trans trangender rights protest
© Global Look Press/Keystone Press Agency/Joel GoodmanPeople take part in a Reclaim Pride march through Manchester City Centre , in opposition to the management of the city's 'official' Manchester Pride charity festival .
Sir Keir Starmer's assertion that it is wrong to say only women have a cervix is dangerous, particularly so in the message it sends to children. By ignoring biology, he is encouraging identity crises among young people.

It looks like the ideology of transgenderism has captured the British Labour Party. Without a hint of embarrassment, Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the party, has rejected the scientifically validated fact that states that there is a biological difference between a man and a woman.

Starmer declared on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that it is wrong to say "only women have a cervix," as one of Labour's MPs, Rosie Duffield, had pointed out.

Until recently the association of a cervix with a woman's biology was beyond question. As anyone with the slightest acquaintance of biology knows, the cervix is the opening between the vagina and the uterus. When a woman gives birth, the cervix dilates widely to allow the baby to pass through. In case Starmer is not aware, the cervix opens a small amount to permit the passage of the menstrual flow.
Keir Starmer
© The TelegraphLabour leader Sir Keir Starmer appears as a guest on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Starmer may be a poor and spineless political operator, but he is also a well-educated Queen's Counsel. Which means that he is probably aware of the birds and the bees, and possesses sufficient scientific knowledge to know that only women have a cervix. His statement is motivated by political pragmatism rather than a distorted view of the female anatomy.

Starmer's denial of a scientific fact is underpinned by his embrace of identity politics and the ideology of transgenderism. When asked if Duffield's comments meant she was a "transphobe," he stated that "it is something that shouldn't be said. It is not right." That's another way of saying that any claim on the subject of biology, sex and gender made by trans activists is the gospel truth and must not be questioned.

For transgender activists, it is important to de-sex the cervix. They claim that people can switch sex and that one need not be born as a female to be a woman. Men, too, can magic themselves into women and assert the right to possess a cervix and vagina. The cumulative outcome of the denial of biological fact is to annihilate the biological distinction between the two sexes.

The disassociation of the cervix from a woman's anatomy is akin to the 'science' of creationism or the claim that the Earth is flat. Creationism and flat-Earthism are likely to be ridiculed by leading members of the Labour Party. But they are unlikely to question a trans person born with a penis who insists that he too has a cervix.

The ascendancy of transgender ideology has been nothing short of spectacular. The cause of transgenderism is enthusiastically promoted by Western cultural and political institutions. In the UK, it was the Conservative government under Theresa May who took the lead in promoting transgender ideals. It is therefore no surprise that Labour has joined the consensus.

Numerous institutions have fallen over themselves to adopt the ugly vocabulary of transgenderism. So, breastfeeding has given way to chestfeeding. In a world where someone who has given birth can claim to be a father, it is not surprising to discover that the term 'pregnant woman' is increasingly criticised as too exclusive. The British Medical Association's (BMA's) guidance on 'inclusive language' advises its readers to use "pregnant people" instead of the term "pregnant women." Just recently the prestigious journal, The Lancet, has decided to call women "bodies with vaginas."

When leading sections of the medical establishment declare their affinity with transgenderism, it becomes evident that society is in deep trouble.

The irrational denial of biological reality encouraged by the likes of Starmer has a profoundly corrosive impact on our lives. Critics of transgenderist pseudo-biology have tended to focus on its impact on the status of women. However, its consequences are far more dangerous for the lives of children. Teaching children that people other than women have female reproductive organs propels them into a world of fantasy and disorientation. It is a recipe for inflicting a state of permanent identity crisis on the young.

The problem with transgenderism is not simply that it is founded on a biological lie. The real issue is that it is a zealous and authoritarian movement that forbids any argument or debate on the issues at stake. As I note in my book, 100 Years of Identity Crisis: The Culture War Over Socialisation, the politicisation of identity breeds a culture of intolerance.

Today, standing up for simple biological facts gets you into trouble. That is why we must fearlessly struggle against the attempt to criminalise those who uphold the age-old biological distinction between men and women.
Frank Furedi is an author and social commentator. He is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter @Furedibyte