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  • Here’s the video, Sasha Ayad, Licensed Professional Counsellor and Stella O’Malley, Psychotherapist, interview Dr Anne Lawrence for their series, Gender: A Wider Lens. They write, ‘[i]t’s important to listen to [people’s experience] so we can understand all the manifestations of [gender dysphoria]. However we believe in the power of therapeutic intervention and we don’t think a nihilistic approach is helpful to deeply distressed individuals.’

    I found of particular interest Lawrence’s discussion of the late psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut’s views on the failure among transsexual people to develop a secure sense of self. Lawrence’s own paper can be found here (the link given on the above site no longer works)

    I think Kohut’s ideas here explain a great deal and Lawrence gives a good account of them in the paper and also somewhere in the video (I think from memory, nearer the end).

    • Memory plays tricks, ie is creative! It’s an audio throughout, not a “video”. But it’s still vivid.

  • OMG and Oy Vey, I AM getting old!! I was washing some dishes just now and suddenly, NOT “Clinton” (if she ever reads this I hope she’ll forgive me) it’s MANNING, Chelsea Manning (which itself is an interesting surname). Apologies all round.

    PS No wonder the NHS wont let doctors work in it if they’re over 70. Well now, that’s a long time ago. Sadly, fewer grey cells by now. Eat drink and be merry.

  • HaHa!! George VI !! I’m not that ancient!!

    PS I can’t, apparently, send that comment to an unapproved comment!! So I’ve had to post it as a new comment. It was a correction to a reply to Greg!


    The ever sensible, insightful, blazingly honest Dr Anne A Lawrence, inspiringly incapable of self-deception, writes something in her brilliant 2013 book, ‘Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism’ which I think may well point a way foreward out of all the confusion and contumely that has raged in recent years. It’s on pages 208-9 of that book and I’ve quoted the extract below, a bit long perhaps, but I think it’s very valuable.

    Her depiction might perhaps be compared to the “Two-Spirit” phenomenon found among some Indigenous North American peoples to describe Native people who feel themselves to be, and are perceived as, belonging to a third gender, men who fulfill the traditional social role in their societies of women.

    The idea would likely take rather a long time to catch on, if it ever does, but speaking as someone who on most, though not all, issues is on the liberal-left end of the political spectrum, I would think it quite a lovely thing if people were able to say, e.g. “I know biologically I’m male but I’ve never felt at home in my masculine body and masculine mind and although I know I’m certainly not a woman, nevertheless I can’t help feeling that I’d be more ‘at home’ in the world living as if I were a woman. I think I know I’d be much more content with my life if others could accept that ‘as if’ halfway house which would involve no attempt to trespass upon women’s spaces.”

    Her section headline is Unapologetic Autogynephilic Transsexualism?

    [B]ut what about autogynephilic gender dysphoric men who see themselves more clearly and can’t deceive themselves so easily—who know that they are men with a powerful paraphilic wish to become women and cannot pretend otherwise? They are in a more difficult position: They not only have to grapple with their own shame and sadness about being paraphilic men, but they also have to face the potential disapproval of others without being able to pretend to be different than they truly are. It is still not entirely respectable, even in “transgender friendly” settings, to appear to deviate too far from being a classic MtF transsexual.

    Although I’m not aware of any formal surveys, I suspect that neither the transgender community nor its professional caregivers, much less the general public, would be completely comfortable with the idea of avowedly, unapologetically paraphilic men undergoing sex reassignment and living as women. Thirty or 40 years ago, mental health professionals who specialized in treating gender identity problems used to argue that paraphilic men—autogynephiles—who sought sex reassignment were not acceptable candidates because they were not genuinely transsexual. Nowadays, their successors seemingly want to argue that paraphilic men—autogynephiles—who seek sex reassignment have become acceptable candidates because they are not genuinely paraphilic! Perhaps this is a measure of progress, but the message remains the same: We do not willingly offer sex reassignment to mere paraphilic men.

    Some autogynephilic gender dysphoric men, however, cannot deny the uncomfortable truth that our very best gender specialists seem to insist on denying—that they are, without a doubt, paraphilic men. But autogynephilic gender dysphoric men would have to be very brave to pursue sex reassignment while saying openly, without apology: “We are not women trapped in men’s bodies, nor do we bear any close resemblance to women. We are nothing more or less than men who experience a paraphilic desire to become women.

    Nevertheless, we are committed to becoming the best possible facsimiles of the women we love and admire, despite the fact that we have the minds and bodies of men. We believe that this path offers us our best hope of overcoming our gender dysphoria and achieving the bodies and social roles in which we can live satisfying, fulfilling lives.”

    Call me a romantic, but I think this kind of unapologetic autogynephilic transsexualism sounds both courageous and admirable; I hope that it eventually becomes more prevalent. It seems to me entirely consistent with what Person (1999) identified as one of the important trends in contemporary Western societies that serve to legitimize what she called “the shared cultural fantasy of transsexualism” (p. 363). Person called this phenomenon:

    [“]Self-Realization as a Cultural Ideal. Once upon a time, an individual accepted certain external realities as unalterable. These realities determined his place in society. As historical changes, both technological and social, accelerated, the individual began to believe more in the alterability of his circumstances and ultimately of his person. The question was not whether to adjust to or rebel against reality but how to discriminate between those realities that needed to be recognized as unalterable and those one might change. We now assume that little of external reality is unalterable, an assumption derived in part from our increasingly astonishing scientific advances. (p. 364)[“]

    If the existence and meaning of autogynephilic transsexualism were to become more widely recognized and better understood, then this kind of unapologetic autogynephilic transsexualism might eventually become commonplace. I believe that this would be a very good thing.


    The reference towards the end is to Person, E. S. (1999). Harry Benjamin and the birth of a shared cultural fantasy. In The sexual century (pp. 347–366). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    • During my discovery of the issue I came upon Lawrence, and yes I agree there is much value in the material for anyone wanting factual knowledge of the phenomenon rather than politicized “gender theories”.
      But I find it a bit curious that notwithstanding your long term support to MM’s endeavors you still insist on playing along with the fiction of referring to Lawrence using female pronouns. I know Lawrence is a man, you know it. Why pretend?
      If the very discussion of the issue is forced to play along with the slanted rules of the game how can truth win out? By “respecting” pronouns we are conceding the argument as a condition of being permitted to put the argument – recall Maria’s courtroom humiliation of being forced to refer to her assailant as “she”.

      • Thanks Greg. Yes I know it’s controversial. There are males that present as simulacra of females whom I would never, *could* never, refer to with feminine pronouns because nothing about them is feminine, not looks, not behaviour, not manner or content of speech and the rest of it.

        But there are some, a very few, who elicit in me a feeling of wanting to accord them a courtesy, not least because they don’t transgress the boundaries which all males in society must respect. As far as I know (and I don’t of course know her personally) Chelsea Clinton seems such a person, not a woman, I know that, but because of how she presents herself to the world, I find myself responding to those parts of her personality that seem to me genuinely feminine. (I’m not a Jungian, but one might think of his concept of the ‘anima’ archetype, but I’m not pushing that, it’s just a passing thought.)

        Anne Lawrence seems to me another such person — we know she’s male (which sounds like an oxymoron but that’s the way I have to express it), male but projecting — if you’ve seen her on videos, and I’ll try to find one that I specially liked watching several months ago: I’ll post it here if I find it, with Maria’s permission — male but projecting a quiet, sincere feminine persona.

        (And by the way in the video I’m thinking of she mentions that she has now no specifically female-type clothes, dressing in a quite unisex way, which, just by the way, I’ve done myself for many years. It doesn’t have to be about the clothes.)

        Another person who comes to mind, I don’t know her personally, but we’ve exchanged a number of emails in the past is Debbie Hayton. She knows who she is but also who she isn’t (as Bertrand Russell once wrote, you never know exactly what you’re saying until you know precisely what you’re denying), and I always think of Debbie as ‘she’ and ‘her’.

        My view now (and it wasn’t always) is that sometimes you have to try to meet people half way. I do the same for instance with my antiZionist views (and it took me decades to see why Zionism was always the wrong answer to those who persecuted the people from whom I’m descended for centuries): there are many people who get their Jewish identity through an Israelocentric identity and I think one has to accept that, especially when the best of them are, right now, going through an anguish of cognitive dissonance. I just give that as an example of my approach to these kinds of raging controversies.

        And at my age … I think I’ve said before that, look, I remember Churchill’s and the King’s (that’s George V’s) wartime broadcasts. When women out of ‘wedlock’ … when gays were hounded by police …

        Some day this will all settle down, people will take their places, the contumely will calm. That is, if the climate crisis doesn’t get us all first. Which it probably will.

        All best

  • I’ve slightly modified my position in one respect only. I know several women, one actually a pretty standard-issue mainstream psychotherapist, another a former psychiatric social worker, also mainstream, who say they have no problem whatever with male-bodied people who identify as women using female-use toilets, or with such men joining women’s groups. I used to argue strongly against this, largely because it’s what most women are comfortable with.

    The line I’m inclined to take now is that if a particular group of women have no objection to males presenting as women joining them, then who am I to argue? I may think they’re being far too nice to men, or perhaps placing themselves in danger, but I can’t really object if that’s what they want.

    I fully of course defend their right to object to, say, men diagnosed with the paraphilia AGP (autogynephilia) who might well get a “kick” out of sitting with a group of women; but equally, I suppose, being socially liberal on these things, I ought to support their right (if they express it) to tell the guy to get lost.

    At the risk of getting accused of flippancy, I might suggest a probationary period involving a clinical use of plethysmography monitored by a psychologist (trained in sexology). If the test etc etc … the guy is expelled. If however the graph is (for want of a better word) flat, then he might be accepted as a safe bet.

    I’ll understand if this post isn’t acceptable, but I do think the world is so awful we should be able to have a laugh about it sometimes, even if the joke isn’t much good.

    • Brian, you said “if a particular group of women have no objection to males presenting as women joining them, then who am I to argue?”

      I’ve seen many trans-identifying males say something like this: “I’ve been using the Ladies’ toilets for years and no one has ever complained.” We males train girls and women not to complain; not to object; not to raise their concerns for their privacy; not to object when their dignity is violated. They just keep quiet and leave as soon as possible without attracting the attention of the male; without taking the chance that he’ll notice and get annoyed (or worse) if he’s not fully accepted and affirmed as he wants us to think of him.

      The point is that even if some women genuinely don’t have a problem with a male in their space, that may change and may not apply to others entering that space: they cannot speak for all girls and women. And if one changed their mind, how easy would it be for them to speak up?

      But an important issue is that one male in a supposed female-only space makes it a mixed-sex space and by allowing even one male in, it becomes far more difficult to keep any other male out. In terms of the Equality Act, even though it permits women to have their own single-sex space, it becomes more difficult to re-assert a space as only for their sex once they have allowed it to be mixed-sex.

      As the adage goes, good men stay out so the bad men stand out – and that has to include trans-identifying males.

      • Thanks very much Alan. I accept all the points you make there and find no objections to any of them. The idea of girls and women being conditioned to be pleasing and appeasing to men (and to everyone, really) probably even applies to my quite psychologically sophisticated friends the psychotherapist and the retired psych social worker. (Although in other ways each is pretty tough!)

        I suppose at my age (I remember my parents eagerly awaiting Churchill to come on the radio during the war) I’m slightly haunted by the notion that perhaps, just perhaps despite all my reasoned protestatons, I might be an old fuddyduddy not keeping up with the times, with social change. All these quite bright, well-informed young things, so politically savvy and appropriately skeptical (Hey, look, I watch NovaraMedia news often, I’ve even gone back to reading Owen Jones because on Israel/Gaza he’s spot-on, please forgive me if you can!), I mean although I’m socially liberal and have accepted happily all the huge social changes I’ve seen over the decades, maybe this time, maybe, there’s something I’m just not able to see? Naturally my scientific training in medicine tells me the whole trans thing is a load of dangerous, toxic rubbish, but … it’s not rational of me to doubt myself on this but. But what could the ‘but’ be?

        My more serious recent problem is that I began to feel the row is kept going by the rightwing, the Tory party, the Daily Mail and all the rightwing gutter press. But that’s wrong too, because there really *is* a genuine problem — changing rooms, athletics, sports, scholarship places, prizes, but basic dignity, personal private spaces…. no, my doubts are without merit.

        The Owen Joneses and NovaraMediaites of this world have mental islands where they go bonkers. But it’s past midnight and I shouldn’t even be writing anything. It’s probably rubbish too.

        All best

        • Brian

          The fact that it’s only (for the time being, at least) the – shall we say – right-of-centre media that report gender-critical stories is galling and extremely disappointing to say the least. As you say, it’s not them feeding the problem and inventing stories and outrage but it’s because there are real lives being affected by gender ideology and there is real outrage about what is being done to girls and women in the name of ‘inclusivity’ and #BeKind.

          Misogyny comes in many shapes and hues but I’m ever hopeful that the red side of politics (blue in the US) will eventually see gender ideology for what it is: a men’s rights movement that has to be dismantled.

    • On the issue of exactly what is the right degree of acceptance/entitlement is one I have also modified my view… From a conciliatory one focused on some correct degree of compromise to one fundamentally different. I realised who am I to tell women what decision to make regarding their own affairs at all? I came to the gender critical movement out of a sense of sympathy for women and outrage that their right to make up their own mind about what is good for them was being stolen away. So why should I impose my view (or you, or other well-meaning male supporters like Glinner)?
      This movement has turned an inch of tolerance to a mile of abuse so fast that women are perfectly entitled to say bugger off entirely. Certainly not without a long inventory of apologies.
      It has been overwhelmingly shown that granting rights to “women-identifying” men is directly mutually exclusive with a wide inventory of rights women have established over a long term; secondly it has been well demonstrated that the foundational claims of “gender identity” are inherently bogus or mistaken – ie at best this is a phenomenon of teens coping with sexuality/femininity in a highly sexualised mass-media culture, at worst it is really just a highly elaborate sex fetish (at absolute worst with nasty comorbidities like NPD).
      So where is the moral imperative to concede? There are of course those who authentically suffer (something – dysphoria is ethereal term) but this entitles them to treatment – not the rights of half the population ceded.
      The gender war is being won – congratulations are in order for those who did the hard work and paid a price for it, amongst them Maria.

  • My response to the assertion ‘transwomen are women’ is to ask for some evidence. If no evidence is forthcoming and people angrily demand that I uncritically believe the assertion, I will assume I’m dealing with some sort of cult or religious sect.

    • As others have said, men who present themselves to the world (and to themselves) as women should really have always been called transmen, for they are men who have cross-presented. Likewise women who present as men should be referred to as transwomen. That is, trans men, men who are trans-identified; trans women, women who identify as trans.

      Almost certainly too late to correct the misleading error now.

      • I prefer ‘trans-identifying male’: although a man is an adult human male, the word ‘man’ is (deliberately) misconstrued by many as a gender identity and not a sex, it’s best, I think, to be absolutely clear that you’re referring to someone of the male sex. Clarity on sex is vital in so many scenarios.

        Also, ‘trans-identifying’ places the burden of the identification squarely on the male: it’s he who claims he identifies as something he isn’t. By saying ‘trans-identified’ it implies to me that someone else is identifying him as something he is not: others may not ‘identify’ him as female. As being transgender is an untestable and unverifiable notion, I think it’s best – and more accurate – to place the identification squarely on his shoulders and not to project his identification on others.

        • I shall try to remember that in future every time I contribute something to the debate, anywhere! Thanks.

  • As for the sex/gender thing, however adults choose to refer to themselves is their decision. It looks like we agree that males and females are biologically different. For that reason, I’m sure we agree that changing gender on birth certificates and other official records could cause them some real problems when it comes to medical care.

    My 2 basic problems with transsexuality are social in nature. One involves kids; the other, sports.

    As for kids, an essential part of childhood is gradually learning who you are. Kids imagine themselves as a number of possibilities as they further experience life. Most of these are passing fancies. WHY ARE WE TAKING THESE KIDS SO SERIOUSLY? My standard line is, “When I was 6 years old I wanted to be a cowboy but my parents didn’t move us all to Wyoming.”. If the kid hits adulthood and feels more comfortable being referred to as the other gender or as non-binary, so be it. But encouraging kids to “try out the other gender” (to the point of getting surgery, for God’s sake!) makes me wonder if those parents have now become the children and the kids are in charge of the house.

  • And meanwhile – in Germany – judges decree that a transwoman may not be called a biological male.

    Or in other words, one may not state actual biological facts anymore.

  • Great site, been watching your channel too but haven’t really commented but made a new account cause Im really afraid of being piled on and I just feel like I want to keep it separate from my music.

    Its only very recently Ive begun to find out about this stuff. I was and still am for trans people being themselves but not to the detriment of others and not this denial of biology, its absolutely ridiculous. I really hope the tide is starting to turn and this crap is dying out, its dangerous and so harmful to everyone and in every facet of society.

    Trans activists are the only thing needing put on pause and stopped completely, not kids on puberty blockers with a lot of lies about the damage they do, adults are fine to do as they wish but nobody under the age of 18 should have access to these drugs and even then there should be a lengthy process before anybody is given access to them.

    I have a disability and chronic illness and I get really strong pain medication which has to be reviewed and at one point I was to be sent to a pain clinic. These are controlled substances which are not easy to get, why is it so easy to get drugs to “transition” and surgeries to chop off healthy body parts.

    This shit needs to stop, pardon my langues but it really just pisses me off!!

    • As for sports, I played baseball as a kid and we competed by age groups because it would be unfair for 8 year olds to compete against more physically mature 12 year olds. Not a fair fight. In that same respect, males are generally stronger (and therefore faster, can jump higher, etc.) than females. If a female is physically able to compete against men on the playing field, she should be allowed (hell, encouraged!) to play. And that’s fine with me. Mixed-sex tennis or softball is fun and evenly balanced. Male and female disabled athletes sometimes compete against each other and it is more the act of participation than the result that matters. But allowing a healthy biological male to compete against healthy biological women because the male self-identifies as a female is unfair and that kid is an asshole and anyone who thinks otherwise is also an asshole. I highly suspect that that whole idea sprung from the minds of people who absolutely hate sports. Fuck them.

  • Trans activists are woman hating terrorists as Auckland has clearly demonstrated. They prove the point that they are not actually female and that their claims of “feeling female” is a total fiction by going into a violent rage and threatening rape and/or death whenever women say “no” to them. They preach supposed loving kindness whilst completely disregarding the boundaries of women.

    These are the same people that complain about cultural appropriation whilst having no qualms about their appropriation of our sex based rights, which were granted on the basis of our biology and as a response to our historical (and current) persecution on the basis of it. Yet, they proclaim themselves on the “right side of history”. They are the modern day colonialists seeking to eliminate all spaces and sports designed for the privacy and safety of women. They only care about themselves, just like colonisers of old they will twist the truth and dehumanise people to get their way. We women are the “savages” that need to be taught the error of our ways, by force if necessary. They even use the dehumanising language by calling women “TERFS”, whilst there is no equivelent term for men. Even the threats of violence and rape are towards women, almost like they can actually tell the difference between the sexes!

    They are extremists and gender ideology is nothing more than a forced state religion that lines the pockets of big pharma. Like the religions of old, gender extremists seeks to persecute and subjugate women by making us out to be the “evil” ones responsible for all that is wrong with their lives. Just like abusers, they blame women for any violence they choose to inflict on us.

    All they ask is that people deny reality and boundaries (whether physical or sexual) in order to appease their levels of narcissitic entitlement. It is about time these gender extremists faced real world legal consequences.

  • I am so glad that I went to Kellie-Jay’s event in Melbourne! And relieved that it was a well-secured event unlike across the ditch where women were actually assaulted by the violent nutjobs. There was an absolutely amazing young woman who you just have to hear speak. Here is a link to an incredibly passionate and articulate – and funny – speech:
    Give it a few seconds as she starts off quietly. I was standing just behind the person filming and this blew me away. She is wearing earmuffs due to the deliberate noise the counterprotesters were making.

  • I refuse to acknowledge, use or accept the moniker “cisgender”. A name used to define me by another community. Initially it was used decades ago in a medical paper, not as a new word to describe those who are in alignment with their birth gender, but as a differentiation from transsexuals. (I also know this word is now forbidden.) Then it was adopted and appropriated by the trans community and has now become a slur. I’m not allowed to make up names for communities or people in those communities. What is the reason that a community different than my own was allowed to make up and use a name for me and my community? In addressing issues we have done, as we typically do historically, taken them off the cliff. Tribalism is at new heights. People want to be assimilated, treated as the gender they have now transitioned to, however, they continue to compartmentalize and tribalize. Separating themselves instead of integrating, which seemed to be the battle cry for such a long time. “Treat me equal to everyone else, don’t treat me differently. But please treat me differently.” I don’t get it. My female friends who happen to be trans I treat them like my birth female friends. But there will always be some things we can’t or don’t discuss, unless it is our of curiosity, because they will never have a reference point. They may have female emotions induced by hormone therapy but they will never be able to have experiential conversations with me about childbirth, pregnancy, periods, cramps, menopause… Just how it is and that is ok, too.

  • “… There are two approaches to the problem of men assaulting women. One of them is in a line by Andrea Dworkin, “My prayer for women of the twenty-first century: harden your hearts and learn to kill.” Women need to learn self-defense, and they need to form self-defense organizations, and they need to be feminists. And men must make their allegiance to women absolute. They must have a zero-tolerance policy for the abuse of women.

    “The same is true for race-based hate crimes. As the economic system collapses, those whose entitlement has put them at the top of the heap are going to start blaming everyone else (witness the Tea Party, for example). As Nietzsche wrote, “One does not hate what one can despise.” And so long as your entitlement is in place and so long as your entitlement isn’t threatened, you can despise those whom you’re exploiting. But as soon as that entitlement is threatened, that contempt turns over into outright hatred and violence. As civilization collapses, we will see an increase in male-pattern violence. We will see an increase in violence against those who resist. We will see an increase in violence against people of color. We are already seeing this …”

    — Derrick Jensen at

  • This is so distressing. Tweet by KC Miller who tweets, ‘Just for some perspective: this is what almost five years of hormones does to a teenage girl. Remember, I’m 21.’

  • I haven’t changed my view on trans issues. I’m going to quote the estimable J Michael Bailey, the psychologist / sexologist who wrote the wonderful book ‘The Man Who Would be Queen’ (as pdf it can be officially downloaded free here ). In his conference paper, November 2020, ‘Academic Freedom and Sexual Hysteria: Three Controversies’ (it’s available online if you search), he writes in the section on AGP, ‘The best way to think of autogynephilia is inner-directed heterosexuality. The autogynephile is a heterosexual male whose primary erotic object is the image or fantasy of himself as a woman.’ Still one of the snappiest and best short definitions.

    Many readers here will know of the persecution suffered, as a result of his book, by Bailey at the hands of vindictive, narcissistically deeply wounded — and expressed as narcissistic rage — autogynephiles (who ironically, long before Bailey’s book was published, had in various writings, acknowledged in themselves precisely the behaviours and feelings described at length in the book, only to disavow them much later when it suited them to try to discredit the messenger as they feared how popularisation of Ray Blanchard’s evidence-based account of male transsexuality (or transgenderism) would irrevocably and so widely challenge and destroy their cherished, but delusional, sense of personal identity. Blanchard’s own writings had at the time been limited to publication in academic journals.

    One of Bailey’s bravest, earliest, most authoritative defenders was the historian and bioethicist Alice Dreger, who combines a passionate investment in ferreting out the truth wherever it leads with a sometimes wicked but always wry sense of humour. I like her writing and admire what she’s done in various fields of enquiry, but she comes across as pretty aggressively formidable and I’m not at all sure that I could quite cope with meeting her, albeit such an occurrence has a vanishingly small likelihood of eventuating. I suppose if you want to do what Dreger does you have to be a fighter.

    At long last I got around, this week, to reading her now famous book, ‘Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, And One Scholar’s Search for Justice’ (2015). It contains accounts of several of her investigations into scientific controversies (and the battles they got her into), but because of my own interests, the most valuable — and most interesting, I think — section is the detailed and extensive discussion of Bailey’s work and the shocking backlash it occasioned (smears, lies, threats to himself and his family extending to brutal and libellous insinuations concerning his young children: Bailey emerged stronger, although for a while it seems to have been touch and go concerning his mental stamina; clearly robust enough, we now know, to have withstood an avalanche of unremitting toxicity).

    I have unreserved admiration for Bailey, even if I think in some ways he might have been naïf, something he himself muses on in the above-cited paper on academic freedom. But who back then could have anticipated with what venom and tenacity the Furies would have unleashed themselves upon a quietly spoken, liberal (and sexually libertarian) psychology professor and researcher simply seeking truth? And for *trying to help*, as he thought he was, vulnerable, much misunderstood and derided sexual minorities? His enemies totally misread and misunderstood him, because they needed to. And in retrospect it’s obvious that the misunderstandings were wilful and operationally intended misrepresentations.

    What prompted this post is what I came upon when I wanted to find out more about the heroic Dr Alice Dreger. My admiration for her work didn’t diminish when I read some of her blog and a few papers she’s published. But I experienced considerable dismay and disappointment when I came across a statement in her blog in ‘Answers to Some Questions about Autogynephilia’.

    Here’s what she writes:

    ‘ … So let’s do that, and answer the reader’s question: To what degree do I think the male-to-female transgender experience can be divided into these two types—androphilic and autogynephilic?

    ‘I think it is certainly possible there are other ways you can get to be a transgender woman, but I think what I’ve seen from the scientific clinical literature and socioculturally suggests this division makes sense. I want to emphasize that I think both of these developmental paths are perfectly legitimate ways to become women, and regardless of how someone becomes a woman, if she identifies as such, we owe her the respect of recognizing her identity and addressing her appropriately…’

    To my way of thinking, there’s really only one way to become a woman, and that’s to have been born a girl. (Disorders of sex development constitute a very rare and quite different phenomenon from transsexuality.)

    Further on Dreger adds, ‘I understand that it is hard for a lot of people to grasp that Bailey and Blanchard are pro-trans rights, but they are both clinical pragmatists who believe medical interventions should be aimed at leaving people better off. There is good evidence (some of it collected by Blanchard) that well-screened, well- treated transwomen are left better off psychologically after transition.

    ‘One more thing on this subject [Dreger continues]: An important part that is often missed about Blanchard’s and Bailey’s work on this subject deals with the fact that not all natal males with autogynephilia need transition to do well, just as not all femme androphiles need transition to do well. Some absolutely do. Some don’t. This is where good therapists who are respectful and don’t behave in knee-jerk, identity-categorizing ways are important. The therapist who thinks that every natal male aroused by cross-dressing is really a transwoman who must transition is as dangerous as the therapist who thinks arousal to cross-dressing is a sick perversion that must be stomped out…’

    And her concluding paragraph: ‘But socially, if you tell me you’re a woman, I believe progressivism (which is political)—and in particular a respect for human rights—means you’re fully entitled to join me in the bathroom I usually use. (I say “usually” because I use the men’s when there’s too long a line at the women’s. You’re welcome to join me there, too. The guys are usually quite nice about it if you first seek consent to enter and don’t stare at their penises once you’re in.)

    I began reading about the trans phenomena many decades ago, for both professional and personal reasons. In those early days much of the work had a psychoanalytic perspective which was mostly interesting but nowhere near as useful as a theoretical framework or, more importantly, for therapeutic work in the clinic, as was Blanchard’s taxonomy. And the latter certainly had the value of bringing with it right at the moment of reading, that instant, startling flash of recognition that quite simply in itself was both liberating and the beginning of an attempt at healing: ‘so *that’s* what it is’, what it’s been throughout its iterations and vicissitudes over the years. At least that was the response for those whose libidinal investment in some variant of the ‘feminine essence’ theory didn’t necessitate a closed mind, denial and a violent reaction formation against message and messengers.

