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Jane Fae in The Mail

(13 Posts)
Mumsnut Tue 10-Oct-17 08:13:53

First they came for our motherhood (they’re pregnant people now, not mums, OK?) then they came for the smart skirts worn by female RAF recruits.
They’re doing a pretty good job on separate ladies’ and gents’ loos and I reckon before long they’ll be able to count ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in public announcements on station platforms as a scalp, too.
Who are ‘they’? The trans lobby, supposedly. And the latest targets in their sights are the M and F boxes on our census forms.
The 'sex' question in the next census could be made voluntary after claims it discriminates against transgender people +2
The 'sex' question in the next census could be made voluntary after claims it discriminates against transgender people
It has been suggested that in the next national census, due in 2021, we won’t be forced to specify our genders because asking would be hurtful to trans people. Really?
As a trans woman myself (I transitioned eight years ago at the age of 52) the only polite way I can think to respond to this proposal is ‘poppycock’. There are far less polite words that spring to mind, too.
For once again, it is the tiny trans community which is thrust reluctantly into the spotlight to defend some theoretical nonsense and which will be demonised over this ill-thought-out gibberish.
The best analogy I can come up with is that the ‘trans agenda’ has become like Birmingham City Council’s Winterval.

ROBERT HARDMAN: If we no longer dare to record how many of...

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For those who don’t remember, this was an initiative in the late Nineties to promote a season of secular and religious events in the city, which some people alleged was a way to rebrand Christmas so as to not offend anyone who might not be Christian.
Who proposed the idea? I’d bet very good money it wasn’t a Muslim, Sikh or Jew, most of whom couldn’t care less.
When it comes to gender, the same seems to be happening. Plenty of people who are not trans keep rewriting public policy to fit some presumed, but actually non-existent, trans demand. This appears to be little more than virtue-signalling done in our name by organisations desperate to be seen as inclusive.
My personal belief is that society could do with a lot less gender stereotyping — the sky would not fall in if schools stopped insisting on different uniforms for boys and girls, and I would not be the least upset if Kinder refrained from requiring children to choose between blue and pink eggs containing masculine and feminine toys.
Plenty of people who are not trans keep rewriting public policy to fit some presumed, but actually non-existent, trans demand, writes Jane Fae (not pictured+2
Plenty of people who are not trans keep rewriting public policy to fit some presumed, but actually non-existent, trans demand, writes Jane Fae (not pictured
But there are plenty of instances where it is totally appropriate and, indeed, necessary to ask someone’s gender — such as in a census.
This count of ‘all people and lifestyles’ has happened every ten years since 1801, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which runs the census.
As the ONS says, ‘it is the most complete source of information about the population that we have’, and the results allow ‘central and local government, health authorities and other organisations to target their resources more effectively and to plan housing, education, health and transport services for years to come’.
It is vital to have an overview of the age and sex breakdown of the UK population, which is the whole point of the census. There are many areas, from health to family planning and education, where knowing the accurate number of men and women is key.
Elsewhere, it is important to know how gender breaks down within individual businesses in order to identify discrimination where it is happening. In other words; sometimes we need it, sometimes we don’t.
I have no problem whatsoever with a gender question on the census form.
Am I male or female? I will happily answer that with a cross in the box marked F. That’s what is on my passport. That is how I identify.
I would, however, suggest these boxes are followed up by other questions to give the Government the most accurate information on the trans population while also respecting the feelings of those for whom gender is a sensitive issue.
Am I male or female? I will happily answer that with a cross in the box marked F. That’s what is on my passport. That is how I identify
This has nothing to do with political correctness. It just makes good sense.
They might ask, for example, whether the box I ticked was the same gender I was assigned at birth. Personally, I would be happy to answer that (though not all would), and the answer is no.
But I would have one proviso: that the ONS must guarantee it will take the same precautions, as it does with any minority group, to make sure it isn’t accidentally outing anyone or putting them at risk.
Then I would suggest another box for that small, but still very real, proportion of society which does not identify as man or woman.
I may have some readers spluttering in their tea, but it is an absolute fact that the simple ‘male or female’ question, or even the ‘gender at birth’ question, won’t do for everyone. Trans is not a single thing, but many things. I am what is often referred to as binary; I have exchanged one side of the gender divide for the other. I was born a man and now I’m a woman.
But the area of greatest growth in recent years has been around non-binary identities; people who do not identify as male or female. How are they supposed to answer a rigid male/female question? What happens if they don’t?
For all the froth around this topic, one important fact is often overlooked. Every decade, regular as clockwork and a year or so after the census, the prosecutions begin — as failure to return a census, as well as deliberate provision of false information, is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
That’s why it is important to nail down exactly what we should be asking when it comes to gender.
It may sound confusing, but if worded carefully, there is potential here for a strong win-win for the ONS and trans people alike. The bottom line is that the ONS wants information that accurately represents the current UK population — it won’t achieve that by waving a big stick or insisting that a small, but not insignificant, segment of the population answers a question they cannot answer honestly.
All that will get it is a loud and uncomfortable raspberry in the form of questions unanswered, or answered with the first thing that enters the form-filler’s head.
Worse, if you annoy someone sufficiently with one question, chances are they’ll then spoil your survey in other ways.
It is all such common sense that I am at a loss to understand why some people are getting so overwrought about it. I suspect it is all about the idea — the fear in some quarters — that ‘all this gender nonsense’ really is a conspiracy, and that trans people are out to get them.
We’re not — we’re not the ones clamouring for this change. Trans people come in pretty much every shape, size and political persuasion. Some have radical views on gender. Others are dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists.
When it comes to political machination, it’s not just that we couldn’t organise the proverbial p***-up in a brewery, we would be incapable of agreeing whether to hold it in a brewery, wine bar or cafe. Whatever we decided, a splinter group would inevitably set off to sample the fare at the nearest chip shop.
What most trans people want to do is nothing more than get on with their lives without constantly being a focus for public debate. We are as puzzled as anyone else by the idea that we are demanding this, that, or t’other.
We really aren’t. Like everyone else, we’d just like a bit more common sense, that’s all.

