One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

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Emily Watson: The transgender lobby should realise hard cases lead to bad law – and put women at risk

Britain is on the cusp of a re-education programme in Orwellian doublespeak. At least, this is one interpretation of Maria Miller’s exhortations on the Today Programme, when speaking about the sensitive issue of transgender discrimination.

According to the BBC, MPs are concerned that transgender people regularly face abuse and “have a long way to go to achieve equality”. The Women and Equalities Select Committee, of which Miller is Chair, has issued a report calling for “urgent reform” in public sector services, and urges the government to make some significant changes. Miller said “…half of people [in the UK] understand that gender is something that can shift over time in someone’s life…[but this] evolving feeling…is not being reflected in changing law and changing approaches to public services.”

Miller was joined by Susie Green, Chief Executive of the charity Mermaids, a support group for children and teenagers with gender dysphoria. Green spoke of her experience with her eldest child, now 22 years old, who was born male but apparently identified as female “as soon as she could make choices” i.e. when he was eighteen months old. Green’s diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” was due to her son playing with little girls and their toys before he was two years old. When he was four, he apparently said to her that “God had made a mistake and he should have been a girl.” She attributed the seven overdoses taken by her son in his teens as due to the harassment he encountered when dressing as a girl, and in no way to any psychological confusion or malaise.

Green repeated that “training is key” in changing attitudes towards transgender issues. She wants training to be carried out “at the bottom level of all public services”. Policy is being shaped by the whims of an eighteen month year old, in short, and the consequences might be unthinkable. Before the transgender lobby made it the bandwagon de jour, no parent would bat an eyelid when their toddler announced that he was a girl, or a fairy, or a dragon, or a marshmallow. It’s just what children do. But now, politically correct parents and teachers may be trained to recognise any little boy who announces their desire to wear a Snow White outfit instead of a pirate suit as “gender incongruent”, and start them off on the destructive path of identity confusion and self-mutilation.

Miller’s lobbying to change government policy – and consequently, legislation – is the perfect example of the forgotten maxim “hard cases make bad law.” The BBC reports that 650,000 people in the UK identify as “gender incongruent”. In a population of 65 million people, that’s one per cent of the population. It’s also unclear what percentage of the 650,000 suffer from a genuine genetic imbalance, and how many suffer from mental health disorders that need treatment. Former transgender Walt Heyer has explained that the root cause of his gender dysphoria was his grandmother dressing him up as a little girl at a very young age.

Why would a change in policy and legislation make a bad law? Three reasons. One, it opens the door to potential sex offences. By opening single sex facilities up to the opposite sex, women are put at risk. Women have a real fear of being sexually assaulted or raped by men, and the sensible ones avoid places or occasions where they could be in danger. Women feel able to let their guard down with other women. There is a gripping illustration of the vulnerability women can feel in P.D. James’ novel Devices and Desires. The first chapter of the novel describes the final hour of Valerie, the fourth victim of a serial killer in Norfolk known as the Whistler. Terrified at being alone on a dark road at night, with the killer on the loose, Valerie starts to panic. She suddenly sees a woman with blonde hair in a trench coat and beret appear in front of her, walking a little dog. In utter relief and thankfulness, she runs towards her:

“Valerie almost flung herself at the waiting back. And then, slowly, the woman turned. It was a second of total, paralysing horror. She saw the pale, taut face which had never been a woman’s face, the simple, inviting, almost apologetic smile, the blazing and merciless eyes.”

Fiction gives utterance to the horrific realities that are already taking place.

The second reason that this would be a bad law is because it follows that nothing can be treated as abnormal or taboo. Nothing is off the table when it comes to self-definition or self-fulfilment. Children will be taught that they can be whatever they want to be, which will inevitably lead to disappointment and disillusionment when they come face to face with the realities of adult life. For many transgender adults, this leads to suicide.

Most importantly of all, it means that society not only endorses untruths, but makes them orthodoxies. We are approaching a point where you can be sued for refusing to call someone with a penis a woman, or someone with a vagina a man, as is now the case in New York. This is eerily reminiscent of Jung Chang’s account of Mao’s China in Wild Swans, where the regime would force the people to believe absurd maxims like “capable women can make a meal without food” during the great famine of 1958-1962, and imposing mandatory loyalty dances, where people had to gyrate waving Little Red Books. “Zero tolerance” was the policy for dissenters.

Hard cases have to be treated with compassion. That is a prerequisite for any civilised society. Our MPs are right to be concerned if minority groups are facing unjust discrimination or harassment. Concern should materialise into care, which is more effective when in the hands of individuals rather than the State. But when concerns for a minority group result in endangering the vulnerable, changing the structure of society and denying scientific reality, then we’ve crossed the line from the “Big Society” to Big Brother.

