Oppressive tendencies of Muslim culture may be criticised, yet Islamic mores appear a bastion of common sense compared to the absurdities imposed by the white middle-class establishment. As the latest symptom of our cultural sickness, the current obsession with transgenderism is perhaps the most radical assault yet on conventional society. An urgent task of social conservatives is to confront this, but it needs more than reactionary scorn. Counter-intuitively, I predict the most effectual opposition from within the progressive ranks.

In the latest attack on the nature and norms of binary sex, reported by the Mail on Sunday, expectant women are no longer to be known as mothers-to-be, because they might not be female. This was not the utterances of a professor of gender studies at a former polytechnic, but the guidelines of the British Medical Association. Cue outrage from feminists such as Julie Bindel, but there’s unlikely to be a march through central London. Modern feminism, you see, is about tackling Trump and ‘mansplaining’, not obstructing minority groups. The likes of Germaine Greer no longer speak for young women, and once the correct groupthink on gender neutrality is formed, we can all move on.

With primary schools in England advised to promote flexibility and choice in gender, and all the past successes of cultural Marxism, perhaps the previously incontrovertible truth of sex dichotomy will be abandoned. Yet, I don’t think it will happen. This is a bridge too far for the progressive wreckers. Consider the difficulties with gender-neutral dogma in universities.

First, while LGBTQ+ agitators mind their Ps and Qs, the foot-soldiers of liberal-Left culture are the lesser mortals of plain middle-class upbringing, who are struggling to keep up with the constantly evolving rules and vocabulary. Accidentally use the wrong term, and the innocent student risks incurring the wrath of the commissars of gender-fluid rectitude. Some will resent being treated as badly as a common or garden bigot, and this leads to the next nail in the coffin.

Dissent is beginning to surface on campus. In my lecturing experience, this arises not from the white English, who mustn’t put a foot wrong, but those of other ethnicities or nationalities who don’t share the guilt complex, and are less reticent in calling a spade a spade. Asian or black students have more licence, and are less likely to be admonished for breaching the sensitivity code. So contrary opinion begins to be heard, and the genie isn’t easily put back in the bottle.

Thirdly, conflict will arise between the binary-deniers and a steadily Muslim population with increasingly pious observance. The former wants a gender-neutral world; the latter does not want a penis (neutered or otherwise) in a female sanctuary. Imagine the scene at dinner after young Salma returns from her first day at uni: all went well, she says, except there are no ladies’ loos! Twitching his beard, her father plans to raise this with his imam, if not the university directly. It’s the demography, stupid – the hijab-wearing mass has greater influence than a few students straddling the sex boundary.

I mean no offence to those of different gender identities, particularly those who have experienced psychological distress with their sexuality or faced bullying or abuse. But the activists speaking on their behalf are doing them a disservice. An overzealous campaign is unwittingly fomenting a backlash. As with other progressive challenges to societal norms, this ideological mission is detached from the reality of ordinary people, whose patience has been tested to the limit.

James Delingpole wrote in The Spectator of a ‘Berlin Wall’ moment for Western culture: the liberal intelligentsia has had its own way for so long that it cannot see its vulnerability. The pressure raised by transgenderism could cause the first breach in the fortifications, and this defeat will have wide ramifications. The whole edifice could collapse. The demise of cultural Marxism will come sooner, and more suddenly, than people think.

(Image: Ted Eyton)