Thursday, 26 May 2016

Statement in Solidarity With The Morning Star

We the undersigned are grateful that the Morning Star has provided a space where transphobia can be expressed openly and hate for those perverts, queers, feminists and poofters who try and look like women to use our women's bathrooms and go for a pee. Now that the war has been lost against gays and lesbians (ugh!) and feminism, we are grateful to have another group to hate. 

We hate trannies, and also we hate that nasty lefty, commie fagot of a president who is supporting them. We are grateful that the Morning Star and a group of TERFs is helping provide the legititimacy we need to root out and destroy those trannies wherever they are (and if a few women who look a bit butch get in the way and are attacked also, well that is just too bad, serves them right for not wearing dresses and for cutting their hair). As everyone knows groups like ours only thrive by having others to use as proxy enemies to nurture hate and unite people behind us in ways that would never have been possible otherwise. We look forward to many years of beating up on trannies as a means of establishing our neocon rightwing agenda to once again re-establish our God-given right to Christian white male dominance.

Thank you Morning Star, thank you TERFs. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.

Government of North Carolina 
Government of Mississippi
Republican Party of North Dakota
Donald Trump Supporters Group
Ted Cruz Supporters Group
The Tea Party
Westboro Baptist Church
The Ku Klux Klan

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Police...

Looks like Germaine Greer has appointed herself chief of the newly formed Marriage Police. Yet another courageous police force regulating trans bodies and cis minds necessary to protect the world from the collapse of civilisation as we know it;

  • Mandated chromosome testing at every registry office, by the Marriage Police
  • Genital checking at every women's toilet, the "You're really a man because I say so" Police. 
  • Changing rooms and toilets policed for the slightest sign of gender non-conformity, something that appears to have affected more cis women than trans people so far. 
  • Sexuality Police telling trans people that they can only be repressed gay men or "autogynephiles". 
  • Appearance Police telling us that we are "too masculine" to be women, but then telling us we are over-feminine products of patriarchal shrinks.
  • Freezepeach Police telling us that we just have to shut up and enjoy other people's right to tell us who we are without comeback. This force has a Special Branch; the Hypocrisy Special Section to protect hypocrites from having their double-standards exposed.
  • Sex Police, in some locations to ensure we cannot reproduce.
  • Feminist Police telling us we cannot be feminists unless [fill in impossible criterion here]
  • Housing Police, making sure more of us are homeless than cis people.
  • Employment Police, making sure we are unemployed or underemployed, and trying to get us sacked.
  • Social Service Police, taking our children away.
  • Media Police, making sure we are always forced into a slanging match with a transphobe for your entertainment when we get on TV or the Radio.
  • Social Media Police, extended harassment, abuse, doxxing and outing online.

Of course society needs all these police forces, trans bodies and cis people's attitudes need policing firmly and robustly, where would we be without these thin blue lines...?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Are you Paying Attention Cis People...?

The incident of the girl who was ejected from the women’s toilets in a Hull McDonalds is significant and exposes problems on so many different levels it is difficult to know where to start, so in no particular order here goes…

Transphobic Bathroom Legislation

The girl, a cisgender lesbian was thrown out of McDonalds after a customer complained that there had been a man in the ladies toilets. The girl in question Ny Richardson, was then asked for her ID and ejected from the premises when she could not produce any, after the police had been called. This is very relevent to the transphobic legislation being enacted in places like North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi primarily targeting trans women. My guess is that not only are these repressive laws going to be difficult/impossible to enforce but most of those who will be accused of using the “wrong” bathroom will be cis women.

This is not an insignificant issue and demonstrates the problems of enforcement that police services in these states are facing, something they have admitted already.

Everyday Sexism

Ny Richardson was in a party of rather rowdy girls claim McDonalds, and they were ejected because of this. Well I have been in fast-food restaurants where there have been rowdy men plenty of times. Rowdiness is expected of groups of men, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this group of girls were subject to a considerably lower threshold of tolerance for rowdy behaviour than they would have been if they had been a group of say, male football supporters; “Boys will be boys, just a bit of high spirits!”

Transphobia and Misgendering

However the most revealing part of this is the way she made, not only the local papers, but national lesbian media for being misgendered. Trans people get misgendered all the time, I was misgendered in Costa Coffee recently, it pissed me off but it isn’t headline news. If it were the Evening Standard would have to devote a page every day to trans people being misgendered in London. The usual ignorant pundits in the media tell us not to get so uptight about being misgendered, both individually and as a group, yet when it happens to a cisgender person it hits the headlines. Perhaps some cis people who regularly attack us and misgender us need to think about this. What if you were persistantly misgendered, what if you were constantly told you are a gender you are not…? 