    In that endlessly illuminating book by Dr Anne A Lawrence, ‘Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism’ (2013), the author discusses the theory proposed in 1993 by the late Kurt Freund and Ray Blanchard that, quoting the paper, ‘For every class of sexual object, there will be small subgroups of men who develop the erotic fantasy of being the desired object, and who develop the sustained wish to transform their own bodies into facsimiles of the desired object.’ Lawrence explains that the scientists considered that paraphilias of this kind represented ‘erotic target location errors’ (ETLE) and later she herself (I’m far from consistent in my use of pronouns) published an academic paper on AGP titled in part, ‘Becoming what we love …’ She lists examples of the phenomenon in other paraphilias. With AGP, the location error resides within the man’s own body, the sexuality is still *hetero* but the hetero has been internalised to become *auto*. (There is still room for psychoanalysis in this account in the concept of ‘introjection’.)

    Having said all that I still trouble myself endlessly with questions about what I believe and think I know during these fraught, desperate culture wars. I just about remember the buzz in the family on those days when Mr Churchill (less of a buzz when it was to be the King) was to address the nation during World War II. I don’t of course remember the speeches themselves, but, you know, am I simply an old fuddy-duddy who has, as fuddy-duddies can do, simply lived on into an age he no longer understands, into a world transformed beyond recognition? And my answer is still always, No. Biology, logic, language itself, material reality are what they are, asserting and reasserting themselves no matter how often we human beings may wish otherwise. Many of us, it seems, cannot accept that we have been made by genes or circumstance over which we had no control into what we don’t always like. We want, some of us, to remake ourselves more in accordance with our heart’s desire. We are not animals as other animals are, having to accept what cards the dealer dealt. And yet some say people who think as I do are ‘on the wrong side of history’, but what, if anything, does that phrase even mean? (Once communism seemed on ‘the right side of history’ and that didn’t turn out well.)

    I haven’t solved my problem of how the rightwing press, and for that matter the Tory party, have chosen to be correct concerning trans, whilst the liberal-left press and in the main the Labour party (which I’ve long supported and was once a member of) have got it so wrong. Especially in the light (or rather, the darkness) of recent political events, I simply can’t bring myself to so much as look at the Times, Telegraph, Mail, Spectator, Express, no matter how good their articles and news items on trans may be, no matter how many impeccably lib-lab guest writers they host. Those papers are disgusting to me and I now regard them as helping to varying degrees to promote, indulge, encourage — at best fail to inhibit — what I see daily as a fearful drift in Britain towards neo-fascism or something dangerously like it.

    So to be clear: I still am 100% certain that a trans woman is a man with a particular, and relatively rare, paraphilic psychopathology, a man who needs a particular sort of sensitive understanding and a social readiness to acceptance, entitled to the same rights to as contented a life as possible as any other citizen, free from negative discrimination of any kind; *but* none of those rights include any automatic permission to call himself a woman and on the strength of delusion to occupy women’s spaces and jeopardise their life chances. Even if contemporary generations are able to change our basic definition of ‘woman’ and even if soon everyone will be at ease with the new usage, anatomy and physiology will eventually require a new word to depict biological, medical and psychological reality. (And of course a trans man is still a woman, but as ever, women are always much less trouble than men, and any danger inherent in their wanting to assimilate to male company is far more likely to present as a danger to themselves, and not as is too often the case with men however they self-identify: dangerous to others.)

    To return to Alice Dreger’s mistaken formulation, ‘[S]ocially, if you tell me you’re a woman …’ Isn’t it implicit in what she avowedly permits and encourages from this male statement, that she indulges, indeed is complicit in maintaining and promoting, an erotic male fantasy? There’s a lot packed into that ‘if you tell me you’re a woman’ when uttered by a man. Prof Dreger is of course a highly intelligent, intellectually sophisticated and distinguished academic, passionate, as I said, in her concern for pursuing truth ‘wherever it may lead’. How can she think, and seem to imply, in a way that might possibly make some other similarly kind and progressive women to think and act likewise, that it’s unproblematic for any male-bodied individual to follow a woman into a ladies’ toilet?

    Finally, I do find it very difficult to ‘respect’ and comply with requests, or demands, or simple expectations that I should use pronouns that don’t correspond to a person’s biological sex, however much others tell me it’s polite, respectful, kind to do so. For reasons I don’t fully understand, this isn’t always so, as when I referred above to Dr Lawrence. It probably depends greatly on context and on how much or how little I know the person, what they do or have done, whether there’s a picture of them or not. For instance, I experience only a small amount of cognitive dissonance when I refer to Chelsea Manning as ‘she’. But mostly the cognitive dissonance is simply too great, especially in newspaper and magazine stories and articles about people who have behaved in stereotypically male ways while presenting themselves to the world, and being presented, as women when they are simply not. In those cases I’m having to translate continuously as I read, so that ‘she’s become ‘he’s, which makes for very tiresome reading. But if I don’t do the translation I find myself experiencing inappropriate emotional reactions to the content.

    • I am transsexual, I believe that sex matters, I believe that the move towards gender self id is misplaced and harms transsexuals who have been through ‘gated’ medical processes, and I believe that if society allowed people to express their masculinity or femininity without judgement then GRS surgery would be thankfully a thing of the past.

      I have degrees in psychology, advanced degrees in both psychology and neuroscience, a doctorate in psychology, and have been reading the literature on gender identity since I was 16. I am now 63 years old. I have had gender dysphoria since my earliest of memories.

      Not only is there an absolute paucity of evidence that Blanchard’s theory is correct, but it cannot even touch the soul and basis of why I am a transsexual. I know this – you do not. That reason may indeed lie in trauma, a flight from masculinity, a flight towards femininity, but there is nothing in my soul, recollections or mental understanding, therapy and nearly 60 years of having studied and cogitated on the subject that suggests to me that the cause/reason lies in some cheap, superficial Freudian mambo-jumbo (Jung was always the master). And as Forrest would say, that’s all I have to say about that.

      To be clear again, sex matters, legally protected gender id is a bad idea, and I believe that GRS would not be necessary in a world without misogyny and misandry, which for reasons the philosophical and the intelligent can surely figure out, is the world that Mr Blanchard and his type inhabit.

  • i bet the comments are filtered so you can delete the ones that make you look bad, i.e. the ones that arent exclusive to lgb. have fun hiding behind a wall of fear

    if this makes it through then youre lazy, if it doesnt, youre a coward for censoring opinions that are different.

    by the way, i do this for fun. ill probably be back under a new name and email, so youll never get me out of your hair. let the games begin.

    • I can’t imagine why you think a comment like yours makes me look bad. The only comments I don’t let through are the ones full of gratuitous and often pornographic abuse. People like you determined to make idiots of themselves are welcome but don’t overdo it and make the page look untidy.

      • You better hope we don’t meet in the wild. I reject all that you are, a fake woman who throws temper tantrums on obscure sites because your a terrorist freak piece of shit who doesn’t get his way. You scream “how dare you not affirm me?!?” Whilst living in fantasy land and expecting, no demanding that everyone live by the guidelines you decided are appropriate. but I won’t have it. I am a man who denies fake women and charlatans, protects real women, and is not afraid to employ ultra violence if need be. I’d rather not, but you are calling for WAR and you will get it if your not careful. So hike up your skirt SIR, and if it bothers you that I don’t think you could ever menstruate, or get pregnant, or give birth, or be a woman that’s because you have severe brain damage and or mental illness.

  • The article cited on the Home Page is one I read in pretty much full agreement: ‘The trans lobby has put Irish children at risk’. The comparison with flat-earthers’ delusional beliefs works and is helpful. It’s a well-written and well-informed piece, although there’s little in original in it for anyone who’s followed the discussion over the past several years.

    And so I wanted to find out a little more about the writer, Brenda Power. And below is a selection from a Wikipedia entry.

    And it illustrates a problem. The Left, and not just the far left extremes, have almost completely abandoned sensible, realistic, evidence-based scientific, logical discussion on the issue to the Right, to the reactionary, even rabid, rightwing press which I can’t help thinking doesn’t really give two hoots in good faith for the welfare of women and children but are happy to latch on to gender critical rhetoric as a means to promoting the culture wars. And to be fair, the left has given them a virtually open goal.

    But is this really the sort of person whose views we want to associate ourselves with? We rightly rail against Owen Jones and other prominent figures on the left for their dangerous nonsense, but it seems circumstances are such, censorship and self-censorship are such, a narrow public space and diminishing market place of ideas are all such as to force rightwing spaces on us (and in too many cases obliging broadly leftwing writers to earn their living from discredited putrid rags that would previously have merited, if not earned, their contempt).

    It bothers me endlessly, and yet hypocritically I continue to follow the links, read the articles myself.

    Any views, critical or supportive or otherwise, welcomed on this (I only speak of course for myself and no-one else, here or elsewhere).

    Every time we, and I include myself in that ‘we’, quote, cite, link-to, endorse what’s printed in the Mail, Telegraph and sadly I have to include the Times these days, we’re assisting another part of the growing forces of reaction so toxic to our society. Others have written elsewhere of what we may perceive as growing quasi- or neo-fascism in the UK. We should not be helping it.


    ” … Power has been known for her Catholic, conservative and often controversial viewpoints. For instance, she has written that ‘…all of the seven deadly sins have since been rebranded as lifestyle choices — envy is motivation, lust is polyamory, and sloth is me-time’.[4]

    “She has accused doctors allowing children under 16 access to abortion without their parent’s consent of being guilty of assault.[5] Regarding suicide, Power has argued ‘failing to voice even the mildest social disapproval of suicide…we may be making it too easy for troubled people to escape themselves and their responsibilities’.[6]

    “Power has also voiced opposition to LGBT rights. She has opposed same-sex marriage, having campaigned against it in her Times Online column.[7]

    “She is highly critical of LGBT adoption (” I wouldn’t like a child to be brought up by two men dressed all day in women’s clothes, to be frank”), gay pride (“foolish and anachronistic”), and the Irish gay community, which she describes as “misogynistic”.[8]

    “In addition, Power has compared gender dysphoria to eating disorders and other mental illnesses.[9]

    “She has stated her support for the 2020 High Court Ruling in the UK regarding puberty blockers.
    In 2015, she was criticised by Traveller advocacy group Pavee Point and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties for a column that accused Travellers of ‘beating their own cousins in family rows’ and ‘torturing and murdering old folk and causing mayhem on school playgrounds’.[10]

    “Despite being interviewed by the Gardaí, the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions declined to pursue legal action, a result Power claimed was a victory for free speech. She went on to compare herself to Charlie Hebdo.[11]

    “Her views on Muslim immigration to Europe, which Power claims will reduce the freedoms of Western women, drew criticism from a number of prominent members of Ireland’s Muslim community, including Dr.Umar Al-Qadri.[12]

    “Additionally she has voiced strong opposition to proposals aimed at accommodating Muslim students in primary and secondary schools[13] …”

  • Ray Blanchard

    Trans rights activists have tried to label the word ‘autogynephilia’ as a slur in hopes of preventing people from using the word and spreading knowledge of the phenomenon. I invented the word as a neutral, clinical descriptor, not as a slur, as shown here:

    • Early History of the Concept of Autogynephilia
      • Ray Blanchard Ph.D. 
      Archives of Sexual Behavior volume 34, pages 439–446 (2005)Cite this article
      Since the beginning of the last century, clinical observers have described the propensity of certain males to be erotically aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women. Because there was no specific term to denote this phenomenon, clinicians’ references to it were generally oblique or periphrastic. The closest available word was transvestism. The definition of transvestism accepted by the end of the twentieth century, however, did not just fail to capture the wide range of erotically arousing cross-gender behaviors and fantasies in which women’s garments per seplay a small role or none at all; it actually directed attention away from them. The absence of an adequate terminology became acute in the writer’s research on the taxonomy of gender identity disorders in biological males. This had suggested that heterosexual, asexual, and bisexual transsexuals are more similar to each other—and to transvestites—than any of them is to the homosexual type, and that the common feature in transvestites and the three types of non-homosexual transsexuals is a history of erotic arousal in association with the thought or image of themselves as women. At the same time, the writer was becoming aware of male patients who are sexually aroused only by the idea of having a woman’s body and not at all by the idea of wearing women’s clothes. To fill this terminological and conceptual gap, the writer introduced the term autogynephilia(love of oneself as a woman).

    • Ive long held the view that Blanchard (and his associates like Dreger, Lawrence and Bailey) is the key to busting out of this gender mass-delusion episode. That is because his theory provides a plausible parsimonious explanation of the trans-identification phenomenon – without any phrenologistic claims of brain sex/gender. The claimed trans rights are based entirely on such a claim – that those individuals have a bona fide alt gender identity – which entitles them to certain rights. (Which suspiciously often seem to be used to abuse others or elude liability for sundry misbehaviour)
      If this prime mover cause is demolished with evidence their rights claim becomes – “please let me practice my sex fetish”. Who would consent to this? No one, hence why the disinformation campaign and censorship etc. I encourage everyone to read up voraciously on the names above.

  • Keep up the good work! God Bless you for your bravery and for standing up for what is right.
    Western universities are full of this gender nonsense. Many brainless youth are indoctrinated without questioning anything and going along with this falsehood. It’s tragic that universities are giving space for hate speech to these abusive mobs that are mentally ill. We have now a minority of mentally ill pushing their agenda down our (majority) throats. However, there is a silent (scared?coward?indifferent?) majority that agrees with you. Much love!

  • James Cantor – recent tweet.

    For very many teen girls, “trans” doesn’t mean “I feel like a man.” It means “I don’t feel like a perfect woman and want out of the race.” That’s why “non-binary” etm. are so popular.

    Hard to shake the observation that the explosion in cases parallels the advent of social media.

    01/08/2022, 13:01

    James M. Cantor is an American-Canadian clinical psychologist and sexologist specializing in hypersexuality and paraphilias. Formerly senior scientist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, is a past editor-in-chief of the journal Sexual Abuse. His research on brain differences in pedophiles has been cited as evidence that pedophilia is something unchangeable and that people are probably born with it.


    Prof Ray Blanchard first described the psychopathological condition that he called autogynephilia, AGP. It’s a psychological disorder and as with other such disorders in themselves not to be mocked, ridiculed, maligned or vilified. However any particular autogynephile, just like any other particular individual, must be held accountable for what he does and says. Many autogynephiles recognise that they are not women, choose not to trespass upon women’s spaces, or to ruin the chances of girls and women in athletic or sports competitions, and so on. However those autogynephiles who do try to impose a narcissistic, solipsistic version of reality upon the rest of the world, whether in speech or action, must be called out and opposed. But that would always be an appropriate response to such examples of grandiose entitlement. Below is a link to Dr Blanchard’s recent tweet.

    Ray Blanchard

    Culture war politics have not only distorted transsexuals’ view of their condition; they have also distorted gender-criticals’ view of this condition.

  • See

    [Prof] Michael Bailey liked

    Aaron Kimberly
    · 29 Jul
    I’m guessing Bowie & Prince had AGP. The 70-80s is when both autogynophiles & gay GNC were more visible. Both were confined to entertainment, tech, prostitution…Prince couldn’t have been a doctor or lawyer. But, sexy enough that even str8 men & dykes find him oddly attractive.…

    Aaron Kimberly

    What’s most telling about the reaction to this tweet: GCs have a conception of AGP as something they want to hate. The possibility that AGP could have a healthier, non medical, non-reality warping, and sometimes even attractive expression in society seems unfathomable to most.
    Quote Tweet

  • HALLELUIAH!! At (long, long) last.

    Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer

    “Biology is important,” she says. “A woman is somebody with a biology that is different from a man’s biology. We’re seeing in sport sensible decisions being made about who cannot compete in certain cases.” She says she would “have a problem” with someone with male genitals identifying as a woman and using a female changing space, and isn’t entirely sold on the use of gender pronouns. “You don’t have to say to someone, ‘Shall I call you he or she?’ — it’s pretty obvious. But there are also difficult cases of somebody who is born as one sex and defines as another. I wouldn’t want to deny their right to define themselves in the way they want to be defined.”

  • A bit of a conscience. It’s always troubled me a bit that pretty much all the decent news items and articles on the trans issue, at least as far as the mainstream press goes, have been on rightwing papers. Many first class leftwing writers, columnists and others, have found it necessary, if they want a wide readership, to sell their labour to papers like the Telegraph and of course above (or beneath) all, the Daily Mail. And then there’s the Spectator. And others I could mention.

    Up to now I’ve accepted this, with much ambivalence. I’ve never been convinced that the rightwing press has run these articles because they care about the welfare of women, or about justice, fairness, or indeed for the welfare of truly gender-dystopic people. Maybe I’m myself doing them an injustice, but I tend to think most of the time they’re just out to propagate their ‘culture wars’ assault on the left (at which point I want to rush to say that the left, the crazy left, the delusional left) has stupidly given the right so many open goals.

    Why am I confessing this now? Basically the disgusting behaviour of the rightwing press over as we reach (I hope) the end of the Johnson era, or at least that part of it over which Johnson is still presiding over it (I don’t fool myself that the damage isn’t going to continue for ages). To single out one thing from the Daily Mail — the sheer nastiness of it over the blatant opportunism and inventions over ‘beergate’ in reference to Starmer and the Labour Party. But the others in the rightwing stables are no better.

    It has really become very difficult for me now to read stuff in those papers and magazines and websites. I know that all the issues we deal with here (Peak Trans and elsewhere) are as vitally important as they always were. And I’m particularly grateful to Maria for the terrific service she provides, specifically for the news clippings, but also for everything else this website does. I’ll probably continue to look that those disgusting papers and probably with increasing ambivalence and a certain amount of guilt.

    But I do wonder whether every time I look at the Mail, Telegraph and the rest, and often forward the links to friends, I’m actually helping them.

    • And this (see link below) is why I’m hoping and intending not to follow links to articles in those awful papers, even though I haven’t changed my mind one iota on the whole trans issue. Humans can’t change sex. Trans women are men, perhaps deeply unhappy and troubled men who deserve compassion and help to live the best lives they can, free from harassment and worse, but they’re not and can never be women. The same goes, mutatis mutandis, for trans men, although the social issues are different for reasons we all know.

      So I’ve not changed my mind on biology, language, logic, fairness for women in all walks of life. But I no longer want to read about this, however good individual pieces of journalism may be, however admirable the writers (and there are several) in the likes of the Telegraph, Mail, Times, Spectator and the rest.

      I do think (tentatively so far) that with today’s piece in the Guardian on the Maya Forstater case, and there’ve been a few good pieces on similar lines recently, that at long last, maybe, just maybe, that newspaper is changing its hitherto damaging and bizarre policy on trans ideology and on gender critical commentary. We shall see.

      But the case for sanity must be made in arenas that have not discredited themselves with dishonesty, hypocrisy and sheer venality. Peter Oborne (link below) is one of the very few conservatives whom I admire and respect. (Remember he left the Telegraph for honourable reasons.) I understand (I think) why so many liberal-left writers have had to find publishers in places antipathetic to their deepest convictions. And not only because they need the money to live and feed their families, but because they want their ideas to be disseminated.

      Things aren’t going to get better any time soon just because Johnson is leaving Downing St, and one of many reasons they’re likely to get much worse is our awful British press. Here’s Oborne on the whole quite frightening thing:

  • “Proposed changes to birth certificates in Queensland could see parents given the option of not declaring a gender on the official document.
    “The terms mother and father would be optional and people would be allowed to change their gender every 12 months, sources say.”


    Oh yes, last year I was a boy but this year I decided to be a girl, and I think next year I’ll go back to being a boy again — oh but wait, how will anyone know the real me? How will I myself know? Oh don’t be so bloody old-fashioned, sex is so paleozoic! Being a person is so limiting if you can be two or several, either alternately or, much more excitingly creative, simultaneously. You can be who you want to be, you’ve only to wish. Even bodies now are so old hat, they’re so *essentialising*. It’s mind over matter these days. Reach for the stars (or the cigars). And that’s without the help of the transhumanists (the ones who want to upload their minds to some great super ISP in the cyberspacetime continuum (but how are they going to ensure an energy supply *in saecula saeculorum*?) Roll up, roll up, get your this year’s Queensland revamped birth certificate now. God knows what the rednecks are thinking……..

  • The Archbishop, or ABC as he’s known, has spoken, as reported in the Times newspaper. I put this below-the-line comment up in response.

    I was surprised at the ambiguity in the way the sentence was structured, at first thinking it had been misprinted; and then I wondered if the ambiguity had been deliberate, a kind of obfuscation. And then, from reading previous comments, I wondered if I’d misunderstood, as if the ABC couldn’t possibly be buying into the wokery, that is, because I wanted him to be on the sane side of the world. Here’s the quote: ‘A woman, he says, is “someone who is sexually a woman, who is born and identifies as a woman or who has transitioned”.’ The ambiguity, I thought, was in that ‘or who has transitioned’: even if she believes, post-transition, that she has become a man, or even if she believed that she had all along really been a man, she remains as the dictionary says, an adult human female. So is the ‘transition’ here, in Welby’s example, a case of a woman trying to become a man, or a male-bodied person who has taken on the persona and social role of a woman?

    Hoping someone here on PeakTrans can help me out.

  • Maria has posted a fascinating but extremely disturbing report in the ‘i’ newspaper about a trans-identified female-bodied person who had a reportedly highly traumatic interview with a Harley St psychiatrist (he charges £500 for a first exploratory interview — phew!). The patient (or interviewee) comes across as a very intelligent and I think mature young person. I don’t want to say anything about the actual interview, as reported, which was (during the pandemic) by Zoom, which I’m sure has its own problems: it can’t be the same as a face-to-face interview sharing the same physical space, with all the subtle non-verbal cues, the postural shifts and so on.

    But it certainly makes me aware that the entire trans row is just another reason to add to the many that I’m not in practice today. It does strike me from what I’ve read that many presentations of trans patients share some of the phenomenology that patients diagnosed with some forms of schizophrenia or psychosis present with, and let me at once rush to say that I am NOT, I am NOT, saying that trans patients are schizophrenic or psychotic, nor am I now talking about the subject of the ‘i’ article whom I’ve never met and about whom I can make no clinical judgement whatever.

    What I’m talking about is the nature of clear and fixed beliefs, whether the evidence adduced is felt to be ‘objective’ and from readily observable sources available to anyone, or subjective, something coming apparently very clearly, powerfully and convincingly from within. I know from experience that when a person presents with the latter it’s of no use whatever to confront that person, and those beliefs, head-on. Indeed it’s counterproductive and can be traumatic. And I rather think that most people intuitively know this, they don’t have to be psychiatrists.

    It’s a shame that this interview as presented in the ‘i’ turned out as it did: a missed opportunity. Long, long ago there was a psychiatrist who elaborated a clinical practice he called ‘Challenge Therapy’ — I doubt that anyone practises it now, at least in a purist form (although many experienced clinicians will know when it *is* appropriate and beneficial to put a challenging thought or question to a patient). Some people reading this may have seen an equally disturbing television documentary — many years ago now — in which a pompous, highly authoritarian psychiatrist was extremely punitive, wholly unempathetic and really quite bullying towards a male-bodied trans identified adult who to my mind came across with dignity and considerable authenticity.

    Maria has posted a fascinating but extremely disturbing report in the ‘i’ newspaper about a trans-identified female-bodied person who had a reportedly highly traumatic interview with a Harley St psychiatrist (he charges £500 for a first exploratory interview — phew!). The patient (or interviewee) comes across as a very intelligent and I think mature young person. I don’t want to say anything about the actual interview, as reported, which was (during the pandemic) by Zoom, which I’m sure has its own problems: it can’t be the same as a face-to-face interview sharing the same physical space, with all the subtle non-verbal cues, the postural shifts and so on.

    But it certainly makes me aware that the entire trans row is just another reason to add to the many that I’m not in practice today. It does strike me from what I’ve read that many presentations of trans patients share some of the phenomenology that patients diagnosed with some forms of schizophrenia or psychosis present with, and let me at once rush to say that I am NOT, I am NOT, saying that trans patients are schizophrenic or psychotic, nor am I now talking about the subject of the ‘i’ article whom I’ve never met and about whom I can make no clinical judgement whatever.

    What I’m talking about is the nature of clear and fixed beliefs, whether the evidence adduced is felt to be ‘objective’ and from readily observable sources available to anyone, or subjective, something coming apparently very clearly, powerfully and convincingly from within. I know from experience that when a person presents with the latter it’s of no use whatever to confront that person, and those beliefs, head-on. Indeed it’s counterproductive and can be traumatic. And I rather think that most people intuitively know this, they don’t have to be psychiatrists.

    It’s a shame that this interview as presented in the ‘i’ turned out as it did: a missed opportunity. Long, long ago there was a psychiatrist who elaborated a clinical practice he called ‘Challenge Therapy’ — I doubt that anyone practises it now, at least in a purist form (although many experienced clinicians will know when it *is* appropriate and beneficial to put a challenging thought or question to a patient). Some people reading this may have seen an equally disturbing television documentary — many years ago now — in which a pompous, highly authoritarian psychiatrist was extremely punitive, wholly unempathetic and really quite bullying towards a male-bodied trans identified adult who to my mind came across with dignity and considerable authenticity. I’m sure the documentary is available somewhere around the internet. If I find it, I might add the link. It’s an absolute lesson in how NOT to conduct a psychiatric interview. It rather sounds to me, without knowing the details, that Lyle’s (the interviewee in the account) experience is rather similar in some ways.

    There doesn’t seem to be, in the account in the ‘i’, any reference to the usual way psychiatric interviews start, and can often take up most of a first interview, no report of a full case history, personal and familial, childhood experiences, social learning, and so on. It seems to start with challenge and counter-challenge. I feel very sympathetic towards this young person, whom I wish well. But these cases are challenging in the extreme and only the most highly experienced and highly trained psychotherapists (in the broadest sense of that term) should attempt to take them on.

    A word about the confusion around the term ‘conversion therapy’. It seems to me that there’s all the difference in the world between the aims and motivation of so-called conversion therapists in the case of gay and lesbian subjects, and what is proposed with genuine therapeutic aims in the cases of trans people. In the former, the fundamental ideology equates gayness with something that’s ‘bad’, and seeks to change it, uselessly, unnecessarily and offensively. But in the case of trans patients, concerning best practice by the most humane of doctors, counsellors, therapists, there’s no aim to ‘convert’: the aim is to understand. Every good, responsible therapist whom I’ve either known or whose work I know about, will say that in some cases the best solution to their patient’s issues is indeed transition. They cannot come to that conclusion without having thoroughly — literally — explored their patient’s thoughts, feelings, experiences, circumstances, fears and hopes. Often, as we know, the solution will be to help the patient find the strength to become what they are, gay, lesbian or whatever it may be, in which case the patient will discover that they had made a misattribution. But just sometimes they will find that, yes, the patient is right after all, and they’ll need a very different form of courage, support — and strength.

    • Here’s part of that notorious video, the BBC documentary, scroll down:

      But there’s a much more disturbing part of it where the unseen, unnamed psychiatrist (Dr John Randall of Charing Cross gender clinic at the time, the 1980s) vents his displeasure at the patient, Julia Grant, for not following his instructions — “I don’t like it, I don’t like it at all”.

