Friday, 18 October 2013
No Debate. TERFs: Hating, Harming and Harassing Trans People.
TERFs have harmed and harassed trans people for more than 40 years. Their actions demonstrate that they are not interested, as they would have everyone else believe, in 'legitimate debate' about trans people...
The 1980s' TERF – Republican alliance against trans people continues...
The battle to withdraw California’s AB 1266 ordinance, which allows trans kids to use the bathroom appropriate to their gender, has been joined by the TERFs. The TERF community has decisively taken the side of the Tea Party, right-wing “Christian” organisations and anti-gay and lesbian groups like the Pacific Justice Institute to try and prevent trans children in California’s schools from using the bathroom facilities appropriate to their gender.
Make no mistake the consequences for California’s young trans people if this ordinance were to be withdrawn would be catastrophic and deadly. Children would be forced to use inappropriate bathrooms, children would be beaten up at school and most trans children would probably start school refusing in large numbers. Every trans child would be outed every day and constantly spotlighted as different. Effectively denied access to education, most young trans people would be left with no alternative but to exist on society’s margins rather than have careers and jobs like everyone else. Many would inevitably end up in sex work and in jail (the wrong jail at that), these people would effectively be placed in situations where they are vulnerable to assault and murder, which is inherent in sex work, especially if you are trans. If this protection is withdrawn young trans people will die.
The TERF community appears to have thrown its weight behind promoting a completely inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and entirely fabricated report of a Trans child supposedly "assaulting" girls in bathrooms in a school in Colorado. The Pacific Justice Institute has admitted that this storywas a lie but employed the classic TERF argument that a trans girl entering the girls’ bathroom constituted violence against girls per se. There has clearly been contact between TERFs and the PJI on this issue as the PJI are resorting to the old TERF canard that “trans people harm women simply by their existence.”
The involvement of the TERF community at the highest level in this miserable and sordid mendacity draws on an alliance between TERFs and the Republicans which was established in the 1980s, when they colluded with the Right-wing Republican administration to have healthcare provision for trans people made unavailable. A direct result of this was that trans people, and especially ethnic minority trans people, were forced into sex work, not only to fund their own medical treatment but to keep body and soul together.
Until now TERFs across the board have denied this, although they almost certainly realise that government papers released to historians and archivists will, at some point in the future, reveal hard evidence of this connivance. Yet despite TERFs being the only group campaigning against trans people in the 1980s they have repeatedly, if unconvincingly, tried to deny links with the Republicans and right-wing groups. Today their denials will be viewed as no more than cowardice.
Yet now the main consequence of the TERF collaboration with Republicans and anti-LGBT right-wing “religious” groups and their deliberate lies is that documentary evidence of the TERF-Republican alliance against trans people in the 1980s is no longer required. By their actions today they have demonstrated that this alliance, to target one of the most vulnerable and powerless groups in American society, is very much alive. They have effectively confirmed their ongoing association with Republicans to harm trans people established 30 years ago and that this behind-the-scenes collaboration is continuing apace.
Doubtless the TERF community will deny this. Of course TERF desperation to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions in inflicting violence and murder by proxy on the trans community is understandable if pathetic. However the consequences of this alliance in terms of their own credibility are even more devastating. The Tea Party, the Republicans in general, right-wing “Christian” groups, and assorted extremist bigot groups of the right-wing fringe are not merely anti-gay and anti-lesbian, they are anti-feminist. They oppose women’s right to choose on abortion and a whole host of other measures that effectively amount to state control over women’s bodies.
Actions speak Louder than words
What these TERF actions say about them is volumes more than the totality of misleading, mendacious and malicious words uttered by them. By siding with the enemies of women, the enemies of feminism and the enemies of lesbian, gay and bisexual people they have shown that they can no longer be regarded as feminists. Just as many trans people, and other feminists, have long suspected their "feminism" is nothing more than a cover for obsessive hatred. These people are not and have never been feminists. Feminists do not work with the Republican Tea Party; the enemies of everything feminism stands for.
Their determination to harm and bully trans children by proxy, to fight for discriminatory legislation with the deliberate intention of placing young trans people in California in positions where they are particularly vulnerable to violence and murder demonstrates the depth of their hatred. Make no mistake this is TERF violence against trans people pure and simple. The fact that they are prepared to inflict this violence by proxy onto some of the youngest and most vulnerable trans people reveals more about the REAL intentions of the TERF community. The controller of the pilotless drone in his bunker in Nevada is still responsible for the death and destruction caused; just because the TERF community has decided to campaign to place trans people in situations where they are vulnerable to violence does not make them any less guilty of the resulting violence, just more cowardly.
In recent months a number of ”TERF writers have protested that trans people have been 'silencing' legitimate TERF debate about trans people.The actions of the TERF community in this affair have demonstrated that this is not the case. The TERFs are not at all interested in legitimate “debate” about trans people, nor have they ever been. They are only interested in hating, harassing and harming trans people, usually by proxy. The sordid affair of these TERF/extreme-right-wing lies about this trans child has exposed, not merely their ongoing collaboration with the enemies of feminism and LGB equality but the untruth in the assertions of these TERF writers that TERFs just want legitimate debate. They have clearly demonstrated by their actions that they are not interested in debate, they are interested only in harming trans people.
Postscript on "TERF".
The only remaining issue for trans people to consider is what to do with the descriptor “TERF”. ‘Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist’ was originally designed as a factual descriptor (although TERFs would have us believe that it was intended as a deliberate insult, but they would wouldn’t they?). My suggestion is that we keep the acronym “TERF” but alter the meaning slightly, because these people are clearly not “feminists” and there is nothing “radical” about hatred, but replace the “Radical” with “Right-wing” and “Feminist” with “Fanatic”; “Trans Exclusionary Right-wing Fanatics” still gives us the TERF acronym and is a much more accurate descriptor of this group of haters.