Welcome to life as a trans person. A trans person on social media recently posted this wonderful thought to explain how many cis people’s understandings of trans people need to develop. 

The fact that a cis person being misgendered - an everyday occurence for trans people - hits the headlines demonstrates that maybe the effect of being misgendered, while so rarely experienced by cis people, may have the same, or even worse, profoundly hurtful effects that it can for trans people. 

Time to sit up, listen and learn cis people, this is an important teaching moment...

Monday, 4 April 2016

Has-Beens PLC: Doing good business for Weldon, McEwan etc

Fay Weldon needs to be much more specific. When she declares that the battle of the sexes has been won - by women, she needs to indicate to which planet she is referring. She certainly can't be referring to this one, and the UK in particular, because once again reported rapes and sexual assaults have risen dramatically this year, women still earn 20-30% less than men and jobs which employ a lot of women generally have lower rates of pay and tighter supervision regimes.

As Laura Bates' project has shown everyday sexism and rape culture cast huge shadows over the lives of many women, with working class women more likely to be subject to sexual violence than most. FGM is still a crime inflicted on girls in the UK regularly, I could go on....

So to assert that the "battle of the sexes" as she likes to call it, has been won by women is quite simply wrong. Obviously if you are living the cushy chocolate-box life of an aging author maybe things appear differently. All her outburst has shown really is that she needs to get out more.

As for her her reasoning that trans women (or as she ignorantly calls us "men who want to be women") exist only because this battle of the sexes has been won, flies in the face, not only of the experience of the majority of women facing discrimination every day but historical and archaeological evidence that shows that trans people, including trans women, have been around for millennia, and in every civilisation worthy of the name.

One gets the feeling there must be a publicity agency out there for fading celebs; like Greer, Burchill, McEwan, and others I have forgotten already like that Crystal Maze person, whatever his name is...

"Hello, Has-Beens here....

Yes, Ms Wheldon we advise people like you on attempting to retain the limelight, yes...

Of course, I see, well we advise making a stupid misinformed statement about trans people Ms Wheldon.

 No, trans people, T-R-A-N-S people, transgender people. You'd better Google it.

Why? Well because not enough people know a trans person yet to know you are talking rubbish, no watercooler discussions about how ignorant you are, so you can get away with saying whatever you like. You are still guaranteed a headline though. Do you have a new publication to push...?

...I see. Thank you Ms Wheldon, Has-Beens PLC is always happy to help. I will charge it to your account.


Thank you...


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Joan Smith: transphobic or ignorant?

The following represents my opinion of Joan Smith's article in the Independent on Sunday today.

This is part of what Joan Smith wrote in the Indie today and it is profoundly dishonest in my opinion;

"That’s why I think feminism is robust enough to weather attacks from some trans activists, who seem unable to disagree with distinguished figures in the women’s movement without trying to turn them into hate figures. I disagree with Germaine Greer on various issues, including prostitution, but her 1970 bestseller The Female Eunuch remains an intellectual challenge and an inspiration. Personal attacks and calls for “no-platforming” have no place in one of the world’s great human rights movements."

Dishonest, and indeed disingenuous because it attempts to situate trans people as being opposed to feminism. This is the way the standard-issue, concern-trolling, disingenuous anti-trans activists argue. For Smith's information trans people are also feminists, indeed I would wager that a greater proportion of trans people describe themselves as feminists than cis people. Feminism is not under attack from trans people nor has it ever been. Nor are the vast majority of feminists opposed to trans people in the same way that Greer is. A small group of anti-trans fanatics who describe themselves as "feminists" have attempted to use feminism as a cover for bigotry and hate-mongering. These people routinely attempt to set up a false division between trans people and feminism, as Smith has done, but this is done deliberately to mislead.  

So there are two alternative scenarios regarding Smith's outburst today. The first scenario is that she is as dishonest and disingenuous as these bigoted anti-trans activists. By attempting to position trans people in opposition to feminists, she is employing the same tactics used by them and many other oppressors throughout the ages. If this is the case she should be regarded as just another cheap shot transphobe and join the long list of privileged people bullying trans people like the far-right evangelical "Christian" fanatics attempting to introduce laws aimed at bullying trans people, especially trans kids, into taking their own lives. If so she is beneath contempt.

