Alice Thomson of The Times writes:
According to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy I am a man. I know this because I adhere to social norms of masculinity: I am independent, confident, rational, sexual, competitive, take risks and care about my work. I am not a northern woman (who the association says are unusually strong and aggressive), nor am I on the autistic spectrum which, they add, would allow me to identify as female despite being more logical than emotional. It’s all very confusing, especially if you’re a ditsy woman.
Having four children and wearing a bra is irrelevant, according to the association, as are my XX chromosomes. To be a woman I should be “nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable and concerned with appearance.” That’s not a test I’d like to pass and I’d rather be a man any day — they sound like they have much more fun.
In trying to be progressive and inclusive, the association has merely shown itself to be old fashioned, effectively portraying femininity as little more than sparkly nails and high heels. In attempting to be more fluid, it has actually become more rigid.
Teenagers are getting an astonishingly dysfunctional idea of what it is to be an adult. No wonder they are increasingly concerned about how they identify. Reading the association’s guidelines, my daughter was horrified that she was expected to be meeker than her brothers. They in turn were annoyed to be considered less nurturing.
This may be why so many are now struggling with their identity. There has been a roughly 1,000 per cent increase in referrals to the Tavistock NHS gender identity service for gender dysphoria in the past six years, with 2,519 referred in 2017-18. Girls aren’t allowed to identify with the tomboy George from The Famous Five any more without a great deal of soul-searching or counselling. Some even want the puberty-blocking drug Lupron and hormone replacements; others are convinced they need surgery even though some treatments could render them infertile.