From Cinderella to Spiderman

So many of my friends shared this piece by Jemima Lewis in the Telegraph. (Yes, the Telegraph. Why do you think I mentioned the many friends?)

A primary school in Hartfield, East Sussex, held a “transgender day” recently, to encourage the tots to explore issues of gender-fluidity.

But was it to encourage them to explore? Or to teach them the formulas they’re expected to repeat. The current version of transgender dogma doesn’t welcome exploration, as Lewis points out.

I want my children to be open-minded about gender and sexuality. I want them to have the run of the dressing up box, from Cinderella to Spiderman, for as long as they feel drawn to sparkly nylon. I want the boys to feel able to cry, and their sister to punch them in the head. As far as is possible in a world full of stereotypes, I want them to steer clear of pigeonholes. And right now, gender politics seems to me nothing but floor-to-ceiling pigeonholes.

You can be agender, bi-gender, cisgender, demigender, graygender, intergender, genderless, genderqueer or third gender – but by God, you will accept a label. Go gingerly when applying it in public, though, especially if you are unpractised and over-40: this new language is as orthodox and closely-policed as any medieval catechism.

That doesn’t put it strongly enough. All those labels are for people under-40 (or better yet under-30 or can we say under-25?) who are the first people ever to have realized that men can like skirts and women can like driving fast. Except of course that they’re not, but they think they are, so their views on the subject are not as enlightened or enlightening as they think they are.

The rules of gender-fluidity have been laid down incredibly fast, and have already calcified into a set of unchallengeable truths. You are how you feel. Gender identity is a self-realisable truth. I have no doubt that there are some children – a tiny minority – who suffer from gender dysmorphia right from the off, and will never feel comfortable in the body they were born into. But most children, left to their own devices, can change identities a hundred times a day and move up and down the gender spectrum without ever requiring a change of label.

Trans activists, like old-school misogynists, are forever patrolling the perimeters of male and female behaviour, making sure we all adhere to some kind of type.

And how funny that is, because it’s exactly what feminism was meant to free us all from.

By “funny” of course I mean tragic and disgusting.

9 Responses to “From Cinderella to Spiderman”