The trans wars – coercive control of language

Underlying the trans furore of recent years is a mind control battle over language – what is allowed to be said and what will be obliterated under an avalanche of hostility if it deviates from the proscribed party line.

   Pure George Orwell. He says of the Ministry of Truth in 1984 “‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”  The influence of language on people’s ability to think is one of the book’s most enduring themes as it focuses on the techniques of totalitarianism.

   The Trumpian phenomenon of distorting reality and brain-washing true believers into the dictator’s version of ‘the truth’ was where this trend of abusing language became most noticeable. What it led to was a similarly virulent battle-to-the-death between not just opinions but two opposing mindsets, where victory for one means psychic implosion for the other. Ditto the Brexit argument – a complete inability to tolerate the other view.

  So much of the transgender firefight is an argument at cross purposes. No sane or sensible person is anything other than sympathetic to people with gender dysphoria, but what appears to be at issue is the use of language. Those who have been hounded out of jobs have made statements about biology which would hardly seem inflammatory except in the present climate.

   Maya Forstater, a tax expert and researcher, who lost her job after saying that people cannot change their biological sex won an appeal last year against an employment tribunal. A High Court judge ruled her “gender-critical” beliefs fell under the Equalities Act. The second stage of her claim is ongoing at the moment. She was born 3 July 1973 making her a Sun Cancer square Mars in Aries with her Mercury in Leo trine Mars – she’ll undoubtedly be argumentative and provocative.

  Which is remarkably similar to Suzanne Moore, the journalist, who resigned from the Guardian over lack of support on this issue. Born 17 July 1958 she is another Sun Cancer square Mars in Aries opposition Jupiter, with Mercury in Leo trine Mars.

  And both are not so far removed from George Orwell himself, 25 June 1903 2.30pm Molihari, India, not that the trans debate features in his writing. He had a Sun Neptune in Cancer square Mars in Libra. His Mercury in Gemini was in an Air Grand Trine to Mars trine Saturn in Aquarius. So language and thinking would be important for him. He also had a rebellious Pluto opposition Uranus square Jupiter.  

 J.K. Rowling who has also been harried and harassed, 31 July 1965 9.10pm Bristol, is like Orwell a born rebel with her Uranus Pluto conjunction opposition Saturn square Jupiter. If her birth time is accurate she has a determined Mars in the 8th.  She’s less of a warrior woman than Suzanne Moore or Maya Forstater, but certainly won’t appreciate being bullied into silence.

See previous posts: November 25 2020 Suzanne Moore.  June 8 2020 JK Rowling.

My own particular credo?  I’ve never thought of myself as a feminist since I was brought up by a father who was the youngest of a family of three older suffragette sisters and a suffragette mother. It’s so far back in the family I just took it for granted that I would be independent and be treated the same way as men/everyone else.  And having done a therapy training which was keen not to slap diagnostic labels on people I would see the purpose of self-development as becoming more yourself. So this obsession with he, she or  they jars somewhat. Sex/gender doesn’t define who a person is. Why have we got so hung up on it?

  What is a priority is that vulnerable women in prison and domestic violence centres need to be protected. And vulnerable  children need to be treated with sensitivity, allowed to develop at their own pace and not be caught up in the fad of the moment.

 The last posts brought a discussion which pointed to the  fanatical bent of the transgender debate perhaps being triggered by the generation born 1995 to 2003 who are of the Uranus Neptune generation which can lean towards an extremism that is not open to debate.

44 thoughts on “The trans wars – coercive control of language

  1. If you can get past the thought terminating cliches, the gender identity ideology doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny. It makes sense that they adhere to a “no debate” approach. It’s amazing to me how the activists continue away with it.

    In Canada, to do anything but affirm the dysphoria is considered as conversion therapy and is banned provincially and federally. Co-morbidities such as depression, abuse or autism don’t seem to be taken into consideration.

    Lifelong medical treatments, extreme and extensive irreversible surgeries, untreated dysphoria. My heart breaks for those caught up in it.

    At the same time, there is precious little support for anyone who de-transitions.

    Far from being kind, it seems like a destiny of cruelty.

  2. Thanks for this, and for all the comments. This is such a toxic debate now – in our current ‘age of rage’ every debate seems to lose all balance, nuance or sense of perspective. The ancient world did, as Hugh says, recognise three ‘sexes’, and there is an ancient Buddhist text that describes four ‘sexes’, including women who identified as male. We hear so little from those women in this furious war of words……I’d enjoy hearing a man having to answer the question “what is a man?” – so far only women have been asked to answer “what is a woman?” in the UK parliament. I cannot help but wonder why this is so.

