SILENCING: Abuse & emotional blackmail
Here are some of the tactics that typically characterise the trans activists’ campaign to silence critical voices.
The first time I got abuse by the trans lobby was when I tweeted a response to Phillip Picardi, Digital Director of a website called Teen Vogue. Picardi had posted a series of tweets saying an article they’d published on anal sex had attracted complaints from Christians. I responded asking whether there hadn’t been any complaints about referring to women as ‘non-prostate owners’. I also included a link to an Independent article by JJ Barnes:
I was surprised at the number of responses I got suggesting I was a ‘piece of shit’ or similar and equally surprised at the number who simply didn’t understand and certainly didn’t agree that there is anything wrong with that particular definition of women. I know better now.
The trans cult all too often try to silence critics with insults, gaslighting, abuse and threats of violence. I see it happening every day on social media.
It often takes a while for people to believe that this kind of behaviour online is the rule rather than the exception. It is not just “a few keyboard warriors”, as one friend of mine suggested. It is an epidemic of often filthy, often violent and often extremely misogynistic abuse. Certainly nobody who participates in it, justifies it, condones it or simply refuses to entertain that it even happens, should call themselves a feminist.
Emotional blackmail: Not up for debate
There are several ploys used by trans activists that amount to emotional blackmail and manipulation. I also mention this first one – ‘Not up for debate’ – on the Trans ideology page of this site.
Here’s an example from the current (2017) President of Oxford University’s LGBTQ+ Society.
Source: BBC Newsnight 17 October 2017
It’s a beautifully concise appeal to human empathy, compassion and guilt. A person’s identity… who they are…how can you possibly question that without hurting them, denying them their very humanity?
Except that what is being challenged here is not who trans people say they are but what (some of them) say they are. What is being challenged is the underlying idea that subjective, unverifiable gender identity subordinates objective biological sex. I can understand how it is difficult, especially when you know and love someone who is trans. It is also cowardly and wrong to force people – and particularly women – to go along with falsehoods that can hurt us and to try to stop us fighting back.
Framing it the way Paris Lees does in the tweet pictured right is the model of disingenuousness. Women, people from ethnic minorities, gay men and lesbians have all had to fight and are still fighting against discrimination and hatred and that involves winning hearts and minds using reason and evidence. It means winning debates.
The bottom line is that, however ‘gender non-conforming’ one is, we are still a sexually dimorphic species; everyone – including the tiny number who are intersex – is either male or female and this matters. It matters because it is on this basis that women have been subjugated, objectified and abused across cultures and throughout history and it is these experiences that inform women’s feelings about biological males, regardless of what they identify as. There is an ideological battle being waged here – here’s a video showing Miranda Yardley putting it concisely.
Now tell me why the feelings of trans people are more important than the feelings of women – because that is what you are saying when you say that someone’s identity is not up for debate. In the real world, everything is up for debate, including people’s identities.
I found a Swedish video on youtube that illustrates the point rather well. (There’s also an American one which does the same thing but I’m more wary of its source.) Anyway, both videos give the disturbing impression that some university students have forgotten how to think.
Emotional blackmail: Framing any questioning or criticism as “hate speech”, “transphobia”, “bullying” etc.
Just as people’s identities are supposedly not up for debate, anybody who has pretty much anything to say in relation to trans ideology is mendaciously presented as wanting to debate trans people’s identity/validity/existence which in turn is “hate speech” and also not up for debate. Thus, anyone wanting to engage in a grown-up discussion may be called a bigot, a transphobe, a fascist, a Nazi or a ‘TERF’. Some people use these words interchangeably to mean pretty much the same thing, the purpose being to discredit the target.
I once read a nice, concise explanation: “The purpose of the lie, though, is to justify violence against women. If most people will shrug their shoulders and laugh at, say, Richard Spencer or Tommy Robinson being punched, then if they can convince people that “TERFs” are Nazis, people will shrug and laugh at them being assaulted too.”
Little wonder then, that so many are too afraid to put their heads above the parapet. I have had private messages from young women and older male-born trans folk saying they fear the repercussions of saying what they think publicly.
Even without resorting to personal labels, trans activists have no compunction in alleging someone is guilty of “hate speech” without producing a single example. At the time of writing, the understandable anger being expressed by countless women at the election of 19-year-old MtT Lily Madigan to the post of Women’s Officer for a local branch of the Labour Party, is being condemned as “hateful”, their legitimate questions described as “bullying”, their challenging the notion that a young male can empathise with or represent women is dismissed as “transphobic”. And I’ve yet to see any of these questions and concerns taken on and addressed.
This article about the “apostates of the trans rights movement” is revealing:
Gender-critical trans women are a uniquely despised group: They experience the discrimination all trans people are subject to as well as the loathing of the trans rights movement and its allies. “I am more afraid of my community harming me than I am of society harming me,” says Corinna Cohn, a 40-year-old libertarian from Indianapolis. In 2012, Cohn founded one of the first gender-critical trans blogs, but she shut it down last year when the online harassment became too overwhelming; she is still afraid to be publicly connected to it.
I don’t blame people for feeling intimidated and bullied by those who think it is perfectly reasonable – even fun – to call for ‘TERFs’ (meaning, of course, anybody, including even trans people, who disagree with them) to be punched, raped or killed. The blame lies entirely with those doing the intimidating and it is with some astonishment that I see that the irony of these bullies calling their targets ‘fascists’, ‘Nazis’, etc is lost on them entirely.
Emotional blackmail: Referring to the attempted suicide rate
It is incredibly common to refer to the high rate of attempted suicide amongst young trans people, though exactly how high this in fact is seems to vary quite a bit depending on who you listen to. Psychologist Ray Blanchard pointed out in a BBC Newsnight interview that:
The objective data show that the rates of suicide ideation and gestures in gender dysphoric children are the same as those gestures and ideation in other psychiatric populations of children and adolescents. And, furthermore, there is no data that the rate of completed suicides is higher in gender dysphoric children and adolescents.
The statistic of 48% for suicide attempts is frequently cited but also hotly disputed. I am concerned about how the constant repetition of suicide figures might have the effect of normalising the idea of suicide in connection young trans people (see GLAAD document on Suicide and LGBT Populations) and I’m not going to dwell on them here.
What I am concerned with here is the way in which mention of suicide is so often introduced at random in an attempt to shut people up. If the attempted suicide rates for trans people of any age are disproportionately high, a discussion based on the best information available certainly needs to be had but this won’t happen if people are going to use mention of suicide as emotional blackmail to try to silence anyone who questions any part of trans ideology, which is what is happening now.
Time and again I see the accusation that mental health problems and depression leading to attempted suicide is caused by transphobia, which in turn is defined as anything less than 100% agreement with what trans activists demand, in particular with the right to simply declare oneself a different gender. It was even used to justify the assault on me at Speakers Corner, though nobody involved in that assault actually knew my opinion about anything.
I am not the reason trans people attempt suicide and nor is any other gender critical feminist or gender abolitionist. We are not responsible for societal pressures on boys and girls to behave in gender-conforming ways, nor are we responsible for violence against and murders of trans people. Suggesting that we are isn’t going to shut us up, isn’t going to stop trans people attempting suicide, isn’t going to stop violence against and murders of trans people. So how about you leave women who are fighting for women’s liberation alone and direct your accusations at the real transphobes?
Here’s a video with some timely advice from Magdalen Berns.
How many trans people are murdered in the UK? Channel 4 Fact Check 23.11.18
Last updated 30.11.18