For those of you not up to speed on this Tunks wrote an article in the Morning Star attaking trans people and saying that we should not have the same rights as everyone else because we are threatening "real" women's identities. She dug up the usual tired old arguments about trans women undermining the category “women”, stealing women’s identities etc... Indeed this might be characterised
A number of people on the political left cosigned the article, including Ruth Serwotka of the NUT, Moz Greenshields, Mary Davis and Alex Gordon of the RMT. The letter these people signed, in essence invoked the free speech argument as a cover for hate speech, in particular the following sentence was indicative;
“As Kiri pointed out in her article, 'to deny any group or individual in that group the right to be part of a discussion about their identity is insulting and will result in a failure of the great liberation we are all seeking.'”
Weaponizing the argument about who misrecognizes or misrepresents hate speech as free speech as part of petty politics weakens its power, constitutes appropriation in its worst sense and absolves those on the left who misuse the hate speech/free speech argument. Hate speech matters, hate speech is harmful, and just as Michael Rosen noted, fascism doesn't always come at us wearing jackboots and black shirts, to begin with it tries to look and sound "reasonable". Hate speech, in all its forms, should be opposed wherever it exists, and those who argue that hate speech is the same as free speech should be challenged whoever they are.