Emily Watson

  • SimonToo

    That is modern democracy. We elect people to Parliament so they can tell us what we must
    think.

  • Tricia

    Maria Miller cheated on her expenses and lost her job, now she is trying to elevate her career with this utter garbage. She is also responsible with David Cameron for same sex marriage in this country. When you look at the time line the passing of the Same Sex Marriage Act 2014 was the starting point of this decline into madness. From the moment the ink was dry, we were told it was not just about 2 people loving one another it was an LGBT issue. Most people of my acquaintance asked – what’s that? Oh boy we know now! It is about the coercion of the majority to conform to the sexual preferences of the minority. And now they are after your children – to confuse and warp their minds. How is a child who cannot even cross the road without an adult able to make any decisions. A child who cannot drive or work is expected to make drastic decisions about taking drugs to stop hormonal development. This is institutional child abuse.

    • Jack Robert

      On of the worst thing in the future of Cameroon’s legacy is going to be this

      • Kara Connor

        Cameron has many things he can be criticized for, but expanding decent treatment of a minority subject to one of the highest rates of violence, and one of the highest rates of suicide, particularly amongst young people, who suffer the attitudes espoused by you, on a daily basis, isn’t one of them.

        • Jack Robert

          They have rights to be protected and live freely and do as they wish, it is just that same marriage is now being pushed in to the church which makes me extremely angry, if they wish to do so else where, I couldn’t careless. My attitude is one of distastes but not one that causes violence and offensive.

          • Kara Connor

            That’s entirely false. The church is specifically protected by law and can’t be forced to perform any ceremony it doesn’t want to. Are you ignorant of the facts or just lying?

          • Jack Robert

            Is that why the liberal churches from the US are not on the committee as most of the African and conservative minds don’t want to see this change come along.

          • Kara Connor

            The law in the UK and US shields churches from being forced to perform same sex marriages

    • Kara Connor

      Except that being trans has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation. You are apparently happy to be prejudiced and hateful toward a group of people whilst you demonstrate your total ignorance of the subject you rant about.

      • Tricia

        I have never berated a transvestite or transsexual in my life. I have compassion for those whose psychological feelings do not correspond with the reality of their bodies. But the facts are that you cannot change gender. Biologically, scientifically and in reality you are the sex you were born. Children should not be burdened with these questions and any decisions should be left until adulthood. You cannot expect the rest of society to live in a unreal world for a minority of confused people.

    • Chris

      The puberty blockers are there precisely *because* children are unable to make these decisions at such a young age. They give a few extra years for the child to mature mentally and decide whether they want to transition. If they decide not to, the only side effect is that they will go through puberty later. It’s really not that “drastic”

  • “…it follows that nothing can be treated as abnormal or taboo.” Spot on.

    In declaring the abnormal to be ‘not abnormal’ we declare the normal to be ‘not normal’. This does not mean ‘everything is normal’. Rather, it means the concept of Normal is denied. This has profound implications for the 99.9% because it means our legal status is deemed equivalent to a transgender status. A man who is legally female is ‘legally female/gender despite physically male/sex’ (transgender); therefore a man who is legally male is ‘legally male/gender despite physically male/sex’ (cisgender). Seriously.

    • Kara Connor

      It follows that the author and you both fail to comprehend what the Camel’s Nose logical fallacy is.

      • Bernard from Bucks

        I’ve heard about ‘Camel’s toes’, but I’m afraid I haven’t come across the
        expression ‘Camel’s Nose’.

  • Josephine Victoria O’Carroll
  • Phil R

    “capable women can make a meal without food”

    Correct, in essence this is exactly what we are told we must not question

    Python in this short sketch, shows the idiocy brilliantly

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

    • Jack Robert

      “Symbolic of his struggle against reality”. It seems that the show was ahead of it’s time.

  • alan

    Without wanting to sound harsh, this legislation gives children, in our child centric society, another stick to beat us with. Morning geor’ are you George or Gerogina this week? The mind boggles at these lunatics.

    • Chris

      Why shouldn’t a child be able to switch between being George and Georgina if they want to? They’re not hurting anyone, but forcing them to stifle their expression like that will certainly do them harm

  • GreenLantern

    It was conservative society that created sex roles in the first place, and its conservative society that preaches radical sex difference. So conservative society will now suffer the consequences of a gender revolution.

  • Alyssa

    I’m sorry, any piece of ‘journalism’ which uses Walt Heyer as the basis for any kind of logic or conclusion is poorly researched to start with.

    Let me put that into context. There are thousands of gender alignment surgeries carried out across the globe every year. They have been going on for a very long time (not far short of a 100 years to be honest). Tens of thousands of people have undergone all or part of a transition process.

