I sometimes think I have woken up in some parallel universe where people’s minds are tuned in to some new radiowave of thought and I have been left behind. Like someone has forgotten to update my software. Did I really hear that:
- The little green man on pedestrian traffic lights, so simple to explain to small children, is being replaced by two circles with arrows, the male symbol and/or the female symbol which is far less clear?
- The Gay Rights organisation Stonewall has suggested that two biological men who choose to identify as women and are attracted to one another can call themselves lesbian?
- The Freemasons, for ever a male-only organisation (thoroughly unfairly in my opinion) will now accept women but only if they started their membership as a man?
- We have an American President who resembles a Court Jester (if only he was!)?
- We might drop out of the EU without a deal?
- A teacher who has decided that Maths makes students too anxious and could potentially be ‘racist’?
- A convicted rapist, still a biological man, who can decide that he wants to ‘identify’ as a woman and gets moved to a woman’s prison where he carries out more sexual assaults?
- There is a movement on both sides of the Atlantic to reverse the abortion laws so hard-won, forgetting how many women have suffered physically, mentally and financially (and actually died from backstreet abortions) while men walk away, oblivious of the high-handed nature with which they rule over women’s bodies and lives citing the law or religion?
- We allow cyclists to cycle on our roads with no accountability, no insurance, no number plate, seemingly no reference to the Highway Code, slamming through red lights at pedestrian crossings and scattering toddlers and the elderly with no redress?
- There are students who can erase the realities of history by tearing down statues and banning books and lectures?
- There have been virtually no prosecutions for Female Genital Mutiliation that have taken place in this country despite many cases being reported?
- By 2035 there will be more Muslim children in this country than Christian?
- People don’t seem to consider, let alone acknowledge, the fact that using the phrase “male, pale and stale” is both racist and genderist abuse?
- The number of referrals for transgender dysphoria has quadrupled in the last five years?
- Apparently I can no longer have a fancy dress theme such as Around the World in 80 Days for my 70th birthday in 2020 because I might offend someone by dressing up in their country’s style?
- Perhaps I can’t even write or use a recipe that comes from another culture as I might be accused of cultural appropriation?
- According to some pearly words of politically correct wisdom I can’t write a novel about a black person because I am a white woman and may therefore misappropriate their culture. So presumably all my future work would have to only include white female characters?
Am I dreaming or just down a rabbit hole? Is it that I have reached the stage of life similar to my parents moaning to me that the Rolling Stones looked hideous and sang dreadful songs? But surely all the above is far more serious than that? Isn’t it?
The trouble is, I find, that if I raise any of these issues in a way that suggests that I am uncomfortable with some of the changes that are occurring I am looked at as if I am some kind of nearly-extinct pariah. It seems to be very difficult to have any balanced discussion or debate with people because we are living in this binary black-and-white world where there doesn’t seem to be a middle way. People just don’t want to hear concerns or questions on these subjects, let along views that differ from their own.