Leave Father Christmas out of the gender wars
Will 2019 be remembered as the year we finally reached peak gender idiocy?
With only 10 days remaining until the new decade, it's safe to say so. For from the annals of 'I Swear I'm not Making This Up' comes the shrill clarion call to make Father Christmas gender neutral.
Father Christmas is seemingly too biased towards the patriarchy and Santa has been deemed a safer term to limit discrimination against LGBT people.
The issue triggered clickbait headlines thanks to a British mum, who claimed she was humiliated earlier this month for using the term Father Christmas on social media.
"I've just been shamed [on a Facebook group] for using the name 'Father Christmas' and told that 'Santa' is now seen as gender neutral," the woman told the Plymouth Herald.
"I was only referring to the book below ['Father Christmas' by Raymond Briggs] but it's left me a little confused/on edge about what we are allowed to say."
"I have a small child and don't really want to raise him saying 'Father Christmas' if it's hurtful to some."
But it is not just a few sensitive social media liberals laying on the guilt of a non-binary Santa agenda.
A new poll of 400 US and UK people by logo company GraphicSprings reported 27 per cent of respondents believe Father Christmas should be rebranded as gender neutral or female.
It's ridiculous and exhausting to once again weather this snowflakery.
What next in the war on gender? Must Mary only be referred to as a pregnant person (not woman), who gave birth to theybie Jesus? And she was visited by the Three Wise Thems and Little Drummer Enby? Will Mr and Mrs Claus become Mx Claus? Will we be singing "I saw Maddy (nonbinary Mummy and Daddy pronoun) kissing Santa Claus?" And will genderless priest robots deliver sermons?
I'm not even making that last one up.
A Roman Catholic theologian, who is a Franciscan sister, believes "gender-neutral" robotic priests could help fix the Church's sex abuse crisis and improve their patriarchal image issues.
Instead of castrating a beloved childhood tradition, Australia Post have taken a gentler yet politically correct tactic this year by acknowledging Mrs Claus.
In his replies to kids who wrote to the Big Man in the North Pole, Santa writes: "Tomorrow I'm teaching Mrs Claus how to drive the sleigh so she can visit everyone with me on Christmas Eve. She's very excited to see the twinkling lights, and to help me spread the merry all over the world this Christmas."
While "teaching" Mrs Claus to drive is a tad condescending, it is at least inclusive of both male and female roles.
The problem with gender-neutral Father Christmas - and with the whole non-binary proselytism - is that it has gone way beyond providing acceptance and safety trans that people deserve.
It's instead become an anti-science farce, where biology is just a philosophical theory and not fact.
Father Christmas is not a fictional Tooth Fairy-esque character. The legend of the old man with a white beard bearing presents is based on Saint Nicholas, also known as Nicholas of Myra, who was a Greek Christian bishop in the fourth century hailing from what is now modern day Turkey. He performed miracles including bringing murdered children back from the dead and left secret gifts of money for the children of a poor man to save them from prostitution. He was also … a man.
This obsession with eliminating biological truth needs to stop.
But there is hope a more sensible debate about sex and gender is possible, thanks to a tweet by JK Rowling in support of a British women who lost a landmark case after arguing that people cannot change their biological sex.
The Harry Potter author tweeted on Thursday in support of Maya Forstater, who lost her job as a researcher for questioning if transwomen were women.
"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," Rowling wrote.
It triggered predictable outrage and accusations of Rowling being a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and ignoring basic humanity.
But accepting that humans are sexually dimorphic does not cancel a person's choice to identify with a different gender. Of course there are genetic abnormalities, but they are a rare exception - not the norm.
Here's hoping the next decade will provide us with a more open minded conversation about transgenderism that does not involve cancelling the biological existence of men and women.
In the meantime, take our pronouns and our penguins, but please, leave Father Christmas alone.
Lucy Carne is editor of Rendezview.com.au