About five years ago, I wrote a post on this blog called Queer2Trans, in which I theorized that the champions of the trans movement would increasingly attempt to make it the next big intellectual fad, largely inheriting and occupying a similar place which queer theory has now enjoyed for many years. I also predicted that trans theory would have several spin-off theories that would grow out of it and come along to support it and sheer it up, and that many lesbians, in particular, who have been laboring under the misassumption that they have a place in the big happy Queer family would increasingly come to understand that they had nowhere left to go in this movement that claimed to care for them.
Seeing where we are now, I don’t think I was too far off. Increasingly, queer organisations and queer ideology have been transformed to become explicitly trans-centred to the exclusion of everything else. The LGBTQ alphabet soup (which always had massive problems anyway) has been dismantled to the point where any other letter besides the T is only allowed to be a T-cheerleader and never discuss their own issues or declare their own rights to claim any resources from the movement, no matter how minor.
We’ve seen the rise of non-binary and genderqueer identities, as well as a plethora of obscure and impossible to keep track of sexual identities like demi-sexual, asexual, aromantic etc. which have all ridden in on the coattails of the trans movement and are all used to sheer up the false idea that there is an endless variety of gender and sexual identities, and that this further somehow ‘proves’ the existence of trans.
Lesbians have predictably been getting screwed over. I think one of the most obvious examples of this is the treatment of Arielle Scarcella, who, despite being as queer-affirming and trans-affirming as she possibly could, was still put in front of a firing squad for daring to understand the basic fact that lesbians are women who are sexually attracted to other women and not men, and that the trans movement employs incredibly rapey tactics to try and guilt and shame lesbians into sex with men they don’t want to have.
Funny how it never works out for women to support the eradication of their own rights, isn’t it? Whoever could have seen this coming, I wonder? (Besides every radical feminist and lesbian feminist ever).
Anyway, just for funsies, I thought I might make another post discussing some of my thoughts on the current state of where we’re at, and where I think we might possibly be headed in the future.
First of all, there is no question that the trans movement, thus far, has been extremely successful in getting what it wants, in winning nearly all of its battles, and in duping a huge number of people into going along with it. But, as the trans movement has continued to grow, so too has resistance to it. I think a lot of people who are only just now waking up to the madness and suddenly finding out they’re living in a dystopian nightmare when until a short while ago they thought everything was fine, are, understandably, scared, angry, and feeling rather helpless. But as someone who has been watching all of this unfold for a long time, I am actually seeing far more resistance than ever before, far more awareness of these issues amongst the general public who have previously dismissed much of this as a fringe issue they didn’t care about and who are just starting to realise how wrong they were, and a trans narrative that is becoming more convoluted and confusing and less convincing by the day.
Part of running any successful campaign for political and social change is having a simple message that the average person can understand and learn to sympathise with. Even if the issues are complex and nuanced, the campaigners have to find a way they can boil that message down into a few simple points they can drill into people’s minds over and over again. In some ways, it’s unfortunate that this is the case – I for one would love to see far more complex political conversations happening in the public sphere, with much greater intellectual demands made of everyone taking part – But realistically, that doesn’t happen, and anyone who has ever fought for any kind of political change understands that.
The trans movement used to have this simple message with the born in the wrong body narrative, and explaining trans as a medical issue needing medical intervention and treatment. But as the movement has grown and become bloated with more and more terminology, more and more conflicting ideologies, as it has drawn more and more different types of people into its folds, and all of it backed up only by a very small amount of weak and faulty science, along with the classic thought-stopping mantra ‘transwomen are women’, tensions are starting to emerge.
One of those is the large and growing number of individuals wishing to claim a trans identity for various reasons without wanting to undergo medical treatments, or only very limited treatments they can pick and choose. Another tension is the push to de-medicalize trans identity – if it’s not a medical condition, then what is it, and why does it need to be paid for by the public? A lot of these people are adult men who don’t want to give up their fully functional pensis, or their male privilege, but want to have the option to go into any woman’s space they choose and dominate said space in a very male way (see the debates around gyms, locker rooms, women’s sports, support spaces for rape survivors etc.)
