In my part of London, the foxes are bold. On Christmas evening the air was rent with eerily childlike screams as they waged their territorial battles in the back streets and gardens. Once, a neighbour was accosted by a fox which attempted to wrestle her carrier bag of groceries from her. You don’t mess with the foxes around here. They are wild, hungry, and very confident.
This Boxing Day morning I awoke to the news that everybody’s favourite Woke QC, Jolyon Maugham, had killed a fox with a baseball bat, while wearing a kimono.
His choice of dressing gown is neither here nor there but, you must admit, it makes for an image liable to stick in the mind.
Now, it is apparent that Maugham needs a lot of attention and, if he can’t get it by winning legal cases on constitutional law, his desire for internet fame will run into other channels. One of his recent, regular attention-getting proclamations has been the old canard that women are intolerable meanies for demanding our right to single-sex spaces is upheld.
JoMo is of the – increasingly beleaguered – school of thought that women are not permitted to uphold this boundary for the reason that it hurts the sensitive feelings of male-born ‘True Trans.’ For, in his social bubble, the genuine-if-mistaken believer in sex-change is indistinguishable from the predatory opportunist who has dogged the female prison estate, and other public refuges from male violence. All of the males availing of the protections intended for a handful of transsexuals, clustering under Stonewall’s Trans Umbrella, are equally entitled to use women’s space, despite reams of evidence of the negative outcomes for women of this complete breakdown of boundaries.
Of course, feminist women and gender critics see the thought error: not all men are predators, but nearly all the predators that do exist are male; identifying as trans has no statistical effect on male patterns of violence, therefore it is necessary to exclude males, on the basis of sex, from places women and children are vulnerable. There are no practical means by which service providers can exclude predatory males, while allowing only well-intentioned ‘True Trans’ to enter. This practical challenge is the reason why single-sex exemptions were placed in the Equality Act 2010, allowing service providers to exclude even males with Gender Reassignment Certificates from women’s spaces.
Maugham, for reasons best known to himself, will not see the thought error. Given his former professional friendliness towards women’s equality, this has been a source of frustration and no small amount of exasperation, as he tweets to provoke a conversation on the topic, then blocks female lawyers whose questions lead inexorably to answers which do not support his conclusions.
Against this backdrop, it was something of a gift to his critics that Maugham not only felt driven to extreme measures to protect his chickens (they have their own coop and enclosed run), but that we have been deploying the analogy of foxes in the chicken coop for years. As prudent folk who care about the safety of their chickens will take reasonable security measures against predators, so will a state which values the safety of women and children.
The most straightforward measure is to keep all males out of the places where women and children are naked or, for various reasons, incapacitated. It’s the bare minimum the state can do and – until the gender activists got their tentacles into them – was an unquestioned public good. Yet, in Maugham’s ‘inclusive’ vision for trans ‘rights’ at women’s expense, the chicken coop has no door, and the run has no netting. The foxes are entitled to mix with their prey on the understanding that they will keep their natural tendencies in check. The chickens, notably, are required to emit not so much as a cluck of consternation or fear at this dangerous new state of affairs.
The real tragedy for the fox (aside from the brutal end it met at the hands of a gender activist) – and I credit a Twitter wag for this realisation – was that Maugham didn’t even ask the fox whether or not it identified as a chicken, before attacking.
Not such a champion of kindness after all.