Monthly Archives: January 2015

What if the left wrote about radical feminists in the same way it writes about trans women?

Can you imagine a world in which women who assert their basic humanity were believed? It’s difficult to picture. A world in which female people were not seen as whatever male people think they are, but in which their pain actually had some value and meaning.

Responses to the Bristol LGBT “they know best” posters have shown such a world is a long way off. For women even to express fear and pain is for them to be accused of violence. But is it possible to imagine another way?

Take this, for instance, in response to one attempt by feminists to challenge the rape victim-shaming original posters:

In going to university, young trans girls doubtless hope to make a fresh start. There they will leave behind traumatic school days and make new friends, none of whom will ever have known them in childhood, or will even have any idea that they were once thought to be boys. It will be their big chance to make a new life as the women they know themselves to be.

Instead a small group of TERFs at Bristol University decided to make them feel unwelcome. They wanted them to live in fear, not just of discovery, but of being accused of being potential rapists bent on victimising their fellow students. It is no wonder that the rest of the student body has denounced this vicious campaign.

You could, if you thought females were actual human beings, write this instead:

In going to university, young feminists doubtless hope to make a fresh start. There they will leave behind traumatic school days and make new friends, none of whom will ever have known them in childhood, or will even have any idea that they were sexually assaulted in Year 11, with photos of the attack being shared on Facebook, or that their father expressed daily disappointment that they were not born male, or that their brother took it upon himself to police their comings and goings, calling them “slag” and “slut” whenever the mysterious standards were transgressed. They won’t know about the beatings or the constant “you’re not good enough” or the shame at having breasts that apparently made them deserve whatever they got. It will be their big chance to make a new life as the women they know themselves to be.

Instead an enormous group of leftist bigots at Bristol University decided to make them feel unwelcome. They wanted them to live in fear, not just of another rape, but of being accused of being “TERFs” bent on victimising their fellow students. Yet somehow is not all that surprising that the rest of the student body has not bothered to denounce this vicious campaign.

Or what about this?

Research suggests that two thirds of trans people will be subjected to some kind of sexual assault over the course of their lifetime.

So, whilst the posters profess to care about protecting students from trans attackers, they gloss over the fact that the inverse is very much true and, in so doing, deny the experience of many trans survivors of rape.

For many trans students, an already vulnerable community, the vitriol of these posters preys on ignorance and transphobia and attempts to make trans’ students experiences even harder.

It is bizarre to think of the sustained hatred and self righteousness whoever behind this felt as they took the trouble to craft a logo, recreating a font and committing to ink their loathing of and disrespect towards their fellow students.

If you thought all human beings actually mattered, you could instead write something like this:

 Research suggests that a third of female students will be subjected to some form of sexual assault while still at university. A woman has a 1 in 6 chance of being raped in her lifetime and 9 out of 10 victims of rape are female.

So, whilst the original posters profess to care about protecting students from shame and fear, they gloss over the fact that the inverse is very much true and, in so doing, deny the experience of many female survivors of rape, who are being told “your cannot even set the boundaries of your own fear”.

For many female students, an already vulnerable community, the vitriol of these posters preys on ignorance and misogyny and attempts to make female students’ experiences even harder.

It is bizarre to think of the sustained hatred and self righteousness whoever behind this felt as they took the trouble to craft a logo, committing to ink their loathing of and disrespect towards all female students who dared to express the fears based on daily experiences of sexism, aggression and assault.

It’s funny, isn’t it? The people who wrote the feminist-bashing posts had two choices:

  1. listen to a cry from the heart from women who have repeatedly had their boundaries breached, both physically and mentally, due to male supremacy
  2. think “nah, they just want some pointless, never-ending fight because they’ve got some obsession with vaginas and men in dresses, or somefink. Fucking bigots.”

If you thought females were human beings, you might just go for the former. You might even feel ashamed at the shitty behaviour of those claiming to be inclusive while ridiculing and vilifying victims. But most people don’t think like that. Most people would find it far too arduous and messy to make space for another 52% in what we think of as “the human race”. Shit, that would mean actually being an empathetic human being rather than pretending to be one! You can’t have female people being victims unless they’re silent ones! That messes up the whole system! There’s no way we can accommodate so much humanity in one world. It’s so much easier – and so much more satisfying – to yell “bigot” at a rape victim.

That’s liberalism for you.

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