Articles, Focus of the Week

Shared toilets – Shared values?

Well, it is getting complicated isn’t it? The tide has flowed in a certain way for some years now. It is standard to condemn as bigoted anyone who doesn’t share various presumptions about same-sex orientation or, more accurately, practice. We have just had a university student, Felix Ngole, lose his appeal against being expelled from his course, “effectively ending his chances of a career as a social worker, for voicing opposition to gay marriage in a Facebook discussion.” That issue apparently now closed, the next “front” opening – it is hardly inaccurate to talk in military terms as this is a battle for “hearts and minds” as to what the vision and purpose of a human being is, where he or she comes from, and what they are on earth for – appears to be that of transgender rights.

What is interesting though, is the reaction to it. It is not easily categorized as “bigoted” or “fundamentalist”. For instance, no-one would put Germaine Greer, author of that compelling feminist title “The Female Eunuch” in that category. But here she is quoted as “reiterating her views, stating that it “wasn’t fair” for a “man” to “decide” his gender”. Journalist Mary Kenny, once in the vanguard of Irish feminism, headlines a recent article “Why feminists are fighting the trans movement”. She argues that, “the (transgender) movement is progressively stealing women’s identity”. Then from an unexpected quarter comes the fpllowing – from an ex Labour Minister, Caroline Flint. The Labour MP cited sexual offences as a concern in relation to transgender policies. She said in the House of Commons last December, “I welcome this debate today because it’s important we look at transgender rights, but would (The Minister) agree with me that we also need to be mindful of creating neutral-gender environments that actually may prove more of a risk to women themselves?”

Parents should note: if they find their children’s schools going headlong down the road of gender-neutral toilets and fluid gender identity, they have more critics of this in the world of journalism and parliament than they might have thought!

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