Mark Dolan: Push back on the need for biological women to now call themselves a cis woman

If it's designed to make me afraid, or to shut me up, be clear, it will have the opposite effect.

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I just want to talk to you briefly about something that happened this weekend. And I think it's significant. This is a message on twitter, slightly tongue in cheek, that I sent out publicising Friday's show.

It was in response to shadow cabinet ministers in the labour party this week being unable, in broadcast interviews, to define what a woman was. Both politicians are women, by the way. Or maybe we should be calling them cis women now.

They were shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper who said answering that question was a “rabbit hole”. Is it? Is defining a biological woman a rabbit role? OK. And Anneliese Dodds, the shadow equalities minister also gave no clear answer, squirming that it depended on the context.

Context? Why do you need a context? There was no context needed by my mother when she gave birth to me, or yours to you. What is a woman? It can't be that hard a question, can it? Surely politicians have to face tougher questions than that. We're actually taught it at school. For now, anyway. My tweet achieved plenty of engagement

I guess I'm in pretty good company, given that the world’s greatest living author J. K. Rowling has used her platform, not to attack trans people, whose journey to be who they are is an important and joyous one, that must be celebrated and protected.

But simply to uphold the basic facts of biology and to enforce the integrity and competitiveness of female sport; and practical but important considerations like female only spaces. Nothing too controversial you would think.

However there has been pushback to my slightly tongue in cheek tweet, from the talented comedian Rosie Jones, which whom I have worked, I thought we were pals. I guess I was wrong about that. She tweeted the following.

Very strong language that, isn't it? **** Would that count as abuse? ****? I think it's heading in that direction. Is it violent language, is it trolling, is it abuse? You tell me. Surprising that it has come from Miss Jones, who tweeted just this recently

I agree with her. There should be no abuse online. What a shame that she doesn’t agree with herself. ****. Is that violent language? Is that threatening me in some way? Is it abuse? You tell me. Of course this kind of vicious trolling is all-too-familiar from the so-called “be nice” brigade, who are anything but and are often responsible for some of the nastiest discourse out there. I’ll just say it like it is folks, if you’ll forgive me. Unlike so many politicians, for me this isn’t difficult.

Trans rights are of massive importance and I'm the biggest trans supporter out there, with close friends who have taken that wonderful journey. I interviewed Dennis Avner the so called cat man, for channel 4. He identified as a feline. He felt, in his soul that he was a cat and he had my love and support too. It was real and it was his journey.

But I push back on the need for biological women to now call themselves a “cis woman” and I push back on somebody born male beating fellow athletes in a female sporting environment, a view shared by the most famous trans woman in the world Caitlyn Jenner a hero of mine, who has hilariously been called transphobic, in particular by non-trans people. Explain that one to me.

And I push back on erasing the identity and biology of any human born with XX chromosomes. Or in other words, a woman. Transphobia and attacks on trans people are as twisted as evil as racism or homophobia.

We must acknowledge, support and respect someone that wants to identify as female, a trans woman, absolutely. But not but not at the expense of women born women and the rights they have fought for centuries to achieve. I'm not sure I'm a **** to be honest. I wonder if I might be a feminist. Who knows? As a bloke, it's not for me to say. I will let women judge me. **** is very strong language though, isn't it. Is it abuse? Is it violent? You tell me.

But if it's designed to make me afraid, or to shut me up, be clear, it will have the opposite effect. Because whatever the anatomy of a woman, let me reassure you, I've got a pair of balls.