Like Corbynism, the gender debate has gone through the looking glass

Those Jewish women once considered to be allies, colleagues or even just friends seem to have been knocking back crazy pills


NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration's stance toward transgender people. Last week, The New York Times reported on an unreleased administration memo that proposes a strict biological definition of gender based on a person's genitalia at birth. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

February 02, 2023 12:05

The past seven years have been a real roller coaster for liberal Jewish women in possession of sight, critical thought and common sense.

All around us, those we once considered to be allies, colleagues or even just friends seemed to be knocking back crazy pills like characters in Wonderland, and what was once up was now down as the world became a magical hall of mirrors. And so many of us were castigated for keeping our heads, like Alice evading the soldiers’ axes while running away from the raging Queen of Hearts.

Last weekend, a story ran in the Sunday Times headlined “Labour shut down the antisemitism debate.

"Now it’s silencing women.”

In it, the deeply liberal Baroness Hayter discussed the Labour Party’s self-defeating and cowardly refusal to defend its female MPs against the gender ideologues: “I’m afraid I see this as being a bit like antisemitism when it was first called out in the party and people were saying it was all being exaggerated and overblown and with this issue it is the same.

They were trying to squash us and stop us from raising it. Jewish groups were told to be quiet about antisemitism and now women are being told to shut up, too.”

Baroness Hayter is not the first person to notice this parallel. I look back on who I was pre-2016 and feel almost nostalgic for that adorably naïve person, with a rock-solid faith in my political tribe and belief in their acceptance of a plurality of opinions.

This faith started to crack when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, which I could accept (hey, you won’t always like the guy in charge, right?). What I couldn’t accept was the insane defensiveness of his supporters.

Non-Jews on the left told me I was wrong to see anything antisemitic about Corbyn or his circle and soon after that, I was told that it wasn’t “appropriate” for me to write about antisemitism on the left. To criticise Corbyn, the argument went, was to support the Tories and therefore be on the wrong side of history.

This turned out to be a mere rehearsal for the rise of gender ideology, which argues that anyone can be a woman if they feel like one.

Many of the same non-Jews who screamed that they knew better than me about antisemitism were now insisting that they know what a woman was better than me, even though they were male. To have any doubts about gender ideology was – I was told – the same as being a fascist / child murderer / Donald Trump.

And again, I was told it was not “appropriate” for me to write anything critical about gender ideology.
In both cases, we have an ideology — Corbynism, gender — that influential people on the left decide is progressive. Never mind that both were always clearly unworkable, as well as deeply, deeply flawed with horrendously regressive overtones.

Too many people on the left have abandoned critical thought in favour of a frantic scramble to be on The Right Side of

History, no matter how much they contort themselves and their values to get there. To silence the doubt in their own minds, they scream and shout at anyone who questions what the hell they’re doing.

Corbynism is long gone and I truly believe we are now — at long, long last — witnessing the death of gender insanity.

Will those who screamed and shouted ever admit their mistake? Of course not. They’ll just move onto another crazy cause. Communism, perhaps? Nudism? It doesn’t matter. The rest of us will know, and we won’t forget.

February 02, 2023 12:05

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