Archive for July, 2013

25
Jul
13

On “Stealth,” “Passing,” and other problematic phrases.

When I first encountered the term “stealth” in relation to trans issues, it was used to describe the very specific and uniquely trans experience of temporarily presenting as one’s assigned gender. There are dozens of perfectly valid reasons why someone might do this, ranging from not being ready to come out to specific people or groups to simply being exhausted of explaining trans issues or having to justify oneself. So the term, as deployed in this way, is useful, describes a real, common phenomena, and accurately conveys the stressful nature of this dynamic.

 However, as I learned more about trans issues, I realised that the vast majority of trans people do not use the term this way. In the wider trans community, the term “stealth” still refers to not disclosing trans status, but while presenting as one’s actual gender. I should not have to explain how utterly messed up this is, but in brief, any intimation that trans people are somehow being deceptive or secretive with regard to their gender plays into a widely prevalent and deeply damaging transphobic myth about trans people “really” being their birth gender. When people, cis or trans, refer to trans people living as their actual gender and choosing not to announce to everyone they meet that they were assigned a different gender at birth as “stealth” it makes me wince. Like “passing,” it is a relic of a time and an attitude when presenting as one’s actual gender was seen as a mask or performance.

 Generally, opposing this use of the term “stealth” is relatively unproblematic. Most people recognise the problems with the assumptions it makes when they’re explained. Recently, however, there has been more pressure from the LGBT community in general on trans people to be “open” about their trans status, mirroring the more long-standing pressure for gay and lesbian people to be unashamedly “out” in all walks of their life, whether they are relevant to their sexuality or not. I won’t comment at length on that model here, save to say that it does not map across to trans people’s needs or experiences.1 It is the absolute right of every trans person not to disclose their trans status. It is also their absolute right not to be regarded as secretive, deceptive or duplicitous if they choose to do so. It is at once ironic and utterly unsurprising that a narrative about truth and honesty and pride would so totally buy into myths about the deceptive nature of being trans. Just because someone chooses not to disclose does not mean they are closeted or ashamed of who they are. Even more so than for cis gay people, disclosure represents a psychological and often physical risk for trans people. To expect or demand disclosure in this context is not just to demand that trans people expose themselves to danger for the sake of someone else’s comfort and ideological beliefs, it is also actively reinforcing dangerous and damaging narratives. Visibility and pride are not the same thing as exposure. Often those trans people that would be most at risk from disclosure are precisely the ones least able to control the circumstances of that disclosure, and every additional pressure is one more avenue of potential harm directed at them.

For most trans people, life is a constant grind of unwanted and unsought disclosure. It is at its most intense when the decision is taken to change one’s legal status and name (if that is the path the trans person chooses) and although it does lessen slightly with time, it becomes a constant background drumbeat as you find that in today’s information society, no-one destroys information unless forced to. Companies and government departments with whom you have had only the briefest of interactions with maintain details on your old and new identities in perpetuity, while you sail on blissfully unaware until an accident of communication brings you once again face to face with your old name and you have to explain to yet another complete stranger details of your intimate medical history. This grind obviously presents in different ways for different trans people. Those often taken as cis may experience it as sudden eruptions of incomprehension and prejudice, whereas others may experience a far more constant and overtly hostile set of reactions, but it is common in some form to all trans experience.

This right not to disclose (and, just as importantly, the right not to be implicitly judged by other LGBT people for that decision) is even more important as the UK continues towards criminalisation of non-disclosure. Non-disclosure of trans status is now a crime that has no parallel in our legal system. It has become a legal obligation that pertains to no other group in our society, not sex offenders, not violent domestic abusers, not convicted murderers (I should note here that I don’t necessarily think these groups should be forced to disclose these statuses – merely that the targeting of trans people has become so concentrated that it outstrips even the traditional hate figures of our society). Non-disclosure of trans status (or rather, a cis person’s perception of non-disclosure) is now enough to turn consensual sex into “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud”, and to provide grounds for the annulment of marriage. Disclosure on these terms is not about openness and pride; it is about control and repression. It is about identifying, isolating and suppressing trans people. Taking control and agency of trans people’s own bodies and identities away from them has a long history of which this legal and social assault is merely the latest chapter. To imply, in this context, that trans people are somehow being deceptive by “concealing” the gender they were assigned at birth plays directly into this pre-existing narrative and should be resisted at every turn – and that resistance starts with examining our own language and the assumptions it carries.

