There was a letter in The Times the other week from a lady who described herself as "Lord Bishop of ..."
How diverting. Are the women who have been fast-tracked in droves onto the episcopal benches of the House of Lords to be deemed officially male? Or of fluid gender? Or has she self-identuified as male? If so, should she have availed herself of the fast-track-for-females provisions? That immensely readable Janice Turner, who writes so well in The Times on Saturdays, might have a view on the subject.
Will this ... person's ... liturgical designation be as a "Right Reverend Father in God"? Will the legal ceremonies to put in place a female Archbishop (do you think they might have got the Mullarkey lined up to follow the Welby?) still refer to ... er ... it ... as "the Most Reverend the Father in God"? With what pronouns will such liminal individuals be referred to in Lords' debates?
Women High Court Judges do not seem to crave this bizarre sexual indeterminacy. They are happy to be Ladies (Lady Hale, for example, retiring Chief Justice of the SCOTUK, seemed to have no problems about being a woman).
After 1559, the question arose of how the wives of Elizabeth Tudor's Protestant bishops should be addressed. Hitherto, the wife of a peer had, by age-old custom, borrowed noble staus from her husband. But Elizabeth Tudor didn't like the idea of these episcopussies being 'ladies'. Didn't like it at all! In our own time, might she have been transwomanphobic?
But ... come to think of it ... the speech Bloody Bess herself is alleged to have made at Tilbury might be evidence that the poor old thing thought that she had been "born into the wrong body".
That Ms Mantel should be able to tell us whether Thomas Cromwell was a transwoman ... or a transman ... or a cismurderer ...