The Inquisition :Jess De Wahls

The Dangers of Sewing


Who knows what a woman thinks about as she stitches? She may be lost in thought as she makes something beautiful. She may make hand sewn portraits using vibrant flowers. She may make art that shows vaginas with delicate beauty and colours of fire. 

Her work is desirable and sold in the shop of a prestigious museum. Yet her thoughts which she sometimes blogs about, these terrible thoughts mean that now this work must be banned from the museum’s gift shop because it “conflicts” with the values of “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” that the institution stands for.

I am , of course talking about the completely ludicrous decision by the shop of the Royal Academy to no longer stock the work of Jess De Wahls because she “cannot accept people’s unsubstantiated assertions that they are in fact the opposite sex to when they were born.” She thinks that being female is not simply a feeling.

Burn the witch!

Having grown up in East Germany, she knows something about censorship. Like many feminists she has no problem with gender non-conforming people. Indeed her father is such a person. Still ,the McCarthyite atmosphere continues and as her blog, not her actual work is deemed “transphobic” she must be punished.  Again ,I say to those who argue that cancel culture does not exist, we continue to see women losing livelihoods over their perfectly valid views. 

Maya Forstater won her case last week but clearly the Royal Academy does not understand the Equality Act. Nor do they mind hanging paintings on the wall by a man who bought girls from their mothers and gave them syphilis  -  Paul Gauguin – or selling his prints in their gift shop. Diverse? Inclusive? Equal?  Eric Gill who sexually abused his daughters was an associate of the Royal Academy. Indeed the place is full of art made by those with views that certainly do not embody the mantra of values that every institution now intones .

Apparently only a handful of complaints were made about De Wahls work. I tried finding out more by getting in touch with the Royal Academy but nada…. One supposes they are just terrified of the gender inquisition.

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adchie wrote in her exquisite essay this week  “The assumption of good faith is dead. What matters is not goodness but the appearance of goodness”.

The sanctimonious hectoring of the twitter mob rallied by misogynists in nonsensical “columns” in my former paper, The Guardian by the useful idiots of patriarchy is starting to backfire. What the Royal Academy has achieved here is not even the appearance of goodness but the appearance of stupidity. Does any of this – the banning of textiles – help a single trans person? 

I ordered a couple of De Wahls Heretic patches immediately and she may now sell even more than normal as she been bombarded with orders and messages of support. You can order from her or read about what she actually thinks here

The current insanity will only get worse before it gets better but the more it is exposed the more nutzoid it gets. This is not a re-run of the struggle for gay rights in the 80s at all , though that is the propaganda. Many women who have empathy with the marginalised still do not want to give up our spaces, our legal protections or how we define ourselves. What other civil rights movement has ever demanded this?

Far be it for me to contradict the thoughts of Mao Zedong but why the hell not? He said “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay ,or painting a picture, or doing embroidery”. 

OK Chairman . These days an embroiderer is considered dangerous so I reckon something is up. Women who stitch ideas together are never to be underestimated.