 1 It should probably be noted here that in terms of the medical and psychological model for transitioning trans people, precisely the opposite pressure applied and was (at least until recently) official medical advice. Trans people were advised to move home, change jobs, and cut off relations with everyone who knew their old identity. This was justified under the name of “passing” but in fact presented a brutal isolation for already-vulnerable people. Julia Serano notes how this was almost certainly more about hiding trans people from public (cis) visibility rather than protecting them. Though no longer pressed quite so thoroughly, there is still an assumption that non-disclosure is the norm. Note the media coverage of the Lucy Meadows tragedy, and the disingenuous assumption from both journalists and the public that remaining in her job and forcing cis people to deal with her transition was the problem, not her transition itself. It will be interesting to see how this conflict between two equally damaging and incorrect official narratives is resolved.

 A request.

 This post has been very much written with binary trans people in mind – people who transition from one socially and culturally recognised binary gender to the other. I would be interested to hear the experiences of non-binary or otherwise non-gender-conforming trans* people with regard to disclosure and the concept of deception. What are the demands made on you to disclose? How do you experience the narrative of “deceptive” trans people? How do you cope with demands to justify your “real” gender when that gender may not even be recognised as a gender? How do concepts like “passing” and “stealth” apply when your actual gender is erased or unrecognised?

 Thank you.

Postscipt: Just after I finished this piece, cisnormativity published an excellent demolition of the concept of stealth by Patience Newbury, touching more thoroughly on many of the same ideas and problems I outline here. It’s well worth a read.

08
Jul
13

Text of my letter to Baroness Stowell

The vast majority of prejudice directed at trans people comes not through deliberate, knowing acts of malice, but from ignorance and misinformation. People who are not trans view the world as though this condition is natural, and make decisions about trans people based on that assumption. When it comes to legal prejudice against trans people, these assumptions and a lack of understanding of trans people’s needs can lead to situations in which trans people are disempowered, unable to access the basic legal, medical or social rights that cis (non-trans) people take for granted.

The right to be treated as your actual gender is one so fundamental and taken for granted that cis people rarely realise that it even is a right – only those who are denied it understand how utterly humiliating and dehumanising it can be. Trans people are forced to “prove” their gender ever day, sometimes in small social ways, but often in important interactions with the law of the medical establishment. As a cis person, ask yourself how you would prove your gender to a judge, medical professional or bank clerk in a way that was not invasive and humiliating and you can begin to see the difficulties that trans people face.

Part of this prejudice is the idea, since gender is something so fundamental to our society and the way we treat people, that society has a right to know about and control trans people in a way that we would never countenance with cis people. We would never demand that a spouse had the power of veto over essential or even elective surgery, yet this is the reality facing many trans people. People who would rightly balk at the idea of a husband banning his wife from having a hysterectomy or parents refusing access to birth control for their children have no qualms about approving such a veto when it comes to gender confirmation surgery. The clause in the Marriage Bill that requires a spouse’s consent before a Gender Confirmation Certificate can be granted is effectively just such a veto, since the GRC is still, sadly, a prerequisite for much essential treatment and legal recognition.

Ultimately, this question comes down to a prejudice that trans people face every day – society believes that it has a right to know about and control their bodies and their identity. The spousal veto clause in the Marriage Bill codifies that sense of entitlement in law, and confirms that rans people do not have the right to their own bodies or identities. A spouse’s gender identity has no bearing on the rights, person or legal status of their partner, and demanding their consent circumscribes the essential human rights of the trans person concerned. It is a backward, unnecessary and unworthy stain on a Bill that should be seen as a step forward, but in this regard confirms all the prejudices that trans people have faced for decades. It serves no protective purpose, but it stigmatises and dehumanises.

