Pippa Bunce, the head of global market technology core engineering integration components at Credit Suisse has been named as one of the Financial Times top 100 women in business. All well and good except Pippa shares her body with a man called Phillip Bunce, a man who lived in her body for decades before she came about. Since about four years ago, though, Pippa has since begun to exist and so now they split their time ‘fifty-fifty’ in their shared habitat.
LGBT activists have come together in anger at what they see as a man stealing a woman’s award. Pips accepted the award with gratitude though and have no plans of giving it back. However the male-dominated Credit Suisse and the notoriously difficult time Pippa would no doubt have had progressing in the company had she existed say, ten years earlier perhaps make us all a little confused that she’s being lauded as one of the top women in business.
Being gender fluid is tough on those who claim to be it as well as their colleagues and loved ones because you can never properly know what’s going on inside someone’s head. Perhaps we should sit Pippa and Phillip down for a full psychological evaluation and hand the award over if a panel of experts are convinced.
Then again it’s probably a lot simpler than that. Being gender fluid and identifying as a woman 50% of the time surely isn’t enough, even if we do round up. The award should be renamed Top 100 Women in Business Who Identify as a Woman 100% of the Time, although admittedly that is not as catchy.
Gender is a spectrum. This is often what we hear and many progressive peoples would have awards like this one quashed altogether as it marginalises those who do not identify with either binary genders that are handed out at birth. So is a top 100 Gender Fluid Persons in business in order? Would that sort all of this out?
The story itself hasn’t interrogated what is clearly a very befuddling marriage of biology and psychology that makes up Phillip and Pippa. It’s the prerogative of many to dismiss Phillip and others who identify as gender fluid as mentally ill or attention seekers but it’s important not to dismiss Phillip as a fantasist and to say that Pippa does not exist. Or that they are separate people. Or discuss one without discussing the other. No one has any answers, basically.
I suppose Phillip/Pippa and persons like him/her aren’t hurting anybody by being gender fluid, just undermining full-time women’s achievements in women and finance.
More alarming than Phillip/Pippa’s retention of the award is the fact that the Financial Times definition of what constitutes a woman is riotously dissimilar to what most people in the United Kingdom think. It also raises the question of whether a woman who identified as a man part-time would be treated in a similar way.
Maybe this is all completely irrelevant though as awards are a spectrum anyway. Who knows?