Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1985

November 9, 2008

Facebook trans logoLast Thursday I was with 150 other people at a protest outside an awards ceremony taking place at the V&A Museum in London. It strikes me as being entirely appropriate that Stonewall UK – an organization with a positively prehistoric attitude to trans people – should hold, in a museum, an event which some might see as a celebration of its dinosaur-like irrelevancy.

At the same time, on the other side of the entrance, a counter-protest was held by a dozen supporters of one of the nominees – a lifestyle columnist whose recent claim to fame has been the volume and intensity of the transphobic hate speech encapsulated in her published articles.

The self-styled fan club, and the celebrity journalist herself, had at least two things in common: they’re cis (non-trans) women, and they’re feminists. And therein lies the rub. Because I’m a trans woman – and I also believe in the basic principles of feminism. So how come that small group of cis women feminists ended up standing opposite our rainbow alliance of people from across the gender spectrum, resolute and implacable in their hostility towards us?

Surely we all want the same thing, don’t we – equality for all?

counter-protesters

How did we end up at this impasse? Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that feminism was about ending the oppression of women – all women – not perpetuating it. And that simple phrase offers a clue to one of the causes (if not the central cause) of the problem: “all women”. Because, according to the journalist, trans women aren’t real women. We’re just men in dresses.

Except we’re not. I identify as a woman, and I live as a woman. And although I was assigned male at birth – I have never denied or made a secret of that – I have transitioned legally, socially and medically. To all intents and purposes, and in every practical way that society can think of, I am a woman. And I don’t need the approval of thirteen cis feminists for that. Sadly, those cis feminists – and there are others – believe in an essentialism best summed up as “biology is destiny” (whatever happened to “our bodies, our choice”?). “Once a man, always a man”, or so they would have us believe. That they cannot prove that I’m not a woman is clearly a source of vexation for them. Yet they persist with the propagation of an intense hatred of trans women which, if it was instead the manifestation of, let’s say, racism, would not be tolerated by any right-thinking human. Indeed, it would be illegal. (For clarity: I’m not saying that transphobia is worse than racism, or vice versa). But their cissexual supremacist attitudes raise questions which are routinely ignored by many, perhaps most, other cis feminists.

I now think that the silent majority of cis feminists should no longer continue looking the other way and excusing hate speech as an acceptable part of the ‘diversity of feminism’. To do so positions the feminist in the same place as Stonewall, with its self-promotion as a ‘diversity champion’ professing to work against transphobia at the same time as it condones one of the UK’s most prolific writers of transphobic tracts.

Important decisions need to be made: if a cis feminist is truly an ally to trans people, then she needs to decide what she’s going to do about the transphobia which informs the writings of the journalist in question, and others like her. But to do that, the cis feminist first needs to examine her own attitudes to trans people. She needs to recognise, and come to terms with, her own cis privilege(s) and potentially cissexist and trans-misogynist attitudes.

What I’m interested in at the moment, what’s been preoccupying my thoughts since the protest, is why the many other cis feminists who profess not to hold the same transphobic views of that minority in their midst, and who say that they are our friends, allies and supporters continue to tolerate the oppression of trans women by a minority of their sisters in feminism.

a lifestyle columnist and celebrity journalist (right)

Some cis feminists will argue that the journalist has, in her time, said and done good things for feminism, but as far as I’m concerned, any good work she may have once done is far outweighed by the oppression of trans people that she has meted out so relentlessly for so many years. We cannot, must not, overlook the fact that she continues to argue against civil rights for trans people; she continues to argue against our rights to change our bodies – actions which keep many of us alive. This is hate speech, pure and simple, and should not be condoned in the name of any creed – and particularly not in the name of feminism.