These men do indeed happily push the ‘need’ for medical transition, as long as it’s not being done to them. GNC children and teens are the main demographic who are targeted for medical transition, and again, as stupid as the general public is, they’re starting to notice the disparity between what is being proposed for children and what these adult men are actually doing for themselves.
All of the non-binary and snowflake identities are another complicating factor. The average person has neither the time nor the patience to understand something that has grown out a teen tumblr sub-culture, and it becomes ridiculous when applied to the real world, as seen in Canada’s recent LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP inclusiveness training for elementary school teachers (Oh Canada, you’re such an embarrassment to yourself). And, of course, the transgender movement can’t quite shake the growing ranks and association of the trans-race spinoff movement, which tends to bring into stark light for many people just how ridiculous and offensive trans-anything is.
In addition to all this, the trans movement blasts through people’s goodwill like a destructive tornado, frequently making enemies of those previously sympathetic to the cause. And in terms of the day to day interactions average people might have with trans people, the trans movement requires the average person to play along with a huge number of falsehoods; to believe that this person they have always known as one sex was really the other sex, to ignore any and all evidence they see that the person is still the same sex despite the fact that the trans person might sincerely wish otherwise. Some people are willing to do the mental gymnastics that requires, but many are not. Many will be silent dissenters, who will resent being forced into an abusive dynamic where they have to deny what they know to be true about the world to make someone else comfortable.
I think it is worth pausing here for a moment to point out a significant way in which the gay and lesbian movement and trans movement are fundamentally different in respect to the kinds of acknowledgement they want to have from others for their lives and realities. Unfortunately it’s necessary to do this again and again because the trans movement claims it’s just like the gay movement, and way too many people have been conned into believing this, including a lot of deluded lesbians and gays.
There’s no question that there are many homophobic people out there who would prefer not to acknowledge that gays and lesbians exist, and who might be angry or uncomfortable if they have, say, a gay or lesbian colleague who is out at work. They’ll be upset to have their worldview challenged, they’ll be upset if their work climate is such that they can’t oppress and bully that gay person as they wish.
However, a gay person wanting to be recognized as a gay person only requires recognizing that which is demonstrably true, it doesn’t require anyone to buy into falsehoods. A gay person is someone who is going to be pursuing romantic and sexual relationships with someone of the same sex. Their partner will be a same-sex partner. It’s true that a homophobic straight person might not want to recognize the legitimacy of a gay relationship, but in that case, it is the homophobic straight person believing false things (same sex love doesn’t exist etc.), not the gay person who experiences attraction to, and falls in love with, people of the same sex. Also, at no point to do gay people say that because gayness exists, heterosexuality can’t exist. A heterosexual person can recognize and affirm that someone else is gay without first having to disavow their own heterosexual orientation.
A gay person IS NOT a person who is secretly straight but wants to be called gay and be part of the gay community whilst also still being allowed to date opposite sex partners, and calling anyone a bigot if they question their actions (that’s what the queers do, lolololol), but the point should be obvious. This second scenario is much closer to what trans politics demands of people than the first.
Trans politics requires that people buy into the concept of ‘gender identity’, which is really just ‘comfort or discomfort with certain sex-stereotypes’, it requires them to accept the designation of ‘cis’ and change their own concept of their identity before they can affirm trans identity, it requires agreement that physical sexed bodies are meaningless and insignificant markers in how people are treated throughout life (which many, many women take issue with, given that we are oppressed on the basis of our female bodies), it requires an entire re-engineering of how we understand basic concepts like the fact that humans are a sexually dimorphic species and that this is something which remains constant across different times, races, and cultures, even if the social and political roles deemed appropriate for those who have male and female bodies may change over time and location. (I could go into a tangent here about how embarrassingly a-historical and a-cultural the entire trans movement is, but I’m sure my intelligent readers can think of numerous examples for themselves).
