It’s All About ME: The Gender Agenda, Identity Politics and the Tyranny of Political Correctness

The murder last month of a young girl at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade spawned an endless series of debates on the subject of LGBT rights – or perhaps, to be completely Politically Correct, I should say LGBTQ rights – from which one salient fact became blindingly obvious, namely, that large numbers of Israelis (and other nationalities too, no doubt) have no idea what is the difference between transsexual, transgender, transvestite – and trans fats, for that matter!

I’m not about to bore you all with a lengthy dissertation on the differences. Suffice it to say that “transgenderism” is “used as an inclusive umbrella term used to describe anyone who feels that the sex that was assigned to them at birth incompletely describes or fails to describe them.
See also the Wikipedia definition.
The key words in this debate are “Gender Identity” ie: “one’s personal experience of one’s own gender. This is generally described as one’s private sense of being a man or a woman, consisting primarily of the acceptance of membership into a category of people: male or female.”
In other words – it isn’t the genitalia you were born with that count, it’s what you feel inside. And if, like Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, you happen to have been born with male genitalia but claim to have felt all your life that you were born in the wrong body and are really a woman, then it is your right, as a human being, to live as a woman.

But what does that mean, “to live as a woman”? Perhaps we need to redefine what “being a woman” means? If, as many people now believe, gender roles are defined by society, rather than by biology, is there any real meaning to being a transgender man or woman, without taking the final step and undergoing surgery? If the only “real” difference between men and women is the biological difference, and “real” women are those who have female genitalia and female chromosomes, then Bruce Jenner can dress up in female clothes , wear make-up and chill out with the girls and identify with women and as a woman as much as he likes, he will never, ever, be a “real” woman. And why should s/he need to be, anyway? If we stop assigning gender roles, men will be free to enjoy all the things that are still considered “womanly”, without having to identify as a woman. And all those little girls who used to be politely labelled “tomboys”, because they enjoyed dressing in boys’ clothes and playing with “boyish toys” and hanging out with the guys, but maybe felt that they had been born into the “wrong” body, because they identified with all the things that society had taught them were “boys’ stuff” and weren’t interested in the things girls were “supposed” to be interested in, wouldn’t have suffered years of “Gender Identity Disorder”, before the Politically Correct wisdom of today allowed them to be tagged as “transgender”.

Many leading feminists, however, among them, Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem, are of the opinion that trans women are not real women and that “trans rights” and feminism are mutually exclusive. At the most basic level, their argument is that trans women choose to be women, whereas “real” women had no choice in the matter. On this level, even men who do choose to undergo surgery and become full-blown trans-sexuals, cannot be considered “real” women.
The Politically Correct establishment has chosen to ostracise, boycott, harass and threaten feminists who hold to this train of thought, calling it “hate speech”. And even those who dare to express support for Freedom of Speech on this matter are subjected to abuse and death threats.

Strangely enough, the Thought Police who are so ready to silence anyone who dares to utter any criticism of the Transgender Agenda, or question the “rights” of this “oppressed minority”, are in the forefront of those baying for the blood of Rachel Dolezal, who, although born white, identifies as black. They claim that she, a member of the oppressive white class, has committed “cultural appropriation” and fraud. (Incidentally, I have often heard opponents of Israel accuse us of this, when they claim Israel has “stolen Palestinian cuisine” by marketing falafel as the Israeli national dish, even though it originated in Egypt and is a fast food staple all over the Middle East!) In general, the Politically Correct theory is that it is  “cultural appropriation” when the dominant, oppressive class adopts elements of the culture of the oppressed class, but not when the subservient, oppressed class adopts the culture of the rulers.

So why does a man who all his life has “identified as a woman” and “felt he was born into the wrong body” have the right to “fully realise his true identity”, but a woman who has felt all her life that she was born into the wrong (white) body is committing some terrible kind of neo-colonialist race crime by identifying as black?