The message of her most recent post seems to be, to quote Greta Garbo, “I want to be alone”. I suspect that she has, once again, misinterpreted the situation and is now confusing solitude with self-imposed isolation. And the irony of a woman who appears to court publicity at any cost, using the platform of a national newspaper to voice a request to be left alone is not lost. But, it must be said that, given the hurt and distress she has caused many trans people with her ignorant and spiteful words, it is tempting simply to wave her off as she packs her spotted hanky on a stick and walks into the sunset.

However, I am not convinced that such a dramatic exit is an acceptable end to the matter. The subject is far from closed and there are too many loose ends left untied. So I propose an alternative course of action: I suggest that she stays and – finally – enters fully into the debate, as she has so often indicated she wants to do. And it seems to me that this would be the ideal opportunity for our cis feminist friends and allies to meet the challenge and join with us to ask her, once more, the hard questions to which she has singularly failed to respond in the past.

A baying mob. Apparently.

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Photos are taken from onequeerone’s Stonewall Protest photo set and used in compliance with the Creative Commons License for non-commercial use.

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29 Responses to “Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1985”

  1. HelenGB Says:

    Actually, I would welcome her disappearance. However, I do not recognise her article as a resignation letter from the public stage. I imagine she will continue to write for the Guardian and other magazines as well as social research for government departments keen to have some pseudo-intellectual backing for their disastrous policies (see Dr Boynton’s dismissal of her work in the field).

    And, I imagine, a year or so down the line she will dump another load of manure over us when she imagines we might have forgotten about her.

    So, who is she waving goodbye to ? That’s entirely unclear from the article. The gay community ? The LGBTIQABC cat-fanciers league ? Feminism ? Actually, the article is not so much unclear on this small item as entirely incoherent. It’s the sort of article you write when you’re spitting mad at something and you write down a screech of rage to get it off your chest. Then you sleep on it, wake up, work out what might be useable, throw the rest away and start again. Read, edit, check, repeat.

    What you don’t do is at the end of the first draft is send it off to the Guardian. I’m amazed it got past the sub-editors, cos it’s all over the place. Heads in one direction, has a complete brain fart somewhere in the middle before circling towards meaninglessness at the end. Each paragraph has a logic, but the whole has no narrative. I don’t say that as somebody who dislikes her (tho’ I do) I say that as someone who tried to read it and make sense of it. you can critique what she says in each part, but there’s no sense of what she’s trying to say in the article as a whole. It’s a mess that should never have been published.

    But she implies we’re going to be seeing the back of her. All I can say is “If only, Julie, if only…..

  2. Helen G Says:

    HelenGB: I would not be happy if she is permitted to ‘disappear’ without first being held to account for the things she has said. Before we let her go, she should take responsibility for her words; she should justify the things she says about trans people, preferably based on the available facts. And if she is unable or unwilling to do that, then she should retract her unfounded assertions, preferably accompanied by a meaningful, unconditional apology.

    Her writings have routinely come across as having been written in reverse, by which I mean she appears to start with a conclusion (generally her opinion) and then work back from there. And she does seem rather contemptuous of using independently verifiable facts to support her stories.

    But I agree with you about her latest piece: I’m not a professional journalist so can only give my opinion as an amateur blogger, but even so, even more than usual, the piece struck me as being in dire need of some form of quality control application, ideally administered by a third party editor.

    I’m afraid I doubt her sincerity when she talks about wanting to be left alone, and I await her next vitriolic outpouring with a sense of weary resignation.

  3. Zenobia Says:

    she appears to start with a conclusion (generally her opinion) and then work back from there. And she does seem rather contemptuous of using independently verifiable facts to support her stories.

    Actually, that methodology is absolutely the bane of feminism. Bindel isn’t the only one who does it, a lot of feminists do, and it puts us in a very weak position – or shows how weak our position currently is, maybe.

    On second thought, I call bullshit on the second part – Bindel, for instance, is in a very strong position. She’s a national journalist, with a very wide readership. On the other hand, the fact that she’s identified as a lesbian feminist does everyone, including her, a disservice – because it obscures exactly how horrendously conservative and right-wing a lot of her views are.

