This post is a departure from my usual fare. It may upset some, potentially alienate others. Quite likely I will receive flak, perhaps abuse. Probably lose followers, too.
When all is said and done I’m of an older generation that grew up in a very different world. As such I have a big beef with the conformity of group-think that tries to apply uniform thought patterns and control the Overton Window of acceptable dialogue.
To be specific for this post, I am heartily sick and tired of what I’m told that I’m supposed to think and subscribe to based on the fact that I am transgendered.
- You’re transgendered, you must believe in our definition of trans rights
- You’re transgendered, these are your politics
- if you don’t have these politics, then you can’t be transgendered – you’re not “one of us”
- You’re transgendered, you’re oppressed
- You’re transgendered, you’re a woman if you say you are
The list goes on. And it’s not just about trans identity, it applies to every form of identity politics. The aim is to own and control you, to make you frightened of looking outside the box they want to keep you in. Restricting your language in order to restrict your thoughts and ability to be a free thinking individual.
I’ll now get generally contentious. There’s no such thing as trans rights. Indeed, there’s no such thing as human rights.
This extract is taken from the Amnesty International site:
Human rights are the fundamental rights and freedoms that belong to every single one of us, anywhere in the world. Human rights apply no matter where you are from, what you believe in, or how you choose to live your life.
Human rights can never be taken away, but they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These rights and freedoms are based on values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. But human rights are not just abstract concepts – they are defined and protected by law.
‘Defined and protected by law’ – that’s a good belly laugh. Go to Idlib, Pyongyang, Tehran, Xinjiang Province and many other places in the world to see how fundamental these rights actually are – they also have laws in those places, in case you didn’t know. Also, consider most of Europe for large parts of the 20th century (and for most of recorded history). Anything enshrined in law requires the mechanisms to enforce it. With enough force behind them the law makers can give or take whatever rights they want. You, the seeker of ‘fundamental’ rights can be left naked, oppressed and in slavery or dead. And there’s not a thing you can do about it. There’s no higher authority that will come and intervene on your behalf (they tried that in Syria and Iraq and got bombs dropped on them for their own freedom).
Throughout human history civilisation has been on a knife edge and often collapsed. We’re no different now. If you think the happy ending of ‘V for Vendetta’ is a template for overthrowing oppression – think again.
Our civilisations are based on people coming together and forming a consensus on how to more or less peacefully co-exist with our neighbours. This does not necessarily mean treating your neighbour with respect, merely keeping your hatred and disapproval to yourself.
Turning that consensus into laws and rights is not a march of history towards utopia. It’s a temporary thing of our times.
The current movement of identity politics is one that eats itself by constantly fracturing into ever smaller identity groups seeking to promote their own rights. It’s increasingly vicious in playing a zero sum game as groups find their aims to be at odds with other groups that were once allies.
When it comes to trans rights, the only one I’ll demand is to be treated with respect. In fact I demand it for every single person, whatever your gender, creed, colour or sexual orientation. As an individual I have active participation in generating and giving respect to anyone and everyone. That’s the essence of freedom, not a set of holier than thou demagogues showing little or no respect out of their echo chamber pretending to be my saviours.
Trans identity rights have degenerated into pissing off large swathes of the rest of the population, especially women. In fact it looks more that they are radicalising that population against transgendered people. People who by nature are caring, compassionate and follow live and let live find themselves cast as extremist transphobes for not drinking the Kool Aid.
As ever, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was all too prophetic:
REG: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan. You’re putting us off.
STAN: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
FRANCIS: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
STAN: I want to be one.
STAN: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me ‘Loretta’.
LORETTA: It’s my right as a man.
JUDITH: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
LORETTA: I want to have babies.
REG: You want to have babies?!
LORETTA: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
REG: But… you can’t have babies.
LORETTA: Don’t you oppress me.
REG: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
JUDITH: Here! I– I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.
FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
REG: What’s the point?
We all laughed in 1979 at how ludicrous this scene was. Most of us still do. Forty years later we can shake our heads that it’s on the mild end of the trans induced dystopia that’s now for real.
Female friends I’ve spoken with in private settings feel helpless in confronting the new orthodoxy. These are people who readily provide support and compassion to me in my transgendered journey. To be told that a man can become a woman at the stroke of a pen and from thereon in invade their spaces fills them with horror. If you think that’s transphobic, try finding out how many women have had #MeToo experiences ?
One crazy thing here is that there are a myriad of identities and yet the point of confrontation is about something so binary as being defined as a man or a woman.
These female friends fear that they are being erased. The militant trans rights movement are vociferous in telling women how to behave, they are controlling and competitive. They gravitate to positions of power. You know what that sounds like ? It sounds like the patriarchy in disguise, putting women in their box to do as they’re told ! To make way for the new womanhood.
The whole debate about trans women competing in sport is one I’m not going to go into here. Most people, men and women see the issues of unfairness here – except for those trans women crushing the competition. Epitomised recently with an interview of a women’s world champion who called cis women who can’t beat her, losers.
Then there are weird activists such as Jessica Yaniv. Fortunately she lost her human rights case against women run small businesses that refused service to perform a brazilian wax because they didn’t want to handle a penis. Yaniv gets weirder and it’s an echo of that Life of Brian scene above. She believes it’s her right to have a period. She’s not the only one, there are various online groups dedicated to trans identifying people that believe they have monthly periods.
My female friends react to this kind of thing with a loud WTF !!
As with most things, the vocal extremes of publicity seekers obscure the rest of us quietly going about our lives and dealing with being trans and transitioning in our own way. There are trans people who are prepared to stand up to the identity bullies and it was from one of those that I saw what I think is the best common sense description of the trans identity debate:
- Women are women
- Men are men
- Trans men are trans men
- Trans women are trans women
This speaks to my personal view that I could have full SRS, present fully as female and be generally treated as female and yet I will never have the hinterland of experiences to claim to be a woman (nor the biology). My experiences would be male and trans woman. That doesn’t make me less or more than anyone else, it makes me uniquely me.
To summarise before this really starts waffling, I will always resent anyone telling me who I am because they want to own my identity and take it away from me for their own agenda. The old cliche that respect is earned, not taken, is fundamentally more important than any transient rights that people often claim as universal.