    It’s interesting to look at Magnus Hirschfeld, 14 May, 1868. He was a German sexologist, and is considered an activist for homosexual and transgender rights. Hirschfeld’s research and system categorised 64 possible types of gender identity – perhaps this is the foundation for today’s categories? He founded the Institute of Sexual Research in Berlin on 6th July 1919, and was the doctor who operated on the artist and transgender woman, Lili Elbe (‘The Danish Girl’ movie). He had Venus conjunct Uranus in Cancer, square Jupiter. His solid Mercury in Taurus was in wide conjunction with transformative detective Pluto, and the Sun.

    The Institute of Sexual Research itself had Venus conjunct Saturn in Leo, sextile a potentially ‘fluid’ Mars in Gemini, and opposite Uranus, just into Pisces. God of words, Mercury, was in Leo conjunct Neptune. It’s Sun in the so-called ‘feminine’ sign of Cancer was conjunct Pluto in Cancer.

    • In Tibetan Buddhism (at least prior to the Chinese invasion) men who identified as women were allowed to become ‘nuns’ rather than ‘monks’ and to live in the nuns’ quarters. I don’t think women who identified as men were allowed similar rights ie to take monks’ vows and live with the monks. But then monks were always given precedence over women in the Temples so perhaps this explains the discrepancy. Also monks and nuns were required to be celibate so there were no worries about inappropriate sexual behaviour – any such would result in the man/woman being banished from the monastery.

      I guess that is the crux of the issue in the West: what sexual behaviour is deemed appropriate/inappropriate in regard to transgender men and women? Gay clergy in the Church of England, even those in same sex marriages, are required to be celibate. The same is presumably true for transgender clergy.

    • The Hijra people in India are recognised as the third sex too. They have a long history in India but in the 1850s the British Colonials tried to eradicate the Hijra as “an offence to public decency”. More recently, as the Indian authorities criminalised homosexuality in 2013, the Hijra have faced an increase in violence and sexual assault while the Indian police refuse to investigate crimes committed against them.

      • Thanks Liz and VF. It’s helpful to broaden this out I feel, and there’s such a lengthy and rich history all around the world. Somewhere in this house of books I have a book called The Third Sex, which is about the transgender women of Thailand, with contemporary interviews, and history. It is a well-known cultural phenomenon there, as everyone knows. Possibly it has flourished there because Thailand was never part of any European empire? Although, there are hints of change as Thailand becomes more westernised.

        Regarding India and Hijras, it is very sad what’s happened to them. The Indian police aren’t so great at investigating crimes against any women it seems.

  3. “Swans don’t always present as white, as Europeans learnt when they “discovered” Australia” – so was that a natural or man-made presentation of nature?

  4. Hi marjorie
    I don’t know if you saw but Suzanne Moore said her birth data is wrong, she is born 2 days later (I think)

  5. If it is against the law to deny women safe spaces, then perhaps it should be explained to school heads that have decided to not have separate loos. At one of my local secondary academies, the children
    took it upon themselves to sort of give a raspberry to the morons that decide these things. They decided that boys would use the stalls on the left and girls would use the stalls on the right.

    It might have been more sensible to ask the people that use the facilities what they thought, rather than foisting unwanted and certainly unnecessary changes, that have nothing to do with anyone’s wellbeing. I suspect that it was a way of circumventing the loo problem that would have presented itself should the transgender have arisen. The fact that they didn’t have any transgender issues, seems to be considered irrelevant.

  6. We are all, psychologically speaking, somewhere on a spectrum – from extremely ‘feminine’ to extremely ‘masculine’. The sad thing is that we are often defined by our gender in areas which don’t concern the physical body – ie our intellectual, emotional and spiritual life.

    Perhaps, if society didn’t discriminate so much between sexes (eg in occupation, dress, language, social behaviour etc) then, except for the 10% who reject their own physical bodies, we wouldn’t be so concerned about ‘transgender’ and would think more about the transcendence of gender.

  7. Thankyou for the Individual and thought provoking views on what is obviously a very sensitive subject. As always I learn a lot! Language and how we use it doesn’t alter the truth. However it can be used with compassion. We’re fighting for democracy and yet our history shows us how the human race has cruelly sought to stamp out and ostracise anyone who is different, race, gender, disability, mental illness. I’m no expert but it seems like gender is now a choice?

    l learning! Helen I did love your comments.

