I’m a man.
There, I’ve said it. At the risk of offending the world’s increasing army of hypersensitive PC-crazed snowflakes, I am proudly and unapologetically identifying as a male.
I realise that for some people, this admission alone is currently tantamount to having me fired, arrested and possibly publicly executed.
Think I’m being ridiculous?
Last night, popular US Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin tweeted this to her 22,000 followers: ‘Here’s an unpopular opinion. I’m not actually at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.’
So yes, for some people like Ms Lindin, just being a man right now is enough to warrant a career and life being wrongly destroyed.
She is the very worst kind of radical feminist, the kind that hates men so much it blinds her even to basic fairness and justice.
Yet Ms Lindin’s tweet wasn’t even the most outrageous gender-related thing I read today.
No, that accolade goes to a speech by Natasha Devon, former British government mental health tsar, to the UK Girls’ School Association annual conference.
In it, she advised that teachers should no longer refer to female students as ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’, or to male students as ‘boys’.
Ms Devon explained: ‘I would never walk into a room in an all girls’ school and say girls or ladies because it would be patronising.’
She added: ‘I don’t think it’s useful to be constantly reminded of your gender all the time and all the stereotypes that go with it.’
Warming to her theme, Ms Devon stated that ‘boys’ holds connotations of being macho and not talking about feelings, whereas ‘girls’ prompts a sense that everything must be done perfectly, which can stress them out.
Today, she doubled down on her comments after they sparked a furious reaction.
‘There are several unfortunate, negative and largely unconscious connotations attached to gender,’ she tweeted. ‘In that context, the words ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ can come with a whole heap of invisible expectation which can stifle and cause anxiety in young people.’
I’ve never heard such utter garbage in my entire life, and given I judged talent shows for six years that is a very high bar of garbage.
Speaking as a father of four children – three boys and a girl – I’ll tell you what I think might just cause young kids more anxiety than being called ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ – and that is telling them they CAN’T be called ‘boys’ and ‘girls’.
The simple reason is they were born boys and girls.
Yes, they were all handed to the their proud parents at birth with the words ‘Congratulations, you have a little boy’ or ‘Congratulations, you have a little girl.’
Not, ‘Congratulations, you have a non-binary, gender fluid creature of indeterminate sexuality.’
These children will have spent years happily being boys and girls, and for the vast majority of them that’s exactly how they wish to remain.
To banish these descriptive terms now is to the first step to banishing gender altogether, thus disrupting and destroying one of society’s strongest and until now, least contentious norms: i.e. that we’re all either male or female.
I suspect the real reason for Natasha Devon’s speech can be found buried away as almost an afterthought. She said she was also advising the abandonment of the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ to protect the feelings of transgender children. ‘You can’t presume that because somebody presents as a gender,’ she insisted, ‘then that’s what they are.’
Erm, yes you can actually.
A girl ‘presenting’ as a girl is a girl and a boy ‘presenting’ as a boy is a boy.
This belief doesn’t make me transphobic, as some seem to think.