06
Jul
13

A Response to Lierre Kieth and Derrick Jensen of Deep Green Resistance

Note: This was originally written as a response to a series of articles in Counter-Punch that repeated some tediously damaging radfem ideas. They never got back to me.

Content Warning – Transphobia, radfem obsession with genitals

Bigots are the first to complain about their freedom of speech being infringed. The rallying cry of “why won’t you tolerate our intolerance?” once a joke, has been taken up in earnest by everyone whose particular brand of politics would see groups they disapprove of silenced. There is a reason why progressive groups have no-platform policies, and it is because they recognise that to give space to organisations that espouse reactionary and oppressive ideas is to legitimise these ideas, even if they are robustly refuted, and indicate that allowing hate speech by oppressive groups is a more important ideological principle than listening to marginalised ones. Such is the substance of radical feminism’s demand for “tolerance” in the face of their profoundly intolerant rhetoric and practice. Whether or not a reactionary is actively engaged in hate speech at the time is irrelevant – the presence of oppressive groups or individuals makes a space fundamentally unsafe for marginalised ones and it is the responsibility of progressives not to facilitate this process.

Deep Green Resistance and its figureheads, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen have been making great play of their transphobia in recent weeks, holding up acts of resistance to their oppressive speech as examples of oppression and assault. This renarrativisation of their activities is insidiously plausible, especially since they are well-experienced in co-opting the language of progressivism to push their profoundly reactionary ideas. I will attempt to refute some of the most glaringly false statements they have made in their recent article. Most blatant is their tendentious account of an incident at the Law and Disorder Conference in Portland in May in which several women expressed their opposition to DGR’s stated and explicit transphobia. In order to recast this incident with themselves as the victims, they utilise that same transphobia, misgendering several protesters. In order to understand why DGR and radical feminist thinking generally is so hostile to trans people, it is necessary to pick apart their own analysis of gender politics.

Female socialization is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.”

You would be hard-pressed to find a woman, much less a feminist that would not find this definition deeply insulting, but it is taken as canon in radical feminist rhetoric. Women are made, not born, they parrot, but only people born as women can be made women. The circular nature of this argument allows no room for discussion – only people assigned a female gender at birth based on an assessment of the appearance of their external genitals can be socialised as female, and only people socialised as female can lay claim to the category of woman. By basing not just an experience of womanhood, but the very identity of woman in the experience of oppression, radical feminist rhetoric simultaneously excludes differing female experiences and negates the possibility for a positive model of femininity.

It is worth deconstructing this notion of “socialisation” because it underpins the circular logic of radical feminist claims to the absolute inescapability of one’s assigned gender at birth. Children assigned a male gender at birth are socialised as men, while ones assigned female are socialised as women, the argument goes, and this dichotomy is the basis for all patriarchal oppression. Few would argue that the social construction of binary gender is a powerful and destructive means of oppression, but the model espoused by radical feminists allows no room to interrogate individual experiences of that mechanism. In this model, anyone “socialised male” receives all the perks, privileges and benefits of a patriarchal society for life, regardless of how they identify, while anyone socialised female is broken equally on the same wheel. But trans people do not experience this process in the same way as cis people. It is fundamentally impossible for a trans person to receive this training in the same way as a cis person because the gendered nature of this socialisation is always apparent to them. There can be no false consciousness that these gendered roles are “natural” and “normal” because every attempt at socialisation into one of these binary genders highlights how unnatural and artificial they are. Cis people notice the artificiality of the social construction of gender only when it is particularly galling or overt – for example when they are denied the right to certain activities or clothes reserved for the “opposite” gender. The hollow explanations then given for these social boundaries are ones that trans people hear every second of every day, usually inside their own heads, since even asking questions about them is considered “weird”, “gay” or absurd. To say that a trans woman has been “socialised” male is as absurd as saying that a gay child has been “socialised” straight because they weren’t treated as gay until they came out. Trans women may well have once been treated as if they were men, but their experience of that treatment is not the same as the less complicated and oppositional experience of a cis man who has never questioned his gender, and the results are similarly not the same.

