The Gender ‘Agenda’ – Will bullying work both ways?

Here’s the text of my article that was published today in the Scotsman.  You can read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/dare-to-debate-this-damaging-idea-that-gender-is-a-social-construct-1-4342596



Dare to debate this damaging idea that gender is a social construct.

There is a fear that dare not speak its name, a question that dare not be asked. An ideology is being foisted on Scotland’s children which, though well-meaning, is ultimately harmful.

Professionals have told me that they are scared to speak out or to even ask questions. Journalists are concerned their articles won’t be published, doctors that they will lose their jobs and teachers that they will be sidelined. Politicians fear the Twitter mobs and hate speech that inevitably follows if they dare to question or challenge.

It’s a “gender agenda” that aims at a complete moral, social, psychological, sexual and spiritual revolution. And it is aimed at young children in a crass attempt to indoctrinate. It is taught under the guise of seeking to protect people with different sexual orientations and those who suffer from gender dysphoria (transgender), but goes much further than that.

It is an attempt to teach that gender is just a social construct and nothing to do with biological sex. Human autonomy now extends to the extent that you get to choose your own gender. And there are now longer just two – that is so 20th Century! Now, according to Facebook, we can choose 56. Gender identity is fluid. Not all transgender people agree with this radical removal of gender but this is the trajectory we are on.

Apart from the fact that there is zero empirical evidence that gender is a social construct with no relation to biology, it is surely harmful to young children to tell them that they get to choose whether they are male or female or any of the varieties in between. 84 per cent of children who experience gender identity issues resort to their biological gender by the time they are in adulthood. Giving puberty blockers to primary children, or telling five year olds that they can identify as whatever they want, is at best, unwise, and at worst, a form of state sponsored child abuse.

I think of the seven-year-old girl who came home from school and asked her parents whether she was a boy or a girl, because the teacher had told the class that they could choose. Or the 14-year-old boy suffering from depression, who announced that he was really a girl because his guidance teacher had suggested that this might be the reason for his depression. Bear in mind that a transgender teenager is twenty times more likely to attempt suicide than a non-transgender. Its all too easy to believe (because of your ideology) that this is entirely because of non-acceptance and therefore to use this fact as a reason to further push the ideology which causes so much harm, rather than question where that ideology leads.

The political ideology means that gender dysphoria is no longer treated as a psychological condition. Rather than seeking to help by focusing on mental health and psychology, we are now told that changing appearance, hormones and anatomy is the solution. Instead of trying to change the mind to fit with the body, the body is changed to fit with the mind. And the success rate is poor. One doctor said he was stopping doing such operations because they had an 80 per cent negative outcome. Professor Paul McHugh of the John Hopkins Medical School, one of the first in the world to offer gender reassignment surgery, now says the process is so harmful they have stopped doing them.

But that doesn’t stop the gender fluid ideologists. It is the cause celebre of the “virtue signaling” elites. Lloyds Bank now offers sex-change operations to staff under its private health scheme and the UK and Scottish Governments are both preparing legislation to allow people to change their gender without any need for psychological or medical assessment.

But it is primarily through the education system that this ideology is spreading. At the UK Parliament debate on Transgender at the end of last year, one MP declared it was only through the minds of children and the young that attitudes would change. This should greatly concern us. As should the fact that the number of children in the UK claiming to have been born in the wrong body has risen 1,000 per cent in the past five years (from 97 to 1013).

The Time for Inclusive Education programme is a Trojan Horse that seeks to indoctrinate all children into this ideology and not allow any diversion from it. It’s inclusive only in the sense that it wants to make this compulsory for all children, whatever their families want. It is not inclusive in the sense that other points of view will be allowed. Far too many professionals and politicians, fearful of the abuse they will receive, are keeping quiet. But surely it is time for a proper debate where evidence, facts and different points of view can be considered?

Or has Scotland become such an authoritarian culture that it is now no longer possible to have such a debate?

