I met up with my friend Rya Jones over the weekend of 24/25 June and we filmed some video, of which this is the first to be published. The original concept was ‘what does it mean to be trans’ however the new title more accurately represents the finished product.
I think it’s indicative of what a blind alley transgender culture is, when a video like this with the central message of ‘we should listen to and respect women’, should attract criticism for being ‘transphobic’. It’s a lazy criticism, reflecting more an empty ideology that cannot engage with rational argument, an authoritarian ideology that ultimately seeks to do to women exactly what men have been doing to women for millennia, which is to tell women what it is to be a woman.
I have made the observation many times that transgender activism is men’s rights activism, and a wholly negative form of men’s rights activism it is, having itself become the new, socially acceptable form of sexism, misogyny and homophobia. This is a huge step backwards; when I recall the political landscape of the 1980s when young people rallied against sexism, homophobia and misogyny, a reaction against regressive attitudes embedded in society and, in the UK, a reactionary government that in 1988 enacted Section 28, it breaks my heart to see exactly the same sort of attitudes shown by that era’s moral dinosaurs re-emerge under the cloak of transgenderism: virulent homophobia, Victorian beliefs about female brains claiming the biological essentialism of innate gender, and po-faced complaints about ‘sexism against men’ while telling women to shut up and do as they are told.
Transgenderism never addresses the real problem, that it is the system of gender itself which causes real-life problems for transsexuals and transgender individuals, whether through the effect of homophobic attacks by males, street harassment or cultural obstacles to self expression. The perpetrators of such inequities are not women or those of us who are trans and speak out against transgender culture and suffer so much abuse and lateral violence from the transgender community (because when you have no coherent argument to make, violence and abuse are the only weapons you have left). If we are going to address the issues that really cause us difficulties in real-life, we need to name the problem.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to feel threatened by being able to admit to ourselves and others what we are, and we can ally and support women if we are honest. If we are to view trans rights as civil rights, these can be sustainable only if our claim to these rights are based upon reality, and we are ignoring reality if we are insisting that others see us as something we are not: in the attributed words of Abraham Lincoln, you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. These last few weeks I have been reflecting on ‘LGBT Pride’, having seen much controversy again centered around transgender activists. To my mind the abuse, threats, cultural violence and denial of material reality are the antithesis of what it is to have ‘pride’.
If we are going to be able to claim ‘Pride’ of any sort, we need to do so on the basis of material reality and our achievements, not claims to victimhood, magical thinking or sustaining cultural violence. And while we’re at it, we need to regain our sense of humour: lighten up, trannies, this used to be fun and now you’re spoiling it for everyone.