On the other hand she could simply be repeating what has become the mantra of the privileged who have not really thought about or understood the issues relating to no-platforming. Does she really think that Germaine Greer's brand of transphobic hate is something we can politely disagree with? Has she ever tried arguing with a person who hates her? If so she really has a problem, and in my opinion is both ignorant of and unaware of what she is writing about. The herd mentality has taken over regarding the issue of no-platforming and the white cis-privileged middle-class have opted for simplistic arguments rather than understanding how privilege actually works.

Whether Smith's outburst is genuine disingenuousness and represents an attempt to harm trans people, or whether it is pure ignorance and banal herd-following, it represents a pretty unedifying end to what is hopefully her last column in mainstream media.  

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Why Richard O'Brien reminds me of men I used to meet at parties.

My opinion about Richard O'Brien's opinion of me.

One of the few advantages of being a trans  woman is that, at a party, you find out who the assholes are before everyone else. As far back as the early 1990s I can remember (almost invariably white, cishet, male) partygoers coming up to me before they even had the excuse that they were pissed and asking me about my genitals.

By a few seconds this question usually preceded its asker learning some new items of vocabulary, vocabulary which left them in no doubt as to

a) what I thought of their question,

b) what I thought of them, and

c) that they needed to ensure they did not avail themselves of my company at any time in the future for any reason.

So it was with a sense of deja-vu that I read about Richard O'Brien's pronouncement on trans women. As someone who does not identify as a trans woman himself he is clearly profoundly underqualified to talk about trans women, something which tends to be a common factor in those arrogant enough to make such pronouncements. What are the reasons he gives for making this judgement...? Errrrr... absolutely none whatsoever. Not that he is any different in this respect from the other people making similar pronouncements, Barry Humphries and Germaine Greer have presented nothing by way of evidence to support their assertions whilst at the same time lacking any experiential qualification for what they have said.

The counter-arguments of course have actual scientific evidence to back them up; trans people are who we say we are. The TERF essentialising arguments, profoundly anti-feminist as they are, simply fall apart even on cursory inspection. Of course O'Brien doesn't have to worry about such niceties, but then, let's face it neither, it seems, do the essentialising TERFs.

While a number of my friends are now mourning yet another lost hero, forever lost to assholeness, I am lucky; I never liked the Crystal Maze and one of the reasons for that was its vainglorious and narcissistic presenter who reminded me so much of the privileged and ignorant assholes I used to introduce to new items of lexicon in the early stages of parties. 

One of the ways most people judge an idea is the people who advocate it, which probably explains why the "out" campaign has lost ground since Michael Gove joined it.  O'Brien joins the likes of Greer, Humphries, a ragbag of privileged libertarian/neoliberal right-wingers and assorted abusive  and ignorant TERFs many of whom have increasingly resorted to spreading deliberate disinformation about trans people because they have no serious arguments to make.

Quite what qualifies him to think he can make the pronouncement he has done is very unclear, apparently nothing, so the question remains; why has he deliberately made an idiot of himself by doing this? The reason is probably the same reason as Greer's, or indeed Burchill's; he desperately desires to hold on to whatever fading limelight he can. Some may call him a 'has-been". I would beg to differ; a "hasn't-been" is probably more appropriate.

Making ignorant and puerile statements about trans people seems to be the way hasn't-beens attempt to regain whatever crumbs of long-lost media attention they can. Best ignore such foolishness, put them out of their misery, it is kinder that way.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Lies, harm and death

Transphobes in the media: It's not about "offence".

It is becoming clear that the battle for trans rights in the UK is being won, although we are, of course nowhere near finished. There are still plenty of areas where change is needed and where discrimination still occurs; the rights of children, non-binary people, disabled trans people and BAME trans people and prison policy to name but a few. However trans people in the UK are in a better position with regard to having some kind of voice, with being able to express ourselves and counter the lies and deliberate misinformation put about by those who oppose us. 

It cannot be stressed how important this is. Some of us can remember a time when trans people had no voice, no ability to challenge what was said about us. The harm caused by this state of affairs resulted in deaths by suicide (including, almost, my own, after I read The Transsexual Empire, the only book I could find about transsexual people in the 1980s, before the internet) as a result of the social exclusion generated by negative stereotyping of trans people in the media. These texts were produced by people like Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffreys, Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel. During the last 40 years up to around 2008 the dominant public image of the average trans person was determined by these people's discourse; their narrative was not seriously challenged in the media to the extent that Julie Bindel could get away with stereotyping us this badly in the Guardian in 2004;

"...those who "transition" seem to become stereotypical in their appearance - fuck-me shoes and birds'-nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls. Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease."

