Opinion

OPINION: No Janice Turner, children are not martyrs to our movement

When the headline refers to the sacrificing of children you know the tone won’t be positive.

And so it proved as Janice Turner set about attacking the trans-movement from every angle. As a strong
proponent of the trans movement and all it represents, Turner’s article was an extremely uncomfortable read.

Turner, herself an award-winning journalist, layers sweeping generalisation on top of mistruth when
explaining that children must be protected from the momentum of the trans movement.

The thrust of Turner’s article is that trans children are nothing more than cash cows who don’t know their own minds, and cisgender (non-trans) children are being treated as second-class citizens to accommodate their trans peers. None of this is true, of course, but Turner justifies her attack by arguing that children must be protected.

The generalisations begin early following Topshop’s recent declaration that customers are free to use whichever changing room they want. This announcement was made as non-binary Travis Alabanza criticised not being allowed to use the female changing room.

Travis Alabanza has since been tweting examples of non-gender specific changing rooms in other stores:

Turner doesn’t see Topshop’s announcement as a good thing, but instead portrays it as a careless act exposing young
girls to danger.

The inference that being free to use any changing room will lead to predatory acts is a dangerous one.

The mistruths soon follow, with Turner labelling the trans-movement uncompromising. She says those leading the movement are so dogmatic they fail to acknowledge women’s rights or feelings. The movement has had to be strong; having to fight for freedoms
afforded to others as of right requires that.

The strength of the trans-movement has resulted in gender reassignment being added to the Equality Act, and in the first Trans-pride event in 2013. I believe that being strong and being uncompromising are not the same.

Turner also wants to know why those who are trans have the audacity to want to live as their true gender and to have others acknowledge that gender. Particularly if that means walking into a female changing room and “endangering” cisgender children.

The fact that Turner uses the Topshop example again carelessly meshes together those who are trans and those who are non-binary. They’re not the same, but Turner presses on.

The government doesn’t escape unscathed. According to Turner the advancement of trans-education in schools is driven by a political desire to be ‘right-on’. The idea that our political parties have actually evolved is out of the question. Governmental guidance is drafted to reflect a changing societal landscape.

Having rules and guidance for trans children in school is what society needs. It’s a good thing. For both trans and cisgender children.

Everything said so far has been to supposedly protect cisgender children. Changing rooms are dangerous. Trans-activism is apparently relentless.

Trans children are being put first in schools, she claims. More trans-education will unsettle cisgender children.

Everything I have written so far condemns Janice Turner. But as a journalist that has been shortlisted for the British Press Awards 6 times I feel compelled to evaluate the issue from her perspective.

Perhaps there is something in the notion that cisgender children will be unfairly unnerved by the enhanced rights of their trans peers. She does rightly approach a Women and Equalities committee report (relating to trans issues in schools) with caution. She does make a positive suggestion in the form of creating non-binary changing spaces.

However, any possible defence ebbs away when Turner brings out the big guns. According to Turner trans-children ‘acquire’ the view that they are transgender based on ‘Reddit and Tumblr’, and, rather than being trans, they may ‘simply be gay’. They must be protected from early diagnosis at all costs, she says, from diagnoses made to make money.

Turner doesn’t entertain the idea that early diagnosis in the right cases protects the child from years of trauma. She correlates being trans and being gay, with disregard for the concepts being entirely different.

So, not only are cisgender children martyrs of the movement, trans children are being wrongly-diagnosed early to make money. This is all the fault of those unrelenting types leading the movement, she suggests.

That is what Turner believes. In a competitive field, the most offensive assertion is that being trans is an illness. In an alleged
attempt to be ‘right on’, Theresa May recently said being trans wasn’t an illness and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Turner’s response – So why does it require surgery, drugs and lifelong patienthood?’.

To sum up, Turner views trans people as ill and children must be protected from the clutches of early diagnosis and over-exposure.

I didn’t think it possible to attack so many aspects of a momentous movement in such salacious terms, but here we are. It’s on us as a progressive society to defend it.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top