We need to talk about sexism & homophobia in Gender Activism
Scotland prides itself on being open, inclusive, civic, and internationalist.
But Scotland, like other progressive countries, has developed a blind spot to one particular type of intolerance.
This has led to a bizarre situation where sexism and homophobia are not just resurgent, but also stifling public discourse.
I’m talking about the explosive growth in Gender Activism.
Imagine I came to you and said I was black. Imagine I said I had always been black. Imagine I said that I was as black as any other black person, and that black people who said I was not black were haters who lived in the past and did not deserve to be included in polite society.
It might not matter in most cases whether I was black or not. In some cases, it would matter a great deal.
In any case, if I was in any way expecting other people to have to go along with my beliefs, I’d be fairly described as being insensitive, racist and perhaps most important, just simply wrong. Factually incorrect. Even delusional…
This isn’t just a thought experiment. Claims of “identifying” with another race have been made to varying degrees by Rachel Dolezal, Martina Big and Ja Du to name a few. The Hungarian State Opera asked singers to “identify” as black in order to put on a production of Porgy & Bess.
Compare this with a man — any man — declaring that he is a woman. Imagine him saying he has always been a woman, that he is as much of a woman as any other woman, and that women who said he is not a woman were haters lived in the past and did not deserve to be included in polite society.
At some point in the last few months or years, this scenario has gone from being one of absurd sexism, to a mainstream political belief.
I’m going to take the wild, radical step of saying that this is ridiculous. Absurd. Simply wrong. Factually incorrect. Perhaps even delusional.
I’m not alone. Trans writers including Debbie Hayton, Miranda Yardley and Jenn Smith have spoken out about trans activism’s change from empowering gender non-conformity, to its contemporary incarnation of enforcing gender stereotypes (telling us feminine boys are actually girls) and its seeking to erase women’s rights as a concept (where even mentioning women as a biological group is supposedly “offensive”).
This, apparently, makes me and my trans friends “transphobic”. Stonewall, the leading LGBT organisation now in its 30th year, defines “transphobia” as:
“The fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including the denial/refusal to accept their gender identity.”
Like Debbie, Miranda and Jenn, I have no issue with anyone being trans. The right to free expression means everyone can dress and express themselves as they wish, whether you or I or anyone else likes it or not. So the first part of that definition does not apply here.
No, we are “transphobic” because we don’t believe individual claims of “gender identity” are something that everyone else should have to believe, any more than they should have to believe that a white person is black just because they say they are black. Context and reality are important, and it’s frankly racist — or in the case of “gender”, sexist — to say otherwise.
The Stonewall definition of “transphobia” is therefore useless. It does not mean a hatred or fear of trans people — it means a disagreement with the metaphysical and philosophical notion that any man who says he is a woman is as much of a woman as anyone else. It means heresy or blasphemy against a doctrine that did not exist in any culture anywhere before in history, that self-identity is the sole determinator of “male” and “female”, and that all of society must be re-ordered accordingly.
Consider Stonewall’s definition of “homosexual”:
“someone who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards someone of the same gender.”
At some point in the very recent past, one of the UK’s leading LGBT organisations has changed its definition of homosexuality from meaning attraction to the material reality of sex, to an attraction to the untestable, subjective, metaphysical notion of “gender identity”.
It means that lesbians who express their attraction to women — same-sex attraction — are now reviled as “haters” by mainstream progressive activism.
It’s time to call this out for what it is: sexist, homophobic misogyny.
We cannot combat racism if we refuse to recognise race — and in the same way, we cannot combat sexism if we refuse to recognise sex.
We cannot combat homophobia if we refuse to recognise same-sex attraction, and instead pretend sexual attraction has to be based on the self-declared identity of others.
This does not mean hatred or fear or rejection of trans people.
It means we must talk about — we must be able to talk about — the bizarre intolerance inherent to contemporary trans activism.
Take this statement, from the Scottish Greens.
The Scottish Green Party affirms the human, moral, and legal right to determine one’s own gender. The Scottish Green Party affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, and that all genders (or lack thereof) are inherently valid. The Scottish Green Party requires that all members of the party accept the gender determined by each individual. The Scottish Green Party regards refusal to do so as transphobia, and affirms that any behaviour which demonstrates transphobia is trans-exclusionary.
Does this mean it is “trans exclusionary” for a lesbian to say she is not sexually attracted to men who simply declare themselves to be women? Or for there to be any sort of discretion whether men who identify as women should be allowed into women’s sports or prisons or other service provisions?
It certainly reads like it.
The Labour Party is no better. Lord Moonie, a former MP, recently resigned from the Party after complaints that his defence of women’s rights were “transphobic”.
“We submitted this complaint because the transphobic, homophobic and biphobic content he had regularly posted online has no place in our society, our communities and certainly not within the Labour Party.”
Lord Moonie denies these allegations, which are of course ludicrous. What he is accused of is doctrinal heresy against trans activism. Nevertheless, Chittenden continued:
“There is currently a polarising discussion around trans rights across the country and we are seeing anti-trans groups, such as those supported by Lord Moonie, exploit this by peddling misconceptions and misinformation in order to stir up division and hatred.
