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Cancel culture

Why sanity will prevail in the gender wars

German artist Jess de Wahls at her studio in 2019. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Last year was when the “dangers of gender identity ideology” finally crashed into the mainstream, says Jess de Wahls in UnHerd. I was “cancelled” by the Royal Academy of Arts over some supposedly offensive embroidery. London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted out the “ideological dogma” that “trans women are women, trans men are men… and all gender identities are valid”. Keir Starmer declared that it’s “not right to say that only women have a cervix”. Increasingly, anyone who questions the need for so-called “preferred pronouns” – he/him, they/them, and so on – is branded a bigot or a transphobe. Academics who “dare to acknowledge the biological reality of the sexes” are de-platformed and hounded out of their jobs.

Yet as “bleak” as all this is, 2021 also gave me “a sense of optimism”. The campaigner Maya Forstater secured a court case victory that ensures gender critical beliefs are protected by law. The charity LGB Alliance established itself as a “much-needed alternative” to the trans-obsessed Stonewall. Various grassroots organisations now provide support to gender-critical women who fall foul of the “blue-haired” brigade. In my case, the Royal Academy of Arts eventually folded and reinstated my stitchwork into their shop. Clearly, women concerned that their rights are being trampled haven’t been silenced – let alone defeated. “The tide is turning.”