“In a time of deceit”, said George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.
So in that spirit, here’s the truth:
Every single person reading this article was born either male, or female, and will be male, or female, until they die.
Not one of you chose your gender, any more than you chose your height, or your hair colour, or skin colour, or the hospital in which you were born.
While it is possible for a man to live his life as a woman, or a woman to live her life as a man, it is not possible for a man to become a woman, or for a woman to become a man, any more than it is possible for a man to become a turkey, or a woman to become an elephant.
Those who do desire to live their lives as the opposite gender deserve our respect, and our compassion, and do not deserve our mockery, or our scorn. In most cases, they have struggled and battled with a crippling condition – gender dysphoria – and have chosen to live in a way that makes them happy. That is brave, and they are as human and deserving of respect as any other person.
But a man choosing to live his life as a woman is not a woman. And a woman choosing to live her life as a man is not a man. And they never will be.
Some people will find those words hurtful and cruel. They are not intended to be hurtful, or cruel. And indeed, it should not even be necessary to utter them. But it is.
It is necessary because in Ireland we are now faced with a well organised, massively funded, and well supported campaign to make uttering them unacceptable, if not illegal.
These facts, according to a letter signed by Amnesty Ireland, the Women’s Council, and a whole host of other taxpayer funded organisations, are “bigoted”, and “far right”.
The letter urges media organisations and politicians to “deny representation” to those who recognise the truth that gender is decided at birth.
“We call on media, and politicians”, it says, “to no longer provide legitimate representation for those that share bigoted beliefs, that are aligned with far right ideologies and seek nothing but harm and division.”
This campaign will not succeed, because there simply is no majority for it. It requires us all to deny objective reality, and to pretend that our very chromosomes and DNA are irrelevant to who we are.
It is, in Orwell’s words, a campaign of universal deceit.
It seeks to tell children, at a young age, that everything that they know about themselves might be a lie. “You are not really a girl”, it says, “because if you want to be, you can be a boy”.
That is a lie.
“You are not really a boy”, it says, “because if you want to be, you can be a girl”.
That, too, is a lie.
It is not only a destructive lie, but a truly evil one. For it sets a child down a path of self doubt, and self questioning to which there is no happy ending, no self-affirming movie montage of self-fulfilment. For millions (and there are, now, millions, worldwide) of teenagers, it ends in depression, self-loathing, and a feeling that life itself has cheated them.
Time and time again, these feelings are blamed not on those who promote the lies, but on “transphobes” – mythical beings who, in this telling, are out to destroy the happiness of young people. But the blame really lies with Trans Rights Activists.
“Gender”, these activists say, “is merely a social construct”. In other words, you’re only a male, or a female, because society has told you that is what you are.
“A penis”, they say, “does not make you a man, because some women have penises too”.
This is a lie. Women do not have penises.
“Some men have periods”, they insist. This is a lie. Men do not have periods.
“Some men give birth”, they say. This, too, is a lie. Men do not give birth.
These are not fringe ideas. They are held, for example, by all of Ireland’s political parties, without question. If you want to make Micheál Martin uncomfortable, and – on this subject, anyway – no journalist does, just ask him if men can have periods. And watch him struggle to avoid saying “no”.
He doesn’t believe it, of course, but he is too scared to tell the truth. All of them are, because if you tell the truth, you are a “transphobe” by these self-styled “trans rights activists”.
You must share your pronouns on your social media page, they say, because it is wrong to just look at someone and assume they are male or female. But that is absurd. The human eye has been trained by ten thousand years of evolution to automatically detect someone’s gender. These people are literally telling us that our eyes themselves might be lying to us, and that it is wrong to “assume” someone’s gender. In University debating circles, young men and women are now being trained to tell the audience what gender they are, in case people get the wrong idea.
This is a lie, too. It’s nearly all a lie.
In extreme cases, we now have celebrities, and many other misguided parents, raising their children to be “gender neutral” – leaving it up to the child themselves to decide whether they are a boy, or a girl.
This is child abuse. It is child abuse because it actively encourages children to consider – as a valid option – an act of tremendous and irreversible self-harm. And not simply as an option, but as a 50/50 choice.
Ask any transgender person whether the transition process is pleasant, and you will get your answer. Courses of hormone treatments designed to fight the natural instincts of the human body and confuse the human brain. Operations to remove breasts, and penises, and ovaries. In cases where an artificial vagina is created, the body, knowing no better, and thinking that it has been wounded, will try to heal the wound. It must, at all times, be artificially kept open. This is the truth, and it is wrong to seek to suppress it.
Even in the genuine cases where gender dysphoria makes these measures necessary, they are brutal, and costly, and tragic. To present this course to young people as a path of self-actualisation is worse than wrong – it is active cruelty.
In Ireland, we are now faced with a well organised campaign to make gender just another choice. We have become so used, in recent years, to the argument for choice, that we almost instinctively accept it. The choice to die. The choice to end a pregnancy. Choice, we are told, is liberating. So why not the choice to be a different gender?
And the answer to that question is that it is not a choice, because it is not physically possible, and it is dangerous to pretend that it is. It is not only dangerous for the person involved, it is dangerous for society.
Because in the name of that choice, Irish Judges and prison officers must accept that a biologically male rapist is a woman who should be housed in a women’s prison. Irish girls must accept that the biological male who is faster than they are should take their place on the soccer team. Irish women must accept reading about crimes of rape, battery and violence committed by women, when they know, in their hearts, these are actually men, – and often, thanks to our absurd gender self-ID law, men who have had no medical treatment and have no genuine desire to live as women.
We must all accept the big lie.
Writing this piece, of course, marks me out as a far-right transphobe. Agreeing with it marks you out as one, too.
But it is not true. Trans people deserve our compassion, not our contempt. But they also deserve our honesty, and society cannot function when we are all asked to believe a lie.
Amnesty, and the Women’s Council, and their allied politicians may well achieve political wins in the coming years. They may change the law. They may succeed in turning articles like this one into hate speech.
But they will never succeed in suppressing the truth, because in our hearts, each and every one of us knows that they are peddling a lie.