Julie Lynn: Sexual identity? It’s As You Like It

Picture this. It’s 2020 and you’re told that a woman you know has become a mother. ‘Great,’ you comment. ‘What did she have?’ That’s when you’re met with a look of withering disapproval. ‘A baby.’ The tone is softly admonishing, challenging you to push further irrelevant inquiry of an old-school binary nature.

Every other day, it seems, there is some new story about matters pertaining to transgender. Last week there was the one about a major retailer ceasing to market clothing for youngsters under the offensive and exclusionary labelling ‘Boys’ Clothes’ and ‘Girls’ Clothes’. This week kicked off with a story about how Nigel and Sally Rowe have withdrawn their six-year-old son from a Church of England school on the Isle of Wight because he has become confused about a classmate who appears some days dressed as a girl and others as a boy. Those revolutionaries in the guerilla warfare of gender identity politics may not like it, but it remains a fact that this is very much the kind of thing that would confuse and disorientate most six-year-olds. And nine-year-olds. And thirteen-year-olds.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today, Sarah Montague conducted what on the face of it was a gentle, sensitively probing interview with the Rowes, Christian parents who felt that it was not in their young son’s interests for him to be confused about his classmate’s oscillation between identity as a girl and as a boy. Montague’s interview technique made one thing clear, though: that the parents were very much the ones who needed to explain themselves and justify a position that was at best inexplicable and at worst downright cruel towards a transgender six-year-old (assuming that young children can be labelled ‘transgender’). The subtext was inescapable. It was that all decent, right-thinking, civilised people (listeners to Today, presumably) would be aghast, shaking their heads at parents in thrall to such non-accepting, non-inclusive, non-progressive, reactionary and unreconstructed binary thinking.

In just a few years (two, three, four maybe?) transgender has gone viral: marginal to mainstream. It feels as if we all now know, or know someone who knows, someone who is ‘transitioning’. On one level, of course, this is a good thing. For many years (always?), transgender people have been forced to live in the shadows, and one can only feel sympathy and compassion for the kind of gender dysphoria that most people would regard as misfortune. Even as I type that word ‘misfortune’, though, I sense the approaching rumble of outrage. That is to say, indignation that one would patronise with sympathy, rather than seek to enhance and celebrate gender identity diversity that goes beyond the current, plainly wrong binary. That is how it all is now in the brave new world where gender identity has nothing to do with objective biological fact and everything to do with how individuals wish to identify.



In a sense, many parents would have few problems if shops were to ditch signs pointing to ‘Boys’ Clothes’ or ‘Girls’ Clothes’. When it comes to attire for babies and toddlers, many of us are entirely comfortable with moving away from old-fashioned notions of pink for girls and blue for boys. And let’s face it, we’ve all pretty much moved on colour-wise across the age range. But on the horizon is a creeping disapproval of parents who may want to dress their daughter so that she is not mistaken for a boy or their son so that he is not mistaken for a girl. Is this ok? Or is this now a kind of archaic thinking that is simply to be discouraged? Is it tantamount to imposing a gender upon one’s children by dint of the child’s assigned biology? Of course, modern retailers who want to be seen to be in step with all the revised thinking on gender won’t have to be explicit about this. They’ll just put up new signs. Presumably ones that read ‘skirts’, ‘trousers’, ‘T-shirts’, banishing the offending words ‘boy’ or ‘girl’. It’s probable that this will drive a gender neutrality from designers and fashion houses willing to involve themselves in experimentation with social engineering. Which is what this is.

The irony is that at some point they’ll have to bring back that overtly ‘girly’ line with its cringe-making wording on pink clothing such as ‘Little Cutie’ or ‘make the world a prettier place’. Why? Because, inconveniently, you can’t have a sense of gender fluidity without a sense of gender construct. Maybe retailers should now just have signs in store that say ‘As You Like It’. Such homage to the Bard’s most compellingly gender-bending work could be accompanied by other quotes such as ‘tigers, not daughters’ and ‘Disguise . . . thou art a wickedness/Wherein the pregnant enemy does much’. Who knows, it might even lead people into lives that are more about reading things really worth reading than lives distracted about what to wear. That really would be radical.

Julie Lynn

  • TheRightToArmBears

    How long before society’s fraying edges permit/encourage those sad creatures, loosened from reality into the undergrowths of trans/fluid genders, into the mists of trans-specie-ism, whence they can skip about claiming to be penguins, goblins and unicorns?
    Will a raised eyebrow then be a hate-crime, and a mandatory reportable offence?

  • GOM

    Hell/ handcart.. we are pretty much there already.

  • ajcb

    “The subtext was inescapable. It was that all decent, right-thinking, civilised people (listeners to Today, presumably) would be aghast, shaking their heads at parents in thrall to such non-accepting, non-inclusive, non-progressive, reactionary and unreconstructed binary thinking.” Very well put.

    People have been marinading in the Left’s anaemic moral universe for so long (from primary school onward, and from every voice in the media) they can no longer navigate their way from first principles to what they believe. Everything is just a matter of BBC-dictated “decency.” Pass the vomit-bag.

