Not realizing, at first, that she had wandered into a hornet’s nest, Martina Navratilova joined the transgender debate last December.
She was perturbed by the growing encroachment of transwomen into female athletic competitions, replete with larger hearts and lungs and bones and muscles. (For a frightening taste of what this sort of thing can look like, have a look at MMA transgendered fighter Fox Fallon annihilating opponent Tamikka Brents, caving in her face and dispatching her, concussed and bleeding, to hospital for repairs: criminal assault and battery, in any other age, but perfectly legal – applauded, even – in this brave new era.)
The former tennis great on Twitter: “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”
Trans radicals promptly swarmed her, defaming the lesbian icon and ardent feminist as a vicious transphobe and TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist – a misogynistic slur coined to smear feminists alarmed by the steady erasure, not just of their domains in sports, but of their safe spaces in hospitals, shelters, prisons, and bathrooms.)
The angry mob was led on Twitter by Canadian transgender cyclopath Rachel McKinnon. McKinnon has achieved a modicum of “fame” by employing a male physique to capture a women’s world cycling championship, trumpeting the “win” loudly from social media rooftops as a “victory for women”. (Needless to say, you don’t need the gold medal to pick out which athlete on the podium is McKinnon.)
McKinnon hurled a stream of vitriolic Tweets at Martina, capped by this bon mot: “You don’t hit a tennis ball with your penis or vagina. If you do, you’re doing it wrong.”
Poor Martina. She had – and has – no bone to pick with trans individuals. She was – and is – simply trying to safeguard the integrity of women’s sports. Stunned by the vicious responses to her comment, she attempted repeatedly to apologize for giving offense. But McKinnon was having none of it, attacking Martina again and again.
(This is the same Mckinnon, by the way, who cut a YouTube video in 2017 encouraging gender-dysphoric kids to leave their parents and join the “glitter family” – and published it on Mother’s Day, no less. Mckinnon, who is childless, clearly has no inkling as to the fierce bond that exists between most parents and their children, no clue that a typical mother’s reaction to one of her children in distress is akin to a lioness protecting her cubs.)
A rattled Martina backed away, but not before being provoked into labeling McKinnon as “one nasty human being”. She retreated to reflect, to consult, to research more widely, and then resolutely returned in February with an article in The Sunday Times in which she stuck to her guns and reiterated her well-supported stance.
After getting burned by the white-hot wrath of the trans-radical rage machine myself last winter, I was inclined to take refuge in a martini (or twenty). Instead, I pulled a Martina: I took a breather, to soberly review my essays and to deepen my scholarship.
Like Martina I am back, to reiterate what I tried to convey in my essays – stripped of all references to randy bulls, cucumbers, porpoises, and hats: Jack and Jill without the frills, you might say. Here, in four parts, is the essence of that message, rooted in truth as best as I can grasp it.
1. Trans individuals, and those struggling with gender dysphoria, must be accorded the utmost respect.
For some individuals, transition (whether or not attended by hormones or sex reassignment surgery), may be the only way to relieve their discomfort (although the jury remains out as to whether transitioning is wise). They deserve to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment, to be treated just as the rest of us expect to be treated. They deserve inclusion, not condemnation; love, not hate; support, not ridicule.
2. It’s biologically impossible for men to become women, or vice versa.
Repeating a lie over and over and over again doesn’t make it true. Two plus two equals four, no matter how often and loudly one asserts that it’s five. Repetitive incantations of “transwomen are women” cannot turn men into women.
As British transgender physics teacher Debbie Hayton noted in The Economist last year:
“Unless we deny any commonality between human beings and every other species of mammal, people of the sex class that produce ova are female and those whose sex produces sperm are male, and we need one of each to propagate our species.”
The trans community is not new, of course. Trans-folk like Hayton have been living quietly among us for many years. What is new is the attempted obliteration of biological truth by trans radicals.
“We need to be intellectually honest. I am not female and I know that I cannot become female, but I can and do live in a way analogous to the way that women live. I make no claims I cannot justify and my life is better for it.”
Stubbornly peddling nonsense, it must be said, does the trans community no favours. The public, in general, wish to treat transgender people with respect; but the push by radicals to stifle healthy discourse and to obliterate the rules of science and medicine is having the opposite effect.
“The rights, protections and identities of trans people are being gambled”, warned Hayton, “not in a court of law but in the court of public opinion.”
3. For their own safety, children and youth must be kept far away from the road to transition.
Contrary to public perception, the majority of transgendered adults have not undergone surgical revision. Only 2% of transgender men and 10% of transgender women have undergone genital surgery. Yet we are busily herding dysphoric youth in that direction.
“Watchful waiting”, the careful clinical response to gender dysphoria that previously stood as standard of care, is endlessly mocked by trans radicals, as if physicians and parents stand idly by and “watch” as dysphoric children struggle, unassisted and abandoned. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Watchful waiting incorporates skilled psychotherapy and unbending support to achieve resolution of gender dysphoria in 80-95% of cases, allowing youth to settle comfortably into the gender identity compatible with their biological sex. Smearing this pragmatic approach as neglectful, or as “conversion therapy” is contemptible: the only “conversion” going on is the restoration of an unhealthy state to a healthy one – in my business that’s called a win.
Trans-radical dogma, based on poor or no evidence, demands rapid “affirmation” of cross-gender identity for confused pre-teens and adolescents, condemning healthy bodies to permanent sterility and a lifetime of medical care. In my business that’s called a loss – at least it used to be.
In February, Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Center for Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal’s section on EBM, issued a scathing critique of gender-affirming hormone use in children and adolescents. Referencing a letter published in Archive of Diseases in Childhood which characterized administration of puberty blockers to dysphoric youth as a momentous step in the dark, he summarized three main concerns:
- Young people are left in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without secondary sexual characteristics that might consolidate gender identity;
- Use is likely to threaten the maturation of the adolescent mind;
- Puberty blockers are being used in the context of profound scientific ignorance.
“Treatments for under 18 gender dysphoric children and adolescents remain largely experimental. There are a large number of unanswered questions that include the age at start, reversibility; adverse events, long term effects on mental health, quality of life, bone mineral density, osteoporosis in later life and cognition. We wonder whether off label use is appropriate and justified for drugs such as spironolactone which can cause substantial harms, including death. We are also ignorant of the long-term safety profiles of the different (cross-gender hormone) regimens. The current evidence base does not support informed decision making and safe practice.”
The trifecta of puberty blocking drugs, cross-gender hormones, and sex-reassignment surgery will, as advertised, halt puberty, alter secondary sex characteristics, remove unwanted parts and install new ones.
What it won’t do – what it can’t do – is change one’s biological sex. It’s a toxic therapeutic jockey looking for a horse – and you don’t want it astride your children.
4. Children deserve our unshakeable love and care.
“I wrapped your love around me like a chain, but I never was afraid that it would die,” sings Brandi Carlile in The Eye. That sums up the relationship that all children, in a better world, would have with their parents. In a better world all parents would remain at their children’s side come hell or high water, whether they agree with them or not.
That doesn’t mean that loving parents should succumb to the gospel of “affirmation”, the positive-sounding concept grossly distorted and weaponized by the trans-radical agenda. It’s not the role of good parents to affirm every desire of their children regardless of whether or not it’s in their best interests. It’s the role of good parents to provide guidance, leadership, structure, and correction.
Good parents teach their children how to properly treat others; to “love their neighbors as themselves”, including the trans community.
But teaching love and respect for our trans friends and neighbors doesn’t detract from love and respect for truth. It doesn’t entail expunging the basic tenets of biology from the minds of our children.
That’s a wrap, folks. Time for that martini.