Emily Carver is a broadcaster and commentator.

Women’s rights and representation is being sacrificed at the altar of the ‘progressive’ left’s woke temple.

Last year, the Brit Awards decided to do away with the traditional male and female Best Artist categories, after pressure from Sam Smith, a singer who had recently announced he was ‘non-binary’ and was thus excluded from the 2021 gendered categories.

When the Brits were initially considering Smith’s calls for a more inclusive awards, a spokesperson said:

“Any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that – if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality.”

Unfortunately, as some warned, this is exactly what has happened. The catch-all Best Artist category was supposed to be inclusive, progressive, resplendent in its rainbow-flagged glory. In reality, it resulted in an all-male shortlist.

Now, I certainly don’t claim to be a pop music aficionado and I’d be lying if I said I am an avid listener of Central Cee or Fred Again, wonderful as I’m sure they are.

But what I do know is that the erasure of women from the seminal music award’s top table reflects a broader and very concerning societal trend.

It is a trend of giving in to a very vocal minority at the expense of logic, common sense and, in some cases, female rights and representation. But it is also completely self-defeating; once you give an inch, the demands will only become more extreme.

The Brits’ decision to adjust their awards so the non-binary population were not excluded (at the latest census, non-binary individuals account for 0.06 per cent of the population of England and Wales), it created a situation that could lead to a specific gender being ignored.

Last year, Adele was crowned Best Artist. Adele is a woman, so nobody seemed to mind. This year, women were overlooked – and there is outrage.

The Brits sought to justify their decision by claiming that fewer top female artists had released music within the allotted time frame to qualify for nomination. What they neglected to do was hold their hands up to the fact that they created a situation that meant women could appear to be forgotten and discriminated against.

So, realising the fatal flaw in their ultra-woke progressive plan, the left now want the Brits to go one step further. Like the true authoritarians they really are now, ladies, gentlemen and everybody in between…they want quotas.

Just take the doyenne of left-wing activism Owen Jones. His latest hot take is that the gender-neutral awards should reserve 50 per cent of their nominees for women.

When confronted with the basic question: “Why not just revert back to two categories?”, his response is:

“I said a quota of 50 per cent for women, not 50 per cent men. That means at least half have to be women and the rest could be any combination of non-binary people or men.”

This, therefore, puts men at a disadvantage.

The Brits represents a microcosm of how counterproductive this gender-obsessed so-called progressive ideology really is.

Take Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would allow people to legally change their gender at 16, without even a medical diagnosis.

While Sturgeon may claim Rishi Sunak’s move to block its implementation is “a full-frontal attack on [the] democratically elected Scottish Parliament”, the bill has stark ramifications on the rest of the United Kingdom.

As the Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi put it so well, the Bill is incompatible with UK-wide law and “it is Nicola Sturgeon [who] is failing to respect devolution and the UK wide Equality Act with her dangerous actions”.

Advocates claim the law will simply make it easier for the fraction of the population who believe they’ve been born into the wrong body to legally change their gender – and feel less stigmatised in the process.

Yet again, it’s all framed in the values of diversity and inclusion. But the reality is something different. It is no exaggeration to say that male sex offenders and potential predators, even those who have been found guilty of rape or who are out on bail awaiting trial for rape, could be allowed into women’s spaces.

Indeed, this has been the case in Ireland. Since self-declaration of gender was introduced in 2015, there have been cases of biological male sex offenders being moved to women-only prisons.

To many women right across the political spectrum, the concern is that their identity is being dismissed. The very fabric of who and what they are is diluted to keep progressives happy. The views of women are ignored.

So too are those of a number of prominent trans people who believe that sex-based rights, particularly for women, must be upheld and that legislation, like Sturgeon’s bill in Scotland, could actually make their lives more difficult.

Turning the clock back on women’s rights in the pursuit of progress is happening. When people say the Conservatives should avoid the culture wars, that’s nonsense. This is a culture war; they and every rational person needs to fight.

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