    • UKCitizen

      I wonder how they would have reacted had it been a Muslim family?
      Actually we don’t as they wouldn’t have even bothered reporting it.

      • ajcb

        Well, paper-covers-rock, innit? People from the religion-of-peace score quite nicely in the Western globalists’ Oppression Olympics, so you’re surely correct that no one will gainsay (nor even bother to ask the questions that reveal) their squeamishness re: alternative self-genderisation.

        Actual church-going Christians (assuming for argument’s sake this rara avis actually exists), on the other hand, have been declared personae non gratae by the decency-dictators, so please feel free to throw whatever stones you have to hand.

  • Lancastrian Oik

    Whilst I can accept that a very small minority of infants/small children may be genuinely confused as to gender (I remember one little boy from my childhood who was very “girly” and grew up to be a very effeminate gay man), this “gender fluid” nonsense is a scam.

    The soi-disant “gender-fluid” seem to be about 99% cross-dressing men, and far from being “fluid” in their identities are simply old-fashioned “trannies” who dress and behave as a grotesque parody of femininity, rather than (as one would expect from the “fluidity”) wear clothing and exhibit traits from across the spectra which we see in each gender (from very effeminate man to very butch woman).

    It’s yet another culturally Marxist con to allow a sexual fetish (which may develop into a perversion) to be used as a means of undermining part of the social contract.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    Your ‘major retailer’ seems to be feeling the public’s fight back?
    “Profits at John Lewis Partnership have more than halved in the past six months as the group behind the department store chain and Waitrose has been hit by costs associated with overhauling the business and weakened customer demand from inflationary pressures and political uncertainty.”

    • Bik Byro

      A perfect example of how the free market system works.
      John Lewis introduced a move as a sales and marketing exercise to try and increase sales and profits.
      As a private company, they should be entitled to engage in sales and marketing activity without interference from the government or anyone else.
      If the public are with them – their sales will go up. If it is an unpopular move, the public will soon let them know via their purses and wallets. No interference necessary.

      • Sargv

        They should’ve learn from Target and their unisex bathrooms initiative.

        Well, maybe they did, and that is what we should expect next.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      But the CEO and his self-appointing colleagues will still increase their self-written contractual salary increases and bonus payments for policy attainments.

  • Colkitto03

    Throughout history various instances of ‘hysteria’ have affected the establishment of the day.
    In the 1630’s the Dutch establishment and upper classes decided that spend vast sums on worthless Tulip bulbs was a great move.
    In the 1690s the Scottish establishment decided that betting most of the nations wealth on a colony set in Panamanian swamp was a great idea.
    Less than 100 years ago the medical establishment decided Lobotomies were a sound practice and it remained mainstream procedure in some Western countries for more than two decades.

    So there is tonnes of form for all this, as they say.

    • UKCitizen

      True, but those that disagreed were not labelled as dissidents by the establishment and thrown in jail for thought crimes!

      • Colkitto03

        very good point!

  • Sargv

    > In just a few years (two, three, four maybe?) transgender has gone viral: marginal to mainstream.

    Transgender is a new peanut allergy – an easy way to get a special treatment for vainglorious parents.

    • Colkitto03

      very true,

    • Little Black Censored

      Some people own dogs that always have something wrong with them, to satisfy a need of the owner’s. Some parents (well, a lot) similarly need their children to suffer from interesting but elusive allergies. If families were larger and parents too busy to spend every waking minute watching their children the world would go round a great deal faster than it does.

      • Sargv

        The sheer number of allergies that Brits have – or claim to have – is fascinating for a foreigner like me. In my native Russia, a proper allergy is something that gives you pulmonary oedema, and the list of allergens is limited to five or six positions. They are extremely rare. (Allergic rhinitis are more common).

        Here, it is widespread. Every class in Primary has at least one kid, who is allergic to nuts. And the new fad, “gluten intolerance”, quickly follows suit.

        Another observation I made is, all of the affected are young kids with no siblings to overprotective mothers (they are always mothers). I have yet to meet a single Brit over 60 with a self-reported severe allergy to, well, anything.

    • Bik Byro

      I’m still a little sceptical as to whether it is as mainstream in everyday life as it is in the mainstream media – who at the moment seem to have latched onto a “trend” that sells newspapers and gains audiences which drive advertising revenue – from both those who are sympathetic to the cause and from those who are opposed to it. Trebles all round!

      • Sargv

        That reminds me of a well-known (in Russia) quote from Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Heart of a dog” (a satire on The New Soviet Man – a story of a homunculus raised from a dog by transplanting human testicles by Philip Philipovich, MD – and made into a Soviet citizen fascinated with Marx, Kautsky, killing cats and ravaging the “bourgeoisie class”):
        “Food, Ivan Arnoldovich, is a subtle thing. One must know how to eat, yet just think – most people don’t know how to eat at all. One must not only know what to eat, but when and how.’ (Philip Philipovich waved his fork meaningfully.) ‘And what to say while you’re eating. Yes, my dear sir. If you care about your digestion, my advice is – don’t talk about bolshevism or medicine at table. And, God forbid – never read Soviet newspapers before dinner.’ ‘M’mm . . . But there are no other newspapers.’ ‘In that case don’t read any at all. Do you know I once made thirty tests in my clinic. And what do you think? The patients who never read newspapers felt excellent. Those whom I specially made read Pravda all lost weight.”

