Interview: Helen Joyce, author of "Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality"
Helen Joyce is a journalist for The Economist who holds a PhD in mathematics from University College London, and who recently published a book titled Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, which debuted at number 7 on the Sunday Times’s hardback non-fiction list, and appeared in the Times’s list of the best books of 2021.
Regular Times columnist David Aaronovitch wrote that “Joyce [examines] a new ideology about gender. This holds that biological sex is as much a 'social construct' as the idea of gender is. One benefit of Joyce's book is its intellectual clarity and its refusal to compromise.” Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, and author of Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism (2021), gave Trans a 5-star review at The Telegraph, calling it a “superlative critical analysis of trans activism” and observing that “Joyce shows an impressive capacity to handle complex statistics, legal statutes, and other bits of evidence without losing clarity or narrative drive.” Writing for The Standard, Stella O’Malley said, “Joyce’s book truly is a tour de force. With a fine eye for detail, she brings all the elements of gender ideology together with clarity and precision. For anybody who wishes to gain a deep understanding of the issues related to trans activism, this book is simply a must-read.”
On July 7, Joyce published a rebuttal to what she described as a “smear campaign” against her taking place on social media and responded specifically to allegations of antisemitism directed at her scrutiny of the significant financial support provided to the transgender movement.
“I was also subjected to a smear campaign. I knew I would be, because that’s what happens to anyone who publicly dissents from gender-identity ideology—the notion that what makes you a man or woman isn’t your immutable biology, but what you declare yourself to be. Those who want to silence me are clearly unable to counter my arguments, and so instead they attack me. The lie they seem to have settled on is that I am, supposedly, antisemitic. I didn’t deliberately select three Jewish donors; it never occurred to me to think about their religions. Two of the three, it turns out, are indeed Jewish, though that is not something I mention in my book because it is utterly irrelevant.”
Having predicted this sort of slander, Joyce explains in the introduction to her book:
“This is a book about trans activism. It is a story of policy and institutional capture; of charitable foundations controlled by billionaires joining forces with activist groups to pump money into lobbying behind the scenes for legal change. They have won over big political parties, notably America’s Democrats, and big businesses, including tech giants. They are backed, too, by academics in gender studies, queer theory and allied fields, and by the pharmaceutical industries, which have woken up to the fortunes to be made from ‘gender-affirmative’ medicine.
I know that I will be called unkind, and worse, for writing this book. My intention is not to be unkind to trans people, but to prevent greater unkindness.”
Follow Helen Joyce on Twitter or purchase Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality.