Can you have Harry Potter without J K Rowling? The publishers and producers and actors enriched by her creation are giving it a jolly good go. As Spiked reports:
An upcoming Harry Potter spin-off game, Hogwarts Legacy, has been marred by controversy simply for its association with Rowling, despite the fact she had no creative involvement with it. Following an online backlash, one of the game's lead voice actors, Sebastian Croft, felt the need to declare that 'trans women are women and trans men are men', in order to distance himself from Rowling's supposedly problematic views.
That isn't exactly correct, is it? Trans-women are not merely women, but increasingly superior to mere women, not just in "women"'s sports but in beauty contests, at least in Steyn's home state of New Hampshire. The eclipse of women, and of women's rights, is well underway - and, as usual, institutional "conservatism" is steering well clear of the topic (it's yet another hill not to die on) and, in the case of Britain's ghastly faux-Conservative Party, actively colluding in the abolition of biological sex.
The very statement "trans-women are women" acknowledges the existence of a separate and distinct category - created precisely in order to be separate and distinct, as Mark recognised well before many others did. While he continues to recuperate from his brace of heart attacks, we reprise this column from eight years ago, June 2015, upon the launch of Caitlyn Jenner:
In a not terribly long life, I have known well three transsexuals (as we used to say), and another three not so well. Not because I especially sought out their company, but just because I've spent a lot of my time around theatre and music and areas that attract those who feel "different". Two of those three friends I didn't know were transsexual until they were "outed", one very publicly - although with hindsight certain curious aspects of both their physiognomy and behavior suddenly made a lot more sense.
But that's the point: Even those far closer to them than I was weren't aware - because back then the object of having a "sex change" (also as we used to say) was to change from being a man to being a woman. There were still only two teams and you were simply crossing over to bat for the other side. The trans-life had little in common with "gay pride" - because the object wasn't to come out of the closet, but to blend into it so smoothly no one would know you hadn't always been there. Before their outing, the two ladies in question were more lady-ier than thou: both used to show up once a month with a box of Tampax "discreetly" poking out from the top of their handbags - even though, as we all understood in retrospect, they had no need of it. But they had chosen to live as women, and so they wished to be as other women. And they were mortified when they were exposed.
This was the conventional view as late as the Nineties, when Armistead Maupin's celebration of the gay life,"Tales Of The City", became must-see TV for sophisticated liberals on Britain's Channel 4 and America's PBS. The big plot point was the matriarch Mrs Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) "revealing" her "secret" - that she was not born a woman.
To be sure, as the chromosomocentrists argue, one cannot, biologically, "change sex". But I'll skip that argument, because, as usual, conservatives are fighting over ground the left has already scorched and moved on from for new conquests. I have no great objection to a grown man who "identifies" as a woman and wishes to live as one. Guys have been doing that, to one degree or another, throughout history, and all that's happened is that cosmetic surgery has caught up with their desires. If half the women in California can walk around with breast implants, I don't see why the chaps can't.
But the chromosomocentrists are missing the point. The left's saying, "Yeah, XY chromosomes, big deal. You're right, but so what? No one's saying she's a woman. We're saying she's a transwoman - a new, separate and way more glamorous category that's taking its seat at the American table and demanding public affirmation. This isn't your father's sex change. Changing from man to woman is so last century."
The coronation of Caitlyn is ultimately not about the right to choose which of the two old teams you want to play on. It's about creating a cool new team. The "T" was always the relatively sleepy end of LGBT, and didn't ostensibly have much in common with the other three-quarters of the acronym. The company it keeps only makes sense if the object of transitioning is not to "pass" but to create a new assertive identity group in and of itself.
So far it's going gangbusters. Hence, the congratulatory Tweets to Caitlyn from both Barack and Michelle Obama, and the instant conferral of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage - but also the immediate ruthless pronoun enforcement by The Washington Post and the Twitter-lynching of Tom Cruise's kid and Snoop Dogg merely for having the lèse-majesté to suggest that, on the one hand, war, poverty and over-fishing and, on the other, solar power for Africa might be more important than some Z-list reality-TV celeb showing off her new rack. (Michael E Mann, the celebrated Doctor Fraudpants lui-mème, would certainly agree with young Master Cruise and Mr Dogg that "climate change" ought to be our paramount concern. But, unlike them, he doesn't have the guts to Tweet that NOAA's adjustment of their figures is a far bigger story than Caitlyn's adjustment of hers.)
