I gather some amphibians can change sex more or less on a whim; for us the thing has a philosophical and bodily basis. There is to be an election in Ireland by next month, enlivened, if that’s the word, by a debate on whether the Irish constitution should be changed from its 1930s version.The bit saying “economic necessity” should not oblige women to work outside the home is the biggie, though it’s wholly irrelevant to people’s real lives.

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Free country and all that, and girl clothes are more fun.

Cate Blanchett says about playing Hamlet, “I forget I’m male or female...” Fine. There I find myself with Germaine Greer, and Barry Humphries, who has flauted all the contemporary diktats of good taste by describing sex change surgery as “self-mutilation”. That’s why I was oddly perturbed to learn ministers are considering proposals to allow anyone over 18 to change their gender simply by filling out an application form.

This came hard on the heels of a proposal from Maria Miller, formerly best known in the context of the parliamentary expenses issue, who now heads the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, that driving licences and passports should be gender neutral.

The onward march of gender fluidity continues apace, to the point where I may end up as the only person in my professional circle to be invincibly gender-static.

I mean, I do possess male traits — I loathe continuous assessment for exams, I like PG Wodehouse and I rarely adopt a consensual debating style (having this much in common with Nicola Sturgeon).

But on the great girl-boy divide I remain in the pink corner.Indeed, you could call me a gender fundamentalist; if you’ve got two X chromosomes, as far as I’m concerned join the girls.You do not, I think, have to be particularly hung up about Genesis 1, 26-28, to feel that this is a faintly frivolous way of determining what has been until now the most fundamental aspect of our identity.Forget sexuality; it’s sex that makes us most profoundly what we are.Of course you can play the part any way, and the past 50 years has seen a transformation in gender roles, but the boy-girl identity is what shapes us most, from how we go to the loo to our reproductive capacity. So the notion that you can simply put on a gender the way you change your contact lenses is, I think, symptomatic of a worrying indifference to a basic question of what makes us ourselves.There are, of course, more trivial problems — can a criminal simply opt to become a girl to muddy the waters when it comes to being identified? But these pale by comparison with the issue of whether changing sex is something to be lightly done, by filling in a bit of paper.