OK. I promised insight in my last post, got derailed, and decided it would be better teasing it out into this one. The better to get one’s head around it, I hope.
I started with a description of the hijinks at the RCPsych. Various, including the Psychiatrists and some feminists have treated this in thoroughly adult fashion.
That is, they have been writing about it dispassionately, whilst either uncomprehending, or deliberately pretending not to understand, that dispassionate debate about an issue that is literal life and death to others is not terribly adult.
Anyone up for an “adult” debate about the rights and wrongs of the Holocaust outside the premises of the Board of Jewish Deputies? Nah. I didn’t think so. Not only would it be in abominably bad taste: it would also be likely to elicit a response that was outwardly very non-adult indeed.
So it is with the transphobes.
Julie Bindel, grande dame and leading light of the transphobic feminists, must be well aware of the effect she has on the trans community. Must – since she is a very perceptive writer – be more than aware of the anger and despair she provokes.
So for her and her ilk to claim they are “just” engaging in debate is particularly disingenuous.
It’s a bit like a game I played once, maybe 25 years ago, on being invited to give a talk (on disarmament) to a largely hostile Tory audience. What the hell, I thought. I could be all polite and intellectual. Or I could give a talk, dressed up in polite phrases and mannerisms, that hit every raw nerve in my audience’s emotions.
Being young and self-opinionated, I opted for the former.
Some elements of the audience booed. Others heckled personal threats. I had to be escorted from the hall under protection. Oh what japes! How morally superior I felt, being capable of winding up an audience I disagreed with and drive them to such outrageousness.
Then I grew up.
Which is where JB and her fellow trans-haters (such as the inconsistent and hypocritical bods behind sites such as gendertrender) come in. Because they know full well what they’re about.
They know that they have only to raise their head above the parapet on this issue and…not engage in serious dialogue…and they will provoke someone on our “side” into apoplexy. At which point they can say – as happened this week – “look what they’re doing now”.
As though a response borne out of anger and, I suspect, youth is a valid reason for dissing an entire community.
And then follows the usual catalogue of invective. Misogyny. Appropriating femaleness. And the like.
So that’s the first insight. If you feel your blood pressure rising at the latest outpourings from Ms Bindel, remember: “she only does it to annoy.. . because she knows it teases”.