“We believe that no minority group should have their right to exist up for debate and LGBT Labour has been working hard to ensure our party — and politics more widely — roots out transphobia and is a welcoming space for trans people.”
But this is clearly wrong. What is being debated is not trans people or their “right to exist”, but a narrow, ideological, quasi-religious view that identity is the sole determinator of sex – not just of gender, but of sex too.
This leads to hatred and vitriol being directed at anyone who questions current trans activist dogma, including trans people like Debbie Hayton, Miranda Yardley and Jenn Smith.
It leads to the “Progressive” “Left” finding itself in the grotesque position of supporting claims by “trans activist” Jessica Yaniv to force ethnic minority women out of business in Canada for refusing to wax testicles, if and only if the owners of these testicles “identify” as women.
Progressives find themselves supporting crimes being reported as having been committed by women solely on the basis of the accused’s self-identity as a woman, and calling it “hate speech” to use dictionary definitions of words to defend women’s rights. If this seems like an ideological coup, then perhaps it is: government-funded women’s & LGBT rights organization across Scotland now promote this new Lysenkoist doctrine, where ideological belief must over-ride biological reality.
Pride Marches across the world in 2019 featured the surreal situation of supposedly inclusive “LGBTQ” communities abusing lesbians who dared to assert that same-sex attraction is something valid to defend.
A “terf”, for those new to this debacle, is supposedly a “trans exclusive radical feminist”, although it is used to mean anyone who questions current trans activism dogma. This rising intolerance to non-compliant women is now remarkably mainstream.
Consider this sample of tweets (there are hundreds more examples):
This hyperbolic vitriol is common online — even as feminists by their hundreds are being banned from Twitter for arguing that men who identify as women aren’t always in every respect women. (Full disclosure: I too am “permanently banned” from Twitter for blasphemy against trans activist dogma. Hatred of non-compliant women on Twitter is, of course, routine).
Mainstream trans activism claims to distance itself from this hate, and trans activists excuse it as the inevitable result of the oppressed lashing out at their oppressors.
But I ask you to consider, who are these supposed oppressors? Women standing up for women’s rights? Lesbians speaking out for the right to be same-sex attracted? Sportswomen and girls seeking fair competition without having to compete against biological males who merely “identify” as women?
Since when did it become “progressive” to insist that the mere act of women — and trans people, for Pete’s Sake — speaking up for women’s rights was hate speech and deserving of violent retribution?
Are we really meant to believe that legions of left wing writers, feminists, lesbians and others have suddenly become alt-right haters just because they acknowledge the existence of biological sex?
Are university philosophy departments, used to questioning the very meaning of existence itself, really unable to ask whether everyone and anyone actually are the “gender” they claim to be?
Two trans writers recently announced they would quit the Guardian newspaper because of its reporting in these issues. Buzzfeed reported:
Overall, whereas tabloid transphobia might be crass or even funny… transphobic reporting at the Guardian was potentially more dangerous because it intellectualises prejudice for liberal-minded people. “The way it works is [to suggest]: transphobia is actually a ‘woke’ way of thinking. I think it misleads people into thinking the respectable thing to do is to raise these issues.”
Quite how it became unacceptable to even discuss “these issues” — women’s rights and biological sex — surely itself raises serious concerns.
The trans journalists claim:
“Cherry-picking” of stories is done in such a way as to further stigmatise trans people: If a trans person does something wrong, it is seized upon, just as tabloids pounce on the tiny minority of asylum-seekers who transgress.
This isn’t the issue at all. The question is not whether trans people should live their lives however they want — it is whether everyone else should be compelled to accept individual metaphysical beliefs about identity.
Contemporary trans activism claims that any and all claims about gender must be accepted without question. Blue-tick Twitter trans activist Zinnia Jones extends this to Hitler and beyond.
So, if Donald Trump declared that he was a trans woman, he would immediately become not just the first woman President of the United States of America, but the first lesbian President too.
You may believe that. Pretending that it’s hate speech for anyone else not to believe that seems a stretch.
Claims that even discussing these issues is “denying” the “humanity” of trans people are nonsensical hyperbole. No matter what else, we should be urgently asking how it has become “respectable” for progressive politicians like the SNP’s Mhairi Black MP to imply that women asking for their existing rights to be maintained are c**ts, and claiming that women have no right to expect not to have to share facilities with naked men, if these men self-declare that they are women.
Unsurprisingly, men do not face the same level of hatred. No one bullies men for not considering trans women as romantic partners. Men aren’t threatened by women identifying as men in sports or in prisons. This intolerance to different opinions is reserved for women. No wonder: it is rooted in misogyny — anger at the mere idea that women would turn down the demands of men.
Take this presumably spoof image, found on an internet messageboard. It was likely made to highlight the absurdity of trans activist ideology — but it reflects the rhetoric of that dogma entirely.
If it is “hatred” for lesbians not to consider trans women are prospective partners, why is it not also “hatred” for men not to consider trans women are prospective partners?
It’s time to face the facts: contemporary trans activism is sexist and homophobic, and this intolerance is harming trans people, women, and the public discourse.