    That’s the only reason anyone defends her views, and those of a lot of media feminists, because ‘we need strong feminist voices in the media’, but it’s only the fact that they’re strong and feminist, whatever they say becomes unimportant. So in that way, I guess Bindel is right about being silenced, but it’s not in the way she thinks, and besides she seems quite keen to silence herself too.

    In fact, the one thing that has disturbed me a bit about all this has been the focus on “Julie is great” vs “Julie is crap”, at the expense the attitudes and the institutional transphobia that becomes apparent when she is nominated for a journalistic award like this. And, this focus has been especially strong from her supporters (and herself, actually), who will often accept no criticism of her at all. In fact, your worth as a human being and your political voice will be questioned if you criticise anything she does.

    I have to say, I’d hate to be in her position. Not to mention that she gets nominated for journalism awards, on the basis of being a ‘strong voice for lesbian feminism’, despite the fact that her journalism is of appalling quality most of the time. Her methodology would get her flunked out of any journalism course. But, because of her politics and what she represents, suddenly this is irrelevant.

    Actually, a lot of what you’re saying here reflects a lot of stuff I’ve been thinking recently. Firstly, about ‘gender abolitionism’ and how it really reinforces the biology is destiny argument – and falls into traps that anyone who’d read three paragraphs of gender and queer theory could easily avoid. Then, there’s the whole deal with alliances between different types of feminists. I mean, I’m supposed to unconditionally support Julie Bindel because ‘she’s done so much for feminism’ – for a start, where’s the similar injunctions surrounding Priyamvada Gopal or Angela Davis or even fucking Betty Friedan? Secondly, why all this ‘unconditional support’ and ‘sisterhood’, when so many of us would have to alter themselves completely to have a hope of joining with the feminist movement and not emerging psychologically damaged. I mean, I’ve felt like I’d have to change my entire personality and way I relate to people, in fact I’ve felt that my gender performance wasn’t feminine enough for a lot of these people. Basically, as soon as I open my mouth, feminists are offended. But for you it’s unimaginably worse, you have to deny your entire existence pretty much.

    I contrast this with other political movements, like Beauvoir and Sartre’s bunch (de Beauvoir refutes “biology is destiny” in the first chapter of the Second Sex, by the way), they were communist leaning, they had friends in the communist party, friends who were anarchist, and friends who were largely apolitical – but in spite of enormous differences they had to stick together, particularly under the German occupation, in spite of enormous amounts of in-fighting between various left-wing factions. They couldn’t have hoped to achieve anything otherwise. What they didn’t demand of each other was total agreement about everything, or unconditional respect of one person over another. Whereas with current feminism, I feel like they’re going “oh, we’re all sisters together” while sending probes up everyone’s arsehole to go and mess with our very DNA. Not healthy.

    So, I tend to think feminism now is more about maintaining a state of being that’s comfortable for certain feminists, rather than achieving anything. If anyone moves, the bubble pops.

  4. Zenobia Says:

    Yikes that was long, sorry!

  5. Helen G Says:

    Zenobia: Yikes that was long, sorry!

    I thought it was just about right, myself!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. Helen G Says:

    Zenobia: That’s the only reason anyone defends her views, and those of a lot of media feminists, because ‘we need strong feminist voices in the media’, but it’s only the fact that they’re strong and feminist, whatever they say becomes unimportant.

    This, actually…

    *nods in agreement*

  7. Helen G Says:

    Zenobia: So, I tend to think feminism now is more about maintaining a state of being that’s comfortable for certain feminists, rather than achieving anything. If anyone moves, the bubble pops.

    This, too.


  8. [...] nonsense, and particularly, Bindel’s reaction, as have been discussed by Laurie Penny and Helen G. Helen makes some really excellent points, and Laurie is basically right, although her cries of [...]

  9. HelenGB Says:

    Zenobia says On the other hand, the fact that she’s identified as a lesbian feminist does everyone, including her, a disservice – because it obscures exactly how horrendously conservative and right-wing a lot of her views are.

