It’s just not fair

To quote Mandy Clare, who will be joining me in a presentation about women and socialism at FiLiA, socialism is primarily about fairness.

But even if you’re not a socialist, most people value fair play (see for example, Fair Play for Women ). Looking at Eddie Izzard, currently seeking to be Labour parliamentary candidate for Sheffield, all I can say is…

Eddie Izzard posing in "women's" clothes

The Labour Party would not accept a woman who had behaved like that as a parliamentary candidate, ergo he is not a woman, ergo it’s not fair to stand as one.

In the old days

The reason for all the confusion and conflict around this situation is that things have changed dramatically in the last twenty years, and some people just haven’t noticed. Here’s the thing – in the old days, “sex change” was the territory of middle-aged males. They could be divided more or less into two groups – the nightclub performer style – a bloke who, of course, made it clear he was a bloke. How could you present as a man in drag if people believed you were a woman? He wasn’t a woman and didn’t intend anyone to think he was – and the guys we used to call “transsexuals”, who quite simply decided they’d be more comfortable “living as a woman”. They also knew they were male, but just wanted to get on with doing things their way and hope no-one gave them a hard time over it. They most definitely did not stand for women’s roles in politics, the unions or anywhere else. They just got on with their lives.

Most of the time, most women were quite happy to let this go on – Many were fiercely protective of their “sex change” friends, and the women you see now, criticizing women’s rights campaigners as “transphobes” and telling us to “just be kind” simply have not grasped what has changed. I hope more are noticing now. I hope enough will notice, to stop organizations like Stonewall getting their way, because their aim has been to wipe out what legal rights women have, apparently to make life easier for the Eddie Izzard types.

It’s different for girls

The other point where it most definitely is not fair is that the idea of “gender identity” is now being peddled to kids, and the sex difference shows up there more clearly than anywhere. Young men –- usually gay if they did but know it –- transition because they like the idea of being seen as “sexy ladies”, or they are scared of being seen as gay. Young women are far more likely to transition because they hate and fear the idea of being seen as sexy ladies. That is because we live in a porn-soaked, rape culture that mistreats women and girls every step of the way. That is why there are now so many distressed “detransitioners” out there, females who’ve tried to turn into blokes, and found it just does not solve their problems.

It’s just not fair. Whether it’s males messing up the equality stats by taking up female spaces in politics, or males using young girls’ distress to sell expensive and dangerous surgical “solutions”, the whole thing has become incredibly sexist and cruel in too many ways to count. Please will those women who resist the women’s rights line out of “kindness” at least take a look at these two of the many points of terrible unfairness:


This charity founded to support (and, in fact, encourage) early-age transition is now under investigation for various signs of malpractice, one of which is alleged links to pedophile organizations. It is notable that the best known founder of Mermaids was a woman who transitioned her son. The organization has shown no awareness at all that it’s different (and often catastrophic) for girls, and many of their supporters brush off the dangers of pedophile links, flatly refusing to concern themselves with safeguarding issues.


A horrible backlash is developing which, as is all too often the case, is not necessarily hitting those who deserve it. Those folks we used to call transsexuals, who so many women were keen to defend, have mostly been very quiet in recent years, except for one or two now quite famous ones who stood up for women’s and girl’s rights all through these stormy years   — they have had a really rough ride -– first, being castigated by “queer theory” activists for not going along with the pretence that transwomen really were female, and now they’re having a hard time from some women who are just so angry and upset by the whole thing that they’ve decided they don’t want to tolerate people transitioning at all.

It’s hard on all kinds of people — perhaps most horrific of all, it’s hard on the inmates of women’s prisons who are now terrified they are going to get locked in with a sex-offender who presented as a woman after sentencing, just to get a cushier ride in a women’s prison. Yes, it has happened and yes, the result has been what you would expect.

The situation that’s developed is not fair on anyone concerned and ultimately, humans don’t like things that are unfair, so it will unravel — but we could use some help from those who are wealthy and well known, and so pretty well protected. Eddie Izzard should find the courage to stand for parliament as a bloke who likes dressing in “women’s clothes” he could help us break down sexism by saying (as he used to) “they aren’t women’s clothes, they’re my clothes.” That would be honest, that would be fair. That would be a good start to putting things right.


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