(Times stamps from YouTube):

Dan Riley [00:02:28]:
It's good to have you on.

Helen Joyce [00:02:28]:
Thanks for having me on.

Dan Riley [00:02:30]:
I always like to start conversations from kind of a beginner's mind perspective, from the perspective of somebody who is somewhat aware of the work you do and what you're writing about. But I'd love to give you maybe for the first question some time to just articulate, as I know you have in many interviews prior to this kind of what got you interested in the book that we'll end up talking about today? I know some about your history, that you're irish, you wanted to be a dancer when you were a little girl. What's the pathway that has led us to having this conversation for you to write this book?

Helen Joyce [00:03:06]:
I mean, it's really my day job, just I'm a journalist and I've done various jobs as a journalist. I started the economist as education correspondent in the mid two thousand s. I went out to Brazil in 2010 to be our South America correspondent. And since then I've edited different sections of the paper, the international section, then the finance section. I'm currently a Britain editor. So in each of those situations, you immerse yourself in a new field or a new place, new culture, and you try to find the most interesting things that are going on that our readers might be interested in finding out more about. And the only way you can do that, the journalistic stock and trade, is to ask questions. And you have to be able to ask good faith questions.

Helen Joyce [00:03:46]:
Maybe not using the right words, but the person you're talking to will hopefully correct you and help you along the way. And there's only been once in my entire professional career that I've tried to ask good faith questions about something that seemed to me to be a really obviously important matter of public policy, and to be told that I was a bigot and a Nazi and I wanted an entire people wiped out of existence, and that I was putting people against the wall and that I was an antisemite and that I was a racist and homophobe and so many other things, and that I wasn't allowed to ask questions. The insults, I don't care. People who throw unbased insults aren't even worth listening to. But when you're not allowed to ask questions as a journalist, you should ask questions more. That's the point. We don't stop just because someone says you're not meant to ask about this. And the question I was trying to ask, really, although I didn't formulate it this way at first, was just, what do you mean when you say you identify as a man? Or what do you mean when you say you identify as a woman? So this idea came out of nowhere, it seems, although in the book I track where it came out of in the last five years or six years or so, maybe a little longer in America, saying that you were a man, where a woman wasn't just a base biological fact.

Helen Joyce [00:05:01]:
I mean, to me, a woman in her 50s, what I mean, by that is just that I was conceived female and I didn't die before I grew up. That's why I'm a woman. There's no behavior criterion for being a woman. There's no test, there's no way I could identify out of being a woman. Nothing I could do that would make me fail at being a woman. There's no activity called womaning. No man can ever be a woman just because anything a man does is what men do by definition. And yet that wasn't the way that suddenly it seemed.

Helen Joyce [00:05:29]:
Everybody around me was talking about it. They were saying that man and woman were identities, things that you declared based on things that you felt or things that you thought about yourself. And in one way you could say, why does that matter? And if it just stopped at people telling you something they felt was psychologically important about themselves, I wouldn't mind at all. People think all sorts of things about themselves. They identify as things that don't have firm logical or legal definitions. They say they're environmentalists, or they describe themselves as artists and they've never sold a piece of art, and that's all fine, but actually the terms man and woman do have legal definitions and biological definitions. And in most places, that doesn't matter anymore. Used to matter more when only a man and woman could marry, or when the pensionable ages were different, or when the man got to own everything and the woman lost everything when she got married, or when women couldn't work after they got married.

Helen Joyce [00:06:25]:
My mother had to retire from the civil service, resigned from the civil service when she got married. It used to matter a lot more what sex you were, but it still matters sometimes. So straight away I thought, well, okay, if people can identify as man and woman, and those are consequential terms, they do mean something, not just for you, but for other people, then what does that do to society and public policy? And I found out that just asking that politely got such a response that I'm still asking it three years later, and I've written an entire book about it.

Dan Riley [00:06:58]:
When you began to ask those questions and you got the kind of feedback, the pushback that you have articulated, what was your reaction to that? Was that something that you expected to receive, or how did that hit you when you began to get some.

Helen Joyce [00:07:13]:
I mean, just completely astonished. I've literally interviewed everything from paedophiles to gang members and murderers to crack addicts to presidents to bosses of multinationals, people of every age, people in all sorts of situations, people who've committed terrible crimes, people who are very famous, and nobody has ever acted in such a way. Now, it seems to me that you shouldn't call yourself a journalist if your response to people saying you shouldn't ask that isn't to ask it a bit more, because that should be the journalistic instinct. You run towards the burning building, not away. When somebody says you're not meant to ask that, you ask it. When somebody says you're not meant to say it, you say it louder. That's what a journalist should be. Turns out that's not what a lot of people in journalism think now.

Helen Joyce [00:08:01]:
They think that they're in journalism, I don't know, to promote a narrative, to put the right side of history forward, to say that the world is now already the way they would like it to become. So, yeah, I was astonished.

Dan Riley [00:08:18]:
To steel man the opposition. Right? I think this is why this conversation is so difficult, is because it requires nuance, a lot of detail, and the fact that we have made a lot of progress, I think, just globally and in the English speaking world, with treating people who are of minority statuses with more compassion and more rights. And in my research of you prior to this conversation, I have never once heard you in any way articulate a desire for anything but that. However, you do want to have a conversation that goes in a little bit deeper into what exactly is going on, what the details are, what the response is, and what the ramifications are for making this switch in the way that we view gender in our society. And that's kind of where I would like to take the conversation, which is, I think, most well meaning people are totally fine with granting people who are experiencing gender dysphoria with all the legal rights that anyone in our society has. But it does get complicated when you begin to actually apply that to law and to apply it to society and culture at large. And I know that's a lot of what you write about in the book. What are some of the consequences there that have begun to take place in our culture with this switch being made, where people basically are able to identify with whatever gender they would like, basically turning gender into a choice rather than a fact of biology?

Helen Joyce [00:09:51]:
I mean, I should just wind back a bit and remind everybody that the largest oppressed group that has ever lived is female people. So 52% of the world is female. And that's a group that has been systematically oppressed and exploited by male people right through history. And that has not stopped.

Dan Riley [00:10:09]:

Helen Joyce [00:10:09]:
There are countries in the world where female people have their genitals mutilated are left to die when they're born, are married off at twelve. Even here in rich countries, male people commit nearly all the violence, really, nearly all the sexual violence, the female people suffer nearly all the sexual violence, domestic violence goes nearly all one way, et cetera, et cetera. So if you want to talk about compassion, it's interesting that the compassion doesn't seem to incorporate female people. We just skip right past that. We skip past the largest group that has ever been oppressed and still is. So I'd like a bit of compassion for female people too, please. That said, I don't know that nuance is exactly the word I'd use. People do use that because they are very afraid, and rightly so, of being thought of as being bigoted.

Helen Joyce [00:11:02]:
I think it's clarity is more important. So we've got too used to saying I identify as, and we haven't noticed that there are important things that people identify as. I don't think it's nothing to say that you identify as an environmentalist, and it's certainly nothing to say that you identify as a jewish person or a catholic person or a member of Islam. Those things are not the same as saying that you are from a particular country, of a particular nationality, or that you are male or female. And I think that if we think about gender identities, I try not to use the word gender as a synonym for sex because it confuses people. If we think of gender identities as being like beliefs, then we can think about how to protect them and how to take them seriously and how to accommodate them in a pluralistic society in a way that's not mean or nasty or hurtful, but doesn't either impose upon other people. I think it's immensely important if someone tells me they're an orthodox Jew, but I'm absolutely not going to live by their rules or say that I agree with their rules. Accommodation, common courtesy, they're the sorts of things we require, not rewriting the world and the whole of society so that their rules supersede mine.

Helen Joyce [00:12:17]:
So all of that said, if you say that somebody is a man or a woman according to what they declare, then you immediately come to the few places in the world where we still separate men and women, and they're all places where sex matters. We don't do it anymore for no reason. You can marry someone of the same sex, same pensionable age, by and large the same jobs. Maybe men go into one sort of job and women into another one, but that's choice. So the places that are left are only places where privacy, safety, dignity and fair competition come into force into play. Most people really don't feel the same about undressing in front of someone of the opposite sex that they don't know as someone of the same sex. We don't have mixed sex changing rooms for a bloody good reason, and that's true for both men and women. But there's an extra factor for women, which is that women, as I said, are the subject of nearly all sex crimes.

Helen Joyce [00:13:18]:
And we don't have to go straight to rape to talk about that. We can talk about flashing and about poirism, which are the two most common sex crimes. And they're precursors to more serious contact sex crimes. They're nearly entirely perpetrated by male people against female people. And a major reason that we have separate changing rooms is so that women can undress without having pervy men looking at them. So that's why we separate changing rooms. And also toilets, by the way. Toilets, more private things, go on in toilets than people really think about.

Helen Joyce [00:13:48]:
It's why we separate dormitories. It's certainly why we separate prisons. And it's even more important there, because obviously in prisons, you have criminals, and the crimes that men and women commit are really very different. So I know the figures for the UK, but they're very standard sorts of figures. About 4% of the prison population here is female, 96% is male. And the crimes that the women commit are nearly entirely property crimes, non payment of TV license or drug crimes, or to do with prostitution. Hardly any violent crimes and really hardly any sex crimes. In my own country, Ireland, which is a much smaller country, no woman had been convicted ever of a sex crime against an adult until very recently.

Helen Joyce [00:14:31]:
So it's that rare for women to commit sex crimes. The men, it's about 20%. So thousands and thousands and thousands of men are in jail for sex crimes. Handful of women. Of course, we have to keep them separate. And then finally, we have the actual biggest physical difference between men and women, which is that men are much, much stronger. In a civilized society. If you're someone who has never been hit, you may not know that.

