It’s Time for Progressives to Protect Women Instead of Pronouns

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It’s Time for Progressives to Protect Women Instead of Pronouns Empty It’s Time for Progressives to Protect Women Instead of Pronouns

Post by phildidge on Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:36 am

On my way out of Edinburgh University, where I’d just delivered a speech on how feminists should resist male violence, I was attacked last week by a shrieking “transgender person” (to cite the term used in a Scotsman headline). Had it not been for the three burly security guards surrounding me, I would have been punched.

I usually use female pronouns to refer to trans women, as a courtesy. But this is a courtesy I won’t extend to someone seeking to hurt me physically. This was a man—specifically, a misogynist who’d become notorious under the (since deleted) Twitter handle TownTattle. He was deeply offended that I’d been allowed to speak. That’s why he wanted to hurt me: for being a woman who opened her mouth.

The event at which I’d appeared was called Women’s Sex-Based Rights. It focussed on the threat to women-only spaces and organizations posed by gender activists who seek to erase any legal distinction in regard to the treatment of male- and female-bodied individuals. In the run-up to the event, trans activists and their allies (mostly men who are highly woke, as popular slang would have it) had been claiming that the meeting would cause harm to trans students, and that I would be promoting hate.

Before we took the stage, speakers were given an hour-long briefing by the university’s security team. We were told what would happen if the stage were stormed by protesters, or if it became necessary to vacate the venue. This is what it now means to advocate publicly for women’s rights.

As I arrived at the venue, I was greeted by a protest group, shouting slogans such as “No TERFS on our turf.” For those in the enviable position of being unaffected by the campaign against women’s rights, “TERF” stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist,” a misogynistic term of abuse that now is routinely deployed against women who do not believe that men can merely “self-identity” as women for purposes of, say, accessing women’s locker rooms, rape-crisis centres and single-sex hospital wards. Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest sporting heroes of all time, recently has been mobbed by the anti-“TERF” crowd because she dared to criticize male-bodied trans women being allowed to compete alongside females athletes. There is even pressure to buy the line that trans women get periods, and that they need cervical smear tests.

The reason the slur “TERF” has become popular is that it gives misogynists a tool to abuse and punish feminists without the stigma associated with such crude epithets as “bitches.” They can still pretend to be progressive and, as UK-based newspaper columnist and “trans ally” Owen Jones puts it, on the “right side of history.” The term generally is applied only to women, such as me, whose progressive, feminist ideals cannot be explained away as a symptom of right-wing hate or bigotry. It is telling that there is no equivalent popular acronym or neologism to describe actual haters of transsexuals, such as religious fundamentalists and homophobic bigots.


https://quillette.com/2019/06/14/its-time-for-progressives-to-protect-women-instead-of-pronouns/

More to read on the link

phildidge

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