Time was when I could never have voted anything but Labour. It was the only party that reflected my political passions – fairness, equality of opportunity, justice, tolerance, enlightenment and a truly liberal mindset. I joined the Party, went on the campaign trail, became active in my trade union and moved in political circles. Then the Blairites took over and Labour became all about PFI money and getting into bed with the City and the corporate world. I cancelled my membership and joined the Green Party, largely because its manifesto reminded me of the left of centre stance that Labour had long since abandoned. I could, perhaps, have rejoined the fold had Corbyn been allowed to flourish, but his fence-sitting on the EU would have been a block to that for me. Now I know I will never go back. The Party has lost me forever and I am not the only one.
The Labour Party has been captured by a new ’Militant Tendency’ but this time, the leadership is fully on board with the madness and in the grip of the ideologues. The ‘New Agenda’ is gender and woe betide anyone who does not toe the line. For so long the natural political home for many gay and lesbian activists, feminists and supporters of a variety of liberal causes, the Labour Party appears intent on aligning itself with a philosophy that is inherently sexist, misogynistic and homophobic, seemingly without even realising that it is abandoning core liberal values, scientific truth and, ultimately, a good proportion of its traditional voter base.
Recently, Anneliese Dodds could not define the word ’woman’ and Yvette Cooper went so far as to claim that to even engage with the question was pointless, refusing in her words, to go down the ‘rabbit hole’. In 2020 Dawn Butler famously claimed that all children are born without a sex (presumably because she had swallowed the ideological position that sex is ’assigned’ after birth) and last year Keir Starmer said that it was wrong to claim that only a woman has a cervix. Starmer’s position here is based on the ’fact’ that trans men (who will have a cervix) are men, and not women; thus both men and women can have a cervix. David Lamy subsequently went down his own rabbit hole by suggesting that trans women could, in some unspecified way, develop a cervix, after surgery or hormone treatment for example. Now Starmer is on record as claiming not only that trans women are women but that this is the legal effect of the combination of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equalities Act 2010. He is wrong on both counts but, in this debate, truth has been the victim for some time.
At the core of the problem is a confusion between the concepts of sex and gender, a confusion that has been actively promoted by gender identity protagonists. Sex and gender are two entirely different concepts and it is wrong to conflate them. Sex is biological. Every child is born male or female (almost without exception) and one cannot change one’s sex. There are only two sexes and a person’s sex is determined at conception and by the development path taken in the following 8 or so weeks in the womb. Hence why Dawn Butler’s comment about all children being born without a sex is nonsense. On the other hand, there is no evidence that gender is anything other than a social construct. Certainly. the idea that every person has some innate gender identity is nothing more than ideological speculation with no supporting scientific data. It is this imprecision that is fundamental to the idea of gender identity. There are plenty of difficulties with the concept of gender, especially as employed by the gender identity lobby. I would recommend taking a read through the article ’Gender Is Not a Spectrum’ by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper for an excellent exposition of the logical difficulties that abound with the concept.
A woman is defined by primary sex characteristics. The term woman means ’adult human female’ and it does not equate to a specific gender. In order to swallow the nonsense that trans women are women one has to accept that the term woman means nothing more than a collection of gender-related behaviours and characteristics. This is exactly what feminists have been fighting against for decades, so it is no wonder why passions are raised. It is time for the Labour Party to reflect upon its direction of travel and hit reverse. A trans woman is not a woman, however much any particular trans person might believe it to be the case. Believing something to be true does not make it so, and being truthful in the face of false claims does not make a person hateful or bigoted or transphobic, it just makes them honest. We could do with a generous injection of honesty into our politics just about now.
Of course, it is not only the Labour Party that has been infected by this philosophical virus. The Green Party, the SNP and the LibDems have likewise fallen prey to it. Indeed, the SNP has recently introduced a Bill that would amend the Gender Recognition Act and make gender self-identification a simple tick-box exercise usable by anyone from the age of 16. I am, effectively, politically homeless as my political family has become lost in an identity cult. Yes. it is that serious because of the consequences of making gender the centre of political policy making.
Taking up the mantra that ’trans women are women’ puts the Labour Party on the same side of the argument as Karen White, a sexual predator who, after declaring himself trans, was placed in a women’s prison and then committed further sexual offences. Women and children need safe spaces to protect them from sexual, physical and emotional violence which is almost exclusively perpetrated by men. Allowing simple self-identification creates a gap in the safeguarding system that perpetrators will walk straight through, as sure as eggs is eggs (and sperm is sperm).