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Piers Morgan - Transphobe

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    Originally posted by laverte View Post

    British second-wave feminism was comparatively slow to depart from its materialist origins. Whereas the first US activists emerged from anti-war activism and the civil rights movement, and French feminists from May '68, in the UK the centrality of social class and the influence of critical theory made it necessary to address, from the beginning, how the domination of women and the exploitation of the working class are related. i think the tradition of theorising oppression through the lens of the class struggle might have left a legacy both in the prevalence of binary thinking with regard to gender, and in the push for women to develop consciousness of themselves as a class, as a sex, as women.
    My possibly naive understanding was that the main conflict in second wave feminism was between "socialist feminists" and "revolutionary feminists" in the 1960's and '70s over whether the primary axis of women's oppression was class or sex? I guess what confuses me with what you wrote is I'd view the materialists to be the socialist feminists like Silvia Federici and laid the groundwork for Marxist Feminism with its emphasis on socially constructed gender roles and the function of gendered labour within a framework of wider capitalist oppression. While the revolutionary feminists took a more essentialist/idealist stance - that sex was the sole/primary locus of oppression and feminists could only liberate themselves through seperatism?

    But my understanding was that large parts of "revolutionary feminism" were, from their very origins, intensely transphobic (obviously as society as a whole was/is) - rather than, as you seem to be implying - that it became more evident later on as the movement was fractured? Obviously that's not to dispute that it wasn't very important in terms of its practical organising and contribution to theory, but to merely state that hostility to trans people was baked into parts of it from the very beginning.

    e.g. this covers some of the violence experienced by trans women in US feminist movement

    This (from a then revolutionary feminist) gives a little more colour about the conflicts between the two tendencies at the tail end of the WLM in the UK.

    Obviously since then black feminist thought and post-colonial queer theory (in part taking its influences from Federici et al) has highlighted a lot of these contradictions and also challenged the colonialism inherent in much of the white feminist movement in the global north.

    I think you could perhaps argue that the mainstreaming of transphobia/anti-sex-work feminism as the dominant rhetoric of some of the holdouts from the second wave revolutionary feminism reflects the marginalisation of their ideas from mainstream feminist organising and theory - as ideas and praxis borrowed from black/post-colonial feminism like intersectionality began to become increasingly important - which possibly ran along in tandem with the loss/co-option of radical autonomous feminist spaces in the New Labour-era that you identify

    i dislike Terf because it associates radical feminism with transphobia, when plenty of radfems are trans-welcoming, and plenty of transphobic feminists are not radical.
    Surely TERF was coined to specifically refer to the radfems who weren't trans inclusive?

    The interesting thing about the contemporary transphobic movement is how divorced it all seems to be from wider feminist struggle. The activities of the members of my local TERF group are relatively limited: they harass, and direct their online followers to harass trans inclusive refuges, anti-period poverty campaigns, prison abolitionists, and an author of a body positive books for girls.

    They also share photos for their followers to ridicule individual trans women especially those playing sport, promote US anti-abortionists (who are also transphobic), and share articles from alt-right websites (and the Times, itself pretty much an alt-right website, these days). They held an event where two of their speakers had recently flown from the US where they'd spoken at an event hosted by the Pro-Trump Heritage Foundation and the third used to run a school for a religious cult.

    Most of their activists seem to be involved in the PTA of a school in the posh part of my borough. As far as I can tell, they aren't involved in any other political organisations apart from the labour party (they're all in the fucking labour party). I've not seen them support a feminist cause unless there's an anti-trans angle.


      I'm reading and I'm sure that many others on here will too because, apart from anything else, you write so very well.


        I just looked at Twitter. All those women thanking GL for "defending women" and their rights. I called him a bossy prick on a thread last week, when he suggested that women "with a sense of their own dignity" reject the term CiS, and I was called a misogynist who doesn't care about women. FFS.


          Currently reading (by accident) "Real Queer America - LGBT Stories from Red States" by Samantha Allen.

          Does exactly what it says on the tin, and, I think, beautifully written. (Lots of research links too, if you like that sort of thing.)


            What NS said.

            You might remember, dm, that a few years ago I was involved in a project, and subsequent, book, documenting the lives of men and women living in Brighton who had transitioned. The 'politics' of it, at the time, were a complete eye-opener for me - for example, I had never even considered that LGB folk might shun those who were transitioning, which of course was naive and stupid of me. And now, in my local Labour party, I was told by somebody a few weeks ago that I shouldn't express my opinion on the 'toilets' 'debate' because I'm not a woman. I sort-of get this in the sense that a man shouldn't be part of a debate amongst/about/between feminists, but was a bit taken aback because a) I'm still surprised that the 'debate' is at this stage among feminists, and b) the person who said it was the one who had asked me my opinion in the first place, but just didn't like my answer (which was a version of a)).


