By Jonathon Van Maren
On the heels of my depressing Tuesday column on how we are losing the war against gender ideology in the courts in the United States, my cynicism has been rebuked by two good news stories out of the United Kingdom.
The first is the victory of Maya Forstater, an assistant Cub Scout leader from St. Albans who became the center of a firestorm of controversy in 2019 after objecting to the transgender policy of the Scout Association, which allowed boys identifying as girls to sleep, change, and shower with the girls. Forstater argued that this policy would lead to the elimination of female-only spaces.
Forstater immediately acquired a target on her back, and when, during a debate on Twitter, she referred to bearded Scout leader Gregor Murray as a “he” rather than his preferred pronoun “they,” she was reported to the Scout Association. Despite the fact that Murray had used foul and misogynist language on social media himself (and had been suspended as a local councilor for doing so), Forstater became the subject of an investigation by the Scouts.
It was at this point that J.K. Rowling famously made her first foray into the transgender wars, tweeting her support of Forstater: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
After a ludicrous two-year investigation, Forstater has now received an apology letter from the Scout Association. As feminist Julie Bindel noted in Unherd: “Trans activists are in retreat. With a number of high-profile victories won by feminists refusing to be silenced by the deafening chants of ‘trans women are women,’ momentum against the trans lobby is picking up speed.”