Helen Joyce [00:14:56]:
I don't know that I'm lucky. I've never been hit by a man. Lots of women have been. And even a very ordinary man or an older man can subdue a quite strong woman. The difference is considerable, especially in upper body strength. No woman who's ever been beaten can continue to have some stupid idea like that. Men and women are equally strong, so that matters for safety, but it also matters for sport. So sport is all about finding and rewarding exceptional performance, and yet, very unexceptional.

Helen Joyce [00:15:27]:
Men can beat exceptional women. So we've just seen that in the Olympics, where in New Zealand, in the Pacific islands, sent a 43 year old male person who identifies as a woman, Laurel Hubbard. This is somebody who's really out of shape. Suffered an almost career ending injury to the shoulder or the elbow. I forget which. A couple of years ago, every other woman in the competition was in their 20s or teens. You're looking at all these superb physical specimens, like the fittest, strongest women in the world, and you've got this flabby, out of shape middle aged male who suffered a bad injury about two years ago. And Laurel Hubbard did not actually get placed on the podium, but beat every female from New Zealand and the Pacific islands to go to take that olympic sport.

Helen Joyce [00:16:12]:
So we know who the woman is who got left behind. She's a Pacific Islander teenager. Absolutely brilliant. Probably her biggest shot ever, doing something extraordinary. And she lost out to a really, really mundane, ordinary male person. So, yeah, they're everywhere. Everywhere that sex matters. Where sex matters is safety, privacy, dignity, and fair competition.

Helen Joyce [00:16:35]:
And that is what is at stake for women. If we allow people to say that they are men or women according to what they prefer to say.

Dan Riley [00:16:43]:
Yeah, you use the word clarity earlier, which I love. To get clear on what we're talking about here. I think it might be helpful to try to put this in context in terms of the percentages. Right. The historic percentages of people in the world who identify as trans, and what we're really talking about there, what that means in your research for the book, in the spirit of clarity, what did you come across? What does that mean to you?

Helen Joyce [00:17:12]:
So, research that was done decades ago suggested that about one in 30,000 men feel like they are, or were meant to be, or had they really were women inside, whatever expression you want to use, and maybe one in 120,000 women. So the numbers were absolutely tiny. And the early medical treatment and the early legal accommodations were based on that. That it was tiny numbers. So the first law anywhere in the world that allowed people to change their birth certificate at a national level, some american states have done this before, but the first national law anywhere in the world that allowed people to change their birth certificates on the strength of this feeling was the Gender Recognition act here in the UK, and that was in 2004. And they expected about 5000 people in the whole of the UK, a country of more than 60 million people, to do this. And they were right. It's about 6000 now, and the population is somewhat bigger, so tiny numbers.

Helen Joyce [00:18:05]:
But those are people who go through a medically gatekeep process, who get a diagnosis of what's called gender dysphoria, which is the feeling of extreme discomfort at existing in your sexed body, like so uncomfortable that you can't work out how to live with it. And the expectation was always that those people would have surgery. Now, just in case people listening to you have. Listening to us have taken the wrong idea from discussions that they've heard, especially online. It's really not possible to change sex for a mammal, and we're mammals, so no mammal has ever changed sex. In fact, what's commonly called, or colloquially called sex change surgery is actually cosmetic surgery on the genitals and perhaps on the chest as well. Basically, the man gets castrated and the skin from the penis is used to make a neo vagina. And then you might get breast implants as well.

Helen Joyce [00:18:54]:
For the woman, it's a more complex operation that involves harvesting flesh from either the forearm or the thigh and crafting a neophalus out of it. It's not particularly functional. Both sexes tend to take cross sex hormones as well. So that's the sort of person that most people think of. Like when they think of a trans woman and they think like, well, why wouldn't that woman be allowed into changing rooms? They assume the person has been castrated. Honestly, then they think you're talking about somebody who can't now commit a sex crime. They don't think, well, is it really appropriate for me to demand that somebody gets castrated in order to use this bathroom, or that the women in the bathroom have to find out whether this man has been castrated or not. It's obviously not.

Helen Joyce [00:19:35]:
And anyway, since then, all those conditions about surgery have gone. Now it's just about self ID, it's just about what you say. And now we really don't know what the numbers are because the definition is so vague. It's just what you say. And it's incredibly different depending what age group you're talking about. So a recent survey suggested that maybe 10% of kids in american schools, at least in some cities, identify as, in some sense, trans. I see your face. They don't all say that they're members of the opposite sex.

Helen Joyce [00:20:07]:
Most of them identify as nonbinary or gender queer or gender fluid or demi boy or trans feminine or something like this. I mean, I asked around, I asked people who live in liberal cities here in the UK and in the US, and about 10% was what often people said to me. If they had kids of about 15, they'd ask their kids, how many kids in your class identify as something other than their sex? And it was about 10%. And they by no means all say they've gender dysphoria. Most of them don't. They just say they don't feel like a girl or they don't feel like a boy. And that brings us to another question. What would it mean, anyway, to say, I feel like a member of the opposite sex? The only thing I know how to feel is how I feel.

Helen Joyce [00:20:51]:
And if you start from the premise that I am female, I just am. It's not something I chose. It's just something that happened when I popped into existence, when sperm fertilized an egg and a little female was created. Anything I feel like is feeling like a female. It just is. By definition, doesn't matter how masculine I am. I have a PhD in mathematics. It doesn't make me feel like I'm a man.

Helen Joyce [00:21:11]:
I'm a woman who did a PhD in mathematics. So what could these kids mean when they say they don't feel like boys or girls? I mean, it has to be stereotypes. It can't be anything else. Well, I'll expand that. I think it's mostly stereotypes, but I also think it can be fleeing from things they don't like about our society. So partly that is stereotypes. If you've got a kid who doesn't like what you're meant to like because you're a boy, you're meant to like because you're a girl. But also, I don't think we can overlook the horrific amount of porn that's seen by children now in secondary school age.

Helen Joyce [00:21:48]:
It's really colossal, and it's not good for either the boys or the girls. And it certainly makes the girls think they don't want to grow up to be girls. And if they are girls who are likely to grow up lesbian, it's in particular horrible for them. One of the young girls I interviewed for, one of the young women I interviewed for my book, who actually went through a full medical procedure, she had a hysterectomy, had her ovaries removed. All these things aged 21 and 23, realized it was all a huge mistake and she was just lesbian. She said to me she never identified as a lesbian because she hated the word, because to her, that word meant the videos. She saw her classmates sniggering over her male classmates, videos of two women intended for men. So she felt the word was dirty.

Helen Joyce [00:22:30]:
It was destroyed for her. And it seemed to her more reasonable that she was really a boy. And she also had an eating disorder, very serious. She nearly died. She was hospitalized. And then when she found the idea that maybe she was trying to starve away her curves because she was meant to be a boy, that made some sense to her. And the clinician that went along with it as well, he said that would solve her anorexia if she transitioned. So she took testosterone, she got her breasts removed.

Helen Joyce [00:23:00]:
She later got her ovaries and her uterus removed. And she was considering getting this falloplasty operation, but she felt like. She felt really awful, like she had a hysterectomy. It's a huge operation. It's a really serious operation. And she felt really bad. And everyone had said she'd feel loads better. The nearer she got to being a man, the better she'd feel.

Helen Joyce [00:23:20]:
But she felt awful, both mentally and physically. She went online and she found these chat rooms for women who'd had to have hysterectomies because they had cancer or endometriosis, and they were lovely to her, and they really supported her in recovering from what's a major operation. And then one day, she just thought to herself, a simple thought. How can an operation that can only be done to women turn a woman into a man? And that's what I mean by clarity. That thought got her away from years of confusion. She'd been confused for five years at that point by this quest to do something that no one can actually do, namely change sex. She didn't want to just appear like a member of the opposite sex. She wanted to be a man.

Helen Joyce [00:24:02]:
She didn't want to be a woman. And that's what the children think you're telling them now. They think you're saying you can actually change sex. They're not like old school trans sexuals who used to think like, I know perfectly well I'm a man, I'miserable being a man. I'll be happier if people think I'm a woman and they've got reality still in their head. These children are being taken away from reality. And that thought made the whole thing collapse for her. And suddenly she was like, but I am a woman.

Helen Joyce [00:24:27]:
How could I not be a woman? Obviously I'm a woman.

Dan Riley [00:24:30]:
Yeah, I have heard you speak in prior interviews as well. Relate about, and correct me if I'm wrong about any of this, the history of trans people in, I think, the English speaking world generally, and how historically, it has not been women who have been, especially young women who have been particularly interested in doing in trans movements or becoming a man. And that that has really specifically spiked in the last five or ten years.

Helen Joyce [00:25:01]:
That's right.

Dan Riley [00:25:05]:
What do you make of that? I know you've talked about the incentives that you think a lot of women are getting, and kids generally are being asked questions from a very young age. It seems like very commonly to think about these things, of which gender they are. Last night, when I was doing research for this conversation, I was thinking about myself when I was a boy, and I absolutely had some feminine characteristics where I remember I was twelve, I grew my hair long. I was always very sensitive. The awkwardness of being a teenager or a young person generally. If I would have been probed to think about these things, there's no doubt it would have fueled more confusion in me personally.

Helen Joyce [00:25:47]:

Dan Riley [00:25:48]:
But I think with just anecdotally myself, things just kind of eventually work out. You get more comfortable on yourself, you go through puberty, you become, in my case, a man, and you become comfortable with yourself. Obviously, that isn't the case for every single person in the world, but I do think that one of the things that I've heard you speak on before are details that I don't know, that many people are aware of, which is specifically what is happening to children. This is something that I know J. K. Rowling got tortured for when she spoke, I think very candidly about what was going on. Go into the details related to mean. My understanding is that in the UK there is still only one center where children can go through often hormone treatment that could make them sterile, or often do make them sterile.

