Gen­der agen­das are faux out­rage

Sunday Star-Times - - Focus -

who em­brace the term know it is an­noy­ing and feign sur­prise when peo­ple re­act badly. Se­cretly they are de­lighted to be able to trig­ger some­one else for a change.

We have trans-women and cis is the Latin op­po­site of trans so, you know, it’s Latin. Roughly, trans means ‘‘on that side’’ and cis means ‘‘on this side’’. Latin also has a word for black that is now es­chewed by po­lite so­ci­ety rather than bandied about in or­der to an­noy peo­ple.

There is also an agenda. If you can have a cis-woman it im­plies that trans-women are in fact women and not merely men who would pre­fer to be women. We are asked to ac­cept that sex is bi­o­log­i­cal and gen­der is psy­cho­log­i­cal. This hasn’t al­ways been the case and the dis­tinc­tion evolved in the so­cial sciences as late as the 1950s.

Not every­one ac­cepts this dis­tinc­tion and I am amongst them. Still, if you want to think you are demi­girl or a gen­derqueer rather than a boy or girl, great. Po­lite­ness means I will not con­tra­dict you, nor will I tell a guy wear­ing mas­cara and a dress what I think of his life choices.

I am not go­ing to im­pinge on any­one’s right to live peace­fully by con­fronting them with my small-minded opin­ions. Yet this same cour­tesy is not ex­tended to those who do not wish to be de­fined as cis-any­thing.

My dis­plea­sure at be­ing called cis­gen­der is in­signif­i­cant, how­ever, com­pared to the frus­tra­tion ex­pe­ri­enced by the So­cial Jus­tice War­riors. They want to rail at the evil of the sex­ist Pa­tri­archy, to tear at the bounds of op­pres­sion and to coura­geously march against ho­mo­pho­bia.

Un­for­tu­nately for these frus­trated cham­pi­ons of the op­pressed, our Prime Min­is­ter is an un­mar­ried breast­feed­ing mother and her fi­nance min­is­ter lives with his boyfriend, and no one cares. Which, hon­estly, is fan­tas­tic and some­thing we can be in­cred­i­bly proud of, re­gard­less of your pol­i­tics.

There isn’t any­thing real to cam­paign against, so these thwarted in­sur­gents are re­duced to defin­ing their own gen­ders and pre­tend­ing to get an­noyed when the rest of us laugh at them and get stuff done.

The So­cial Jus­tice War­riors want to rail at the evil of the sex­ist Pa­tri­archy.


Thwarted in­sur­gents will con­tinue to seethe un­til some­one gets an­noyed, says Damien Grant.

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