    That’s a useful point. However, her “feminism” is more effectively described as “Wimminist Essentialism”. Essentialist in that, not only does it posit that men and women are born essentially different, “once a man, always a man” type beliefs, but they accept a very conservative victorian set of ideas about what makes men and women different (I describe them as “sugar and spicers”). These traits include nurturing, peaceable, co-operative, kind, sharing, giving for women, whilst men are bullying, warlike, aggressive, competitive etc. (see Greenham Common).

    It’s one of the reasons why they’re so hostile to the transgendered, we breach that hard and fast wall, we cannot be women cos we weren’t born women etc.

    However, the main thing to remember is that most feminisms I recognise are about transforming society and people, the idea that giving women (and men) an equal set of life chances and respect is a set of actions that will improve society for all. As such it is a specifically progressive ideology.

    Essentialism, in venerating outdated ideas about gender roles (even as they claim to deny them) is a definitively conservative idea.

    So my contention is that the wimminism of bindel isn’t simmply an outdated form of feminism, it isn’t any form of feminism at all.


  10. [...] you want more background on this situation, I’d suggest this take on it here. The gist of the issue is that Julie Bindel and the organization Stonewall UK have been taken to [...]

  11. Helen G Says:

    HelenGB: So my contention is that the wimminism of bindel isn’t simmply an outdated form of feminism, it isn’t any form of feminism at all.

    It’s certainly interesting to note how Ms Bindel seems to be saying that what is anatomically observable (the possession of a penis, in this instance) dictates the socially constructed gender role, and that, even if/when the anatomy is permanently and irrevocably changed via medical intervention, the gender role is not permitted to follow suit.

    Personally, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with holding two differing but related viewpoints and allowing for change. The dilemma that Ms Bindel and like-minded feminists find themselves facing arises from their insistence that gender is entirely, and only, a social construct.

    If only it was so straightforward…

  12. Lisa Harney Says:

    Gender is entirely, and only, a social construct. It doesn’t exist, except when it does, and it’s irrevocably defined by the genitalia you were assigned at birth.

  13. Helen G Says:

    Ok-a-a-y-y-y-y…
    Well I think that clears things up nicely – It’s everywhere and nowhere baby, that’s where it’s at…
    ^_^

    *brain explodes*

  14. Balshang Fox Says:

    You describe a journalist most well know (until this mess at least) for writing about violence against women as a ‘lifestyle’ journalist and you wonder why there’s a divide between radical feminism and the trans community?

    I was there last week, and I was there to support JB because of her journalism and campaigning against violence against women. We were not a ‘counter demonstration’ and we are not transphobes.

    Noticing that the existence of transpeople has not all by itself caused the patriarchy to crumble does not make me transphobic; I do not think violence and discrimination against transpeople is ok.

  15. Helen G Says:

    Balshang Fox: Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

    And whilst I’m very happy to hear your condemnation of violence and discrimination against trans people, I believe we will have to agree to disagree about Ms Bindel.

    In my opinion, in their own way, words can be as violent as actions – and as I said in my post, Ms Bindel’s prolonged verbal assault against trans women – like me – far outweighs any good things she may once have done for cis women.

    Even now, her Facebook status reads that she is “unrepentant – with knobs on”. I read that as a clear statement that she still holds to her transphobic views – and the subtext is as obnoxious as it is heavy-handed and unoriginal. Again from my post:

    We cannot, must not, overlook the fact that she continues to argue against civil rights for trans people; she continues to argue against our rights to change our bodies – actions which keep many of us alive. This is hate speech, pure and simple, and should not be condoned in the name of any creed – and particularly not in the name of feminism.

    Until Ms Bindel comes to terms with the fact that trans people are every bit her equal – and not some underclass of devil worshippers, zoophiles and autogynephiliac rapists – then she, and her supporters, should know that trans people like me will continue to speak out against her inexcusable hate speech.

