A regular column by an anonymous whistleblower operating deep within the heart of the Social Justice Movement. To protect their identity, they will go under the code-name ‘They/Them’. Wokeyleaks is a confidential news-leak organization for anyone who wishes to divulge classified information (and hilarious anecdotes) about woke culture without fear of getting canceled.
I know this middle-aged fetishist from New York whose preferred pronouns are ‘they/them’. He’s an heterosexual man whose ‘kink’ is to dominate young girls who act as his sexual and domestic slaves. Essentially his ‘fetish’ is that of a 1950s suburban patriarch and yet somehow he is considered progressive because he wears a bit of latex and identifies as ‘queer’ (a concept now so amorphous that it has become almost meaningless). It is, in a way, an inspired grift and you have to respect the size of his gender-neutral balls for pulling it off. But it is quite astounding that Wokies are so blinded by dogma that they cannot even spot good old fashioned male chauvinism when it’s decorated with a couple of fancy buzzwords.
So far so consensual. Much more worrying is the willful blindness of Wokies in relation to transgender inmates (many with rape convictions) housed in women’s prisons who, according to official figures in the UK, are five times more likely to perpetrate sexual assaults (these stats do not include prisoners born male who have already legally changed sex).
Meanwhile in our office spaces, which were only recently liberated from restrictive gender roles, employees are now encouraged to state both their role and their gender at the end of every email. We have had many Wokeyleaks on our encrypted email address from employees at major corporations and institutions such as Deloitte, Trimble and even government sources saying that they feel pressure from colleagues and HR departments to add their preferred pronouns to their email signatures. It’s touching that cisgender people want to demonstrate solidarity with their transgender colleagues, but in our efforts to be more open-minded about how we define gender we have, paradoxically, become obsessed with defining gender.
Moreover, non-gender specific pronouns can make it nerve-wracking and difficult to conjugate sentences, as I discovered while in conversation with the record label of the singer Sam Smith who identifies as ‘they/them’. I can’t go into specifics (or I might identify myself), but suffice it to say that the sentence ‘they’re obsessed with their music’ doesn’t immediately make it apparent whether you are inferring that a) Sam Smith’s backing musicians are massive fans of the pop star’s oeuvre or b) that Sam Smith smugly adores the sound of their own voice. Needless to say, I intended to convey the former, though no doubt the latter is also true.
Many social-justice warriors (SJWs) reading this criticism would no doubt label me some kind of transphobe, which, if true, would mean it were possible to unconsciously hate trans people while consciously feeling great compassion and respect for them and believing that they deserve every single right, freedom and opportunity at the pursuit of happiness. This seems incongruous, but the surreal irony of the Trans/TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) War is that no one apart from a few consecrated clerics fully understands what the argument is about and yet everybody is obliged to pick sides nonetheless. I know many people that now refer to J.K. Rowling as a ‘transphobe’ but would be completely unable to explain what she said that was transphobic. If you were to list the three most baffling disputes in history in order of pointlessness, it would have to go: 1. Trans/TERF, 2. Catholic/Protestant, 3. Sunni/Shia.
While most people couldn’t care less if you prefer to spell it ‘womxn’ or ‘woman’, whether you believe church wine is the actual blood of Christ or more of a metaphor, or if you think Abu Bakr or Ali was Mohammed’s favorite intern, a small number of fanatics are always ready to seek out heretics, rip each other to pieces and theatrically perform their own martyrdom for the crowd. Guys! If it’s this hard to work out what the disagreement is, then maybe you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. I apologize — him/her/them sheet.
Say what you want about the Spanish Inquisition, but the Inquisitor General didn’t consider it heretical to question the existence of God, as long as you weren’t too pertinacious about it when you got the answer. Not so in 2021, as we saw the other day when the gay Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and civil rights lawyer Glenn Greenwald was labeled a transphobe in a torrent of abuse that saw his name trending on Twitter for best part of a day. His crime — having the audacity to ask a question about transgenderism. Greenwald tweeted a survey showing a recent explosion in the number of people identifying as trans. So big was the increase that there are now more millennials and Gen Zs that identify as trans than do as lesbian. Greenwald referenced an article by the lesbian podcast host Katie Herzog in which she asked whether the recent disappearance of lesbian culture might be partly due to society increasingly encouraging more masculine girls to transition.
This seems a legitimate question. Popular culture has done an excellent job of celebrating hyper-feminine gay men and trans women with incredibly successful shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, but I struggle to think of many butch lesbians or manly trans men that are celebrated in the same way. The iconic name that does immediately spring to mind is Martina Navratilova who overcame years of sports fans sniggering at her masculine appearance to become one of the most successful tennis players ever…only to be canceled by trans activists when she had the audacity to, you guessed it, ask a question. Martina’s heresy was to query the fairness of a preoperative trans cyclist Veronica Ivy being allowed to so comprehensively dominate her female competitors in the sport. The response from trans activists, including Ivy herself, was to ruthlessly attack Martina online as a bigot, even after she removed her tweet, apologized and swore an oath of silence.
This woke requirement of unconditional faith makes actual religious types like Sen. Rand Paul look positively progressive by comparison. When Paul recently asked Rachel Levine, Biden’s pick for assistant health secretary, whether she supported permitting the government to override a parent’s consent to give a child puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and amputation surgery of breasts and genitalia, Dr Levine refused to answer twice. The subsequent reaction in the liberal press was to condemn Paul’s ‘transphobic attack’ and completely ignore Dr Levine’s worrying refusal to answer what is presumably quite an important question (and at a Senate hearing no less). I believe in and have voted and campaigned for the rights of trans people, but it deeply concerns me that we’re so afraid of causing offense with a question that we cannot even discuss the potential risks of irreversible gender surgery posed to children.
As a lefty I agree with Rand Paul on almost nothing. I’m guessing he’s not an enthusiastic supporter of trans folks’ right to choose their sex — which is perhaps why he couched his questioning in incendiary rhetoric involving genital mutilation — but it’s a bit rich for trans activists to complain about the tone when they’ve pretty much alienated any supportive but circumspect ally who might have asked the question nicely.