Sex. Politics. And other stuff you shouldn’t talk about at book club…

Why do I bother having an opinion on trans-people? I only know one, and he (formerly she) is nice. Be what you want if it doesn’t hurt anyone, that’s my general view on how other people should conduct their lives. I was sitting in a car with a friend one day and she said, “Guess what, I went to a presentation by this wonderful transwoman Captain Something in the (Australian) army, she was so impressive!” “Good on her,” I said, “But I wouldn’t like it if my daughter announced she wanted to transition.” “Oh but you’d support her, wouldn’t you?” said my friend. “No,” I said, “I wouldn’t. Any more than I’d support her if she said her arm didn’t belong to her and she wanted to cut it off. I’d view it as an unfortunate delusion. But it’s her life, so…” You’re not a man unless you have a Y chromosome (bar a few medical exceptions). There is no scientific evidence, as far as I know, that trans-people are somehow born with the ‘mind’ of the other sex (if there is such a thing), and lots that they aren’t. I support J.K’s right to express an opinion without being emotionally blackmailed in a style reminiscent of the Chinese government (‘You have hurt China’s feelings!’). I’m not trying to make anyone cry, I’m not going to say you can’t do what the heck you want. It’s none of my business if you feel good in a dress and a five o’clock shadow. But it irritates me when I’m expected to deny biological reality. Perhaps it’s time people just stopped trying to tell each other what to do, think, say and be.

Which brings me to…that pause. Someone recently blurted in their book group that they’re “not sure about getting their under-12 COVID-vaccinated.” Pause. Thought bubbles. ‘Is she an anti-vaxxer? Should I be outraged? Are other people outraged? Will I get in trouble if I’m not outraged? What if I agree and they all turn on me? What if I disagree and they all turn on me?’ Political correctness gone mad, the right wing pundits say. And yet, it was ever thus. I reckon you would’ve got the same nervous silence if you mentioned Henry VIII’s divorce at the pub, back in the day, or said you wouldn’t mind reading the Bible in English, actually… Orthodoxy and heresy are in our DNA. Only back then, of course, you might have ended up drawn and quartered. So we’ve progressed, right?

Yesterday the extended family went down to the waterfall on my place. It’s normally (trigger-warning – cliches) a deep green rockpool under crystal mist, all that shit. Now? Niagara Falls only yellow, with all the dirt being washed down the river. The girls (all but one intrepid soul) went, swimming – nup. The boys took off their shirts and jumped in, emerging later with gleaming torsos and satisfied smirks. Who needs canaries in coalmines when you’ve got men?

My (as yet unpublished) sexy Byzantine adventure novel Pandora’s Jar is available for free, for a limited time, in return for your brief feedback. It’s a ripping read, so I’ve been told by unbiased sources. You can find out more and download half, here. If you like what you read and want to know what happens next, just email me at with your comments, and I’ll send the other half. Basically, if you say something nice, I’ll quote you, and if you hate it, I’ll cry.

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  1. Nope – transwomen are not women – biological fact. Fancy the army buying into the fiction that says otherwise – you’d think they’d stick with the facts.

    I’ve noticed that discussions around the vaccine are beginning to generate as much vitriol as discussions on trans matters. Soon we’ll only be able to talk in cliches, with the appropriate trigger warning, of course 🙂

    1. Yes, there are lots of no go areas. I do have some boundaries myself, I guess… I’m not happy discussing the evil qualities of Jews or the inferiority of non white people. Oh but trigger warnings…god does that whole thing shit me. The world isn’t a safe space. Get used to it.

      1. We do need to have a line in the sand that we don’t cross, but stating facts should not be considered ‘harm’. They might be uncomfortable, but nothing can be addressed, investigated, and understood if we can’t name it. No groups should be exempt from that, but it doesn’t mean that we get carte blanche to weaponise facts.

  2. I’m not sure what I think about trans people, to be honest. It’s just kind of a meh for me. But if adults want to transition, so be it. I’ve got an issue when it reaches down to children. Let children be children, while recognizing that they are still developing, mentally and physically. Something like a transition is such a life-changing thing, it should wait until they’re older.

    1. I agree. Full transition is an extremely painful and irreversible operation. For instance, if you have a vagina surgically constructed, it’s basically an open wound, which you have to prevent from closing for your entire life. Plus you are unlikely to be accepted as that sex by potential partners or even other people of that sex, which causes a lot of heartache. Better, if you want to be the other sex, to keep it superficial. But… adults have choices, and yeah, I don’t care much either.

    2. No, scratch that, I do care a bit. In every feminised field, from nursing to teaching to whatever, you’ll find men in the upper echelons. They’ve been unable to do that in women’s sport, but now transwomen are having a red hot go. It feels to me like, if you can’t beat them join them… and then beat them. Women think they can keep female spaces for themselves? Nope, here come the guys. It’s noticeable that virtually all the noise in trans circles is made by transwomen, in other words, men. So yeah, it annoys me somewhat.

      1. Yeah. The sports thing is a problem. Here in the US, there is a college swimmer who is breaking all sorts of records in women’s swimming. Because she was a man.

      2. That woman college swimmer who is actually a man just got beaten by a woman who is transitioning to be a man. Both swimmers have elevated levels of testosterone that no biological women who hasn’t been doping could hope to achieve. It’s absolutely mental!

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