I know some people will reply that a white person, who has never suffered the discrimination and other indignities suffered by black people, can never understand what a black person goes through. As Guilaine Kinouani put it, “… allies interested in lecturing us on the experience from which their privileged existence has sheltered them need not apply. Allies with the ambition to lead our cause on our behalf need to take a seat and seriously reflect upon their personal motivation.”

By the PC definition,  what Rachel Dolezal did falls into the category of “cultural appropriation” because she was born into the privileged, oppressive ruling class, and not only has she adopted the culture of the oppressed class, but she has presumed to tell the genuinely oppressed class how to fight their battle and even to lead them.

But how is what Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner or any other trans woman has done any different? If we accept that Men are, for the most part, the ruling, oppressive class and Women are the oppressed, subservient class, then surely when a man  “identifies” as a woman, and adopts the gender roles culturally allocated by society to women, is this not just as much “cultural appropriation” as when a privileged white woman self-identifies as black? Why, then, is the one politically correct and the other politically incorrect?
Could it be – dare I say it – that, once again, it boils down to “the flavour of the day”, to whatever is “now trending”?

I will leave you with one final thought. Gender Identity Disorder or, as it is now known, Gender Dysphoria, is no longer classified as a mental illness. On the other hand, if  I were to say that I was born, by mistake, into a human body, that all my life, I have self-identified as a cat, that I like to curl up in a basket to sleep, that, instead of a shower, I like to lick myself clean, that for supper, I like nothing better than a bowl of milk and to pick the scraps off some leftover fish, that I love to prowl the neighbourhood by night, climbing over the rooftops etc., I am quite sure that the men in white coats would have me in a straitjacket before you could say “Jack Robinson” – and I could go whistle for my “human” rights to self-identify as I please.

So, there you have it. A man who identifies as a woman. A white who identifies as a black. A human who identifies as a cat. And yet, the first is hailed by the prevailing PC wisdom as entitled to do so as s/he is realising his/her human rights, the second is reviled as a fraud and a cultural thief and the third is considered to be a nutcase – sorry, I mean “mentally ill”. To use the term nutcase would be grossly Politically Incorrect.

Just saying…..

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About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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18 Responses to It’s All About ME: The Gender Agenda, Identity Politics and the Tyranny of Political Correctness

  1. Very interesting post.

    • Thank you. I hesitated a long time before writing it, because it’s such an explosive subject, and I was sure I’d draw fire from both sides, but I am really interested in what my readers have to say about it.

      • I’ve never thought of the Caitlyn vs. genetic woman issue. While he didn’t suffer from the discrimination that women do, he suffered in his own way. I did wonder what the fuss was about the white woman living as a black woman. I don’t think she was making money from it. As I remember she was raised with black children. As people I don’t think we are tolerant even those who are fighting tolerance issues.

      • With regard to Bruce/Caitlyn, I have to say, quite frankly, I find it well-nigh impossible to accept as a real woman, a man who has lived his entire life not merely conforming to but excelling in, male gender stereotypes, who married three women and fathered six children, who has never been attracted to men, only to women and who, even now, seems to have no plans for undergoing sex reassignment surgery, and who claims that for him/her, life as a woman is primarily a matter of mental state and lifestyle. I have to ask myself how much he really suffered. He seems to have enjoyed life as a man, with all its “privileges” to the fullest.
        Of course, it may be that I am just inclined to take a very cynical view of anyone connected to the Kardashian family 😉

      • You have a good point. Hard to be oppressed with all that success and money.

  2. Ian G says:

    What of those who feel that they need to be disabled? What is the differnce between asking to a healthy leg removed and mutilating any other part of your body? Here’s another thing; what if you rebuild the Temple? Just about every PC ism will be violated. Even as a Christian, if the Temple violates my isms then I need to ask some serious questions about my isms. I may not need the Temple, but it is part of the Word of God and is there to instruct as the Rabbi/Apostle to the Gentiles, Saul/Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17English Standard Version (ESV)
    “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
    Nutcases? Or Godless? It’s a crazy world.

