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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "gender identity"

Emma Webb: Scotland’s new Hate Crime Bill imposes a new system of blasphemy. It urgently needs rejecting.

Emma Webb is a Radical Associate, and the Director of the Forum on Integration, Democracy and Extremism (FIDE) at Civitas.

Last weekend, author JK Rowling stuck her head above the parapet again by criticising the phrase “people who menstruate”.

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people”, she Tweeted, “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”. Responding to her critics she explained that she was opposed to the erasure of the concept of sex. An entirely reasonable position to take, but one that has become heretical wrong-think in some quarters.

Our policing of language, whether by law or by mob, is leading us down a dangerous road that must be resisted.

In May, the United Nations Tweeted advice on how we should speak. We should say “humankind” instead of “mankind”, “owner” instead of “landlord”, “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend”, “family name” instead of “maiden name”, “spouse” instead of “husband” and “wife”. Doing so, they said, would “create a more equal world by using gender neutral language if you are unsure about someone’s gender or are referring to a group”.

This is not the first time in recent months that an international organisation has issued such advice. In March the World Health Organisation told the public to use some words and avoid others when talking about the Coronavirus. We should avoid calling it “Wuhan virus”, “Chinese virus” or “Asian virus”, and should speak of “contracting” not of “transmitting” or “spreading” Covid-19 because, according to WHO’s General Director “stigma, to be honest, is more dangerous than the virus itself”.

It is increasingly accepted that policing expression is a path to a better society – and this should worry us immensely. On our own shores, the same can be found in the recent Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, particularly its creation of “offences relating to stirring up hatred”. The minister behind the Bill, Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Justice Secretary, explained the motivation for this legislation: “we all have a responsibility to challenge prejudice in order to ensure Scotland is the inclusive and respectful society we want it to be”.

In the minister’s opinion, this can be engineered through legislation. Commenting on the Bill, he said, “Stirring up of hatred can contribute to a social atmosphere in which discrimination is accepted as normal. By creating robust laws for the justice system, parliament will send a strong message to victims, perpetrators, communities and to wider society that offences motivated by prejudice will be treated seriously and will not be tolerated”.

I have written elsewhere about the implications of this for freedom of expression about religion – but the Bill would also cause real problems in the ongoing debate around transgenderism and the Gender Recognition Act.

The protected groups named by the Bill are expanded to include: age, disability, religion (social, cultural group, perceived religious affiliation), sexual orientation, transgender identity, and variations in sex characteristics.

“Stirring up hatred” against these groups, according to the Bill, is defined as behaving in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, or sending, showing or making available such material to another person. It makes a crime of displaying, publishing or distributing “material that stirs up hatred”. It is irrelevant if an individual intends to “stir up hatred” – it is enough that “it is likely that hatred will be stirred up”.

The Bill makes the possession of “inflammatory material” illegal giving a judge the power to grant a warrant for the police to search your home, seize and destroy relevant material. Most authoritarian of all, the Bill specifically states that public performances – plays – will also be subject to this, seeing directors and actors brought before a court. These offences may result in up to seven years in prison.

As pointed out by writer Stephen Daisley “this Bill comes in the middle of a debate about the law on gender identity. That debate is characterised by robust, often belligerent rhetoric, especially on social media.” Feminists are often derided as “TERFS” – trans-exclusionary radical feminists – and critics are called transphobic for arguing that sex is a biological fact.

A Bill such as this would have a very real negative impact on debate over this issue. All we need to do is look at how some have already been persecuted for taking certain positions.

Take think-tanker Maya Forstater who was fired after tweeting that transgender women could not change their biological sex. She brought a test case against her former employer, the Centre for Global Development (CGD) to ensure that gender critical views – that there are only two biological sexes – is protected under the equality act. The judge ruled that her views were “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”, and she lost the case.

Or the ‘cancelling’ and no-platforming of those with gender critical views on university campuses, like feminist firebrand Germain Greer for her view that trans women are “not women”.

The complexities of how this Bill could be used to silence dissent are obvious – it would result in an identity politics crossfire that would make discussions of public interest impossible. Take the case of David Mackereth, the Christian doctor who was sacked for refusing to use gender pronouns because he believed compelling him to do so was “a ritual denial of an obvious truth” and against his conscience and religious beliefs. He argued that the Department for Work and Pensions discriminated against his religious belief by suspending him, while they described his stance as “unwanted conduct”.

Even the LGB Alliance, a breakaway group from LGBT+ activist group Stonewall, describes itself as “asserting the right of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men to define themselves as same-sex attracted” has been criticised for transphobia. As Debbie Hayton writes in The Spectator “when homosexual people declare themselves to be attracted to the same sex, as opposed to the same gender, they risk being attacked and shamed as transphobic bigots”.

Currently the verdict is out on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Current practice which, for safeguarding reasons, requires an individual to have a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria, live in the acquired gender for two years, and provide supporting evidence to a panel of clinicians; the GRA seeks to require no medical diagnosis or evidence and would make it easier to transition, including for 16-17 year olds.

Rightly, there are objections. Liz Truss, the Minister for Women and Equalities, recently announced the intention to protect single-sex spaces and to protect younger people. Reports suggest this may include banning ‘gender confirmation surgery’ for under 18s.

Some activists were unhappy about this; notably influential Stonewall. One article in Pink News described her announcement as an “attack on transgender youth”. It is easy enough to see that the Bill’s “abusive or insulting” would be used on this battleground, and how detrimental it would be to open debate.

As Orwell asked, “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it”.

The implicit – and dangerous – idea is that you can change hearts and minds with law, and build a particular vision of society, by limiting expression. But as one commentator noted “criminal law isn’t ethics. What is legal doesn’t – and shouldn’t – exhaust an analysis of what’s right and wrong to do and say and encourage others to think”.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill abolishes the offence of blasphemy, at the same time introducing a more far-ranging equivalent that seeks to protect new “sacred” beliefs. If it is successful, its impact will not stop at the Scottish border.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Radical: A guide to trans-speak

Victoria Hewson is a solicitor and Rebecca Lowe is the former director of FREER, and a former assistant editor of ConservativeHome. Together they found Radical, a campaign for truth and freedom in the gender recognition debate.

Last week saw the alarming news of homework set for 13-year-olds at the Archbishop Sentamu Academy in Hull, in which they were asked to define terms like ‘hardcore pornography’.

We at Radical were inspired, and set ourselves some homework over the Bank Holiday.

Technical-sounding language – in need of defining and explaining to nervous teachers, public officials, and HR departments – has been a key tool in the toolkit of transgender activists.

So, we’ve set out below our definitions of commonly-used terms in the gender debate.

Some are quite specific or bespoke neologisms; others are standard words whose meanings have become contested.

Woman

Woman is a noun with a vast heritage; it’s hard to conceive of any verbal human civilisation that wouldn’t have had such a term.

Woman relates both to biological realities, and to non-biological norms and assumptions related to those realities.

Most of us have a pretty clear idea of what it is that makes someone a woman.

It’s easier, however, to think of sufficient conditions for this – e.g. all human beings who have ever had a period are women; all human beings who give birth are women – than its full set of necessary conditions.

Not all women have had, or will have, periods; not all women are petite; not all women like pink.

Debate rages as to whether all sufficient and necessary conditions of being a woman are biological in nature.

At Radical, we strongly believe they are: that sex is determined biologically, and that gender is a theoretical construct.

Man

Alongside woman, man is a member of the two-member set best described as ‘sexes of human beings’.

Terms like ‘man’ and ‘woman’ aren’t value judgements, and don’t determine individual behaviour.

Rather, they relate to certain biological truths of sex dimorphism – i.e. the binary division, grounded in reproductive anatomy, observed in human beings.

As biologist Emma Hilton has emphasised, ‘humans, like almost every other thing that isn’t a mushroom or bug, are sexually dimorphic’.

That some living things aren’t sexually dimorphic doesn’t mean that human beings aren’t.

And that some particular human beings don’t fit perfectly into either of the two sex categories doesn’t mean that human beings aren’t sexually dimorphic.

There is no other human sex category aside from male and female.

Trans

A trans- (or transgender-) person is a human being, and is, therefore, either a man or a woman.

To some, that may sound offensive, but it is both true and important.

One reason it’s important is that human beings all share certain rights.

There are disagreements about the grounding of these human rights – whether they don’t exist unless they’re set out in law, for instance, or whether they’re simply a natural fact about the world, that’d remain true even if nobody ever knew about it.

However, what’s crucial is that they’re rights that all human beings hold, equally.

Now, transwomen are often contrasted with ‘natal’ women (ditto transmen and natal men), in that transwomen are human beings who don’t naturally meet sufficient biological conditions of womanness, but who believe themselves to be women.

Sometimes they ‘transition’ (see below), but transgender activists consider anyone whose gender (see above) does not ‘sit comfortably’ with the sex they were born as, to be trans.

Moreover, as some people don’t accept there are biological conditions of being a woman or man, it can be hard to agree upon a definition of ‘trans’.

This not least because, if being trans is simply to believe you are trans, then surely, a natal woman could be a transwoman.

Gender critical

To be gender critical (or GC) is, broadly, to be concerned by the increasingly popular idea that adherence to social norms commonly associated with one of the sexes determines whether one is, in fact and law, a member of that sex – or that these matters depend entirely on internal feelings of one’s personal ‘gender identity’.

Some GCs are philosophically conservative, some deeply value scientific truth, but the position is most commonly associated with feminists who object to the idea that being a woman is determined by stereotypes.

Transitioning

To transition means to change from presenting oneself as a member of one’s birth sex to presenting in accordance with the physical characteristics and gender norms commonly associated with the sex with which one identifies.

People who are not GC would describe this as transitioning from the gender one is ‘assigned at birth’, in order to reflect one’s ‘true gender identity’.

