That fascinating feminist – she might call herself  “post-feminist” – and academic, Camille Paglia, was in London last weekend, and she spoke vividly about her “transgender identity” fantasies in her early years.

In conversation with Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas, Prof Paglia described how, as a young girl, she had always identified with male heroes: Roman soldiers, Robin Hood, Napoleon most of all, and adored strutting around in dashing male garb.

But she was so glad that she grew up at a time when this was seen as an aspect of a lively young imagination, and not one requiring immediate intervention by social authorities or medical experts.

In America today, the declaration by a young person that they “feel” transgender “immediately opens the door to the bureaucratic machinery”, she said, starting a process of being officially categorised “transgendered”. A bureaucratic structure now ensures that transgender “policies” are enforced, rather than allowing a young person to work out what can be an experimental aspect of gender identity.

Her words were illuminated by news reports of a 14-year-old girl in the north of England who wants to take a boy’s name at school, as a step towards transgendering. Her parents, who are Christians, say that the authorities, including the local council, are “pushing the transgender issue” and that their daughter should wait until she is 18 before making any decision towards changing her gender.

The parents have been told that their attitude could be seen as “child neglect” and the family fears that their daughter may be taken into care as a consequence.

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