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Lionel Shriver vs. transgender people

Lionel Shriver is an American writer and anti-transgender activist.


Shriver was born on May 18, 1957 in Gastonia, North Carolina. Shriver is a self-described tomboy who grew up with an older and a younger sibling. Shriver took social transition steps as a minor, including a name change at 15. Shriver earned a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and a master’s degree from Columbia University. Shriver has written eight novels and has been a columnist.

Anti-trans activism

Shriver frequently logrolls for other anti-trans activists and appears on conservative media outlets:

“Western media has moved on to an enthrallment with transgenderism bizarrely out of proportion to the statistical rarity of true gender dysphoria—though children and people generally being so suggestible, the condition will doubtless grow more common.”

Shriver was signatory on a 2020 Sunday Times open letter defending anti-trans extremist J.K. Rowling.

Shriver praised trans eliminationist Helen Joyce’s book Trans: “Reasonable, methodical, sane, and utterly unintimidated by extremist orthodoxy, Trans is a riveting read.” 

Via Washington Post:

Writing about transgender people either sends her down slippery-slope thinking — “We seem to be entering an era in which everything about ourselves that we don’t like is subject to revision” — or infantile cracks about pronouns and LGBTQ+ culture. (“A three-year-old bashing the keyboard would produce a more functional shorthand.”)

From a Times profile:

Shriver is “mystified” by the way in which the transgender debate has become so fraught, with death threats to writers and MPs. “The transgender thing just seems to make people completely crazy,” she says. “I just don’t think that what sex you are is that important. My sense of myself is not crucially female.”

As a teenager Shriver changed her name from Margaret Ann to Lionel because she was determined not to be eclipsed by her elder brother. “Women are supposed to be soft and nurturing and pliable and driven to please and looking out for others. Men are strong and determined, and goal driven and powerful. If you look at the stereotypes, anyone with any self-respect would want to be a man. I reject the stereotypes . . . I’m all for chucking them and one of my biggest problems with the transgender movement is it’s all about nailing them down.”


Harvey, Chris (April 3, 2024). Lionel Shriver: ‘Transgenderism is a social mania.’ The Telegraph

Wootton, Dan (May 3, 2022). Has it become trendy to be trans? Uncancelled / GBNews

Shriver, Lionel (April 27, 2023). Is trans the new anorexia? UnHerd

Athitakis, Mark (September 20, 2022). Lionel Shriver taunts the ‘culture police’ and more in her new book. Washington Post

Sylvester, Rachel (September 10 2022) Lionel Shriver: ‘Which sex you are isn’t that important.’ The Times (London)

Shriver, Lionel (August 6, 2021). Trans purity test has lost touch with reality. The Times

Shriver, Lionel (September 15, 2018). One discouraging word and you’re a transphobe. The Spectator

Shriver, Lionel (April 21, 2016). Gender – good for nothing. Prospect


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