Transitioning can include undergoing medical treatment to change one’s physical appearance to resemble the opposite sex, but more frequently involves changing one’s name, pronouns, and ways of dressing – known as ‘socially transitioning’.

In law, under the Equality Act, ‘gender reassignment’ is defined as occurring when a person is ‘proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex’.

This gives the person concerned legal protection from discrimination, ‘on the grounds of gender reassignment’; no formal or legal process is required to gain this protection.

Gender reassignment is not to be confused with legally changing one’s sex by obtaining a gender recognition certificate under the Gender Recognition Act – for which a formal process and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is required.

De-transitioning

De-transitioning is the process of reversing a transition, thereby returning to accepting and identifying as the sex that one was born as.

In cases involving no medical treatment, detransitioning is straightforward although no doubt emotionally painful, but where the de-transitioner has had medical treatment, such as surgery or puberty blockers, complete reversal is often impossible, causing great distress.

A woman who had thought she was a transgender man, and medically transitioned at a young age, is currently taking legal action against the NHS clinic that carried out her treatment.

TERF

TERF is an acronym, that, like radar, has become a word in its own right.

Originally, it stood for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’ – meaning someone with radical feminist politics, who doesn’t accept that transwomen are women, and therefore believes they don’t fall within feminism’s sphere of concern.

Now, TERF is mainly just a term of abuse, used against GCs, to imply they are bigoted, transphobic, and even (the horror) allied with conservatives.

Transphobia

Transphobia is an ill-defined term, which is often used to criticise anyone with GC views.

For example, LGBT activist organisation Stonewall defines transphobia as ‘[t]he fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including denying their gender identity or refusing to accept it’. 

On that understanding, anyone with reservations about the concept of gender identity, and all its implications, can be described as transphobic.

Because being transphobic is considered a serious transgression, associated with discriminating against and distressing trans people, allegations of transphobia can cause people to refrain from expressing views on matters of sex and gender.

Hopefully this definitional exercise has been more educational than the homework set by Archbishop Sentamu Academy, which incited children to research pornography.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rebecca Lowe: Truss’s speech was an astonishing victory for common sense and children’s rights

Rebecca Lowe is the former director of FREER, and a former assistant editor of ConservativeHome. She is co-founder of Radical.

You probably read about the speech Liz Truss gave last week, setting out her priorities as Minister for Women and Equalities.

Maybe not. If it weren’t for Covid-19, you definitely would have done: it was astonishing.

One justification for continuing to write and think about things aside from Covid is that other people certainly are.

In her speech, Truss made clear that she and her team are persisting with matters related to their brief, even though much has, understandably, been delayed.

This is reassuring not least because – as emphasised in previous Radical columns – there’s an alternative power-base that’s very much continuing its influential work.

This power-base is a lobby that writes sex/gender policy for public bodies; that receives funding for partisan projects at top-end universities; that threatens anyone speaking out against it, with accusations of hate crime and worse.

It’s a lobby that assumed – until Truss’s speech – that not only was it going to continue setting the agenda, and receiving state support to do so, but that the law would be changed to reflect its demands. Its proponents did not reckon on Liz Truss.

The first surprise of Truss’s speech – that the Government would seemingly not be advancing legislative change to allow trans women access to biological women’s spaces – wasn’t truly a surprise.

The consultation on ‘proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act’ closed in 2018, yet there’s been no suggestion that those changes, which would introduce ‘self-ID’, were happening.

Indeed, it was recently reported that they’d been “indefinitely delayed”.

Truss’s reference to the “protection of single-sex spaces” as “extremely important”, implies that “indefinitely” has, on her watch, become ‘permanently’.

Truss’s following promise – to ensure “transgender adults are free to live their lives as they wish without fear of persecution, while maintaining the proper checks and balances in the system” – reflects the position held by socially-liberal opponents of self-ID, like us at Radical.

This position combines commitment to equal respect for all human beings, with recognition of important truths about sex-based difference.

These truths ground opposition to self-ID for two main reasons.

The first stems from a concern for privacy, particularly regarding personal bodily matters – and recognition that members of the two sexes have different needs, here.

The second stems from a concern for security, and particularly relates to the fact that biological women are, on average, physically smaller and weaker than men.

Neither of these reasons gives justification for hatred of anyone. Moreover, they reflect UK (and other) law, grounding the single-sex provision outlined in the Equality Act.

You might be surprised to learn this point of law about single-sex provision – as the aforementioned lobby has been working flat-out, behind the scenes, to persuade you it’s not the case.

Of course, believing, for instance, that trans women have no right to access to women’s single-sex spaces doesn’t mean trans women’s particular needs should be ignored; but, rather, that their needs don’t obliterate the needs of biological women.

We shall discuss how public policy should respond to this in further columns.

Let’s turn to the second surprise of the Truss speech – and this was a serious surprise.

First, some context. The issue that distresses me most is the harm being done to children, in the name of kindness and respect.

