Cis Stained Argument

There are few quicker ways to lose an argument than to treat the people whom you are trying to persuade with disdain and hypocrisy. Yet that is precisely what Jennifer Finney Boylan has done in her Huffington Post article The ‘T’ Word. She shares the unfortunate inability of so many trans activists to realise the…

Inquest into a Campaign book cover

Banning Bindel Baiting

On Friday 5th December 2008 I was upset to be going home early from my Manchester University lecture, not upset that I was getting an early weekend, but upset because I had declined to attend a public lecture because I had to be in a course lecture. The public lecture that I missed was a…

View of garden through cloister pillars

Inside and Outside Feminism

The war of words between (some) trans activists and (some) feminists follows a general pattern for seemingly intractable debates. That pattern is that protagonists present arguments that will go down well with their side, rather than constructively engaging with the other side. Of course, there are those few who do seek constructive engagement, as otherwise…

Shame On You, Coroner

  Michael Singleton, the coroner who presided over the inquest into the death of Lucy Meadows has been informally advised of his failings by the Office For Judicial Complaints. This informal advice has been notified to a journalist, Gavin Drake, who complained about his closing comments to the press gallery, “Shame on you all.” The…

Person Digging a Hole

They Do Not Dig TERF

This article was originally inspired by Delilah Campbell’s “Who Owns Gender” and its wonderful wordplay on TERF and turf wars over gender. TERF is a recent trans activist acronym for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist and at first sight it appears to be an improvement on the previous tendency to attack all radical feminists, or sometimes…

African American woman wearing head scarf, drilling on side of bomber, her face reflected in its surface, operating a hand drill at Vultee- Nashville on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee. Photo by Alfred Palmer for the Farm Security Administration, February 1943. Credit Line: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division LC-DIG-fsac-1a35371.

She Is Not a Cissie Girl

There are few things more likely to lose a political argument than blatant hypocrisy, and that is a trap into which the trans community has fallen. A community that is so keen to define what others are allowed to call its members should not hypocritically impose a name on others. As I sit down to…

Spotlights shining on astronomical stars

I Am Not a Trans Star

Jargon evolves quickly in the trans community, or should that be the transgender, gender variant, gender non-conforming, or gender minority, community. What it certainly should not be is the trans* community. Trans* is a term that has been gaining traction within (but not outside) the trans community. It is a well-meaning attempt to bring to…

Espousing a Veto

On 16th July 2013, the House of Commons voted the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill across its final hurdle and it gained royal assent the following day. This should be a cause of great rejoicing in LGBT circles, but it has been decried because of what many trans activists and their allies have termed the…

Listening to Lucy

On 28th May the inquest verdict was returned on Lucy Meadows, a trans woman whose death had sparked a wave of media speculation, a protest outside the offices of the Daily Mail, and two online petitions calling for the sacking of a Daily Mail columnist. This was Richard Littlejohn, who three months before her death…

Justine Justice

In my previous article, Justine Judgement, I wrote a hasty response to Zoe O’Connell’s erroneous assertion that the Court of Appeal had ruled that stealth trans people had been criminalised. On subsequent reflection I would change nothing in that hasty response, as it is quite clear what the judgement says, and in particular clear that…