Dan Riley [00:26:39]:
However, in the US it's much more available and kids can do this without parental consent.

Helen Joyce [00:26:48]:
There's so rich what you've mean. I'll start with the history stuff. There's this thing that happens where trans activists, or generally people who believe that gender identity is enormously important, they kind of co opt discussions or bits of history or things that happen outside western cultures, and say that that's trans. So they'll talk about third gender. This is just an umbrella term. People Fafafina and Samoa, or the mushe in Oaxaca, or two spirit people in indigenous tribes, and they'll say, oh, those people were trans. And they don't notice the cultural specificity of these places. Nearly all of these are ways in which highly effeminate men, male people, can be identified out of manhood in order that manhood remains a sort of preeminent thing in this very traditional hierarchical society.

Helen Joyce [00:27:40]:
So that a man can be someone who heads a family, who is a patriarch, who is masculine, who fathers children, all of those things. So it's almost like clearing them out of the high status identity, namely manhood. You're not normally allowed to go the other way. You're not normally allowed to identify out of womanhood because frankly, most women would. In a hierarchical, patriarchal society, identifying out of womanhood would mean I get to inherit the form. No, you can't marry me off. I keep the kids if we separate. You're not allowed to do any of those things.

Helen Joyce [00:28:12]:
Those things aren't trans. Trans is a really recent construction, this idea that you have a sexed soul and that that soul could not match your body.

Dan Riley [00:28:20]:
A binary, right?

Helen Joyce [00:28:22]:
Yeah. And it went back about a century, I would say. I'm not denying or disputing that there have always been people who think there are meant to be members of the opposite sex. There certainly have been those people. It's been very rare because it's not an idea that would occur to you naturally. I mean, we don't have the idea now that you were meant to be a different species or that you were meant to be from a different planet, because that's not in our culture. It's not an obvious idea to occur to somebody. And when it does occur to somebody, it's usually somebody who's so highly gender nonconforming that they're likely to be gay.

Helen Joyce [00:28:53]:
Gender nonconforming children are much, much statistically more likely to be gay than other kids. I should caveat that there are loads of sweet, little cute, effeminate boys who grow up straight and loads of little tomboy girls who grow up straight. I'm just saying statistically, a couple of dozen times more likely, probably. We know that from lots of studies. Don't worry about it. If your kids like that, let them be. They'll tell you what they are when they're teenagers. But anyway, so those people sometimes in a very rigid society, sort of look at themselves and say, why am I this way? Why do I not like doing the things that other boys do or that other girls do? Aha.

Helen Joyce [00:29:29]:
I must be somebody trapped in the wrong body. That thought does occur to people spontaneously, without it being in the culture. Now it's in the culture, so it's not just occurring to people, it's being forced fed to them, it's being suggest, sold to them. Children are given teaching materials. I looked at them. I looked at teaching materials from Australia, Canada, lots of us states here in the UK, my own country, Ireland, and those materials really tell children that the stereotypes are what make you a boy or a girl or something in between. So you're encouraged to examine yourself, like, in a way that, I mean, really had gone out of date when I was a little girl. For Roman Catholics, which I was brought up Catholic at my father's generation, my mother's generation, they were expected to examine themselves weekly to see what their sins were before they went to confession and really go back through the week and really think, like, what did I do that was bad? What did I think that was bad? It's at that level of kind of rumination.

Helen Joyce [00:30:26]:
These children are being encouraged to ruminate about their genders. And really, you can make anyone miserable by encouraging rumination. It's exactly the opposite of cognitive behavioral therapy. You're encouraging people to think themselves into a sort of disordered or confused state, and yet that's what's done. So, of course, lots more children now think that maybe they aren't boys or know, yes, mostly the gay ones, because they're the highly gender non conforming ones. But basically everybody, I mean, nobody fits into the pink or blue boxes properly. Nobody's that. Bizarrely, there was a teaching material I saw here in the UK a while ago, produced by a lobby group called Mermaids, which promotes very early pediatric transitioning.

Helen Joyce [00:31:07]:
And it said that had a gender spectrum. And this sounds like I'm joking, but I encourage people to look it up. It had Barbie at one end and Gi Joe at the other. And it said that everybody is somewhere on this spectrum. Nobody is Barbie or GI Joe. So they're telling everybody that they're meant to try and examine themselves. So that's the background, that's the water that the children are swimming in. And now you think, like, who's likely to get most miserable and confused by this? Well, I've said children who are going to grow up gay.

Helen Joyce [00:31:35]:
What about the autistic kids who already feel really quite uncomfortable? Autistic spectrum disorder kids often bodily disease comes with autism. You feel weird, the other kids think you don't fit in. You look and you say, why am I not like other people? So they're highly overrepresented. Some gender clinics for kids say half of all the people they see, half of the kids are on the autistic spectrum disorder. Kids who've been abused in the family, that causes feelings of bodily dissociation, hatred of their own sex characteristics, just generally very troubled kids, kids who would have self harmed or would have had eating disorders. Now explain to themselves. Miserable feelings they have in terms of gender, because that's the thing that they're told. And it's also sold as a magical cure.

Helen Joyce [00:32:21]:
You're told that when you work out what your gender is and you start to live as your gender, life will be brilliant. There's all these videos. Now I feel like myself. Now I know who my true self is. It's such a powerful message to a miserable kid to shape their misery into this narrative that allows them to cure it. So what happens about the ones who are most extreme about this? The ones who come out to their parents and their parents don't just say, that's fine, darling, you do what you like. Boys can wear dresses, it's grand. If you want to do ballet, we'll work it out, whatever.

Helen Joyce [00:32:55]:
What happens with those kids is they get funneled towards a pediatric gender clinic here in the UK. We have just one. That's correct. So I should say that's in England. There's a separate one in Scotland. And they have seen the numbers go from, I think it's about 100 to about two and a half thousand in less than a decade of the referrals. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As I said, 10% of kids around age 1415 in liberal cities are going to identify as some sort of special gender identity.

Helen Joyce [00:33:25]:
But these are the really miserable kids, the kids who are really sure that they want medical treatment. And if you start from the premise that people can have a gender identity that doesn't match their body and that there are adults who are trans and those adults are miserable because their bodies don't match their identities, then it doesn't seem too big a step to try to fix the body early so that the child can grow up happy in the body they were meant to have. Like, if you think that there's pink brains and blue bodies or something, and that's the thinking that inspired the current treatment pathway, which has now really been questioned here in the UK, and it's just starting to be questioned in the US. So what they do is they give children puberty blockers, which is a very benign name for a really major drug. It does a really big thing. It stops one step in the signal that starts puberty. But puberty is not just your sex development. Puberty is this huge developmental spurt, the biggest one that you have since babyhood.

Helen Joyce [00:34:22]:
Think back to it. You remember how much you changed. You changed from a boy to a man. And not just in your body, in your brain, but it stops that. It halts that process. And it probably does other things, too. We don't know. Seems to harm your bone development, probably harms your brain development and your cognitive development.

Helen Joyce [00:34:39]:
But anyway, it halts puberty. And the idea of this is to buy time. So why are we buying time? Well, one thing is that we know that most kids who feel strong gender dysphoria actually grow out of it. Figures are disputed, but every study that has ever been done finds that somewhere between 70 and maybe probably nearer to 90% of small children who express gender dysphoria will grow out of it around puberty. So the thinking was, have a pause. Don't let the body develop. The kids who are going to desist will desist. The kids who are going to persist will persist.

Helen Joyce [00:35:10]:
The desisters can pick up puberty where they left off. The persistors can go along this pathway without having gone through these bodily changes. That will be hard to undo. And also, the other thing that is the thinking was, cross sex hormones are irreversible. If you give a girl testosterone, her voice will break and it'll never unbreak. She'll grow facial hair. Can't stop that without having laser surgery, laser treatment. Boys will grow breasts if you give them oestrogen, et cetera, et cetera.

Helen Joyce [00:35:37]:
So why not wait? Why not wait until this kid's kid decides, is old enough to decide for themselves whether they want to do these things? But then they discovered they all decide. All of them decide. If you give them puberty blockers, they all decide to have cross sex hormones, like 98% to 99%. So it wasn't a pause button at all. It was just a way of saying to ten and twelve year old children's parents, look, this is reversible. And actually what you're doing is you're giving them cross sex hormones. You're not admitting that's what you're doing. And so there was a big court case here.

Helen Joyce [00:36:10]:
It was then appealed and overturned, and now they're seeking permission to pick it up again at the Supreme Court. So I won't go into details on the ruling. But anyway, the contention of this girl, this young woman, Kirabel, who was given puberty blockers and then cross sex hormones, is that they just put her straight on this pathway. They didn't investigate all the other awful things that had happened in her life to make her identify out of girlhood. Like, she had a really difficult childhood and she's lesbian as well. So that's underway in the US. There are, I think, about 60 full service pediatric gender clinics. But there are literally hundreds of places that children can get puberty blockers and cross sex hormones, mostly with parental consent, often with what's called informed consent, which is one of the most ridiculous expressions I've ever heard in american medicine.

Helen Joyce [00:36:58]:
And my God, you guys turn out some awful nonsense. In medicine, it's like the opposite of informed consent. You sign saying you got yourself informed, so you sign away your right to sue, and then they don't bother telling you anything, they just give it to you. But there are also states where children can do it without getting parental consent, and there's a lot of push to make that commoner and younger and so on. Kids put on puberty blockers, kids put on cross sex hormones. Now, the last thing I'll say to respond to your question was, what's the consequences of this for somebody? Well, I knew this three years ago when I started looking into it, and I was told I was exaggerating and I was being alarmist. But actually, two of America's best known gender doctors have admitted it in the past two weeks in interviews to Abigail Shriyer. And if you put a kid who's so young, they haven't had full adult orgasms on puberty blockers, and they go straight on cross sex hormones, they won't ever have an orgasm, and you don't become fertile unless you go through your own puberty, at least to some extent, that's how it works.