At Radical, we believe that if an adult wishes to seek medical intervention to make their body resemble that of a member of the opposite sex, they should be free to. But that in the case of children, these interventions are always wrong.

The number of children referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) – the UK service treating under-18s who “experience difficulties in the development of their gender identity” – has famously rocketed.

GIDS medical interventions fall into two categories: a) the prescription of hormone blockers, currently from age 11; b) the prescription of cross-sex hormones, currently from age 16.

Much has been written about the life-changing physical and mental damage these interventions can cause children, and an ongoing judicial review has been brought against GIDS by a nurse, a parent, and a former patient.

Here, the organisation Transgender Trend discusses hormone blockers: they note GIDS has treated “over 1000” children with these “experimental” drugs, and summarise academic literature on side-effects, ranging from bone-thinning, to altered “reproductive and sexual development” and “development of both brain structure and function”.

For now, it’s sufficient to accept there’s too little evidence to know the long-term effects these apparently ‘reversible’ treatments can have on children.

Even if we did know, however, that would not justify their prescription. Truss stated:

“I believe strongly that adults should have the freedom to lead their lives as they see fit, but I think it’s very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making those irreversible decisions.”

This is a brave statement, for which Truss deserves support from all who care about the safety and wellbeing of children – and, for which she will witness the wrath of that alternative power-base.

But there is a further inherent step to take.

The problem is not just that these decisions are irreversible, or even harmful – it is that a child is incapable of making such a serious decision, in a sufficiently reliable manner.

Not only is their decision-making capacity under-developed, they are particularly susceptible to influence.

Yet, the carrying out of these treatments is dependent on the child’s belief that what they need is for their puberty to be prevented; that belief is a necessary condition for treatment.

It’s also wrong, therefore, to think that a parent could take on their child’s responsibility, here, by consenting to this treatment for them (although that’s what’s currently being taken to happen, often after the parent is subject to emotional blackmail from the power-base).

In other words, any parental consent given, in this kind of case, would be in order to meet a need for treatment that’s predicated on the belief of someone – a child – whose beliefs are inadequate for the purpose.

This analysis may seem patronising, and even invoke a need for reassessment of the age of majority, but it seems clear that the only solution is for the option of such treatment to be taken off the table.

One more thing. I saw someone Tweet in response to Truss’s speech: “But what are you suggesting we do? Send doctors to jail?”. This Tweet, however intended, is no jokey riposte.

When I spoke recently with a former GIDS employee, they told me their personal justification for having provided these services to children was that provision’s legal, and there’s demand for it.

To my mind – and seemingly Truss’s – it’s clear that this provision should be made illegal. But, until then, there are serious moral questions for all adults involved.

Children simply cannot be taken as driving this ‘demand’, and neither can their parents.

To provide these services not only causes harm, it is to be complicit in the instrumentalisation of children on the altar of an immoral political project.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Victoria Hewson: A new High Court review could signal the end of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit

Victoria Hewson is a solicitor and co-founder of Radical, a campaign for truth and freedom in the gender recognition debate. She and Rebecca Lowe, her co-founder, alternate authorship of this column on trans, sex and gender issues.

It was announced on Saturday that an application by a 13-year-old schoolgirl (known as Miss A) for judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit has been accepted by the High Court.

This means that the case will proceed to trial, and that the girl’s claim, which has been supported by crowd funding and the Safe Schools Alliance, will be heard in full.

If she succeeds, it may lead to the council having to withdraw the toolkit, along with other local authorities that also use it. 

The toolkit is an alarming document. Its recommendations – for professionals working in schools, colleges, and educational settings – include:

  • A suggested script for schools to use to communicate to parents/carers, stating: “As a school/college/setting we recognise the right of all individuals to determine their own gender identity. We will fully support every individual in our school/setting to develop their own gender identity and expression including where this may involve transition”.
  • On toilets – “Children and young people are supported through the Equality Act 2010 to access the toilet that corresponds to their gender identity; so trans girls because they are girls, can use the girls’ toilets and trans boys the boys’ toilets.”
  • On changing rooms – “In all cases, trans children and young people should have access to the changing room that corresponds to their gender identity.”
  • On PE and fitness – “Schools should aim to reduce as far as possible segregating children and young people by gender.* Trans children and young people should be supported to equally access PE and where lessons are segregated by gender should be enabled to participate in the lesson which corresponds to their gender identity if this is what they request.”
  • On residential trips – “As far as possible, trans children and young people should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity. Some trans children and young people may not feel comfortable doing this and in such cases alternative sleeping and living arrangements should be made.”

All of this is based on some quite egregious misstatements of the Equality Act 2010, which the toolkit purports to be assisting schools to comply with.

The toolkit refers throughout to ‘gender identity’ and the concept of a ‘trans child’, and claims that the Equality Act underpins the recommendations made.

But the Equality Act 2010 contains no such protected characteristic of ‘gender identity’. It does include protected characteristics of ‘sex’ and ‘gender re-assignment’, but neither of these are the same as ‘gender identity’.