  16. Zenobia Says:

    You describe a journalist most well know (until this mess at least) for writing about violence against women as a ‘lifestyle’ journalist and you wonder why there’s a divide between radical feminism and the trans community?

    Yeah, she writes about violence against women – in the lifestyle section of the paper and using methods that would get her flunked out of any journalism course.

    I’m sure she’s sincere, but that’s another thing – it’s crap that those issues are considered lifestyle issues. If they’re true and provable, they should be front page news. They definitely shouldn’t be between the style and recipe pages “oh by the way, some women get killed while providing sexual favours for a living” “lots of women die in jail” and so on – surely, those subjects deserve some sort of proper treatment.

    It jars incredibly to see stuff like this, and about women getting paid less, between a quip about lipstick and a complaint about something an actress said.

    That’s nothing against Bindel specifically – although she is a willing participant in this – but it’s definitely a problem.

  17. Zenobia Says:

    and you wonder why there’s a divide between radical feminism and the trans community?

    Just wanted to add – surely one comment, however much you misunderstood it, doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly okay to think trans people are full of shit or something.

  18. queen emily Says:

    >>>and you wonder why there’s a divide between radical feminism and the trans community?

    Yeah, it’s not like this appeared out of nowhere. There’s a 30 year history of radical feminists ousting feminist trans women from groups.

    Not to mention the distinguished history of writing tracts about how trans women are grotesque parodies of “real” women, insidious infiltrators trying to ruin feminism with their male privilege, symbolically kill their mothers etc etc. Familiar with any of these writers – Janice Raymond, Germaine Greer, Mary Daly, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, Sheila Jeffreys…

    The history of radical feminist/trans relations goes roughly like this.

    Radical feminist: *smacks trans person*
    Trans person: Oww.
    Radical feminist: *smacks trans person*
    Trans person: Oww.
    Radical feminist: *smacks trans person*
    Trans person: Stop that! That bloody hurts!
    Radical feminist: Help! I’m being oppressed.

    Ms Bindel’s recent column, you will note, is the “help! I’m being oppressed!” line, after years of arguing against the rights for trans people.

  19. queen emily Says:

    And this is not to say that there hasn’t been trans friendly radical feminists – Catherine MacKinnon recently, for one – or that it was even a settled question in radical feminism in the 70s (like I said, trans women *were* in feminist groups). But rather, the type of argument Bindel makes hate goes back a long way, and it has been tolerated by other feminists for far too long as Helen says.

    Presumably you were unaware of this history – now are you going to excuse a person advocating a Christian Right-esque “talking cure” in order to rid the world of trans people as they currently exist, or not? How bad is one *tiny* little bit of cultural genocide, really?

  20. Robert Firth Says:

    This entire debate is a tissure of unreality. XX you’re a girl; XY you’re a boy. That is encoded in every cell of your body, and is immutable. Natura locuta, causa finita.

  21. Helen G Says:

    queen emily: That history of radical feminist/trans relations is just perfect. ^_^

    Robert Firth: “Nature has spoken, the case is closed”? Are you sure?

    Do try and keep up, hm? Here. you could start by reading some of Zoe’s articles about chromosomes. She’ll tell you about people who are living refutations of your very silly ‘argument’. She’s an intelligent woman and she knows what she’s talking about. Unlike you, I think…

    Also, you do realise that your biological essentialist stance will most likely be violently refuted by more than a few radical feminists, because they believe wholeheartedly that gender is, in fact, entirely a social construct?

    Well, apart from when it isn’t, of course.

    Or at the very least, until the wind next changes direction.

    Well done, anyway – your comment really made me giggle and I applaud you for your brave and foolhardy words. “Nature has spoken”, indeed. Bwahahahahahahaha!

    PS: London calling: That’s quite enough of the nature/nurture debate, by the way. It’s boring, it’s not what I wrote this post about and I will not let you threadjack with your irrelevant buffoonery. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if you’re simply trolling.