              To MsD - I keep forgetting to mention I found you on Twitter! There's possibly not much point in following back as I don't tweet much, but I felt I should mention it. Thank you for speaking up on that sometimes great but often horrific platform because yes, you and all those other cis women saying "No, we don't think this at all, stop speaking for and over us" will indeed get that, you'll get people (or bots) saying you must really be trans/a man and more. I aggressively pre-emptively block almost all accounts exhibiting anti-trans hatred for personal safety but I really appreciate that support.

              Elliptically linked - yesterday I watched 'The Decline of Western Civilization', Penelope Spheeris' doco about LA punk. I hadn't known that Phranc, the political lesbian folk singer, had been in two such bands, Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline (It was CD in the film, they were good). She's quoted in Martin Aston's 'Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache: How Music Came Out' - "I was always trying to pull the dykes and the punks together, which was such a futile dream. The one time I did, Nervous Gender played this benefit for a women's video center and they pulled the plug on us! Apparently, to the women's community, punk rock was the epitome of violence against women. Anyone with different coloured hair or a different look was violence against women! What really upset me... for lesbians to read all this gnarly stuff about punks and believe it." This shit - always different, always the same.

              My cold is even worse today but I'll continue my meandering thoughts some time later because writing it is actually helping me clarify things in my own mind. Back to bed and a book about Scottish hills for now though.


                johnr - Yep, I'm surprised and dismayed. CIS men continue raping, killing, oppressing women on a daily basis, and GCW are obsessing over a handful of cases and a hypothetical danger, and calling women who disagree all sorts of names.

                Virgin Active came out as trans-supportive last month, cue many threats to boycott them, mostly from people who don't even use gyms but who are worried about seeing a penis in their changing rooms. In the branches I go to, there's the option of using a changing cubicle and one can always change in the loo. It's just such a non-issue.


                  Johnr, your local Labour party includes a fine woman I used to know who seems to be Labour's number one pro-trans advocate and, more importantly, do-er in her capacity as a councillor. Finding this out was one of my favourite moments last year.


                    Those are among the best posts I have ever read on here, DM.

                    Thank you. For everything.


                      What ursus said


                        Indeed, great posts, and thanks.


                          Originally posted by MsD View Post
                          Virgin Active came out as trans-supportive last month, cue many threats to boycott them, mostly from people who don't even use gyms but who are worried about seeing a penis in their changing rooms. In the branches I go to, there's the option of using a changing cubicle and one can always change in the loo. It's just such a non-issue.
                          I know that there is no logic in 'phobes, but the lack of realisation in The Debate that, er, people who often experience a greater or lesser degree of dysphoria around their genitals just might be at least as keen on not showing them to others as others are on not seeing them is dispiriting to say the least.

                          Real life trans fact - that was a major concern of mine when I presented to the council as homeless, cos a lot of hostels have dormitory accommodation. If I'd had to stay somewhere like that I would basically never shower, whether they stuck me in with men or women.

                          Another real life trans fact - when I needed rape counselling, I didn't know where to go. I didn't know if support services for women would accept me and I didn't want to try support services for men (and I'm not sure if they would have accepted me either, seeing as I'm not a man). Luckily I live in London, so I could turn to GALOP who are great. There's a sexual violence support access issue for you.

                          Third RLTF - trans people (especially women) have very very high rates of UTIs because of the fear of being attacked or harassed in public lavatories by cis people. In a few weeks I'm going to my first gig since I transitioned. I will not be drinking, and I will be planning it like a military operation. I still haven't attended a football match since I transitioned; I identify this activity as very high risk (anti-trans hate group leafleted the women's cup final last year, as I recall BLT mithered the FA about it, good lad). Please don't tell me I'm being paranoid. Overly cautious possibly, but being cautious has protected me from assault for years so whatever.

                          Thank you for your kind words. If you are feeling flush and wish to show solidarity you could do worse than donate to these good people (NB please don't tweet at them, though those who know they don't have nasties among their followers are very welcome to retweet) -

                          I'll return to why Boyne and his ilk are not merely hurtful and/or offensive, but actually harmful, in due course. The posters who have told me that what I have shared has influenced their views are very encouraging, but I've really been needing to try and write about this for ages anyway. If I can get to a point of writing and recording songs again that will be good.


                            I just got into a little skirmish on twitter, from which I've walked away as usual (I'm a liberal blocker). I'm never sure how far to go with these things, but it does generally seem to be people who have decided their position without any interest or empathy or anything much really. Just some hate. Ach.


                              Having read this thread, I can only echo NS' and Ursus' comments about the quality of writing. Thanks.



                                Apologies for the Wolfish colour scheme - apparently white ink doesn't hold on royal blue cotton for... technical reasons. Yes, technical reasons.
                                Last edited by Benjm; 20-04-2019, 08:43.


                                  That's almost the exact same colour yellow as my Trans Radiation T-shirt! ( though that image makes it look paler than it is)

                                  BTW, I will be happy to show off said T-shirt to friendly OTFers if any fancy a thon soon. It's been a while.


