If we define terrorism as sowing fear to achieve political ends, then the ongoing gender-bending craze is just that.
Granted, sane people who dare resist still only lose their livelihoods, not lives. But, as I can testify from personal experience, that was the case in the post-Stalin Soviet Union too.
An imprudent word could only get one sacked, not imprisoned or killed. To be thus punished, one had to commit a real crime, like reading Orwell or passing 1984 on to a friend.
Yet sane people who were physically unable to mouth the mandated gibberish lived in permanent fear. Loose lips could get one not only sacked but also blacklisted, turning, say, a professor of physics into a street sweeper.
Fear was so pervasive that the USSR definitely qualified as a terrorist state even during its vegetarian period. And it’s heart-rending to see Britain turn into a milder but perhaps even more sinister simulacrum of a communist state.
Normal people have to watch every word they utter in public, lest they may be denounced to the authorities and summarily sacked – just like in the Soviet Union. What makes Britain’s version more sinister is that here one can’t easily identify the source of danger.
Back there, everybody knew the enemy: the Party and its punitive arm, the KGB with its army of snitches. But who represents the threat here? The state? Parliament? MI-5? Police? Friends and colleagues?
We don’t know who the terrorists are. But we do know they are out there.
Both countries operated by secular sacralisation: raising wicked political causes to a status of mock-religious orthodoxies. There it was just communism; here it’s any old cause that catches the bastards’ fancy – including gender-bending.
If I had a sackable position, I would have been fired long ago by enunciating what any sane person knows anyway. Outside grammar and recondite psychiatry, there’s no such thing as gender. Pronouns have genders, either masculine or feminine; people have sexes, either male or female.
I do realise that’s not quite all there is to it. Some marginal or intermediary cases exist, but such – extremely rare – exceptions are the kind that prove the rule. A person may be born with two heads but that doesn’t change the fact that a normal person has one head – even though folk wisdom says two may be better.
As I said, I can’t be fired for such heretical notions. But just about anyone who can be, will be. This brings me to the case of Maya Forstater, who in 2018 was sacked from her job at a Westminster think tank for saying roughly what I’ve just said.
Writing her profile in The Sunday Telegraph, which, I’d like to remind the outlanders among you, is our most conservative broadsheet, Jane Gordon helpfully explains the relevant semantic nuances.
“While sex is defined as the biological categorisation of people as male or female, gender refers to socially constructed roles – an individual may see themselves [sic] as a man, a woman, as having no gender, or as having a non-binary gender.”
This is bilge, of a kind that leaves one in no doubt of where the author’s sympathies lie. Anyone who follows a singular antecedent with a plural pronoun should be banned from writing on pain of death, which punishment for non-compliance I’d gladly administer personally. Miss Gordon, whoever they are, is clearly a crypto-terrorist themselves.
Miss Forstater, on the other hand, has a long history of anti-terrorism. In one of her tweets, she mocked Pips Bunce, a Crédit Suisse director, who sometimes goes to work in women’s clothes as Pippa and sometimes in a suit as Phil.
It goes without saying that nobody can tell Bunce to choose one or the other and stick with it. But, as Seneca said, though none of it can be helped, all of it can be despised – which Miss Forstater laudably does.
The old acronym game kicked in, and she was forever stigmatised as a TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist), insensitive to the feelings of the groups identified by a term that easily rolls off the tongue: LGBTQQIP2SAA – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two spirits, androgynous and asexual.
(A note to lexicographers compiling such designations: chaps, why don’t you just enrol the whole alphabet, from anti-climate to xenophobia? That way you could save time and space by referring to yourselves as simply ABC activists.)
When Miss Forstater took her sackers to a tribunal, she was nailed to the wall by the revelation that she had previous as a TERF. Apparently, when she was a Scout leader (I thought girls had Guides, not Scouts, but then I’m even more retrograde than Miss Forstater), she mistakenly [sic] referred to another, ‘non-binary’, Scout leader as ‘he’ rather than ‘they’.
That was no mistake, this side of a loony bin. ‘They’ is a plural pronoun that can only apply to a singular person suffering from dual personality disorder. (When the Scottish goalie Andy Gorham was diagnosed with schizophrenia, empathetic fans chanted “There’s only two Andy Gorhams.”)
But then I myself am a TERF at heart. Justice James Taylor manifestly isn’t. That’s why he ruled against Miss Forstater, declaring that her “absolutist view” was not “worthy of respect in a democratic society” and that she had no right “to ignore the “the enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering.”
Evidently, His Honour’s idea of a democracy is a society where a few sideshows representing an infinitesimal fraction of one per cent of the population can be used as a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of decent, sane people making up the overwhelming majority.
The English Common Law works by precedents, and Justice Taylor established one. Now gender terrorists can step up their diabolical efforts to destroy normal everything: morals, people, families, children, decency, thought, taste.
I realise that the few genuine hermaphrodites and people with gender dysphoria must have a hard time, and I do sympathise with their suffering – as I would with the plight of a bicephalous chap getting sick and tired of hearing “two heads are better than one” and being asked whether he uses a bra for a hat.
But suffering is a constant, I dare say normal, part of the human condition. I, for example, suffer grievously when I hear pop music in public places, especially restaurants. Most modern architecture also makes me nauseated, as do people sporting tattoos and facial metal.
Miss Gordon also made me suffer when she wrote: “It seems to me – and I put it to Forstater – that a little more tolerance on both sides of this argument might make the issue less angry and confrontational.”
Would she say the same thing to victims of Muslim terrorism? The silly twit doesn’t even realise what a grossly tactless thing she wrote. Miss Forstater is a victim of gender terrorism: she lost her livelihood for a spurious, wicked reason.
Now the precedent has been set, anyone can be sacked and blacklisted for daring to suggest that, say, asking little boys and girls to ‘identify their gender’ when entering kindergarten is evil. Yet no one can be fired for issuing such a questionnaire, so there’s no equivalence anywhere in sight.
This “argument” doesn’t have two sides, and it’s not even an argument – in the same sense in which one doesn’t argue with a chap claiming to be God or with a terrorist about to blow up a bus. One tries to commit the former and stop, ideally kill, the latter.
If you have any way to communicate to Maya Forstater your solidarity with her, please do so. She needs to know there are other people like her out there: decent souls who deplore what’s being done to her – and all of us.