  22. Zenobia Says:

    And this is not to say that there hasn’t been trans friendly radical feminists – Catherine MacKinnon recently, for one – or that it was even a settled question in radical feminism in the 70s (like I said, trans women *were* in feminist groups). But rather, the type of argument Bindel makes hate goes back a long way, and it has been tolerated by other feminists for far too long as Helen says.

    It’s almost like current radical feminists try to adopt the most intransigeant views of their foremothers to try and make themselves more badass. Bit of a straw-radfem alert here, I guess, but how often have you seen one say ‘people will think I’m being extreme, but…’.

    And, transphobic views have been tolerated by feminists for far too long. But, I also think we go about disagreeing with them in the wrong way. If no one had attacked Julie Bindel as a person, and only refuted her logic, she wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on.

    Then again, it’s like because we’re all women and this is a women’s issue, it doesn’t matter how logical we are, it matters whose big, sensitive feet are being trodden on, and who went away and cried after being called out, regardless of the severity or otherwise of the accusations. And, I mean, you can accuse someone of saying something culturally genocidal, that doesn’t mean their entire being reeks of cultural genocide, it just means they said something stupid.

    All this moving into as public a forum as possible and shrieking “stop it stop it you’re hurting me!” as soon as someone tries to argue is very un-feminist. It’s almost like, we women can’t take arguments, we’re too emotionally fragile. I mean, LFN linked to a bunch of Bindel’s articles to illustrate why they were defending her as a person, as though “she wrote all this! she’s a good person!” was conclusive proof that therefore none of her views can be criticised. But, she wasn’t really being attacked as a person anyway – at least she shouldn’t have been.

    Then again, I feel quite uncomfortable about most feminist debate around trans issues, both pro- and anti-, possibly because it feels like both sides are using trans issues to illustrate what kind of feminist they are, forgetting there are actual people involved, and none of us have any business being pro- or anti- trans. Trans people already exist – it’s their human rights we should be defending. And I don’t think any truly radical feminist could disagree with that.

  23. queenemily Says:

    Zenobia: right, totally agree about rights. The problem as I see it is that trans people’s *existence* has been framed as political by some people and hence, questionable.

    >>>And, I mean, you can accuse someone of saying something culturally genocidal, that doesn’t mean their entire being reeks of cultural genocide, it just means they said something stupid.

    I understand the distinction you’re making there, but it’s really hard to make that separation. To choose an extreme example, it’s not like many people go, oh sure Hitler advocated genocide but at least he fixed up the roads.. I’m not calling Bindel a monster or evil, that was hyperbole, but the point is – Helen and I don’t have the luxury of separating out her good work from her bad when it’s our community that she’s anti-rights for.

    I do actually disagree with Helen on one score, I have no wish for dialogue. “Let’s you and me debate your existence” isn’t a conversation I can ever have, my access to hormones and surgery is non-negotiable. I don’t want her to stop writing, just to stop writing about trans people, you know? That’d be enough, I don’t need a Damascene conversion…

  24. Helen G Says:

    queenemily: I do actually disagree with Helen on one score, I have no wish for dialogue. “Let’s you and me debate your existence” isn’t a conversation I can ever have, my access to hormones and surgery is non-negotiable.

    I’m with you all the way on that.

    No, what I want is to recenter her groundless assertions to a trans perspective. It’s not about me justifying my existence to her. It’s not about her approving or disapproving of me. But it is about her putting her money where her mouth is.

    Accountability, Ms Bindel. Irrefutable evidence. Take responsibility for your words. Show me proof of your assertions.

    Or shut the fuck up.

  25. Zenobia Says:

    I understand the distinction you’re making there, but it’s really hard to make that separation. To choose an extreme example, it’s not like many people go, oh sure Hitler advocated genocide but at least he fixed up the roads.. I’m not calling Bindel a monster or evil, that was hyperbole, but the point is – Helen and I don’t have the luxury of separating out her good work from her bad when it’s our community that she’s anti-rights for.