    • I have actually heard of cases of people who self-identify as cripples (I’m sure that expression is non-PC, but I don’t know how else to put it) and want to have healthy limbs removed. I would class them in the same category as people who identify as cats or other animals.

  3. David Allon says:

    Very interesting post!

    You take on some aspects of a contradiction that we can find in many areas. I’ll pick two examples. Those fighting for freedom of speech as long it is their own freedom of speech and not their opponents, which they try to stop from expressing their opinions. Thos who fight for human rights as long as they are Palestinian human rights but are against human rights or just ignore human rights of other people.

    My point is that our world is full of this kind of situations. Is it hypocrisy? Or just people using whatever they can to push their point of view?

  4. Ian G says:

    This evening my vicar sent me this link: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/
    It’s a fascinating, and disturbing, study of how we have become hyper-sensitive to PC thinking. In essence, they argue that much of this thinking is irrational and almost clinically so. I think that you will find it very interesting especially as there have already been court cases.

    • It was, indeed, a fascinating article, and not the first that I have read recently on the scourge of “trigger warnings”. There were several articles on the subject in The New Republic.
      At this rate, the Bible will be banned on American campuses!

  5. ShimonZ says:

    It seems to me that even surgical intervention can not really change a man into a woman, in that just the outwardly appendages are changed. The so-called trans gender is no woman. In our time there has been an increase of sympathy towards certain types of deviations… and a hardening towards others. This is the fashion of the day, having nothing to do with true respect for the humanity of each human being, or the guarding of civil rights for all. Thank you for a very good article.

    • As I understand it, it is not only the outward appendages that are changed. They also receive hormone therapy. But, as far as I know, this does not change their genetic makeup.
      Of course, as I said in the article, the fundamental question here is, what does it mean to be a woman – or a man, for that matter?

  6. Katherine says:

    I can sympathise with people who were born with 2 sets of genitals as does happen.The doctors usually make a very rapid decision about which they think is stronger,as it were,,,, and probably do surgery later but sometimes these people feel they were wrongly assigned.It is very hard to be a hermaphrodite,I think,We seem to want either/or black/white.
    On a different theme my friend who is Israeli Jewish but who married an English non-Jew says her daughter is Jewish because she is…. Classification is needed for many things but sometimes reading about a man who’s been married 3 times etc,it just makes me laugh… it’s ridiculous to me but then what do I know?I was born a woman and apart from liking meccano more than dolls I am happy to be how I am so i am fortunate…in that way anyhow.People who lived in the past would be amazed if they heard all this type of stuff!!

    • Yes, it does happen sometimes that someone is born with both male and female genitalia. But in other cases, there seems to be no apparent reason, medical or otherwise, for transgenderism. Clearly, a lot more research on the subject is required – but the Politically Correct point of view seems to be that carrying out such scientific research is the same as implying there is something wrong with transgender people, and it is not PC to imply such a thing.

      It’s rather off-topic, but your Jewish friend is right. Under Jewish religious law, Jewishness is passed down through the mother.

      “apart from liking meccano more than dolls…”
      That’s exactly what I was getting at when I said that maybe we ought to re-think the stereotyped roles and behaviour society assigns to boys and girls. Why shouldn’t a girl prefer Meccano to dolls? That’s the kind of attitude that held that women can’t be engineers and that male fashion designers are somehow “effeminate”.

      • Katherine says:

        Much as I loved meccano and mending old vacuum cleaners I never wished to be a boy.
        I knew that my friend was correct but the implication is that a grandchild will be Jewish even if she is only 25 % Jewish genetically….Anyway she longs to have one regardless of all that,:)

      • Mending old vacuum cleaners? I could have done with your assistance last week 😉

  7. Katherine says:

    If I were nearer…I find it helps me if I feel down.I like mending anything really even moth holes in my clothes.:)

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