Helen Joyce [00:38:04]:
These are our bodies. They're not machines that you can mess up with or that you can pause or you can turn them into a different thing. A girl is born with every egg she's ever going to have already in her ovaries, and they start to mature when she goes through puberty. If she never goes through puberty, she will never have an orgasm and she will never be fertile. She will be sterile. Not just infertile like I was infertile. I had to do IVF treatments to get my kids. She'll be sterile.

Helen Joyce [00:38:30]:
She will be a sexless creature, and she will probably have to go on and have her other sex organs removed because they need oestrogen to stay. Well, it's the same for the boys. A boy who has not gone partway down male puberty will not have orgasms and will be sterile. He'll never even start to produce sperm. And that's even if he doesn't have operations. So what we are doing is at age ten, 1112, we are setting children. And remember that these are troubled children or children who are, a lot of them, autistic spectrum disorder, a lot of them gay or destined to grow up gay. We are setting them on the path to sterility.

Helen Joyce [00:39:07]:
And when you see that clearly, you realize you're looking at a massive, massive medical scandal.

Dan Riley [00:39:17]:
I know in prior interviews as well, that you've talked about the consequences of this related to prisons, too. And that's something that I've heard you speak at length about. And I used to live in California, and the comment that I remember hearing you make when I was watching one of your interviews last night was related to what California has recently implemented. As I understand it, what I got out of your comment was that it seemed like California essentially was allowing all of its inmates to basically decide themselves which gender they were, and based upon that decision, would be categorized and placed into a specific facility for that gender. We've talked about kids and the consequences of what's going on with children. What are the consequences with prisons? What are the details of what's going on in California? How has this been playing out, in your judgment?

Helen Joyce [00:40:16]:
So when I started to look into this, I thought that once you said to people, they're putting rapists in women's jails, that people would go, oh, my God, are they really? That can't be. We've got to stop that. I can't even really explain it. But people don't do that. They say you're saying all trans women are rapists, which is just not the proposition I'm making. I'm saying they are actually putting rapists in women's jails, just as a fact. So I think what happened there, Governor Newsom, it was a policy before the last election that he would allow. The way it's always pushed is that he would allow people to be held in prisons, allow convicts to be held in prisons consonant with their gender identity, which, if you don't know what's going on, sounds okay.

Helen Joyce [00:41:01]:
Like you might think, I don't know what people think because I've forgotten what it was like and I didn't know all this stuff. I guess people think that there really are identifiable trans people, that there really are some people that you can do medical tests and you can say, oh, this person has a woman's brain and a man's body or something. I think that's what they must think. Or they think they've all gone through surgery and they imagine what it would be like to be really visually indistinguishable from a woman and put in a man's jail, which would be pretty awful. I think we can both agree they don't realize that what the activists are saying is that they're just that what's the policy is actually that when you're sentenced to jail, you're asked which jail you want to go to. Do you identify as a man, woman, or nonbinary? And if you're nonbinary, which prison do you think you should be in? And so hundreds of american of californian convicts have declared cross sex identities. As far as I know, all male people who identify as female are nonbinary, wanting to go into a female jail the other way around. Funnily enough, female people don't tend to want to be held in men's prisons, and not all of them by any means, have got transfer.

Helen Joyce [00:42:04]:
And I can only assume that this is people on the ground going, hang on, this guy's a multiple sadistic rapist, and he's telling me he wants to move to a female jail anyway. Lots of multiple sadistic rapists have already been moved to female jails, not just in California and not just in the US. And it's hard to get figures on them, because the other thing that happens at the same time is they record these people as being what they say they are. So I came across some individual cases, just to give. I'd like to sort of clarify this for people. One of them was sort of an early one a few years ago, before this had become absolute dogma that you have to put prisoners into whatever prison they identify as. And this is a bloke who. He's an erotic cross dresser, so when his wife was out, he used to dress up in her clothes.

Helen Joyce [00:42:51]:
Look, I doubt she liked that very much. But on the other hand, this isn't a terrible thing to do. I have sympathy with people who have unusual sexualities. That's fine. I'm not saying he's a bad man for that. But anyway, he was obviously very ashamed about it, because when she came home early and found him in her clothes, he killed her. And he killed her by throttling her with a piano wire. And he pulled so hard he nearly took her head off.

Helen Joyce [00:43:12]:
And then he fled in a car, and he was picked up a day or two later, and he claimed a red mist had come over him. And then he said he really was a woman. That's why he was wearing women's clothes. And a whole bunch of american human rights organizations backed him and said that he needed to be transferred to women's jail. And that is the moment, I think, when any feminist or anyone who cares at all about women's rights. And the same people who say, believe all women, or me too, or something like this, are the same people who say these slogans like they're the ones who are saying, yes, let's put this man who decapitated his wife into women's prisons. I'm sure the other women will really like that. That's the moment.

Helen Joyce [00:43:51]:
And you have to stop and think to yourself, something's wrong here. It's a bit like proofs in mathematics. Like, as I said, I have a PhD in mathematics, and there's a type of proof that's called reductio ad absurdum. So you start with the premise, and you don't know whether that premise is true or not. You're genuinely trying to find out, and you make a series of logical deductions, and at some point you get to nonsense, something you know is not true. And then you can go back and you can say your starting position was false. So if you start from the premise that people are men or women according to what they say they are, and you get to the point that you're putting a man who decapitated his wife, or nearly decapitated his wife into a woman's prison, to me, that's the point that you go back to your starting assumptions and say, okay, there's something wrong with gender self identification. Anyway, that's what american human rights organizations do now.

Helen Joyce [00:44:39]:
They argue for rapists and murderers of women to be put into women's jails.

Dan Riley [00:44:44]:
The question when we were talking about the kid, frankly, I think most of the information, you know, most people don't know.

Helen Joyce [00:44:52]:

Dan Riley [00:44:52]:
This is part of the reason why I wanted to talk to you in such detail is to allow you to articulate all of this, to go back to what is happening to children and the enormous spike of claims by young people that they're potentially trans, or they're confused about which sex is correct for them or which gender is right for them. How common, how ubiquitous are. I assume it's literature that is being introduced in certain types of classes. How common is this? Which classes are being infiltrated with this kind of literature? Is it worse in some countries than others? How do you see.

Helen Joyce [00:45:36]:
Mean? I think it's very bad in Canada and very bad in what you might call blue America, but it's in red America, too. It tends to come in originally in something that's called, usually like sex, relationships and health. Know, PShe, we call it here personal sex and health. Personal social and health education. And often you're allowed to take your kid out for those classes in case you're somebody who's from a conservative religious background and you don't want your children learning certain things. Activists have often argued against that, and with some reason, actually, I don't think it's reasonable to say that children shouldn't learn that there are gay people or shouldn't learn that there are people who identify out of their sex. But it also comes in under antibullying, because, of course, a lot of bullying, a lot of it is racist, but a lot of it is actually homophobic as well. And so these things get woven into all the other classes as well.

Helen Joyce [00:46:31]:
And again, with some justification, I can see why somebody would say, we need it to be a whole school practice, that we fight homophobia, fight racism, but then they add, fight transphobia. And one of the extraordinary things about this movement is the way that ordinary people understand the words and the insiders understand the words. So if by transphobia you meant mocking and hating and attacking and insulting somebody who presents as a member of the opposite sex, or asks you to call them by a name or pronouns that belong to the opposite sex, that's obviously very bad. And we've had laws stopping that in this country for a quarter century. America is very behind on that. But that's not what they mean by transphobia. What they mean is arguing that there is actually a thing that's biological sex and it can't be changed. So according to them, I'm a transphobe for just saying human beings come in two types, male and female.

Helen Joyce [00:47:24]:
That's transphobic. So in this anti bullying education, you're telling kids all sorts of flat lies, that it's possible to change sex, that sex is very hard to determine, that sex is a spectrum, that sex is really irrelevant compared to what someone tells you about themselves. And by the way, that's a massive safeguarding risk. Child safeguarding, I discovered when writing the book, is really behind. In America. You really have not properly formulated how you keep children safe from predatory adults. And most adults aren't predators, but, my God, they're very good at finding weaknesses and coming in. So we've had a series of awful scandals here, as have you, but you seem not have learned from them in the catholic church and elsewhere.

Helen Joyce [00:48:09]:
Here we've had the Catholic Church, we've had Boy Scouts, we've had this guy, Jimmy Savile, who was a children's entertainer, who turned out to be a very prolific, vicious paedophile. And it really revolutionized child safeguarding. Also, what happened in boarding schools, I should say. And with child safeguarding, you have to be really very clear what sex people are, because males are really a risk in a way that females aren't. You don't put children over ten who are opposite sex together in rooms. You don't make it a situation where children can't bring their worries or their objections. You would certainly not accept a teacher who is male presenting himself as female to children and saying he's female, like, yeah, wear a dress. Fine, fine, absolutely grand.

Helen Joyce [00:48:49]:
Grow your hair along, no problem. But everybody has to be really clear about biological reality for safeguarding. And if somebody wants to ask a question, they shouldn't be worrying about getting the wording right, or am I going to get called a bigot if I ask this or whatever? So all of this is really driven at coaching horses through child safeguarding, too. So that's all the schools stuff. But I would say that for kids of 15, or even maybe kids of twelve and over, I would say more important is what they see online. So somebody once described to me Tumblr as the island and the lord of the Flies. So that's where the children bring themselves up with no adults around. And Tumblr was like this cesspit of nonsense until they were really forced to.

