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Emotional women, rational men: why I’m coming out as binary

If you are one of those who regularly fead this blog then you will perhaps recognise this article from a year ago – which I have partly re-written for my Christian Today column.  In light of what is currently going on I thought it was worthwhile repeating…!

Emotional women, rational men: why I’m coming out as binary

(Photo: Unsplash)

A Christian Conviction

Many moons ago when I first became an editor of a Christian magazine, The Record, I received a letter accusing my wife of being a ‘knee jerk feminist’. It was an accusation she willingly admitted she was guilty of. Me too.

The idea that men and women are equal, though different, is a key part of Christianity. There are aspects of some parts of the feminist movement which I don’t agree with, but the basic principle of fundamental equality is not in dispute. However, the great danger to the feminist movement is not coming from some Handmaid’s Tale, right wing misogynist movement, but from a different direction altogether.

As a result of the current fad for Queer Theory (which asserts that there is no link between biology and gender), I find myself increasingly allying with feminists in seeking to protect women’s rights, in sports, health and justice.

Gender Stereotypes are Back

Did you know that being a man means that you are “competitive, ambitious, independent, rational, tough, sexual, confident, dominant, taking risks and caring about your work”? Or that being a woman means that you are “nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable and concerned with appearance”?

No, this is not out of some 1950s traditionalist, uber right-wing, Christian fundamentalist manual for relationships. This is bang up to date. This wonderful advice comes from The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.  published last year and reported on in the UK media.

Mind you, these feminine characteristics do not necessarily apply if you are from up north! Because according to our counsellors and psychotherapists, “not all women adhere to all these things… In some northern working-class contexts, femininity is associated with strength and aggression.”

And to be fair to the author, not all men fit the guidance: “However, of course, not all men adhere to all these things. For example some men take on major child-rearing roles in the family or enter caring professions.”

The author of this incredible piece of guidance is Dr Meg-John Barker, a writer and academic who is currently senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University. Why has this reactionary and ridiculous gender stereotyping been issued by a respected organisation? You guessed it, it’s due to the collective madness gripping Western liberal intelligentsia over transgender.

The Trans Attack on Women

Whatever else happens, every organisation, every media outlet, every academic institution, has to demonstrate that they are ‘with the times’ when it comes to accepting transgender theory. Everything must be geared not only to the handful of people who really do suffer from GID, but also to the unscientific and unproven doctrines of Queer Theory.

Dr Meg-John Barker (I am not sure which of the 100 genders he/she/ze/zer/they/zey assign to themselves) tells us that: “It is important not to assume being a woman necessarily involves being able to bear children, or having XX sex chromosomes or breasts.” 

Take a deep breath. Let that one sentence sink in and consider just how far down the rabbit hole our insane culture has gone.

On the one hand, the fact that you have a womb, female chromosomes, breasts or female genitalia does not make you a woman; on the other if you are nurturing, caring, emotional and concerned with your appearance, you are clearly a woman – even if you can’t bear children; have male chromosomes; can’t breast feed (although apparently you can ‘chest feed’….if they find you a suitable machine to ensure your equality); and have male genitalia!

Am I a Real Man?

But this really confuses me. I must be a man because I think I am independent, rational, competitive and care about my work (it doesn’t really matter if I am or not, because that’s how I identify and you are never permitted to question my identity).

On the other hand I must be a woman because I identify as caring, nurturing, emotional and vulnerable (although I do accept that I can’t even in my maddest dreams identify as caring about my appearance!).

What’s a boy/girl to do? I guess I’m just going to have to declare myself binary….I’m a male with female characteristics, or a female with male characteristics. Or perhaps I am just a mixture of the 100 genders….?

