Gender critical activist Maya Forstater rages over gender identity of cartoon alien

In the latest episode of confusing outrage among so-called gender critical activists, Maya Forstater has deemed an alien reading mascot “unsafe” for children. No, really.

Earlier this month, Hertfordshire Libraries introduced Tala, an otherworldly, “bright, vibrant creature” to replace its former mascot, the blue “Bookstart Bear”.

Tala was designed by by newly graduated local artists “to inspire families with babies and young children to visit Hertfordshire’s 46 libraries”, to “borrow books and to join in with the variety of early years family activities, such as Rhyme Time”, and to feature on an adorable “my first library card” for young children.

So far, so wholesome.

But Forstater, a tax researcher and anti-trans activist who recently won an Employment Appeals Tribunal case to have her so-called ‘gender critical’ beliefs protected under the Equality Act, was inexplicably outraged by the cartoon alien.

Forstater’s concerns centred around the fact that Tala was referred to in a press release using they/ them pronouns, and she claimed in a tweet that “a mother with her baby daughter” that had attended Hitchin Library’s Rhyme Time event had sent her a message: “Book Start Bear has been retired and replaced with Talia [sic], a ‘trans’ bear, with they/ them pronouns. I cannot express how upset I feel. Why do children need this?”

Hitchin library swiftly and hilariously responded to Forstater: “Just to confirm – Tala isn’t trans, they are an alien.”

But Forstater was not deterred, demanding to know why “the parent who messaged me told me she was told ‘Tala is non-binary’ and ‘uses they/them pronouns'”.

“These are true things,” the library said.

“Tala is a storytelling alien from outer space, so neither male nor female.”

Concerns about cartoon aliens? ‘That’s feminism,’ says Maya Forstater

Instead of accepting that her outrage over the pronouns of a cartoon space creature designed to help children read may not have been needed, Maya Forstater doubled down in a lengthy rant about safeguarding.

She tweeted: “Some more thoughts about Bookstart Bear and Tala (because no, I don’t buy the sneering argument that this is not important. Stuff about young children and mothers is not beneath consideration. That’s feminism.)

“Library programmes are one of the first outside things parents engage in with their children. Education involves slowly growing independence. Parents protect their children, and institutions must work with parents. Don’t trust institutions and people who lie or are ambiguous.”

Forstater shared photos of the Bookstart Bear, a mascot which regularly involved a real-life adult dressing up as a giant blue bear, and said: “Bookstart Bear is shown as an adult protecting and nurturing a child. According to the brand he is male, though I guess most children will read this picture as a mama bear.

“Most babies and toddlers are primarily cared for by their mothers.

“Tala is an ‘otherworldly creature’ (the publicity doesn’t even say alien). But one thing that is clear is it is an infant. Big eyes, big head, and to emphasise it toddlers clothing.”

Although many lesbians would push back on the idea that dungarees constitute “toddler clothing”, Forstater ploughed on, describing the cartoon as an “infant”, and declaring Tala a “child protection” issue.

Perhaps putting slightly too much thought into the reproductive habits of fictional aliens, she asked: “Where are its parents? Did it hatch from an egg or was it born from a mama? Who looks after its interests?”

She continued: “The idea that this alien species are not male or female, and that this is something we should all take in our stride, is the idea that the question of where this infants mother is should not even be asked… It is important that institutions do not allow cultures to develop where it is ok to lie to and disparage parents. Safeguarding 101.

“‘Queering’ these institutions with ambiguity and lies makes parents rightly feel they are unsafe.”

Maya Forstater mocked over bizarre alien outrage: ‘Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your entire life’

Maya Forstater’s truly confounding obsession with the sex, gender and reproduction habits of a made-up library alien invited intense mockery online.

Activist Katie Montgomerie told Forstater: “Maya when you’re having to be loudly wrong about Earth biology in order to try and force an imaginary alien into your stupid binary worldview, out of a fear of trans people, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your entire life.”

Another Twitter user pointed out: “It’s extremely unlikely that an alien would read English and have a library card for Hertfordshire Libraries but guess what, it’s a cartoon character for toddlers.”