Helen Joyce [00:49:32]:
They allowed people to share materials glorifying self harm and eating disorders. There were these huge communities called pro Anna, Ana Anna's anorexia, and that's where girls would go to get what they called Finspo, Finspiration, where you would go and they would encourage each other. Like today, all I ate was some lemon water. You can do it. Sharing pictures of how skinny they were, sharing pictures of their own self harm. Like, Tumblr allowed this for years, years and years, until they were forced not to. But it also was the home of gender bullshit, if I'm allowed to say that. So all the girls that I talked to in their late teens and early 20s, every single one of them came across this stuff on Tumblr first.

Helen Joyce [00:50:13]:
And that's where they got all these sort of catchphrases, like, have you interrogated your gender today? And also, there's a very strict hierarchy on Tumblr where the worst thing you can be is to be cis, white, straight male. The second worst thing you can be is cis, white, straight female. And you can't identify out of any of the other things. Well, I must say they all do identify as neurodivergent or on the spectrum or whatever, things that no one can check. But the one thing that you can give yourself to get a bit of cred is a gender identity. So you get all these bizarre gender identities. If that's all it is, in a way, I don't care. This is just kids experimenting like it was goths in previous generation or whatever.

Helen Joyce [00:50:58]:
But when they start to medicalize themselves, then I care. Or if it makes the boys think they can go into girls changing rooms, then I start to care. Or if it's linked to mean I'm old enough that I was brought up in much more sexist times in one way, but much less sexist in another. And actually, the sexism is what informed my feminist consciousness. So I remember reading Ena Blyton books, and I don't know if you had them in America. Anyway, there's the famous five. They're five kids. Well, four kids and a dog.

Helen Joyce [00:51:29]:
And one of the girls is called George, and she's Georgina, but she won't let anyone call her Georgina. And she keeps her hair short and she always tries to do things, the boys, and she gets cross when they say, the girls, this is too dangerous for girls. And they're always saying things like, george is nearly as good as a boy. And that's what made me a. These girls, they look around them, they see the porn, they see prostitution being glorified. They see surrogacy being the next big human rights move. They hear about the epidemic of rape not being prosecuted, and somebody says, you can identify out of that. And so they think, oh, yeah, fine, okay, they're not able to identify out of that.

Helen Joyce [00:52:06]:
A rapist doesn't ask you your gender identity, absolute bullshit. But it's taking away from them the chance to forge a sort of anger that could make the world better. They're not making the world better. They're opting out of it.

Dan Riley [00:52:19]:
Yeah. I know how much blowback you've gotten for this and for speaking so candidly about all of these subjects and all this information, and I'd love for you to. And I'm sure this is something you've thought a lot about. What you think the ethical solution is here, right? The reasonable solution here, the balanced solution, the informed solution. What, in your mind? And maybe we can limit this to the UK and America, but really, I think it could apply almost anywhere. What do you think is the right way forward here in terms of how we think about these subjects?

Helen Joyce [00:52:58]:
I think we need to remember that we live in a pluralistic, secular democracy, and that means that people have differing opinions and know life views and shapes and goals and morals and so on. And that's all fine, and we protect that here. And I think you do in America as well. You have religion as a protected characteristic in your human rights law. It certainly is here. It's called religion or belief, and that includes lack of religion or belief. So we already know how to think about people having very strongly differing and opposing opinions. People have to work with people with very differing opinions all the time.

Helen Joyce [00:53:40]:
Like in any sizable workplace, you are going to have some people who think that all gay people are going to hell, and you're going to have some gay people, and they have to work together. And they both have protected characteristics under british human rights law. Both of them should be able to say what they think in a polite way, in a non harassing way, in a way that doesn't discriminate against the other. They, both of them have to give space to the other, too. If you were a religious employer here, you certainly couldn't refuse to invite your male employees husbands. If you had a work event, you couldn't say only opposite sex partners. That would be discrimination. But neither do you have to say that you think the gay marriage is right if you don't.

Helen Joyce [00:54:23]:
So I think that's the starting point for me, is this is a belief system. It's the best way to think about it. Some people think that what makes you a man or a woman is what you say you are. I think of that as very like a sexed soul. I don't believe in souls at all. I'm an atheist. But if other people want to believe in sexed souls, that's fine by me. I have to think, how do we accommodate each other and where are the harms? I think that if you think that there are sexed souls, you still shouldn't be allowed to sterilize children.

Helen Joyce [00:54:53]:
I think that we've already looked at questions like that when it comes to, say, Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusion. A Jehovah's Witness can project a blood transfusion for themselves. They count for their child. So I think if somebody thinks that children have gendered souls or sex souls or whatever, they certainly shouldn't be allowed to sterilize their children because of that. And then when you come to public spaces, we create public spaces for everybody in order to live a whole, full, self actualized life, and we make accommodations for different sorts of people. And here the analogy I would draw is with disability. So I don't need to have steps down at the curb. My mother does.

Helen Joyce [00:55:31]:
She has Ms, and she uses a mobility buggy. I'm really happy that there are steps down at curbs for her. Blind people need crossings to beep. And what we start with is, what are people's needs? What do different groups need in order to play a full part in society? Sometimes those needs are sex based, and sometimes they're belief based, and sometimes those things interact. I'm thinking about women only swimming sessions in areas where you have a high muslim population. And those women won't go and use that swimming pool at all if males can be there. So that's a situation where we think, like, how do we make this world a good world to live in for women from traditional muslim communities? Okay? That's one of the adaptations we can make. So if there are people who feel that they're really members of the opposite sex, we have to think, how do we accommodate them? How do we make sure that they aren't stuck at home because they can't find a toilet they can use, they're not squeezed out of work, they're not mocked, any of those things.

Helen Joyce [00:56:31]:
But we also have to think about other people. The great majority of people, in fact, now it shouldn't matter that it's the great majority, I'm just saying it is. Most women feel really strongly that they don't want males in places where they undress. So we have to have places that women can be where males can't be, where they need to undress. That's even more important for religious women, for whom it's a religious edict as well. But then the people who don't think of themselves as members of their sex, they also need spaces. So we need third spaces for them. And if we've got trans identifying male prisoners, I absolutely don't want them in with the general male population.

Helen Joyce [00:57:06]:
Of course I don't. They'll be really at risk. And there the analogy would be with gay men who really are at risk in prisons as well. And often in prisons, they have to make special accommodation for those men. So I don't think there's a sort of totalizing, like, this is how we should think about it. We need to think about human beings and what they need and how those needs can be best addressed in a pluralistic society without trampling on other people. And there'll be analogies for some bits of it that work, and sometimes it'll be nothing like anything else. But anyway, if we start from the needs and how we can address them, then we get a long way.

Dan Riley [00:57:43]:
I think earlier in the conversation you used the word dogma, and you also alluded earlier about the fact that when you started just inquiring about these subjects, it was clear you were being encouraged not to ask questions. I mentioned before we started recording that I had Carol Hooven on last week when we were talking, and her expertise is testosterone, and we were talking about a lot of similar subjects related to what we've talked about today. And she's getting, I think, a lot of the name calling that I think you've experienced. Right. It's an attempt of a reputational kill shot to try to discredit someone and to ruin their reputation. One of the things that she and I talked about, which I think is always important for people to keep in mind, is that within the trans community, there are divergent views. This is not a monolith of people who all agree about every single thing, although it feels that way. I want to spend a little time talking about that fact and talking about what, to me, seems like a dictatorial aspect to language and changing language that seems somewhat Orwellian to me in this entire discussion, and you can kind of take that however you would like and speak to it.

Dan Riley [00:59:07]:
But I'm always curious about small groups of people that pack such a big punch culturally that they can have this outsized effect on how we are speaking and living our lives. If you have any information on this, what is the genesis of this? Is there an organized group of activists who truly are this kind of, like, Bolshevik type group in the shadows who's a small but very formidable organization or group who's had this kind of effect on language?

Helen Joyce [00:59:47]:
The reason I'm laughing is because I get accused of saying that there's a shadowy conspiracy of Jews behind all of this. Now, you've read my book. I mean, I don't mention jewish people except very early on when I mentioned that one of the gender doctors is jewish. And the reason I mention it is because the Nazis hated him. So, no, I don't actually think there's a shadowy group of any sort, jewish or otherwise. I think it's part of a broader cultural turn. I think it's a lot of things. Of course, all of this is perfect storm material, isn't? It's a lot of things coming together.

Helen Joyce [01:00:19]:
Okay, so one thing is academia. I didn't realize until I wrote this book how strongly conformist academia is. I considered being an academic, and I was for a while before I moved out of it. But I sort of thought that's where you went, to be free of the pressures of everyday life, that you could think big thoughts, and that's where our most brilliant minds did their most fearless work. Actually, academia, open discussion. Open discussion, absolute bullshit. I mean, it's the most conformist place there is and all the pressures that make it more conformist. Because you publish each other's work, you get advice to conferences by each other, you get appointed by each other.

Helen Joyce [01:00:55]:
If you're in a general workplace and your job is like making posters for conferences, basically, your boss doesn't care what you think about most things. They just want you to make good posters for conferences. But academia's output is its thought, so they do care what you think, and they hire you because your thought is brilliant, meaning the same as theirs. So it's the most conformist place. And academia has taken a really bigger part in our culture in the past half century. Continually like half of kids go to university now loads of people are employed, not just as academics, but as academic administrators and as adjuncts. And all of this, it's a really, really big part of modern society, and it's intensely conformist. And it's also taken this turn towards identitarianism.