      See also

      If you have access to BBC iPlayer you can see the series here. Best seen, as someone wrote, as a time capsule of how things were in the 70s and 80s in Britain.

    • I think I was far too gullible and let myself be misled by that ‘i’ article, which I now know was by one Patrick Strudwick, of whom Maria has previously written here. I’ve been reading through Dr Az Hakim’s book ‘Trans: Exploring Gender Identity and Gender Dysphoria’ and it a very good introduction, highly readable and accessible. Today I also watched an excellent 1hr30min video from an LGB Alliance conference in 2021. It’s available on Graham Linehan’s site (scroll down) reproduced from Dennis Noel Kavanagh’s site

      It consists of a panel, Malcolm Clark, Helen Joyce, Tanya Carter, Kate Grimes, Sinead Watson and Dr Az Hakeem. Awesome mix of sense, experience, expertise, honesty. Do try to find the time to watch it, you’ll find it totally worthwhile.

      And it reminded me not to be so gullible in the future.

  • Maria has posted a link to a terrific resource, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Transgender Galaxy’ by Carol Dansereau. It’s not only a great New-Readers-Begin-Here survey, it’s also an excellent summary of the whole sorry saga for anyone who’s spent much of the last few years wearily following it.

    I haven’t quite finished it because I took time (over 30 mins) to follow a link to one particular video and I’m glad I did, even though it’s probably the most psychologically painful video I’ve ever watched. I urge you to watch it too (it’s really audio but with full transcript). The title tells you what it’s about: ‘Confronting my Gender Therapist’.

    Isaac is clearly a highly intelligent, hugely insightful and deeply honest person who has been terribly damaged, mentally and physically, by so-called gender therapists and doctors, including at least one endocrinologist. As he talks you realise he knows far, far more than his ‘therapist’, is far more empathetic, far more honest and far more insightful. The person at the other end of the phone is, when he challenges her, extremely vague, defensive and uninformative as to her qualifications and affiliations (she’d doesn’t name even one recognised training institute). By the end of the call, she’s resorting to reach-me-down, off-the-shelf platitudes. It’s a terrible lesson in how destructive and damaging the baseless ideology of ‘gender’ is.

    Here’s the link.

    • It would seem to me that a good therapy along Jungian lines would help a great deal.

  • “Tony Blair tells Starmer to drop ‘woke’ politics and focus on economy” (Guardian). Best thing Blair’s said in decades.

  • A thought about the current rush to create, or find readymade personal identities. It seemed to me that the second paragraph below had something that could be applied to much about gender ideology. It comes from near the beginning of the book by philosopher Robert Sokolowski, ‘Introduction to Phenomenology’ (Cambridge University Press, 2000): this bit, ‘it seems that we now are flooded by fragments without any wholes, by manifolds bereft of identities, and by multiple absences without any enduring real presence. We have *bricolage* and nothing else, and we think we can even invent ourselves at random by assembling convenient and pleasing but transient identities out of the bits and pieces we find around us.

    ‘Phenomenology is a significant philosophical movement because it deals so well with the problem of appearances. The issue of appearances has been part of the human question from the beginning of philosophy. The Sophists manipulated appearances through the magic of words, and Plato responded to what they said. Since then, appearances have been multiplied and magnified enormously. We generate them not only by words spoken or written by one person to another, but by microphones, telephones, movies, and television, as well as by computers and the Internet, and by propaganda and advertising. Modes of presentation and representation proliferate, and fascinating issues arise: How is an e-mail message different from a telephone call and a letter? Who is addressing us when we read a Web page? How are speakers, listeners, and conversation modified by the way we communicate now?

    ‘One of the dangers we face is that with the technological expansion of images and words, everything seems to fall apart into mere appearances. We might formulate this problem in terms of the three themes of parts and wholes, identity in manifolds, and presence and absence: it seems that we now are flooded by fragments without any wholes, by manifolds bereft of identities, and by multiple absences without any enduring real presence. We have *bricolage* and nothing else, and we think we can even invent ourselves at random by assembling convenient and pleasing but transient identities out of the bits and pieces we find around us. We pick up fragments to shore against our ruin.’

  • From Rod Liddle’s Column in the Times, 24 April 2022

    Chloe has her new identity well in hand

    The following headline, from Metro, has something of an incongruity in it. I wonder if you can spot what it is? “Ex-soldier exposed her penis and used wheelie-bin as sex toy in public”.

    This happened in Middlesbrough (natch) and the perpetrator was a serial sex offender who wishes to be called “Chloe Thompson” because he identifies as a woman, despite fairly compelling evidence to the contrary. Listen, I have met some women. And none identify themselves as such by lopping out their old fella and waving it around. Chloe is not doing a very good job of this “identifying” stuff, then.

    Incidentally, about 60 per cent of trans women who are in prison committed sexual offences, compared with 18 per cent of the general male prison population.

  • From a tweet today @policyfor
    Policy For Women

    21h • 10 tweets • 2 min read
    Interesting experience today. Went to a dance and movement class. It didn’t say it was women-only but the ones I’ve been to in the past have been and the general vibe of the organiser and class description is pretty feminine and so I expected a woman only space. 1

    As those who’ve been to women-only clubs know, there’s a freedom and amazing sense of liberation when dancing without the male gaze. 

I was disappointed and uncomfortable and it definitely changed the nature of the class and my enjoyment of it. 2
    I told the organiser afterwards that I thought the class was different because there was a man there. She immediately got it and said something about the impact on the sense of sisterhood. 3
    But then went on to explain he was “queer” and had reached out beforehand to say he was “connected to his femininity and didn’t really see himself as a man or woman” and wanted to express that “in a safe space”. And that was it from her perspective. 4

    So I had to bring up the point that even if he didn’t see himself as a man, I did because that’s what he is. And there will be women like me who will tense up and reduce their participation because a man is in their space when they didn’t expect it. 5

    I think she got it because she asked how it could have been resolved, so I suggested mixed classes and women’s-only. She didnt seem to like the idea of mixed classes because she doesn’t really expect men to attend. 6

    I didn’t say anything but I think it’s an interesting reflection on how some people see feminine or queer men as different from masculine men. 7

    The thing was he acted like a man in the class – he was the only one who expressed himself vocally as well as through movement (grunts and shouts). None of the women did that. And he talked more, reacting to the instructor when there wasn’t a need to and when the women didn’t. 8

    The one that really got to me was how he said he wanted a “safe space” and got it there. I can see how queer and feminine men can want spaces away from masculine men, because women also want spaces away from all men. But there was no awareness of him infringing on that for us. 9

    I don’t have anything against this man but it was just an interesting encounter, and showed me how people can get swept in feeling empathy or pity for trans or NB people without realising there might be other victims in the same space. End

    • • •
    Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

  • I hope this link to a Twitter thread works

    It opens with, “For years, fans of THE MATRIX have discussed the film through a trans lens. If you’ve heard the theory before or just learned about it, here’s a thread breaking down the trans allegory of the film, from trans writers and critics. …Lilly Wachowski recently looked back on the film and confirmed the long-discussed theory of THE MATRIX as an allegory for gender transition. “THE MATRIX was all about the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point of view.”

    The thread then links to an article on Vulture titled ‘What We Can Learn About Gender from The Matrix’. The writer states, ‘The symbolism is easy to find: Thomas Anderson’s double life (he’s a hacker by night), his chosen name (Neo), his vague but maddening sense that something is off about the world — “a splinter in your mind,” Morpheus calls it. Neo has dysphoria. The Matrix is the gender binary. The agents are transphobia. You get it.’

    I wont quote any more. The Matrix films were extremely popular (I gather – I’m not much into cinema these days) and I bought a DVD of all three of the series, but so far have watched only one, which was enough, or more than enough (haven’t watched the other two so far). I understand there’s a fourth film that has recently opened — or perhaps only online? I think they’re all Netflix, but don’t take that as gospel.

    I thought I’d post here to ask what people think. Is it possible, at least in some fairly strong measure that the Matrix cult (I think that’s what it is?) may have contributed to the huge increase, round about 2012, of the whole trans phenomenon? Or is this just the latest example of what is now referred to as retconning. ‘Retcon’, retroactive continuity. ‘a literary device in which the form or content of a previously established narrative is changed’ —

  • I am a 54 year old man here in the United States, gay, with 6 siblings, 5 of them sisters, and I have nieces. Although it saddens me what this crap has done to the gay and lesbian community, it infuriates me what the impacts are on my sisters and nieces.

    Below is an argument I’ve had with far too many people, and when faced with the idiocy of it all, the responses are always BUT THAT’S DIFFERENT!

    Gay men aren’t demanding to be classified as different “kinds” of women, and lesbian women aren’t demanding to be classified as different “kinds” of men.

    A gay man could say that he has the exact same sexual orientation as a heterosexual woman, therefore he is a different “kind” of woman, and demand to be classified as an Alt Woman (A-Woman, for short). I am not a man, I am A-Woman. I am a valid alternative to a heterosexual woman, and if you, as a heterosexual man, won’t even consider having sex or a relationship with me then you are altphobic. As A-Woman, I demand access to women-only spaces and funding. As A-Woman, I demand inclusion in women-only sports. As A-Woman, I demand that this be taught at all levels of public education and that all male youth who are discovering that they have a sexual orientation towards other men be given access to puberty blockers to inhibit their masculinity, be taught how to act female (because we are a different kind of and valid alternative to a heterosexual woman), and be allowed to make these decisions all on their own at pretty much any age. Also, because I am now a valid alternative to heterosexual women, I am offended by the term “pregnant women” because I am A-woman and I can’t get pregnant, therefore that term is not inclusive, sooo, find a new term for “pregnant woman” (we recommend Baby Incubating Women … this term is not offensive, you’re offensive!). Also, we demand that all women be educated and warned about their risk of prostate cancer because prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer for A-Woman. I demand money for women’s health go to treating prostrate cancer. And if you say that women can’t get prostrate cancer because women don’t have prostrates, you’re altphobic. Also, as I am A-Woman, I demand that women who are Baby Incubating Women be called B’ing-Women so that we can differentiate them from A-Woman. One last thing … the only qualification for being A-Woman is that I say that I am A-Woman. I don’t see what all the fuss is about … me being A-Woman doesn’t have any impacts on you B’ing-Women.

    I “left” the gay and lesbian community long ago after the inclusion of the rest of the alphabet and the term TERF became standard for lesbians who disagree that “trans women” should be given full access to all things women. It saddens me that I’ve had to have conversations / arguments with other gay men reminding them that in the 80s when AIDS was raging through our community, we were overwhelmed, our friends and loved ones were dying every day, that it was the lesbians in our community who took care of us when we were unable to care for ourselves and no one else would. And this is how we’re treating them now.

    It disgusts me.

  • I landed here after following some links through other sites and am so glad I did. I’ve been concerned for some years now about the eradication of biological women from the law and society, and have just this year started reading about the issue (books like Material Girls) and following the debate online.

    I’m 54 and a bit like you Maria my views on trans people has changed over time. I am so very sorry to hear of your attack 😥

    I have both gay and non-binary friends who mix in the trans community. The first time I posted on my private Facebook page recently about the resignation of Kathleen Stock and ended with the #womenwon’twhisht my non-binary friend immediately took offence and hasn’t spoken to me since, basically calling me a TERF. That she didn’t condone the 4 years of bullying and death threats Kathleen has suffered shocked me beyond belief. One can condone threatening behaviour even if one doesn’t agree with the views of the victim.

    I personally think trans-sexual women, ie those who have had surgery or who are taking hormones, are women. However, their original biology (muscle mass, bone strength, physique etc) does not alter and they should not be allowed to compete against women in sport as they have an innate unfair advantage. It is a complex area with no easy solutions – one person’s rights cannot be exercised to the detriment of another person’s rights.

    I don’t think trans-gender women, ie biological men who simply say they are women, are women. Trans-gender and non binary people should have their own classification legally and their own spaces. As someone who was molested as a child and sexually assaulted on several occasions as an adult (usually by drunk men in pubs), seeing a physical male in the showers at my local swimming pool or in the women’s loos in a Club is deeply distressing to me. I have lived most of my life wary of being alone with a man for fear of being assaulted, from never walking home alone in the dark, to being cautious being alone in my home with a tradesman (having had a bad experience in my thirties) to having been hit on by a school teacher when I was just 14 (not that I told anyone – who would I have told in the 80s?!).

    The thing which I find really distressing, though, is that trans women say they want to be women then show typical male aggression (when was the last time you heard a woman threaten to rape someone or “cut their cunt off”? This violence towards women (I refuse to call myself “cis”) and outright mysogyny does little to help the trans cause.

    Trans men seem very left out of the debate. In making it legal for trans women to be housed in women’s prisons, for example, that means that trans men will be housed in male prisons. What on earth will happen to them once the male inmates discover the new arrival has breasts and a vagina? It doesn’t bare thinking about. And what about the fact they have periods and will need smear tests, neither of which will be accommodated for in a male environment? Yet the trans community never even touch on this aspect of the debate.

    That women aren’t allowed to voice our concerns for fear of threats, intimidation and/or violence shows the disregard biological men show to biological women.

    • You raise an important point, Jo, about women transitioning or transitioned to the masculine side. I suppose the main reason they are, to use your words, ‘left out of the debate’ is simply that women are far less prone to violent behaviour, most, probably, not at all. Also generally because of their physique women ‘pass’ very much more easily than men presenting as ‘women’. So women presenting as ‘men’ aren’t a threat to men or to other women in anything like the same way that males present to women.

      But the issue you raise about prisons is particularly important. I don’t think I’ve read anything about ‘trans men’ asking if convicted to be housed in men’s prisons, and I haven’t seen (as far as I remember) any press reports of trans men being so incarcerated. But it would certainly be an issue in terms of the safety concerns you highlight. I wonder if anyone has any figures?

  • Thanks Maria for posting the link to this Mail Online piece.

    I never thought I’d have ANYTHING good to say about Priti Patel. Next: pigs have begun to fly over Westminster.


    Priti Patel orders ‘woke’ police to stop recording offences by trans women in female crime stats

    22:00, 23 October 2021

    • I am surprised it has taken this long for the conservatives to pick up this issue. In the UK and without – it is such an obvious weakness to exploit. Perhaps they were waiting for the right moment to play their hand? Build up a whole portfolio of gaffes about not only women having cervixes and being able to grow them using hormones…
      Also surprising that Labour have dug in so hard on what is an issue for a tiny minority who have actually already been given the bulk of the rights they want. Are they that oblivious? Housing affordability and casualisation of jobs is destroying what the postwar social democracy built, but they prance about over pronouns. For working class people who are already disillusioned about being abandoned by the left this could be the slide to total irrelevance.

  • On Graham Lineham’s YouTube the regulars are joined by Dr Ray Blanchard to discuss sexual orientation, parahilias and gender identity disorder, but mostly the trans phenomenon as it’s manifesting currently. Ray gives a brief explanation of autogynephilia and some of its behavioural consequences.

    1 hour 11 mins. The programme however begins with an update from Ceri Black on the communication she received from the Northern Ireland police.

    Entire video definitely worth watching, as you’ll know if you follow Glinner.

  • Extract from Janice Turner’s column in the Times, Oct 13 2021

    A woman’s right
    The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has announced it will continue to use the word “woman” in campaign literature. If you’d told me five years ago this would be newsworthy, I’d have called you deranged. But here we are: an organisation founded in 1968, on the day abortion was legalised under the banner of “a woman’s right to choose”, risking vilification and loss of funding for refusing to call female clients “pregnant people”.

    Next time it should just invoke the charity Prostate Cancer UK. Asked why it addresses men, not “prostate owners”, it tweeted breezily: “We are of course aware that trans women have prostates. However, we want to reach as many at-risk individuals as possible and have chosen to use the word ‘men’ to achieve this.” The NHS cervical screening programme take note: no one thinks confusing, “inclusive” language is worth risking men’s lives.

  • Here’s a good example (link below) Prof Kathleen Stock’s writing style, views and her very approachable way of doing analytic philosophy for a popular (ie non-academic) audience.

    QUOTE from this 2018 piece for

    [T]he statement “transwomen are women” has become a kind of mantra for so-called progressives. To understand what it is meant by it, we need to distinguish the use of that phrase, in those mouths, from two other contexts. One of those involves a claim about the law. Since 2004, those in the UK with a Gender Recognition Certificate are counted as having had their gender ‘reassigned’. This is not, and was never intended to be, any pronouncement on a biological fact. It is in fact impossible for a child or adult to biologically change sex. (I’m prepared to offer arguments for this, if needed, but most readers will, I hope, accept it as true). Nor was this law supposed to pronounce definitively on the question of whether a trans woman with a GRC ‘*really* is’ a woman. The Gender Recognition Act was at most intended to allow for a legal status — that of ‘gender reassignment’ — for the purposes of access to certain protections under the law.

    A second version of the claim “trans women are women” is uttered for therapeutic reasons. One basis for self-identifying as a trans person is the condition of gender dysphoria. It is assumed by many medical practitioners that, on diagnosis of this condition, treating a person ‘as if’ belonging to their self-identified gender is helpful to their well-being; whereas confronting them with their ‘birth-assigned’ gender, or the biological facts of their sex, is not. We might easily interpret this as a kind of benevolent role-playing or method-acting, extending from the medical practitioner out into the wider community: act *as if* a trans woman is a woman, in most social contexts. But this is completely compatible with denying that trans women *really are* women, in a more committed sense.

    Somehow, though, in recent years, a respectful concern for the well-being of trans people has supposedly morphed into a literal claim about category membership: trans women *really are* women. That is: trans women belong unambiguously in the category of women; the concept of *woman* literally applies to them. For most trans activists, this is supposed to be true whether the trans woman is a post-operative transsexual, or a trans woman on hormones, or whether she belongs to the significant proportion of trans women who are neither. She ‘is’ a woman, whether she transitioned in her teens, or in middle-age; whether thirty years ago, or yesterday. Moreover, for many trans activists, not only are trans women literally *women*, but if they have children, they can be *mothers*. If they have female partners, they can be *lesbians*. They can be victims of *misogyny*. And so on. One by one, the familiar words women have used to describe themselves tumble like a chain of dominoes. …

    From ‘When Bindels speak’ by Kathleen Stock, June 26, 2018

    • I don’t know why we don’t use affirming therapy more often – like calling anorexics fatties and giving them all the diet pills they want or handing out free razors to girls who self harm.
      Bitter sarcasm? Much!!

      • There are plenty of people who exhibit honestly held false beliefs, such as body dysmorphia and in the stereotypical examples believing they are Jesus or Napoleon. Psychiatry is quite used to dealing with them. The problem arises here that the issue of gender has a political dimension. To label gender variance as a pathology inherently diminishes the political validity of these identities by reducing them to a disorder.
        That’s why you get these impassioned arguments about “we wont be erased” or “are you questioning my existence”. To get legal recognition they demand the erasure of anything that links being trans or nonbinary etc to being an illness or delusion. The problem is that there is plenty of evidence that it is just that.
        That’s precisely why in Mr Robinson’s quote of Stock (she refers to “therapeutical pretence” for the patient’s benefit) this is not enough for the TRA movement. They absolutely demand explicit public recognition of what is objectively false. But they are loud and scary enough for a mass of politicians to cow before them and give them what they want. How many British electors are willing to vote the nuclear button to a politician too spineless to state only women have a cervix? Why is Labour crippling themselves over this issue?

  • Tweet by Dr Ray Blanchard (@BlanchardPhD): I hope that more and more ordinary trans people will speak out against the worst excesses of trans activism as more and more trans people realize that extremist activism is increasing resentment and decreasing acceptance of trans people.

  • I’ve just listened to a very interesting conversation on ‘The Unspeakable Podcast’ with guest, American journalist Lisa Selin Davis. The long-running podcast is hosted by author, essayist and journalist Meghan Daum and this particular one (8 Oct 2021) is the 3rd and last in a series on Gender Nuance. It’s so refreshing to hear a discussion on this fraught subject that is indeed nuanced, well-informed, openminded, as well as ready to acknowledge the complexities, as Lisa puts it, “the Giant Mess”. It’s quite wide-ranging and includes a brief survey of how the whole contemporary notion of ‘gender identity’ began, going back to the controversial (not to say notorious) Dr John Money’s practice and theory (Lisa does make clear at one point that he wasn’t all ‘bad’ — he did help quite a few people through his work. But we shouldn’t, and can’t forget the tragedies either. Take home message? For me it was that we should be prepared to listen, that the way to report the issue is to talk to as many people from different perspectives as possible, because, as Lisa stresses again and again, there’s nothing straightforward about
    trans, in contradiction of the line taken by Stanford psychiatrist Dr Jack Turban.

    The link is (for Apple Podcasts). The following is from the website:

    We Can’t Know: Lisa Selin Davis On Getting Comfortable With The “Giant Mess” That Is The Current Gender Conversation
    The Unspeakable Podcast
    ◦ Society & Culture
    Listen on Apple Podcasts
    Part three of Gender Nuance, a three-part series for the week of October 4, 2021

    In the third and final part of the podcast’s weeklong “Gender Nuance” series, Meghan talks with journalist Lisa Selin Davis about the cultural and political forces that have factored into the current gender movement and why the media has failed to cover the whole story. The author of a book about the evolution of gender stereotypes and herself the mother of a gender nonconforming child, Lisa explains how the movement was galvanized by shifts in journalistic norms during the Trump administration and how institutions like schools, the nonprofit sector and the medical establishment got caught up in a worldview and treatment protocol that’s backed up by very little reliable data. She traces some of the history of gender nonconformity and explains what the concept of a “third gender” means in indigenous, nonwestern populations in places like India and Samoa. Mostly, Lisa talks about what she’s learned as a journalist covering gender issues in recent years and why it’s so difficult to publish anything that deviates from the accepted narrative. Ultimately, she says, we have to accept that talking honestly about the subject entails dealing with “a giant mess” and that “we have to get comfortable with the fact that are some things we simply can’t know.”

    Guest Bio:
    Lisa Selin Davis is the author of Tomboy: The Surprising History of Girls Who Dare to Be Different, and the forthcoming Housewife: Exploding the Myths of Motherhood, Women’s Work and the Modern Family. She has written articles, essays and op-eds for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and many other outlets, and has published two novels, Belly and Lost Stars. She writes a regular Substack newsletter about gender issues called Broadview.

  • Tweet by Dr James Cantor PhD

    So, now it’s: The W-word?

  • No man, however he ‘identifies’ knows what it’s like to have a period, to have been a girl experiencing problems associated with her first period, or knows what it’s like learning to manage menstruation. Here’s an illuminating piece from The Lancet, focusing on an exhibition entitled Periods: A Brief History at the Vagina Museum in London, UK

    Lancet article — free to view (tho’ you may have to create a free account to access)
    PERIODS ON DISPLAY by Sophia Davis

    ‘ … the dominance of myths and taboos about menstruation from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to the present day … [The] oscillation between the positive and negative associations of menstrual blood persisted throughout the middle ages and early modern Europe, although negative framings predominated … Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected—for example, the paucity in understanding of endometriosis and the way women’s pain has been seen as more likely to have an emotional or psychological cause, a hangover from centuries of theorising about hysteria … ‘

    But oh dear, oh dear Lancet and leftwinger editor-in-chief Richard Horton, look at this sentence: “Menstruation is a difficult topic to collate museum objects around, but although the exhibition depends heavily on text, objects are also displayed that help create a rich experience and reveal how people who menstruate have dealt with their periods at different times.” ‘People who menstruate’ again, and after JK Rowling, Lancet how *could* you, how *can* you, c’mon! And Sophia Davis is a senior editor at one of the world’s leading medical journals. To this we’ve come …

    I’ve been wondering recently how medical students are taught these days. In my day men were men, women were women, and trans was the other side of the Atlantic.

    Shame to have ruined an otherwise good article.

  • I didn’t think there could anything madder than Queer Theory and its offshoots in trans activism until I read the chapter ‘Disability and Fat Studies’ in Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay’s marvellous book, ‘Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender and Identity — and Why This Harms Everybody’. I’m loving this book (haven’t finished it yet) because at last it’s helped me to understand just how we got here and how so quickly. The authors have waded through (God knows how) acres of postmodern nonsense so we don’t have to and they reveal with wonderful clarity the emptiness, paranoid fantasy and dangers beneath the obscurantist language. This book so well complements the recent ones by Helen Joyce (‘Trans’), Kathleen Stock (‘Material Girls’) and Carole Hooven (‘Testosterone’). I guess I’ll be adding Julie Bindel’s latest some time soon.

    • While I can’t comment with any authority on Critical Race Theory (I don’t actually know in detail what it entails), at least addressing racism is addressing an actual material problem. Because of the current insanity regarding gender theory and the absurdity it engenders, I would probably approach CRT with caution lights flashing. Have you seen the video of the school board meeting in New York, where a school board member loses her shit over the idea of a white man holding a black infant on his lap? If that’s the outcome of CRT, then I would be extremely apprehensive about endorsing it. But again, at least black people are actually black and their race is how whites have identified them for centuries in the U.S. So it’s understandable they would feel justified claiming that as their identity. I think revamping how history is taught in the U.S. is the right thing to do – just not from an ideological point of view.
      Gender theory, on the other hand, is just nonsense. It’s not based on anything material or real. It’s just entitled men who think changing the meaning of words to suit their needs and bullying/censoring/intimidating anyone who disagrees is a legitimate political movement. I don’t “identify” as a woman because it’s not WHO I am. It’s just WHAT I am. It has to do with a roll of the biological dice. And I am not going to base my “identity” on a roll of the biological dice.

  • The meaning of ‘I feel like a woman’ when said by an autogynephilic male? I think it has echoes of what some kinds of crossdressing men are really referring to when they say, ‘It makes me feel relaxed’, of which Dr Blanchard commented that what it really signified was a low-level sexual arousal. The man doesn’t identify it as such but re-attributes it either because of unconscious denial mechanisms or for social nicety reasons.

    In a similar way, ‘feeling like a woman’ (for an AGP man) likely refers to the way a non-AGP heterosexual man feels if he allows himself to indulge erotic fantasies about women out there in the real world. It seems that autogynephilic men have at some point internalised the image and the concept of ‘woman’, the female or the feminine. In her book ‘Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies’, Anne A Lawrence discusses the concept developed together by Kurt Freund and Ray Blanchard of erotic target location errors: the man literally made an error in locating the target of his erotic interest (page 24).

    In this specific form of ETLE the man, for some psychopathological reason, mistakenly placed the object of his sexual desire within his own body instead of in another person’s body. To get an intuitive, empathetic idea of what’s happening we need only to consider the way the psychopathology presents, its phenomenology, without getting bogged down in issues of possible aetiology. (Some other paraphilias are also conceptualised as ETLEs.)

    It’s some kind of narrative, a story the man tells himself, not much different from a mildly titillating erotic sequence of phrases. He sets up a kind of necessary metaphysics about womanhood which has to act as philosophical foundation for his delusion. He likes to imagine that there is something inherently erotic in simply *being* a woman. (We might speculate as to how far this fantasy might have been encouraged by the treatment of the female, and the feminine, under global capitalism, the way, for instance, Hollywood amplified it.)

    So maybe something like the following internal argument occurs, although not at a conscious level: ‘I know that I am (really) a woman because I experience myself the way a woman experiences herself, being sexy (for men or other women, but more to the point, sexy for *me*) and I feel similarly sexual much or most of the time, for other women, for men, but also for myself and to myself.’

    To adapt Woody Allen, ‘Don’t knock masturbation, it’s having sex with a woman I really love’. Few such men, who are almost certainly high in pathological narcissism, are likely to have faced with any degree of horror or sense of internal emptiness the question of whether in their lives they have ever truly loved another human being. Fewer still, perhaps, are likely to have recognised the misogyny accompanying the delusion.