Furthermore, as set out in Miss A’s grounds for review, submitted to the court, the council did not take into account the privacy, dignity and safety of other children, or even the existing regulations that require schools to provide separate facilities for boys and girls over the age of eight. On these bases, her case is that the toolkit is unlawful.

It is welcome news that the judicial review is to proceed, and will at least shed light on the council’s processes and justifications for adopting this document and recommending that schools under its control follow its guidance.

The toolkit quotes activist organisations like Stonewall liberally, and while a number of local authorities, including Oxfordshire, are said to have contributed to its content, it has been suggested that it was produced by an employee of Stonewall.

Oxfordshire County Council (which is Conservative-dominated but under no overall control) proudly proclaims on its website that it was the joint winner of last year’s Stonewall Education Equality Index.

Before this case was initiated, the concerned parents who set up the Safe Schools Network had attempted to engage councillors in a discussion about the toolkit and the review process that had led to its adoption, but one member tells me they were met with obfuscation and dismissal. 

Perhaps the council should pay more attention to the interests of parents and children in the county, and less time engaging with Stonewall.

It is also notable that the council has been strongly criticised in the past for failings in safeguarding of children in an investigation into child sexual exploitation in the county.

Whether or not the judicial review is successful and the toolkit is withdrawn, voters and parents in Oxfordshire and the other local authorities that have adopted it should be asking serious questions of their councillors who have responsibility for education and safeguarding.

The use of Department for Education guidance, and documents like the Government Equalities Office’s LGBT Action Plan in support of the toolkit, also raise questions for those bodies. 

Up-to-date guidance from government on transgender issues in schools, in light of the real provisions of the Equality Act, is overdue. This judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council makes the case for the issuing of that guidance all the more urgent. 

_____

*In fact, of course, they are not segregated by gender (a contestable matter of social construct): they are segregated by sex (a matter of biological truth).

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Texas jury: Father can’t stop chemical castration, gender change of seven-year-old son

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Most seven-year-olds have difficulty deciding on Christmas lists, let alone anything as permanent as gender choice. However, a jury in Texas has ruled against a father’s petition for sole custody of his twin seven-year-old boys as a means to protect one from undergoing hormonal gender-change therapy at the hands of his mother. A judge has yet to formally enter custody orders, but Jeffrey Younger will likely now be forced to refer to his son James as “Luna,” the identity his mother Ann Georgulas has used for him since enrolling him in kindergarten, and stand by as his son takes potentially dangerous medication despite not being physically ill at all:

Jeffrey Younger had petitioned a court in Texas to grant him sole custody of his twin sons, James and Jude, in part to avoid a plan to infuse James with female hormones. James, who would like to be called Luna, has been the center of controversy in the heated debate among his parents and others.

Anne Georgulas, the mother of the two boys, has advocated for James to transition into Luna and has strongly backed the idea of chemically castrating her son and beginning hormone replacement therapy. The ruling on Wednesday will prevent Jeffrey from having sole custody of his children and paves the way for Georgulas to proceed with the procedure.

The court has ruled that Georgulas will maintain sole custody of her two children and go forward with plans to give James life-altering medical procedures. Her original court filing had sought to limit her ex-husband’s visits with their children and require that he now refer to James as Luna. She further asked that Jeffrey not be exposed to any people who would not confirm his female identity.

Good luck with that. Unless Georgulas plans to home-school James/Luna, tThis child will be surrounded by other kids who will repeatedly refuse to confirm his female identity. That’s because James/Luna is a prepubescent biological male by medical definition and biological fact, at an age where sexual identity shouldn’t actually matter at all — until one draws undue attention to it, as is exactly what Georgulas has been doing.

LifeSite’s Madeleine Jacobs offered a video report yesterday after the verdict from the pro-life perspective:

Expert witnesses testified to a child’s inability to full comprehend the potential side effects of such therapy, such as permanent infertility, inability to ever naturally engage in sexual relations, and a decreased lifespan.

On Friday, protesters called on Texas lawmakers to pass legislation making it illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to begin a medical transition. They argued that children cannot fully understand the lifelong consequences of their decisions and parents should not be allowed to make this decision for their children.

Currently, there aren’t any U.S. laws that restrict the use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones or outline a minimum age of administration.

Four weeks ago, Jazz wrote about the destructive and dangerous side effects of these “puberty blocker” drugs. He notes that the most common of these, Lupron, has not been approved by the FDA for use as a long-term puberty blocker, but is approved for shorter-term use in delaying early-onset puberty. That makes sense, as precocious puberty has long-term health consequences of its own that are well documented. The risk of short-term use in these cases is calculated against a serious medical risk from non-treatment, and is used with the presumed consent of both parents.

