Monday 27 September 2021

How does Keir Starmer know Rosie is a woman?


Keir Starmer disapproves of Rosie Duffield saying that only women have cervices, but declines to describe saying it as transphobic. He equally disapproves of Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner calling Tories pieces of scum, but no doubt would decline to call her Tory phobic. It is not clear how he would respond if someone said Tory women don’t have cervices or even that Tory men do have cervices, but no doubt he would disapprove, but decline to call it phobic.

We are in an immense muddle over language. While almost any insulting language about nearly every group is condemned even when evidence suggests that it is true, there are still certain groups that can be insulted even when the insult is self-evidently false. There are a variety of definitions of scum, some more unpleasant than others, but Tories are not obviously either living on the surface of ponds, nor in the contents of condoms. If they were would it be only the Tory men, or to be inclusive must we allow the Tory women too to be capable of producing scum.

If it is unacceptable to call black people, Hindus or Welsh people scum, why should it be a sign that Angela Rayner is ready to take on the leadership if she judges a whole group (Tories) as lower than pond life. Tory voters make up quite a significant proportion of the population. If it is wrong to condemn Hindus for their religious beliefs, why is it right to condemn Conservatives? It is to hate people because of their thoughts when those thoughts are so widely shared that Conservative Governments are repeatedly elected. Disagree by all means, but to hate people because of what they think is very similar to hating them because of what they are, which is the problem Labour had with anti-Semitism.

It is equally wrong to hate people because they are transgender or to hate the belief that women do not need to have a cervix. But tolerance does not require that we agree with them. Religious tolerance requires that we allow people to follow whichever faith they choose so long as it harms no one else, but it does not follow that we must accept that what they believe is true. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead. But people who follow other faiths don’t have to agree that he did, they just have to allow Christians to believe this.

Rosie Duffield believes that only women have a cervix. She can point to various long-standing definitions of what it is to be a woman to justify this. She can also point to various medical and scientific studies. She is reflecting what was until relatively recently the common-sense view that everyone accepted. Why would Keir Starmer disapprove of her saying it?

The reason is that Starmer wants to include those transwomen who are physically male as being fully women even though they do not have cervices. While it may or may not be bigoted for Labour politicians to call Tories scum, it might be prejudiced to say people who don’t have cervices are not women.

Why do we have words that describe different things? Why not for instance call both blue and red things “Bled”. That would be more inclusive after all. The reason is that we need words to distinguish different realities. Go in the blue door not the red, becomes meaningless if we use the same word for red and blue.

So too some of the oldest words in all languages are those that make the basic distinctions between man and woman, boy and girl, mother and father. If you study languages, you find that the origins of these words can be traced back thousands of years. They are often similar in families of languages.  The word “transsexual” on the other hand first appeared in English in 1950, while “transgender” was invented in 1965. Through all the thousands of years of human history these words had been unnecessary up until then because they did not reflect any distinction in reality.

But let us accept that there is a distinction between sex and gender, which enables a transwoman to not have a cervix. Should we simply have the word “woman” apply to people with cervices and those without. But it will still be useful to distinguish between them, for example at cervical cancer screenings. Well in that case we could agree that transwomen are women, but point out that transwomen are male.

If we create a distinction between sex and gender, which for thousands of years was considered unnecessary, it follows that we may allow people to change gender without making any physical changes whatsoever and without any medical diagnosis. But it does not follow that we have to accept that they have changed sex. What this means is that we could define transwomen as male women, while women with cervices could be defined as female women.

This solves the problem of having women only spaces. These could be defined as female only spaces. Women’s toilets could be called female toilets. If there were a school camping trip only females would be allowed in this tent, only males in that tent no matter with which gender anyone identifies. The rape crisis centre could only be run by females and male women would have to go to a male prison.

Wherever the word “woman” now applies we could use the word “female”. Women and men might take a while to get used to this, but we would manage. This would mean that Rosie Duffield could now say only female women have cervices and this would be both true and inoffensive.

The problem of course is that it is the equivalent of saying Red Bled and Blue Bled to distinguish between red and blue things. Eventually in such cases we drop the Bled part of these words as serving no purpose. We are then left with “female” and “male” performing the previous function of “woman” and “man”. Male women at this point become “men” again.

The whole debate is playing with words and the reason for this is that we are tragically promising to unhappy people something that is not possible. We say that transwomen are women and this appears to promise not merely that it is possible to change gender, but that it is possible to change sex too. If you define gender in such a way that it is separate from biology then of course it is possible to change it, but only because of your definition. It doesn’t change the reality one little bit. You are what you always were. But because you cannot change biology, the change of gender remains something superficial and ultimately unsatisfying. It is merely a dress that you put on that fools no one least of all yourself.

When you awake from being woke you see that playing with words changed nothing about reality.

Keir Starmer is merely worshiping at the shrine of Humpty Dumpty.

"When I use a word," Sir Keir said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

More sinisterly when Alice goes down a different rabbit hole, she ends up in Room 101 where 2 +2 = 5 and at that point re-education camps can finally and gradually bring about socialism because we will lack the words to object. They tried it in the Soviet Union but there were not enough Gulags. The trick is to create the whole world as a Gulag, just so long as no one knows that he is in one. This happens when we all agree that a man can have a cervix.