On a Zoom call in November 2020, Cathy Boardman showed her cultural studies class two pictures: one of a white performer appearing in “blackface”; the other of a drag queen, with a caption asking, “What about ‘womanface’?”

There was no flaw in her logic. If it’s racist for a white actor to impersonate a black character for laughs, isn’t it sexist for men to dress as women for entertainment?

Aren’t women demeaned when men gaudily caricature them, in the same way that African Americans were unfairly stereotyped by golliwogs and minstrel shows?

The answer, of course, is yes.

Unless you’re a transgender activist in Cathy Boardman’s class — in which case, the only appropriate response is to report your hurt feelings to the college.

Since these events unfolded, the Manchester-based British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) has given Cathy Boardman the sack. Now she is suing for unfair dismissal.

Boardman’s “womanface” lecture was one of a string of incidents quietly compiled by the college’s leadership as evidence of her wrongthink. In the staff room, she had also objected to the idea that a drag show would be a fun staff outing, unaware at the time that her transgressions were being recorded. In her words:

Essentially, I’ve been fired for doing my job. We are supposed to look at things from different perspectives. If we don’t, what is the point of university? Educational institutions — and this is not just BIMM — are doing students a disservice by claiming they are not capable of critical thought or being challenged. The sad fact is there is now a climate of fear on our campuses.”

Fear, not just for her own safety, but fear of thinking on the part of her students. As she writes on a site appealing for funds to support her lawsuit:

Both the course leader and Principal said that our students were not intellectually equipped to deal with gender issues critically. I find that insulting to the students. Crowdfunders for students’ double mastectomies are endorsed by BIMM, yet those in charge do not believe that they are critically equipped to consider whether this is a good idea.”

Boardman, who is gay, has ironically been judged as “homophobic” for her views. Clearly she is not gay enough.

She is only the latest on a growing list of professionals and academics being punished for criticising transgender orthodoxy.

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy professor and feminist at Sussex University, was forced out of her job last year for her belief that people can’t change their biological sex. Maya Forstater was fired from her job at a global development think tank for expressing a similar view.

That “transgender orthodoxy” even exists as a category is a blight on our fast-decaying culture.

In 2022, up is down, left is right, right is wrong, men are women if they feel like it — and you lose your career if you think otherwise. So obsessed have we become with catering to exceptions that we’ve marginalised norms and made truth and sanity taboo.

Like Pavlov’s dog, our culture — Gen Z especially — is now conditioned to salivate at the absurd. Drag queens are today’s heroes, if not for their perversion, then certainly for their subversion of all that is sane and sacred. Criticise these prissy men and you’re an outcast in your own society.

At Spiked, Jo Bartosch spells out Boardman’s crime of being “gender critical”:

Put simply, to be ‘gender critical’ is to hold the once unremarkable view that biological sex is real and that it can’t be changed. That such a view is now apparently considered sufficient grounds for dismissal is testament to the extent that extreme ideas about transgenderism have captured our institutions.”

These extreme ideas have even captured our libraries, where young children are now dragged by their woke parents to “Drag Queen Story Hour”. The aim of this masquerade is less a love of reading than it is just one more avenue to ram the dogma of transgenderism and “gender fluidity” down children’s throats.

A courageous Cathy Boardman has had enough. She’s taking legal action against her college. Godspeed to her.

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate...