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The trans movement is supposed to be about freedom. It’s just the opposite

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In 1944, F A Hayek wrote: ‘Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?’ The eagerness with which open-hearted people are embracing the trans agenda reminds me of Hayek’s question. What if in our efforts to enable people to live freely and to be comfortable in their own bodies, we are bringing about the very opposite? What if the trans agenda, contrary to all its best hopes and aims, is narrowing our freedom and creating tragic discomfort for many young people?

The trans ethos has the noble aim of enabling people to be who they want to be, unconstrained by their biological sex. Who can argue with that?

The trouble is that the trans movement is beginning to do the opposite. It seems to have become the face of un-freedom, with journalists and newspapers scared of the bullying that will ensue if they try to debate trans issues openly: young women binding their breasts so tightly that they struggle to breathe as they set out to school; young men and women taking hormones that will change their bodies permanently, and a small number ultimately undergoing surgery that could render them sterile.

The feminist movement was about everyone being who we want to be, regardless of our biological sex. The aim should be that all of us, biologically male or female, can explore whether we want to be scientists or hairdressers, climb mountains or dance ballet, wear high heels or combat boots, in freedom and without harming our bodies or ordering our fellow humans about. I thought that was what progressive movements were all about.

Instead, step up the trans movement. If the extremists had their way, young children, regardless of their DNA, should line up behind vacuous and regressive gender stereotypes. Enjoy playing in the mud and hate pink? You must be a boy. Want to explore make-up or quite fancy boys? You must be a girl.

Little boys and girls in Scotland are soon to be allowed to ‘decide’ their own genders.. How are they supposed to choose? The only possible way, outside the acceptance of biological sex, is by the resurrection of gender stereotypes. Trans gender activists know this and are ready. Here is an example in a children’s book aimed at 4-8-year-olds:

The blurb explains: ‘In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realises that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies – she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as Jack? . . . But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play [her sister’s preferred] games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug! Jackie also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack’.

The publisher’s aim is that the book supports families and kids whose ‘gender identity or gender expression *** doesn’t match the sex recorded on their birth certificate’.

In order for the transgender ethos to work, all little boys and girls need to be exposed to these outdated stereotypes. Little girls, if they like playing in the mud and keeping their hair short, will effectively be invited to consider whether they are a boy. Little boys, if they fancy a few frills and dressing up, will be invited to consider whether they are a girl. Most little kids will withstand this nonsense with the support of good teachers, friends, and families. The tragedy is that it will be the vulnerable kids who won’t. What many lesbian and gay people fear is that it is lesbian and gay kids who are most vulnerable to the suggestion that they are in the wrong body. Roll on a lifetime of misery: pronoun-confusion, identity-confusion, bully and be bullied, gender clinics, hormone treatment, potential surgery sterility.

As Hayek saw around him in 1944, we once again seem to have a potential tragedy being supported and encouraged by good-hearted people. So would it not be better to consign the gender stereotypes on which the trans movement relies to the dustbin of history? To encourage little boys and girls to be comfortable in their own bodies? But to let them fully explore who they are, and how they want to be, regardless of their biological sex? To let little boys dress up if they want to? To let little girls aim for the sky? How much happier our children and grandchildren would be.

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Caroline ffiske
Caroline ffiske
Caroline ffiske is a former adviser to the New Zealand Government, served two terms as a Conservative councillor in Hammersmith & Fulham and is currently a full-time mother. She tweets as @carolinefff

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