        I still shiver at a thought that I spent a whole year after arrival reading Guardian daily (they had the best website, so I chose them semi-randomly to dive into the UK local affairs). I developed a heartburn and quadrupled my anxiety levels.

        • Bik Byro

          Whenever I go away on holiday, I actually make a conscious effort to avoid any newspapers and television news during that week/fortnight. I invariably find that not only have I missed very little and the world keeps on turning much as it always has, but I feel happier and more content.

  • Simon Platt

    “In just a few years transgender has gone viral” It’s the next step after same-sex “marriage”, that’s all.

  • PierrePendre

    What we’re being asked to do is to overcome historic prejudices and accept that some of us were born or wish to become homosexual or transgendered or to exchange marriage vows with a member of the same sex and to show such people the same tolerance that we “normal” people show to each other in our orthodoxy. Because our prejudices and our concepts of normality are so deeply engrained, it’s not always an easy thing to do. The rise of transgenderism worries us particularly because children are vulnerable and we fear that they will be misled by their own unfixed feelings or by evangelising for transgenderism. Transgenderism’s public profile may suddenly be everywhere thanks to Caitlin Jenner and Vanity Fair but the condition is not new and it is not going to engulf us. The media as usually are being heavy handed on both sides of the argument as are the activists for sexual diversity and some dumb decisions have been taken by businesses that fear being attacked. But we who consider ourselves normal, whatever normalcy is, need to accept that people who have always lived in society’s shadows are no longer willing to do so.

    • Sargv

      Should we accept coprophagy to avoid stigmatising people who practice it, and we should – would it be wise for fast food chains to serve shît sandwiches to accommodate such people?

      • Groan

        Well one need only look at the demarcation between “child” and “adult” to find fairly “fluid” interpretations across time and space. There are varied ages of “criminal responsibility”, capacity to “consent” , enter into marriages, vote and so on. Though now subsided there was a serious campaign about paedophilia in the mid to late seventies under a human rights banner in England. PIE went back “into society’s shadows”. And of course can we mount a serious argument about polygamists if all that matters is “they love”.

  • The Duke of Umberland, England

    ‘For many years (always?), transgender people have been forced to live in the shadows, and one can only feel sympathy and compassion for the kind of gender dysphoria that most people would regard as misfortune.’

    Gender dysphoria is a mental illness that should not be indulged. Your forefathers understood the implications of putting it on public display.

    Here is Paul Johnson, explaining why this has all come about.

    “There were a great many of us, in the 1960s, who felt that there were grave practical and moral objections to the criminalisation of homosexuality, and therefore supported, as happened in most Western countries, changes in the law which meant that certain forms of homosexual behaviour ceased to be unlawful. Homosexuality itself was still to be publicly regarded by society, let alone by its churches, as a great moral evil, but men who engaged in it, within strictly defined limits, would no longer be sent to prison. We believed this to be the maximum homosexuals deserved or could reasonably expect.”

    As an esteemed historian, Johnson felt he knew ‘better’ than Christian tradition. But…

    “We were proven totally mistaken. Decriminalisation made it possible for homosexuals to organize openly into a powerful lobby, and it thus became a mere platform from which further demands were launched. Next followed demands for equality, in which homosexuality was officially placed on the same moral level as standard forms of sexuality, and dismissal of identified homosexuals from sensitive positions, for instance schools, children’s homes, etc., became progressively more difficult.

    “This was followed in turn by demands not merely for equality but privilege: the appointment, for instance, of homosexual quotas in local government, the excision from school textbooks and curricula, and university courses, passages or books or authors they found objectionable, special rights to proselytize, and not least the privilege of special programmes to put forward their views — including the elimination of the remaining legal restraints — on radio and television.

    “Thus we began by attempting to right what was felt an ancient injustice and we ended with a monster in our midst, powerful and clamoring, flexing its muscles, threatening, vengeful and vindictive towards anyone who challenges its outrageous claims, and bent on making fundamental — and to most of us horrifying — changes to civilized patterns of sexual behaviour.”

  • Steve

    If you look at the famous store’s website you will find still “Boys 2+” and “Girls 2+”.

    It will be interesting if/when they are merged.

    Some items like Polos and T-shirts probably are unisex. Some obviously for males or females. But what of, say, “briefs”. Are they to be marked as with/without lined gusset? Or perhaps flat/pouch fronted?

    Those whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.

    • Tricia

      Why just children’s clothes? If there is no such human as boys and girls, then it follows that men’s and women’s wear should be merged into one department. And shoes, we don’t need to separate these either. John Lewis’ sales really would plummet if they did that though wouldn’t they. This exercise in signalling their right on liberal credentials is sickening. There are 2 types of human being – male and female – this is proved visibly, scientifically and biologically. But why let truth get in the way of ideology.