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Bucketsandspoons Tue 10-Oct-17 14:16:07

Saw this this morning, sent by a friend who knows my rant potential on such themes... grin I started out hopeful that this was going to be a Miranda Yardley type who would be sensible throughout and then discovered that while there's some positive parts they're still conflating biological sex and gender as the same thing. Sigh.

Miffer Tue 10-Oct-17 14:41:06

I have to agree with Bucket.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the non-binary stuff is actually the most harmful part of all this bollocks.

Terrylene Tue 10-Oct-17 14:45:10

She seems to be very reasonable and is very good at that (which is unusual in this debate) but she still comes out with all the same old gender assigning stuff.

Miffer Tue 10-Oct-17 14:54:36

She usually writes for The Guardian, just read her last article and quite frankly I am not impressed. The usual avoidance of the obvious questions and handwaving difficult issues.

DonkeySkin Tue 10-Oct-17 15:00:11

This column is basically a lot of 'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.'

It's mendacious in the extreme for Fae to claim that attempts to extinguish sex as a meaningful legal and social category are not coming from the trans lobby, and as for the 'it's just poor little old us, a teeny, tiny vulnerable minority who want to be left alone' posturing, anybody paying attention can see that the gender identity movement is highly organised, rapidly expanding, well funded, and supported by the infrastructure of the entire LGBT movement, which is now mostly focused on trans issues, to the detriment of gays and lesbians.

And while some transsexuals do no doubt just want to be left alone to get on with their lives, the 'gender identity' movement (of which Fae is a leading figure) has no intention of leaving anyone alone. It seeks to redefine the understanding of what men and women (and boys and girls) are for EVERYONE, because 'gender identity' by its nature is in direct conflict with the understanding of sex as an objective reality. The two concepts cannot coexist, legally or ontologically - one must trump the other.

Bucketsandspoons Tue 10-Oct-17 15:59:41

I linked to an issendai article (the missing missing reasons ) on another thread today and re read it for the first time in a while. I was surprised to see some whopping similarities between the strategies and thinking of estranged parents to the whole trans narrative.

'In one worldview, emotion is king. Details exist to support emotion. If a member gives one set of details to describe how angry she is about a past event, and a few days later gives a contradictory set of details to describe how sad she is about the same event, both versions are legitimate because both emotions are legitimate. Context is malleable because the full picture may not support the member's emotion. Emotion creates reality.

In the second worldview, reality creates emotion. Small details can change the entire tenor of a forum's response; members see a distinction between "She said I'm worthless" and "She said something that made me feel worthless." Members recognize that unjustified emotions (like super sensitivity due to trauma, or irritation with another person that colors the view of everything the person does) are real and deserve respect, but they also believe that unjustified emotions shouldn't be acted on. They show posters different ways to view the situation and give advice on how to handle the emotions. In short, they believe that external events create emotional responses, that only some responses are justified, that people's initial perceptions of events are often flawed, and that understanding external events can help people understand and manage emotions.'

and later:

'The first viewpoint, "emotion creates reality," is truth for a great many people. Not a healthy truth, not a truth that promotes good relationships, but a deep, lived truth nonetheless. It's seductive. It means that whatever you're feeling is just and right, that you're never in the wrong unless you feel you're in the wrong. For people whose self-image is so battered and fragile that they can't bear anything but validation, often it feels like the only way they can face the world.'

That to me epitomises the most frustrating aspect of this whole debate. I have the deepest sympathy with a vulnerable and fragile person's internal and not so healthy truths of how they think and feel - I just absolutely don't agree that this should be validated in law and everyone compelled to validate the belief system of others whether they agree or not. (I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!)

This quote: 'Anything tinged with negative emotion, anything that makes them feel bad about themselves, shocks them so deeply that they block it out. They really can't remember anything but screaming. This emotional amnesia shapes their entire lives, pushing them to associate only with people who won't criticize them, training their families to shelter them from blows so thoroughly that the softest protest feels like a fist to the face.'

It's the argument from TRAs about the Speakers Corner incident, that the presence of women wanting to question their narrative made them feel 'unsafe' to the extent it was the same as punching in the face and grabbing throats, and so she started it.

Ereshkigal Tue 10-Oct-17 20:50:47

am becoming increasingly convinced that the non-binary stuff is actually the most harmful part of all this bollocks.

Yes. It requires the least personal investment too, which is one reason it's so dangerous.

Miffer Tue 10-Oct-17 21:26:03

It requires the least personal investment too, which is one reason it's so dangerous

Yes! I find this really difficult to articulate but that is definitely the root of it.

It just means utterly nothing, nothing at all. Anybody who says they are nonbinary are helping to reinforce every shitty stereotype.

Xenophile Tue 10-Oct-17 21:41:47

Fae needs to stick to Fae's knitting.

morningrunner Tue 10-Oct-17 22:22:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloraFox Tue 10-Oct-17 23:03:50

Typical Fae bullshit. I don't recall one feminist complaining about the loss of "smart skirts" worn by women RAF recruits. Conflating that with genuine complaints by feminists is designed to undermine the feminist position.

Also agree with DonkeySkin about Fae's typical approach of deflecting from the transactivists and claiming it is non trans people who are behind the absurdity du jour of the trans lobby.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 11-Oct-17 02:14:59

Is anyone on the planet not 'nonbinary' wrt gender? confused

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