Beware siren songs

Mermaid on the rocks, storm-struck ship

This conflict between trans rights and sex-based rights – this Odyssey, this trap-filled turmoil of a campaign we find ourselves in – this shapeshifting endless battle seems to me to be science and safeguarding on the one hand, and the cult-like hydra of corporate-funded, “woke” gender-ideology on the other.

To the opposition, it seems like gay lib two — a passionate battle to stop old fashioned, change-averse women from getting in the way of “trans rights”.

It feels as though it’s grown out of a giant misunderstanding — as though someone didn’t realize “conflict of rights” is a political term for something that often occurs, something that does not involve “enemies”, but needs to be negotiated with the help of trade unions or politicians, to be resolved so that all those concerned get what they need; it’s as though instead of that, someone just heard the word “conflict”, and decided to start a war.

…but I don’t believe it was an accident. I believe the misunderstandings were orchestrated, and fed in as we went along.

Corporate-supported lobby groups are not unbiased trainers

I think most readers will already know my opinion of the charities that started going into schools teaching gender-ideology during the last two decades or so, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s not the corporates I’m worried about right now, it’s those driven by their own hostages to fortune. Any school or other organization that can’t see a problem with inviting a charity run by parents who have transitioned their children to talk to kids who are worried about gender and sexuality issues – well.

Gender Identity presented in a graphic as a spectrum running from 'Barbie' to 'GI Joe'
If school trainers mix up “sex” and “gender”, and present “gender identity” to children as a spectrum based on their style preferences, or on commercial stereotypes such as “Barbie” and “GI Joe”, won’t gender-non-conforming children conclude that they are “the other sex really”? — that they are “in the wrong body”?

So, like most worried women I leave those organizations alone and concentrate on trying to wake up the organizations that use them. I have no idea why a mythological creature got involved but to me, a mermaid is a strange, wild creature symbolizing the awe-inspiring, ever-changing powers of the sea and, in her form as Melusina, thwarted female sexuality, fighting back.

Bit of a distraction here but — this is my favourite Mermaid story…

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey cover image
The Mermaid of Black Conch

ANYWAY — Lately, Mermaids and their fellow gender-ideology lobbyists Stonewall have been saturating our social media feeds with ads, forcing people like me to think about what we see as the mendaciousness of professional PR-led political campaigns so, it’s time we discussed the affect they are likely to have.

Counselling-as-conversion therapy?

Stonewall went a long way with the conversion therapy trick. Here’s how that worked: Psychologists and parents had been making good progress highlighting the fact that many of the children who have been “transitioned” would have recognized that their true problems were elsewhere if they’d only had a chance to talk them through.

You’d think any organization with children’s interests at heart would welcome the idea of safeguarding against misdiagnosis but no. Is it that the gender-identity industry loses a lot of trade if youngsters get a chance to talk in safety, and recognize that conditions such as autism and PTSD can lead to a feeling of alienation and make them susceptible to the “born in the wrong body” narrative?


Addendum Sept 2022: Is counselling seen as ‘conversion therapy’, and now as ‘torture’?


Trans rights are being trampled on?

They have got a lot of mileage out of weaponizing fears of “transphobia”, by constantly suggesting that women’s sex-based right campaigns are there to deny and oppress trans people, rather than to support women’s rights, and find a better answer to conditions such as gender dysphoria than a lifetime of drugs and plastic surgery.

These are the Stonewall ads that turned up on my Facebook feed in the matter of a week recently.

Who would hesitate to sign up to support the rights of these poor unfortunate people? Who would realize, reading those ads, that our UK Equality Act already gives trans people more legal protections than they have in many countries? Who would know, if they hadn’t attended to the women’s campaigns, that the weight of their signatures would be used to campaign against rights and safeguarding for women and girls?

Sleight of hand

To my mind, the most damaging trick of all it to pick up on the passion and the rash words flying around in a conflict between adult, largely male, self-ID campaigners and women defending their sex-based services, and attribute all that heat to so-called anti-trans hate groups supposedly leading an attack on children and distressed young women, but that’s the strategy I see in ads currently doing the rounds.

Young person with piercings and coloured hair.
Young people wearing symbols of rebellion tend to run into trouble in conventional schools. What are the consequences of suggesting this is due to “anti-trans” sentiment?
Mermaids: Sporting bodies are telling trans kids they don't belong.
Sports organizations have been saying males — particularly adult males — don’t belong in women’s sports. Many are discussing having an “open” category so they can reserve women’s sports for females, but still have a place for everyone. What are the consequences of presenting this as evidence of “anti-trans” behaviour directed at children?
Mermaids: trans children are being told they don't belong
Children who are different get bullied in a troubled school. What are the consequences of suggesting to parents that trans children have been told they “don’t belong”?

Weaponization, and cult strategies

Still sore from the vast suffering that was caused in the Labour Party during my time there by the weaponization of (the fear of) anti-Semitism, I can’t describe how I feel about a charity setting out to persuade children and young people that the women a generation or two older than them – their mothers and grandmothers – are the enemy. But I’m not surprised. Cults always seek an enemy their followers can easily be set against. You can’t set yourself up as the defender unless you first persuade your followers that they need defending from someone. What better divide to drive your wedge into than the generation gap?

Who is being hard on young gender-ideology believers? Wrong question. Who are they willing to believe is being hard on them? That is the enemy those clever, corporate PR people will choose.

I will not forgive those who cried wolf in the Labour Party, because they are still at it. A Jewish, socialist woman, newly elected onto their Executive Committee, is in the targets of right-wingers now. Many of the people the Party kicked out for “anti-semitism” were Jewish socialists, and an alarming number of them were women and/or black people. So what were they really attacking?

I ask the same question of those who dreamed up and are promoting divisive advertising campaigns about “trans rights” and “mistreated trans kids”. Already, they have persuaded a news organization many younger lefties follow to put out a tweet warning them to resist “mental health questions” from their doctors. At a time when mental health problems amongst adolescents are so common, and so often neglected, that’s incredibly dangerous.

Please be careful out there. Please talk to your kids – and all young people – whenever you have the chance, about how gender-ideology got into schools, about how it’s been fed to kids from such a young age. If you are clear about the nature of sex and gender, and the difference between them, you can see that gender-identity ideology is just plain sexist nonsense. It was Victorians who accused assertive, active women of “unsexing” themselves. It is regressive, fundamentalist cultures that demand gay people “change sex” to be more “normal”, but our kids won’t know that until they’ve talked through some actual science and safeguarding realities, until they can see the gaps and the traps laid before them.

"cute" cartoon mermaid
“Puberty blockers” abort sexual maturation — they stop kids “growing up”.
Is this what some parents want for their children?

There are many, many versions of the mermaids myth – in all too many of the stories, mermaids sing siren songs, and lure lost sailors onto the rocks – but there are also story-tellers who think that mermaid stories are for cute little girls. A corporate publishers’ editor once told me they wouldn’t touch mermaid stories for readers over age five. I can’t help thinking those kind of people just think of mermaids as eternal little kiddies without the embarrassing bits. Whichever versions I consider though, the most consistent factor I have found in mermaid stories is that they do not end well for the girls.

Let us make sure as many young people as possible have a good grounding in reality, so they are not susceptible to cultish threats and siren songs — and please, please talk about this amongst your friends and colleagues. Embarrassment is stopping the necessary discussions getting out there. Please talk about this; help us break the nervous silence; help us put an end to misleading stories and misunderstandings that are doing so much damage.


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