    Well, quite often there isn’t really a distinction I guess. And, I do question the usefulness of bending over backwards to point out whatever good Bindel may have done, when lots of people are doing the same thing, maybe better than her, with little to no recognition. However, from the point of view of successfully countering her arguments, I think it’s important to extend to her the courtesies that she doesn’t extend to, hrm, well, anyone much. And in any case, I was mainly talking about her reaction to criticism: you call her out on transphobia, she’s all “oooh my christ that’s a terrible thing to say, how could you?!”, when, well, what she said was pretty terrible, as was her sense of entitlement in saying it, but at the same time it’s not exactly mortally wounding her to point it out. She can still churn out her articles, and people will still react to her.

    I do actually disagree with Helen on one score, I have no wish for dialogue. “Let’s you and me debate your existence” isn’t a conversation I can ever have, my access to hormones and surgery is non-negotiable. I don’t want her to stop writing, just to stop writing about trans people, you know? That’d be enough, I don’t need a Damascene conversion…

    Well, I don’t think it’s a very useful conversation at all, and I don’t really think she has a right to write about anything without doing the research first. And, in the case of her writing about trans people, her whole angle is just completely wrong. It’s objectifying of trans people, and it’s really bad journalism. No way should she have been nominated for a journalistic award, let alone by a gay rights organisation. So, I think I agree with you there.

    Accountability, Ms Bindel. Irrefutable evidence. Take responsibility for your words. Show me proof of your assertions.

    Or shut the fuck up.

    Exactly. Stop press: journalist attacked and silenced because someone asked her to do some research and be accountable for her own words. You know, she probably had a crap couple of days, but she totally brought them on herself.

  26. queen emily Says:

    Agreed about the research. It’s certainly not decent journalism.

    I’m not sure research matters though, cos I don’t think she remotely argues in good faith about trans people. After all the correspondence she’s apparently had with the trans community, she leads off her latest piece with the laziest slur of them all–that we’re “odd” sexually.

    Given her other articles on the subject, I think she’s well aware transness is about gender, not sexuality, and simply wanted to make a polemic to pander to the worst transphobic prejudices around. But hey, easier to just suggest that we’re filthy perverts…

  27. Zenobia Says:

    I’m not sure research matters though, cos I don’t think she remotely argues in good faith about trans people. After all the correspondence she’s apparently had with the trans community, she leads off her latest piece with the laziest slur of them all–that we’re “odd” sexually.

    God yeah, you’d think, being a lesbian with all the social stigma attached, she’d think twice about calling people “odd” sexually. Why not ‘deviant’ or ‘freak’ while she’s at it.

    As for the research, you’re right, I don’t think she argues in good faith. That’s probably why she doesn’t do the research, or probably does a ton of it actually because it must take ages to go through all the evidence picking out only what you agree with, searching out the people who will prove you right when you interview them. However, she’s obviously extremely defensive about how little she really knows, and how she doesn’t seem to want to know any more. And, in her article there, she only quotes one objection to her views on transgenderism, which is far from representative of the majority of objections to her. Hardly anyone has been telling her she shouldn’t speak up because she isn’t trans, they’ve been telling her that she shouldn’t speak up until she gets a clue and proves that she isn’t acting entirely out of transphobia.

    So, yeah, it quite literally boils down to transphobia, or she wouldn’t flail about like this – but you knew that already.

  28. Zenobia Says:

    Or, actually, I think you’re right Emily, she probably does know, she just knows her audience also, and which side her bread is buttered on.

    Only took me three weeks to reach that conclusion, but better late than never!


  29. [...] Monday, I was reading this interesting article: <a href=http://birdofparadox.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/tonight-were-going-to-party-like-its-1985/>Tonight we are going to party like it’s 1985</a> in which the author, Helen G who is a [...]


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