The title of my paper is "The Deconstruction of Gender", but it is really about the deconstruction of reality and what is bordering on a collective insanity. I say "bordering on insanity", because there is still apparently a line to be crossed. A man is a hero if he calls himself a woman, but if he thinks he is Napoleon he is regarded as crazy; but is it any more likely that Bruce Jenner is a woman than a reincarnated Napoleon?
I was born in India where many Hindus believe in reincarnation, so a man who has fathered several children, is just as likely to be Napoleon as he is to be a woman. And what if a man thinks he is a chicken trapped in a man's body? If a man is called courageous because he says he is a woman, isn't he even more courageous for saying he is a chicken? And how long before we provide him with feather implants and beak surgery? Let him crow and legally marry hens. Let's open a new frontier not merely in transgender but in trans-species.
Where did all this nonsense start? My observations started was when I was appointed a member of the Committee on Equal Opportunity in Schools in my home state of Victoria in Australia in the late seventies. The committee's function was to encourage more girls to study maths and science and to encourage boys to study home economics and sewing. The committee was dominated by feminists whose thesis was that there would be more equalization of subject choices in school if lesbianism and/or an androgynous, unisex society was promoted, starting with books in kindergarten such as Jane Has Two Mothers.
I had done maths and science in India 50 years ago in what was quite a traditional society, and I didn't think lesbianism had anything to do with girls choosing to study maths. I discovered that the leading private schools in Victoria had twice as many maths classes in their timetables than the government schools. I wrote a minority report, making the recommendation that the number of maths classes in government schools be doubled.
But I found that feminists are not interested in rational debate. They insist at one and the same time that there are no differences between men and women, but also that the world would be a more compassionate place if more women were in power. If one argues that this is not logical, feminists retort that logic is a male construct and that women think differently, with "empathy and intuition" rather than logic. Arguing with a feminist is like wrestling with jelly.
After the publication of my minority report, a number of women around Australia got in touch with me and said they had experienced the same frustrations with feminist domination of education in their home states, and eventually we got together and established Endeavour Forum. We realized that some political aspects of educational policy in Australia were a trickle-down from interpretations of United Nations treaties and conventions. So we began to attend the annual sessions of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, and in 2000 achieved NGO status recognition by the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
At the UN we discovered that the policy was not so much the promotion of a unisex society as the promotion of multiple genders: they were lobbying for five genders: male, female, asexual, transsexual and hermaphrodite. The situation reached high drama at a session of the Commission on the Status of Women when the development agencies of the Scandinavian countries threatened to withhold development money from Nicaragua unless the Nicaraguan government sacked the head of its delegation, Max Padilla, from his then Cabinet post as Minister for the Family.
His offence, on-going from the 1999 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in New York, dubbed "Cairo plus five", was to refuse to accept the European Union definition of "gender" as an arbitrary social construct which could include several "genders". He insisted that "gender" be defined in its common meaning of two sexes, male and female. The hapless Mr Padilla was duly recalled – Nicaragua is a poor country vulnerable to economic coercion. His replacement duly arrived, but he had apparently not been briefed about what he was supposed to say, because he looked at the papers before him and said, "But in my country we only have men and women....".
Today, however, five genders seems comparatively modest. The Australian Human Rights Commission acknowledges 23 genders, and Facebook recognizes 58 genders, all of which are also recognized by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, so you have a wide choice.
These genders are: Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Cis, Cisgender, Cis Female, Cis Male, Cis Man, Cis Woman, Cisgender Female, Cisgender Male, Cisgender Man, Cisgender Woman, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, Male to Female, MTF, Neither, Neutrois, Non-binary, Other, Pangender, Trans, Trans* Trans Female, Trans* Female, Trans Male, Trans* Male, Trans Man, Trans* Man, Trans Person, Trans* Person, Trans Woman, Trans* Woman, Transfeminine, Transgender, Transgender Female, Transgender Male, Transgender Man, Transgender Person, Transgender Woman, , Transmasculine, Transsexual, Transsexual Female, Transsexual Male, Transsexual Man, Transsexual Person, Transsexual Woman, and Two-Spirit.
Our Victorian Labor government has recently appointed a Gender and Sexuality Commissioner. Her name is Rowena Allen, and she derives her inspiration directly from your Native Americans She is quoted in a recent article in Melbourne's Age newspaper as follows: "I identify as a Walker which is a Native American term for someone who walks between genders. At any point people will call me male or 'sir', which is great when you're buying a car, but I'm just as comfortable in a group of women." And how does one select one's gender? Well, the Yogyakarta Principles, enunciated by a handful of human rights lobbyists and a radical homosexual group who met in Yogyakarta in Indonesia in 2007, determined in its preamble that "gender identity" refers to "each person's deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms".
All this may seem absurd, but it also involves tragedies. No doubt you have all read about the Reimer twins, victims of the late Dr John Money's grand experiment into changing sex. One of the boys, David, due to a circumcision accident, had his penis badly damaged. Dr Money – who was professor of pediatrics and medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University from 1951 until his death in 2006 – encouraged his parents to have him castrated and to bring him up as a girl. Dr Money also coerced the boys into "sex play" with each other. The experiment did not work, and both of the boys as adult men committed suicide.
Transcript of a talk (edited) given by Babette Francis at Eagle Council in St Louis Missouri, on September 13, 2015.