David Robertson, Solas CPC

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/dare-to-debate-this-damaging-idea-that-gender-is-a-social-construct-1-4342596


Footnote:  In something that is almost beyond caricature – after my warning about the attempt to shut down, intimidate and bully, I have received numerous messages telling me how wrong/wicked/ignorant/rightwing/stupid etc I am.  More chillingly there have been a number of implied threats made against the Scotsman demnading that they apologise, that the editor is sacked etc.   It was nice of them to prove my article….and if they think they can shut me up, they have another think coming!



  1. Authoritarian, deconstructive and prescriptive.
    Disagree with the elite and academics and you are branded *phobic.
    Scotland’s ‘leaders’ think we are great and have so much potential, but fail to recognise that the ideologies they so aggressively pursue could easily leave us miserable, pitiable, poor, blind and naked – like a certain church.
    Parochial and foolish more like.

  2. It’s interesting to read the the comments on the newspapar site. Typically they attacked Solas and you and don’t engage in the points made, particularly fluidity.

    The whole topic can be subsumed into the larger UK wide (I think) Government plans to force all public office holders to swear an oath to support !British Values”. NHS workers, civil sevants, school governors could all have to take the oath.

    South of the border, Ofsted school inspections have promoted same sex marriage using “British values ” rules and subjective interpretation/application o “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”

    At its lowest ,it put the state on collision with parents who do not subscribe with so called values.

    The idea of the “Equality oath” comes fro Dame Casey’s report/review into integration and extremism.

    It was backed by the Communities Secretary on 18 Dec.

    Dame Casey on 19 Jan 17 has protested against religious conservatism , “it can often be anti- equalities”has and asserted that Roman Catholic schools should not be allowed to oppose same sex marriage. (Oral evidence to Commons Communitied committee 9 Jan 17.

    So TIE seems to be an outworking, a prong in a multi pronged attack on traditional Christian British values (and Islam) part of the many headed hydra of deconstruction and reconstruction and imposition of rampant and intollerant subjectivism.

    The above is largely thanks to the Christian Institute’s update received through the post today’

    And as the CI states “govermnment Ministers were not elected to impose their beliefs on everyone else.” In this context, through the state upon parents, in a democracy.

  3. I don’t recall transgender people in the Creation Story, as a father to two young children it’s a major concern. No doubt I’ll be in the headmaster’s office.

    Why can’t Children be Children and enjoy their youth.

    1. Had been rejected but now the Scottish government says they will promote it…so likely to be accepted – unless some SNP MSPs rebel…the Greens won’t and I suspect most Tories and Labour will just go with the flow…

  4. “It is surely harmful to young children to tell them that they get to choose whether they are male or female or any of the varieties in between.”

    Do you have evidence that teaching kids about gender identity is causing harm?

      1. “Instead of trying to change the mind to fit with the body, the body is changed to fit with the mind. And the success rate is poor.”

        Ok, any proof for that statement? Or any proof that teachers telling children they can ‘choose’ their gender is causing harm?

    1. It can be harmful to miseducate, knowingly or not. Doubly so when that miseducation leads to a fundamental inability to understand oneself, triply when as a result of that inability, an individual is brought into despair. It can be harmful to create confusion in the minds of children, especially when what is being taught ignores reality. That is, no one is ‘assigned’ a gender a birth, and no one can change their gender. Surgeries, and medication, to create the appearance of femininity or masculinity are just that: aesthetic. It is harmful to indoctrinate children with ideas that are biologically unsound, and philosophically hollow.

      If it is harmful, it causes harm; this much is self-evident, and proof enough. If you need more, social media, YouTube, etc., are full of young men, and women, who have been taught a worldview that is utterly at odds with the world as it actually is (and we do value an education that teaches true, and accurate knowledge of the physical world around us, don’t we — or is perception enough?), you just need to look (you might enjoy Milo Stewart, if you need a place to start).

  5. It is true that if you speak out against the prevailing culture then it is a risk, But then that’s always been the case. What is different now is that we do live in a culture when it is easier to complain about it being a risk. When the apostle Paul experienced such things he reassured his congregants in calling them “light and momentary troubles” that he was going through.

    If imprisonment and death were such for Paul then how is the Christian to engage and view trials when abuse, ostracising, having law suits against them in comparison to the bigger picture. Jesus give the answer in saying great is (present tense) your reward in heaven for being hated because of him. To be accepting of this.

