Friday, 25 September 2015

Silencing! Censorship! Until we do it...

There is no one single level of hypocrisy. There are the tiny hypocrisies that happen throughout life; maybe someone is a vegetarian who opposes the way animals are treated but succumbs to the occasional temptation and devours a burger. You may be opposed to the destruction of the planet by global warming but need to go and see relatives in Australia with only two weeks holiday available.

Then there are the big hypocrisies, hypocrisies of moral and ethical stances. For example a politician who preaches sexual morality and then engages in a bizarre ritual involving a dead farm animal.  The biggest hypocrisies, however, are when one group weaponizes a rhetorical instrument for bashing opponents, and then goes and indulges in the same thing themselves that they criticise. 

I guess most readers of this blog will have guessed the people I am talking about by now; yes, there are normal hypocrites, there are massive hypocrites and there are TERFs

The cries of fabricated outrage from the TERFs and their apologists in mainstream media ring out. This happens every time anyone supporting trans people’s right to live their lives unabused, unharrassed and unmolested decides they don’t want to listen to the increasingly fanatical drivellings of this abusive, malicious and mendacious group.

When a students’ union rightly says it does not want its facilities used as a platform for hate, incitement to hate, abuse and fabricated evidence, the defenders of the right to free speech immediately take to national media to broadcast to millions how they are being silenced and censored. In a thoroughly unprincipled attempt to appear to be taking the moral high ground they tell the world, effortlessly using mainstream media, how they are prevented by teh tranz from saying what they want. Somehow their noxious cocktail of abuse, harassment and untruths represents a "valid point of view" leading to a "reasoned debate" about another group of people's right to live their lives.

So when I heard that that the TERFs have decided they want to silence a trans person and prevent her from speaking at a feminist event, my first reaction was... Well, I would like to say that I didn’t believe it; people who weaponise accusations of censorship and silencing, when it is really just no-platforming, would never attempt to censor or silence a trans person surely?

The problem is that it was all too believeable and it is true. The amazing Jane Fae has been banned, by some TERFs, from speaking at a Feminism In London event because she has written about pornography. The TERFs have finally manifested their ridiculousness in a way which cannot be regarded as anything other than profound, grating hypocrisy.

And, like I said, this isn’t the “petits hypocraties” of everyday life; this is a big, moral and unprincipled hypocrisy which tells us a great deal about the TERFs as a group. 

"Free speech" is obviously only an accusation to be thrown around when it benefits them, not a principle about which they can claim the high moral ground. Indeed this is the moral equivalent of the Mindanao Trench. TERF discourse flings inaccurate, nebulous and woolly accusations of censorship and silencing at trans people like a muck spreader in the fields, whilst engaging in the very things they have, falsely, accused trans people of. You couldn't make this stuff up.

This tells us a great deal about the nature of TERF discourse; it is not a "discourse" at all in the accepted sense, indeed it probably doesn't even qualify to be called a "narrative", since at least most narratives attempt a semblance of coherence. The utterances of the TERFs can only really be described as Empty Weaponized Rhetoric. Pronouncements of no value, merely representing linguistic oppression, abuse and inhumanity. Sad that Feminism in London has allowed itself to be influenced by these fanatics, a conference which has now allowed itself to become devalued and diminished.

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