Helen Joyce [01:01:39]:
By that, what I mean is thinking about people as collections of identities and not just objective identities, because actually our objective identities are very important. It makes a huge difference to your life chances whether you're black or white, whether you're male or female, what your nationality is. It's seeing all of these as being things that are internal to people and that are self chosen and that you make yourself and that you identify as things. And also then thinking about how we liberate people from the constraints that those identities might bring. Now, I mean, in an old fashioned, sort of practical, materialist approach to politics, you'd think, okay, look, black kids are not getting as good education as white kids are. What are the interventions that we could do? Should we be spending more money in poorer school districts? Should we be insisting on more teacher training? Should we give them more teachers? What should we do more school meals? What? But this one is all about what do people call themselves? And so the liberation becomes messing around at the definitions, strangely. Like, that's never liberated anyone from anything. I can't identify myself out of anything that came with being female by pretending I'm not female.

Helen Joyce [01:02:47]:
It just distracts me at you, in my opinion. So I think we can't ignore the role of academia and all of what has happened. And that also is why there is so much name calling, because this is such a linguistically driven movement. They have to police language and they have to try to silence people who don't agree with them. I mean, if you take this postmodernist turn, which started maybe in the 1990s on american campuses and went back a bit further, but if you take that reality is made by language, as opposed to language describing reality. And when that was first thought in the 1950s by french postmodernists, it was very interesting thing to think, because there isn't a world out there, like, completely independent of us that we can just describe. That's not the way it works. Our describing changes it to some extent.

Helen Joyce [01:03:35]:
So it was a very clever thing to think. But that came to be that the world is what we describe. We make it with our words. And if that's what you think, then you must control people's words very tightly, because a person who speaks the wrong words makes the wrong reality. So if I am to say of a trans woman, you're male, they hear that as hate speech, literal hate speech, even though it's actually the literal truth, it is impossible to be a trans woman if you're not male. You just can't do. It's definitional. But if I say you're male, I'm making a bad world.

Helen Joyce [01:04:10]:
And that's why they sound like they're chanting catechisms all the time. I was at a conference over the weekend, a feminist conference here in the UK. It was wonderful. All these women inside talking about global women's liberation. We had an Internet connection with a refugee camp in Kenya. And there's this particular area where they hold the lesbians. And, I mean, these women are in constant risk of their lives. Like, people are killed, their children are killed, they're subjected to corrective rape.

Helen Joyce [01:04:36]:
They can't turn to the guards for help. The UN is ignoring. Know they were crying. You could look around the room. You can see all these thousand women watching this call. Many people crying. And outside we hear trans women. Are women.

Helen Joyce [01:04:48]:
Trans women or women. Sounds exactly like church when I was a child. And they go through this, and when we came out, there's signs. Am I allowed to say some bad words?

Dan Riley [01:04:57]:
For sure.

Helen Joyce [01:04:58]:
Okay. One of the great signs that they had outside, remember, we're talking to people in India and Nigeria and so on, around the world. Inside and outside, there's a sign saying, suck my dick, you transphobic cunts. And amnesty supported this. Amnesty UK supported this protest. So inside we've got the lesbians talking to us about corrective rape. And outside, we've got amnesty supporting people who think we're transphobic cunts. So it's upside down world.

Helen Joyce [01:05:30]:
It's about repeating mantras. That's partly about making this better world through language, but it's also, I think, about what's called thought termination. There's a great book called Thought control in. What's it called? Thought control and totalism, I think, in communist China. And it's about the methods whereby you can live in a totalitarian state, because mostly it's not the police that control what people think. It's mostly you yourself. And of course, that's done by fear, and it's done by seeing what happens to other people if they step out of line. But mostly it's done by training yourself not to think things that you shouldn't.

Helen Joyce [01:06:08]:
And the guy who wrote that, Edward J. Lifton, he created this phrase, the thought terminating cliche. And that's the thing, when your mind starts to ramble along a chain of thought that you think might bring you somewhere dangerous. So the bit where you think to yourself, hang on, they said that they're asking the convicts, when they're sent to prison, which prison they want to go to. Aren't a lot of people who are in men's prisons there for rape? That bit where you're about to think something that you know will bring you into dangerous waters, you just think trans women are women. Trans women are women. Yeah. So that's why it's so Orwellian.

Helen Joyce [01:06:46]:
It has to be about language so much. It has to be about controlling the words.

Dan Riley [01:06:53]:
How do you explain its success so far? Right. I mean, this has really taken over. Even if you remain agnostic about your conclusions related to a lot of these topics, just having a discussion like this seemingly cannot happen in most of high culture right now.

Helen Joyce [01:07:13]:
Well, this movement came along at this moment when we were doing this silencing. So I have loads of friends now who were really early in the gay liberation movement, the people who set up the organizations that fought for not just gay marriage, but, like, actually against really discriminatory laws. And they were at a time when language was less policed, so awful things were said to and about them, and they had to rebut them. I don't think that was good, by the way. I don't think the things they were called were good. I'm just making a factual statement that that movement arose in times that we were allowed to speak more freely, including some horrible things that people said. So this movement has come along at this moment when we're far more censorious about what people speak, what people say, and we put much more weight on what people say. And again, some of that's good.

Helen Joyce [01:08:02]:
I don't think people should be called the awful things that people were called in the 1970s and 80s, if they were gay or black or whatever. But some of it's not good. Some of it's just. It's about trying to really restrict what you possibly think. Like just even chains of thought to interrupt chains of thought that might lead you somewhere inconvenient, but true. So that's a big part of it, is just the moment that this has arisen. And also, I think it's arisen after a series of all of them different from each other, but with some commonalities, like liberation movements. We could, I think, ending slavery, women's franchise, ending the Jim Crow laws, gay liberation, same sex marriage.

Helen Joyce [01:08:40]:
And it's created this narrative of progress that sees progress as being bringing groups in from the cold. And that's a reasonable narrative, but it creates a sort of like, if you were a novelist writing this, you'd know what the next episode would be. It would be the next group brought in from the cold, the next marginalized group. And then comes along a group that makes a claim that's nothing like any of those previous groups. Like every one of those previous groups was saying, I'm unjustly denied universal human rights, like the right to marry, the right to work, the right to hold onto a job after getting married, the right to vote, those things that other people are totally unjustly given, and I'm not. And now comes a group that says, my demand is that I'm treated as the sex that I'm not. And one of these things is not like the others. Narrative inevitability, if that's a phrase that exists.

Helen Joyce [01:09:36]:
If it isn't, I've created it arriving at this sensorious moment when we have placed so much store on language. And I think you can't ignore the fact that it's men who want this. Nobody gives a shit about women, is the thing that I've learned in the past three years that they really, really don't. And formally, this is a symmetric thing. Men can identify as women and women can identify as men. We only ever hear about the trans women, and they're men. So we only ever hear about male people who want access to things that they're not actually entitled to. And so it seems that I think a lot of men can really appreciate that in a way that makes me think they don't actually think they're women, that there's a load of men who, particular gay men here, a lot of very, very sexist gay men who complain a lot about women like me and really in very sexualized and disgusting ways, and they care so much about trans women and not at all about natal women.

Helen Joyce [01:10:37]:
And I look at them and I think you're really demonstrating that you don't actually think they're women, because if you thought they were women, you wouldn't give a shit. So, yeah, it's a men's rights movement. I look at those men outside with those signs outside that feminist conference. I'm relatively late to this sort of feminist organizing, but there were lots of women in there who've been doing this since their teens, women who've worked and volunteered in rape crisis shelters and domestic violence shelters, and women who work internationally with women who have suffered female genital mutilation or some of the worst sort of honor killings and honor beatings and so on. And they don't see this as anything out of the ordinary for a men's rights movement. They say, this is what happens when men want something, and women say, no, women have no power in our society compared to the men who want stuff. So when you think of this as a men's rights movement, it's much easier to see how it has managed to go so far.

Dan Riley [01:11:34]:
For people like yourself who have these conversations, who write books like you, you've kind of been through the fire with a lot of this online. And I have to just add as a comment, I think part of, in my own life, seeing people censor themselves, which I think is kind of your point, is that a lot of censorship is self censorship. Censorship. They are terrified of being ridiculed or having their reputation damaged digitally online. And I think there's an element of why this has been so effective because of the time we're living in, which I think you were.

Helen Joyce [01:12:13]:
I should have said that the Internet is obviously crucial to all of this, both in the spread of the idea and in the dissociation from bodily reality that is so central to it. Please continue.

Dan Riley [01:12:22]:
I would love to know what your advice would be for somebody who has an idea for a book or wants to embark on historically legitimate journalistic endeavors to ask questions that people clearly don't want to be asked but are human. They are worried about their reputation, as anyone would be. What have you learned that you would give as advice for? Whether it's related to strategies or just principles to keep in mind for people like yourself who are into open discussion, are into open information and clarity, as you said earlier.

Helen Joyce [01:13:05]:
Yeah, I'd like to give three parts to that answer. I've been thinking about it a lot recently because I've been looking at what's been happening to my friend, and not co author, as in on my book, but fellow author Kathleen Stock, who's a philosopher here in the UK, who wrote a book that came out a few months before mine called Material Girls, that makes many of the same points. She's an academic philosopher and she has come under really, really horrific, sustained harassment, including in real life on campus. And it's been going on for about three years. And only extremely recently did her employer do anything about it. She's now not able to go to campus. She's been advised to stay at home, put CCTV on her house, not answered the phone, et cetera, et cetera. And it's really taken a toll on her.

