Is it just ME? As I woke up one morning…
Photo: TOMÉ LOURO/PEXELS.COM

Is it just ME? As I woke up one morning…

When I grew up, men were men – apart from Rock Hudson – and women were women and, as far as I could tell, everyone was just fine with that.

Smoking weed, hot pants and free love were the big issues as well as stopping Vietnam and surviving the Cold War.

Fifty years later, perceptions of our world and its inhabitants have changed dramatically. We are led to believe that nobody is quite sure of who they really are anymore – he, she, it, a combination of any two genders or even all three at once.

Indeed, these ‘gender fluid’ ideas born out of the insecurity of an ever-more vocal tiny minority are rammed down our throats on a daily basis to such an extent that real issues of critical importance to the vast majority are being either ignored or swept under the carpet amongst the global obsession of conforming with so-called political correctness as the following examples will illustrate.

Did you know that ‘woke’, added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017, has no real meaning? Originally signifying ‘well informed and up to date’, the made-up term is now understood to refer to being ‘alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice’.

George Orwell’s post-World War II dystopian masterpiece 1984 warned of rewriting history to fit perceived facts, a futuristic scenario which has now become the new reality surrounded by once-venerated toppled statues.

Today’s O.T.T. tumultuous equality uproar permeating every aspect of society, media, politics and sport can easily be exposed and quantified by perceptions versus facts.

Take Britain, for instance. A survey shows that it is generally believed that 20% of the population is black when the actual figure is 3%; 5% are supposed transgender as opposed to 0.5% in reality; 10% bisexual v 1.3%; 15% gay or lesbian v 1.8%; 15% Muslim v 4%; and 20% vegetarian or vegan when the actual number is 4%. And yet we are all made to bow to the demands of the relatively few in all walks of everyday life ranging from restaurant menus to the King’s English.

‘Urban dialect’ is taking over ‘diverse’ (slums?!) areas of London with linguistics experts at Oxford University convinced that Multicultural London English (MLE) could become the dominant form of our language within a century.

Words and terms such as “Wagwan” (what’s going on), “bare” (very, a lot of), “peng” (attractive), “wasteman” (loser), “chirpsing” (flirting), “mandem” or “gyaldem” (a group of men or women), “whip” (car), “lips” (kiss) or “nank” (knife) are progressively invading our vocabulary and threating to render any future meaningful conversation obsolete.

In female sport, one in five black women are apparently transgender. Lia Thomas won the US college swimming championships three years after competing as a man and broke all kinds of records. As a result, FINA, swimming’s world governing body, has now banned transgender women from the World Swimming Championships. Elsewhere, cyclist Emily Bridges was barred at the last minute from taking part in a female race only a month after racing in male events – much to the outrage of equality activists.

All of which takes me on to the ‘umbrella’ term LGBTTTQQIAA+, an alphabet soup which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, 2/two spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally plus pansexual, agender, gender queer, bi-gender, gender variant, pangender – in case you didn’t know. If you ask me, this ‘who’ or ‘what am I’ hysteria has gone, and will continue to go, too far. Soon people will identify as trees, animals or insist that they are aliens.

The public-funded Stonewall charity claims children as young as two can recognise if they are transgender and that nurseries should teach that idea. An article written by a trans man in their monthly publication states that “my four-year-old is gender non-conforming” claiming that his daughter believes she is a boy. I’m sorry, we used to call those girls tomboys, and very nice they were too. But I am sure that neither barely coherent toddlers or even precocious little girls of pre-school age are in any way mature enough to decide on their sexuality, past, present or future.

Health chiefs have apologised after publishing an NHS Scotland document calling for eunuchs to be recognised as a gender identity. Let me remind you that eunuchs were historically forcibly castrated to guard harems or achieve artificially high singing voices, not born without any male genitals.

The BBC is to demand diversity for every programme, production teams and shows, stating that 20% of directors, producers, technicians and actors must be from minority backgrounds. What happened to talent?

Simply Sewing readers are being needled by woke pronouns, all contributors, 99.9% of whom are female anyway, being labelled “she/her”. Mr Kipling are insisting on inclusivity training for staff – I presume the ‘Mr’ is causing some confusion. The ridiculous ‘wokeness’ list is endless.

To top it all, Scout chiefs have introduced woke language policing, banning terms such as ‘dinner ladies’, ‘Christian name’, and ‘Chinese whispers’, replacing them with school meal supervisors, given name, and broken telephone (!) as well as banning the offensive phrase ‘to fall on deaf ears’.

When I was a cub and then boy scout, rising to the exalted position of Senior Patrol Leader, the sleeves of my crisp green shirt were covered with badges displaying my proud achievements ranging from orienteering to bellringing and horsemanship – I’m afraid there would not have been any room for the latest additions, the transgender, trans fun, bisexual fun and lesbian fun badges – I kid you not.

Those would have given our then eagerly awaited annual summer camp experience a totally new meaning far removed from stalking the ‘forbidden’ nearby Brownies’ encampment – movement founder Robert Baden Powell is surely turning in his grave!

I have no problem with individuals successfully fighting for and discovering their identities and rights – some of my best friends have been gay, lesbian or I-don’t-knows without climbing on a soapbox. But why do others turn their very personal quests into a public crusade?

Call me a dinosaur, and I will be vilified in certain quarters for my unapologetic outspokenness, but codswallop and poppycock, the world has gone mad.

By Skip Bandele
|| features@algarveresident.com
Skip Bandele escaped to the Algarve almost 25 years ago and has been with the Algarve Resident since 2003. His writing reflects views and opinions formed while living in Africa, Germany and England as well as Portugal.