Last week two doctors found themselves in the news. Both had been very successful and had excellent reputations. No one complained about their skills or their medical integrity. But, they have fallen foul of the ‘new inquisition’. Both have been dismissed. The new Inquisitors asked them questions about their adherence to the new cultural dogma. They gave scientific, medical answers. They lost their jobs.
One was an English doctor called David Mackereth. He had an unblemished 28-year career in A&E medicine. The other an American psychiatrist called Allan M Josephson. He was a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville,Kentucky.
To Dr Mackereth first of all. He was training to work for the Government as a disability medical assessor for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). He was told that he had to refer, in his paperwork, to a person by their preferred gender pronoun, because gender could be fluid. Hedisagreed. His problem was that as a scientist, Christian and a doctor, he didn’t believe in gender, a cultural idea; only biological sex, a scientific concept, which derived from one particular set of genitals (or another) and chromosomes (XY or XX).
So the DWP consulted lawyers. They came back and insisted that any report or contact with clients should refer to them in their chosen sex otherwise it “could be considered to be harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act”.
A different group of Lawyers at Christian Concern took the opposite view of the notorious Equalities Act, and said that there had indeed been discrimination, but against Dr Mackereth. It is therefore the DWP that was in breach of the Equality Act, for compelling staff to use ‘transgender pronouns’ against their freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It’s going to a tribunal.
At the heart of this conflict lies the dogma of gender. It didn’t exist until the late 1950’s and was invented by a sexologist called John Money. He proposed the idea that gender was something you thought about yourself or felt, rather than a matter of biology. This is the origin of the so called alphabetic cornucopia of LGBTTTQQIAA…
How did this catch on? Early feminists liked Money’s ideas because they offered a way out of being confined by their own biology. Gender offered a new way of imagining social relationships and escaping what were seen as old and repressive power structures; particularly those centred on the nuclear or extended family.
It wouldn’t be too simplistic to say that this comes down to the model of family with a mother and father and children on one side, against ….any other sexual permutation we invent for ourselves and our children that we feel comfortable with, on the other.
We know from careful social analysis that children fare best in what we can call the traditional family. What we don’t know is what will happen to the mental health and prospects of increasing numbers of children born and raised outside those safety of those parameters.
And, as Dr Mackereth points out, forcing doctors to talk and act in ways that go against both their consciences and their science, could be storing up a great deal of trouble for ourselves in the future.
Do you want a doctor who will tell you the ‘factual’ truth medically speaking? Or a truth that gets shaped by what you think reality ought to be?
Dr Money’s reputation took a hit when his first transgendered patient, David Reimer, ending up committing suicide. Money claimed that the bad press that followed this was whipped up by right wing anti-feminists.
And the suicide of Reimer takes us to Professor Alan M.Josephson. As a psychiatrist he became increasingly worried about the way in which children suffering from gender dysphoria, weren’t properly evaluated.
“I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that treating a child as if they were the opposite sex is a form of social psychological treatment, one that could lessen the likelihood that that child will psychologically realign with their body by the end of adolescence.
The lack of thorough evaluation is a huge problem…..There are now over 50 gender clinics in the United States. These were unheard of seven or eight years ago.”
The new Inquisition has taken Money’s ideas on gender and placed them at the heart of politics, law, education and now medicine.
This experiment with gender at the expense of biology may indeed offer a tool for those who identify with the feminist agenda. It does re-distribute power. If re-distributing power is what deepens the sanity and safety of our children that would indeed be an achievement.
But it may not be a coincidence that just as the effects of this cultural war begin to bed down, we have the greatest levels of mental distress amongst our children our society has ever known.
And any movement that attacks freedom of speech, medical conscience and uses our children as experimental political bargaining chips, may not be laying the best foundations for our future. It may have got the political, mental and social diagnoses wrong.
What should alarm us most is its willingness to punish and silence those who disagree with it. People have become afraid to disagree and speak out. We are choosing comfort rather than courage. It won’t end well.