In a heartfelt account for the Mail on Sunday, Father Ted creator Graham Linehan shares his concerns about transgender activism’s impact on women’s rights and society as a whole. Here’s an excerpt:
Why do I risk everything to battle the madness of the trans activists? What’s my endgame? It’s simple. I am concerned about women losing their words, safe spaces and sports to fanatics who denounce the very idea of womanhood. I want to reveal the havoc gender identity has wrought on society, expose those who enabled it and help to bring about its end.
I flew into this battle full of beans. The beliefs of the other side were so insane I thought my friends would quickly realise how crazy it all was and start lending a hand. I believed it was only a matter of time before they would fly to my aid, the satirists, the stars, the progressives, the feminists… those I’d made famous with the TV sitcoms I wrote, and who had made me semi-famous in return. I thought they’d be along any minute.
But to my astonishment, no one turned up. I begged friends to say something about how children shouldn’t be undergoing experimental treatments with no evidence base, about the crime against humanity that is telling gay and autistic young women that if they only removed their breasts then they would be happy. But most stayed silent.
Instead, I was cancelled. Friends were ghosting and blanking me, not returning calls, giving my wife grief on the phone, writing nasty letters about the importance of kindness, and perhaps worst of all, sympathetically nodding while telling me why they couldn’t get involved. …
A lot of people trying to shame me into silence will say, “Why do you care so much?” The implication is that a concern for women’s rights (normal, explicable) is actually an obsession with trans rights and is bigoted and deranged.
But trans rights only become an issue when they negatively affect women’s rights. There aren’t too many areas where these conflicts come into play. However, when they do, it’s devastating. All over the world, male prisoners are being admitted to women’s jails if they announce they’re trans, and female prisoners run the risk of receiving extra time on their sentences for ‘misgendering’ these opportunists. ‘Misgendering’ became taboo practice because of the combined efforts of trans activists and the privileged members of the laptop classes enforcing the new orthodoxies but it’s a taboo that has been imposed without debate or consent.
Which is why, according to our new ethical overlords, an Oscar-nominated actress has re-emerged as a man called Elliot Page, and activists and ‘progressives’ consider it a hate crime even to mention Elliot’s former name.
But these taboos, supposedly driven by ‘kindness’, empower the most dangerous men in society. If we rewire our brains to such an extent that we see men as women, it will be easier for opportunistic predators such as Adam Graham – the double rapist almost admitted to a Scottish women’s prison by Nicola Sturgeon’s Government – to access single-sex spaces across society, not just in prison.
No matter how many times I explained all this, the same question kept coming, over and over. “Why do you care so much?’ All I could say was: “Why do you not?”
The intercession of the most famous children’s writer in the world in the trans debate was a moment when I thought the argument would shift decisively in my direction. So beloved were the Harry Potter books, so impeccable were J. K. Rowling’s socialist credentials, so compelling her backstory, she would be listened to.
But no, not a bit of it. HMS Rowling – which had piped on board generations of children, and taught them to read for their pleasure and then for their children’s pleasure – was deserted faster than a plague ship, so taboo were the author’s perfectly commonplace views on women’s rights.
The young actors from the Harry Potter series of films instantly betrayed her. If I were a star who had never shown any ability to act past the pre-pubescent level that got me into the business, I’d be keeping my head down, not signing statements insinuating that my old mentor was a bigot.
Those actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – deserve to be remembered as symbols of the most remarkable arrogance, cowardice and ingratitude. But asking what Rowling actually said that was so terrible produces nothing. You’ve never seen a transphobic statement from J. K. Rowling because none exists.
Worth reading in full.