Somebody announces a change in their (sic) pronouns.

The majority of us probably say something like, “Sure. Whatever.”

Brendan O’Neill makes the case against this blasé attitude in an article in the U.K. Spectator headlined “Eddie Izzard and the Denigration of Women.”  

I confess I had never heard of Eddie Izzard, a Brit comedian, and actor, whose sexual identity has undergone several transitions.

Izzard, born a man, came out as transgender in the 1980s but, according to Vanity Fair, now says that this was just “a little transition period.” Izzard has announced that he is now a woman.

The media acceded to his request with alacrity. Wikipedia immediately jumped on the “she” wagon and The Guardian issued a glowing report on Izzard’s latest transition:

In 2017, [Izzard] told the Hollywood Reporter: “I am essentially transgender. I have boy mode and girl mode. I do feel I have boy genetics and girl genetics.”

Izzard has been known for decades for her fashion and style on stage and television, to which she has said: “They’re not women’s clothes. They’re my clothes. I bought them.”

Stonewall said on Monday that Izzard’s openness would have an impact on transgender communities across the globe.

Robbie de Santos, associate director of communications and campaigns at the charity, told PA Media: “We’re delighted that Eddie has been able to bravely share her truth with the world.

“Being open about using different pronouns is often incredibly difficult, especially in the public eye – her courageous decision will mean a lot to trans and gender-fluid communities around the world.”

The comedian Shappi Khorsandi also praised Izzard, tweeting on Sunday: “I see Eddie Izzard is trending. I can’t tell you what she means to me as a comic.

Whatever Izzard’s transition means to Shappi Khorsandi “as a comic,” I can assure you it is not something funny.

But can you become a female just like that? Should we now welcome Izzard as a sister? O’Neill comments:

Just imagine if a white celebrity said he was switching to ‘black mode’. Imagine the furore that would ensue. In fact, we don’t have to imagine. We know. Remember Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president, a white woman who passed herself off as black for many years? She still gets flak and ridicule for that. For a white woman to ‘identify as black’ is ludicrous, everyone says. But it’s fine for a man to identify as a woman? It’s brilliant, in fact, for Izzard to go from ‘boy mode’ to ‘girl mode’? The female identity can be put on like a piece of clothing? Why this double standard?

We’re inclined to shrug off something like Izzard’s demand to be called a woman, but O’Neill nails it on why this denigrates women:

This Izzard story is important because it forces us to confront the denigration of language, especially the language around biology, sex, and gender. Most people are happy to use female pronouns for men who have been through some form of the gender transition process. Even many of those who question whether such people really do become women are prepared to use female pronouns as a courtesy.

But Izzard is asking for something a little different. He is very clearly male. He’s the same as he always was. To the best of our knowledge, he has not undergone any kind of meaningful medical transition. And yet he wants to be known as a woman. A serious question: what gives him the right to make this request? And shouldn’t the rest of us be at liberty to say, ‘I’m sorry, you are male. You may of course wear what you like and do what you like, but you are a ‘he’, not a ‘she’’?

I’m worried about what will happen if we don’t do this; if we fail to stand up for the meaning of words. Confusion will set in, especially among younger generations, and people’s right to describe reality itself will be shot down. Already people are being branded as ‘transphobes’ — and very often hounded and demonized by woke mobs — if they say sex is real and immutable, and that if you were born male you will die male. These are all truths, but you will be punished for expressing them. It used to be a sin to say the Earth was not at the centre of the solar system; now it’s a sin to say that people with penises are men, not women.

Failing to defend truth and reason will lead to the denigration of what it means to be a woman. I think the reason it is acceptable for men to say they are women, where it wouldn’t be acceptable for a white person to claim to be a black person, is because womanhood has been robbed of all meaning by the more extreme elements in the genderfluidity movement.