Gender identity politics is, perhaps, the most unlikely youth movement we could have imagined. Far from rebelling against the stereotypes that were beginning to be broken down by the GenXers, Gens Y&Z seem intent on re-enforcing the differences between the sexes. Way to go, guys.
Coming of age in the 80s and 90s it felt like a more diverse, inclusive world was on the horizon. Every generation feels like this, that their generation is going to conquer the world and change everything. These revolutions tend to happen about once a decade.
We see the pattern in what is now crassly called ‘the music industry’. The 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s all had diverse music styles emergent. Yet the spectacular musical revolutions seem to have stopped with rave culture.
The biggest revolution of the last twenty years- perhaps of the last two thousand years- is of course, the ubiquity of the internet.
On the internet, you can be anybody. You can be male, female, old young, a brain surgeon or an anime puppy. You can choose your identity and it is real, well obviously, you spun it yourself. IRL, as we now call it, things are not so clear cut. We do not get to choose how quick we are to learn, or fit in, the sex or culture we are born into, or the way we are raised as children. Unlike the world of cyberspace, the things that form our identity are not entirely within our control. But, as has been pointed out by so many people before me, kids under 20 have spent most of their tween & teen years on the Internet, inhabiting a world their parents neither shared nor understood. They grew up in two different worlds. In the online world, as they discovered, you really can make it up as you go along.
I take a break from writing this article to make some coffee and as I scroll through my facebook feed I come across this piece from the Guardian which so totally illustrates my point that I let my coffee go cold to add it to this piece.
“In a game you can choose your gender. Go in as female and no one knows you’re biologically male. You can escape real life and have a completely new identity,” a boy called Hannah told the Guardian.
The article tells us that before Hannah had heard the word ‘trans’, the internet had become an anonymous space “to create a version of herself that felt more authentic than her real-world body. Through her teenage years, the online community around Roblox would help her learn about transitioning, support her as she came out to her family and even help fund her gender-affirming surgery.”
The article concludes by telling the reader “Hannah is still waiting for the operations that will make her feel as authentic as she does in her Roblox avatar.”
There’s a sociological term, ‘hyperreality’ which is the state of being unable to discern the difference between what we see on the screen and what happens in the real world.
This is where we are.
Kids who aren’t old enough to buy a pint are ordering online hormones to change themselves into idealised versions of the people they are online.
Laura Higgins, director of community safety and digital civility at Roblox, says of the game, “this is real life for kids, they don’t differentiate between on- and offline.”
I’m not saying there isn’t some great music being produced. But just maybe this century’s young people have missed out on their musical revolution because they’re too busy gazing into their own navels and reinventing themselves instead.
One of the biggest influences on the portrayal of young women in the music industry is probably also linked to our ever shortening attention spans and our endless demands for excitement and extremes. And boxes.
The tenet of fuckability
The tenet of fuckability is that women can do anything they like, as long as they look fuckable while they’re doing it. The message behind it reinforces the idea that this is the most important aspect of womanhood.
21st century young women in the music industry rarely last long before falling for the the ‘fuckability’ condition: this week ‘icon of body positivity’, teenager Billy Eilish appears, bleached, painted and polished, half-naked on the cover of Vogue telling the world “I feel more like a woman, somehow”.
Eilish’s Instagram post of the cover set a record by getting over a million ‘likes’ in less than six minutes.
“She’s just living her best life,” says middle-child, just a year younger than Eilish herself.
I’m not blaming Eilish or mocking her, or judging her. She’s a talented young woman, I’m listening to her music as I write. Of course, as middle-child points out, Eilish (mum it’s eye-lish not Ay-lish) is under no obligation to be anybody’s role model.
I’m just heaving a little sigh for the predictability of the striptease and wondering at the tenacity of the idea that performing sexualised femininity makes one more of a woman.
Don’t wanna play that game?
You can follow the trajectory of actor Elliot Page. Maybe you too were a boy all along. Stop smiling. Cut off your hair and your breasts.
The world will love you for it.
What could be more authentic?
Cherchez the power and influence of gender identity.
It’s so entrenched in modern thinking that large numbers of famous or powerful women from the past are being claimed as trans – they must have been because they ‘acted like men’ or they wore men’s clothing.
Sex, sex, sex
While this generation may talk about sex a lot, share more naked pictures of themselves and watch more porn, there’s a strong suggestion that they’re ‘doing it’ far less than previous generations. In a US study spanning 200-2018, one in three men age 18 to 24 reported having no sexual activity in the past year. Students of both sexes also appear to be having less sex than their predecessors.
