Catherine Drury in Feminism 5: This is the hardest of my pieces to write as it concerns some of the most vulnerable people in our society: children and teenagers. Our children look to us to learn about the world around them, and also to protect them from harm. What is the best way to do that, and what are the implications?
When I was younger I was told women and girls could do anything – no longer restricted, women have broken their chains and the world is their oyster. Those “chains” are sex roles enforced on us by a patriarchal society, with a set of rules that dictate what women are and what they can do. The rules say women are meek, subservient, less intelligent, enjoy menial tasks, want babies, are caring blah blah blah. Men are strong, clever, natural rulers, funny, etc etc etc.
Scooting through 500 years of British male fashion in search of a reason why men shouldn’t wear lace pants. Social conventions are so powerful, it’s easy to see why most people just accept them, thinking something’s wrong when they don’t fit the expected gender box. Yet it’s all rubbish. Gender varies hugely by country, tradition and by era; this proves it isn’t some kind of natural law. It’s simply that we are taught our culture’s gender rules from the moment we’re born.
There is a huge, fast-growing community of gender transition desisters, resisters and detransitioners. Their voices are quiet because of vicious attacks by their former trans support groups, and because they’re traumatised. The process often brings incredible self-insight and perspective. In four powerful artworks, young detransitioner Cari expresses what lay behind her dysphoria. We review the social forces that focus a person’s identity on their ‘gender’.
Surely, he said, displaying a concern for trans people I’d never seen him display for women, a transwoman asking for a place in a women’s refuge is a DV victim in need? Trans people deserve support, but here’s the thing: women’s services aren’t coping with demand as it is. They lack money, power and influence. But many figures in the transgender movement are enormously wealthy. Any one of them could fund services for trans professionals to help trans people!
I envied the way boys could pee up walls and really felt as if I was lacking. I tried to pee standing up. Being a boy meant strength, adventure, toughness and vigour; I felt trapped and imprisoned as a girl … Growing up meant loss of freedom, although at twelve I could not articulate that. As my body began changing, I felt a sense of wonder: a deep, but unexpressed, pride and excitement about my maturing female body. Where was the little boy of not long ago?
Fair Play for Women would like to state our support for the BBC, who, despite co-ordinated efforts to prevent the broadcast, aired the documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? on BBC2 this week. The subject of gender identity and the attendant push to ratify gender identity rights into UK
Created by parents struggling to help their gender-questioning children, Mermaids Transgender was a support group. Now it’s a registered charity, receiving large grants and consulted by the UK Government, the NHS and others. And is still a group of blinkered evangelists. Despite their elevated status, Mermaids have shown themselves incapable of handling facts or seeing wider contexts. Our distressed young people need support, not sterilisation. We explain.
The BBC has produced a short programme, aimed at children aged 6-12, about one child’s “transition” from a boy to a girl. Just a Girl depicts the fictional video diaries of a child who calls himself (or, as he would prefer, herself) Amy and wears girl’s clothes, but explains to viewers that he was born as a boy, Ben, and is in the process of halting puberty. The programme has rightly been met with protest that this is inappropriate for children. You can complain here.