Helen Joyce [01:13:50]:
And I'm fine. The difference is that my employer isn't a coward. So the first bit of advice I would give to somebody who wants to do anything like this is be independently wealthy, or at least I'm not independently wealthy, but my employer cares about free speech and doesn't like bullies. So you have to insulate your source of income, because that's the first thing they come after. The first thing, if you sin against the modern pieties, the first thing they do is try to make sure you lose your job, and that's often very successful. So that's why so many people are anonymous online. I'm constantly, constantly getting people in touch with me, telling me they can't say what they really think. And sadly, sometimes they're in child safeguarding positions.

Helen Joyce [01:14:32]:
The first time I talked to a gender doctor, we had to do it real cloak and dagger. She wouldn't tell me her full name was via somebody else I knew who was able to vouch for her, really, working in the Tavistock. And I mean, a million times she said to me, you can't say any of this. You can't say any of this. This is somebody who's actually putting children on a path to medical transition. But she couldn't talk about it at work. And we've seen a recent case here with the whistleblower and the Tavistock, who won her employment tribunal because she raised child safeguarding issues and the management told the clinicians not to go to her. So, yeah, your employer is your point of weakness.

Helen Joyce [01:15:09]:
And if your employer isn't brave, doesn't like telling bullies where to go, then you have a big problem. And I would not advise anyone to do what I did unless moral imperatives required, which they did in my case. I mean, I took a chance once I found out they were sterilizing children. Dan, it's all over. Like, if that isn't the moment that you are willing to speak out, then you can say it to yourself. You can look back at that famous poem, the one first they came for the. You'd have been the person who was still sitting there. If you hear that they're sterilizing children and they're putting rapists in women's jails, and that does not make you act.

Helen Joyce [01:15:48]:
That tells you something about yourself. Okay. Anyway, if that's not how you feel about it, your employer is your point of weakness. The second thing is, I'm not sure what the public shaming, what you're meant to make of that when you despise the people who are doing it. Like, if somebody is willing to make up lies about me and quote things from my book that I didn't say, I think so ill of them that their opinion of me is simply irrelevant to me. And I've met such brilliant people through this. There's so many fantastic friends and fantastic thinkers that I've met, and their opinion matters to me. I don't care about liars and fools.

Helen Joyce [01:16:27]:
And then the third thing I would say is, those are the tiny minority. These shouting people are not a representative of anyone. You said that about the trans community. It's actually a style thing. At the economist, we don't use the word community in these circumstances. What is the trans community? They're individuals. Some of them are conservative, some of them are liberal, some of them are straight, some of them are gay, some are male, some are female. And even if they all have the same of those characteristics, they're different individuals.

Helen Joyce [01:16:54]:
They have really, really different ideas about all of this. And I would say the trans activists are the worst representatives of a group that they purport to speak to that I have ever seen. I've never seen a group that's so ill served by its activists. I mean, they are really bringing that whole community towards what will be a horrendous backlash that I do not want to see. I sometimes say I'm trans people's best friend because I'm the one who's trying to stop a swing towards total insanity that's going to cause a horrendous backlash that will also hit gay people, by the way. So, yeah, I mean, remember that these people who are shouting at you are really not good people, and they're really not representative of anyone. Most people are not like that. Those are the three bits of advice I'd give.

Dan Riley [01:17:40]:
Yeah, I think that's well put. And I'd be curious to know if you really think there is anything to fear related to these people. Right. Well, you said the first thing they come after is your paycheck, right. They try to get you fired so that your livelihood is gone.

Helen Joyce [01:17:58]:
And they succeed. They succeed all the time.

Dan Riley [01:18:01]:
Outside of that, is there a reason to concern for physical safety? Is that something that you have considered or has been an issue for you?

Helen Joyce [01:18:11]:
I mean, I don't want to tempt fate, but not really. My experience has been that they are the most pathetic bullies I've ever seen, and bullies go for easy victims. So if they write a letter to your employer and your employer says, we stand by her, by the way, I should say to your american listeners, my position is the position of british law. So we do not have gender self identification in this country. Male and female are really meaningful things, and they mean the things that you're conceived in this country. So if your employer is willing to either ignore these people or write back to them, you know, Helen is stating the position in british law. We don't like bullies. She's an excellent employee.

Helen Joyce [01:18:53]:
They go away. They don't come after you again. They go find somebody else whose employer is a coward.

Dan Riley [01:18:59]:
And when you say they come after you, is that an email barrage? Is it really on Twitter? What are we talking about here? When we talk about all of these things?

Helen Joyce [01:19:07]:
I mean, it's possibly best not to talk about me personally, both because I try to keep my employer out of things to some extent, but also because my employer is the sort of person that just immediately slapped down this bullshit. And so we don't get very much of it. What happens? I mean, I'll take my friend Maya Forstatter as an example, who did lose her job with an american think tank here in London, specifically over this issue. So, briefly, her story is that in 2017, the government here said that it was going to do a public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition act to introduce self ID. And Maya works in international development. And a lot of the work that you do in international development is thinking about women and girls because it's their status that actually helps to improve family health, child health, and in the future leads to greater economic development. So she wrote quite measured things in her own name on social media, saying she didn't think that they should change the law. And two of her american colleagues in the Washington office complained.

Helen Joyce [01:20:06]:
And her employer went through this process, which ended up with her not having her contract renewed. And british employment law is somewhat different than american employment law, and that counts. She wasn't an employee, she was on a contract, but that counts as termination here. So she went to an employment tribunal, and it's been to the second stage now, and it's been declared that she was unlawfully discriminated against on the basis. Well, not quite. It's been declared that her belief that sex is real and matters, that's literally her belief. That's been declared a protected belief under british employment law. And now there's a hearing to find out whether she was discriminated against on its basis.

Helen Joyce [01:20:41]:
This goes on for years and years anyway. I mean, among the other things that has happened to Maya is that random individuals around the country who declare non binary identities and such like have got her kicked out of being a scouting leader. This is a bloke who calls himself nonbinary, who complained because she did exactly what I just did. Namely, she'd forgotten the fact that he describes himself as they them and mentioned him as he. This guy got her dropped from the scouts for misgendering. And there's a lawyer who also identifies as nonbinary, and I think she's meant to have described him as him as. Well. These people, once it's become clear that you've got no institutional defense, they come after you to try to ruin everything, to destroy just ordinary bits of your life, get you kicked out of any book club that you're in or anything like that.

Helen Joyce [01:21:41]:
Yes, it's on social media. She comes under a lot of stress and pressure there, but it's in real life, too.

Dan Riley [01:21:47]:
I know we're drawing to near the end of the conversation. There are a couple of things that I want to touch on. One is just to get your thoughts on where you think we are with this. I think probably you and I both have a dislike for bullies in any sense, and a deep love for liberal democracy, as you had articulated earlier. And free expression, free exchange of ideas, and conversations like this, being able to be available to people and encouraged, in my estimation, that's the only way you can even hope to get at the truth, is, if you have conversations like this where people are free to share their ideas, where do you think we are with this? As you look at, I think you said, you may think we're at a point of somewhat of a pushback, that you may be the best friends of trans activists, of not hopefully having the pendulum swing back where rights are taken away from people, but I guess, specific to language and dialogue and bullying generally. Are we on the cusp of a shift here, do you think? We're just at the beginning of this kind of policing of conversations and dialogue? Where do you come down on that at this point in time?

Helen Joyce [01:23:01]:
That's where you are. I mean, here in the UK, we've certainly ended the no debate. That was the slogan of our main trans activist organization here, which is called Stonewall. That was their slogan until very recently. No debate. Trans women are women. No debate. And now there's a debate.

Helen Joyce [01:23:18]:
And lots of people in government know there's a debate, too. And more of them are starting to say it publicly, like a friend of mine who's in the lobby, which is where you get a pass that allows you into Westminster. It's like being a congressional reporter. Around 2017, he tried to ask pretty much every member of parliament what they thought about all of this. And loads of them were concerned. Loads of them knew that gender self ID was a bad idea, and they didn't dare to say so. Two or three of them did. More of them are saying it now, and each person makes it easier for the next.

Helen Joyce [01:23:51]:
So here in the UK, we've certainly got past no debate. More and more, I'm hearing people have read the book, they get it. Including senior law people, senior people in politics. I reckon here, if we keep pushing, we will get a reaffirmation of the importance of sex as a binary, objective characteristic in the few, very limited circumstances where it matters, because mostly it doesn't. And that's great. And we're going to have to just then go around the country into every damn school, every sports center, everything. Absolutely everything, everywhere. They've written gender self ID in without it being the law, and actually unroll that and keep saying, look, sex is a protective characteristic.

Helen Joyce [01:24:37]:
Female people have a protective characteristic. What you've done isn't the law, and that would take years to clean up. I think that America is in a much more difficult position, and I think political polarization is part of the reason, because it stops people having these conversations where they understand each other's viewpoints. So, I mean, at this conference that I was at over the weekend, I was standing outside talking to a couple of other women, and this black man walked past me and said, fucking racists. To us. Why do you think I'm a racist? It's literally, a, not about race, and b, this whole bloody conference was about women's solidarity and liberation worldwide. We had an indian filmmaker there talking about forced marriage, et cetera, et cetera. But that's what he thought.

Helen Joyce [01:25:21]:
And he didn't stop to talk, and it would have been very hard to move him in one conversation anyway. Well, America's like that across the whole damn country. You split into two groups, each of whom thinks the other one is not just differing politically, but actually downright evil. And so there's large numbers of people who think that the sorts of things I say can only come from a position of evil. And so people say things like, oh, you must be funded by the. I mean, me, you know, sort of centre left, you know, atheist from Ireland who lives in London. Of course I'm not funded by the damn Heritage foundation. What on earth? People said that about this conference.

