I don’t hate anyone.
(We’ll come back to that.)
I have been accused of hating. There is a blog purporting to be the diary of a person who transitioned male to female some time ago, and is now transitioning back. It is probably a TERF fantasy. It does not have any of the detail you would expect from a record of real life, but seems imagined, and it links to TERF blogs. I commented, and was referred to as “full of hate”. I won’t link to it, it is too silly, but I notice I get a slow stream of views from there, and I got a huge number of views from a silly “Christian” homophobic site where I engaged briefly. Disagreement can be enticing.
I don’t hate trans women who revert. There are lots of reasons for reverting- social pressures, being read and insulted, demands from children- and, given that there are losses as well as the gain of Authenticity from transition, it is a choice some people make. Some, like Sam Hashimi, blame everyone but themselves for their transition, but they are people under pressure, and their letting their anger out is understandable, more to be pitied than hated.
I don’t even hate TERFs. They’re the haters! They seek to exclude us from changing rooms and loos, they seek to erase us, they try to infect all women with their paranoid, delusional hatred of us, they want us dead, they lie that we are oppressors while they oppress us-
My colleague Ann had a phobic reaction to me. She found the thought of me expressing myself female repellent. She made great efforts to retain a professional working relationship with me, but eventually we had to stay as far apart as possible. TERF accounts of us reek of such phobia, rationalised and celebrated rather than set-aside, as Ann’s was.
So, start again. I don’t even hate TERFs. I think they are wrong about trans women, wrong about privilege and have picked on the wrong enemy, particularly when they support “Christian” “Pro-Marriage” groups in attacking trans children, but I don’t-
What can I do with that initial emotional reaction? I can deny it and suppress it; or I can acknowledge it, and persuade it. There is my Fight-or-flight, eyes wide, breathing heavily, and another part of me (some call them angels) is talking calmly and reasonably to her. The anger is there– TERF propaganda is horrible- but I can persuade myself, and feel other feelings.
In face to face argument at university, Sylvia bested Iain by winding him up with tendentious rubbish and then saying, calmly, softly, sweetly,
there’s no need to shout.
Iain was flummoxed. On line- there is discussion in the comments here, where Matt and atoughpilltoswallow both accuse each other of Hate.
Like a lot of people, I can type with my blood up, expressing my anger and fear, or I can calm down, and say much the same things, more articulately. And- I can write polemic- This is why they are the Bad People– or irenic, seeking common ground and greater understanding.
However articulate polemic is, there is anger and fear underlying it. Love and peace must seek understanding.