World Athletics has decided to protect women’s sport by restricting it to females. From 31 March, transwomen will not be allowed to compete in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty. Following yesterday’s* meeting of the World Athletics Council, Seb Coe – the governing body’s president – explained that the decision was ‘guided by the overarching principle which is to protect the female category’.
That decision should be welcomed by everyone, but why did it take them so long? Swimming’s world governing body came to the same conclusion last summer; world rugby got there in 2020. Athletics, meanwhile, dithered and fiddled with rules based on the level of testosterone in an athlete’s blood. Should the cut-off be set at ten nanomoles per litre, or should it be just five? Recently, two and a half was mooted. These appeared to be little more than arbitrary lines, set at a level somewhere between the typical male and the typical female.
The creation of the trans child
Cheap mysticism posing as care
Gender identity ideology has had a profound impact on western society. The concept of an innate and immutable gendered essence — like a gendered soul, perhaps? — has displaced the reality of biological sex in law and policy, even compromising the meaning of words as basic as man and woman.
The ugly nature of the transgender debate – and the viciousness of those who seek to silence others who disagree with them – has arrived in the playground. At a private girls’ school, a sixth form student was surrounded by a mob of dozens of fellow pupils who spat and screamed at her. Her ‘crime’? Questioning a visiting politician’s views about trans rights during a debate and making the point that ‘sex exists’. That girl has now left school and is studying at home. Schools should be places where children can develop their own ideas and debate them. So what has gone so badly wrong?
‘I think I might be transgender!’ How should schools react to such revelations? By the time they find out, the child may already be convinced that their identity lies on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Probably with its own multi-coloured flag.
This week*, Nadeem Zahawi told teachers that they have ‘an important role in preparing children and young people for life in modern Britain, and teaching them about the society and world they grow up in.’
Actually, after 26 years in the classroom, I had worked that out for myself. Children spend significant periods of their lives with their teachers, and we have a huge responsibility that goes far beyond drilling our pupils for exams.
Transgender people need to be treated with dignity and respect at work. But our rights should not be allowed to ride roughshod over the rights of others. Yet it’s an unfortunate reality that, in the quest for inclusion, some workplace policies do just that – even in the heart of Whitehall.
Stonewall’s annus horribilis
Is there any way back for the LGBT charity?
The year 2021 has been an annus horribilis for Stonewall. For much of the last decade, the charity could do no wrong in the eyes of those who mattered. Stonewall’s influence cut straight into the heart of government. As Nikki da Costa, Boris Johnson’s former director of legislative affairs, pointed out:
‘There is no other organisation — no business, or charity, no matter how big — that can pick up the phone to a special adviser sitting outside Boris Johnson’s office and get that person to speak directly to the Prime Minister. But that is the kind of access that Stonewall has’Nikki da Costa
My view on a new Government bill which I fear will have damaging, unintended consequences
Transgender high days and holy days are coming thick and fast. Today* marks ‘International Pronouns Day 2021’. The organisers tell us that the third Wednesday of October is the day to, ‘make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.’