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Sticks and Stones May Break Bones, But Words Oppress Far Longer

July 27, 2017

Women’s Views on News recently shared an article on Facebook from the site Fair Play For Women (“FPFW”) which was a litany of transphobic language and unsubstantiated opinion.  Having had a research on FPFW it is clear this article is representative of the views of the site.  WVON stated when posting the article: “to be clear : We fully support the rights of trans people to safety, dignity and equal rights, but not at the expense of women and girls.”

The “safety, dignity and equal rights of trans people” were explicitly denied throughout the article. The language of the shared post is explicitly transphobic and some people may find the following quotes triggering:

  • “Hypnotised by the trans community’s charm & sparkle”
  • “I’m guessing they’ve [those debating the updating of the Gender Recognition Act 2004] been told a lot of sob stories by minor trans celebs like Kellie Maloney and India Willoughby, felt terribly sorry for them (the poor girls can’t find a man!) and haven’t bothered to check reality.”
  • “In fact, a person only has to live as a woman for a period of time – whatever that means; presumably it involves swishy hair and nail varnish, those distinctive traits of female biology – and get a doctor to agree they’ve changed gender.”
  • “did you notice where transition means you get all your identification documents altered to suit your new name? Yep, it’s a charter for criminals and anyone else seeking to disappear.” “It rarely happens at present due to the “living as” requirement, but of course Instant Magic Sex Change™ will offer endless glorious opportunities for everyone wishing to escape their past – or even adopt a temporary identity for the duration of certain activity”
  • “they will have more rights than females in female-only places.”
  • “A woman calling out a male-born ‘woman’ is guilty of discrimination and verbal assault – but the owner of a ‘female’ cock & balls commits no crime by showing them off in the women’s shower room. Great news for flashers and voyeurs.”
  • “Men are already winning women’s sports. Watch this explode. You may as well tell girls it’s all about trying your best, because they won’t be able to win.”
  • “Sex discrimination at work? Forget it. Why would they promote you, a female who has periods and might get pregnant, over a male-born woman without all that awkward biology?
  • Sexual harassment? You’ve got to be kidding! All the male-born women love it! Stop complaining.”
  • “Be raped by a woman. Yes, suddenly rapists can be women and females can be as criminally violent as males.”

There is repeated use of “male-born woman” in reference to transgender women (as per usual in these articles, transgender men are conveniently forgotten or erased from the argument), which is Transphobic Language No-No’s 101.  The advised and respectful term is ‘assigned male at birth’ when referring to transgender women and ‘assigned female at birth’ when referring to transgender men, or the best option, not using either term at all.

Note the use of “charm & sparkle” being hypnotic; this reduces any point put forward by a transgender person to being that which is based on removing the ability of person with whom they are talking to comprehend and agree, because hypnosis is a process which implants suggestion into the subconscious and removes conscious action in coming to an opinion.  Basically, it voids any agreement on the basis that it is not ‘real’ agreement.

Charm and sparkle is not a compliment, it is a derogatory term reducing all transgender activists and non-activists to overtly feminine caricatures.

The second point makes clear where the author is coming from, and utilising sexist presumption without qualifying how the author is defining the ‘reality’ to be checked.

A transgender person MUST live openly in representation of the gender they know they are for a minimum of two years before accessing medical transitional treatment.  That is the only way of transitioning via hormonal therapy and/or surgery, if that is the pathway they wish to choose.  There is an unsavoury whiff of sexism in the comment with regard to swishy hair and nail varnish being seen as traits of female biology, and this point I agree with.  However, it is not those who are transgender who impose these ideals, it is those they apply to for treatment who impose these ideals.

As for pointing out that criminals could use what the author views as “Instant Magic Sex Change”, criminals already change their identity and whilst it is very presumptive, unproven and basically an invalid unverifiable supposition on the part of the author, surely it would be easier to stick to the gender identity one was assigned at birth when changing one’s identity to hide one’s criminal activity?

To assert that transgender women will have more rights than ‘females in female-only places’ is another unproven and unverifiable supposition.  Statistically speaking transgender women face more prejudice, more violence, and are murdered at a far higher rate than cisgender women.

These ‘rights’ which the author speaks of do not exist, have never existed, and will not exist.  The violence and discrimination is proven.

The following graph is an edited version of Table 2 in the UK Government statistics on hate crimes document “Hate Crime England & Wales 2015-2016”:

Table 2: Hate crimes recorded by the police, by monitored strand1,2, 2011/12 to 2015/16
           
Numbers and percentages         England and Wales, recorded crime
Hate crime strand 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 % change 2014/15 to 2015/16
   
Transgender  313  364  559  607  858 41
   
Source: Police recorded crime, Home Office
1. Hate crimes are taken to mean any crime where the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised. For the agreed definition of hate crime see: http://www.report-it.org.uk
2. Data were collected from 44 police forces in England and Wales and cover notifiable offences only (see the User Guide for more information).

To incite cisgender women’s fears of rape, sexual assault and sex discrimination on the basis that transgender women will not suffer the same, and indeed that cisgender men may take advantage and commit crimes and discriminate against cisgender women in favour of transgender women is unsubstantiated bullshit, and fear-mongering at its worst.

Let’s not forget this article is about the debating of amendments which may be applied to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.  No decisions, no policy, no guidelines for amendment have been made.

The article is littered with supposition, and devoid of fact.  It is all opinion.  Now, this is fine, and I am firmly in favour of opinion being expressed, but that means those who disseminate such opinions have a responsibility towards their readership, and a site which professes to be for equality, as Women’s Views on News does (FPFW does not, it is explicitly transphobic), is shocking.  It is clear that WVON are for equality but only for cisgender women and cisgender girls; there is a cut-off point at which cisgender identifying people receive priority over their transgender sisters.  The transgender community will be thrown under the bus.

There should not be a dichotomy of thinking here, but the refusal to accept and understand (as opposed to tolerate) the existence of transgender people let alone the right to a safe life means one is set up.  It’s not an either/or situation, unless you hold bigoted views about the transgender community, and at that point, you lose credibility as an equality activist. If you are happy to divide and oppress one part of the intersectionally oppressed community, I cannot trust that you will not divide and oppress others.

I am pleased to note that the petition on 38 Degrees has been taken down and removed as a violation of the terms and conditions of the non-partisan site.

It’s a shame that Women’s Views on News has not seen fit to remove such a transphobic article from their site too.

gender equality image

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From → Ideology

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