    • I think the masturbation quote from Woody Allen is, “At least it’s having sex with someone I love.”

  • Here’s a brief quotation from a review by the geriatrician and philosopher Raymond Tallis of the book ‘Intellectual Impostures’ by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. The review was titled, Sokal and Bricmont: Is this the beginning of the end of the dark ages in the humanities?’ and published originally (in a now defunct poetry magazine) in June 1999. The full piece can be found here

    I think it goes a long way to revealing the main mechanisms, primarily sheer intellectual charlatanism and its celebration in academic and other elite institutions. From those lofty places it first trickled down, then became a flood of unreason that has all but washed away any semblance of engagement with the real world.

    I’ll let its critique of postmodernism speak for itself, but I’m sure you’ll relate it to all the crazy discussions (and debates we’re refused) currently.

    ‘ … The notion of an audience of academics willing to listen respectfully to, at best unproven, at worst meaningless, assertions of enormous scope, opens up deeply worrying questions about the impact of postmodernist Theory on the institutions that support contemporary humanities. We have known for a long time that once someone is elevated to the status of maitre à penser he/she is unassailable: his/her views cannot be challenged. But this immunity must now apply to a much wider number of teachers ­­ to all of those many thousands who parrot the obiter dicta and world­encompassing assertions made by the maitres. This implies a huge constituency of students, graduates, post­docs, lecturers, readers, professors, etc. willing to remain silent while the dogma, couched in a bituminous prose, is intoned. I am not talking about a few besotted groupies enthralled by a charismatic figure like Lacan. I am talking about a fair slice of the humanist intellectual community. I am talking about herd behaviour and I am talking about a huge herd.

    ‘The deceitful use of scientific and other jargon by individuals who have no wish or intention to be understood is bad enough when it is addressed to a handful of disciples. When it is poured into the minds of teenagers who have it foisted upon them as part of a compulsory curriculum and have scarcely enough time to remember it, never mind to think critically about it, the abuse of trust shades into something more serious: indoctrination. …’

  • Dear Maria,

    Do you know if this has been followed up? I would like to know statistics on transgender males’ criminal offences, percentage of transgender male inmates that are in prison for sexual assault, etc. (to prove the point that transwomen follow male behaviour in patterns of crime), how many have assaulted and raped women in women’s prisons.

    Thank you!

  • I’m endlessly irritated by those articles and statements that talk about ‘trans rights’ without defining what the writer or speaker means by the phrase. It means all kinds of reasonable-sounding, but wholly irrational (and sometimes dangerously so) notions can be smuggled into the conversation. It also means that all kinds of insults can be hurled on the basis of ambiguities and undefined terms. And it means that debating can be counterproductive (when it’s permitted at all) because colloquors are really talking about two (at least) different things.

    There’s an example in the Guardian’s article about the scandalous treatment meted out to Joan Smith by the London Mayor’s office recently. The writer of the piece manages the smuggling act quite characteristically:

    “Smith is a leading gender-critical feminist. Gender-critical feminists identify a clash between cis [ugh – BR] women’s rights and transgender rights [which are? – BR], while other feminists and LGBT groups argue that the rights of both groups can be respected simultaneously.”

    And another thing while I’m at it. I do find it increasingly difficult to get my head around all the neologisms and new pseudo-diagnoses and quack nosologies abounding in current discourse. Some of them can be quite mind-twisting. And that circumstance drives me back to what strikes me as a fundamental mischaracterisation: men who transition to become ‘transwomen’ shouldn’t be called trans*women* at all. They are men who in identifying as trans surely become “trans men” — doesn’t that sound more logical? And reasonable. And for women going “the other way”, they aren’t “trans men”, they are trans women, ie women who are trans.

    • “Neologisms and new pseudo-diagnoses and quack nosologies abounding in current discourse”:
      what you refer to has a perfect match in the phenomenon of “folk psychology”. The non-formalised process people use to attribute causes of behaviour and taxonomise things. Such heuristics work most of the time but produce formal logical errors when explicitly correct reasoning is required.
      A core logical error is the presumption that the same symptom presenting in various cohorts must have the same cause. There is a specific term for this I just can’t remember, either ecological fallacy or illicit transference or something… Recognition of such differing etiologies is key to unravelling the trans rights controversy. A teenage girl presenting as non-binary does not have the same condition as a 60yo man presenting in a cocktail dress. Swapping their bathrooms round is a facile solution.
      That they both have the same condition (a variant “gender identity”) is a misattribution from folk psychology. Needless to say different etiologies also require different treatments for them. With the all-solving transition being pushed on patients you could soon reclassify transgenderism as an iatrogenic illness.

  • I’d like to tell you about my latest attempt to talk sense to a gender ideologue. I’ve known her for several years, we’re good though not close friends, she trained (I don’t know where or how rigorously) in dynamic psychotherapy and is in private practice. I doubt to the extremist degree that she’ll ever come to read Peak Trans but I shall of course anonymise her anyway. She’s also a staunch member of one of those political parties that have swallowed the Stonewall quack medicine.

    I try to stop myself arguing with such people now, I’m retired and it reminds me too much of my old work dealing with people out of touch with reality, but sometimes I fail and the lunacy gets too much for me. And so it was this time. I thought rather than go over the same arguments again, the biology, the language, the misogyny and homophobia, the violence verbal and physical, I’d simply ask the one question so many of the deluded flounder on. I introduced it (it was all by email) with reference to those politicians we saw or heard live on air who stuttered and spluttered and muttered and mumbled when asked this very simple question: what is a woman?

    And here’s her reply: “I’m surprised that people have struggled to answer your question; I find it quite easy really. A woman is anyone who identifies as female, whether that be because she is at ease with the anatomical gender assigned to her at birth ( a cis woman) or because not being at ease with the (male) gender assigned to her at birth, she has chosen to identify as female (a trans woman).”

    I told her I thought she was bats, quite bats. I haven’t read her reply in full yet but I think the sky has fallen in. Half the world is in flames and the other half is under water and we’re arguing about what every child knows from the moment of their first awareness of being in the world, although we now have to wonder how true that still is after the giddy BBC (and others) have done their discombobulating best to confuse everyone about their 99+ genders, or is it sexes, I’m no longer sure myself.

    Moving on to another example. I have another, far from close but slightly more than an acquaintance, a friend (now ex-such) from the world of philosophy (who’d never heard of Prof Stock, but it’s quite probable she hasn’t heard of him). He works in an elite academic setting, but that no longer means what it meant when I was young. I made two attempts to get out of him what he thought about the whole trans thing (as Douglas Murray once called it — by the way, it was Murray of all people, who got me really into studying it closely, through his ‘The Madness of Crowds’ book — yet another reason for endorsing what the great Suzanne Moore said the other day about the importance of ‘intellectual promiscuity’).

    I asked this doctor of philosophy what he thought about so many of his colleagues living in fear, gagging their free speech instincts, watching their every word in lectures and tutorials, what he thought about those of his peers being hauled before cowardly managements to answer absurd complaints from student thought police outposts. His reply: he didn’t have anything to do with social media, never went on Twitter, eschewed Facebook.

    I tried again. It’s not about social media, it’s about what’s happening and has been, daily, for some years now, in the real world of physical space in real time, on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere too, e.g. Australia to name but one.

    Oh dear, verbal tic or a novel kind of repetition compulsion — “I don’t have anything to do with social media”.

    So I asked him if he was fobbing me off. And so once again the sky fell in.

    The aforementioned Kathleen Stock (in her wonderful book ‘Material Girls’ — required reading for our grave new world) is absolutely right: people are “immersed in a fiction”. Which is a kind of mass hypnosis. Individuals stop thinking, even apparently some of the most intelligent. And as others have said very eloquently, it’s also a manifestation of a secular religion, complete with metaphysical entities like gendered souls, ad hoc blasphemy laws, excommunications or shunnings and other dire punishments such as no-platforming and cancellations.

    I’ve just read — thanks again Maria for the link on your home page — the spot-on Murray piece on Owen Jones and I suddenly thought, someone is going to be murdered over all this crazy nonsense yet — if they haven’t already and it sometimes must have been though sheer luck that it hasn’t happened. I deeply, deeply hope I’m wrong but the more I read of all the narcissistic rage the more terrified I get. It’s got to stop.

    • I made a mistake — the article that prompted my fears about people with murderous intentions was the one on this website’s Home page, the list of articles, recent posts etc. It’s headed “Watch me take a knife to your throat”. It’s horrific.

    • I’ve spent much thought on why otherwise intelligent people have fallen into this ideology, and why they are so aggressively defensive when called on it. Firstly, they have painted themselves into a logical corner. TWAW is the final one of a series of logical steps. The basic primitives are accepted such as “gender identity is a thing”, “you must have sympathy for the oppressed”, “listen to people’s lived experience”, “trans rights is just the next step in gay rights” etc. Each is a small step so you don’t notice exactly crossing the borderline of reality.
      Secondly the fact they nailed their colours makes it humiliating to then reverse and admit they were wrong (typically they are in professions that value reasoning & evidence), since it is quite embarrasing to admit you’ve been taken in. Hence the typically aggressive response, its a psychological defense mechanism, I would say a combination of regression and suppression. Abuse of gender-critical people is a childlike tantrum (regression) that also tamps down their own doubts about TWAW (suppression). But you’re the expert on that sort of thing.
      But this actually digs an even deeper hole, and stokes up the stakes even more for the enxt time they are challenged.

      • Thanks Greg. I agree with much of what you say. Another thing, it can be very difficult to get people to understand that our gender critical argument isn’t about actual trans people at all, those troubled, dysphoric people who deserve support while trying to feel at home in the world, deserve to live as happy, contented lives as possible. Our argument is about the ideology that forces speech, forces most people to deny the evidence of their sensory apparatus, denies and destroys women’s rights, turns reality upside down. Many of the fellow-travellers will nod along with you and then soon or at once revert to calling you ‘terf’ again, or at best ‘transphobe’.

        • The gender dysphoria waters have been so muddied it is difficult to tell who is “really trans” or has GD. I have no doubt the AGP cohort have weaponised the claim to effectively get legal protection for practicing a sexual fetish. Claiming dysphoria has become an open sesame magic term for “give me whatever I want”. That was the entire point of prior “gatekeeping”, to sort the sufferers from the perverts (or at least allow through only the benign ones). Subsequently they went on to behave themselves knowing the pass they were given was a tenuous one.
          I no longer believe there is such a thing as a true trans person. The phenomenon has evidence-based explanations parsimonious enough to explain it without recourse to magical thinking. To put it simply, Blanchard was right.
          Consider the best case possible: all those who claim GC are genuine – is the price being paid for their welfare acceptable? Throwing half the population under the bus seems a rather high price – as the other repercussions you mention. I do not consent to pay it.
          I do not wish to come across as lacking sympathy for sufferers of mental illness – I spent 20 years being the primary carer for my schizophrenic mother from the age of 15. The antics of the TRA movement have exhausted this well-meaning individual’s well of sympathy.

    • Yeah. I, too, am astounded at how often I have been told that a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman. And it usually comes from the mouths(or keyboards) of young women. It seems that an entire generation of young people has been indoctrinated into the gender cult.

  • Thank you so much for this site. I just landed on it today and have read some of its content. It captures pretty much exactly how I think about this thuggish Gender Ideology, an extremely dangerous thought stream which is being rammed into our faces and into our laws in the West like nothing I’ve ever seen before thanks to an unholy alliance of brainless effete leftists and trans-radicals seeking to up-end all points of reality in their war against reason.

    I wanted to share where I’m coming from on this as a conservative, white, CIS-gendered male married to a woman. Yes, I know, I am Satan.

    To say timing has never been my strong suit in life would be an understatement. Understanding my sexual orientation has been no different. After decades of denial, self-hate, internal conflict, and plain-old soul-shutdown that made a large contribution to my alcoholism (long-term recovered), I two years ago finally made peace with the fact that I’m a bisexual male. This in my mid-fifties. I guess that was the schedule I got issued.

    So after this startling but very joyous and even humorous awakening (I laugh at how I should have known so much earlier:), I craved some community and conversation with my gay/bi bros in a discreet and fun setting. Given my age, I decided on a PFLAG meeting – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – a legacy gay organization who’s website also proclaimed it as a place welcoming gay parents. OK, that’s me, sounds good.

    What a mistake. The church-basement meeting of about 25 souls, was 80% trans focused, with at least 6 males my age or older in female clothes and grooming. The dominated the talk time. Numerous other parents were there because their daughters were itching to become boys or ‘non-binary’ or were already on the way to that dubious destination. There wasn’t a single gay or bi CIS-gendered male in the place, and I don’t think any CIS-gendered lesbians either. Maybe one. But she didn’t say anything. Wonder why.

    It’s sometimes difficult enough for us bi people (by some counts a group that though much closeted may well numerically dwarf the L and G combined) to feel authentically part of the rainbow. Part of this is our own feeling of not belonging or not being sufficiently queer. That’s in our own bi heads and is therefore our responsibility to overcome. Part of it is some cynicism about us from a minority of ‘pure’ gays and lesbians.

    But both of these challenges to bi-inclusivity are nothing compared to the larger challenges that LG-and-B are now all starting to feel in our own spaces and cultural settings thanks to the militancy of some trans people and their ‘allies’; allies who are invariably straight and parasitic Wokesters who’ve merely glommed onto Trans Rights as one this epoch’s best vehicle through which they may accomplish their insane goals. They’ve brought a hostile and relentlessly self-aggrandizing quality to what should be a place of community and comraderie; an environment of impenetrable and smug political jargon and theology that flummoxes all but the sharpest minds with its labyrinthine deceptions.

    There needs to arise in us a recognition that LGandB are about sexual orientation and sexuality. Its about who we love and who we love to make love with, and we’re not asking you to stop loving who you get down with. But TQ+ is about physical and personal identity — often of the most retrograde and surrealistically amplified gender-stereotypical form — and getting everyone else to buy-into it as scientific fact and if they don’t, watch out. It is unquestionably about APPEARANCES and PAYING TRIBUTE. “Look, I cut my hair and invented a new gender. You will recognize me the way I say you must or you will pay.”

    That is two very different movements and peoples and sets of needs. We have to recognize that fish and fowl are different even as we all want trans people to be free from any egregious and real oppression.

    In short, it’s now no longer ‘enough’ to simply be gay or bi. Further intersectionality points deducted if you are also white, politically conservative, Jewish, and/or relatively traditional in your gender presentation. We’ve now in a queer world of anti-diversity even as Stonewall and all the other orgs of Big Gay (GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Fortune 500) mouth the word ‘diversity’ a million times a minute. There’s no diversity of thought, and that is the most important diversity of all. Unless you’re a bigot.

    Trans were never 100% accepted by some in the gay community, but Gay Lib 1.0 welcomed almost all differences (aka real diversity) as long as you were willing to lay their life down to stop the oppression of firings, police brutality, custody battles, refused leases, benefits denial, street beatings, and the neglect of the AIDS crisis. The community in the 70s all the way up to the first decade of this century always prioritized power over appearances. The stakes were too high to do otherwise. We would have leapt for joy to have a gay male Republican with an addiction to Brooks Brothers run for public office. Or an out gay woman who loved Milton Friedman’s economic ideas as much as her favourite dresses by Halston. Not now. Now under our TQ+-captive-rainbow — our very battle flag just now butchered graphically and in meaning! — such a person is the enemy.

    Today, Harvey Milk wouldn’t need to wait for Dan White to kill him. He’d be strung up by a probably-heterosexual, pink-haired mob of indeterminate gender ‘allies’ from the nearest Castro streetlamp and a sign would be slung around his neck reading “White Zionist Colonizer”.

    We’re in a very sad and sick place.

    • Thank you for your comment with which I entirely agree.

      May I suggest that you abandon the ideological term “cisgender”? If you describe yourself as a man, people will assume that is what you are and not a trans-identifying female. Same for lesbians, same for everyone. It is the minority who (sometimes) need a special term to distinguish them from the majority and I feel that using the term ‘cis’ as a qualifier reinforces the ideology and reduces us to a subcategory of what we are.

      • I landed on your site 3 years ago by chance and in confusion, because of the proposal in my work place of gendered intelligence training – which luckily our male hr director together with female managers more knowledgeable than I stopped- my personal instinct,as is everyone’s was to be nice until I started to read the small print …….! having read this site from top to bottom and many others I’m now actively campaigning – thanks Maria – you’re my peak- mum! x

  • Speaking from an American perspective: this entire issue (in the U.S., at least) seems to involve just another example of; there being an “unholy perfect storm” between: politics corrupted yet again by lobbying money (in this instance, from Big Pharma) vs. a runaway consumer/demi-celebrity-driven culture which, just so happens to parallel an uptight and cookie-cutter society arisen from the 1990s-onward social capital totem pole Reaganism instituted. Old-school liberalism and individuality in the USA, circa mid-1960s thru early-1980s style, became seen as an enemy toward the new PoMo Wall St.-focused (American) economic model and had to be discredited by the corporate media pipeline to Washington (as it realized: people really “doing their own thing” would be a threat to its very survival). I mean, to think(?): ALL of these “identity crisis issues” were being revolutionized and overthrown in the 1970s and 1980s (mainly through the expression of Music during those decades) WITH MUCH MORE THOUGHT (while grounded in reality!) AND PROGRESS….than the way these (seriously pathological) child-like nihilists today handle it. We’re going backwards(!): WTF!

    Also, I think, an often overlooked aspect to the trans orthodoxy which might (actually) play an influential role behind PARENTS enabling it (ironically, one the polar opposite of a misogynist porn addiction) is: the notion of societies where a theocratic mindset persists; or even a rigid household dynamic, with a kind-of prototypical-1950s-era-doubled-down-conformity against anything perceived “outside the norm” let-alone a teen declaring they’re (simply) gay, believing this medical eugenics quackery is some sort of a “New Age” tidy fix (so they don’t have to admit THEIR BELIEFS are the problem instead). This observation would, certainly, go a long-ways in explaining the zealot-like anti-science religiosity tactics so much of the trans adherents just cannot ever move beyond.

    Realizing what soulless milquetoast dreck American culture has been now for approximately the last 25+ years, THESE PEOPLE constantly worried about “belonging” are all byproducts of such a system and have no clue as to know how to otherwise exist.

    Thank you.

  • Fascinating reading. Consistent pattern in that almost of the rare posts not slamming trans people condescendingly compliment them when they “know their place”. After all, they are the “others”. African-Americans used to be the others, and the “good ones” knew their place. Then when it was no longer in fashion to go after them, the homosexuals became the others, and the good ones knew their place. Now it isn’t in fashion to go after homosexuals so some people had to find a new other.
    I do think on this subject children know better. My niece who is 22 now went to a private high school and was friends with a trans girl. They both played on the field hockey team, nobody had issues with her presence. She laughed at the idea that her being in the locker room would be disturbing to any of the the girls.

    • Don’t call it ‘fascinating reading’ when you’ve seen next to nothing of this site. I can see exactly which pages you visited and how much time you spent on them – you should have spent longer on the good arguments page and visited the pages on sports and crime, amongst others. If you had, you wouldn’t be so utterly crass as to compare men who claim to be women, crushing the dreams of young sportswomen and violating women and children at the same rate as men who don’t claim to be women, with African Americans. Here’s an African American I recommend you listen to.

      Now sod off, racist.

    • How would your niece feel (or you) if she were locked in a prison cell with Karen White? Not as comfortable I presume.
      The entire trans-acceptance industry rides on the unrepresentative sample of harmless effeminate gay men who need to transition to be “safe”. And that there is no real cost to accommodating them.
      Unfortunately an army of dysfunctional sex pests immediately stampedes into their footsteps demanding unquestioned access to female facilities. Or denounces feminist activists to the police for stating the bloody obvious. Or beats them up if you are familiar with Maria’s story. There is a huge cost that the public are being actively prevented from seeing to maintain the benign facade of human rights. AGP is real, and looks a lot like the predominant driver of this movement.
      No prior group demanding equality ever demanded rights that belong to other people.

  • It was great to see Maria again at Speakers Corner on 23 May, at the Standing for Women event. Taking back the public square one corner at a time.
    I hope the people commenting on here will come to the next one and help build this movement.
    The tide is turning in Terf Island!
    Stay strong, everyone.

    Political cartoonist

  • Hey TRAs, there IS a difference, there really is …

    From the Guardian 12 June 2019: ‘Lifting the cup: why sports bras are the stars of the summer’ by Jess Cartner-Morley

    ” … The practical significance of investing in sports bra development is clear to anyone who has tried to exercise in a bad bra. But there is a cultural significance to the sports bra, too. Here is a garment that honours the female body – honours breasts, no less – in a non-sexual, non-objectified way. When Reebok uses Nasa-inspired technology in its PureMove sports bra and Nike partners with Loughborough University for biomechanical testing of female bodies in motion, it sends a message about how we look at women’s bodies. It marks a step change from the position Victoria’s Secret took on sports bras when it entered the market in 2013 with a product specifically designed to give women cleavage at the gym – “The uniboob problem, where your sports bra makes you look straight across – no one likes that”, the then CEO Sharen Turney said at the time. To [PE teacher Eartha] Pond, “a sports bra is about reducing movement. As an athlete, it’s in a similar category to a shin pad. I don’t think it should be sexualised.” She makes a link between raising the profile of the sports bra and acknowledging the impact of the menstrual cycle on female athletes. “In the past, we’ve been quite naive – we haven’t talked about female-specific issues in sport.” Were the world to get more comfortable talking about physical issues that affect excellence in female athletics, that might have a positive impact on the world beyond sport. …”

    Not a problem male-bodied athletes have when thinking of crashing into female sports.

    • I contacted a transgender (MtF) scholar who writes on transgender issues. My question was “if they [transpeople] suffer discrimination on the basis of their trans-status, they should have their safe trans-only spaces too. For instance, in prisons they could be in a separate area with other transindividuals”. His answer: “Kinda of. You, I am sure already know that for an individual, intersectionality means that no space built on identity is “safe.” (I.e. women’s “safe” spaces are where the alpha women’s claws come out.) I prefer to think about and value identity-based spaces as ‘epistemic’ because the kinds of experiences we have in mixed spaces or queer only spaces or black only or mixed race spaces are different and worthwhile than the ones we would have in other spaces.” What is he trying to say? I get lost in this postmodern rhetoric and English is not my mother tongue. Thank you!

      • The mentally ill trannys in drag don’t want equality, they want obeisance and subservience to them and their ladydick. Vile, predatory men are men forever and need to be in the men’s prison.
        Segregated, in main, I don’t gaf.

        • What does “I prefer to think about and value identity-based spaces as ‘epistemic’ because the kinds of experiences we have in mixed spaces or queer only spaces or black only or mixed race spaces are different and worthwhile than the ones we would have in other spaces.” mean?

          • No idea. Sounds like obscurantist drivel to me. Why not ask him?

      • I believe the point this man is trying to make is that spaces specifically-designated for certain people provide validation for those who enter them – “epistemic” meaning giving-proof-to. IE a transwoman entering an explicitly female space gains credibility and social proof for “her” identity. It fortifies the claim they’re a woman, both in the individual’s eyes and the community’s.
        Hence the obsessive demand to be granted access to explicity female spaces rather than settle for third spaces as a solution for the alleged problem of toilet etc access. Furthermore he is diminishing the notion that female-specific spaces are actually safe for women, using the tired old trope of “mean girls” being nasty to other women in there. So if they aren’t anyway, male presence there isn’t a big deal… So its OK for me to go in…
        That’s it as far as I can make out. Basically this is rationalisation in action – I want something so let’s manufacture an argument that looks passably valid so I can get what I want. Effectively the kind of logic all gender theory is built on. As well as all the others in the Humanities theory-zoo, like race, critical and queer etc, etc. They are esentially ideology dressed up in an academic gown.
        There is a great book out there about all this obscurantism called Cynical Theories by Pluckrose & Lindsay. Time to take out the Foucouldian trash.

  • Autogynephilia, you say? Ah yes …

    There she is, just ahead, within reach. Not real of course, no flesh and blood of her own, but the more captivating for that, the very vagueness of her outline completing the perfection. An idea that promises the lineaments of gratified desire (whose?); a mere projection, but sparkling with erotic charge. Something already loved while within, but needing concrete objectification, so thrown into the world simply to embrace again as sexualised re-introjection of the now reified ‘her’, the girl-bit that was inside me, then outside to become whole and be brought back inside to take me over, submitting in bliss; and anguish too. A kind of madness, a psychotic bit way out of touch with reality, illusory, delusional, indeed solipsistic to a degree.

    A solipsistic person, let’s say a man, acts as if he believes that his own self — that he — is the only reality, whether he consciously acknowledges it or not. He sees the world from within his own sense of self, impervious to how others see it, incapable of altering his perceptions or beliefs in the light of what the rest of the world is saying. What he believes he sees and hears, he maintains is the only way of seeing and hearing whatever it may be, and everyone who doesn’t perceive it the same way is simply wrong. For our discussion, if I, born male-bodied, say I’m a woman, that’s the way it is. And all transwomen are women, whether they modify their body or not. Those who don’t or can’t see it my way are quite simply and transparently wrong. And not wrong merely through ignorance or innocent error, but malevolently, intentionally, wilfully, hatefully — terfishly — vicious in their misrepresentation of reality. Our reality, the one that we know from inside ourselves, “our” truth.

    And the more we proclaim it the truer it gets, just like the classic psychiatric syndrome, folie à deux, where a once sane live-in partner comes to share a delusional belief with as much fervour as the original victim. But in the case of the current madness, the gender follies, it’s Stonewall leading the national asylum of folie à plusieurs, folie à millions.

  • Prof Kathleen Stock tweets: “Highly illuminating article by cancelled feminist Kathleen Lowery on the allure of Foucault, and the cookie-cutter reversals churned out by academics in his thrall, coincidentally turning them into the *real* activists in their own eyes.”

    The article is here

    The writer is an anthropologist at the University of Chicago. Here’s one paragraph that particularly appealed to me:

    “The pervasiveness of this formula helps to explain the widespread enthusiasm for gender identity ideology in the academy. The relevant flippages are of at least three kinds. First is the reversal of the sex:gender relation as it is commonly understood. Ordinarily sex has primacy. It is the biological given upon which the cultural constructions of gender are elaborated. In gender identity ideology, the terms are reversed. Gender is essential, and sex is the unsteady social construct. Second is the relation of men to women. Conventionally, the social standing of men is understood to be privileged relative to that of women. This relationship is reversed in gender identity ideology. Trans identified men (“transwomen”) are figured as vulnerable relative to women and are even described as the most vulnerable of all women. Third, the quotidian apprehension is that children develop their gender identities as they grow up and engage with and adjust to cultural norms. Under gender identity ideology, it is asserted that children know from very young ages exactly their gender identities independent of cultural conditioning. As a corollary, adult men who express gender identities late in life that appear to be wholly fashioned out of sexist cultural norms about femininity have in fact been real women–the very realest of women–all along. The department colleague who was my most enthusiastic denouncer placed two signs on her office door after I put up gender critical feminist messaging on mine: “trans rights are human rights” and “transwomen are women.” She understood very well the messaging required of a “trans ally” and displayed it quite correctly.”

  • Foucault has been in the news lately and not for savoury reasons. And for very different reasons we’ve also been hearing of his influence on such as Judith Butler. The following is a link I go back to again and again. I’m a fan of John Searle (although not of the reported behaviour towards some women as we read a few years ago in the press — people are flawed, as Obama said not long ago). If you ever despair of academics and other intellectuals who write incomprehensibly, I recommend a listen to Searle (about 3 or 4 minutes), link below.

