16 May, 14 | by Iain Brassington
So: what is one to make of Conchita Wurst? I’ve not heard the song that won Eurovision this year, but I’m willing to bet that the world would be a better place if every entrant had been thrown into the Køge Bay before a single note was struck. But that might just be me.
Writing in the Telegraph, Brendan O’Neill has other concerns. Why, oh why, oh why can’t people just use the pronoun “he” when referring to Wurst? Wurst was born a man; therefore the male pronoun is more appropriate. (He’s never one to duck the important issues of the day, is Bren.) “Did everyone overnight transmogrify into a Gender Studies student and imbibe the unhinged idea that gender is nothing more than a ‘playful’ identity?” he asks. More: the fact that people refer to Wurst with the feminine pronoun is a symptom of what he calls “today’s speedily spreading cult of relativism”, and allowing people to choose their identity is “narcissistic”.
Now, let’s just ignore for the moment that Conchita Wurst is a character, and so it makes perfect sense to call her “her” in just the same way that one might use “her” to refer to Dame Edna Everage. (Thanks to someone I don’t know on Facebook for making that analogy – it’s a good ‘un.) O’Neill sort-of-acknowledges that, but he doesn’t let that minor point get in the way of a more general rant against people preferring to be referred to by one pronoun rather than another. For example, he takes this swipe at Chelsea Manning: