wasn’t until 1967 that the then-four female Academicians were invited to dine with the lads. But of course, there’s nothing surprising about such sexism.

Nobody’s quite sure why the women didn’t just identify out of it, silly, feather-brained little things. But I digress.

The awful, oppressive and dangerous nature of de Wahls’ opinions and work was brought to the attention of Instagram by fellow embroidery artist Jessica So Ren Tang (she/her) who told 48K followers:

WARNING:TRANSPHOBIA Seems like some folks need a run down that supporting Jess De Wahls means supporting a Trans exclusionary radical feminist, aka TERF, aka transphobe…  for @royalacademyarts to purchase work by De Wahls, an openly transphobic artist, during Pride whilst using a pride flag on their profile picture is grossly rainbow washing.

This is not the first time de Wahls has been on the receiving end of such attacks from Jessica.

Back in September 2020 Jessica posted about having given £550 to Mermaids because I am vocal about trans rights and my general disappointment with Jess De Wahls… It’s disgusting to see de wahls profiting off of transphobia… Of course, this (donation) doesn’t erase transphobia but it’s something I can do.”

As far back as 2019 Jessica attempted to get de Wahls removed from an art project designed to  provide support for menstruation supplies to girls in India. The organisation refused to drop de Wahls, commenting that “her art piece… is not offensive to anyone”.

You keep throwing mud, as my old gran used to say and eventually some of it sticks.  The call out to Jessica’s followers resulted in a handful of complaints to the Royal Academy, and that was enough.

For those interested in knowing more about De Wahl’s evil transphobic views, look no further. In 2019 she wrote the piece ‘somewhere over the rainbow something went terribly wrong’ in which she states, “I feel no animosity towards people who hold different beliefs to me, be they religious, gender identity ideology or any other kind of faith, and I hope you can extend the same courtesy to me,” going on to add “Humans can not change sex. If we ignore sex, we ignore sexism. This is important, particularly for women, living in sexist societies.”

Jess also makes it clear that she is very close to her father who, as you will see if you read the article, is about as ‘gender non-conforming’ as you can get. The piece is detailed, thoughtful and brilliant and I highly recommend you read it.

The current controversy was featured in today’s Telegraph, where writer Craig Simpson pointed out that “prints of the work of Paul Gauguin, who reportedly had had sexual relationships with a succession of young girls, were sold during the 2020 exhibition Gauguin and the Impressionists.”

This raises the issue of the long-running debate on how, if and when  we separate the art and the artist. That we should even be expected to consider a connection between de Wahls’ view that sex is immutable and the actions of an active paedophile is quite astonishing.

If the work of De Wahls is unworthy of respect due to her view that it’s not possible to change sex and that gender ideology is harmful, who is above reproach?

Hi@royalacademy. Can you tell me when you will be removing all the work of Eric Gill?” asked @Delilahinboots on Twitter. “I mean, I know he didn’t do anything really bad like misgendering, but he did assault and abuse his own daughters, and his dog. As we now only care about artists views, not the art, it’s time?”

Delilah goes on to add, think you have a Caravaggio or two on display? Again, murdering and castrating a rival not in the realms of horrific crime like say, depicting actual women in embroidery, but still, not something you want to be seen to be supporting.”

Maya Forstater, whose recent case established gender critical beliefs to be a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, called the response an ‘overreaction’ and told the Telegraph, “They (the Royal Academy) need to take a deep breath, look at the Equality Act and consider that everybody has rights. These coordinated complaints ruin people’s lives and their reputations and make organisations fearful. It is Mccarthyism and many people are afraid.”

Sex Matters reports: “This is belief discrimination, and breaches Jess Wahls’ rights under the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. We have written to the Royal Academy, and to the Charity Commission and the Heritage Lottery Fund that support them to raise the issue and to highlight Jess Wahls’ human rights which they have ignored in their rush to appease the mob.”

You can contact the Royal Academy via this link.

So while we wait for an apology from the RA- which is unlikely to be forthcoming unless they are threatened with legal action- pop along to Jess’s website and treat yourself.

Her website is here, although her work is selling out fast. Jess is undaunted.

“I will embroidery vaginas & other female only work & there is feck all you can do about it, she wrote on Twitter on June 15th.

Big swinging ovaries indeed.

 

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Non-binary- stunning & brave, just like everyone else

That an intelligent adult can keep a straight face when confronted with the idea that a special few of us are non-binary is one of the most astonishing things about the power of gender ideology.