The FDA hasn’t actually approved any such therapy for prepubescent children whose parents want to delay or prevent puberty for the desire of gender change. Nor is there any reason to assume the risk of Lupron or other drugs when gender dysphoria does not create a risk of physical damage, especially in seven-year-olds. If adults want to make a choice of gender transition, that’s one thing, but adults (and juries) imposing those kinds of long-term risks on children far below any rational age of consent for no good medical reason is simply insane. In what other contexts do courts allow the use of risky medication on children without any physical ailments, let alone mandate their use against the will of one of the custodial parents?

Where is the FDA on this anyway? Is this the same FDA that drags its heels on allowing experimental therapies for terminally ill adult patients with the full capacity for informed consent? This gap on puberty blockers suggests that political correctness plays more of a role than logic at the FDA.

Let’s hope that Younger gets the chance to appeal this decision to a court with more rational thinkers. James/Luna should get a chance to make it completely through his childhood before making these kinds of decisions — and more importantly, he should be making them for himself as an informed adult capable of actual consent.

The post Texas jury: Father can’t stop chemical castration, gender change of seven-year-old son appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group facepalm-fb-300x156 Texas jury: Father can’t stop chemical castration, gender change of seven-year-old son transgender The Blog sex change puberty gender identity Food and Drug Administration dysphoria custody  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’

 

Westlake Legal Group mattel-creatable-world-ad-SCREENSHOT-620x331 Mattel Releases a Gender Fluid Doll Playset for Kids – to ‘Encourage People to Think More Broadly’ Uncategorized transgender The Sexes Sex Mattel LGBT kids inclusivity gender identity gender fluid Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture creatable world children Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from Mattel Francais, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEzWhdu7eeg]

 

It’s finally here: On Wednesday, Mattel launched its revolutionary new line of dolls.

In a move the company believes to be surrendering to the demands of children, the toymaker behind Thomas & Friends and Power Wheels brings to a toy box near you Creatable World — a “gender inclusive” series allowing kids to mix and match the figures’ female and male hair, clothes, and accessories.

What are they really hoping for? According to Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design Kim Culmone, to open a dialogue:

“We see this line as an opportunity for us to open up that dialogue around what dolls are for and who dolls are for. And also, as the world begins to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we absolutely fundamentally believed it was time to launch a doll line free of labels and free of rules for kids.”

But it’s also supply and demand:

“Kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.”



The Daily Mail notes that author and pediatrician Cara Natterson was consulted on the project.

Here’s what she had to say:

“A collection like this just knocks down every barrier to play. Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely, which is why it resonates so strongly with them.”

If I may say so, the messages seem to conflict. Is the toy in response to what kids want, or is it to teach kids to think differently?

“We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play,” Cara stated.

As per by The Daily Wire, Mattel explained they utilized a “dedicated team of experts, parents, physicians, and most importantly, kids” in the development of the line, which boasts six different dolls of varying skin color.

Time magazine reports on the new line:

A child opens a box. He starts jumping and screaming with joy — not an unusual sound in the halls of Mattel’s headquarters where researchers test new toys. But this particular toy is a doll, and it’s rare for parents to bring boys into these research groups to play with dolls. It’s rarer still for a boy to immediately attach himself to one the way Shi’a just did.

An eight-year-old who considers himself gender fluid and whose favorite color is black one week, pink the next, Shi’a sometimes plays with his younger sister’s dolls at home, but they’re “girly, princess stuff,” he says dismissively. This doll, with its prepubescent body and childish features, looks more like him, right down to the wave of bleached blond bangs. “The hair is just like mine,” Shi’a says, swinging his head in tandem with the doll’s. Then he turns to the playmate in the toy-testing room, a seven-year-old girl named Jhase, and asks, “Should I put on the girl hair?” Shi’a fits a long, blond wig on the doll’s head, and suddenly it is no longer an avatar for him, but for his sister. …

Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 product features a series of kids who go by various pronouns — him, her, them, xem — and the slogan, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.” With this overt nod to trans and nonbinary identities, the company is betting on where it thinks the country is going, even if it means alienating a substantial portion of the population. A Pew Research survey conducted in 2017 showed that while 76% of the public supports parents’ steering girls to toys and activities traditionally associated with boys, only 64% endorse steering boys toward toys and activities associated with girls.

With Christmas around the corner, I suppose we’ll soon see whether it “resonates so strongly” with the average child.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Mattel Eyes A Barbie Gay Wedding Playset

Woking The Toddlers: My Little Pony Introduces Its First Animated, Maned Lesbians On Discovery Family

Long Time Coming: Marvel Gives The World Its First Openly-Gay Male Superhero, And There’s More Where That Came From

Find all my RedState work here.

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The BBC Releases a Lesson Plan for 9-Year-Olds: There Are More Than 100 Genders. Disagree and Go to Jail

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Okay, boys and girls. And goys. and birls. And…a whole buncha stuff.

Here’s some news.

The BBC has released a collection of educational videos for tykes between 9 and 12 years old. As per the instructionals, there are not 2, not 3 not 10, but more than 100 “gender identities.”

Holy Toledo.

