Are we getting too sensitive about gender?

Is being offended an exact science? If you do 60km/h in a 40km/h zone that’s an exact offence, but whether you offend someone…

And how many people do you have to offend before behaviour can be considered offensive – or is it a percentage of your audience?

Some people who get offended make it pretty clear they were offended, but not everybody. And who decides whether or not it is offensive?

I’ve been musing lately on the concept that not offending people is one of the best things we can do, but it’s not easy.

I was once told this joke below is offensive, so I hope you are not offended.

I tell it as a point of reference, more than as a joke.

I was at a bus stop once and I saw a person walking across the road.

I didn’t know whether they were a man or a woman, so I said to the person sitting next to me: “See that person walking across the street?” “Yes dear,” they said. 

I said: “Well, I can’t tell whether he is a man or a woman.”

The person I said this to snapped back at me: “That ‘HE’ crossing the road is my daughter!” So I apologised. “I’m very sorry! I didn’t know you were her mother.”

They snapped back at me even louder: “I’m not her mother! I’m her father!”

Now, who does this joke offend? Men or women? Mothers or fathers? Men who look like women, or women who look like men?

Someone said this story offends people who are transgender; but who in the story above is transgender?

Are we all getting a bit too sensitive about gender lately? Why?

I was recently contacted about being interviewed for a documentary on transgenderism. Normally, I am a willing participant to help the media in their pursuit of the truth, as I firmly believe a free media is a sign of a free country and a shackled media is the sign of a shackled country. However, this time I declined. Why?

I think the promotion of transgenderism in recent years is quite a complex issue.

There’s been a few years now of blurring the different, but complimentary, qualities of men and women. Chivalry – the concept of men respecting and honouring women – has been disintegrated, as women are being taught to be offended if a man acts with chivalry; the remaining ashes of what feminism burned.

Why is transgenderism praised while traditional masculinity is attacked as being “toxic” and traditional feminism sneered at as “suppression”?

I am not in favour of discrimination against any transgender person. I also know what it’s like to walk around in clothes that make people stare at you and have people hate you at first glance. However, I think we are getting things backwards.

Were our parents and grandparents really that bad? Were they really haters and bigots?

Were they evil because their first question on the occasion of the birth of a child was “is it a boy or a girl?”

Apparently, our parents didn’t know any better. Were they really that uneducated?

Maybe they thought for themselves and it is we who simply embrace whatever we are fed from those on the same addictive diet of social media and “fear of missing out” as we are.

I am not in favour of discrimination against any transgender person. I also know what it’s like to walk around in clothes that make people stare at you and have people hate you at first glance. However, I think we are getting things backwards.

A woman said to me recently: “Why should it be celebrated when a man dresses as a woman, yet when a woman is feminine in her conduct and dress she is mocked mercilessly by the radical left as a non-progressive, oppressed woman?”

I think the lady has a point. But there are rays of light.

The American College of Pediatricians (a conservative advocacy group of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals) revealed on its website that as many as 98 per cent of boys confused about their gender and 88 per cent of girls confused about their gender eventually accept their biological gender after naturally passing through puberty.

Views on gender are fluid and changing fast, so I hope I haven’t offended you.

If I have, please read this again in five years.

Twitter: @fatherbrendanelee