    John Searle – Foucault and Bourdieu on continental obscurantism – YouTube

  • Prof Kathleen Stock has a new book out (or very soon). Blurb states: “Material Girls presents a timely and opinionated critique of the culturally influential theory that we each have an inner feeling about our sex called a gender identity, and that this feeling is more socially significant than our actual biological sex. It makes a clear and humane feminist case for retaining the ability to discuss material reality about biological sex in a range of important contexts, including women-only spaces and resources, healthcare, epidemiology, political organization and data collection. It will investigate the intellectual history of gender identity, showing how the concept is linked to a misguided philosophical picture which broadly rejects science and conflates facts about intersex people with facts about trans people. Material Girlsconcludes with a positive vision for the future, of collaboration between feminists and trans activists, detailing how they could work together to achieve some of their political aims.”

    To judge by the clarity and accessibility of what I’ve read of hers in the past, I’ll take a punt that I’ll be able to understand it, and am about to order a copy. I know it will be great.

    • I have read an in-depth review of this book by activist Lily Maynard (although not read the source). Stock is obviously fighting for the right cause but I feel she is either pulling her punches or still harbours unmerited sympathy for the genderist side. She comes across as too accommodating and ready to compromise – re the quoe above about “working together”.
      How do you work together with people whose gains can only come at your expense? This is the key failing of the GC side in this conflict – the continued belief that there is an acceptable middle ground to be found and settled upon. You cannot compromise in a mutually exclusive scenario. Gender-based rights necessarily displace sex-based rights.

      • I haven’t yet read the book either, Greg, but your comments accord with how I often feel about other stuff Kathleen has written.

        • Its always a relief others can see what I see. I’ve given a fair bit of thought to why people who are on the rational/reality side of this conflict still cling to compromise and hope for some middle ground and civility. Intellectuals like Stock have a deep stake in their own theories and belief systems they have cultivated career-long. Attacking gender conceptualisations too aggressively may undermine her own world-view. Hence the splitting-hairs approach instead of ripping it out at the root.
          My sneaking suspicion is that they and the Radical Feminist movement are a bit shy of going in all guns blazing on this issue lest they win too comprehensively and demolish the ideological bases for some of the beliefs they wish to preserve. To use a metaphor, they want to cut the branch between them and where the genderists are standing, but not between themselves and the trunk. So they are treading carefully with the saw and mostly centering on theory – which makes it all too esoteric for the mainstream audience.
          The general public just don’t perceive the difference between LGBT and RadFem – it all looks like a civil war within the left and many are looking on with glee. I think the true trigger for public investment in this issue will be evidence of widespread abuse, medical malpractice on a generation of perfectly healthy gay youth, and the shameless public strutting of AGPs.

  • Always happy to use my free article a week (everyone can have one) to read Suzanne Moore. A few quotes from her latest:
    ‘ …We saw it recently when Sadiq Kahn was asked by a member of the London Assembly about the definition of women he’d once put in a tweet: “You’ve said trans women are women – so do you think some women have male reproductive organs?”. Six other members of the Assembly jumped in to shut down debate and supported a subsequent motion to prevent him from having such a discussion with the mayor. His speech was deemed discriminatory. …’

    ‘ … The Greens, who don’t like GM crops, suddenly seem to be embracing the case for puberty-blocking hormones and are so fully gender fluid that women exist simply now as “non-men”. …’

    God, who can I vote for in the upcoming elections? I feel like I have to break a promise to a Labour counsellor I knew quite well from my Labour membership days. Certainly can’t vote Green (what the hell’s happened to them?), nor Lib Dems. The only honest thing seems to be to abstain, but my wife always says that dishonours the memory of all those sufragettes back in the day. People say, ‘hold your nose and vote Labour’ but I don’t think my fingers are strong enough. Help!

  • What would the difference be between saying a person is attracted to others on the basis of (1) sex and (2) gender? Some aspects of the latter might well be thought of as a fetish.

    I was taught in medical school several decades ago that clothing was designed to accentuate secondary sexual characteristics (eg differences in hip and shoulder anatomy as between males and females). But besides obvious social constructions like clothing, what else constitute markers of difference?

    How much of everyday behaviour is biologically determined and how much is socially conditioned? Consider mouth and lip movements, emotional expressiveness in eye movements, certain hand and arm gestures such as brushing hair off the forehead, the way a person sits, stands, walks.

    But what, mostly, are we most attracted to? In different epochs, different countries, isn’t it the way our sex is expressed, rather than sex itself? (That is, in real life, rather than in, for instance, crude pornography for men.) And in that case, are we talking about something we call ‘gender’ and not sex?

    What was Robert Herrick talking about, in the 1600s?

    A sweet disorder in the dress
    Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
    A lawn about the shoulders thrown
    Into a fine distraction;
    An erring lace, which here and there
    Enthrals the crimson stomacher;
    A cuff neglectful, and thereby
    Ribands to flow confusedly;
    A winning wave, deserving note,
    In the tempestuous petticoat;
    A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
    I see a wild civility:
    Do more bewitch me, than when art
    Is too precise in every part.

    So I sometimes wonder if we can occasionally be a bit too dismissive about ‘gender’ and the way transactivists elevate its importance over (anatomical, physiological) sex. Clearly, no matter how much a strongly heterosexual male might initially find himself responding to a feminine sexuality projected by a convincing male-bodied trans person, he’s extremely likely to be repelled (viscerally) if later aware that the object of his apprehension has a penis. So it is (all) sex after all?

    But it can’t be ‘all sex’ or he wouldn’t have found himself aroused, to the extent that he was, in the first place. Obviously I have no idea what it’s like for women, and none for how it is for lesbians, but I can readily empathise with the latter for rejecting advances from deluded, self-identifying ‘lesbian’ TVs, TG’s, TS’s.

    But I think I can understand how sex gets confused with gender, well, no, actually, I can’t. Which is why I’m rambling on about it here. I spent years treating (and trying to understand) people diagnosed as psychotic, people ‘out of touch with reality’, believing, like the White (I just had to look it up) Queen six impossible things before breakfast — and many more than six and not just before breakfast.

    It’s one of the biggest things that’s troubled me all through this, what Douglas Murray, called the trans thing. How is it, really, how is it, that intelligent, otherwise intellectually sophisticated people, can apparently believe things that on a moment’s reflection are so obviously, blatantly, indeed by definition, untrue? What is the mental mechanism? We do know that with other parts of their personalities, or of their cognitive apparatus, they ‘know’ what they don’t want to know, there’s a kind of splitting taking place, with the knowledge somehow dissociated from the executive ego. And that’s why there’s such a reaction when their belief is challenged. They instantly become panic-stricken that their sense of themselves can be cracked wide open, as if the tiniest chink in the armour plating will lead to a shattering of everything. And behind all that, for many tho’ not all, is what Ray Blanchard so shrewdly observed, a low intensity sexual arousal. The whole thing is so highly charged.

  • I contacted a transgender (MtF) scholar who writes on transgender issues. My question was “if they [transpeople] suffer discrimination on the basis of their trans-status, they should have their safe trans-only spaces too. For instance, in prisons they could be in a separate area with other transindividuals”. His answer: “Kinda of. You, I am sure already know that for an individual, intersectionality means that no space built on identity is “safe.” (I.e. women’s “safe” spaces are where the alpha women’s claws come out.) I prefer to think about and value identity-based spaces as ‘epistemic’ because the kinds of experiences we have in mixed spaces or queer only spaces or black only or mixed race spaces are different and worthwhile than the ones we would have in other spaces.” What is he trying to say? I get lost in this postmodern rhetoric and English is not my mother tongue. Thank you!

  • When you explain why gender and race are analogous, I think what we want to compare is SEX and race, not gender and race, and say that both are biological realities, not social. Race understood as skin pigmentation, of course. Otherwise, it makes no sense to me what you say here:

    “I think Zinnia is trying to suggest that the analogy is false and the argument it gives rise to as I expressed it above, is therefore fallacious. I don’t think anyone has said that races and gender are the same thing but they are comparable in the sense that neither are biological realities, both are widely considered to be social constructs, both give rise to prejudices and, most importantly for the purposes of the argument, both are taken as ‘identities’. It is not a false analogy. Much of what follows that opening shot from Jones is obscurantist drivel or plain gibberish plus a heavy reliance on appeal to popularity – basically, “but there are loads of us and only one of her”. Now that‘s a fallacious argument.

    My point is that, if race and gender are social constructs, one can identify as them, because they are constructs. I think our message here is SEX cannot be changed while gender can (one person can behave femininely or masculinely) but one cannot change race because skin pigment is not changeable (naturally, at least).

    • I get what you’re saying, Ernest, but race IS a social construct and one that has historically caused a lot of suffering and I wouldn’t care to reinforce a false and dangerous idea just because it would make a better argument. Skin pigmentation is an adaptive trait produced by environmental conditions, as are all the other physical features associated with different ethnicities, so while someone can’t in all seriousness identify as having a different phenotype – e.g someone with a typical sub-Saharan African appearance can’t identify as a fair-skinned, redhead – one can indeed claim to identify as being of African or European heritage, regardless of their appearance. What they can’t do is demand that other people take that identity seriously if their appearance seems to contradict it.

      • This is tricky, because anyone can identify as Sub-Saharan African if they have some ancestor link, even if those identifying have fair skin (I have encountered this argument). I did not know how to approach this argument. So you have to go by the obvious and clear and visible traits: skin pigment. Can you be black if you skin is white even if you have a black ancestor far way back? Ethnicity is not clear-cut, there is indeed lots of mixed cases (I have a friend whose parents are both black and Indian, Black and Asian, Black and Central European… and they do not have dark skin pigment).

        • Oh I think saying “Can I identify as black?” when I am obviously white, is perfectly coherent. That just makes it about phenotype – i.e. what you look like now – and doesn’t bring where one’s ancestors may or may not have come from into it. I have heard Linda Bellos – who is black – make that exact argument: a white person can’t identify as black and vice versa (and expect to be taken seriously). On the other hand, I did once hear a white person say, “Can I identify as black?” in an argument on gender identity and she was immediately accused of being racist. Of course she wasn’t being racist but the accusation had the effect of diverting from rather than focusing on the issue at hand, which is reason enough to stay clear of analogies involving race/ethnicity, in my opinion.

          • Thanks. I must admit I was a bit lost in your argument (I do not know if you think a white person can identify as black if they have black ancestry even if they look white). Race IS a social construct based on one’s skin color, but gender the way is understood (as sex), is not a social construct, it is biology. So while you could identify as a social construct (race) you can’t identify as a biological reality (sex).

  • Regarding the comparison with the black movement: “They wanted to be accepted as what they were, to have equal rights with whites”. Many trans activists would argue that is what they want, to be accepted as “what they are (=transwomen)” and have “equal rights as women”… so this argument maybe has to be followed up or qualified. What do you think?

    • They already are accepted as “transwomen” in many jurisdictions including the UK, where gender reassignment is protected by law. But so many now are arguing that they are actual women and should be accepted as such so the analogy with anti-racist campaigns fails. They want to be accepted as what they are not.

  • Maria has posted a very interesting article in the Telegraph — see Home page, 25.12.20, ‘Lesbians facing “extinction” as transgenderism becomes pervasive, campaigners warn.’

    I want to link it to something else I re-read (and understood better) today than I did the first time I read it. It’s by Heather Brunskell Evans and on her blog at, titled ‘Inventing Transgender Children and Young People Conference’. Brunskell Evans is a social theorist and academic philosopher and together with educationist Prof Michele Moore edited two terrific books published in the last 2 or 3 years, ‘Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body’, and the follow-up, ‘Inventing Transgender Children and Young People’.

    In the article, Prof Evans writes

    “…The claim that an adult man can be truly female in a male body (and vice versa) positively *requires* the existential figure of “the transgender child”. …”

    Suppose I am a man who decides some time in middle age not just that I’m now a woman, but that despite appearances I’ve always ‘really’ been a woman and before that a girl mis-‘assigned’ at birth. I need to believe that there are others, some my age, some younger, some older, who must have been similarly placed by midwives, nurses, doctors, 30, 40, 60 and more years ago, in the wrong class of humans.

    Now (my belief must continue) if that was something that could happen quite frequently all those years ago, it must be happening right now to at least many thousands of children, not just in this country but everywhere. And just as what happened to me back then, many children are still being brought up wrongly, resulting in the confusion and unhappiness we see daily in psychiatric departments for children, adolescents and young adults.

    To justify the change in how I, and others like me, present ourselves to the world, we *need* this to be the case, and if we cannot seem to find large numbers of such children, then we have to create them. Of course we don’t realise that we’re creating them, at least not in the cases where we’re most genuinely self-deceived: there are probably, I imagine, some cases of cynical opportunism for political reasons. But let’s be generous and postulate simple delusion.

    But now comes the further twist, and it’s an ironic inversion of the charge more usually levelled by ideological transactivists at gender critics. This is the further development of the above line of thinking. The above hypothetical man will find it even more consolingly self-serving to believe that gay boys and lesbian girls are in ‘reality’ suffering a false consciousness because of a combination of wrong assignment at birth and misconceived upbringing thereafter. As a result they misattribute their emotions: they cannot be due to gay attraction, they must be straight attraction but arising in the wrong kind of body.

    The irony is that it’s now the transactivist and not the maligned terf or the libelled psychotherapist who’s alleged to be doing the conversion therapy. The lesbian doesn’t exist because she’s really a straight man all along. The gay boy likewise has simply never realised, because of faulty indoctrination, that he is, sorry, ‘she’ is and always has been a perfectly straight girl. Homosexuality cured in a trice! There are only heterosexuals, although some of them have to transition first to reach that happy normative state.

    I think that’s what lies behind Heather Brunskell Evans’ sentence quoted above. Here it is again: ‘The claim that an adult man can be truly female in a male body (and vice versa) positively *requires* the existential figure of “the transgender child”.

    Such an unfortunate child is forced to be father, or mother, to such an entitled, narcissistic man.

  • “It seems likely too, that those members of the trans community who are most active in silencing and denying the existence of detransitioners are attempting to police in others the doubts they cannot tolerate in themselves. If someone can bear to think about a thing, they can usually bear to let others talk about it. But if a person’s sense of identity and social network are built around being trans, talking about doubts and regrets can be experienced as an existential and social threat.”

    From Transgender medicalization and the attempt to evade psychological distress
    Robert Withers First published: 17 November 2020

    Robert Withers is a Jungian analyst. This paper is well worth reading for its useful insights.

  • Sounds like there is no good reason to have a twitter account or even an instagram account.


    Here’s another account of the news item just posted by Maria. “Barbie Kardashian – How a ‘Homicidal’ Transgender Woman was Almost Released to Public”. It’s in “The Burkean” written by Ciaran Brennan, 27 Sept 2020. Tusla, cited in the account is the Irish State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. TENI is the Transgender Equality Network Ireland. The Burkean is an Irish student publication.

    Here are the closing paragraphs:

    [I]March 2017, Kardashian was taken under supervision to Tavistock clinic in London to evaluate the veracity of his/her gender dysphoria, to which doubt was cast by doctors at the time. In court documents, Ms. Allan of the Tavistock and Portman NHS stated “There was a lack of affect in the way {Kardashian}. described her gender difficulties, as though she was reciting from something she had learned. All the facts were correct but there was no emotional impact”. Additional psychological assessments further cast into doubt as to his/her gender identification as well as highlighting his/her capacity towards self harm and violence.

    Born into a background of severe sexual abuse and economic depravity, Kardashian presented a certificate of gender recognition to the court in the hopes of being assigned to the female section of any potential prison. While presiding Judge Mary Larking stated this was at the discretion of any prison as to where to house Kardashian, UK prisons have received criticism for hosting transgender male prisoners among women resulting in incidents of rape.

    In October 2019, controversy arose in Irish prisons over the housing of a female identifying pre-op male among female prisoners who had been convicted of sexual crimes against women and children. At the time, chair of the Law Society Criminal Law Committee Robert Purcell stated that the nature of the 2015 Gender Recognition Act left the prison service in an impossible position with what to do with transgender prisoners.

    While receiving a surreptitious [sic] lack of mainstream coverage, Kardashian due to his/her age has enjoyed a media embargo on his name being broadcast going under the initial ‘G’ in all prior reporting. While Irish media has been quick to press home support for what is a clear and unhinged transgender agenda, the case of Kardashian presents some rather awkward questions.

    Among those questions are how did a psychopathic individual, whose medical history was challenged by multiple health officials, obtain legal recognition of their gender dysphoria? Or, are there any legal breaks on stopping Kardashian insisting on being sent to a female prison?

    Since 2015, the Republic of Ireland endures what is the potentially the world’s most liberal transgender regime, with the country having a hawkish transgender lobby in the form of TENI Ireland. As mentioned before in this publication, TENI has enjoyed favourable coverage from the mainstream press, as well as funds from the Social Innovation Fund Ireland, aka Rethink Ireland, in partnership with Bank of America.

    While TENI Ireland is in no way related to the case of Kardashian, they freely advertise how children like Kardashian can attain recognition of their gender dysphoria on their website.

    It is understood that Kardashian is to appear before Limerick District Court again this Tuesday for further deliberation from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
    END OF QUOTE (and end of the article)

    • Ive read about the Irish “Kardashian case” on To consider having this individual put into a women’s prison is such wilful blindness that I can only expect that pedophiles will next be transferred into youth prisons to comply with “progressive” values.
      As a doctor I wonder whether you have considered this gender identity phenomenon as a Western instance of a culture bound syndrome. After this issue is finally out of the bag it should provide decades’ worth of PHD theses about collective hysteria and such. This environment of collectively pretending reality isn’t true to the point of actual harm seems to me to be the same collective mindset that produced historical crimes like witch-burnings and the Terrors of multiple revolutions.

  • I’ve extracted below something relevant to our interests here from a Lancet paper, corrected version published Sept 2020. It’s titled ‘Sex and gender: modifiers of health, disease and medicine and is online here

    The authors write, ‘We aim to guide clinicians and researchers to consider sex and gender in their approach to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases as a necessary and fundamental step towards precision medicine, which will benefit men’s and women’s health.’

    They write of ‘Sex as a genetic modifier of biology and disease’, and of ‘Gender as a determinant of patients’ and doctors’ behaviour, and as modifier of health, disease, and medicine.’

    From the second sub-heading, I’ve taken this (Footnote references not included):

    Gender, according to the Global Health 50/50 definition, refers to the socially constructed norms that impose and determine roles, relationships, and positional power for all people across their lifetime. Gender interacts with sex, the biological and physical characteristics that define women, men, and those with intersex identities. [‘Intersex’ is itself a controversial term — BR]

    Gender is not a binary term. It includes the understanding that in many people, traits of masculinity or femininity coexist and are expressed to different degrees. Gender attributes are fluid; more than two thirds of women and men report gender-related characteristics traditionally attributed to the opposite sex.

    In transgender people, gender identity differs with the sex they were assigned at birth. So far, transgender people have generally been underrepresented in clinical studies to date, although this underrepresentation is changing. Gender is an equally important variable as biological sex in human health, and influences the behaviour of communities, clinicians, and patients.

    Gender roles represent the behavioural norms applied to men and women in society, which influence individuals’ everyday actions, expectations, and experiences, including diet, perceived stress, smoking, and physical activity, and affect health and disease susceptibility.

    Gender identity describes the fluidity of how a person perceives oneself as a woman or a man, which affects feelings and behaviours. Gender relations refer to how we interact with or are treated by people, on the basis of our ascribed gender. Institutionalised gender reflects the distribution of power between men and women in the political, educational, and social institutions in society and shapes social norms that define, perpetuate, and often justify different expectations and opportunities for women and men.

    As such, the distribution of gender-related characteristics within populations of men and women can influence health differently than biological sex. Together, these gender constructs determine access to health care, help-seeking behaviours, and individual use of the health-care system.

    [Emphasis mine — BR]

    This postulation is well exemplified in the cardiovascular field, in which women often underestimate their risk compared with men and seek consultation later than men in the clinic for treatment of myocardial infarction. In the GENESIS-PRAXY prospective study, mortality 1 year after an acute coronary event was more strongly associated with gender than with biological sex.

    Similarly, control of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, depressive symptoms) was better predicted by gender than by biological sex.

    Therefore, including a gender dimension in clinical studies and practice will contribute to the understanding of different clinical manifestations and outcomes of diseases in women and men. Although beyond the scope of this Review, it is also important to consider that regarding health and disease, gender intersect with race or ethnicity and age.

    Sex and gender are fundamentally and frequently reciprocally inter-related in biology and disease.Sex influences behaviours (eg, towards more aggressive or caring phenotypes). On the other hand, gender-related behaviours (eg, smoking, lifestyle, perceived stress and pain, and nutritional habits) might produce epigenetic modifications that modulate gene expression and biological phenotypes.
    Finally the authors state: In conclusion, sex is first and foremost a genetic modifier of disease pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and response to treatment. Gender influences on the behaviour of the community, clinicians, and patients can be considered a social and psychological modifier of disease presentation, and a factor in determining how, when, and why a person accesses medical care. Sex and gender are the foundation of precision medicine, and their inherent differences should inform decision making to promote gender equity in health. — Franck Mauvais-Jarvis et all, authors of the paper.

  • Hey, here’s one I’ve just come across:
    “But above all, in order to be, never try to seem.”
    ― Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1935-1951

  • I hope everyone listens to that podcast whose link was posted by Maria, titled “I have lost my daughter to this cult #transgender”. It’s by far the most shatteringly moving and disturbing thing I’ve listened to in very long time. I’m shocked and horrified at how so many of the medical and psychology professions have betrayed that first fundamental article: First, do no harm. The interviewee here is so courageous, but also so clear-headed, rational and wise. She’s been through so much. I hope she and her family, including her daughter, find eventually some measure of healing and repair. Thanks to this wonderful mother and to Kellie-Jay for the podcast. You can find the link on Maria’s Home Page here at PeakTrans.

  • Nietzsche, over 100 years ago, saw some of the madness coming:

    “Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night and more night not coming on all the while?”

    Nietzsche, The Gay Science, aka Joyful Wisdom, 1882

    • Correction: “Is not night and more night coming on all the while?”

  • Every material object in the universe, including human bodies, has an outside and an inside. Mostly we see only the outsides, including the outside of other people. Schopenhauer pointed out that each of us humans knows ourselves doubly, as the body we can perceive like any other thing in the world, but also in an entirely different way — from within, and directly so. And it’s the only thing in the entire universe that we know in this way, a direct, non-sensory, non-intellectual knowledge (as the late Bryan Magee puts it in his book on Schopenhauer). Everything else in the universe, including other people, I can know only from outside.

    And so I have to infer, of others, from the outside, from observing how they move, behave, from what they say, from their facial expressions, from the clothes they wear, what lies inside. But we can never really know another person in that direct, immediate way each of us knows our own self (without going into the tricky question of how well — or if — we know ourselves).

    So a man may say he believes he’s (really) a woman, based on the women he has encountered in his life, ever since he was a baby, but he has always necessarily known only the outsides (as above) of every one of those women. So he can only ever be talking about externalities and the inferences he makes from observing behaviours, gestures, words said, and so on.

    And much, if not indeed all, of those inferences will be entangled with fantasy, projection and introjection and in a substantial proportion of cases become eroticised, for that is an ever-ready potential with male perception, where the powerful male libido can become attached to almost any object a male sees, hears, touches or just thinks. As has been said before, there’s something demonic about male sexuality, and not just of the human variety: it goes back a long, long way.

    The mind plays tricks and we know this because consider how often memory plays tricks. We *know* this happened, we say, only to find some time later that it never did. Assuming we’re dealing with genuine cases, and not with opportunists of various kinds, a man may with, let’s say, sincerity, believe that he knows he’s a woman. He cannot possibly know this for he knows only the outsides, the external manifestations, the superficialities, but never the inside, the lived, experienced reality of being.

    We’re all capable of deluding ourselves and why should this be any different for transsexual people? How do we know what we know is a very old question, and I’m not sure that it’s ever completely solvable. Underneath apparent certainty there can lurk a subconscious rumbling awareness that our stated knowledge isn’t quite so robustly secure as we like to think it. Hence when others challenge such a person, or even merely asks a genuine question seeking clarification, it can be perceived as the thin edge of the wedge that might crack the entire shaky edifice wide open, leading to annihilation of the fragile ego. And so we get those instances of uncontrolled narcissistic rage, the hate mobilised in self-defence, the threats that to outsiders are clearly out of all proportion.

    Even in the most “sympathique” of cases, we’re dealing with a delusion. It can be a tragic delusion or hedonistic delusion. At best it can be that not-quite delusion, just a valued idea someone has, but always an over-valued idea.

  • Very thoughtful piece by Nick Cave, the Australian frontman for rock band The Bad Seeds, which he published recently in his Newsletter (hat-tip The Scotsman). I hope it’s OK to copy it here, with full acknowledgement and link. His Newsletter is called The Red Hand Files, and this is from Issue #109 / August 2020, link

    What do you think of cancel culture?
    Dear Valerio and Frances,

    Mercy is a value that should be at the heart of any functioning and tolerant society. Mercy ultimately acknowledges that we are all imperfect and in doing so allows us the oxygen to breathe — to feel protected within a society, through our mutual fallibility. Without mercy a society loses its soul, and devours itself.

    Mercy allows us the ability to engage openly in free-ranging conversation — an expansion of collective discovery toward a common good. If mercy is our guide we have a safety net of mutual consideration, and we can, to quote Oscar Wilde, “play gracefully with ideas.”

    Yet mercy is not a given. It is a value we must nurture and aspire to. Tolerance allows the spirit of enquiry the confidence to roam freely, to make mistakes, to self-correct, to be bold, to dare to doubt and in the process to chance upon new and more advanced ideas. Without mercy society grows inflexible, fearful, vindictive and humourless.

    Frances, you’ve asked about cancel culture. As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy’s antithesis. Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world. Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty) — moral certainty and self-righteousness shorn even of the capacity for redemption. It has become quite literally, bad religion run amuck.

    Cancel culture’s refusal to engage with uncomfortable ideas has an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society. Compassion is the primary experience — the heart event — out of which emerges the genius and generosity of the imagination. Creativity is an act of love that can knock up against our most foundational beliefs, and in doing so brings forth fresh ways of seeing the world. This is both the function and glory of art and ideas. A force that finds its meaning in the cancellation of these difficult ideas hampers the creative spirit of a society and strikes at the complex and diverse nature of its culture.

    But this is where we are. We are a culture in transition, and it may be that we are heading toward a more equal society — I don’t know — but what essential values will we forfeit in the process?

    Love, Nick


  • This is an excellent article in the Scotsman and I urge everyone to read it. It’s by Euan McColm.

    Trans rights activists are letting down people they represent – Euan McColm
    Marra joins a number of other high-profile women – including the SNP MP Joanna Cherry, the novelist JK Rowling, and the veteran feminist campaigner and writer Julie Bindel

    Sunday, 16th August 2020, 9:18 am

  • The nursing profession is an excellent example. I remember one first class psychiatric male nurse (his wife was also a nurse in the same hospital) who loved his job but once told me that he thought nursing was ‘really a kind of a job for women’ and I think at one time it was usually perceived that way.

    I don’t suppose many (if any) people think that way, at least in this country. Men can make as good nurses as women *as men*. No one thinks they need to try to present themselves as women.