That’s a whole lot of variations on the penis and vagina; how could anyone keep up? I can’t even remember the Waffle House’s options for hash browns.

If you’re asking similar questions, you’re just slow: According to the videos, folks who aren’t adjusted to the 100+ options “just don’t know any better yet.”

Furthermore, those dinosaurs — you dinosaurs — could go to jail.

In one installment titled “Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities,” kids are informed that gender is whatever “you are inside.”

And off we go:

“There are so many gender identities. So we know we’ve got male and female, but there are over 100 — if not more — gender identities now.

“You’ve got some people who might call themselves gender queer,” the series pointes out, “who are just like, ‘I don’t really want to be anything in particular; I’m just going to be me.’”

The Daily Wire describes other content:

The video includes Leo Lardie, a transgender activist born female but who now identifies as male, who tells the children about her transition — including some talk about her own genitalia. She also tells the children that the only way to happiness for her was to be “true about who I was, and let other people in on this.”

Elsewhere in the series, called “The Big Talk,” a teacher tells children that they can be jailed if they are found to be “disrespecting or being hateful to people because of a difference that person perceives.”

One thing that’s cool about gender is that you don’t even have to be one of the 100+ choices. As the program explains, if you prefer — just like at Burger King — you can get the combo deal:

“So we know that some people might feel like they are two different genders, so people might think they’re bi-gender.”

Bi-gender.

Bye, gender.

With so many options, it seems that, ultimately, “gender” means nothing at all.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

AOC Fights The Racism Of Heterosexuality, Bails Out Antifa, And Buries Her Virtue So Deep Jacques Cousteau Couldn’t Find It

On The First Day Of School, 7th Grade Calif. Teacher Hands Out Gender Unicorn Flyers, Tells Kids He’s ‘Mx’ Not ‘Mr’

Stop What You’re Doing, Put Your Worries Aside, & Let This Child Sing – She Has A Message We Need To Hear

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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A Hit-Making Music Star Announces That He is No Longer a Man

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Every generation has its revelations.

For some among the most recent batch, profundity seems directly linked to single syllable words.

On Friday, music star Sam Smith released something brand new.

His latest project isn’t an album, video, or tour; it’s a request to be referred to by certain pronouns.

That would be, the gender-neutral kind.

He’s finally come to terms with it.

Sam described the new acceptance on Instagram:

“I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out. I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*** it! I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now.”

The “Stay with Me” singer said he can’t wait to find out what it’s like to be neither boy nor girl:

“P.S. I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can’t wait for the day that I am.”

It appears that, for some, a wholly new defining moment of life has entered the zeitgeist: When you’re ready, you make the announcement — are you an “h” subjective pronoun person or an “sh”? Or do you like “they” best of all?

Sam’s gone with option C, and he’s flyin’ high due to the newfound freedom:

“Love you all. I’m scared sh**less, but feeling super free right now. Be kind x”

He also included a list of “activists and leaders of the non binary/trans community” that have helped him find his way to clarity.

Those included television actor Laverne Cox (here), the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Mermaids UK (which “[supports#transgender & #gender variant children & their families”), and @transnormativity.

That last one appears to be the account of an individual serving as an exemplar on the web for the gender neutral and fat-shamed:

View this post on Instagram

there is no singular way to be

A post shared by being queer is not a sin (@transnormativity) on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:50pm PDT

It’s a new road ahead for Sam Smith. We’ll see how the change manifests itself in the future.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Make Your Mark: The Pasadena Rose Parade Invites Men Who Identify As Women To Be Its Next Queen

This Video Of Parents In The Armed Forces Surprising Their Little Children Will Leave You In Tears

Hollywood’s Rosanna Arquette Apologizes For Being White. She Announces Her Shame & Disgust Over Her Birth

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London acquarium raising a “genderless” penguin chick

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The promotion of the radical LGBTQ agenda in society has been relentless but this move takes the cultural battle in a whole new direction. The Sea Life London Aquarium is bringing gender neutrality out into the open using the animal kingdom.

A 4-month-old penguin chick in the London aquarium is being used for a political agenda, which is something I never foresaw writing about. The story caught my attention because I’m particularly fond of penguins. A sentimental gesture sparked my interest in the creatures more than 30 years ago. Now a story about two gay penguins raising a chick presents an excuse for the Sea Life London Aquarium to declare the chick as genderless. It is a first for the aquarium to do this. The young penguin is also still nameless but I hope the aquarium will correct that in the near future.

“While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation,” Graham McGrath, the aquarium’s general manager, said in a statement. “However, it is completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults.”

Ok, if it is “completely natural for penguins to develop genderless identities” why is the aquarium doing this? Just for publicity? Maybe. Mostly, though, it looks like it is to conflate penguin characteristics with those of human beings. Penguins do possess some admirable human-like qualities – they are monogamous and mate for life, the male penguins play a big role in nurturing chicks, and, like me, they are partial to ice-free areas.

