The expulsion of Heather Brunskell-Evans.
This is the fourth post on W.E.P following their vote to accept men who self-identify as women. You can read the rest of the series here: 👇
This one will focus on an episode of the moral maze, from 2017; which BBC licence holders can listen to here: 👇
This was the Composition of the panel called to examine witnesses and come to a view on a complex, moral, conundrum. 👇
These were the witnesses called before the panel:
Part one in this series covered the founding of the W.E.P and it’s financial backers; part two the moral maze witnesses, Fae and Caspian and part three covered Stephen Whittle. Part 4 covered Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans and her subsequent removal from her post, in the Women’s Equality Party, which culminated in the resignation of her party membership.
This post will cover the final deliberations of the Moral Maze Panel which starts from 33 minutes.
Michael Buerk, the presenter, summarises the contributions of the witnesses. He begins with Jane Fae, a trans-identified male who describes himself as an “accidental activist”. Jane Fae first claimed that no “transgender” children had any medical intervention until age 16, but, under questioning, was forced to concede that younger children younger are being put on puberty blockers. In the U.K this can start as young as age 10. Fae then claimed this only delayed puberty; a discredited claim. The truth is that 98% of children progress to cross sex hormones once they have their puberty blocked. It’s worth reminding yourself what Marci Bowers had to say about these children. Marci Bowers is a trans-identified male and a surgeon who performs the surgeries known as “sex reassignment surgeries”. Marci was President Elect of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) when he made this statement👇. Marci also noted that, for males, the growth of the penis will be stunted which limits the options for future genital surgery.
Fae then used the argument that we give teenagers contraceptive pills and he claims this is equivalent to the hormone treatment given to “transgender teens”. Additionally he says going through a natural puberty also has an adverse impact and makes later surgeries more necessary. Finally Fae said that men like him wished they had not gone through a male puberty. Note that Fae married and had his own (biological) two children; something that will be denied to the children he is so keen to medicalise. These children are, in my view, being sacrificed because of men like Fae’s retrospective wish fulfilment.
Claire Fox is asked for her assessment of this witness and describes Fae as compelling, but disingenuous, for not recognising the role of widespread propagation of gender ideology to children and the promotion of unreality. This context is important to consider before we even get to the medical interventions we are giving to children. Because we are constantly talking to children about gender, particularly in schools, we end up in a situation where the normal confusions of childhood are examined through the prism of “gender”.
Matthew Turner says he didn’t know what he thought before he came on the programme but :
He finishes by saying that Jane Fae and Stephen Whittle helped him to come to the belief that critics are exaggerating the peril of people making these decisions. (It’s worth listening to his tone, throughout, I found him deeply patronising and antagonistic)
I believe, far from being undecided, he had already determined to listen selectively. He fails to reference the treatment of children, or to notice Fae’s attempts to mislead the panel. He is also grossly ill informed about how much care is taken before a prescription is issued. (My son was referred on the 7th November and the drugs arrived before Christmas. As it was during the height of the pandemic I am not even confident he had a face to face appointment). It is also a bit of a worry that this man has moved from the Arts sector to the NHS.
Ann McElvoy is concerned about the lack of an evidence base for gender reassignment which she describes as “slight”. Because we have not performed these surgeries on many people, in the past, we simply don’t know enough. She concedes that opponents may express strong views about the risk but, conversely proponents have a tendency to minimise the risk. McElvoy was interested in Jane Fae’s views on the age of consent, for these treatments; for McElvoy it was reminiscent of arguments about the age of criminal responsibility. Fae seemed to settle on the age of sixteen for irreversible interventions which is, McElvoy points out, is also age of peak teenage confusion.
Michael Buerk then asks Mona Siddiqui about the teenage girls who had hormones and double mastectomies and now regret their surgeries. As James Caspian noted these girls claim they had had these surgeries whilst also dealing with mental health issues. Siddiqui claims that she was not convinced by James Caspian because he would answer her question and say what the right reasons were for “transition”. She then repeats her belief that nobody would do this lightly and she also didn’t like it being swept up into mental health issues. Mona Siddiqui comes from the perspective that she has no right to question someone else’s identity and how they feel, just because they might change their mind. She then says there is a lot of things about this we don’t understand but we should not sit in judgment on how people feel.
Claire Fox then brings up the spectre of allowing self-declaration. Furthermore allowing people to change their birth certificate, to reflect the sex you are not, is “post-factual madness”. She also brings up the increasing numbers of young people identifying out of their sex and she believes we are encouraging this. Mona Siddiqui again claims nobody would self-identify as the opposite sex lightly. Sigh. This is clearly already happening, especially in prisons. Here are two letters from prisoners about sex offenders “jumping on the trans bandwagon”.
Ann McElvoy says it’s a tricky situation to balance the risk of regret with denying people the right to live as they wish.
Matthew Turner then says the Fae and Whittle were very reassuring but he believes Caspian and Brunskell-Evans revealed their prejudices and were treating this condition as “pathological”. He also accused Caspian of wanting to deny everyone the ability to “transition”. Saying that either he was lying to the panel or lying to himself. (Conveniently ignoring that Caspian and spent ten years working in a private gender clinic and had recommended “transition” for literally hundreds of patients). His hostility to both James Caspian and Heather Brunskell-Evans was on display in this intervention.
There follows a bizarre discussion where Stephen Whittle, a biological female, saying she would not use female spaces was assumed, by Buerk, to solve the issue of men accessing women’s spaces. 😳. This is an example of a time when using terminology like “trans man” confuses the thought processes. McElvoy doesn’t point out the problem with Buerk’s framing but she does ger to the heart of the conflict with feminists; the issue not your “identity”, per se, but the rights and responsibilities that are assumed to flow from that identity. This is literally a competition for moral and literal space.
Ann McElvoy: It’s really about what rights and entitlements flow from you identifying as one thing or another; that’s not something you can fudge by saying we all have rights. There is a competition (I would say conflict) over moral and literal spaces.
Matthew Turner : We should trust people to make the right choices for themselves. (Turner’s answer ignores the impact on others).
Mona Siddiqui: I think should all of us should be less dogmatic and have the moral courage to admit that we don’t get this but that it is better to err on the side of empathy. (The #BeKind cop out.)
Claire Fox: The worlds gone mad and we should be at least able to challenge it when we think people are not speaking the truth.
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