    Writing this brings to mind (from many years ago) a programme aired on British television, although it must have been made in the USA. It was called (allowing for any memory inaccuracy), ‘Nurse is a female noun’ and it featured a very physically bulky male nurse. I suppose it was an early sit-com, with didactic aspirations. At least, that’s how I remember it.

    Impossible to think it could be made, and with that title, today. Very, very few, vanishingly small numbers of people, need to “change sex” for psychotherapeutic reasons. Just look at the profession of nursing.

  • This article is just wonderful. Although it dates from Dec 2016 every word of it is as topical as it was then, and I’ve only just come across — although Maria has long ago referenced the website one PeakTrans here

    I am lost in admiration for the way Lily Maynard dealt with the problem when it suddenly arose in her own family. She steered a hugely difficult course ultimately successfully, with love, tact, insight and the intelligence — and courage — to pursue a very steep learning curve through social media, googling, and the rest of it. In the end I found it extremely moving and heartwarming.

    In case anyone reading here hasn’t seen it, I do recommend a read. And there’s a happy sequel from Lily’s daughter herself, with more about her on, I think, her own site, which I’m about to follow up.

    Here’s a message of hope and sanity in our fraught world.

  • I just had to share this as its hysterical. Is there nothing more annoying on this planet than a man on the internet complaining about hard it is to pretend to be a woman.


    Actual quote: “Transgender people, particularly trans women, are often seen as an inspiration. We’re placed on a pedestal and filled with paragon expectations, so it doesn’t take much for us to become activists. In fact, some people say that every breath a trans woman takes is an act of rebellion.”.

    My eyes almost got stuck mid eye roll.

  • Fascinating and highly informative discussion between Kelly-Jay Keen (“Posie Parker”) and Marcus Evans, psychoanalyst who worked for many years at the Tavistock Clinic in London before resigning in protest against the way the Tavistock’s GIDS was (mis-)treating children and young adults, mainly as a result of the affirmation model.

    Perhaps because Marcus first trained as a psychiatric nurse, his language is completely accessible and down to earth. (Or it just maybe his personality!) It’s a delight to hear such an expert deeply immersed in his subject speaking in everyday language about all the misconceptions surrounding the whole trans issue. It’s just over an hour long and worth every second.

  • I discovered your website last night and commented vaguely on my experiences, but felt compelled to write more on my own peaktrans experience. I didn’t even know that was a word until last night;). Glad to know it exists and my feelings of anger and helplessness aren’t completely in isolation. Back in 2016, I was on some website or commenting on an article. I don’t remember exactly where or which, but the conversation involved autogynephilia, which I, at the time, was not at all familiar with. As I read, I discovered that men who identify as women oftentimes become erotically charged by the idea of themselves as women. Many of whom are straight males who have not committed to full on sex change but become aroused by fetishizing the female experience. Not the female experience of sexuality which is quite different, but the female experience of being objectified. I was really put off by that alone. I mean, it’s not enough to objectify, you must inhabit the objectification and erase its identity to fully express your sexual desire. I had always been on the center to right side (for lack of a better geography) on the pornography issue. I thought Angela Dworkin’s idea that all sex is rape is a little much, but thought her take down of post modern (modern?) validation of the Marquis de Sade via foucalt and his ilk was nothing short of masterful. Now, I think differently. Not only was I really shocked to discover that this was a thing in itself, but that there were transgendered women on there trying to justify the experience by insisting that this was also a prominent role in biological female sexuality. Uhh, no. Women rarely, if ever, objectify ourselves for sexual gratification. Myself and a few other women tried to argue the absurdity of this and were hit with your personal experience of womanhood is not as valid as some questionaire about the experience. I get the difference between statistics and the anecdotal, but never in my experience of being a woman, knowing lots of women and reading lots of literature by women, including erotica, had I ever experienced such an encounter. What the fuck? I am a generation x’er, have honestly never thought too much about feminist theory until recently. I didn’t have to. I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel the oppression, thanks to the many women who came before me. That conversation made me so angry. So you are telling, that your sexuality involves dressing up and “feeling” like a woman, so you can get your rocks off and then you are going to tell me that it must be what naturally born women feel because if you admit that it’s not, it makes you an agent of oppression and you have colonized that as well.

    • colonized oppression as well more accurately reflects my thought on the subject.

    • Anna Kathleen, very interesting comment which I found helpful. Leaving the political dimension aside for a moment, a person who is autogynephilic, in clinical terms (it’s a psychological disorder) cannot help being an autogynephile (AGP). It’s not something he chooses to be, rather he finds that he is one.

      Whatever the causes (early learned behaviour, hormonal influences in utero, brain structure, are just some of the possibilities written about) the condition involves some internalisation of a very superficial construct, and of course a necessarily wrong and extremely limited one, of what women are.

      A (natal) man, socialised in his formative years as male, cannot really have any true conception of what it is to be a woman. And certainly the phrase, “Feels like a woman” has no objective meaning.

      If anyone reading hasn’t come across them, there are two books I recommend most highly. The first is Michael Bailey’s “The Man who would be Queen” which I think is now downloadable and I think also for free (can’t be 100% sure of that); and the second is Anne A Lawrence (who herself transitioned and was medically trained and is now a counsellor), “Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies” consisting of AGP men’s accounts of their experiences, with Anne’s discussion of their narratives and of the whole phenomenon of AGP in general.

      For men, it seems anything, or almost anything, can become sexualised, invested with an erotic charge, including ideas. Lawrence’s phrase is very illuminating, she coined the construction: Becoming what we love. Again, I’m leaving out the politics of what that can entail in the hands of transactivists, and in this note am not touching on the very real misogynistic consequences that are now well recognised, especially on this forum.

      • Thanks so much for your response. I have already ordered a couple of books you posted about earlier. I, honestly, don’t have any desire to read more about that particular subject. I have a very visceral reaction to it; it feels obliterating to me. I mean, what ARE we to ya’ll? I hate to be judgmental about people’s sexuality, but not all things are harmless. There are fetishes dedicated to roasting women alive for god’s sakes. Why?? I don’t whether things have gotten worse, or I am just finally becoming more aware of how much anger and hatred there for womanhood. It’s just so bizarre. I”m sure you probably have some thoughts on the subject. Certainly the trans movement has crystallized that hate in some very hard to ignore forms.

        • Thanks Anna. I understand and have a good deal of sympathy for your response to the AGP topic. About the hate, the truly virulent and visceral misogyny, one thing I’d say is that many men (perhaps most even if not consciously) have some deep fear of women, and in these cases they deny it. In order to keep the fear out of awareness, they form a powerful reaction to it and to minimise the threat the whole thing comes out as a violent emotion (verbal and/or physical).

          Internalisation of a feared person (actually, the fantasised idea of that person) can be a way of trying to control the fear. And at its worst, it can develop into literally trying to control everything about that person, not merely in some internal fantasy.

          As with most psychological things, there are minor and dangerously major things. A teenage boy or adult male cross-dressing secretly in his bedroom, and keeping the practice there and only there, is one thing, but a quite different thing is the adult man who wants (with menacing threats) everyone to agree with him that he “*is* a woman” takes us into a completely different world, even if the behaviour lies along a spectrum.

          AGP takes in much more than a simple paraphilia like fetishistic crossdressing. It needn’t be about clothes at all, but can be an imitation of movements or gestures considered stereotypically by society as ‘feminine’; absurd and preposterous as it may appear to non AGP people, it can consist in imagined physiological functions, such as pregnancy, lactation; it can include anatomical fantasies, possession of female anatomic structures, and so on. The transvestic aspect is just one possibility, and needn’t be present in the syndrome at all.

          Transitioning or fully transitioned males can get (usually do in my experience) extremely angry with Dr Blanchard, who described this outstandingly well. They hotly deny that there is, or ever was, any erotic element to their dysphoria, and there are reasons for this, greatest amongst them probably being the sense of shame, but closely followed by the thought that if they confess to the hedonistic aspect, they’ll be refused the hormones and/ or the surgery to transition.

          I have no doubt whatever that AGP exists. Whether it proceeds to full-blown transsexualism (as we used to call it) is (I think) perhaps a matter for more research. This is way outside my own clinical area of expertise, leaving aside the fact that being retired I’m likely to be out of date (!) but for what it’s worth I personally find the evidence of Blanchard and of Bailey, and from Lawrence very convincing.

          I think I can understand why many women would find this baffling (to say the least) and misogynistic in itself, probably also disgusting and find themselves revolted by it. But many men for different reasons also find it disgusting etc …

          I’m with those people who want more flexibility in the categories or classes that society so rigidly fixes them into. Boys and girls shouldn’t have to feel they need to try to change sex, damage their healthy bodies and so on. Let girls climb trees, play football, become engineers, scientists (Angela Merkel! 🙂 ..) Let boys wear pretty clothes, aspire to take ballet classes in schools, whatever as long as they don’t frighten the horses.

          The best of this contemporary thinking may eventually prove itself in a more liberal and truly progressive approach to the expression of sex differences, where they exist.

          Why is so much of the misconceiving on the political left? To be kind, there’s the element of people wanting to be nice, inclusive, to make up for past horrors of exclusion, racism, slavery and much worse. But it probably also has to do with some decline in the old idea of class war, perhaps dating to the collapse of communism as practised in the USSR. And as a result, perhaps, we have identity politics to replace the class war (not the latter has totally gone away).

          But the danger of identity politics is that it becomes narcissistic, and people who practise it often see the world in solipsistic ways (cf by the way, in respect of those two terms, one D. Trump). A trans person has constructed (so he or she believes) a new identity. Anyone who doesn’t confirm or authenticate it is felt by the trans person to be in effect denying their existence, especially when the new identity is not securely felt, when they’re vulnerable, and even felt at some level of awareness to amount to ‘killing’ them. Hence all the accusations directed at people who simply want to ask questions — they have to be “Nazis” and the rest of it.

          And so we get those terrible narcissistic rages in response to instances of ‘misgendering’ and ‘dead-naming’.

          But I’ve gone on far too long (if anyone’s still reading LOL!). Enough already.

          All best

  • Thank you for this site. The comments are heartening. I first started noticing how dangerous and dismissive of women the community had become a few years ago. Since, the Rowling incident, I have developed more of an interest. Honestly, only women would put up with this. I do some free lance writing and have wanted to write about the issue, but have been put off by the amount of vitriol and violence directed towards women who protest in any sort of way. I am definitely going to check out the books recommended above.

  • Another extract from the paper I just cited re-evaluating evidence on sex, gender and gender identity (it follows directly from the paragraph I quoted):

    “Nonetheless, notions of gender identity are still contested and raise some ethical questions for professionals working at the interface of physical and mental disorder. Most psychiatrists reject Cartesian dualism, whereby the mind is something imprisoned inside the body, or the ‘ghost in the machine’.29 How should doctors consider the body? We are born as, and die as, a body; we *are* our bodies. How can someone be born in the wrong body? Many patients bring a ‘wrong’ or ‘wronged’ body to their doctor; these may be traumatised, wounded, diseased or disliked bodies. How should doctors react when someone informs them that, although they inhabit the body of a man, they are in all other respects female? We must deal with all our patients with compassion but also make safe medical decisions when demonstrable material reality is at odds with a patient’s subjectivity.”

    Here here to all that. It sparked a few ideas. I would say that a “wrong” body could intelligibly mean a wrong body *”for”* something or other. You might desperately want to be a top basket-ball player but simply lack the height; you might passionately want to be a great violinist but your fingers are just too short; your desire might be to become an air force pilot, but alas you have short sight; and you might desperately feel that you are, or want to be, a woman but your body is, and hence *you* are, male.

    Our minds are *embodied*. We don’t *have* bodies, we *are* bodies. Of course part of the problem with being human is that we can’t think of ourselves as being only animals, and we’re not only animals. We reach for the stars, we try in everyday life as much as possible to deny that we’re animals, we have spiritual sides, art for art’s sake, and so on, and to some extent “we” are often at odds with what our bodies enforce upon us. But in the end, the body always wins.

  • Link below (and on the website page, see the ways of downloading the paper as pdf or html, kindle etc) to Sex, gender and gender identity: a re-evaluation of the evidence, a paper in the Bulletin of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

    or direct link to pdf

    Here’s a brief extract which I found especially topical, although the whole of the paper is a very significant contribution to the discussion:

    “Within current debates, if gender identity becomes uncoupled from both biological sex and gendered socialisation (Box 1), it develops an intangible soul-like quality or ‘essence’. As a pure subjective experience, it may be overwhelming and powerful but is also unverifiable and unfalsifiable. If this identity is held to be a person’s innermost core concept of self, then questioning the very existence of gender identity becomes equated with questioning that person’s entire sense of being, and consequently risks being considered a threat to the right to exist, or even as a threat to kill. Behaviours such as ‘misgendering’ or ‘dead-naming’ are understood by proponents of gender theory to be destructive, debasing and dehumanising.[28] This might explain why the prevailing discourse has become as sensitive and at times inflammatory as it has.”

  • You are probably aware of a lot of this already, but if not please take a look at the material below (sorry for the barrage of links) & please pass on with any organisations or individuals you think might share concern at these issues.

    BBC coverage of Paedophile Information Exchange-
    From the above: “PIE was formed in 1974. It campaigned for “children’s sexuality”. It wanted the government to axe or lower the age of consent. It offered support to adults “in legal difficulties concerning sexual acts with consenting ‘under age’ partners”. The real aim was to normalise sex with children.
    Journalist Christian Wolmar remembers their tactics. “They didn’t emphasise that this was 50-year-old men wanting to have sex with five-year-olds. They presented it as the sexual liberation of children, that children should have the right to sex,” he says.”

    ..Yet –

    & most pertinently (it’s from a fairly conservative outlet, but the article is sound, and actually the most comprehensive and damning indictment of Peter Tatchell’s ‘subtle’ campaign throughout his career of normalising/promoting paedophilia

    The BBC article’s “they presented it as the sexual liberation of children” is exactly the angle Taychell has consistently pursued

    Excellent 4-part series of articles detailing the links between Queer Theory (the ideological basis behind much of the contemporary ‘trans’ movement) & paedophilia –

    Derrick Jenssen on the same connection –

    &, same again, from Alison Bailey –

    “As abhorrent as your beliefs on this subject are, I thank you for reminding
    @trussliz that the agenda of too many within the modern LGBTQI++ movement is not only to smash the distinctions between male & female; it is also to smash the boundaries between adults & children.” – several links on this thread deserve to be read, eg, disturbing event from 2014 –

    Thankfully, we have some people who know exactly what’s going on –

    • Hi. I clicked on the YouTube link to the Derrick Jensen video, and it has been taken down.


    The Joe Rogan Experience with journalist Abigail Shrier, whose newook, ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” has just been published.

    I put a comment on the YouTube post, copied here below. Although I highly recommend a viewing of the whole thing, it is actually rather long at 1hr45mins (and could do with a bit of cutting) it really is a very rewarding listening/viewing experience and worth sticking with (I did it over two days). The discussion does range quite widely over the whole trans issue, but, as does Abigail’s book, it focuses on the extraordinary phenomenon of the sudden increase in teenage girls presenting as wanting to transition.

    Wonderful intelligent informed illuminating discussion, thank you both. When I was training in medicine there was this fundamental motto drummed into us, ‘First, do no harm’. I’m now retired and I see too many of my colleagues seem to have forgotten this principle. I’m in the UK and to see how crazy things have got, you’ve only to look at the news stories surrounding what’s been happening at the GIDS, the Gender Identity Development Service, in London’s Tavistock and Portman clinics.

    Joe at one point mooted the possible change that might be brought about by legal actions in the future. There is at least one case pending in the UK and it’s due to be heard relatively soon. The fact that there has seemed to be only one permitted response from a clinician to a patient — affirmation of his, now more commonly her, self-perception, self-diagnosis — is an outrageous scandal. How have so relatively few extreme activist voices come to so dominate society at so many levels, medical, legal, educational and so on? Agreed, social media are one definite way.

    But there’s something else mentioned once that I heard in a discussion I heard with Douglas Murray, whose book was cited by Joe, namely, “We’re over-correcting”. If I understood correctly, society wanted to make amends, as it were, for so many wrongs of the past — negative discrimination in so many areas, homophobia, racism, slavery, misogyny, discrimination against people with physical or mental disabilities and so on. And so people, wanting to be progressive, liberal, accepting, hear some of the raging debate, probably don’t have the time to listen or read intensively (they have so many other things to do) and are misled into accepting the whole package — self-identification (self-ID), male-bodied transwomen using female toilets, boys identifying as girls using female changing rooms in schools, male-bodied offenders being housed in women’s prisons, or male-bodied victims of domestic being allowed to seek refuge in women’s refuges, and the rest of it.

    What many people don’t realise is that far from transactivist extremist ideology being progressive, it’s actually deeply regressive in its exaggeration of social stereotypes of gender. And most of it, as we’ve seen from the abuse directed online against natal women, is profoundly misogynous. Most of it (for example the sentence, ‘Transwomen are women’ and many such more) is a form of real madness. But then so much of what’s going on in the world right now, and I mean politically, is also madness and extremely dangerous madness. From what I’ve heard about Abigail’s book, it’s a real dose of sanity — and a dose of much needed hope.

  • An extract from a beautifully written, fully evidenced, logically crystal clear paper which I recommend most heartily:

    “In light of such conditions [Delusional Misidentificaton Syndromes], we need a plausible explanation of why we should accept:

    [A] A strongly felt feeling *is* sufficient for being a man, woman, blend of both or neither. (Standard Conception of Gender Identity)

    But reject:

    [B] A strongly felt feeling is *not* sufficient for being dead, being reflected as your past or future self in mirrors and being physically and psychologically reduplicated. (Instances of Delusional Misidentification Syndromes)

    To be clear: we are not uncharitably saying that someone who reports a mismatch between their experienced gender and biological sex does have a delusional misidentification syndrome. Our point, rather, is that *if* gender identity consists solely in some type of internal mental state, and *if* that concept of gender identity is going to inform policies and guidance, then we need a plausible story as to why feelings maketh the man or woman (or perhaps something else) but do not maketh being dead, seeing your past or future self in mirrors, or being magically reduplicated. Conceptual consistency seemingly requires, for example, that someone with *Clonal Pluralization of the Self* cannot be convicted of murder because a jury could never determine beyond reasonable doubt which ‘copy’ offed Reverend Green in the dining room with a candlestick or that a thirty something hobby cyclist with *Mirrored-Self Misidentification Syndrome* need only show his significantly older reflection to race officials in order to compete in the seventy plus age group where his chances of winning medals naturally improve. How, then, might we maintain the distinction between [A] and [2], and so, avoid such absurdities? …”

    The paper, by Laeti Harris, Louise Moody, and Pam Thompson, is at and titled
    On Sex and Gender Identity: Perspectives from Biology, Neuroscience and Philosophy

  • A comment on a piece on autogynephilia by Matt Osborne on Gender Heretics, linked-to a few days ago by Maria at PeakTrans.

    Excellent post, many thanks to Matt. As he says, AGP comes in different shapes and sizes. It’s truly extraordinary that Blanchard’s typology and the now very considerable evidence in support of it are not better known. The Bailey and Lawrence books were a revelation to me, even though I had spent my working life as a psychiatrist in the UK National Health Service. In those days, although Blanchard had been publishing since the1980s, discussions, books, academic papers were all about transvestic fetishism and related conditions.

    And for those who weren’t Freudians, Kleinians or Jungians, let alone existentialist Otto Rankians, it was all and only about learned behaviour, ie social conditioning. And of course there was no real treatment apart from supportive psychotherapy or antidepressants for the most troubled people. (I did once encounter a psychoanalyst who relayed a recent discussion he’d had with colleagues as to whether transsexuals, as we called transgender people in those days, were psychotic. Perhaps the concept of ‘overvalued idea’ might be relevant in some instances.)

    The late psychoanalyst Robert Stoller called perversion ‘the erotic form of hate’. That’s interesting in the light of how many increasingly think of trans ideology as misogyny and homophobia (disguised as it is and unconscious as it may be). Could some men be trying to conquer their fear of women, a fear that manifested as hate, by trying to become, and therefore ‘master’, that fear? Or what some Freudians have called ‘the dread of woman’? “I do not fear her any more because now I am her.” But in taking her over, so to speak, he annihilates her. Killing something in himself entails the symbolic killing of all womanhood.

    Oddly enough, as far as I can remember, the very first time I came across the word and concept ‘autogynephilia’ was in the book by Douglas Murray, ‘The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity’. (I’m on the left but read left, right and centre — but although I subscribe to the Guardian, that paper drives me mad on this issue: thank goodness for the likes of Suzanne Moore! And there’s still just enough optimism left in me to hope that Owen Jones will be restored to sanity about all this. And by the way, what on earth is Kath Viner thinking!)

    And that chapter in Murray’s book was for me much as Matt describes it in his article, some sort of ‘Aha!’ phenomenon where suddenly everything fell into place and all the old apparent accounts and explanations of cross-sex behaviour looked inadequate: a Kuhnian paradigm shift, if that isn’t too grand a phrase, but it really felt like that. And the feeling grew much stronger the more I read following up on Murray with a course of intensive reading — especially after finding my way to

    At a time when my understanding of CD/TS phenomena was limited to thinking in terms either of fetishistic transvestism or full-blown transsexualism, I did occasionally try to frame the phenomena in terms of Hans Vaihinger’s ‘Philosophy of As-If’ (1911), which was a great influence on Alfred Adler in forming his ‘Life lie’ concepts. A cross-dressing fetishist in his youth, I thought, might say to himself, ‘I am behaving this way, performing, acting, thinking “as-if” I were a girl’. (*If* I were a girl, *this* is how I should think and act.) A ‘true’ transsexual however might, I thought, say, ‘As I *am* a girl, this is why I do such-and-such’.

    Thought of in terms of Blanchard’s autogynephilia concept, “as if I am” slides into “as I am”. But it is tenuous and fragile, there’s a cognitive dissonance, an uneasy rumbling just beneath the surface that keeps an insistent “I am living a lie”, which is why it becomes so important that others keep validating me, why I must insist that they see what I (want to) see when I am looked at and addressed. I only fully exist the way I want to exist when others reinforce my vulnerable (and narcissistic) self-identity.”

    Hence too the narcissistic rage invoked at the slightest chink threatening the armour plating, the ‘misgendering’, the most innocent and sincere questioning of the ideology, the quite violent responses to what clearly, in my solipsistic paranoia, threatens to destroy me.

    Too many autogynephiles (and I think I know whereof I speak) are perhaps unaware that they’re in As-If mode (the most charitable way of putting it); or in what psychoanalysts term ‘negation’, or maybe it’s more like simple old-fashioned denial. With denial, often comes projection: ‘We are not the hateful, destructive, damaging ones — you, our critics are, and you must be cancelled’.

    • It is absolutely crucial that professionals like you speak publicly about this subject. The reason why the public has been so apathetic about this major issue (half the population losing their legal rights!) is because they perceive it as a internal spat amongst two factions of Leftist activists – trans/gay lobby vs radical feminists. Otherwise gender ideology is getting a silent pass as a “next step” for equal rights.
      This apathy has allowed the trans-activists to sneak so many legal changes and institutional/corporate policy under the radar we are almost on the verge of losing the right to state objective reality without losing our jobs. The public needs educating about the Blanchard typology – and the public behaviour of the paraphiliac cohort is so obviously affirming (that word!!!) of its validity that its impossible to deny it.
      The medical profession stands on a precipice of creating a generation of neutered children – after so many medical abuses in the 20thC how is this industry so incapable of regulating its ethics even after the following: eugenics, lobotomies, ECT, sterilization of indigenous women, stealing babies from unwed mothers, recovered memories etc – surely after all these some robust ethical standards should have been established to preclude yet another era or carnage. Its time for doctors to live up to their lofty principles and speak up.

      • Thanks Greg. All too true what you say about the ‘many medical abuses in the 20thC’. And also salutary to remember that when we were trainee psychiatrists in the mid-1960s and instructed in treating patients with ECT, we were also being taught that we were ‘doing good’. And we did think that’s what we were doing, especially when patients incapacitated with profound melancholia and in the early stages of starving themselves to death after a few treatments recovered in a way that could look like magic. But long before I retired, the arguments against ECT prevailed over those pro, especially as the newer antidepressants were safer than the old ones and had different and less dangerous side effects.

        It’s probably the case that many of those medics and psychologists dosing kids with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones also sincerely believe they’re doing good (at least I hope that’s the case, because otherwise we’re left thinking of cynicism, career fellow-travelling, hypocrisy — and indeed, malpractice).

        And just again to be a bit nuanced and fair, it may well be the case that in some very, very small number of cases (I don’t know, it was never my specialty) medicalisation might be the most therapeutic thing to do.

        An anecdote: Many years ago I lived in a small town where the local swimming pool introduced a mixed post-swim shower facility, one where swimmers of both sexes could shower at the same time but must continue to wear their swimming costumes. I was very surprised at this (generational reasons and so on) but I continued to use the shower. On one particular occasion the only other occupant sharing the ramp, which was long enough to have some half dozen shower outlets aloft, was a young woman who seemed not at all concerned about my presence. Perhaps because I’m quite short and not much of a bulky male?

        There may well be women who might not feel uncomfortable (at best) nor threatened (at worst) by male bodies sharing (invading?) their personal, private spaces, and mutatis mutandis, for males in their locker rooms. That doesn’t change the doubts, misgivings, concerns, alarm expressed by the many clear-thinking feminists who are sufficiently realistic not to be Polyannish about the facts of life.

        Back in that shower, I was as ever the gentleman, but I will confess that I found the experience quite agreeable, to use a relatively neutral word, and that, without going into unnecessary detail, for a mix of reasons, some perfectly normal, others more indicative of the very things Blanchard highlighted.

        Would that woman have been less complacent had she been a mind-reader? Would she have thought I’d committed a thought-crime and reacted accordingly? Perhaps she just thought I was some harmless little bloke, in which case she was correct. But not all little blokes are harmless.

        The thing is, neither she nor her sisters can know or be sure. An attempt at retrospective empathy: what if I had been that young woman? Knowing what I know from the inside about men I’m pretty sure that after my swim, I’d have got dried and dressed and headed for my shower at home.

        Best to recall Plato’s Republic where it’s recounted that someone asked Sophocles if he was still, in old age, capable of ‘enjoying a woman’. Hush man, replied the poet, (or words to that effect), I’ve been released from being chained to a madman.

        I think Kenneth Williams put it more colourfully, something like: to have a penis is to be chained to madman.

  • From Guardian interview (1 July 20) by Emine Saner with Jenni Murray about Murray’s new book

    ‘ … As for the current divisions in feminism over transgender issues, Murray is not going there – whenever the subject comes up on Woman’s Hour, as it did a couple of weeks ago in light of the row over JK Rowling’s comments, Murray is conspicuously absent. In 2017, she wrote an article, calling for a debate about, among other things, trans women’s access to single-sex spaces, which brought a wave of protest (and some support) and a warning about impartiality from the BBC. But with the fault lines so deep, where does feminism go from here? She speaks very carefully. “There has to be, at some point, a sensible, thoughtful, considerate discussion about it so that people understand each other. We all need to be able to talk about these things. What I hate is the idea that debate is shut down” …’

  • I came across this on Twitter the other day, although it was done originally as a nice, eye-catching graphic and I’ve just captured the text (unchanged). Sorry I can’t remember who the original poster is (if someone knows I’d be grateful if they gave the due credit I’ve not been able to). I thought it was a good summing up of all the reasons not to damage an amazing and lovely young body for the sake of a dodgy ideology. There’s a very good word in the medical lexicon for illnesses and pathologies caused by doctors: iatrogenic, caused by doctors, aka meddlesome medicine. Here’s the salutary text:

    When you realize you hurt family members,
    limited your dating pool and career options,
    limited your access to recreation and health activities,
    damaged your body and mind and experience of sex,
    became a lifelong pharma junkie,
    brought phantom pain and scar tissue,
    brought hot flashes and weak bones,
    wasted thousands of dollars and years of youth,
    cut years and comfort from your old age,
    traded one set of expectations for another._
    When you realize euphoria is temporary,
    blood draws and bone scans never end,
    hormones and surgery are cosmetic,
    sex isn’t assigned and can’t change,
    the doctors are just guessing,
    “informed consent” is a waiver of rights,
    dissenters are censored and exiled,
    it’s a homophobic and misogynistic cult,
    you could’ve lived freely without it…
    When you regret transition,
    will you admit it?

