Who decided that letting posh young actors police my womanhood was progress? Suzanne Moore in the Telegraph 11.06.20
The original article is here.
Ding ding . Round 10 in the TERF Wars. If these have passed you by, think yourself lucky.
I stumbled into this conflict seven years ago and am still reeling. My crime remains twofold: to believe that biological sex exists and that gender is a social construct. That’s the fun bit. The awkward bit is that I also feel that I have to be ever ready to fight the backlash against womens’ hard earned rights.
JK Rowling, who ticks every ‘woke’ box and gives her away huge amounts of money, ventured on Twitter with some jokey remarks about the ridiculousness of a social justice campaign that chose to say “people who menstruate” instead of the word ‘women’.
In my doctors’, I see this too. Now it is “people with cervixes” who are advised to get smear tests. I look forward to men being addressed “people with prostates” or “penis-havers”, or just “ejaculators”. But, then, we rarely talk about trans men or ask men to give up any of their rights to accommodate them.
Of course, it didn’t take long for Twitter to get the ducking stool out. Rowling doesn’t care about trans men who menstruate; she is the reason trans people get killed; she is a dried-up old hag who needs her mouth taping shut. The torrent of awful, woman-hating abuse which appeared, but I can’t repeat here, is sadly recognisable to me. Out in the wilds of social media, there are those who want to silence women, particularly older women, with rape and death threats.
I have never made the mistake of thinking these misogynists represent most trans people. The tiny number of the population who are trans are not the enemies of women. They want to get on with lives and should be given every support to.
In the years of being called a TERF (a Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) – which in no way sums me up, my experience or my work – I have not met anyone who is anti-trans. I have met women anxious to protect the sex-based rights of women in law to single-sex provision.
This rests on accepting, as science does, that biological sex exists. Self-identification with no meaningful gatekeeping is controversial as it all allows men to call themselves women, hence the tedious battleground of loos and changing rooms and the more significant ones of refuges, prisons and sports. As many transwomen retain male genitalia, the old-style “sex change” can now simply involve mascara.
It’s much easier to go along with all this if you want to keep your audience, I guess.
Daniel Radcliffe, without giving respect to the woman who made his career, now gets to mansplain to distressed Harry Potter fans. If you are a privileged actor who went to Eton and Cambridge, you can say “respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative”, as Eddie Redmayne did . (Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t nab a part playing a non-binary person and wonder if that role shouldn’t have been given to a transgender actor anyway, as he did in The Danish Girl).
If you are Emma Watson, you intone the mantra “trans woman are women”, ignoring how Rowling forensically explained her argument as a survivor of domestic abuse. It’s sad that JK Rowing had to unveil a CV of pain to get heard, but, yes, she has a reason to fear male violence.
Women and trans people suffer terribly, but all the anger is now directed not to male abusers but to feminists. It has now become a permissible form of horrible misogyny that much of the left indulges in.