  8. Thanks very much for this post. Germaine Greer, a sun Aquarius like myself, was the original ‘TERF’.
    Julie Bindel’s chart would be interesting to look at.
    Is there a trans signature in a chart?

  9. I would also like to add that JK Rowling has committed much of her wealth to helping disadvantaged and impoverished children

  10. Tirin, that is an interesting comment about wiser with age, looking at a guy like Putin you have to wonder. I agree with JK Rowling and I have for years, had no issue with trans women at all..I do not want the language I use to describe myself taken away and I do not want young women discriminated against in sport because competitors who are physically men are setting new records, competing against them. As JK said, women get called menstruators now, but where are the language changes for men, who are still called men? Women who struggled for equality and I watched and experienced much of that struggle as a young women, now have this to deal with. It is not fair.

  11. Swans don’t always present as white, as Europeans learnt when they “discovered” Australia ( Popular science doesn’t always keep abreast of actual scientific research, and there’s a much more biological basis for transgender and deeper transgender history than people perhaps would like to believe (
    Given the prevalence of sexism, I can certainly understand the concerns of those who present as biologically female. At the same time, denying the existence of a gender spectrum will not lessen the persistence of misogyny, just as denying the occurrence of a fully spectrum of sexual assaults, including verbal and non-verbal harassment, unwanted touching, etc., doesn’t lessen the occurrence of more violent physical forms of sexual violence, which the ignorance of power dynamics that is also overshadowed by the focus on the “sexual” nature of the assaults tend to foster.
    Arguing that those who identify as transgender should not have access to medical treatment in order to align their physical body with their psychological identity is like saying that those who are born with missing limbs should not be able to obtain prosthetic limbs.
    Since there are actually documented cases where those who are biologically female are born without uteri, how about we don’t use the presence of uterus to define who is considered biologically female? And how about we learn to accept that just because we ourselves don’t experience something, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for someone else to experience what they claim they’re experiencing, unless we actually want to believe that we are mass-produced interchangeable beings?
    Lastly, since diversity in nature ensures better survival, how about we stop denigrating those who are different from us and start appreciating how our differentiation allows us to complement each other in all areas in life? (Take this blog for instance, how boring, as well as competitive, would it be if everyone focused on the same exact area of Astrological news as Marjorie?)

  12. An interesting thought Marjorie that it has been perhaps the Uranus/Neptune cohort that has contributed to this quite mind boggling fad. I imagine the intensity will fade when the next thing comes along. I too am concerned about how it is pushing some of women’s hard won gains back into a flurry of confusion

  13. I am a women. Transgenders will need to take hormones all their life to enable to call themselves transgender. When they give them up, they will automatically start to revert to the sex they were born. Biology is taught in schools and chromosomes are a scientific proof. I feel people who are genuinely struggling with their identity should get all the help they can. However, the bottom line is, transgender is a hormone enhance treatment. Those who choose to identify themselves as transgender, but not have treatment should call themselves gender choice, not transgender if they are not taking hormones. I appreciate this may not be to some people’s liking, yet it also not to my liking, being forced to acknowledge people as transgender, when they are actually not taking hormone treatment. That is Gender Choice.

  14. Quite frankly, I don’t know what have they put on tap water in Britain for this discussion go so completely off rails there. It must be the same agent that produced “tankies”. My interactions with most Finnish leftists, even Communists, or trans activists are nothing like what I see online.

    I also think wealthy and influential Angloohone women like JK Rowling would do better using their wealth and influence on reinforcing “female health” issues rather than policing who is a woman. For instance, apparently they are about to pass a law in Missouri, a 6 million inhabitant State, basically banning intervention on ectopic pregnancies bar removing the fallopian tube. This is monstrous, to say the least.

    • Yes, Solaia, the American School in London has announced there are actually 65 (or was it 64) genders! Is it freedom of speech and everyone having their Rightful Say which is destroying reality/biology/ which remain hard science. JK is not policing who’s a woman, only stating the facts, which biologically cannot be changed. We can sympathise/accept that others choose a different gender, but nature remains stubbornly consistent. We must distinguish between opinion and reality – I think that’s the boundary which has changed.

      • The irony is; without scientific treatment, there would be no such thing as a transgender. As you have to take hormones for the rest of you life to be in that transition state. Therefore, one wonders how the combination of 64 different treatment to facilitate this state, can occur. The logical thought process in this boggles, and I ask if some actually understand the process of becoming a transgender.

    • @ Solaia, although I was a too old to be in the target age range for Harry Potter I am glad that I never watched any of those movies to fatten Rowling’s pockets.
      It’s funny how you never know who is a bigot until she opens her mouth.

