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Prime Minister: a man is a man, a woman is a woman

4 October 2023

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used his speech at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester to affirm the existence of two biological sexes.

He told an audience made up of Cabinet Ministers and Tory Party activists:

It shouldn't be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in schools about relationships. Patients should know when hospitals are talking about men or women. And we shouldn't get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can't. A man is a man. A woman is a woman. And that's just common sense.
Rishi Sunak Prime Minister

In recent months, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also toughened his party's stance on the gender question. In the summer, the Telegraph reported his comments that a woman is an adult female. It came as he changed Labour's policy so it no longer supports what's called gender-self ID. This is a policy approach where you make it far easier for someone to 'change sex' and receive life altering surgery to do so.

In Scotland, the SNP Government pushed through it's Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill which would have seen gender self-ID introduced. But this policy was blocked by the UK Government on the grounds it would negatively impact UK-wide legislation. The Scottish Government has responded by challenging this decision in the courts with a verdict expected later this month.


The PM was attempting to tap into where polling suggests the wider British public is at when it comes to the debates about gender ideology. 30-40 years ago, it would have been unthinkable that a British Prime Minister would ever have felt the need to say that a man is a man and a woman is a woman.

But the rise of gender ideology, with it's underpinning idea that sex is something we feel, rather than based on biology has entered the mainstream. Advocates don't simply want compassion for those who experience the brutal reality of gender dysphoria. All can agree such compassion should be extended and Christians especially should be quick to listen and extend kindness. But those pushing gender ideology are intolerant towards anyone who disagrees with them. They want their belief system to be celebrated, not just tolerated within a wider, pluralist society where people are free to believe different things, but not free to impose them on others.

Some argue the tide might be going out on gender ideology, with a fierce backlash, especially from feminist groups. Time will tell. But the PM is clearly gambling that his 'it's just common sense' approach to gender ideology will resonate with voters.

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