There have been declarations of support from across the world for Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic champion and stepfather of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, following his announcement that he thinks of himself as a woman after beginning gender reassignment treatment.
But Star Trek actress Alice Eve has boldly gone where few public figures have gone before, by wading into transgender politics. She provoked a furore by taking umbrage with decathlon gold medalist Jenner’s declaration that ‘for all intents and purposes’ he is a woman.
‘Nope,’ she wrote on her Instagram page. ‘If you were a woman, no one would have heard of you because women can’t compete in the decathlon. You wouldn’t be a hero. You would be a frustrated young athlete who wasn’t given a chance.
‘Until women are paid the same as men, then playing at being a “woman” while retaining the benefits of being a man is unfair,’ she added. ‘Do you have a vagina? Are you paid less than men? Then, my friend, you are a woman.’
Alice, 33, who married her teen sweetheart Alex Cowper-Smith on New Year’s Eve, attended £25,368-a-year Westminster School and obtained a degree from Oxford University before going on to star in blockbuster film franchises such as Sex And The City and Men In Black.
Fans, however, vowed to ‘unfollow’ her on social media as she was quickly besieged by comments accusing her of being ‘transphobic’ and conflating two very different issues.
‘Your notion that Jenner is “playing” at being a woman is honestly disgusting,’ one critic remarked.
Another wrote: ‘This is transphobia at its finest.’
Alice was even accused of being ‘transmisogynistic’ and told: ‘Stick to acting, love.’
After the backlash, Alice tried to engage with her detractors before eventually deleting her two posts. ‘I do agree that the struggle for transgenders is unique and horrific,’ she backtracked. ‘However, I do want to also support a cause I strongly believe in, the right for women to have equal rights to men. The transgender equality struggle is the next one, as we all know. And very real it is, too.’