    Out of all of those, one person (Walt) slipped through the net of psychological diagnosis (he shouldn’t have gone through transition by most modern standards) and regrets having the surgery done, and is now the flag-waving principle of every right wing conservative blogger. If you even take a moment to read his case history you’ll understand that.

    But no, anecdotal evidence of one person regretting their transition is a far better motivator than cold hard scientific facts around gender or actual clinical research into the effectiveness of treatment. Lazy journalism at it’s best.

    You then proceed onto the standard tropes of ‘we’re trying to turn your kids’ and ‘trans people are like serial killers’.

    If you read the recommendations it says children can’t do anything at all – there is no ‘self mutilation’ (which I presume is your delightful turn of phrase for elective surgeries) or ‘destructive path’ – there is the choice, if gender incongruence is correctly diagnosed, to block the onset puberty for a few years in order to establish whether said child wishes to transition. There is still the choice to not transition – and the only ill effect is they hit puberty a few years later.

    And the irony of ending with scientific research as a closing note. You do know, scientifically speaking, that someone with XY chromosomes (those are the male ones, keep up) can have a vagina don’t you?

    Try some *actual* journalism instead of just trolling out the same diatribe every other transphobic writer does. Or at least come up with something new.

    • Tricia

      Why are children being asked if they are a boy or a girl? Why are there suggestions of drugs blocking the onset of puberty? Why did John Hopkins Hospital in Ametica stop doing surgery – this was because there was no change in the level of suicide rate. This is a psychological issue and needs to be treated with compassion. You cannot require a society to live in someone else’s constructed world. Society becomes an unreal place. We need to be able to identify by male and female. The people of Houston certainly did not want to share toilet facilities with self identifying people. Parents do not want a boy who says he is a girl sharing school changing rooms. This is where Government coercion starts.

      • Alyssa

        Why are children being asked if they are a boy or a girl?

        Because sometimes they aren’t sure. You may be totally sure – which is why you have no frame of reference. Other people aren’t. You can either force them into gender roles which have resulted in 50% of trans youth attempting suicide, or you can deal with the fact that some people are trans, and transitioning is the *only* scientifically proven method to solve that issue.

        Why do we assume children want to be Christian and raise them that way? They might want to be a different religion, but they get even less choice over that. Or their sexuality for that matter.

        Why are there suggestions of drugs blocking the onset of puberty?

        Because puberty is the most dangerous stage for a trans person – your body is developing secondary sexual characteristics that are in direction conflict with your gender preference. Going through puberty on the right hormones will realign your body with your gender preference, and dramatically reduce the risk of depression and/or suicide. It also makes them medically far more effective.

        It quite literally saves the lives of trans children.

        There are still thousands of gender confirmation surgeries carried out around the world. One hospital changing their doctrine based on one person does not mean they are right when the rest of the world (including the World Medical Association, the governing body of all doctors internationally) believes the opposite.

        “Parents do not want a boy who says he is a girl sharing school changing rooms.”

        Actually you would be surprised. Try asking them rather than assuming everyone has the same prejudices.

        Finally the Houston legislation (HERO) was torpedoed by people who seem to believe that sharing the same bathroom as a trans person was going to cause the end of days. Guess what, trans people want to use the bathroom to pee. They don’t want to go in there to stare at people. The US has bought in plenty of legislation for the protection of trans people, including mentioning it in the State of the Union address.

        Of course if you *want* gorgeous trans girls sharing the bathroom with your husbands whilst you have the deep voiced and heavily bearded trans guys washing their hands next to you in your bathroom please crack on.

        Sad to say that trans people exist, they are real, they have been around for ages. We might be a small minority and we aren’t asking for the world to be changed around us. Just a little acceptance and understanding, hopefully to save our lives.

  • Andrew McDonald

    It’s sad you have to give publicity to this bigoted woman

  • Chris

    So you’re going to put more weight a fictional story than the actual reality that trans people (and trans women espcially) are also incredibly likely to be victims of violence and sexual assult, maybe even more so than cis women? I bed you thought the silence of the lambs was a documentary as well

    • MenAreLikeWine

      Can you please not use the term “cis women”. It is something which is offensive to many people.

      Most people I know prefer the following terms : “real women” or just a simple “women”

      • Donna Keedwell

        Cis is a perfectly accurate term. Most people I know would be offended by the term “real Woman”. It’s a disgusting term.

        • Amelie

          If most of the people you know would be offended by the term “real women”, then you need to get out more.

      • Chris

        I’m going to assume you’re being ironic and aren’t really stupid enough to say that “cis” is offensive (when it’s really just a descriptor and no more offensive than words like “straight”, “white”, “tall” etc) and that using “real women” is less so (when this implies that trans women aren’t “real”, and further marginalises a group which has one of the highest rates of suicide and violence commited against them).