    And so yes it’s become somewhat of a cultural trope to treat negatively any view expressing transgender as anything other than being about a physical condition resolved by surgery. When the second wave feminist Germaine Greer spoke of Caitlin Jenner she said Jenner was not a real woman and attempts were made to stop her speaking. Now I don’t know if Jenner is a woman or not but when a second wave feminist who has been through the hardship of sexism in the 60’s and 70’s talks, I listen.

    With the Owen Jones moment of alleged homophobia with news presenters in Sky when he walked out. Is saying “you use the words you choose and I use the words I choose” and the attack in Orlando being described as an attack on party goes acts of homophobia? When tow gay men Douglas Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos describe it as an avoidance of the issue of Islamic terrorism and Jones as being sweet and slightly crazy it suggests there are other issues going on.

    I think you fear of Scotland not having a debate is unfounded on these issues. Rather that is it possible to have this debate and that there are some courageous women and LGBT what are willing to engage without slander and libel when perfectly acceptable (but unpopular) ideas are expressed.

    Though of course it will never be easy to swim against the tide! Think the apostle Paul or Dietriecht Bonhhoeffer.

  6. The sad thing is that those who put themselves through these surgical procedures – I doubt they could be called truly female or truly male at the end of it (I agree with Germaine Greer in that regard and was amazed to see her being attacked by her own fellow liberals – they take no prisoners).

  7. “Professor Paul McHugh of the John Hopkins Medical School, one of the first in the world to offer gender reassignment surgery, now says the process is so harmful they have stopped doing them.”

    This paragraph is misleading. McHugh, a committed conservative Roman Catholic, took the position at Johns Hopkins with a specific aim of ending the treatment. His position has never changed and is, arguably, primarily based on Roman Catholicism.

      1. Nobody is neutral. But don’t make things up. The article does not show that he took the job in order to destroy the Transgender programme. Despite what you said. Perhaps you need to try to deal with the facts and not just read everything through the glassed of your own prejudice?

      2. “But once I was given authority over all the practices in the psychiatry department I realized that if I were passive I would be tacitly co-opted in encouraging sex-change surgery in the very department that had originally proposed and still defended it. I decided to challenge what I considered to be a misdirection of psychiatry and to demand more information both before and after their operations.”

        This is a clear description of a preexisting agenda. And “challenge” is the closest to “end” that he could do from the position without overstepping boundaries very clearly.

        My issue with your original text is that it is written in such a way as to suggest that McHugh was a pioneer of transsexual surgery and then changed his position based on clinical experience. And this is very far from the truth. McHugh is, and always was, a staunch opponent of the practice. He overrode the experience medical professionals based on a study done by a subordinate who was aware of the agenda. I would question the ethics of his actions.

      3. Actually its not a clear description of a pre-existing agenda. It describes what happened ‘once he was given authority’ not before. But I guess you will see what you want to see.

      4. This is not about “good” and “bad”. We are discussing medical conclusions, not moral judgments.

        When one is linked to the Roman Catholic church, one’s position on an issue where the Roman Catholic church has a very clear and forceful position can not be presumed to be neutral. He can not, therefore, be cited as just a medical expert who arrived at this conclusion by objective research. He is biased, was biased from the start, and Roman Catholicism is a likely source of the bias.

      5. And the idea that anyone is unbiased is contradicted by yourself – you take up a position and then search for ‘evidence’ that suits you. Your view that Catholics would be more biased than yourself or others is prejudice of the worst sort, because it is self-righteous, ignorant and arrogant.

      6. That was a good article from McHugh. If all you (ramendik) took away from it was that McHugh is a Catholic – or linked to the Catholic church – dead-set against srs, ffs, and related surgeries, then you’ve clearly let yourself down. I doubt you would agree that we ought to dismiss your opinion because of some affiliation you have, that puts you in a position contrary to McHugh?