Studies suggests girls are put off sex by the representations they see in porn. Some people suggest boys are too. 21st century children move from the pink and blue toy shops, seamlessly into the hyper-sexualised realms of online pornography. No wonder kids want out.
In the UK, a 2019 study suggested everybody was having less sex. Perhaps some people are just too busy thinking about their gender identity to actually get their clothes off.
Of course, add the effects of lockdown to that (the studies I mention were all done before COVID19) & it seems unlikely those figures have shot up in the last 18 months. We can also presume everyone’s been spending even more time online than usual. It’s not looking good.
We’ve got one hell of a lot of work for sociologists and psychologists coming up.
Far from breaking down barriers, advocates of the sanctity of gender identity scuttle hither and thither building ever more boxes to describe identities whilst simultaneously crying “We don’t believe in the confines of gender!”
Are you a gender-fluid feminine-presenting demi-boy?
Or do you identify as a perioriented grey asexual?
Are you skoliosexual?
Whatever. It’s likely you have your own flag.
Even those who should be old enough to know better are jumping on the train: parents wanting to be ‘down with the kids’ are popping out non-binary offspring, left right and centre.
When my eldest was little, I had a few friends who thought they had Indigo kids. Indigo kids were ostensibly a new blueprint of humanity; spiritually awakened, in tune with their psychic abilities, hyper-empathic yet strong and rebellious old souls. No true new age family was complete without at least one. Non-binary kids are the new Indigo kids, minus the laudable aspirations.
Tyrannical trans toddlers
I was at a conference a few years ago where the headmaster of a well-known school was addressing the room about the school’s wonderful trans-inclusive policy. He was very, very proud of it. A couple of girls from the school had made a presentation about gender dysphoria and double mastectomies. The room applauded. It was surreal. If I remember rightly a mediocre song about being yourself was sung, accompanied by a couple of chords on the guitar. A long-haired boy who obviously had a serious eating disorder, in a skirt so short we could almost see his underwear, stood up & read a poem about being trans & oppressed. At least I think it was a poem, I was focused on the obvious eating disorder, & it was a while ago now.
While the headteacher was speaking, a young woman with blue hair & black eyeliner burst unannounced into the back of the hall. She interrupted him, announced she was non-binary and complained loudly about cleaning staff repeatedly removing sanitary bins from the boys toilets.
All eyes were on her. The headmaster was embarrassed & apologetic . He said that the school had already spent a lot of money giving the teachers trans-appropriate training and they did not have enough money left to train the cleaning staff. He was almost pleading with her. The young woman waxed eloquent for a little longer. I was gobsmacked that her obviously planned interruption was considered acceptable, so I missed some of what she said. The headteacher, humiliated, apologised some more. I found it hard to believe what I was seeing.
At the lunch break I approached the headteacher, wanting to discuss what resources the school used. He was not exactly rude but he was brusque and immediately told me he had no time to talk to me. He turned his back on me and left the room. He went and sat in a window seat in the hallway just outside the conference room and spent the entire break placating the blue-haired young woman who had sabotaged the presentation that he had clearly worked so hard on.
The girls glorifying elective double mastectomies needed educating about the realities of surgery.
The boy needed help for his mental health issues & eating disorder.
The blue-haired non-binary girl needed a detention & a meeting with her parents re inappropriate behaviour.
And the message for the head teacher? Your compliance will never be enough.
Adults in positions of authority have renounced their power to tyrannical, deluded children. Kids need boundaries and they need to know that they can trust adults to keep them safe. We are failing them badly and it won’t end well.
So while everyone is telling themselves it’s a youth driven movement, look a bit closer and it starts getting murky. You can’t help asking, “who’s really driving the trans train?”
Gender identity politics is a state-sanctioned cult supported by mainstream media, political parties, corporate businesses & the many clinicians who profit from it.
it’s really not about the gay
The gender identity cult comes under the umbrella of LGBT but it has little to do with gay rights. Lesbian and gay people, who are often gender non-conforming, already suffer from stereotypical representations of how men and women are ‘supposed’ to behave. A cult based around reinforcing, affirming and protecting those stereotypes is hardly going to be doing them any favours. Already the LGB is being told that describing yourself as ‘same sex attracted‘ is transphobic and that any form of LGB organisation without the T is ‘hateful’. This is not an equal rights movement. Trans ideology demands that the state give it recognition and protection; it demands that everybody pays lip-service to its beliefs and that women and girls surrender their own rights because trans rights are more important. It even demands that it is protected against being offended.
It cost Kate Scottow over a thousand pounds for causing a certain ‘lawyer’ on Twitter ‘annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety’ via use of the phrase ‘a pig in a wig’.