A person who is non-binary feels themselves to be neither male nor female. Or possibly both.  A cool and catchy word for non-binary is ‘enby’. Enby’s don’t like ‘he/him’ or ‘she/her’ pronouns and ofter use ‘they/them’ or ‘zie/zir’ although there are other options. Google is your friend.

A gender fluid person is something slightly different . Zie sometimes feels like a woman; sometimes feels like a man. A gender fluid person’s pronouns may change from moment to moment so be sure to check every time you speak to them in order to avoid the crime of misgendering.

How do we deconstruct this?  Well another, slightly less catchy way of putting it would be ‘person-who-rejects-the-gendered-stereotypes-of-their-culture’. When you put it like that, the enby banner includes a lot of us.  There may be a few people whose presentation and behaviour is 100% masculine or 100% feminine under all circumstances, but most of us fit in somewhere between the two extremes. Nobody likes being stereotyped. If non-binary is ‘a thing’ then probably a good 80% of us fit the description. Which makes enbys very far from the oppressed and misunderstood minority that they would have us believe they are.

How did the non-binary carriage manage to hitch itself to the trans train? Non-binary is the ultimate in gender woowoo, undermining the already tenuous position held by the concept that man and woman are feelings inside our heads.

If it’s surprising that the public seems willing to go along with this suggestion, it’s even more astonishing that the ‘trans community’ has taken it on board.

The idea that a man might believe he feels like a woman to the extent that he actually believes himself to be one is at least a concept most of us can understand, however much the logic behind it may be relatively incomprehensible.

The idea that somebody is neither male or female because they don’t like the stereotypes associated with either sex is absurd. It also opens up a lot of questions that nobody seems willing to answer.

Those who identify as non-binary view themselves as the people in-the-middle, rising above the rest of us mere shallow and superficial men and women.

The idea that the rest of us are expected to go along with this is quite frankly, passive-aggressive, tyrannical bollocks.

“Non binary is valid’ is quite possibly one of the most empty mantras ever taken on by a movement.

If there is one thing non-binary isn’t, it’s ‘valid’. The very phrase ‘non binary is valid’ doesn’t even make sense.

Let’s have a look at the dictionary definition of valid (see above).

Having a sound basis in logic or fact? Well no, obviously not.

Reasonable? “Having sound judgement; fair and sensible?” Je crois que non.

Cogent? “Clear, logical and convincing?” Excuse me while I check with my unicorn.

 

If gender ideology is a Christmas tree, non binary is the angel on top. If gender is a cup cake, non-binary is the cherry.

The reality is that most people realise this: a quick Google search starting ‘non binary is..’ threw up these options.

Yet nobody dares say so.

It has to be said, so I’ll say it.

Non-binary is bollocks.

 

You are not non-binary, because there is no binary.

In sex, there is a binary but in gender there is no binary.

In gender there are only stereotypes of expected behaviour. There is ‘boy’ behaviour and ‘girl’ behaviour, ‘man’ behaviour and ‘woman’ behaviour.

In the UK (as in most of the rest of Europe & America)  we are very lucky because nobody is actually forcing us to comply with gendered behaviours. A girl can have short hair, a boy can have long hair and the world doesn’t end.

Until very recently, nobody felt the need to label themselves non-binary because they rejected gender stereotyping.  So why are we now pushing people into boxes while pretending we’re doing the opposite? Our bodies are sexed. Within that there are numerous ways to express our personalities and some of these ways are by choosing clothing and expressing behaviours which are considered gendered.

Take a look at the objects on the left. You can probably tell at a glance which are ‘for men’ and which are ‘for women’.

Now take a look at the ones below. These are a little harder, so imagine you’re on a game show. The general public have already cast their votes and you’re trying to give answers that agree with theirs. Imagine that you win £50 for every object you ‘correctly’ identify as being for either men or women.

You could probably make a pretty safe bet at getting them all right, yes? Which is pretty crazy, because men wear glasses and bracelets, use vases and most have owned a teddy bear or a pair of funky socks at some point. Women have briefcases, wear trainers and play cards, and go on boats. Did we agree? We probably did.

So gender is quite definitely weird. And the more we gender products, the more we ‘other’ boys and girls, men and women, for deviating from the gendered items aimed at them, the more we reinforce the walls of our gender boxes.

If you wouldn’t be seen dead in a frilly pink blouse it doesn’t mean you’re not a woman. If you hate football, it doesn’t mean you’re not a man. And more importantly if you like – or hate- both, it doesn’t make you non-binary. It just makes you someone who doesn’t want to perform gender stereotypes, and that’s just fine.