While Germaine Greer has recently demonstrated that this sort of nonsense has not gone away, it has to a large extent been replaced by more subtle mendacities, disinformations and outright lies from such people. However, trans people are now better organised and better able to challenge such narratives in the media, which brings me to the first important point I would like to make here: opposing people like Greer, Bindel, Raymond etc, is not about us being offended, it is about the harmful effects of the lies they peddle. When a TERF or other transphobe makes an appearance in the media, the content of what they say may be mildly offensive to trans people but to be honest most of us hear worse on the bus every now and then. No the problem with the material they are pushing in the media is that it usually contains quite profound untruths and disinformation about trans people. Indeed this is pretty much the norm in terms of TERF output in the media these days. Gone is the deliberate stereotyping; these days there are enough of us around so that most people know we don't look like john Travolta or Olivia Newton-John, today their weapon if choice is the lie.

The problem is that those who oppose the no-platforming policies of students, those who argue, as Julie Bindel did so disingenuously in the guardian recently, are presenting our opposition to their media output, speaking sessions in universities as based on "offence". 

It is not.

Let me be clear about this; I am not opposed to Julie Bindel, Germaine Greer, Milo Yiannopoulos or anyone else speaking about trans issues on the grounds of "offence". These people may be offensive but that is not the reason why I believe they have no place speaking in our universities or in the media. The reason I oppose them speaking is because they use every opportunity they get, to spread deliberate lies about trans people which cause actual harm to trans people.

These lies include;

  • trans children mostly do not grow up to be trans adults
  • trans children have a medical transition forced upon them at too early a stage
  • trans women use women's toilets, not to pee but to attack women
  • trans women are men
  • trans people are mentally ill
  • trans children are diagnosed too early and don't have time to develop
  • trans people are enemies of feminism
  • trans people reinforce gender stereotypes and the oppression of women
This is why I believe trans activists now need to ensure that these people are not given undeserved airtime to spread these lies and to sharpen our response to them when they do, exposing their lies and being clear that no-platforming is about opposing their practice of spreading harmful disinformation about us, rather than "offence". 

Indeed so many commenters who supported Germaine Greer's "Freezepeach" cited "offence" as our supposed opposition to transphobes in the media and at universities that it is clear the cis journalists and editors have got this entire issue badly wrong, and are misrepresenting trans people quite badly in this respect. I believe one of the main focusses of our interactions with the media should be this disinformation campaign by transphobes, and we should not avoid any opportunity to reinforce the idea that our main objection to transphobes being given a platform is not 'offence'.

The next point I would like to make in relation to this is with regard to places like Russia. Today it was announced that trans people, along with gay men, lesbians and child-abusers, were to be "treated" in new psychiatric hospitals. Let us be under no illusions that these "treatments" are going to include Reparative Therapy of the kind that killed Leelah Alcorn.

Two years ago I was invited by Amnesty International to speak about the problems faced by trans people in Russia. Since I knew very little about the situation and what they would like me to say I consulted with some Russian trans people, difficult, but I got in touch with as many as I could communicate with. Their main message was very clear; they are suffering because of TERF cultural imperialism. The transphobic hate published by the likes of Raymond and Greer under the guise of "feminism" is having an effect in Russia. The problem is that TERFs in Russia have a much louder voice than trans people, indeed trans people there are pretty much in the same position we were here in the early 1980s. In other words TERF disinformation and misinformation about trans people can be spread there with little or no opposition. The result of this, is institutionalised Reparative Therapy and trans people being treated alongside pedophiles. I am in no doubt that trans people will die, and indeed are probably dying already in Russia as a result of TERF cultural imperialism.

So whilst we need to be on our guard in the UK, we need to develop ways of supporting trans people in Russia. That was the very clear message I received from them about what they would like us in the West, to do to support them. They didn't need anything else, they were clear they could fight their own battles, what we need to do is prevent our TERFs from targeting them, because they are not yet in a position to fight back (the choice of battleground by TERFs is always one in which their opponents cannot fight back and where others do their dirty work for them).

The truth is that TERFism kills, that TERFism is predominantly about spreading false information about trans people. This is not a "free speech" issue or an "offence" issue it is about harm, in that sense it is not unlike the free speech implications of shouting "fire" in a crowded cinema.