Jennie Pollock

From the mouths of children…

Jennie Pollock is the Associate Head of Public Policy at the Christian Medical Fellowship, and a part-time freelance writer and editor. She has an MA in Philosophy and loves to think, read and write about the assumptions underpinning our cultural values.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of CMF.

In the old fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes, a tailor tells a king that he has invented a wonderful new kind of cloth, that can only be seen by the wisest people. He makes a beautifully-tailored outfit for the Emperor, who proudly goes out into the streets, showing off his garments and, as he thinks, his great wisdom. All the courtiers, all the populace, and even the Emperor himself can’t see any clothing at all but are too ashamed to admit it. Only a child has the boldness and clarity of vision to point out the obvious: the Emperor has no clothes.

The world, it seems, still looks to children to tell the obvious truths and make blinded adults listen. Greta Thunberg did it with climate change, and schoolgirls in the UK are doing it with transgenderism.

At the end of April, the Crown Prosecution Service was forced to withdraw its guidance to schools on transphobic bullying after a fourteen-year-old girl threatened legal action.

The Times reported that the unnamed girl had said the guidance ‘meant that she could be prosecuted for a hate crime if she told friends that she would not date a trans girl.‘ Her lawyer also pointed out that, ‘regarding cases of alleged harassment when transgender pupils used single-sex lavatories in schools,‘ the guidance said the girl would be at fault if she expressed ‘legitimate discomfort when someone she understood to be male came into the ladies’ lavatory.

In other words, he said, ‘rather than promoting the welfare of students, the guidance exposed many of them, especially girls, to a greater risk of harm. By failing to recognise their need for safe and private spaces, it violated their need for privacy and dignity.

This is one of a number of cases – recent, current and pending – concerning the impact on children of supposedly responsible adults’ extreme, even obsequious, acquiescence to transgender ideology. Earlier in April, a High Court judge gave approval for a thirteen-year-old girl to go to court over Oxfordshire County Council’s Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools. The Telegraph states that the girl, ‘known only as Miss A, says that [the Toolkit] is seriously flawed and poses a risk to children.

The guidance, which includes statements such as, ‘trans children and young people should have access to the changing room that corresponds to their gender identity,’ and on residential trips, ‘As far as possible, trans children and young people should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity.

The Safe Schools Alliance, supporting the case, say that such statements are ‘in direct opposition to all safeguarding protocols‘.

Keira Bell is no longer a child, but she wishes adults had stepped in and done their job when she was a teenager and protected her from making a decision she was not mature enough to make. Bell is the 23-year-old heading up the case against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, alongside ‘Mum A’, ‘the mother of a 15-year-old girl with autism, who is awaiting treatment [for gender dysphoria] at the clinic.‘ The BBC reports that Bell, whose desire to undergo gender transitioning grew throughout her teenage years, was referred to the Tavistock gender-identity development service (GIDS) when she was 16:

She said after three one-hour-long appointments she was prescribed puberty blockers, which delay the development of signs of puberty, like periods or facial hair.

She felt there wasn’t enough investigation or therapy before she reached that stage.

‘I should have been challenged on the proposals or the claims that I was making for myself,’ she said. ‘And I think that would have made a big difference as well. If I was just challenged on the things I was saying.’

Having said this, however, Bell also admits that at 16, she probably wouldn’t have wanted to listen to any advice trying to convince her to wait before taking such drastic steps:

‘I feel I could say anything to my 16-year-old self, and I might not necessarily listen at that time. And that’s the point of this case, when you are that young you don’t really want to listen.

‘So, I think it’s up to these institutions, like the Tavistock, to step in and make children reconsider what they are saying because it is a life-altering path.’

Neither should children be put in the position of having to point out ‘the Emperor’s [lack of] clothes’, or to go to court to protect their own safety and that of their peers.

We are very encouraged by all three of these court cases and hope and pray that reason will prevail. But more than that, we hope and pray that adults will stop leaving it to the children to have the courage to stand up for what is right, and will admit that they too can see right through the narratives that seek to conceal the truth about sex, gender and gender dysphoria. We have a duty to protect all children from harm. And that includes protecting them from having to grow up too fast.





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