Obey the Maker’s Instructions

Or maybe, just maybe, at the risk of being labelled a transphobic bigot, I might just revert to the Bible’s crazy idea that there is such thing as male and female? What if I reject the gender identity stereotypes put forward by 21st century liberal identitarians and instead rely on ‘God made them male and female’? I could come into the real world and realise that there are biological and physiological differences between the sexes.  Why, I might even go so far as to say that there are cultural differences and that gender is affected by culture and upbringing.

And I can move out of the insane world which declares ‘you can be whatever gender you want to be’ and insists that gender is merely a social construct and nothing to do with biology. This rolls back the decades of advances made by feminism (thus putting the misogynists and the transgenderists in a real wacky alliance!).

Radical transgenderism has been called ‘misogyny in drag’! This also means that there is no real basis for gender equality or anything but the most shallow of understandings – women wear lipstick and care (except of course if they are Northerners or autistic – yes, they say that as well in the guidelines); men carry guns and don’t cry.

In Biblical Christianity, God created us male and female – both in his image. In Christ, there is no male or female (not in the sense that it doesn’t exist, but rather that it does not make a fundamental distinction in our relationship with God). That is the heart and real intellectual basis of all equality. Everything else is peripheral.

Isn’t it strange how in rejecting God, we are now in the process of destroying humanity? Lord, have mercy.

David Robertson is director of Third Space in Sydney and blogs at

More by David Robertson

The gay atheist who made me weep and pray

Outgrowing Atheism: it’s time for Richard Dawkins to grow up

The BBC and the Tower of Babel

Radical Forgiveness and Beautiful Grace – The Difference Christ Makes


  1. As Douglas Murray has been saying in his recent interviews, it’s a very dementing thing indeed to be asked to deny what we know to be true, and to pretend that we don’t know what we really do know, and to act as if lies are the truth.

    I’m one of the vast minority of people who experience gender dysphoria (or gender identity disorder if you prefer). But I am also labelled transphobic, bigoted, hateful, a TERF, and all manner of other dehumanising words because I haven’t bent myself backwards in service to ideology. In the game of identity politics, I’ve had mine erased.

    It would be great if we realised these errors before it was too late, but I’m not hopeful. I’m already a non-person, after all.

    1. Thanks for this. You are not a non-person, but flawed like all of us, are made in the image of God. God bless you.

  2. Are there any other British Christian leaders that speak sense into the current culture nonsense….It’s a serious qn…..the only other folks that seem to be engaging the zeitgeist are Reformed types in the US.

  3. David, when I did Women’s Studies as a filler in during first year when we have to choose two other subjects in addition to our core subject at Aberdeen University back in 1997- we were told then that gender is a ‘social construct’ by women who equated the way men sit with their legs wide open with patriarchy and power! I felt disturbed back then and had some robust tutorials! I cannot believe how fast this has come down the track into the so called mainstream, quite unopposed by the mainline churches. Apart from a few brave men (I know you’re a film buff) nobody in the church hierarchy or the BMA has stood up against this blatant nonsense. Why? Those who are in the trenches who dared to speak up have been hounded out of their jobs. Isn’t this how totalitarian regimes keep the population in order?

  4. Am feared this is reet, as far as NE England is (or was) concerned, from Andy Cap to this folk-song, “Cushie Butterfield,” by Geordie Ridley (Blaydon Races) as sung even by Sting.
    It is a heart rending love song for a proper binary woman who doesn’t eat cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off.
    All the same she’d bear a dozen young uns.
    Lyrics are here from Wikki, as is a translation into English, for those who may have a tinture of interest, visit wikki.. I can remember my coal miner grand-dad singing it- along with others local folk songs- a humble , gentle, man.

    “Aw’s a broken hearted keelman and Aw’s owerheed in luv
    Wiv a yung lass in Gyetshead an’ aw caals her me duv;
    Her nyem’s Cushy Butterfield, an’ she sells yella clay,
    An’ her cusin is a muckman, an’ they caall him Tom Gray.

    She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one,
    An’ she likes her beer;
    An, they call her Cushy Butterfield,
    An’ aw wish she was here.