        McHugh is clear why he challenged Johns Hopkins practice of providing sex change surgeries: first, on the basis of Jon Meyer’s research (has he been demonized along with Blanchard?), and second, on the impact of ‘correcting’ intersex conditions at birth. In laying out his reasons, I noticed no mention (implicit, or explicit) of ‘Catholic’, ‘Christian’, ‘Bible’, ‘Jesus’, ‘Scripture’, etc., in my reading.

        You’re being silly.

      7. What we know about Jon Meyer is that he was a subordinate, and he was tasked with the research by his superior, and he knew the agenda of the superior – which was to find a reason to stop the treatment. There is no reason to “demonise” him just because he was not some kind of lone hero. But the research is tainted by the agenda.

        Paul McHugh was never convinced by any research that the treatment was wrong. Instead he was prejudiced against the treatment and commissioned research from a subordinate to support his prejudice. I suspect this action was unethical. In any event we have no reason to trust the result as authoritative.

        Also, this happened in the 70s. At present, there is a definite clinical consensus on the treatment of transsexualism/gender identity disorder in adults. Despite the decades that those like McHugh had, and still have in non-Western countries like Russia, McHugh’s claim that this is a mental illness and should be improved by mental treatment has remained completely unsupported. They had all the resources to develop such treatment, and have thoroughly failed.

        Because of this, a number of doctors initially skeptical of the treatment have changed their opinion. Dr. Az Hakeem is a good example. He was staunchly opposed to transition treatment in a number of publications in the naughties. At present, however, he is a member of WPATH, which issues clinical guidelines for the transition treatment.

        https://zagria.blogspot.ie/2011/04/az-hakeem-19-psychiatrist-psychoanalyst.html is a 2011 summary of his positions back then. http://www.drazhakeem.com/specialist-psychotherapy-for-gender-dysphoria/ describes his present position. The shift is very clear.

        To summarize my point: a paragraph in the OP made the impression that McHugh was supportive of the treatment and was convinced otherwise by research. This has never happened. The reverse has actually happened: doctors like Az Hakeem who were opposed to the treatment became supportive of the treatment (in properly diagnosed cases).

        And finally, I find it an extremely questionable practice to try and apply Biblical prescriptions to the field of medicine in cases like this. I am reminded of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who reference Biblical verses to reject blood transfusions. I think rejecting transition treatment on a similar basis is no better.

      8. You’re such a conspiracy theorist! What you claimed about McHugh (that he deliberately infiltrated John Hopkins in order to shut it down) has not been demonstrated by what you said. I suspect that you have just made your mind up about everything and there isn’t much point in arguing. It is the politicisation of Trans issues which has done great harm. It doesn’t matter what the science or evidence says – anyone who dares to challenge the current doctrine will be exposed and demonised. I know of doctors who have argued that they are giving up doing Trans surgery because it has an overall 70-80% negative outcome. One even told me that he could not say this because he could lose his job – such is the pressure and atmosphere. I guess thats the kind of world you want to live in. If you are really serious about looking at the issue in some more depth I can suggest some resources.

      9. ————————–
        And finally, I find it an extremely questionable practice to try and apply Biblical prescriptions to the field of medicine in cases like this. I am reminded of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who reference Biblical verses to reject blood transfusions. I think rejecting transition treatment on a similar basis is no better.

        Can you point this out in the article? Whether we want to admit it or not, we all tend to start from conclusions. If McHugh is a competent doctor – do we have reason to suspect that he isn’t? – then he will revise those conclusions in the face of the facts of research, and science. If he hasn’t, then I’d assume there’s a good reason other than that he’s Catholic. Did you read anything in the article to suggest otherwise, or are you merely assuming, prima facie, that his being Catholic invalidates any opinions he might have?

        To your counter example: the page from Dr. Hakeem’s site doesn’t negate the first article. On his site, he states that he refers gender dysphoric patients to gender clinics, and he does not handle those cases himself. Instead, he helps patients with conditions like autogynephilia, of Blanchard’s typology — the one that got him demonised within the trans- ‘community’ (along with Meyer, McHugh, Zucker, et al.). But, what point are you trying to make? One doctor is against srs, ffs, etc., and another was against it, but is now for it, therefore the first doctor is Catholic? Conspiracy, indeed.

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