Transgender ideology: A new threat to liberal values

Think tank: Institute of Economic Affairs

Author(s): Marc Glendening

August 23, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs looks at proposed laws facilitating gender self-identification.

Transgender ideology and the rights of trans people to dress or present themselves as they wish must be distinguished. One can challenge the former while affirming the latter. Proposed laws facilitating gender self-identification have serious implications for single sex spaces, sports, and for the internal functions of businesses and private organisations. They therefore warrant serious discussion and debate. Many supporters of transgender ideology do not aim to win the debate but rather to prevent debate from occurring. Supporters of transgender ideology in organisations including Mermaids and Stonewall have claimed that gender critical views such as denying the ability of people to change sex through an act of gender self-identification, constitute ‘hate speech’ and as such should be prosecuted. There are concerning indications that a future Labour government would introduce new ‘hate speech’ legislation, with serious implications for freedom of speech. Even under existing laws people with gender critical views have been subject to police investigation. Transgender ideology must be seen as a product of a broader postmodernist approach which views the concept of objective truth as both a fiction and a tool of oppression. Maintaining free speech in this area, as in others, is essential if we are to defend a liberal society based on rationality rather than coercion.