        Also that you think my use of “cis women” is more offensive than saying trans women are just pretending in order to rape because someone read about a character doing it in a novel once.

  • Chris

    I just noticed the strapline of this website – “vive la difference!”. At least Ms Watson appears to have a sense of irony.

  • JB

    “Most importantly of all, it means that society not only endorses untruths, but makes them orthodoxies.”

    This is the whole point. Once a society is forced to repeat one obvious objective falsehood as a truth, it becomes a simpler matter to make it repeat further lies. A society that agrees that the truth is whatever the government says, it is easily controlled.

  • Guy

    Pure vitriolic hate-speech, this woman should be thoroughly ashamed of herself. I’ve seen at close quarters the physical and verbal violence that transgender people have to face every day of their lives from vile bigots like this, and those who cloak their hostility and disdain in a more nuanced guise. This kind of vitriol discredits ews, christians, muslims, and those of every religion and none, who spout such nonsense. Transgender people are PEOPLE and should be allowed to be themselves without having to face this kind of incitement to hatred.

    • MenAreLikeWine

      Pop into any mental hospital and you well find all the patients are PEOPLE.

      We don’t think they should do whatever they want.

      People are being disagnosed now as being “trans-abled”. People who believe they are actually disabled but have been born in the “wrong body”. Read this story of a woman who found a sympathetic psychologist to blind her by pouring drain cleaner in her eyes. This is because she believed she was supposed to be blind, but her vision didn’t match that which she had been assigned at birth.

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/psychologist-blinds-woman-drain-cleaner-6552282

      • Guy

        Yeah, I know, haters like you gonna hate.

        • MenAreLikeWine

          I think the only hate here is coming from you.

          If one stops someone putting their hand in the fire and harming themselves is that an act of hate or of love?

          • Guy

            I have no hate in my heart. I have seen the struggles transgender people go through when forced to pretend to the world. I have seen what they go through when they transition to the gender they are. I am amazed and hugely impressed by their courage. It is heartbreaking to see both. It is uplifting to see how much happier they are after transition despite all the negativity and bigotry from folk like you. It is not something they choose. Transition and surgery, where appropriate, is the only effective treatment. It is incredibly effective, despite hate like yours from the ignorant and malign,

  • Marcia Deville

    Oh sure ! We are potential deranged killers alike “Buffalo Bill in the Silence of the Lamb ” ,huh?! And there are so many of us with such an intend.
    Oh sure, we seek to mutilate ourselves and only our deranged minds lead us to suicide ,not how society has been treating us.
    Your fear dictates this opinion and you cannot live with this fear without spreading it around because fear does what fear does. Make you feel bad about living! So you need to convince others that this is a legitimate fear and for that, you need others to fear alike you do.
    You may be “selling ” that fear but I am not buying this.
    Why is that? I am a “veterans” of being transgender and so far, no one has ever been hurt by me in the process of living my life. On the contrary, I can claim even for a good bunch of people who wouldn’t be living their lives nowadays as I write this note. But that’s my private story!

    JUST BECAUSE what is happening here touches to what this humanity hold as SACRED: the sex between your legs shall not be tempered with.
    Well, for YOUR society’s sake, this is the tacit rule that shouldn’t be broken by “man’!
    I understand, you are a conservative. That word itself should make more than many cringe and that it does not feel to you as something you would better do something about.
    Well, since you are so convinced that we are delusional and sick humans prone to mutilate ourselves, let me tell you that many of us did not need to tell anyone about this in order to have ” the good doctors” perform surgery upon us from birth.
    Why? Oh well, only for a tiny bit of flesh that wasn’t quite what they expected to find on a baby. So, they decided that removing it was the right thing to do. The “good doctors”! And then proudly call IT: a girl! (one example that should make you wonder further!)
    So, was it there a choice in mutilation due to a mentally deranged child, a newborn baby?
    I will NEVER convince you to change, because I am old enough and survived enough in this hostile society to know that people as conservative as you will NEVER CHANGE and will keep on putting stick in the wheels of educated, pondering concerned citizens who like to think calmly without fear and moral judgement about what to do in order to improve the lives of other citizens.
    But unfortunately, I will probably die knowing that others like you will take over and write other inept articles such as this one.
    I will not present my regards to you, what you have written is also morally wrong since you dare taking about morality, I decree that you fight AGAINST human welfare and happiness.
    And this to me, is a moral crime!
    So, who is the dangerous one!
    Me or you?

    I’ll say and end this by saying to you:
    Live and let live!

    Marcia Deville,
    Intellectually not challenged!

  • Tricia

    Wow. They have all come out of the woodwork on this one. If you want to protect your children vote on the Citizengo website to keep this dangerous ideology out of UK primary schools.