Channel Four: Hope you enjoy this naked lady with her penis, folks

Not, I confess, a headline I’d ever thought I’d be writing, but I’m not sure how else to factually sum up the segment broadcast by Channel Four, to their UK and Irish audiences, last Friday night. Here’s the censored version – ironically, Channel Four didn’t think it appropriate to post the full thing on social media.

Just on broadcast television. On a show that went out at 9pm, a time when not every child in the Kingdom was in bed, I’d wager.

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, the uncensored version of the ending is here. Don’t blame me if you click that and end up having a second good long look at your breakfast.

For those who don’t wish to click, a summary of the facts: At the end of this person’s performance, he stripped naked and played the keyboard with his penis.

Sorry. Her penis. And tossed in a few “helicopter” moves for good measure, like an over-exuberant five year old might.

Anyway, lookit. Colour me unconvinced of the merits of the liberal social revolution if the high point of it is a fellow wiggling his girlparts around on television on a Friday night for a few laughs. It’s not actually shocking, it’s just deadly dull.

We are, of course, supposed to be outraged and insulted. That is the whole point. It’s an exercise in cultural bullying: I’m going to get my thingy out on television and play the keyboard with it, and there’s nothing you backwards transphobes and religious zealots can do about it. It’s not an exercise in cultural expression so much as it’s a reminder about who has the power in society at present. In that sense, my favourite moment in the uncensored video is when the camera pans to the audience, and there’s a middle-aged fellow of about 50 standing there, with a vague look of horror and amazement on his face, even as he claps anyway. Because woe to those who do not clap.

The other thing here is that the culture war being what it is, the over-riding golden rule must apply: Each and every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. The more annoyed you get, you right wing prude, about a guy parading his girl-penis on the television, the more vital such expressions of liberal adherence become to the other side. If something like this becomes a big enough scandal in the UK, well, we can expect with growing confidence that a similar act will be booked for Ireland’s own annual festival of cringe, the Valentine’s Day edition of the Late Late Show. Pretty soon, you’ll barely be a progressive at all unless you’ve personally clapped along to the whirling of a wang.

Things are not good on merit, in the culture war: They’re good because they infuriate the other side. And by the way: Donald Trump, for example, knows that as well as the progressives do. It’s a huge part of his appeal. Possibly all of his appeal. Some of you like him because of who he annoys. Well, that’s how the nuttiest progressives feel about “women” waving their willies on the telly.

The problem for progressives, I think, is this: They’ve been so used to getting their own way and winning every fight for the past thirty years or more, that they genuinely cannot see that they are losing this one, and losing it badly. Because believe it or not, people just don’t buy the idea that if you call yourself a woman, you automatically are one and your penis becomes a female organ. Most people, even those with impeccably progressive views on things like global warming and gay rights, just don’t agree that it’s in good taste to pull out your junk on television and act like you’re the first person ever to strike a blow for liberty. Most people don’t even think it’s funny, let alone a vital blow for freedom.

They think – and perhaps they think in private – that you’re just a bit weird. And dangerous. And perhaps shouldn’t be allowed around kids. That’s a big reason why transgender people are suffering – sometimes unfairly – in the public imagination from what one writer recently called “a nonce problem”.

For example, it’s not weird to wonder why so many trans activists are so passionate about the idea that having drag queens read poetry to small children is a vital human rights issue. Or why, for example, so many wish to take away parental consent before putting small children on a course of puberty blocking hormones. Or why employees of one of the UK’s largest trans charities should be writing things about ejaculating on children, as one was exposed as having done last week. When you look at the picture in the round, it paints a picture that a lot of people can see clearly, even if that does make them “transphobes”.

Or perhaps they do know, and just trust that progressivism is in such control of the media, the cultural institutions, and politics, that public opinion doesn’t really matter any more, at all.

But of course, a dangerous far right extremist like me would say that. But as I often say: When more and more mainstream views get labelled as far right, you can’t really be stupid enough to be genuinely wondering why the “far right” is rising.

Heck, I don’t think things like this should be on TV. If that makes me some kind of Nazi, then Heil Trump, I guess.

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