And it isn’t just the kids who seem to have trouble grasping this. I offer up these next two photos as examples of how the grown ups have left the room.

Adults & the enby

In the first we see a parent who evidently has ‘a very hard time advocating for myself’ demanding that teachers refer to her as ‘ren’ (from paRENt) instead of ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’ and giving examples of how to use her pronouns: she suggests: ‘their kid is the cutest’.

In the second we see a parent who refers to her boy child as a girl ever though she writes that ‘he still uses the pronoun ‘he’ to refer to himself’. First day of kindergarten and she’s meeting with a school counselor to explain how unique her ‘gender fluid’ child is.

The Machiavellian manipulation of others here is intense, whether it is inadvertent or not. Are we really supposed to take this seriously?

Lego & the little enby

The marketing of Lego is a prime example of how gender stereotyping has been thrust upon a generation of kids. Most of us have seen this advert from the 80s. Rachel Giordano, the iconic 80s Lego girl, had this to say in a 2014 interview:

“…gender segmenting toys interferes with a child’s own creative expression. I know that how I played as a girl shaped who I am today. It contributed to me becoming a physician and inspired me to want to help others achieve health and wellness… Doctor kits used to be for all children, but now they are on the boys’ aisle.”

A note to parents from a 1974 Lego set read: “To Parents. The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls. It’s the imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head…  a lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses. The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.”

This message has got lost along the way.

Why am I going on about Lego now, especially when I’ve already covered the sexism rife in kids toys and clothing in my 2019 post ‘The Gendered Child’?

Because the rise of the ‘non-binary’ teen and twenty-something is directly linked to the gendered norms we have pushed onto kids in the last 20 years.

There weren’t kids declaring they were non-binary in the 80s because although we had stereotypes, most kids weren’t forced down those paths. Even if their parents pushed stereotypes onto them, advertising tried to avoid it, at least some of the time.

Lego has recently released an ‘everyone is awesome’ box set for Pride 2021. It features mini figures in the pink blue and white colours which are now the symbols of the trans movement – white symbolises the enbys. There the figures are, all lined up in a neat little row. If the kids don’t like stereotypes, there’s another box they can fit themselves into.

Yes, Lego, probably the 20th century’s most inclusive toy- now celebrates the idea of the Enby.

Is this really progressive?

 

Advertising & the teenage enby

With the advent of mass advertising, mass internet access, and ubiquitous TV has come the incessant and insidious drip of how men and women are ‘supposed to be’. According to advertising and marketing this is just one glorified endless stream of stereotypes.

In the world of advertising perfume, sex sells. The male is the predator and the female, the younger the better, is the prey.

But what if you don’t feel like hunter or hunted?

What has happened to the middle path?

It’s become non-binary.

Wikipedia tells us this: “Non-binary (also spelled nonbinary), or genderqueer, is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍.”

The National Centre for Transgender Equality tells us this: “some people have a gender that blends elements of being a man or a woman, or a gender that is different than either male or female. Some people don’t identify with any gender. Some people’s gender changes over time…  an experience of gender that is not simply male or female.”

The LGBT Foundation tells us:“Non-binary people feel their gender identity cannot be defined within the margins of gender binary. Instead, they understand their gender in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as either a man or woman… having a gender which is in-between or beyond the two categories ‘man’ and ‘woman, as fluctuating between ‘man’ and woman’, or as having no gender, either permanently or some of the time.”

And, the ultimate in snowflakery:

“Understand that, for many non-binary people, figuring out which bathroom to use can be challenging.”

Scottish Trans adds: “Some people find they do not feel comfortable thinking of themselves as simply either male or female. Instead they feel that their gender identity is more complicated to describe…  terms they have created to describe themselves include genderqueer, third-gender, bigender, androgyne, agender, gender-fluid and non-gender, although other terms are also used.”

Stonewall says: “Non-binary: an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.”

the non-binary bandwagon

“A new teaser of the upcoming Disney+ series, Loki, has confirmed that the God of Mischief is part of the gender-fluid community!” gushed International News this week (June 2021), in a short article headlined ‘Loki’s non-binary identity confirmed in new Disney+ teaser’.

Shapeshifter Loki was evidently referred to both as a son and daughter by his father Odin in the comic book Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm (2014). Director Kate Herron told the Insider that because of this it was important to recognise his gender fluidity and make it ‘cannon’.

Now I’m all for ‘cannon’ and I am a massive comic book fan. I made myself highly unpopular on social media recently by trying to explain to a group of feminists who had never read the series that Desire in Sandman was literally non-binary.

