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Zeitgeist

Trans rights are a western luxury

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Western feminists bang on about eliminating sex and gender, but from my perspective that seems such a luxury, says writer Bina Shah on her website, The Feministani. Gender theorist Judith Butler was in The Guardian this week, talking about trans rights and how “we need to rethink the category of woman”. Take it from me, a woman in Pakistan – most of us have bigger fish to fry. The same goes for women in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. We don’t have time to worry about gender fluidity when women are being abused, harassed, assaulted and killed.

What’s more, sex and gender really matter to us. To dissolve them is to undermine the oppression and discrimination we face daily just for having female bodies. “I’m afraid the trans rights activists are acting like western colonisers and imperialists all over again.” They impose their ideas of gender and sex on us, just like they imposed their empire. “I don’t really want gender colonialism in the 21st century. Do you?”

Still, if Butler’s ideas about gender weren’t so dangerous, you’d have to admire them, says Gareth Roberts in UnHerd. Convincing poncey Guardian readers that gender doesn’t exist is a glorious racket. “I like to picture Judith as a snake-oil purveyor on a travelling show in the days of the pioneering Wild West, sat in the wagon after the sell, in a box-coat and a tall hat, lighting a cigar with a 10-dollar bill and having a good chuckle with the missus at the dumb rubes in the crowd. ‘Honey pie, those bozos sucked it up!’”

Down with Britain, says Dame Hilary

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I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at Hilary Mantel denouncing the “ugly face of contemporary Britain” in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, says Sarah Vine in the Daily Mail. She railed against the “people on the beaches abusing exhausted refugees even as they scramble to the shore”. As someone who is “more than a little Italian”, I paused. Most people would agree that humans should not abuse other humans. But if she thinks Dover is unwelcoming towards refugees, “she should spend some time in Sicily or Calabria”.

Mantel wants to be “a European again”, but seems to confuse the EU – a relatively recent concept – with the landmass we’re literally welded to. A European? She still is one. As for spouting off about our “artificial” monarchy while parading her Dame of the British Empire title, why stop there? The solution is to move to California, where Harry and Meghan see no contradiction in trading off their British royal connections while doing their best to bring the institution down. “Dame Hilary should be right at home.”