Helen Joyce [01:25:59]:
I was. Well, yeah, they love funding a bunch of lesbians to get together because most of the people who run this conference are lesbian. They love secular lesbians, love funding them. It's absolute ridiculous. But the assumption of bad faith is so serious, and I think that's really going to get in the way of any move forward in America. And then I think I would add to that that America is very hampered by using false analogies from race. So that's done all the time, and it's done in law, it's done in discussions. I quote quite a few of them in the book.

Helen Joyce [01:26:31]:
Often women are told that keeping trans women out of their spaces is like what white people did during the Jim Crow era, when they kept black people out of their spaces. But the thing is that the reason that you would keep black people out of your bathrooms or whatever is because you're a racist. It's because you think black people are inferior. That isn't why women keep male people out of their spaces. It's not because we think they're inferior. It's because we know as a fact that they are the people who are the big risk to us. And also, by the way, we're the ones with no power. We're not colluding to run the world in our bathrooms.

Helen Joyce [01:27:03]:
It's men who have power over us. They're physically stronger. They're the ones who are running the world. It's just a terrible analogy, but this analogy has such a hold over the american imagination and the american discourse that it's incredibly, incredibly hard to say. We need to think about anything that's separate but equal. You're american. You probably winced when I said separate but equal. Well, the races aren't separate but equal.

Helen Joyce [01:27:27]:
They're just the same. People are just the same. What skin color they are. It doesn't make them different. The sexes actually are separate. They really are separate things, and they should have parity esteem, even though they're slightly different. So we do have to think differently about the sexes, but Americans find that very, very hard to do. So, yeah, I'm worried about America.

Helen Joyce [01:27:46]:
And once you write things into law, it's terribly hard to unwrite them because it looks like you're taking rights away. It looks like you're rolling things back. So we just stopped gender self ID getting in here, and that's brilliant. It's only the beginning of the work, but it would have been much, much harder if we got let, if it had gone into law, because we would have to undo something that some people, understandably enough, thought of as a right. Well, lots of american states do have gender self ID in law now, and the federal government is trying to push it into law federally as well. And once that happens, women are in a really difficult position. You have to unroll things like that nobody wants to do. No legislator will want to take that on.

Dan Riley [01:28:23]:
Yeah. One of the most important conversations I had this year, and I just wanted to convey this, in case you haven't heard of the organization, is with the guy who co founded Braver Angels, which is an organization in the US. Are you familiar with them? Have you?

Helen Joyce [01:28:38]:
I've read about them. I've never talked to them.

Dan Riley [01:28:40]:
I met him in Manhattan, and I interviewed him at their headquarters in midtown. And their entire philosophy and idea is to basically have grassroots workshops of bringing together team Red and Team Blue America for seven hour long form conversations. Kind of like we're having with people that often on the other side think are evil or wicked. And apparently, according to David Blankenhorn, who is the co founder, the results have been incredible, and it gave me some hope that that is really the path forward for trying to improve, to disabuse people of the idea that those who disagree with them are wicked and evil, which I have seen everywhere in the country. It's been difficult to watch.

Helen Joyce [01:29:26]:
I'd like to share a conversation like that with you, honey. Among the people I talked to for the book are people who I really disagree with profoundly on pretty much everything that's dear to me, which is the alliance defending freedom. These are people who fought against gay marriage, who fight against contraception being available freely and easily, and they fight against abortion. And now they're fighting on the same side as me against admitting male people to female spaces and sports and so on, which is why I was talking to them. And it was so interesting talking to what were lovely people who disagree with you doesn't change my opinion on any of the things that I've just said. But one of the calls I had was with a retired attorney who was one of the people who had litigated on the I'm trying to stop same sex marriage and then did some of the bathroom bills, as they were called in America. And he and I stayed on the line and we talked a long time and he told me why he opposed gay marriage. And he didn't change my mind.

Helen Joyce [01:30:26]:
But it was the best defense, marriage as being something for opposite sex couples only, that I've ever heard. And I've shared it with so many of my gay friends and they've gone like, oh, okay, now I get what he says. I'm still not going to agree. But now I know why he's doing it. And it was absolutely brilliant. I mean, I have gay relatives who are very close to me and I really hope that they're able to marry their partners. And I think it's actually awful when people can't. But now I know why I feel much better about it.

Helen Joyce [01:30:58]:
I'd imagined that he was hateful, but it was just that he has a very different worldview than mine. And it's a worldview I'm glad has lost, to be clear.

Dan Riley [01:31:04]:
Yes, I've had conversations like that, too. And while I haven't changed my mind, it is good to know where people are coming from. I think fundamentally, you know, that they're.

Helen Joyce [01:31:13]:
Still the changing mind front. Yeah. And still human. But also the other really important thing about free speech, it's amazing how people have forgotten, is that you learn things that you wouldn't have thought of.

Dan Riley [01:31:30]:

Helen Joyce [01:31:31]:
And if you think of the pediatric transitioning, Andrew Sullivan, for example, on his blog, very recently, he read the article I mentioned the journalist Abigail Schreier did with those two gender doctors. And he said, oh, these children are an orgasmic. They grow up not to be able to have orgasms. It's like, my God, Andrew, we have been shouting for years and you haven't been listening. But anyway, finally, good, you heard it. So somebody said something you're not meant to say. And Andrew Sullivan finally got it. They're turning out adults, many of them people who like him were offended little boys and would have grown up to be gay, and they're not able to have orgasms.

Helen Joyce [01:32:02]:
So free speech is also about saying things that people don't want you to hear.

Dan Riley [01:32:07]:
Yeah. The last question I want to say to you before I ask it to you, I just want to say I really admire your courage and what you've done with this.

Helen Joyce [01:32:18]:
Thank you.

Dan Riley [01:32:20]:
And I really do think I speak for millions and millions of people who have that view. I think most people who have a brain and appreciate freedom want conversations like this to happen, want books like yours to be available, to change their mind, to expose themselves to ideas they hadn't considered before. I think oppression and dictatorial thinking is not something natural for people who appreciate being free. I just wanted to give a caveat that I admire what you're doing and I hope you keep it up. And I know it's probably been extremely difficult at times to endure.

Helen Joyce [01:32:57]:
You know what? It's been fine. Yeah. I don't like being called brave. I mean, I worried and worried and worried. And then when I finally crystallized in my mind that they're sterilizing gay kids, I reached this point of complete cam, that it was just all irrelevant. So, as you know, because you've read the book, one of the two quotes that I put at the front is from Audrey Lord, great feminist thinker. And she says, when I dare to be powerful, I'm going to have to look it up because I don't want to get it wrong because it's Audrey Lord. And when I dare to be powerful, to use my voice in service.

Helen Joyce [01:33:27]:
Let me get this up. Read it properly, please. Sorry to be typing no screen when you're listening to me.

Dan Riley [01:33:40]:

Helen Joyce [01:33:40]:
When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether or not I am afraid. So it just became irrelevant. Like this courage word just became irrelevant. And that was a nice feeling, because thinking, am I going to do something? Am I not going to do it? Am I the right person? What will happen? Da da da. Those things are incredibly mentally taxing. And once you've decided it's like being in the cold water, actually, it's completely fine. So that's another thing I would say to other people. If you can be in a position where you know you're not going to be unable to feed yourself and your family, it feels great when you stop lying.

Helen Joyce [01:34:15]:

Dan Riley [01:34:16]:
Yeah. Last question I want to ask is, who else do you trust? Who are the other writers, thinkers, public intellectuals, whoever, who you point to or recommend to other people who are interested in subjects like this or others to get information, to get the truth, to get open exchange of ideas and information?

Helen Joyce [01:34:37]:
Oh, gosh. I mean, there's lots of people I now read, and it's funny, so many of them have cancelled at some point. Not much of the mainstream media. I mean, it's really obvious that people like Fox News and the Federalist have an agenda, but it's just as obvious now that Washington Post and New York Times have an agenda. I lost interest in the New York Times when I read on their op ed pages a piece by a trans woman which said, I am not just a woman, I am female. They have fact checkers. It's only ideological that you could allow that through. So I've become very skeptical of most mainstream media on this topic, on everything to do with anything identitarian and even political.

Helen Joyce [01:35:19]:
More and more, I rely on people I admire sharing things. So the two people I first found in America who wrote on this subject were Jessie Single and Katie Herzog. I still listen to them and their podcast and follow recommendations of theirs, even though politically we're not probably very much in the same place. Abigail Shrier's book was very good, and she's someone who's so politically in a different place than me. She's like, really? She's a republican, conservative, quite conservative jewish woman, and that's not me at all. But what she's done is the best that she can do. She's really tried to be a proper journalist, and I appreciate that. And I still read her.

Helen Joyce [01:35:56]:
Well, Freddie de Bour is great. Yeah, I just. I rely on a load of blogs now, really, to try to tell me stuff, and that's a shame, because I want foreign correspondence, too. Foreign correspondence are usually fine, actually, but the foreign reporting is usually fine in the american press. There's just the home reporting, I think is very good.

Dan Riley [01:36:14]:
Yeah. I really appreciate your time and for going through all of this in detail. I know you do a lot of interviews, and I've wanted to have this conversation for quite some time now. So I just wanted to say that in closing, that it means a lot to me that you would do this. So thank you. Thank you.

Helen Joyce [01:36:33]:
I think about it all the time, so it's nice to have a chance to chat about it. My husband and children are completely sick of it.

Dan Riley [01:36:39]:
I understand that. Helen, it was really great to meet you.

Helen Joyce [01:36:42]:
You too, Dan. Thanks.

Dan Riley [01:36:44]:
All right, take care. Good luck with everything.

Helen Joyce [01:36:45]:
Bye bye.

Dan Riley [01:36:50]:
Thank you for listening to this episode of Keep talking. If you are finding value in this podcast, please consider supporting the show on Patreon at podcast. I truly appreciate all of you who are supporting the show.