Monday, 15 May 2017

The Reality About Gender: It's Binary

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that a leading private school is to bring in gender neutral uniforms that would allow boys to wear skirts. Quite how that is gender neutral I don't quite understand, but then I am not the kind of demented half wit who worries himself sick about the terrible plight of children who have decided, probably apropos of all of the publicity surrounding  this issue these last 3 or 4 years, that they are in the wrong body they were assigned at birth. Yes, apparently when the midwife slapped their bottom and announced to their proud parents that they were a boy or girl this was shameful bigotry. It was an assignation rather than simple observation of the facts of life. Penis shmenis.

Now to be fair to this idiotic article, it did mention that critics have gently suggested that the rise in numbers of pupils imagining that they are somehow in the wrong body may have something to do with this being the latest obsession of the media (actually mostly the BBC and Channel 4 and the Washington Post in the US) and in particular of the left. There are now specialists in the NHS, which presumably, on this evidence, has altogether too much money, who deal with the terrible plight of children as young as 5, yes 5, who imagine that they are the wrong gender. Instead of dismissing this as a phase or simply shrugging and telling them to get over it, these impressionable young fools are indulged and molly coddled and allowed to wear gender neutral clothes.

Oh and the schools, which presumably are also awash with money, are considering gender neutral toilets. This is usually explained as being necessary because pupils are made to feel uncomfortable when visiting the toilet they consider inappropriate. Uncomfortable? Who does feel comfortable visiting the sodding toilet. It's a biological function most of just get on with. Men routinely try to leave at least one urinal space between one another owing to discomfort. This however is not because we think it likely that the dude next to us might actually have a gender issue. Of course referring to him (it?) as a dude is probably unacceptable.

The article revealed that there has been a surge in pupils, mostly girls, seeking help to change gender. Now when I was growing up, girls like this would simply have been called tomboys and nobody would have worried too much. But not now. Now we have to worry about it a lot. And then give them all kinds of counselling, treatment and even operations that will scar them for life for zero evidence that they have any kind of issue at all.

This generation, said the headmaster of Highgate School, is really questioning if we are being binary in the way we look at things. Yes, binary. Male and female. Binary. This generation and a generation of cretins who teach them and who ought to know better, are questioning if we are being binary. To which the answer is of course, yes we are being binary because binary is what we are. It's called biology. It's why we are here. We live in a society in which you can call yourself whatever you like. You can dress more or less as you please. You can go on to have whatever career you choose, get married to anyone of whatever sex you wish. But you cannot be a different sex or gender because we are binary and there is nothing anyone can do about it. That's not society doing that to you. You are assigned your gender at birth according to which genitalia your chromosomes dictate. It's not assigned in the same way that the colour of my eyes is not assigned. It just is.

The picture at the top is of Llyr Jones, who is a boy who has decided he is a girl. He is 16. He has been given injections to slow down male puberty. The doctors who have allowed this should be struck off. He came across the idea of changing gender when he was 10, he says, and spent the next several years reading about it and talking to people about it. He had not realised, he says, that people can change gender. Well, Llyr, that's because you can't. You have been lied to. Oh you can change your name, you can wear a dress. You can actually, I must admit, look rather pretty. But that just makes you a pretty boy. This is hardly revolutionary. Because when we look closely, we can see that you have the square jaw of a boy who is becoming a man. And no medical intervention is possible to change that. What is happening to you may seem cruel and maybe even humiliating. Welcome to life. Nobody ever said it is fair.

Yet this same facile article claims that modern pupils see binary gender as old fashioned. No, it's not, except in the sense that men and women have been around as long as we have existed on the planet and male and female has been around for a billion years or so.

Medical science can do many many miraculous things, but sometimes it should hold up its hands and say we cannot do this and we should be honest about it. More than that we shouldn't do it and it is immoral to try. Telling people with a psychological condition that they can be treated and made to feel better is cruel and wanton and morally bankrupt. Life is full of vicissitudes and they cannot be medicalised away. Did you know that there is an operation that men who imagine they are women can have to make their adam's apple disappear? Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Does the willingness and desire to go through such a pointless cosmetic procedure not speak of something psychological rather than physical? Should doctors who are prepared to administer such a procedure be allowed to continue to practice?

It is traditional at this point in a post or article like this to say that of course if people, once they are over 18 and still think they are in the wrong body, want to change gender then they should be allowed to do so. And I repeat I have no problem with them changing their names, growing their hair, wearing different clothes, changing their identity. Fine. But giving hormone treatment? Operating? No. Definitely not. It shouldn't even be permitted if they pay for it themselves and definitely should not be  on an NHS which apparently cannot even afford to update all of its computers from Windows XP. An NHS that is running out of date software rendering it vulnerable to malware and cannot afford cancer drugs has no business indulging the deluded into changing their sex rather than offering them psychiatric treatment.

I guarantee you this: when the media stop obsessing about this non issue and moves on to the next one, the number of pupils who wonder if they are the wrong gender will fall exponentially. This is a phantom condition and one that is a mental health issue. This all seems to have emerged from the entirely reasonable and laudable aim of stopping sex and gender from determining what we do with our lives. Women don't have to play nurturing roles for instance and men don't have to do hard, labour-intensive jobs, which is a relief to those of us who have two left feet and would really rather work indoors. It should be noted however that women, generally, are good at nurturing roles and tend to be more empathetic. That is also a statement of fact. It doesn't make such roles compulsory, it just recognises the clear difference between the sexes. That difference exists. It cannot be erased by gender neutral toilets and allowing boys to wear skirts and girls trousers.

But from this eminently sensible suggestion that it really is fine if women want to be engineers and for men to be nurses, we seem to have made the tangential leap that gender is a social construct. And it isn't. There is no evidence at all that this is the case. Societal roles likes jobs are clearly social constructs. Being male or female aren't. They are binary because binary is all that there is. This is a simple statement of fact. Anyone suggesting otherwise is confusing human psychology with physiology. And leaving rational objectivity on the changing room floor along with the burnt bra.


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