    • Solaia, Respectfully. Suggesting that those who disagree with you are drugged really does not add to the quality of debate.

    • Under British law, women have the right to protected safe spaces such as changing rooms, toilets etc. When over 90% of trans women still retain their male genitalia the issue of them accessing these safe spaces is one that many women feel very strongly about. Rather than having proper debate about such issues, women such as Maya Forstater and JK Rowling who question radical trans ideology, have been subjected to appalling abuse and threats. Misogyny is alive and well in these modern day witch hunts. For me, Rowling is a heroine. She has put herself in the firing line in order to protect women’s rights as she knows how difficult this can be for ordinay women. However much they try, she is too big to cancel. And for the record Rowling has given huge chunks of her wealth to charitable causes.

      Rowling writes “I don’t think our politicians have the slightest idea how much anger is building among women from all walks of life at the attempts to threaten and intimidate them out of speaking publicly about their own rights, their own bodies and their own lives.” Quite.

      • Thank Bridget, that’s exactly it. I sometimes wonder how people calling J.K.Rowling a bigot are reading the same words?
        And it’s not just “rich and powerful” women; I witnessed first hand the way Dr Kathleen Stock was driven out of her job, it was truly terrifying. A lot is said about a certain generation, but it has to be said that they were encouraged by people a lot older. Listen to her experience here

      • Spot on, Bridget. This militant group are specifically denying women free speech. Out of institutions, universities, off the sports pitch, no safe spaces. Sounds like the old patriarchy to me.

    • Yes I understand Solaria that wars over pronouns must look absolutely ludicrous from the point of view of a native Finnish speaker! Also Finland has acted responsibly by offering psychotherapy rather than surgery and hormone therapy for children under 18. Sweden has now followed suit and it looks like France is on the way there. This means that teenagers will be able to explore their feelings about gender and use the language they like without making decisions that they may regret when older. The UK is unfortunately since Brexit following the US more and more and has got itself locked into a sort of political package deal where gender identity falls into the progressive package and cant be challenged even when there are clashes with womens rights. Also Nordic LBTQ groups such as RFSL and Seta have democratic structures and memberships which they have to be accountable to. This is no longer the case in the UK where previously small lobby charity groups for gay rights have been literally “bought up” through donations by private medical companies, law firms, market research companies.(thats just those Ive looked into)

    • Solaia, just recently you were telling us Britons the importance of using the Ukrainian word to describe their own city of Kyiv, so I know that you agree that language is important. Do you feel that women should also be able to use their own words to describe their sex, or does this not matter in the “anglophone” world?

  15. Thanks for this and your thoughts too of which I agree. This thing is way out of control to the point where they are redefining what it means to be a woman, I.e you no longer have to have a womb, or some of the things nature specifically designed for us. I understand they need to carve out their identity but not at our expense. Ironic I think!!!
    Anyway…. live and let live I say but it’s all becoming just weird.

    • Anyway…. live and let live I say but it’s all becoming just weird.

      Well the 20 years that Pluto will be in Aquarius are going to be weird af so get used to it.

      • I think I may identify myself as an Alien, as the world is becoming quite a hostile place. I am getting older, so my skin is wrinkly anyway, therefore the more shrivelled I become, I will fit in nicely. Like an OAP ET. I may even forget to phone home! Fifty types of Aliens to compete with 64 genders.

  16. I noticed it for a long time myself, and I kept quiet about the subject because the first thing that is opposite of what they want to hear is immediately vilified.

    Part of me wonders how much this line of thinking is going to extend into later in the decades or hopefully these people will grow wiser as they get older.

  17. I agree with your credo. Safe Guarding trumps labels and seeing people as unique individuals is most important. I agree with you on language. “Swans are white” is a very short sentence and as a generality works Ok. “Swans can be White” immediately implies we’ve left someone out! I’d hate to think a trans woman dies of prostate cancer because someone hasn’t felt it useful to do a blood test and check her PSA levels. I have to be careful with language as over the years I’ve found myself very misunderstood. Mercury in the 10th in Scorpio square both Uranus in Leo (8th house) and Kiron in Aquarius (second House). I was the only girl on an engineering course in the 80s so was treated as an honorary bloke for a bit (they believed this was a great priviledge 😉 and leant a lot about attitudes.

    • The ancient world recognised three sexes – men, women and eunuchs. Some law codes even enshrined the distinct status of the latter though as many were originally slaves and or captives they were often treated under that category. People can dress up transgender issues in anyway they like but I suspect those definitions from the past probably are as good as any other.

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