What news of conflict and conflicting news is circulating these past few days. Even deep in the beautiful Umbrian countryside world news filters through, and, I like a leech to blood, thirstily suck it up. This week I am at the same time heartened and saddened and utterly confused by what I am hearing and reading.
Firstly circulating the globe the reaction to a hate crime in the Netherlands which saw two guys attacked whilst they were holding hands the news tells of the overwhelming reaction witnessing men all over the globe now walking hand in hand. #allemannenhandinhand
Meanwhile in the UK there is a report of massive complaints at the introduction of ‘gender neutral’ lavatories.
and to confuse me further Stonewall UK has been reported in the UK Guardian as stating “UK passports should allow people who do not identify as male or female to define themselves as X”
Firstly I say a huge “Bravi” to everyone showing solidarity by holding hands, hate crimes in whatever form are reprehensible and to have the self confidence to be just who you want to be is truly laudable.
Now I must admit I have never really understood the problem of unisex lavatories. Here I daren’t generalise but in my youth it was suspected that women went to the lavatory together to ‘powder their nose’ synonymous for ‘going for a gossip’ and guys avoided going to the lavatory together so as not to be seen as ‘cissies’ (can I say that these days?) are we not all size queens so maybe that was the real reason. In my travels I have come across several unisex lavatories and never encountered any problems or embarrassment. In one of my favourite café bar restaurant stores in Perugia the lavatories are large and unisex, it seems perfectly normal. We are after all thankfully long past the nineteenth century and ‘Victorian sensibilities’.
Now the third has me really stymied. Coming from an organisation whose strapline reads “Acceptance without exception” I fail to understand the policy of a new passport gender “X” . Surely yet another gender will create more hatred and media topicality, it will highlight differences not eradicate them. I read with increasing depression that banks are proposing to their customers a raft of forms of address such as Mx, Misc, Ind, M, Mre reminds me of the late Screaming Lord Such and his ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’ who stood in many an election, it is shock value, at least he had a point.
Gender, which is now the hipster subject of choice for the zealous politically correct classes should be cancelled. Why should I be defined by my gender any more than my sexuality defining who I am? Gender is only habit and a means of subjugating and pointlessly differentiating many. On a passport gender must make no difference to anyone’s ability to travel and be protected by their country. For those who question their safety in a public lavatory I reflect that I want to be safe in any public space whoever is there. Of course logically this leads back to the couples holding hands, and anyone must be able to feel free to hold anyone else’s hand without prejudice no matter what their gender.