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Identity politics

Can a woman have a tail?

A girl with a cat, but which is which? Getty

A schoolgirl in East Sussex has informed her classmates that “she now identifies as a cat”, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph. “Some people, I’m sorry to say, have cast doubt on this claim.” But as a parent, I think it’s “perfectly plausible”. It explains why so many teenagers “sleep all day, go out all night”, and treat everyone else in their household with disdain, “except when they want something”. Clearly they identify as cats, too. And the phenomenon is more widespread than you might think. In February last year, Bristol University provided staff with a “guide to gender inclusion” which linked to sources about people who identify as cats. They’re known as “catgender”, and their pronouns are “nya/nyan”. Although, since cats tend not to speak English, “I don’t suppose it matters too much if you get it wrong”.

It would be a mistake to dismiss the significance of this story. I predict it will have a “major impact on British politics”. From now on, in every interview Keir Starmer gives, the poor man will be asked “whether a woman can have a tail”. The SNP will allow convicted criminals to be “housed in catteries”. And the Lib Dems will call for “every public lavatory to have a litter tray”. So no more of this hurtful prejudice and mockery. It’s time we treated the catgender community with respect. “At least until they start doing their business in our flowerbeds.”

👑🪟 One day in the late 14th century, says Madeline Grant, also in The Daily Telegraph, King Charles VI of France woke up “labouring under the misapprehension that he was, in fact, made of glass”. People naturally assumed he’d gone mad – “courtiers and subjects, even the future pope”. A regency council was formed; his wife and other relations took hold of the reins of government. All because, even at the height of the superstitious medieval era, “identifying as a window was considered a step too far”. Fast forward to today, and we’d probably be “dousing him in Windolene” and helping him pick out curtains.