Writing for Mail Online, Sanches Manning described in a rather unseemly manner Dr Victoria McCloud – the youngest ever Master in the High Court – as “a transgender woman who has made history after becoming a leading judge in the High Court.”
Significantly (and appropriately) Dr McCloud declined to speak about her transgender status.
A spokesperson from the British Courts, however, is reported to have said (I would say pompously and indeed tastelessly) that “judges come from all walks of life reflecting society in general.”
The point which Sanches Manning and the spokesperson missed is that all judges transcend gender binaries – the classification of sex and gender into masculine and feminine forms.
A judge is neither masculine nor feminine and cannot therefore be transgender too!
A judge is a social construct and is not biologically determined. The role and attributes which a judge embodies are not masculine or feminine. I will not call judges genderqueer but judges definitely are gender-neutral.
An analogy can explain the issue better. According to the Upanishads Purusha (translated literally as “man”) is actually the unchanged uncaused Universal principle. Similarly a judge is not a man (or woman) but only an embodiment of “justice”
Plato said the same thing in his Theory of Forms that the non-material form – in this case justice- and not the material reality (which according to Hinduism is called “Prakriti”) and in this case is the gender defined judge is the most fundamental kind of reality. The fusion makes a every judge androgynous like the Hindu concept of Ardhnarishwar the synthesis of Purusha and Prakriti.
One, thus, misses the substance of the judicial process when one confines oneself to the form – man,woman or transgender – administering it and ignoring the non-material principle, the concept and idea of justice, which is actually the fundamental reality of the process.
A judge, as a judge, has no assigned sex. When talking of Judge Victoria McCloud it is indefensible to talk of her as “a transgender woman” or suggest deviance from a norm by a pretentious reference to “all walks of life”.