And then there's the Vanity Fair cover itself: Caitlyn unveiled in her 1950s cheesecake shot. She hasn't completed her "transition"; she's just at the beginning of it - and, as all the world knows, she still has the old wedding tackle. Apropos the discreet swell in the crotch of her Grace Kelly bathing suit, some wag said Caitlyn Jenner is the most prominent Republican ever to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair. Be that as it may, we are being invited to admire her not as a woman but as a transwoman - and to accept, as perforce the creator of the now passé Vagina Monologues has been forced to do, that there is such a thing as a woman with a penis. Miss Jenner herself is unclear whether she'll go all the way, or whether, in her new identity, she'll have sex with women or men or both, with or without the meat and two veg... But the broader movement - the Big Gay enforcers - have signed on because of the opportunity it affords, to validate a glamorous, fashionable, expandable, elite, noisy, assertive identity-group category and further demolish the old ones.
Hence the backlash against those who step out of line. Tom Cruise's son? Oh, he totally lost it in a "hateful rant" of "off-color transphobic remarks":
"Don't get me wrong. Do what you feel like doing and don't let anyone stop you. But everyone is taking this way too seriously...There are so many more important things that should be talked about
"I'm totally supportive of people staying true to themselves and finding true happiness in whatever way they can," he continued. "There are just more things that we as a nation and as a planet should be talking about and working on."
As Evan Real responded for real:
Geez, tell us how you really feel, Connor!.. Sorry Mr. Cruise, but what really needs to change is your attitude!
This Evan Real wallah is the usual metrosexual pajama boy favored by today's media, but this is apparently how he really really really really feels!!! It's not enough to say "do what you feel like doing" and "I'm totally supportive of people finding true happiness": you have to accept that this is the most important and transformative event of our time. Why else would the President and First Lady be Tweeting their support? Screw climate change, you bigot!
Now imagine you're like the parents of that kid in British Columbia. You notice your Second Grader seems to prefer Barbie to GI Joe, and one day you caught him walking around in his big sister's princess slippers. And maybe it's just a phase, but the doctor and the school guidance counselor are all eager to get him transitioning. And deep down you're not really on board with it, but you remember with that Olympics winner who's something to do with the Kardashians how everyone jumped all over people who weren't celebratory, even Snoop Dogg, who's one mean muthaf**ker, but Big Gay still clubbed him to a pulp like he's some weedy easy-listening lounge act, even when he wanted to talk about green energy, which is like the most pressing, urgent, important subject ever...
Except for Caitlyn, and her "bravery".
It takes an awful lot to push back against that level of cultural enforcement.
What happened this week was a strange mix of Huxley and Orwell, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, hedonism and totalitarianism, sexual diversity and ruthless conformity in everything else - a stiletto heel stamping on a human face, forever.
Or until the mullahs take over.
~from SteynOnline, June 5th 2015. A few days later, Mark wrote:
As The New York Post informed us, "Caitlyn Jenner Still Has Her Penis".
Is that the first American newspaper headline to use the phrase "her penis"? If so, it won't be the last.
No, indeed. A mere three years on:
Here's the lead headline at The Spectator in London:
Is it a crime to say 'women don't have penises'?
Remember the way old-school feminists used to go on about how this and that was "phallocentric"? Some of them are a bit shocked to find that somehow the wily old phallus outmaneuvered them and that women themselves can now be literally phallocentric. So a UK feminist group called "Liverpool ReSisters" has begun distributing stickers insisting that "Women don't have penises".
This is Britain under a so-called Conservative prime minister. Whether or not Theresa May is one of the increasing number of women with penises, she certainly doesn't have any cojones, at least where Brexit is concerned or Boris's burqa jokes. So the reaction of the state to this provocation has been swift and merciless. Merseyside Police have announced that they're investigating, and the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has declared that he will "identify those responsible".
As I always say: Oh, you can laugh, but none of the people who matter in our society are laughing - like the police and the politicians and the judges and the "educators"... So in nothing flat we are on our way not merely to the abolition of the sexes but to a world in which it is no longer permissible even to suggest that someone hung like a horse is not a woman. As Justin would say, such views "have no place in our country".
And so we now have "birth parents" and "perinatal wards" and "chest feeding": Truly, the birth of the new, and the abolition of the organising principles of mankind since the Garden of Eden. But don't worry, Kevin McCarthy is going to read out the US Constitution on the floor of the House...
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