  • I’ve been having a look at the book Gender Hurts by Sheila Jeffreys (Routledge, 2014) Never too late for an old bloke to educate himself, tho’ I can’t agree with everything Professor Jeffreys says, but everyone can fairly say that of everyone who says anything, I hope. Here are a few extracts from the pages that Amazon UK has on its website that struck me as particularly relevant to our topic. I wonder particularly what people may think of Jeffreys’ approach to pronouns. I quite warm to the idea, although it could be (would be?) seen as provocative, but it has an attractive rationale to it, I think.

    ‘ … The physical transformations created by hormones and surgery do not
    change the biological sex of the persons upon whom they are visited. For this
    reason, in this volume, persons of the male sex who transgender are referred
    to as men who transgender, or male-bodied transgenders, and those of the
    female sex as women who transgender, or female-bodied transgenders, in
    order to indicate their biological sex. The more common terms male-to-
    female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) are not used here because they give
    the mistaken impression that sex can be changed when, in fact, it cannot. …



    ‘Pronoun use is a great concern of persons who transgender. They wish other
    people, including their wives, partners and children, to call them by their
    new, adopted pronouns.The disagreement over pronoun use is a political one.
    The masculine pronoun may no longer, acceptably, be used as if it were gen-
    eric and included women, for instance. I have chosen to use pronouns that
    indicate the biological sex of the persons whose work is discussed here for a
    number of reasons. The first is that the biological sex of transgender persons
    does not change and use of the pronoun of origin indicates this. This is pol-
    itically important, since it is useful for feminists to know the biological sex
    of those who claim to be women and promote prejudicial versions of what
    constitutes womanhood. Also, use by men of feminine pronouns conceals the
    masculine privilege bestowed upon them by virtue of having been placed in
    and brought up in the male sex caste. If men are addressed as ‘she’, then all this
    privilege, which affects their speaking position and may be crucial to their
    choice to be ‘women’ in the first place, is disappeared.

    Another reason for adherence to pronouns that indicate biology is that,
    as a feminist, I consider the female pronoun to be an honorific, a term that
    conveys respect. Respect is due to women as members of a sex caste that have
    survived subordination and deserve to be addressed with honour. Men who
    transgender cannot occupy such a position. …’

  • I’ve been reading two terrific and most timely books by Michele Moore and Heather Brunskell-Evans. The earlier one (2018) is ‘Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body’ and the recent (2019) follow-up is very aptly titled, ‘Inventing Transgender Children and Young People’, both published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. (I’ve read that the editors are trying to persuade the publishers to issue the 2019 book as a paperback because presently as a hardback it’s quite pricey, although by no means exceptionally so for academic books. I do hope they do.)

    The authors of the separate chapters in both books come from a wide range of professional or personal experience and write very clearly even about complex issues without ever being simplistic. The 2019 book starts its first part with a highly topical chapter on the UK’s Tavistock and Portman Clinics, with special reference of course to the controversial GIDS, the Gender Identity Development Service. This naturally leads to the second chapter, on ‘Britain’s Experiment with Puberty Blockers’.

    Virtually every page is filled with factual information, analysis and where necessary refutation of the spurious arguments regularly adduced in efforts to justify what is being increasingly recognised as the abuse of children — however well-meaning its origins, however mistakenly its proponents thought they were being ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’. (The road to hell is paved with good intentions etc etc …)

    There are marvellously quotable sentences and insights from all the authors. Above all, it’s so intellectually refreshing to see such honesty, clear thinking and real respect for language and the meaning of words as a change from all the self-delusion, half-truths, deliberate obscurantism and misleading propaganda masquerading as scientific knowledge filling so much of our mainstream media as well as social media.

    This is a book for parents, teachers, journalists, politicians and honestly, kids, especially any whose minds have been exposed to the toxicity of much social media, and — I’m sorry to have to say — doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists who ought to know better but so often don’t. It’s also a book for all those people who really want to be nice, tolerant, understanding, liberal but whose best intentions have been hijacked and misdirected.

    I recommend these books most highly to anyone who wants to be right up to date with the facts, figures, arguments. They’re expensive, yes, but if you’re lucky enough to still have a public library near you and they’ve not been made bankrupt by all the cuts, get it to stock these books, or get them through inter-library loan, and let’s hope the staff or management don’t ban them for the usual crazy reasons.

  • Dear Maria:
    What you are doing is very important, there are so many people who are supporting the entire “gender” thing out of a misplaced sense of tolerance that it takes a lot of getting through-to to make them see the reality – society has been gaslit by a small minority of abusers who have falsely hitched a ride on the equality train meant for others. It was by reading your experiences and that of many other writers online that I came to see the truth. Its a shame it took so much sufering for you to bear to make that necessary.
    The only positive encouragement I have for you is to tell you ITS WORKING. The more you are abused by these people the more it becomes obvious what their true colours are and eventually enough will see it – then there will be hell to pay for those who enabled this charade. They will have to bear the responsibility for a generation of medically abused children.

  • Totally agree with you but uncomfortable with your dehumanization of right wing thinkers. Kind of the same as what was done to you.

    • Thank you for your intriguing comment, my dear. Can you let me know what you are referring to? I’m not aware of dehumanising anyone but I’m always willing to learn from my mistakes.

  • You may need to take out a subscription (you can take out a trial one for GBP1 and cancel if you wish before it becomes a regular) to read this really excellent summary of the factual, biological realities. “The Dangerous Denial of Sex
    Transgender ideology harms women, gays—and especially feminine boys and masculine girls” By Colin M. Wright and Emma N. Hilton Feb. 13, 2020.

    Concluding paragraph: “The time for politeness on this issue has passed. Biologists and medical professionals need to stand up for the empirical reality of biological sex. When authoritative scientific institutions ignore or deny empirical fact in the name of social accommodation, it is an egregious betrayal to the scientific community they represent. It undermines public trust in science, and it is dangerously harmful to those most vulnerable.”

  • There is a very onesided article on Forstater and Rowling currently published throughout German and Austrian media. You find it in many larger online versions of wellknown broadsheets. The article completely misstates what both of them say, claiming that Forstater and Rowling address gender identity (rather than actual biology).

    My response, on several online media, explaining rather neutrally that this is not about gender identity, but instead about sex and why it is important to acknowledge that sex can’t be changed, has been deleted by every single website. I have to say I am shocked to the core, as I assumed that at least in the German-speaking sphere this entire insanity hasn’t gone as far. Obviously I am wrong. I believe I just hit peaktrans myself. Hard. That discourse can be so openly killed… WTF?

    • Dear Maria,

      Like Ann, I have been absolutely shell-shocked by the opprobrium against Forstater and Rowling for having merely mentioned an inconvenient biological truth.

      I’m left, however, utterly embarrassed by the fact that this should have been my own “peak trans” moment – because I feel that it really should have come a long time ago. I do not dislike trans people, in fact I am friendly with one and I subscribe to two transwomen on YouTube, but I refuse to deny science or even appear to do so to appease anyone!

      I have been so thoroughly shocked by the uncritical uptake and redistribution of the predominant trans ideology within the sphere of a so-called “sceptical community” online, a community which I felt a part of until just before this Christmas that I really doubt I should have anything to do with them and in fact, I have been avoiding social media since then, largely out of fear of being accused of transphobia. I accept that this does sound absurd, perhaps – but the circles within which I have developed friendships are all so progressive and “woke” that they were full of admonishments for Rowling last time I looked and have frequently been full of praise for individuals like Jenner, especially from women I know. Ostensibly well-meaning women, who presumably think that even an individual with more money than they know what to do with is “brave” because they decide late in life that they want to socially transition…

      After a long break with enough time to look around and read a lot of gender critical articles, I can’t believe that I just accepted this bizarre status quo to such a degree, for so long. There are so many things which have actually made me feel uneasy for the past few years, with particular regard to the treatment of pubescent and pre-pubescent children and other women at the hands of an apparently rapaciously greedy industry.

      I’m very grateful I was able to educate myself about them, but I do rue the fact that it was so very hard to find articles and videos about the “unspoken” side of this particular endeavour. This includes the systematic de-platforming of anyone the least bit critical of the ideology. It is shameful.

    • Is’nt it frightning ? what is it about? how comme on this subject matter are we facing such a global crazy censorship? Is really just about “trans”?

  • Hi Maria,

    Thanks for this site. I was in HS when Title IX became law. I played varsity basketball in the first year of Title IX. It was exhilarating and frustrating at the same time. Our coach was one of the gym teachers and she wasn’t a very good coach because, well, she had NEVER coached women’s interscholastic sports before. We had NEVER played competitively before. We were all learning. It was one of the most valuable experiences of my life and I am 61. I shared this article on my FB page and expressed my strong opposition to trans women competing in biological women’s sports competitions. I had a MAN come on my post and SCREAM at me for opposing this. A MAN! He is unfriended and blocked. I also know a trans woman who competes in cycling in the DC area. He wins ALL THE TIME! I unfriended him, too.

  • It is the children’s section which ends up giving me a major headache. Not about trans* issues, nor about peak trans, but instead regarding feminism, equality and society. And the ORIGIN of the entire thing as I perceive it.

    Maybe I need to explain a few things first. I grew up in a continental European household of an artist father and a freethinking mother. They are nudists (proper ones, not the sexualised thing of later eras), which meant that parents and children (I have a brother) went naked at home and during most of our leisure time in spring, summer and autumn (which we would spend at the nudist place near where we lived).

    Sex, and who is what, were never noteworthy per se. We saw it daily, that there were boys and men, girls and women, what the differences were, and we asked questions about these differences well before we could walk. They always were matter-of-factly answered, and by the time I entered primary school I was able to explain how babies were conceived with all the whistles and bells in place. It was a totally normal thing, and the kids we met in the nudist camp all knew it as well. If everything wiggles in your face, questions arise naturally.

    My brother and I had equally as short hair (very short, very practical), we both played with non-gendered toys (former Lego, chemistry sets, stuff with which to build things, we of course both painted, etc.) and we both had the same outdoors toys (bicycles, skis, we both rode ponies, roller and ice skates, skateboards, football, table tennis). We dressed alike (trousers/jeans and T-Shirts), and I don’t think I had more than two dresses by the time I was four. I preferred trousers and didn’t like girly clothes at all.

    No one in the close family even so much as tried to turn us into gendered beings. If anything I was more masculine than my brother who had and has quite a feminine side to himself. I had girls as playmates, but I also headed a boy “gang” (more a group of children who played together) all on my own in our quarter. It didn’t occur once to me to see an example in the girly girls I played with, went to school with. I saw them, ignored their turnout and tended to be exasperated when their clothes hindered them from joining some mischief.

    Sometimes expensive or elaborate gendered toys like dolls would end up being given to us by grandparents or uncles and aunts (my brother and I each owned a teddybear-like cuddly toy, ungendered), but they tended to suffer severely in our possession. I think I decapitated and dismembered two super-costly biscuit-porcelain dolls because I wanted to look into their bodies to see how the moving parts worked. After that there were no more dolls (I think my mum told my grandmother to please forget it and instead add money to the riding lessons bank)

    Long story short: I was not only a tomboy, I completely disregarded gender and saw no need to model myself after girlier girls.

    And it stayed that way. Even at secondary school and past puberty I did not change my ways. I might use make-up, but that was more in the manner of theatrical expression – sort of David Bowie style – than to be womanly. I kept wearing trousers, and my hair could go from short to long and back, all depending on my moods. Nudism turned me against underwear, I don’t think I ever wore a bra, apart from when needing to go to a doctor, my entire life long so far, I dislike knickers, and I never shaved either. Again, these were perfectly personal decisions, and if someone contended, that was no reason to doubt myself. I simply pointed out to them that this was what I preferred and either they saw it my way – or the highway.

    I turned out to be, sexually, a bisexual butch woman, preferring males, but I am also attracted to women on occasion, and I am equilaterally poly within a mostly closed triad. I hesitatingly identify as genderqueer/gender-nonconforming, though the recent definitions have strayed too far from how I actually feel.

    Without question, if I grew up today, I probably would have been misdefined/misdiagnosed as trans. This even though I like being a woman, liked being a girl, and never questioned my biological sex. I might have grumbled in the beginning about my period, but once it settled, it was like my breasts and body hair simply signal of my adulthood. What I never conformed to were gender expectations. I simply ignored them, picked what I liked, didn’t even look at what I disliked, and no one could motivate me to change that. Also, no one really TRIED.

    When I read all these reports and articles, the descriptions on how these children deemed transgender grow up, and how their peers grow up, then the main impression I come away from this is that children and people these days are being MASSIVELY GENDERED. And it goes largely uncontested, especially by younger feminists. Whether you walk into a toy store, with its horrible sea of babyblue and pink toys, whether such prominence of “princess” movies, the prevalence of declaring girls “a princess” as something to strive for, whether the sexualising of female bodies in all media, whether the demand in some professional fields to “dress as a woman”, or for that matter the enforcement of skirts at schools with uniforms for the girls. I could go on endlessly. These days there is practically zero public tolerance of “butch” and “tomboy”, and very little public tolerance for feminine boys and men either.

    This is, quite patently, not a problem just for lesbians. It is the exact same problem for everyone, including the straight, asexual or bisexual/pansexual people.

    I’m sorry to have to point it out, but it really starts with something like this:

    “I wasn’t particularly surprised that she either wanted to be a boy or believed she was one. She had short hair and hardly ever wore dresses, which meant she looked more like the boys than the girls in her picture books and she was mistaken for a boy every single time by strangers.”

    or this

    “Though initially stunned, we realised that we had failed to read subtle and not-so-subtle signs: the legendary tantrums when she was an infant and refused to wear dresses to parties, the rejection of dolls, the enthusiasm for joining the soccer team at school. All explained at the time as a tomboy phase that she might eventually grow out of.”

    Being a boy is not about “short hair”, “no dresses”, “no dolls” or “soccer”. Being a boy means XY-chromosomes, and having testicles and a penis. And being a specific sex doesn’t at all mean one gender can’t do what the other gender does, with the exclusive exception of procreation.

    If my brother, I and all the other children at our local nudist camp were able to process this mentally as near-toddlers, including the having babies and sex bits, then I see no reason to doubt the abilities of modern children to do so too, if so taught.

    The blame is firmly on the adult generations, be it the parents, or those who are responsible for the currently so severe gendering in all instances of society. If specific clothes, behaviour, toys and sports get firmly linked to one gender, excluding the other from all instances of this, then no one else is to be blamed for the idea festering in childrens’ minds that to get what they actually like or prefer they have to change their sex.

    Where are the modern feminists, mothers and fathers, who firmly stand against our so idiotical and reactionary current gendering in society? Why don’t they see, that they force a lot of round pegs into square holes that way? Why do people feel the need even to gender anything in our current modern world? I mean, we were much farther along this in a civilised manner some 40 years ago! We have regressed (in this and in many more ways) in the past 3-4 decades. This can’t all be explained away with the AIDS epidemic.

    I believe that for as long as we do not question gender stereotypes and gendering, especially the current hypergendering right down to children, the entire transgender problem will not find any solution. What is worse, I have the feeling that there is a current selection against gender-nonconforming children, a spaying of them which will have worse results than we now can even think of.

    • Fantastic comment, Ann. Thanks for taking the time.

      You wrote, “Being a boy is not about “short hair”, “no dresses”, “no dolls” or “soccer”.”

      Of course it isn’t! I hope you realise the point I was making was that these were the cultural expectations at the time and the reason my daughter was mistaken for a boy is that she looked like how other people expected a boy rather than a girl to look. In 1990 many parents of my generation were challenging these stereotypes. I am extremely disappointed that in the years since, things have got worse instead of better.

      • Yes, of course I realise that 🙂 My point is, that no one even challenges stereotypes anymore, never mind actively works against their application. It’s totally crazy. I’d never ever have thought that I would need to explain myself – being in my early 50s – to millennial “feminists” who appear to be completely fine and tolerant with severe gendering, prostitution, and the policing of female bodies. When I was young I dreamed of the current now already being a time where biological sex doesn’t matter at all, only to realise lately that we’ve come back almost full circle.

    • I would likely have been “transed” myself in today’s climate. I had no hatred of other girls or “girly” things… I just preferred short hair because my fine hair snarled and tangled horribly if longer than chin-length. I liked Transformers better than My Little Pony because robots were futuristic and cool, and, as a farm girl, I found ponies highly uninteresting.I preferred boys clothing because it was far more comfortable, had pockets, and didn’t leave so much skin exposed.

      As I grew older, and my breasts and hips developed (unfortunately early – I was 9 when it began, and fully developed by 11), I experienced what would probably be labelled “dysphoria” now – I hated my breasts and wished I didn’t have them. Why? Because men, from my classmates to my teachers, from age 10 to age 75, stared at them. Suddenly I was a sexual object, and I HATED it. My male “friends” asked me to see them in the crawl tunnel at school. They picked me on purpose during red rover to force me to run toward them and crash into their linked arms. My gym teacher told me not to complain, that it just meant that they “liked” me.

      Most of the other girls were cruel as well. “Slut” was a common word hurled in my direction, and angry side-glances became nigh-constant. I was treated, by my peers and by adults, as though the fact that I had grown these large breasts was 1) my choice, and 2) an indication that I was “too oversexed” for my age. If there had been a community active at that time that told me I didn’t HAVE to be a girl? That I could be a boy, bind my breasts away, get them removed, and never be seen as a “slut”for having them, or a sex toy by males? I’m not sure I wouldn’t have transed myself. I’m so glad that climate wasn’t available to me.

    • Great post Ann. You could be describing me as a child (well, without the naturist camp stuff). Absolutely resisted ‘feminine’ apparel and activities, and still do…wearing a dress and heels or make-up would feel very odd to me, although I am straight. I wanted to be a boy when I was little and God knows what pressure I might have succumbed to if young now. I think I am simply a non-binary female. I am happy with it. I am not dying about having periods and secondary female sex characteristics, but I am not going to have radical surgery either. I love this site, Maria. It is a little oasis of sanity in a world where we are losing the freedom to say two plus two equals four.

  • Contains eyewitness info and background analysis re the Brighton trans madness ‘protest’, but actually appears on a NZ-based left-wing and gender-critical site:

  • The exhausting thing is the two front war: On the one side you have to argue against the homophobic/transphobic conservatives and on the other against the brainwashed transinclusive left.

  • Dear Maria MacLachlan,
    I just want to send you some love and thank you for your work. You are by far not alone, but a lot of people are just not aware of the conflict because of the silencing of the “terfy witches, who believe in biology”.

    What scares me most is how uncritical the public masses are. The definition of transwoman in Wikipedia:
    “A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth.”
    As if the doctors were too stupid to differentiate between male and female babies, as if they could ask the baby if it “feels” male or female, as if biology doesn’t exist.
    And not enough people are correcting Wikipedia.
    A transwoman was male at birth and still is in every body cell.

    We truly live in orwellian times.

  • This site has made me feel much less alone and I’m honestly so grateful right now.
    I started transitioning from female to male 5 years ago and have since been detransitioned for 1.5 years.

    I experienced sexual trauma at a very young age and I think that’s why I dissociated from my body and felt like I hated my body in general. Later in life, I also got diagnosed with BPD and Asperger Syndrome. Now, I can finally accept that I’ve always been a woman, but I’m just not stereotypically feminine, and I’m fine with that.

    Seeing that other people still have common sense has given me hope for the future, where so much immoral activism is taking place in the name of ‘doing good’ or ‘progression.’

    Best wishes to you all, Dax.

  • Indeed. It seems rather contrary to humanist principles to run what is effectively a blog encouraging hatred of any sector of humanity.

  • During university, I took a class of Gender Studies. At some point, of course, we studied about trans and transvestites, and I remember feeling some discomfort at watching males in short skirts, tops and huge breasts, saying they were better than women and that they could provide more sexual pleasure (?). Anyways, I told to my teacher that they were a perfomance and she just said yes. So, to my female teacher it was ok to support that show and the sexist things those males said about women. And this is the type of thinking I’m facing in most young femenists -I’m 24 years old-, I feel hopeful whenever I find pages like this one and radical feminists, thank you for this space, it seems feminism is turning its back on women and girls.

    • Thank you, Karla. If feminism is “turning its back on women and girls” then it’s not feminism and we shouldn’t call it that. I see it as a form of Mens Rights Activism.

  • Am following the jaw dropping travesty that is Jonathan/Jessica Yaniv’s malicious and egregious law suits against around 16 aestheticians in Canada who refused to wax his genitals at the Human Rights Tribunal. This revolting person Yaniv has been exposed as a predatory pervert with a fetish for periods, repeatedly targeting 10-12-year-old girls. Isn’t it ironic that leading members of the Trans movement have an extremely cavalier and dismissive attitude to the real discomfort and justified emotions of biological women! For example, twitter statements regarding the law suits by Morgane Oger “We all have to do some things at work we don’t like, grow up” etc. Yet a mere teensy word, one tiny pronoun is akin to terrific violence and threatens their very essence, which in turn often leads to permanent Twitter bans to women trying to push back this lunacy! Yet, nothing happens to those rabid trans activists that publicly call for violence on dissenting women, Twitter allows their ongoing baiting to stand.

    It’s an Orwellian nightmare to demand state enforced sexual services and to equate superficial cosmetic treatments as an essential care-giving procedure and forcing women to handle male genitalia against their will. I feel desperately sorry for the women caught up in this dystopian farce. But perhaps, the enormous stress and persecution of these beauticians will not be in vain. I sincerely hope this is the moment when the misogynistic attack and in the case of Canada, state-sanctioned gaslighting will be the defining moment to highlight all of this assault on the very essence of womanhood and finally halt the tide on the war on women! Yaniv and his ilk are trying to enforce the erasure of free will of women, impose state-legislated mandatory sex work. This is no hyperbole! In order to perform waxing on male genitals, the beautician is forced to touch and hold the penis and scrotum that very often leads to erections and even discharge of pre-cum. Yaniv and his perverted brethren are trying to push for legal precedents that will deny women any right to bodily autonomy. Ironically, legally operating sex workers have the absolute right to refuse service to clients without any explanation or specific reason.

    Those who are genuinely suffering from gender dysphoria should continue to peacefully co-exist with biological women and men but there will hopefully be a decisive stop to the unholy alliance of Incels, misogynists, sexual predators and/or men seeking to exploit women and force them to partake in their autogynephilic fetishes. Seeing the culmination of what is the result of warped and harmful gender politics and self-ID taken to its insane conclusion in Canada might be the very thing to help stop the spread of this lunacy in the UK. Maybe this is finally the moment when we can stop this insane rollercoaster and get off this crazy ride!

    • I agree almost totally too, Nina. The one bit I disagree with is who are the most vociferous misogynists. I think it is super-entitled straight males. They’re the ones who want to get into female changing rooms and toilets, get lesbians to have sex with them, push their way into women’s sports etc. Gay men unfortunately tend to ignore what is going on, although there are important exceptions like the young gay blokes who have started up a gay men’s gender-critical fb group and who are staunch supporters of Speak Up 4 Women.

  • I came across this website when doing some research for assistance to help me retransition to male because I’m over the hatred that is constantly directed towards me as a trans women. Instead all I have found is further hatred towards transgender people but this time disguised as website promoting itself as being here to help trans people. Using deceit to inflict further isolation and pain on some of the world’s most venerable people is pretty low. How much lower can you go?

    • Been on the sauce, dear? There is no deceit on this website and I’ve no idea how you manage to interpret the phrase ‘Challenging transgenderism from a feminist perspective’ as “promoting itself as being here to help trans people”. NOWHERE on this site does it suggest any such thing!

      What this site does is link to thousands of articles reporting on the impact transgender ideology is having on the lives of other people but – unlike the many transsexual writers’ whose articles I link to – I guess that’s not something you care about. Oh, and of course this site also provides hard evidence of the hatred and violence promoted by some trans people and their allies. You probably don’t care for that too much either, and I don’t blame you.

      The detransitioning page, by the way, is the most popular page on this site overall. There are many personal stories on it and not one of them gives ‘hatred constantly directed at me as a transwoman’ as a reason for detransitioning, funnily enough, though one does give the hatred directed by members of the trans community at others. I suspect I know rather more about what makes people want to detransition than you do, Emily, so next time you want to stop by and post some hate, find a better excuse.

      I wasn’t born yesterday.

    • Emily Wells is an Australian trans activist who is described as a ” Proud and visible transwoman” on Quora and who only last year was saying how accepting her conservative community in rural Queensland is.

      So how’s the “retransition” going, Emily? 😉

      • Peak Transer I was pretty low and looking for help when I stumbled across these pages. The information here did not help, nor are they designed to be helpful, rather they are designed to further inflict isolation and pain on transgender people.

        After reading some of the postings herein I felt lower with my self worth further evaporated – is that the objective that is being sought? Now as for the unfounded accusation of being ‘on the sauce’ as you wrote. The mere fact that you have somehow read the words ‘Challenging transgenderism from a feminist perspective’ within my simple but yet truthful statement shows that someone was, as you put it, ‘on the sauce’ but obviously not me.

        As for suspecting that you know rather more about what makes people want to detransition (retransition) than I do. From these pages of hate I suspect you only know how to drive trans people to suicide rather than seek life – but that blood is on your hands.

        • Oh cut the crap, Emily. No, of course these pages are not designed to be helpful to those, like you, who are promoting transgender ideology! Nor are they, “designed to further inflict isolation and pain on transgender people.” They are for other people like me, on whose lives that same ideology has had a catastrophic effect. As you would realise, if you’d read my blog.

          “The mere fact that you have somehow read the words ‘Challenging transgenderism from a feminist perspective’ within my simple but yet truthful statement…”

          I didn’t. ‘Challenging transgenderism from a feminist perspective’ is the subheading of this site. It’s what this site does. It’s in big letters on the front page so I assumed you’d read it. The title ‘Peak Trans’ should be a clue.

          The only ‘hate’ on these pages is in the screenshots of the vile misogynistic abuse by transactivists – the worst I’ve seen in six decades. So don’t bother playing the victim with me. My sympathy for lying trans activists ran out long ago and the only sympathy I have now is for the victims of your cult.

          If you want to have a serious discussion about anything on these pages and can manage to do so in a civil manner, feel free to come back. But I won’t be publishing any more of your lying, hateful comments.

      • Kylie after suffering moths of hatred and abuse from but a few people, I have been able to overcome the hurdles thrown in my way and I am now back on track. Retransitioning is a long way from my mind as I know who I am. And since you like researching about me, here this is my professional LinkedIn page as well O’ and by the way I don’t know where you live but if your ever out my way and want to learn about transgender people drop me a line.

