Sunday Herald Sun - - Opinion -

More and more, our pub­lic life is di­vided be­tween those who want to score a po­lit­i­cal point and those who want to make a prac­ti­cal dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives. Take two dif­fer­ent de­vel­op­ments this week: in Tas­ma­nia, work­ing with ul­tra-Left ac­tivists, La­bor and the Greens want to re­move gen­der al­to­gether from birth cer­tifi­cates. In NSW, Fam­i­lies Min­is­ter Pru Goward wants to make it far eas­ier for kids in trou­ble to be adopted into a lov­ing and sta­ble home.

To me, ad­mit­tedly a con­ser­va­tive com­men­ta­tor, one is play­ing games with na­ture; while the other is trans­for­ma­tional for chil­dren and fam­i­lies.

To the ac­tivists push­ing for change, though, abol­ish­ing gen­der is a strike against “het­eronor­ma­tive con­trol”, while sup­port­ing adop­tion risks more “stolen gen­er­a­tions”. Maybe this ide­o­log­i­cal chasm is a sign of how di­vided our so­ci­ety has be­come. Or maybe it just tes­ti­fies to how far some peo­ple have de­parted from com­mon sense.

I can re­spect the courage of peo­ple who want to change their gen­der be­cause I can’t imag­ine any­thing more wrench­ing. But from those I have met fac­ing this is­sue, their plea, once over the many hur­dles to al­ter their gen­der, is to be recog­nised as real women and real men — not to be con­signed to some spe­cial cat­e­gory where you’re nei­ther one thing nor the other.

This lat­est cul­ture wars push is not about re­spect for peo­ple who want to change their gen­der but about abol­ish­ing the con­cept of gen­der al­to­gether. I doubt that these anti-gen­der lob­by­ists rep­re­sent most trans­gen­der peo­ple,

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