    Her eyes are like two holes in a blanket burnt throo,
    An’ her brows in a mornin wad spyen a yung coo;
    An’ when aw heer her shootin “Will ye buy ony clay,”
    Like a candy man’s trumpet, it steels maw young hart away.

    KORUS—She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one, &c.

    Ye’ll oft see hor doon at Sandgate when the fresh herrin cums in;
    She’s like a bagfull o’ sawdust tied roond wiv a string;
    She weers big golashes, te, an’ her stockins was wonce white,
    An’ her bedgoon is a laelock, an’ her hat’s nivor strite,

    KORUS—She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one, &c.

    When aw axed her te marry me, she started te laff,
    “Noo, nyen o’ yor monkey tricks, for aw like ne such chaff !”
    Then she start’d a bubblin, an’ roar’d like a bull,
    An’ the cheps i the keel says aw-m nowt but a fyeul.

    KORUS—She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one, &c.

    She says “The chep that gets me’ll heh to work ivry day,
    An when he cums hyem at neets he’ll heh te gan an’ seek clay;
    An’ when he’s away seekin’t aal myek balls an’ sing’
    Weel may the keel row that my laddies in !”

    KORUS—She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one, &c

    Noo, aw heer she hes anuther chep, an’ he hews at Shipcote’
    If aw thowt she wad deceive me, ah’d sure cut me throat;
    Aal doon the river sailin, an_sing “Aam afloat,”
    Biddin addo te Cushy Butterfield an’ the chep at Shipcote.

    KORUS—She’s a big lass an’ a bonny one, &c

    For a translation, see Geordie dialect words

    Places mentioned
    1 Gyetshead is Gateshead, the town on the opposite (south) side of the River Tyne from Newcastle upon Tyne
    2 Sandgate pronounced Sandgit, is (or was) an area of the town named from the Sand Gate, one of the six main gates in the Newcastle town wall, a medieval defensive wall, the remaining parts of which are a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The quayside section of the wall was pulled down in 1763 and the Sand Gate In 1701 the Keelmen’s Hospital was built in the Sandgate area of the city, using funds provided by the keelmen. This building still stands today.
    3 Shipcote was a colliery in Gateshead.[1]

    Trades mentioned
    4 Keelman were the dockers of yesteryear, who worked on the keels (or keelboats) of the River Tyne. Many, in fact the majority, resided as a close-knit community with their families in the Sandgate area, to the east of the city and beside the river. Their work included working on the keels/keelboats which were used to transfer coal from the river banks to the waiting colliers, for transport to various destinations including London.
    5 A hewer is a Geordie and mining term for the miner who digs the coal.[2]

  5. “Did you know that being a man means that you are “competitive, ambitious, independent, rational, tough, sexual, confident, dominant, taking risks and caring about your work”? Or that being a woman means that you are “nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable and concerned with appearance”?”

    I thought you were quoting from the standard evangelical guy/girl talk because it is pretty much identical to what was said at almost every one that I attended growing up.

  6. It is reported that the Government has shelved, at least for the present, the proposed changes to the gender recognition act allowing individuals to legally change gender by a simple administrative process. Perhaps Dominic Cummings has told Boris that this is a potential vote loser!

  7. Well, after all, he (Cummings) is from the North East, isn’t he? Yes, I know, it’s just an amusing speculation.

  8. The loss of women is important than the loss of men simply because the dearth of time – factored reproductive ova is a greater deficiency in mankind’s potential future than the loss of sperm.

  9. The loss of women is more important than the loss of men simply because the dearth of time – factored reproductive ova is a greater deficiency in mankind’s potential future than the loss of sperm.

  10. Sure there are some very uncommon congenital hormonal conditions and mental health disorders requiring expert and sensitive treatment but this mostly seems to be a Western world angst issue, one in need of God to provide us our real identity, which lessens our sophistication in the eyes of other countries

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