Barbies and pirates

Janice Turner in the Times:

I have complained to the BBC for the first time in my life, about an episode of Radio 4’s iPM in which Jennifer Tracey interviewed a ten-year-old who we were told “identifies as gender non-binary”. The mother said she’d spotted “signs” her daughter wasn’t truly a girl: aged three she wanted a pirates (not princesses) birthday party, disdained dolls, liked Peter Pan, Iron Man and Wolverine.

Instead of buying books on lady pirates, declaring girls can like superheroes — indeed girls can like, do or wear anything! — this mother “did a bit of research on the internet”. Whereby she concluded her daughter was a trans-boy and asked what name she’d like to use. “Leo” said this tiny child, so they called her that, used male pronouns, put her in “male” clothes. But later the child said she wanted to keep her Barbies, so the mother read a few more websites and decided her daughter “didn’t have a male brain” but was between genders.

In the entire 30 minute program, Turner says, Tracey didn’t challenge anything the mother said.

Not whether asking every day “are you a boy or a girl?” was good for her daughter’s mental health. Not whether it was appropriate to ask your ten-year-old “if you were a man would you be gay or straight”? Not whether posing her periods as “problematic” or talking about puberty-blocking hormones was driving a still-developing child towards a lifetime of sterility-creating drugs and surgery.

What is wrong with everyone? Have they all simply forgotten the whole point of feminism, which is that your sex should not dictate what you do with your life or what you wear or whether or not you can travel by yourself?

The BBC is allowing to enter the mainstream, unquestioned, a pernicious ideology that demands parents patrol their children for gender crimes — boys who like dolls, girls who climb trees — and then seek a label and treatment.

Boys can like dolls. Girls can like climbing trees. Let them grow; they don’t need pollarding.

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