I never met an anti-trans campaigner whose ally I did not want to be. In the group, a woman said, “I’ve been called a ‘terf’,” and my heart sank.
I have heard the story so many times, with the same injustices. She is treated as a sex object, and may say how terrifying this can be if adult strangers come on to you when you are thirteen. Her intellect is devalued and ignored. She states her powerful resentment and her sense of injustice, and I am wholly in agreement. I delight when women stand up for their rights, and men stand up for justice. Society suffers if the talents of so many are sidelined.
And then their voice of grievance does not change as they tell of trans. She was a sex object, and what of all the girls who want to become men? She wonders if she were a little younger, if she would have been “sucked into the cult,” and had her breasts removed or had hormones to break her voice and grow body hair. She is a sexy woman with a beautiful body. What if it had been mutilated?
Well, I totally get the discomfort at the idea of breast removal. I like my beautiful breasts. But no-one has an operation before the age of 18, and few below 25. Waiting lists are too long. 2000 girls might be referred to the Gender Identity Development Service, but that is 0.03% of the girls in the country. Of those, GIDS refers none for operations, and only a few for puberty blockers.
Or, she says, “Women must have the right to say, ‘No’. Women’s boundaries should be respected.” And I think, well, yes, I agree, except she means she should have the right to say I can’t use a women’s loo or shop changing room.
And then the rant starts. What about women’s rights in prisons/sports/refuges? What about all women shortlists? What if a man wakes up one morning and decides he’s a woman? There are answers to all this, and they are not heard.
She is sure of her own righteousness, but her beautiful campaigning energy has been perverted from real injustices, such as the devaluation of her intellect, to blaming, scapegoating and persecuting trans people. She moves from stating real grievances to myths showing a disturbing lack of empathy and respect for trans people. She does not see the change of tone which is so obvious to me. Often, she shows a wilful refusal to understand us as human beings. Trans men to her are merely victims, trans women merely threat.
The campaigning shows no sense of proportion. On a “Keir Starmer Supporters” group on facebook, someone shared a Daily Mail article about the death and rape threats to JK Rowling. What can I do? Well, I share information, and respond as winsomely and persuasively as I can. JK Rowling said some pretty offensive things. Keir Starmer, by contrast, has been low-key but generally supportive, of trans rights. He said, “It’s not true that only women have a cervix”. A Keir Starmer Supporters group should listen to him. And death and rape threats are abhorrent, but many people receive threats. Which people are deemed entitled to our sympathy when threatened, and which are not? Why? For this, I was expelled from the group. It is not only that the group owner thinks I am wrong, she thinks I should not be heard. Just before expelling me, she introduced a new group rule against misogyny.
There are many places where anti-trans campaigners can radicalise each other and indulge in delicious shared righteous anger. Women have a right to Single Sex Spaces! JK Rowling has never said anything transphobic! We are not transphobic! We want our Rights!
And all that beautiful campaigning energy, rather than being directed at the patriarchy and rape culture is directed by the patriarchy, for the patriarchy’s purposes, against trans people.
So I want to be an ally to these women- against all the injustice, against rape culture, sexism, and patriarchy. And everyone would be better off if they left trans people alone. We are not their main problem.
❤ ❤ ❤ xxx
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Thanks for this. You give voice to many unheard.
Welcome, Sr Hope. Thank you for commenting.