10 Comments

It's a very reasonable article, of a piece with similarly reasonable articles I've read, mostly on Substack where writers have the most leeway to express themselves without someone else curbing any perceived excess.

But I do think too much ground is given to proponents of gender identity. I can't see that ‘trans women are women’ is true in any sense, nor can I see what it would mean for a male to “feel female”, or how somebody would treat somebody as a woman outside of contexts where sex would be relevant.

Having read your piece, I'm not sure if you see it either. To say, “Trans women are not women in the sense that biological women are, because trans women are not born with female anatomy” seems to concede the entire point, since being an adult with female anatomy is both necessary and sufficient to being a woman. The social stuff is linked, but besides the point.

I agree trans people should be treated with compassion. But it is asking too much to expect us to deny material reality.

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Feb 4Liked by Ian Leslie

That was a very helpful article Ian. Helpful because I hadn’t previously understood what the crux of the debate was. It feels like, as often seems to be the case in many big changes, that activists need to generate controversy in order to attract attention to their cause, but the controversy also turns people away from their cause and makes things worse for the people they are trying to protect.

The squeaky wheel …

Thanks again.

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Feb 4Liked by Ian Leslie

What is gender? Feminism used to use gender to mean sex roles, something that is due to socialisation as much as psychology. When did it become an innate essence? Saying you have a gender identity is no more provable than claiming to have an immortal soul. What does feeling like or living as the other sex mean? I have no idea what other women feel or how that is different from men. I have differences and similarities to both men and women. What does living in a gender mean when there are a myriad of ways to live? Does it mean anymore than appearance? These to me are the stumbling blocks. Get rid of gender boxes that we are put into

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Feb 6Liked by Ian Leslie

Why isn't TMAM a thing? We don't ever seem to hear from them? Are they quietly living and let living? Not creating hullaballoos about their preferred bathrooms, pronouns, prisons, crises centres? Do they just not feel strongly about this stuff? Where are they and why are they so quiet?

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Nothing has challenged my natural predisposition to live & let live, or even my love of outsiders, quite like being expected to intone a lie or be branded a bigot.

I maintain my respect and acceptance of people choosing to live *their* way *despite* the gender activists, not *because* of them.

Great piece!

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Feb 6Liked by Ian Leslie

Also, great article.

Thank you for saying everything that swirls giddily around in many of our heads but we are unable to articulate it either for weariness, or fear, or lack of 'articulateness' :) Especially delighted to read this as I have just read about the hungamma over Hogwarts' Legacy and the legions of people either campaigning for a boycott or trying to reconcile their need to buy / play the game while simultaneously distancing themselves from 'she who must not be named'.

Well done for not naming her by the way :))))

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Lovely piece Ian, and the move to common sense is so important with such potentially fractious issues. Thanks.

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Hurrah! You used "cognitive dissonance" correctly! (People usually go into denial to avoid cognitive dissonance.) Great piece all round. And the more we hear from people who are transitioning/detransitioning the better.

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