The adopted chick of Rocky and Marama won’t be given a gendered name and identification band like the other penguins. This one will be identified with a purple band. I see potential medical bills for psychiatric therapy sessions in this little one’s future. After all, it is being labeled as different from all the other penguins- that ‘s got to mess with its psyche in the future, right? Isn’t it politically incorrect to label others as different? See, we can take this nonsense as far as anyone wants.

This little chick was chosen because of the gay penguins raising it.

As for why this particular chick was chosen to be the aquarium’s first “genderless” one, Sea Life noted that this chick “captured the Aquarist team and guest’s imaginations after it was successfully adopted by two female penguins.”

“This was the first time we had successfully adopted a chick onto a same-sex couple and to mark the parenting achievements of Rocky and Marama in helping to develop the chick into a happy and healthy penguin,” Sea Life wrote in a statement. “It made sense to continue to allow it to be identified more naturally by staff and guests at the aquarium in the future.”

Yes, in order to play up the fact that the chick was adopted by two female penguins, the aquarium is calling it genderless, at least for the time being. Aren’t these people supposed to be a part of the scientific community? How do they deny the sexual development of an animal just to make a splash (no pun intended) in the culture wars?

The gender-is-fluid crowd is now expanding into the animal kingdom. I’ll give some credit to the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium. When two Gentoo penguins adopted a chick last October, they treated that event as normal business. That chick wasn’t made a test experiment for the cultural warriors among us.

We live in really stupid times. Gay animals exist in nature. A few animals can switch gender. Let the little penguin grow as was intended.

The post London acquarium raising a “genderless” penguin chick appeared first on Hot Air.

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Will the Supreme Court affirm the definition of “sex” for us?

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This is a story we touched on a few weeks ago, but it’s back in the news over at National Review raising even more questions. It deals with the lawsuit involving G. R. Harris Funeral Homes, a company that was sued by a male employee who announced that he was going to begin living life (and dressing) as a woman, but was told he could not do so at work.

That case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where arguments will be heard in the upcoming term. John Bursch is an employee of Alliance Defending Freedom, the group representing the funeral home in this case. In his essay at National Review, he optimistically predicts that the Supremes will be deciding two critical questions that will impact a great many lawsuits around the country in coming years.

The high court will decide two questions: (1) whether the term “sex” in federal employment nondiscrimination law, Title VII, includes “gender identity,” and (2) whether it is unlawful sex stereotyping to administer a dress code based on biological sex rather than gender identity.

The meaning of “sex” depends on the term’s public meaning in 1964, the year Congress enacted Title VII. Interpreting laws this way ensures that it remains constant and reliable over time. Business owners across the country rely on Title VII when making business policies.

There is little dispute that, in 1964, the term “sex” was publicly understood, as it is now, to mean biological sex: male and female. After all, the term “gender identity” wasn’t even part of the American lexicon at the time.

The reason I used the word “optimistically” above is that my take on this case hasn’t changed much since I wrote the piece I linked to from earlier this month. But with that said, let’s look at the two questions John poses in the order presented.

First, will the court declare whether the term “sex,” either as used in Title VII or more generically in the field of law, should include the concept of “gender identity?” It would be lovely if they did, assuming they stick to the fundamental tenets of science. If they handed down a ruling reaffirming that humanity is comprised of two genders, male and female, both required for reproduction of the species (with the rare exceptions of individuals born with anomalous DNA, having characteristics of both sexes) we could put a lot of these issues to rest. But I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.

The way the lawsuit against G. R. Harris Funeral Homes is structured, the court doesn’t need such a sweeping declaration to reach a decision. They could issue a very narrowly tailored ruling dealing strictly with employment rights and dress code issues. This court has been notoriously gunshy about taking on big, difficult cases that deal with divisive social questions for some time now and I’d be willing to bet a large coffee that we’ll see the same pattern repeated here.

That brings us to the second question. Whether they manage to sweep the question of whether or not the plaintiff is a “woman” under the rug or not, how the court treats dress code rules is not easily predicted. The benchmark case is often held to be Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. And if that’s the standard the court adheres to, the funeral home is pretty much doomed. The court ruling there “forbids employers from discriminating against an employee for failing to live up to gender role expectations.” In other words, the employer can’t set the standard for what qualifies as “masculine” or “feminine.”

But the courts have backed down from that in later cases. In Jespersen v. Harrah’s Operating Company, it was held that employers can institute dress codes and that they can vary between men and women provided they don’t place a disproportionate burden on one gender over the other. The courts have also held that dress codes are enforceable when covering more generic terms, such as clean, neat, professional, etc.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that the employer, in this case, could insist that men wear a suit and tie but be allowed to fire a woman who showed up similarly attired if the clothing was clean and professional looking. So the same should apply to a male wearing a professional skirt or pantsuit of some sort. But I wouldn’t say the decision of this particular Supreme Court is a sure thing either way.

The post Will the Supreme Court affirm the definition of “sex” for us? appeared first on Hot Air.

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