‘I just get the impression she hates men’, said a wound-licking James Max, on TalkRADIO, after he interviewed me on Wednesday. It’s a familiar accusation from those who fail to drum up rational arguments for the destruction of women’s rights.
Max is currently filling in for Julia Hartley-Brewer this week on the station, which is a self-styled ‘home of free speech’ radio and TV station. In our interview, which lasted less than ten minutes and in which I appeared under my real name, Max offered a masterclass in how to ignore women’s concerns and centre men’s feelings above all.
The tone was set when Max tried to link the views of J.K. Rowling to the notorious outing of George Jamieson by the Sunday People in 1961 — four years before to Rowling’s birth. He claimed that Rowling’s recognition of women as adult human females contributed to the suffering of trans people.
Campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen and James Max clash over the issue of ‘sex-based rights’ and JK Rowling’s ‘trans-row’.
James: “I am slightly staggered by your views.”
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) December 29, 2021
It seems too obvious to point out, but Max is talking about men who claim to be women, rather than women who claim to be men. That is the nature of most of the conversations I ever have on this topic. Be in no doubt, this is a men’s rights movement.
I will not ever refer to a man with inaccurate and misleading language that has negative consequences for women. But we are so far into the dishonest Newspeak that when women speak plainly some men can find it jarring. ‘Do you call him, him or her?’ Max asked when I referred to George as ‘him’. ‘Totally him’, I replied. Max then did a convincing impression of someone who was flabbergasted. Perhaps he really was.
Max tried to argue that humans have a brain sex that is not necessarily compatible with our actual biological sex, as if the DNA code dances about the body with a sprinkling of fluffy kittens here and complex mechanics there.
My female brain is perhaps too fragile for the mental gymnastics that informs such nonsense. Max even suggested that ‘someone can be born in someone else’s body’. How does that work? I would like to find the lucky woman who got my real body as I’m a little bored of the short one I currently occupy!
Without a hint of self-awareness, he also said that I ‘can never be in the body, in the mind or the brain of someone else’ — which of course is the exact point I was making. Men cannot ever know what it is to be a woman, so any claim must be taken with a pinch of salt. It cannot be known.
Over the past century, women have fought for liberation and to be part of our democracy. One way in which we achieved this was to be part of the conversation. That meant dismantling some men-only spaces. But that obvious human advancement is now conflated with the issue of separate changing rooms for men and women. So, with more mental acrobatics, Max argued that women not wishing to be sexually assaulted or to be made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable is comparable to men wanting to keep the ladies out of, say, a political association or club. This is a familiar trope which men use when women discuss their rights, along with: ‘you think all men are predators’ and ‘women do bad things too’. Predictably, Max trotted those out afterwards.
Unfortunately, as I tried to point out, we have yet to be able to tell which men are the bad ones — and until we do, we must ensure the best possible safeguarding for women by keeping all of them out. Men who do not wish to harm women, or cause us any discomfort, are okay with staying out of our spaces.
For making that point, Max called me hateful, disturbing and unpleasant for refusing to buckle to his whim that men can become women. I am not any of those things, but I am also not afraid of these tactics to bully me into surrendering the rights women before me fought for. I am not fearful for any legal repercussions either. I am fearful for women across the country who can no longer guarantee a female-only rape crisis centre, a female-only domestic violence shelter, for the girls in schools losing their right to female-only changing rooms and toilets, who are threatened with accusations of unkindness for feeling uncomfortable. I am fearful of the great untruth being fed to us through our media, government and institutions.
Finally, I am afraid of what is yet to come if we continue to accept such terrible lies as truth. Max even went so far as to say that perhaps I should be ‘cancelled’ for arguing that biological sex is real. So much for the ‘home of free speech’.
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