But wait, what is going on here? Is Loki non-binary or is he gender fluid? Even I know the two are not necessarily synonymous.

Thor seems less confused than his dad, referring to Loki as ‘son of… brother of mine… my brother’.

Will Thor now be cancelled for misgendering?

Most importantly, how will Loki manage his mischief if he can’t figure out which bathroom to use?

Most importantly of all – Loki is a shapeshifter and these characters are not real.

Back in reality, we need to ask what happens when all the cool role models have jumped ship? I nearly cried when Kae Tempest renounced her womanhood and I’m not a confused teenage girl trying to find my place in the world.

Will we end up in a world where a woman who doesn’t want to be objectified, sexually abused and treated like an idiot is forced to declare herself non-binary? How far can this idiocy go?

It seems that there is no end in sight. Most recent in a stream of celebs to announce a non-binary status is actor Demi Lovato who announced her they/them pronouns on Instagram in May. “So proud of you! So excited! You’re incredible!” squealed her young fans.

“Still, Demi said they’re going to continue to dress the way they wants to,” reports Seventeen magazine, a publication aimed at teenage girls, in an article titled ’13 Amazing Non-Binary Celebs Who Are Breaking the Gender Mold’.

There might be a time when I want to wear a full wig,” said Demi.“There might be a time when I want to dress completely femme-presenting and that doesn’t mean that in that moment I’m identifying as a woman, it just means that’s what I want to wear in that moment.”

In the same article, Jonathan Van Ness- who is evidently non binary but prefers he/him pronouns- is quoted as saying “Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman…  I’ve been wearing heels and wearing makeup and wearing skirts and stuff for a minute, honey. I just like didn’t know that that meant — that I had a title.”

“I identify as both non-binary and pansexual, which are two very fancy ways of saying I don’t care.” says Lachlan Watson, who plays Susie/Theo in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

But all this woowoo is disingenuous. Declaring yourself to be non-binary is playing the ultimate ‘special’ card. It shows you care very, very much about being ‘not like the other girls’. In order for you to be non-binary, it is completely essential that others remain firmly in the binary box.

Perhaps we should start a middle-aged non-binary revolution. After all, the best way to get kids to stop doing something they think is cool and edgy is for the grown ups to start doing it too.  The older the better! After all, ageism is the last -ism that is still culturally acceptable.

Imagine if pensioners started calling out the driver for misgendering them on a busy bus.

“This lady would probably like to sit down. Could one of you schoolkids give her your seat?”

“How dare you, young man! I identify as a pansexual demi-boy and my pronouns are zie/zir!”

Come to the dark side

I’m joking but I’m also not joking. There is a really dark side to this. There are casualties in this game. For some young people the idea of being non-binary is a gingerbread house in the forest of gender stereotypes.  Encouraging young people to believe they are something they are not, that they are neither boys nor girls because they don’t like stereotypes,  is going to result in inevitable mental health issues – the effort necessary to maintain such cognitive dissonance can be exhausting.

If you can stomach it, check out the ‘neutrois’ website, recommended by Mermaids.

The homepage asks the question ‘Am I neutrois?’ with the quick reply:

“Only you can know the answer to that, but don’t be disappointed if you’re not sure right away.

The criteria for being neutrois are pretty basic. You don’t need to be dysphoric to be neutrois, and ‘don’t fret’ if you aren’t upset as being seen as the sex you are: “you are no more or less neutrois than somebody who feels completely genderless… It’s up to you and you only to make your own unique transition path… Many neutrois people do want surgery, many do not. The most common point of discomfort is breasts, for which neutrois people often seek top surgery…

Middle-child has a nineteen-year-old friend who calls herself non-binary. She doesn’t want to be a boy, she just doesn’t want to be a girl.  She got her date for an elective double mastectomy this week.  She calls it ‘top surgery’ and she just can’t wait.

Meanwhile adults in positions of authority, journalists and those who should know better are egging kids on.

“I do identify as a woman, but I also identify as non-binary,” the ever-eloquent Suzanna Weiss explains in Teen Vogue.  “To me, it means that I reject the whole concept of gender. Growing up, I never felt people were wrong when they called me a woman, but it felt like a label imposed on me rather than one that fit.”

Oh Suzanna, bless your little cotton socks. That doesn’t make you non-binary. It makes you gender critical. You may not realise it, but you get it. Gender is indeed imposed upon us. You may well not like being labelled with the stereotype sticker-gun. But that doesn’t make you a special snowflake. It makes you just like everyone else.

Sorry about that.

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