The concept of ‘gender identity’ has been sold to vulnerable kids and young people who have been duped into thinking they invented it. If our gender identity was such an intrinsically essential part of the human condition, don’t you think somebody just might have started talking about it at some point in the last three thousand years? Never mind the last 3,000 years – are people over 40 really so unbelievably stupid that we didn’t notice we had a gender identity until some narcissistic, gender-fluid teenager started telling us about how they didn’t have one?
“The young,” as my old gran used to say, “they think they invented everything.”
This raises some important questions.
What other revolutionary young people’s movement is taught to them in schools?
What other revolutionary young people’s movement is funded and supported by banks, multinationals and governments?
What other revolutionary young people’s movement has a government which not only flies its flag but changes its social media logo to its flag?
What other revolutionary young people’s movement has a police force that lines up to salute it?
If Barclays, Starbucks and Macdonalds support your movement; if the government posts your flag on its Twitter account; if your school is applauding what you’re doing and the cops are after your approval- I hate to break it to you but you are not living on the edge & you are not breaking boundaries.
For the police, big business and the government, this is a chance to get young people on side. Like the parents of non-binary children they can show off their ‘woke’ credentials- while at the same time re-affirming the stereotypes of male and female behaviour. What’s not to like?
It is astonishing to see how young TRAs have been fooled by this. They honestly believe that their elders have never questioned stereotypes or considered gender. There’s so much drama, self-importance and navel-gazing that they don’t see they’re being taken for a ride.
You’re a girl who feels like a boy? You have a vivid imagination and a grasp on how different your life might have been if you had been born the opposite sex. Maybe you would have been happier. Maybe you feel this very, very deeply and it hurts. You’re a boy who feels like a girl? Maybe you would feel safer in a world where you were valued for wrapping yourself in a cloak of pretty, feminine things. Maybe you would be happier. Life is hard, and unfair. How about you get out there and change all that? How about you get out there and smash some stereotypes?
Who is promoting gender ideology?
The institutions of education for a start. Kindergartens and pre-schools, Primary schools, Secondary schools. And once young people get to university, where we would expect them to use their education to unpack, question and contemplate the things taught to them as children, they discover that universities are no longer places that advocate for free speech. They are safe spaces. Spaces where the doctrine cannot be questioned and young people whose ideas or identities are challenged or questioned feel they are ‘unsafe’.
Spaces where debate is not welcome and controversial voices are no platformed.
“It’s considered reasonable to publicly hound a female academic — if she’s branded a ‘TERF” reported Julie Bindel in the Spectator.
Kathleen Stock reports “‘My main problem is non-trans colleagues, in some cases very senior, who announce to the world that I’m a “danger” to the safety and wellbeing of trans students at my university and that my ideas themselves are “violent”.’
“What is happening to feminist heretics in universities across the world is the new face of sexual harassment,” concludes Bindell.
Our culture now seems accepting of the idea that it is the trappings of femininity that define what a woman is. If a woman does not perform these she is somehow lesser. Women are not told this directly, but when a man can pick up these trappings, adorn himself with them and have the world accept him as a woman, then what other interpretation can there be?
This week it was announced that some UK universities including Edinburgh and Newcastle will be ‘outlawing microaggressions’. University staff will be given a list of banned ‘microinsults’ that must not pass their lips, including ‘I used to want to be a boy when I was a child‘ and ‘all women hate their periods’. Lecturers must also not place ‘
In 2019, a judge ruled that Maya Forstater’s belief that there are two sexes, male and female and that sex is immutable, was ‘not worthy of respect in democratic society’.
So here we are.
Sex discrimination really is a thing of the past, although not quite in the way we’d hoped for.
Governments & big business want to be seen to be ‘down with the kids’. They are the future voters, they are the ones who’ll put their student loans in the banks which sport a rainbow logo (often while investing in countries with an abysmal record on gay rights). Organisations who received government funding and charity status, such as Mermaids and Stonewall, have a vested interest in the perpetuation of trans ideology: it’s what keeps them in a job. Transactivists generally, whether trans-identifed people themselves or parents who have affirmed their child’s ‘identity’ have an awful lot invested in the rest of us going along with it. Not to mention autogynephilic men who want access to women’s spaces. So do surgeons who wish to carry out ground breaking experimental work in the Morreau-ish domain of splicing and recreating body parts. There seems to be no shortage of young women offering themselves up as canvases. Then there are the therapists, consultants and clinicians who are in it for the money. As for the profits the drug companies are making from medicating dysphoric youth, that needs an essay all of its own…
Affirm, affirm, affirm.
Gender politics is a billion dollar business.
Now get back in your box.