The trans movement requires lesbians and gay men to reconceptualize their sexuality as being same-gender attracted, not same-sex attracted, making the sexed body irrelevant and gender paramount, completely undermining the foundation of lesbian and gay sexualities. Again, this is also a lie. Lesbians are attracted to those who have female bodies, and many of us don’t care whether someone is ‘cis’ or not (as trans people use the term), in fact many of us go out of our way to find partners who are not ‘cis’, because we don’t want to be with someone who buys into damaging sex stereotypes. It’s another example of how others must not only accept what trans people say about themselves, but what trans people say about the rest of society as well.
The events at Speaker’s Corner in London and later at the Anarchist Book Fair where women were physically attacked, intimidated and threatened for opposing trans dogma are shocking and horrible, but, also, if anything, an example of trans’ peoples increasing levels of insecurity and fear in the failure of their movement to confound all resistance. Typically, abusers will ramp up abuse when their past abuse tactics have failed to work as they wish, and their victims are still resisting. It’s an attempt to force compliance through escalating brute force. It’s not going to work, especially as the ranks of those critical of trangenderism continue to grow.
For those who have bought into the trans movement, they have a lot to lose if it fails, and that is why many are fighting so hard to stop the ship from going down. At least some of the politicians who championed this shit will lose their careers (as they should, honestly); I sincerely hope that many of the doctors and psychologists and gender therapists who have created a market for all these hormones and surgeries will be punished for their absolute negligence and wrong-doing, though sadly, my guess is only a small number will be left holding the can and most will get away scot free to reinvent themselves elsewhere. Academics and various other hangers-on will lose their easy career tickets. Trans individuals themselves will become sad victims of medical experimentation instead of brave gender warriors as they are viewed now (to be clear, I don’t think either of these are fair characterisations of trans people, but again, the public is stupid and not capable of nuanced thinking). There will be a huge number of bystanders who will have to come to terms with the fact that they enabled a vicious and destructive cult, parents who will have to acknowledge they subjected their children to unnecessary and cruel and physically and psychologically damaging medical procedures, there will be many lesbians and gays who will have to confront their own internalized self-hatred and acknowledge the harms done to them by the medical community. Many more lesbians and gays who will have to come to terms with the fact that they willingly sold out their own movement to a bunch of anti-LGB ideologies. Liberal feminists who will have to acknowledge their own deeply internalized hatred of themselves and other women. There are men who have found the perfect way to deny their male privilege whilst still taking advantage of it and who are currently having a grand old time abusing women with impunity, and they sure as hell won’t want to give up on that. Everyone who has invested themselves in this cause will have to confront horrible things about themselves when it fails, and that is why the discourse is getting wilder, the screaming louder, the opposition more brutally silenced. (Actually, men are not going to confront anything about themselves once the trans movement fails. They’ll quite happily abandon it and skip along to the next thing they can use. The trans movement will have many victims, but the heterosexual men within it who are causing the most grief for everyone will not be among them. Also not everyone in those various other groups I mentioned will take responsibility for their actions either; they’ll just go quiet and slink away and pretend to themselves and everyone else they were never part of the problem).
Nevertheless, a lot of people have invested a lot into the trans movement, have bet their futures really, counting on being on the ‘right side of history’ (because who cares about ethics or morality as long as you’re seen as a hero by some theoretical future generation), and they will fight very hard to stop all that grandeur from slipping away.
But it will go. And for all that day may still be a ways off, I feel like we should already be thinking about what will come after that. Because I think it will be a time when things could either take a more genuinely progressive turn where we finally start to reevaluate a lot of the damaging ideologies and beliefs and political and social systems that are screwing us up, or we’ll take a hard conservative turn that will cause any kind of Leftist or politically challenging and revolutionary thought to become ridiculed and reviled, while ‘a return to tradition’ is seen as being the only thing that can save us, screwing over women and gays and lesbians and many other minorities, including, incidentally, all the current generation of the young and naive gender warriors, who won’t be well treated in a conservative setting at all. Guess I’ll revisit this blog in another five years’ time to see how the future is looking.