        • Perhaps if you weren’t self-obsessed you would care for other people’s feelings and concerns and you wouldn’t be making assumptions about people you know nothing about. I know a few transgender people and come across many more online. That’s why I value a site like this one that tells it like it is and gives the evidence, which is something you fail to do when you spew hate at women standing up to your kind.

    • ‘Emily’ Women are not on this earth to pander to your narcissistic, self-centred, me-me, drama llama crap! I could not give a flying fig about your ‘struggles’. We biological women have real and serious issues to deal with and simply want somewhere safe from the likes of you and other entitled men trying to prevent us from speaking to each other without your ilk trying to hijack the situation and try to silence us. We still have to face real discrimination and danger from men day in and out. We cannot just take a walk without being harassed and have to constantly appraise situations to avoid getting harmed or killed by men. And you have the gall to whine about your self-inflicted shite! Fuck off to the other side of fuck and once there, fuck off some more. I am tired of being nice to self-serving men and refuse to pander to your fetish.

      • PS: I am now worried that my last comment wasn’t really making my feelings clear enough and might look like I am still sitting on the fence with the regards to the likes of ‘Emily’ and other self-serving dudes…. lol

        • Hmmm… Actually, somehow I do sense you’re not keen on Emily’s contributions.

    • LMAO it’s promoting women, not hating on anyone. This is what discrimination looks like; men saying they’re women and being called a transphobe for saying ‘you are a man’. FFS biological reality is not hate speech.

  • Hi,

    It is a real shame, voices like this are not heard. It is not right that women who happen to question the narrative of Trans women are women, are shut down and not allowed to put their points out. It is akin to a religion being beyond question. Like in Iran one cannot question Islam. Generally what cannot be questioned is built on Sand and mass delusion. That every day house wife type women, and lesbians who have dealt with alot of prejudice of all people are excluded from the debate.

    I am a AGP Man. I struggle with my desire to want to look like a Glamourous Female, ala Kim Khardasian.
    I have had this AGP about me since I was about 11 years old.
    This desire to look Female. Does not make me Female.
    In the past I did ID as Trans Female, and would say I FEEL like a Woman.
    I dressed like a Sporty Female. I had some face work done. I slimmed down, and built up my glutes. I looked like a pretty Feminine Man. Yet my mannerisms and behaviour all reeked of White Male, with a Degree who thinks he knows best.

    Reality is no one can feel like a Woman. You are born a Woman.
    Women dont feel like Women, they are women.

    Phrases like Shes like a Man or Hes like a girl, contribute to this whole mess.
    Theres actually alot of variation in what is Male, or Female, just we sadly have created narrow gender roles as humans.

    Some Men may feel the social role that goes with the typical western emancipated woman is something they would either desire or fit into better, however this does not make them Female, in the same way, no Trans Man is really Male.

    The labels Trans Masculine, and Trans Feminine probably fit better. Than Trans Man and Trans Woman.

    May I add I am not against People transitioning, merely I feel people need to be honest about what they are and to be very very careful. If someone is prepared to use hormones, and is post operative, its very different from the typical AGP Male, who 25 years ago was called a Transvestite, and now has co opted Transsexual as an identity without actually being prepared to make the steps neccesary.

    I will say I feel AGP, is not something I chose to be, however I can choose to not feed it, and I can choose to be honest, and not co opt Identity that is not mine. If I choose to Cross Dress, etc. This dosent make me a woman.
    I should be able to use Mens bathrooms without fear of violence. Womens ones, are not for Me. Regardless of how I look, unless I am on alot of hormones, and post operative.

    Now while there is nothing wrong per se with a Man wanting to look Female, as its a free country, there is a problem when in doing this, the Man in question, co opts the rights of Women, and encroaches on Female only spaces. Much needed spaces, as frankly, as the intelligent Chimps that we are (Humans) we have a terrible history of violence against women.

    Society needs to look at
    – Its homophobia and how this encourages non gender conforming men and women to seek out Trans identity.
    – Free Speech has to be upheld. Particually for Women.

    – The alarming fact that those poor people, who through genetics and an abusive upbringing fit the category of Borderline Personality Disorder, are highly suggestable, and may well feel Transgender, when the reality is Transition is going to cause them alot of harm.

    Lastly, I will say I do not have all the answers, and I do feel there is a variety of reasons of why people choose to Transition, however, they do focus around
    DEsire to escape Trauma of Childhood,
    Stryuggles in Social role associated with Gender
    Power and Narcisism
    DID and BPD.

    Thank you

    • Thank you John for sharing this.

      There are a lot of childhood issues that can lead to someone feel like the opposite sex, but that’s all dysphoria is- an intense feeling of distress in one’s body. I was diagnosed with BPD and Aspergers Syndrome, and was inappropriately touched at age 4-5, and began to dissociate from my body ever since. I have now been detransitioned for 1.5 years after taking hormones and I am so many happier now I understand why I felt the way I did.

      People need to learn that things aren’t black and white, most people that think they’re transgender may not be, although some people will genuinely need support to transition. However, the model of care our doctors have at the moment does nothing to help people that are mistaken and are struggling in different ways.

      Your comment meant a lot to me, John. x

    • Wow John. A voice of reason and an opinion that allows shades of grey. A rare find in the internet these days.

  • Thank you (I think!) for linking to Amelia Abraham’s incredibly vapid TED talk. Dear oh dear. I’m sorry that Amelia’s “trans” friend was so mentally unwell that he had to stop coming to her Sex And The City tribute lunches. I think I too would have found myself mentally unfit to attend those events. It doesn’t surprise me to discover that she is an alumna of King’s College London, which i read somewhere (and I’m sorry that I can’t now find the reference) had the most “trans” students. Amelia would, I think, have been at King’s at the same time as leading genderfluid lights CN Lester and Travis Alabanza.
    If anyone feels they haven’t heard enough of Amelia, here she is talking to Four Queer Artists.

  • I have experienced life with an autogynephile first hand, as my ex-partner of two years, who identified as transvestite at the time, is now a transwoman of this type (still with male genital organs and with no intention of transitioning, as with the majority of self-identified transwomen). Whilst I was with my ex, he openly admitted to me that he would fantasise that we were both lesbians, and I often felt objectified, the clothes I was wearing fetishized, and frankly patronised at times as I was cooed over for displaying any kind of stereotypical feminine behaviour (and I don’t consider myself a particularly feminine woman), all of which made me feel uncomfortable as it was not a reflection of how I feel about my sex, gender or sexuality. It made me feel like a prop in a man’s fantasy, his view of women and our ‘essence’, very much coming from the perspective of the male gaze. I have always been on good terms with my ex and supportive of however he wishes to express himself, but as I’ve lately been going through therapy I’ve started to look back over my past relationships and see how much was wrong with them. I cannot accept the demands of his trans-ideology which requires that I acknowledge as fact that they are a woman, to call them otherwise is hate speech, and thus by extension that I am presumably a lesbian. This is not out of any moral objection, but because it is not true, and in addition doesn’t seem to be driven by any genuine belief on their part that they are a woman, but are getting a sexual kick out of on being called one. My lived experience in my own female body as a natal born woman does not appear to be in any way similar to that of this ex-partner. He displays in his confidence to speak out about trans issues all the confidence of the white, male, middle class background that he was raised in, and I hit peak trans after they were ‘transplaining’ to me street harassment as though I, who have lived my entire life as a woman and have experienced this since pubescence, as well as being the victim of a violent sexual assault on the street, couldn’t possibly know what that’s like! Scientific text books are the only thing that should define what a woman is, not a vocal minority of men in dresses who not only insist they are women but insist we fully accept them as such or else suffer threats, shame and violence.

    • Bless you, Jojo and thank you for your enlightening comment. I plan to include more information about autogynephiles at some stage, hopefully soon. x

      • Wonderful, and I wrote this late at night so forgive me for not already mentioning how much I admire and am grateful for the work you are doing on behalf of women’s rights.

      • Peak Trans: Blanchard’s transsexualism typology which includes autogynephilia was shown to be based on faulty research. More importantly even though this has been pointed out to Blanchard on a number of occasions he refuses to accept the findings.

  • This site has really hit a nerve and your ‘journey’ mirrored mine. I have over the years been very sympathetic to trans women and their battle with gender dysphoria. I had an acquaintance that went through what was a gruelling transitioning process and countless operations to face, upper body and saving up for the final major surgery to recreate a vagina. One thing that struck me that this person was very wary of the emerging trans movement and especially fellow trans-women, repeatedly asserting that they did not speak for anyone but themselves because despite their posturing in ultra-sexualised ‘women’s’ clothes, they retained a very male domineering attitude to hijack any conversation and to monopolise any debate. And since then my overwhelming experience whenever encountering trans people and really only trans women is that there was a massive pity party competition to trump any of the experiences of biological women. Whenever native women speak of their experiences and especially being victims of male violence, trans women would interrupt and try to make everything about them.

    What slowly has begun to boil my pee is the totally inflated narrative of violence against trans women with rigged and completely unscientific statistics that rely on hysterical hearsay. One such statistics often trotted out is the violence against trans women in for example Brazil. However, these pseudo studies never actually give a prime figure of the overall rate of murders or violent attacks on women in general, especially in the more deprived areas. This makes the trans murder and violence statistics nonsensical. The simple fact is that violence against women is extremely high in Brazil and to ignore it is to ignore the suffering of biological women. An all too familiar experience. Another massive aspect of these skewered statistics is that many of the violence against trans-women happens against a backdrop of prostitution. In order to afford the costly cosmetics procedures that are all too often less about merely passing as female but emulating a glamour look, the share of pre-op trans women who do sex work is extremely high. Even in the UK, you can quickly see the relatively large numbers of trans escorts. However, violence against sex workers and fatalities in many countries that offer little if no protection or rights to anyone engaged in prostitution are disproportionally high anyway. It’s in this context that you may see what appears to be an alarming rate of violence and murder of trans women. However, as usual, the overall much greater violence and large number of biological female victims is conveniently ignored.

    To me the vociferous trans movement is a bandwagon upon which many people jump who do not even remotely suffer from gender dysphoria. It’s the new fashionable movement, many attention seeking gay men with a clear hatred of women jumped on. Merely being gay is so 1990. Where in the past young women fresh into college would snog and dip their toes into some lipstick lesbian experimentation, being gender fluid is where it’s at these days. Your Twitter or Instabrag profile is just too bland if you do not insert some waffle about being ‘gender queer’ whatever the feck that actually means. And this really pisses me off because it not only provides a platform for all the attention seekers but it undermines the much lower number of genuine gender dysphoria sufferers. Women are expected to pander to narcissistic transvestites or former drag queens whose idea of femininity makes Page 3 girls look cerebral! We literally are thrown back hundred years to the most rigid and ridiculous stereotypes of what women should look like. It’s like biological women are fighting on several fronts to retain their identity because on the one hand, we are bombarded with the Stripper chic of the Kerching Kardashians and on the other hand we have the most ridiculous drag queens hailed as the new beauty standard. The most vociferous voices to attack feminists are pissy, misogynistic gay men with a blatant hatred for biological women. And most of all, we are supposed to be a simpering, adoring and fawning audience for their inflated egos. Because men, regardless of who or what they shag, still expect, nay demand that we women shut up and now these trifling mofos even hijack our feminist struggle. Ms Pankhurst did not have a penis. And she sure as hell did not fight for entitled chicks with dicks!

    • I totally agree with everything you’ve said here, Nina. Thanks very much.

    • I love your comments! Nailed it.

    • Too be far Ms. Nina I appreciate your comment and I have a lot of issues with the trans community and the entitled male fetishized crossdressers/ sissies but not the “over sexualized clothing” anyone should be allowed to dress anyway. Real women have been doing this forever, largely for themselves as well not just for men. This is a nuanced complicated issue. But I am from Latin America and Brazil is out of control. You have to understand this largely “gay” men that become trans women- you know the real “trans” women (not the entitled male fetishists are beaten) are killed at an alarming rate. There are no jobs for them at all and prostitituion is looked down upon but is very legal and a lot of different kinds of people do it. They don’t do really much to women in fact they are more a nuisance to straight men which who cares. They should not be killed or beaten at all. Look up Dandara Dos Santos and tell me someone deserves such a punishment cause you disagree with their gender expression. I hope you have some empathy for your fellow humans. Wanting and expressing sexuality around adults (not children) is fine. I agree with a lot of your points but just have some empathy and also their is a little bit of bias and sex shaming on people who aren’t hurting anyone. even if they want to get surgery and be as sexualized as possible I don’t really see the issue.

  • I do hope that this important blog you’ve created becomes a positive source of healing for you. You have inspired me to tell the story of how I reached peak trans. I hope it helps others crystalise any disquieting thoughts they may have about the official narrative. At this point I feel like silence is acquiescence, even if I am a fearty about publishing my not-common-at-all-name. (I apologise if this is inappropriately long or in the wrong place, if so please delete it.)

    While I am not (yet) closed to the notion that some individuals will best find their place in the world living as the opposite gender to which they were born my real life interactions with MtT individuals have in nearly every instance followed a disquieting pattern that until recently I couldn’t find words for which certainly didn’t fit the media narrative. I must confess I have never met a FtT person, so I can offer no opinion but a thankfulness that my generation had a wider gender expectations because I am sure that young, unconventional me would have been very vulnerable to being persuaded that I were “really a man” which could only have led to tragedy down the road. If it hadn’t been for Mumsnet I would not have got wind of just how serious this is all getting and I would not have been exposed to the transwidows whose stories finally made me understand my disquiet which has turned into a quiet rage at what’s going on unnamed and so unchallenged.

    I am in some ways an unconventional woman, always drawn to traditionally “blokey” jobs and have never been very interested in defining my femininity in opposition to masculinity. I know I am a woman and am content to exist in my skin. The issue has until recently never felt important to my person. Since it seems the done thing to declare such things these days, I am overwhelmingly attracted to men even though I always wear comfortable shoes. The reason for this prologue will become clear, I’m sure that those of you who have been paying attention to the problem with the trans movement before I had a clue know what’s coming.

    I have one of those “open faces” and am a good listener. If you’ve stood next to me at a bus stop you may have told me your life story without ever knowing that you were going to do something like that. Several MtTs have at one time or another glommed onto me as a potential ally as I am someone who is obviously bad at performing gender. The first few times this happened I was very sympathetic. It must be a very painful experience to feel trapped in a loathed body while also having to battle against societal expectations. An acquaintance would form and then sooner or later (in my experience sooner) there would be a shift in gear. The MtT always wanted to talk about frilly knickers, corsets, makeup, high heels, and how “hot” it is to have a female body at their disposal and “didn’t I like touching myself too,” and they always seemed incredulous that my days don’t consist of “smuggling” lingerie under my workaday gear and slipping off to fondle my own breasts (always the boobies). I would get testy and underline that I am just me and that I am not very “girlie” so if they wanted to chat about those things they’d need to find another audience.

    And then it would start, the critiquing of all the ways I am not a “real” woman, and always, always an attack on my not ample bosom and indifference to cosmetics followed by shock that I didn’t simply collapse at having these “faults” pointed out. I don’t think it would occur to them that I really love my body. I think it’s amazing, capable and beautiful. I was always left with the impression that they thought they dropped me as an “inferior” specimen of womanhood, for clearly I have no agency, I’m just a faulty prop.

    I let this play out several times out of a morbid curiosity. Surely not all MtT can be like that? But each and every one I came to know in real life through progressive circles was. I still hadn’t hit peak trans though it hadn’t escaped my attention that being trans had become faddy among teenagers which worried me as my teens were a time of self-exploration and trying on different roles for fit but that didn’t involve life-altering medical interventions and I felt and still feel this is connected to constricting gender roles. What did it for me was coming across the transwidow blogs and seeing a pattern of male entitlement, rage, coerciveness, and control, which if you took out the trans element mirrored a long, damaging relationship I somehow became trapped in for the whole of my twenties (nobody expects that of a bolshie woman, do they?). It also introduced me to the term autogynephilia and I knew at once that I had met several autogynephiliacs. All those MtTs who had tried to fix me? had been deeply in lust with themselves, why else could they not believe that I wasn’t into fondling own my breasts at every given opportunity? The final hammer blow came from a blog where the writer described going to an event with her then husband and described another couple I happen to have been acquainted with years ago. They were my positive examplar of a long, happy marriage with an out MtF (as I then thought), but this description was not idyllic and it had such a ring of truth to it, the woman being used as a template like by an alien trying to copy how to human. Finally I saw the danger of not being allowed to even say, “not all these trans are the same,” or “a man should not be allowed to deny a woman her own definition of womanhood.” I may just have hit peak rage when a discussion about the worrying renewed rigidity and contraction of gender roles on a formerly favourite forum was silenced by a slew of “denying gender roles erases transpeople” comments. I won’t swear since I am a guest, but I am still seething inside.

    I am a generation Xer. As I came of age I had no sense of how hard the second wave had fought. I was vaguely grateful to them like I was to the soldiers who won WWII (if only history were as simple as it’s taught at school), but they were just embarrassing in the new egalitarian world they’d helped make. Their warning about males colonising women were misunderstood by my teenage peer group (“is this a sex thing? Eeeeew!”) and dismissed. Well, here we are and I have been found sleeping on the job. I should have listened all those decades ago. I’m listening now and am trying to figure out how to help.

    • Fascinating comment – thank you so much for taking the time. x

    • Oh yes to all you’ve written! Thank you

    • I know you’ve said many important things here but I can’t resist telling you that I just love this line, ‘I am overwhelmingly attracted to men even though I always wear comfortable shoes’. I love it!

  • I work with the Community Behavioral Health Services of San Francisco. I feel that everyone is deserving the respect of their own name and identity. I feel it my responsibility to reach out and respectively validate that person’s identity. If that person is comfortable with male/female, other of no pronouns, I need to make the effort out of respect for that individual to use the name and pronoun they identify with at that time. I find that often people who are not familiar with this act of respect are often critical or offended by my request of their prefer. It is not as difficult in San Francisco, but outside of the area people often will respond, “Don’t I look like a guy/girl? What’s wrong with you?” I don’t want to offend anyone, but it is a dilemma.

    • First world problems. Best not to stray out of SF too often, eh?

    • How cute! Mansplaining to the silly gals who don’t want some dude in pig tails with a Lolita fetish in our legally enshrined same-sex spaces.

  • This is such an important campaign, that everyone needs to be informed as to what is happening. This will affect every part of day to day life if the reforms to the Gender Rights Act are allowed to go ahead unchecked.

    I wonder if anyone one of you can honestly say that you are comfortable with placing men, some of whom have sexually violent and criminal background into All-Female Prisons, Rape Crisis Centres, Refuges, and other ‘Female-Only Safe Spaces? Please do not naively think that this is a women-only concern and that because you are male, it will not encroach on your life, because it already has!

    Women who are presently shouted down, no-platformed, and accused of being ‘Transphobic’ by ‘Transactivists’, Academic Institutions, and Political Parties, including the Women’s Equality Party, and the Labour Party, are being victimised, because they choose to refer to themselves as ‘biological women’ and/or lesbians. Women who express the need to discuss important issues that affect them on a daily basis such as Menstruation, Pregnancy, Miscarriage, Abortion, and Menopause are being silenced, bullied, and threatened physically in person and online. BUT be assured MEN, that you too will be accused of ‘Transphobia’ if you believe and proclaim that you are biologically male, and have the right to male-only spaces. You may also find yourself being fined or losing your job, or a position on a committee or board, if you do not adhere to all of these new rulings, one of which is that you must use the prefix ‘CIS’ when referring to yourself as the biological sex you were born, otherwise you will be accused of being ‘violent’ toward transactivists. These things are already happening to women and men in the UK and the USA.

    Let me ask you; if you are a father who has a daughter; are you happy with adult men and boys being allowed in female changing rooms and showers? Are you comfortable with allowing boys to win prizes in ‘girls-only’ track events at school sporting events? Are you happy to watch as a man claims sporting prizes for a sport where women have sacrificed and trained for years, only to be deposed on the podium by a man who has a biological advantage? Are you happy to allow a man into the boxing ring to fight women? What if these female athletes were your daughters or family? How would you feel?

    What if your young son or daughter professed confusion and discomfort in regard to their gender; are you happy knowing that doctors will quite easily prescribe ‘Puberty Blockers’ to children as young as 10 years old, and if that child decides to eventually ‘transition’ fully, they may eventually be persuaded to undergo mastectomies or castration. NOBODY knows the long-term effects of taking artificial hormones for the rest of one’s life. For God sake, the medical profession is only just admitting that the Pill and HRT if taken long-term, may have serious detrimental health effects on women resulting in varying forms of cancer.

    The concerns that I have raised only begin to scratch the surface.

    NO ONE is advocating that Transpeople do not deserve the dignity, equality, and rights that are accorded to the rest of society, because let me be clear about this, they unequivocally do! BUT, this needs to be talked about rationally, because there have to be alternative measures taken to ensure that Trans people are safe and healthy and are afforded exactly the same opportunities in life as everyone else, WITHOUT eroding freedom of speech, and the rights that biological women have fought so long and hard for.

    We live in a democracy and therefore everyone on both sides of the argument should be consulted and properly informed. Do not let the government ride roughshod over you, because at the moment, if you have concerns over the Gender Recognition Act, not one single political party cares about what you think!

  • Maria, I use this website as my main research center on issues of transgenderism. It is an invaluable resource. I so appreciate the work you’ve done here. Thank you. I wish you the best in all things.

  • Hi, keep up the good work! I went “peak trans” a few years back – I had no idea there was a word for it . . .

    I have also subsequently ditched all of the horrific narcissistic trans acquaintances I had the misfortune to know. With two possible exceptions, every one of the mtf transexuals was deeply mysoginistic and homophobic.

    As I keep telling them, there is more to being a woman than a pair of plastic tits, too much make-up and a nasty fake personality. Frankly, I’m more ladylike than that lot. Not that you know me, but if you did you’d know that i look nothing like a woman.

  • I can only really echo what others are saying. I am shocked at the vitriol and misogyny directed at women expressing reasoned and measured opinions about the trans issue. It is an outrage against women coupled with mass denial from large swathes of the Left. If people do eventually wake up to this assault on free speech, I wonder just how much worse things will be by then. You are extremely brave.

  • Thank you Maria! You have the respect and admiration of many. We will survive this hideous onslaught against women and come out the other side more resilient, stronger and with our integrity intact.

  • You appear to be having a problem not with trans people but with the rabid left who are using them as a tool. As a consequence like a bull running at a matadors cape, you miss the cause and attack the symptom.

    Trans people have been around for decades quietly getting on with life, not bothering anyone and then suddenly – BANG! Doesn’t that strike you as strange? It should do because it’s the sign that an outside interest has suddenly taken an interest.

    Renee Richards was an tennis international in the 1970s – didn’t do particularly well (scotching the false assumption that they would) but no one created a song & dance like this website! Why not? Because it wasn’t that big a deal. No one cared enough, and that’s the point.

    There is a cause to all this and it’s not just affecting this issue but several others too. You should be fighting this cause together with all the other groups and not attacking a group who until a few months ago you probably never even thought about.

    The left wreck everything they touch, and then move onto to something else good, and wreck that. They never admit that they did anything wrong, or ever attempt to put things right. This is a psychological condition called Left Wing Denial, and it has been responsible for more non – natural deaths than any other cause. If we take our eyes off them, by being distracted by one of the groups they are using a tool, and as such just as much victims, then we allow them to carry on unimpeded. Surely no one wants that ?

    • Maybe try reading more of this site before making assumptions about me and posting conspiraloon theories.

  • Thank you so much for this. It has become terrifying to be a woman lately. I’m particularly disturbed by the vitriol received from women supporting the trans cult.

  • We stand with you, Maria. Thank you for this richly annotated center for research on the whole complex issue of transgenderism.

  • You are a brave woman. Thank you for sharing with us. You are not alone.

  • Thoughtfully curated and annotated. Thank you for making. I especially appreciate your thorough section on the transitioning of youth.

  • Fantastic site and very informative collection of resources. Well done and thank you.

  • Thank you so much for this, it has increased my understanding so much. I will be following closely.

  • Two half years ago my life changed dramatically. I found out my bf was bi. Not only that but he liked and had sex with cut a long story short, after hvg a very kinky couple of years it made me feel very uncomfortable that all these tv’s call each other ‘girls’.and tbh being a woman in a virtually total secret male world opened my eyes see SO many ‘straight’ (yeah right) men cheating on their wives/gf with men was pretty shocking and horrendous. And seeing their attitudes to women as well!! Most of the extremely promiscuous tv’s r straight acting and their partners have no idea that they regularly have sex with other men.anyway, fast forward to about 3 weeks ago.always feeling uncomfortable with the term ‘gender’ especially being referred to as ‘cis’ i came across really quite by accident, the anti trans movement and the term terf.

    Lets be honest here, there are aggressive people on both sides of the fence. But the absolute bile and venom that militant trans supporters spew out has genuinely shocked me. I started out being ok with trans ppl living their lives, although i have never really been comfortable with them referring to themselves as women and even less so as ‘lesbians’!!! Then u find out that there are little twats out there (lily madigan). At first i kind of supported him as a her, but seeing how he blocks virtually all women who disagree with his pov and talks quite frankly, out of his arse, (and is incredibly smarmy with it) has made me feel so angry that little twats like that can self id and get jobs as a womens officer and be supported by a man i used to respect (Jeremy Corbyn) that i have done a total u turn. Well almost!

    I do feel that if a man goes through the whole process INCLUDING surgery, then i feel they have won the right to b referred to as a woman. But ONLY under those circs. They will never be a female, but to me it shows the depth of feeling that i think should be respected by us. But anything less, and especially the idea of self ID is just insanity and a total and utter insult, not only to women, but to other TW who have gone through the whole ‘transition’ process. Some of you wont agree with my last statement, i know that. But i do think that we as a movement need to show willing here. To totally block any circumstances of a man who really is unhappy living as such, from going through a system of full change i think is wrong. It isnt democratic. But anything less than full transition is unacceptable. Sorry for my waffle!

    • *I do feel that if a man goes through the whole process INCLUDING surgery, then i feel they have won the right to be referred to as a woman. But ONLY under those circs. They will never be a female, but to me it shows the depth of feeling that i think should be respected by us.*

      I disagree Scarlett – I feel they have the right to be called a transwoman. I am reluctant to share the name that is given to my biological sex and my socialised history to a subset of males who have undergone surgery to outwardly appear similar to me. Much less try to re-identify me by adding the pre-fix cis or natal to distinguish me whilst commandeering the ‘identity’ of woman for themselves.

    • As a Transwoman myself, I cannot agree with ever calling us women, we are not women, yet at the same time we arent really “men” … me and many other transsexuals are just fine being called Transwomen, thank you. its a part of our culture, getting rid of our terms (just like in the case of men taking the word woman) you are effectively taking away our culture, experiences, etc… from us.

      so no, as a Transwoman i would never call myself, or other Transwoman, a “woman”

      • Alina, I have the utmost respect for your comment and really appreciate this point of view. I am also concerned that the vociferous ‘trans allies’ harm you rather than support you. I witnessed transwomen with similar opinions being shouted down, completely ignored or being ousted by those who aren’t actually trans. We women share this same plight.

  • Thank you for this. I have had nasty responses and been added to lists such as c**t and TERF for commenting and liking on Twitter. Your site has answered so many questions and helped me to understand just why I have felt so uncomfortable about a lot of what I read about male transgendering. I will support and keep reading.

  • Thanks for doing this. We’re with you. Your curating of all your research here will help us all.

  • We stand with you. Thank you.

  • Excellent. Thanks!

  • Thank you

  • Thank you and will be watching.

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