An oppressor uses mirror propaganda to claim that their victims are the true oppressors, by accusing us of doing precisely what they do. They then claim their oppressive acts are legitimate self-defence. For further reading: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s book “The Media and the Rwanda Genocide”, extracted here.
The Council of Europe condemned the “virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people” in the UK, and the “false, dehumanising” “gender-critical, anti-trans” narratives which “harm women’s and children’s rights and social cohesion”.
Unfortunately, the UK sent anti-trans propagandists to oppose this resolution in the Parliamentary Assembly. Their speeches were a good illustration of mirror propaganda. David Maclean, “Lord Blencathra”, said the anti-trans campaigners were simply seeking an open discussion, but the problem was “a small militant group of extremist trans activists who will tolerate no discussion as they seek to impose their ideology”. He claims it is trans people who wish to change the law, while he campaigns to exclude trans women from women’s prisons.
He claims we “vilify and dehumanise” cis women, even as he does that to us.
Do we “impose our ideology”? There is no such thing as trans ideology. Trans people exist. We flourish when we present in our true sex. There is a virulent anti-trans ideology, claiming trans women are a danger to cis women, and extremists want to change the law to exclude us from women’s services.
Anti-trans campaigner and statistically illiterate MP Tonia Antoniazzi wanted to delete the UK from the countries specifically condemned, because she claimed her side was entirely reasonable, merely debating rights “to get them right for everybody”. That is the counterpart to mirror propaganda: reassure your side “We’re the good guys”.
Sometimes the mirror propaganda needs you to delve into the footnotes. When I did, I found Akua Reindorf, now on the board of the EHRC, had accused Stonewall of saying the law as it wished it to be rather than as it was- falsely; but done precisely that herself.
The New Statesman had a disgusting article by Louise Perry. Her headline is classic mirror propaganda: “Trans activists ask us to redefine what most consider to be truth”. We don’t. We ask to be tolerated. Anti-trans campaigners redefine truth, by denying our existence: they claim trans women are men who transition on a whim.
In the article, Perry claims trans people force everyone to say trans women are women, to take a definite position on The Issue of Trans. But I don’t. I want people who know me to treat me decently, to object if someone doesn’t, and to use my pronouns, as a matter of courtesy. I don’t demand anyone change their view of the world. It’s the anti-trans campaigners who do this. Perry is saying everyone is affected by Trans Campaigning, and so everyone should take a stand.
Perry claims a threat to women in prison: she claimed trans women could choose to go to a woman’s prison rather than a man’s. She then wrote of Karen White, even though White could not now go to the general population of a women’s prison.
Then she says that trans people are arguing “We should all be free to be whoever we want to be, and other people need to bend around us, acting and speaking in accordance with our wishes.” But we are not. Trans people simply exist. Trans people like Arthur Corbett bend, and do not transition, because they fear persecution, though they suffer for it.
I accept Louise Perry does not think I am a woman, but she really ought to accept I am a trans woman. She thinks it is a matter of desire- I transition because I want to. In reality, I transitioned because I could not bear not to, though I fought my needs and tried to suppress them, even with conversion therapy. People do not transition on a whim. But for Perry, we’re the ones demanding others bend around us, rather than desperately trying to force ourselves to fit others’ expectations, even to breaking point.
By claiming trans is an extremist ideology, by claiming trans people are a threat, by claiming we oppress innocent people such as Maya Forstater, Kathleen Stock or JK Rowling, or even (as Perry claims) all cis people, the mirror propagandists make our oppressors feel self-righteous. They are the victims! We are the oppressors! So they should get to defend themselves from us, which in practice means violent attacks.