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Louise Kirk: Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. Not any more, it seems


“Whatever you say about them, they’re not a happy bunch.” Bruce Jenner’s photograph staring out of Vanity Fair put me in mind of my friend’s remark, and she has reason to know. Her daughter has “become a man” and, in trying to understand Oli’s new life, Susan has taken to reading up on Jenner-style blogs.

Oli herself-himself(?) – “I try to avoid using a pronoun because I refuse to call her he” – comes from a close and large family with no ostensible reason to have a transgenderite in its midst, which is why this sort of thing should worry all of us. No family is safe. Oli’s brothers are friends of my sons and seeing the group of strapping young lads together, all so very male, I wondered how a girl could possibly conceive of herself as being one of them. They’re her brothers, let’s face it, boys on the inside as well as the out. Wouldn’t she know that they could call her bluff? In fact, they’re left disturbed. They don’t see much of Oli any more.

“Oli’s temper is bad enough as it is,” complains her sister, “without daily doses of testosterone.” Perhaps even worse than that, being neither quite one thing nor another, people tend to back away, and Oli’s friendships are largely found among other sexual misfits. So a bright girl (did I say girl?) with a first class degree and promising career has drawn upon herself isolation and loneliness. She doesn’t even belong in the Ladies or Gents.

Is it right that NHS funds should be spent on this sort of thing? Is it right that children at school are being increasingly targeted with confusing messages that boys may find themselves in girls’ bodies and vice versa? We can expect much more of this to come, as the gender movement gets into full swing. It only started in a generalised way some twenty-odd years ago but already there are 200 professors of gender in Germany alone, with pushes in Europe to up the money and the issue in all EU countries.

“It is intellectually dishonest to ignore the facts that surgery never has been a medically necessary procedure for treating gender dysphoria and that taking cross-gender hormones can be harmful,” says Walt Heyer in a compelling article outlining the history of transgenderism. He should know: he was one caught in its midst and lived as Laura Jensen for eight years, an entanglement which caused him intense suffering.

But even without knowing anything about the infamous practices of Drs Kinsey, Benjamin, Money and Walker, what is it about modern society that all of us are being caught up in a swirl where soon nobody will dare to say that a boy’s a boy and a girl’s a girl?

I give two thoughts. The first is that we have lost confidence, all of us, that human beings are made up of body, mind and spirit and that these are so inextricably a part of each other that you cannot just separate them out at will.

The second is that we have become too used to remaking healthy bodies with devices and drugs. I’m thinking here of contraception. The Pill is a Sixties invention. It is now out of kilter with every branch of medical and social science. It’s bad for bodies; we’re lectured on what we eat, what we smoke, what we drink, even what antibiotics we take, so why’s the Pill left out? It’s bad for the environment. It’s bad for families; every history of the sexual revolution points to the Pill as a catalyst for family change and breakdown. And it’s completely unnecessary. Natural methods are just as good at avoiding pregnancy, and help you to plan one as well.

Is it too radical to say it’s time we called the Pill to account?

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Louise Kirk
Louise Kirk
Louise is UK Co-ordinator for the Alive to the World values education programme, mother of four and author of Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and Children.

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