I was going to make this a comment on PZ’s blog but here it is:
There is a shit load of stuff going on here – and a lot of it has been caused by a very crafty narrative built by trans antagonistic feminists who consistently treat trans feminists like some sort of exotic pet and hold onto this dualistic idea that sex and gender are infinitely separable. Because the existence of trans people upsets this STRONGLY held belief by some radical feminists that gender itself is a fantasy and source of oppression – to them – respecting “gender identity” is respecting women’s oppression. READ shit that CCP or Sarah Ditum have written on the subject – that is what’s going on here. They will say they support trans women with one side of their mouth and then go on rants about how being called “cis” is offensive – not because they embrace a trans identity or question the trans/cis dichotomy but because they assert that *identifying with the gender “woman” is identifying with rape, subordination, forced gestation, etc* – they proclaim their *SEX* as “woman” but not their gender and forward a simplistic class analysis that emphasizes oppression based on reproductive class and define “woman” as sharing that class struggle.
ANYHOW – when the fact that these feminists are extremely trans antagonistic is brought up to Ophelia she gets very defensive – and I GET THAT. I don’t play the game of people policing my follows or associations or any such shit either – but she does what she is doing now. She addresses the fact that she doesn’t appreciate how people approach her with these subjects – but then COMPLETELY IGNORES the substance of what people are trying to tell her.
There is a pervasive and highly articulated persecution narrative that’s been deployed against trans activists. So the well is poisoned COMPLETELY when attempting to discuss these issues. CCP and Sarah Ditum are FUCKING RAGING TRANSPHOBES – and every time they have discussed issues related to trans women specifically they have SAID ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC SHIT that appeals to a certain feminist paradigm so the awfulness is obscured by advancing those talking points that resonate with that audience. AND CRITICISM of them from the trans community is answered with *sometimes blatantly fabricated* accusations of harassment by “male entitled” trans women activists who are supposedly acting like fascists for pointing out that these feminists are ATTACKING THEM in some of the most VILE fucking ways possible – because it’s drenched in sugary sweet easy-to-digest feminist tropes.
So – I feel for Ophelia because I suspect she didn’t realize that the gender crit forum that she became a part of was an open group that is publicly view-able. I suspect she thought she could go there and they would help her think through a reasoned, informed response in candid ways. I appreciate that there is a “thinking out loud” aspect of all of this.
And just fyi: when I said that people I know monitor the group – I mean we check it every once in a while. And no – that’s not in the guise of “The Block Bot” – “The Block Bot” is a twitter application that manages a shared blocking list. “The Block Bot” is not monitoring or otherwise checking Facebook groups or any other sorts of activities such as that, k? Alright then. I just mentioned that the group is checked occasionally so Ophelia didn’t feel like people were being stalkery to notice her posts there about James.
The group was started by Elizabeth Hungerford. This is somewhere in the realm of a forum about feminism being started by Paul Elam. That information is probably useful to anyone who thinks that this is a good place to get information – cause IT IS NOT.
Look through the posts and it is FULL of TERF talking points – links to “pretendbians” (a site run by Cathy Brennan) for example. On one post Hungerford points to an article and judges an individual’s “appropriation” of the term ‘woman’ offensive. Another member says that transSEXuals are okay because they can be “gender critical” but transgender people cannot. Etc so forth. I know activists who have joined the page, but most of them eventually get frustrated and leave – notably an activist who academically studies the neurology of sex and gender was often shouted down with pseudo-science.
And yeah – Hungerford used a Swedish study to positively state that *transition does not reduce the instances of suicide* based on a study that compared suicide rates of trans people who had transitioned and THE GENERAL FUCKING POPULATION. My friend went on the page and desperately explained that TRANSITION CARE SAVES LIVES by pointed out how Hungerford was misrepresenting the study and posting other studies and information that made this *exceptionally clear*. The group members essentially ignored her and went on like her post did not exist – as if they had LEARNED that transition care was useless in preventing the deaths of trans people.
That crap isn’t just toxic – it’s DEADLY BULLSHIT – in a similar fashion that anti-vaxx shit is DEADLY BULLSHIT.
But the well is poisoned. ME POINTING THIS OUT = I’m the fucking gestapo.
Jason pointing out that Ophelia faved one of Barbs posts = STALKER.
And however much I empathize with feeling embattled. However much I can only imagine feeling embattled *by people I thought had my back*. I am not the gestapo or “loathsome”. Jason is not a stalker. James didn’t deserve to be trashed on her blog either.
I get it though – however much people might be in “wtf” mode right now. I absolutely agree cooling it is likely the best way to go. I may have not used the best judgment in being blunt in her comments – but it is frustrating to hit a brick wall.
And yeah – I think the worst thing that could happen right now is if someone mounts a “kick her out” campaign. Not only is that mean-spirited – but it would be a FUCKING FIELD DAY for the crew painting trans activists as a cabal of McCathyesque bastards IN THE SAME WAY that anti-feminist freeze-peachers latched onto Thunderf00t leaving FtB.