                                    Originally posted by delicatemoth View Post
                                    BTW, I will be happy to show off said T-shirt to friendly OTFers if any fancy a thon soon. It's been a while.
                                    I'd be up for a thon soon. Organisationally, it's a similar question to that faced by the North American Soccer League; is there sufficient interest to sustain a purely domestic product, without the excitement generated by the appearance of big overseas names?
                                    Last edited by Benjm; 20-04-2019, 09:50. Reason: Edit: horrible repetition


                                      Some amazing stuff DM.

                                      This, btw, is why I absolutely loathe 'identifies as' language. It's a subtly coded way of saying we're not really who we think we are. This, imo, is absolutely the dominant attitude of 'nice' cis people who really don't want to hurt us but still refuse to believe us cos it's common sense, innit.

                                      This strikes me as a very easy linguistic trap for the unwary to fall into. I'm pretty sure I've blundered into this at some point. You can also get to that formulation of words via thinking that what you "identify as" is the bit that matters, and that the rest is just a biographical detail. But If you're not going to use the same formulation for cis-people as a rule or in the context of that conversation..... I can see how that would get really grating


                                        This Boyne really sounds like a piece of work. Here's strong criticism of a previous book where he cashes in - GOSH, I'M SORRY, I mean Deploys His Piercing Literary Magnificence To Illuminate the Holocaust ffs -

                                        Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                                        This strikes me as a very easy linguistic trap for the unwary to fall into. I'm pretty sure I've blundered into this at some point.
                                        Bless you, yes you have! And having been here 11 years I know fine well you're a thoughtful and deeply humane poster. And thinking about it, I accept that this is the kind of area where it's not necessarily obvious that cis folk should be able to grasp that distinction without a little prompting.

                                        I can (I believe) expect y'all to use basic reasoning and research to take the few minutes that are necessary to debunk the bloody bogs panic, or grasp that people who have studied and researched biology to a level considerably higher than GCSE tend to take trans people seriously*. But we also have to remember that science is as subject to conscious and unconscious prejudices and biases as every other area of human endeavour (even Literature!).

                                        * This is why I referred to The Times as a hate sheet. They run hit pieces about trans people, concerns and charities at an astonishingly high rate, pieces which are either baseless or employ the shitty tabloid trick of taking one piece of information (e.g. a few trans people on Twitter were criticising a book or TV show) and blowing it up into a big smear with a titillating headline. And given that, as I said above, the average mildly curious person with a search engine should be able to find out that these stories are either exaggerated or just made up, a fucking paid journalist should absolutely not be doing that 'by mistake', and nor should a writer/film-maker who wants their Big Sensitive Work About These Tragic But Misguided People to be taken seriously and not criticised as contemptible, shit-stirring trash.
                                        Last edited by delicatemoth; 20-04-2019, 22:06.


                                          BTW, if Reg Christ reads this I'd like to apologise to him, cos a while back he started a thread where he was probably hoping that posts like mine might go. Unfortunately, from my point of view it was really badly timed (which he obv wasn't to know), and some people posted a bit of the usual tedious stuff, and I went off, and the thread (probably wisely; Snake does a good job here I think) got deleted. Sorry Reg.


                                            Originally posted by delicatemoth View Post

                                            *I really, really wish I'd posted the Twitter thread by a cis woman talking about how, after 20 years with short hair, she's growing it out because she was followed into a public lavatory by a man who proceeded to bang on her stall door and aggressively demand that she leave. But it's trans women who are a menace in the bogs.
                                            Had a similar convo recently with a cis pal who is 6 ft 2 and sometimes gets read as trans.

                                            Of course the lie at the heart of so-called "gender critical feminism" is that it creates a climate where not being able or willing to conform to a stereotypical view of gender presentation places people at physical risk.


                                              Yep, and this is a feature not a bug for the right wing religious hate groups that are entwined with anti-trans groups in the UK.


                                                @delicatemoth: You owe me no apology. It wasnt my place to start the thread and it was arrogance and unchecked privilege on my part that made me think I would have anything useful to contribute beyond platitudes and garden-variety prose. I cant express how sorry I am that it came at a terrible time for you and that I caused you harm. I only hope things are going better for you now than they were back then. To echo what everyone else has said, your posts upthread are superb and very moving. In the interests of full disclosure I too have used the phrase identifies as in the past and hadnt examined the implications of my words. Your posts have set me right on that. Any future transgressions that Im guilty of in this area are purely a consequence of my ignorance - never malice. Based on what youve written here, youve suffered torment that I cant begin to imagine and the idea that I contributed to the sum total of your pain fills me with shame. Im sorry. Take care.
                                                Last edited by Reginald Christ; 21-04-2019, 07:31. Reason: Edit: Er, what happened to the apostrophes in my post?


                                                  With you all the way delicatemoth.

                                                  Hopefully the bus story is the some sort of metaphor for the journey we'll all got to make to the place where all this stuff about and around gender ceases to matter.


                                                    Thanks delicatemoth for all you've written and shared.