Absurd as well is the radical feminist insistence that this process of socialisation is total, complete and instantaneous – since our understanding of trans issues now allows some boys and girls to present as their actual gender far earlier than was once the case, there are many trans people now who have been treated as the gender they were assigned at birth for less and less time – yet radical feminists will insist that these people are still “really” that assigned gender and have not been “socialised” as their actual gender. This lays bare the biological essentialism at the heart of radical feminist thinking – for all their talk about socialisation, ultimately gender rests on the that which you were assigned at birth based on an external inspection of your genitals, and nothing can change that, however logically absurd this position becomes under examination. This attitude reveals itself in the throwaway line: “And if female is “passé,” well, there goes life on earth.” For all their talk of female being a social category, it is clear that female = woman and woman = womb. Being “biologically female” is held up as the standard which both defines and constrains women. One can only shudder at what role Jensen and Keith envisage for women in the post-collapse society they champion, given their expressed callous disregard for the millions of poor, disabled or otherwise useless members of society that they imagine dying off in that collapse.

The “female brain” concept of trans people is another myth, one which some trans people do indeed believe, but they are a minority to the extent that this objection is a strawman argument. Like the “gay gene” hypothesis, it is a damaging and ultimately nonsensical idea. Since trans people have often had to fight entrenched medical ideas in order to access treatment, it is not surprising that they have often latched onto ideas that appear to grant medical legitimacy in terms that establishment will accept, regardless of other consequences.

And it’s the genderists who conform. For all their talk of gender-bending, their goal is cosmetics, costumes, and surgery to match their bodies to gender caricatures.”

Despite accusing their opponents of focusing negatively on appearances, as Keith and Jensen do here (“The insults usually reference bad haircuts and fashion—because how women look is vastly more important than what they might try to do”), radical feminists are never shy of insulting trans women based on a tired misogynistic idea of what they think they look like. The stereotype of trans people excessively conforming to gender norms is a particularly prevalent one, usually expressed in misogynistic terms of “hyper-feminine” trans women, both because it is easier to evoke disgust at expressions of femininity in a patriarchal culture, but also because expressions of masculinity are valourised in the radical feminist community.

Trans women of course display a full range of gendered behaviour, just like cis women, but they are particularly scrutinised and place in a double bind – when they express gendered behaviour that is read as “feminine” they are accused of “faking” or “mocking” femininity. When they express behaviour read as “masculine” it is seen as “proof” that they are not “really” women. Since in a binary-gendered society almost all behaviour is gendered, this places trans women in particular in an impossible position. The stereotype itself is perhaps prominent because trans women have historically been more visible than trans men, in part because “feminine” behaviour in people perceived as men draws more attention and opprobrium than “masculine” behaviour in people perceived as women. There is also the fact that historically (and still, sadly, today) access to treatment for gender dysphoria is largely based on outdated perceptions of a “failure” to conform to one’s assigned birth gender, and the greater the gap between one’s gendered behaviour and assigned birth gender, the greater the chance of successfully convincing the medical establishment of the need for treatment, a dynamic trans people are all too aware of and are forced to conform to for their own survival.

The idea that children are being subjected to genital surgery is a hugely damaging myth but one that seems unwilling to go away. Surgical interventions are never carried out on trans children (with the exception, ironically of intersex children, who are operated on without their consent in order to make them conform to a largely arbitrary assignation of gender at birth – the terrified haste with which doctors rush parents into approving this “treatment” on new-born babies speaks volumes about the medical establishment’s attitude to gender, and it is exactly the opposite of the attitude radical feminists think it is). The only medical treatment available to children who identify as other than their birth gender is hormone treatment to delay the harmful and distressing effects of going through puberty as a gender with which they do not identify – treatment that is safe, proven and entirely reversible. And trans status is not, as the reductio ad absurdum has it, “liking things traditionally preferred by another gender”. It is a deep and abiding lack of identification with the gendered characteristics of one’s body. Cis people do not experience this, so is understandable that they would attempt to translate it into terms that they are familiar with, and we have all, trans and cis, experience the mild dissatisfaction of being denied something that “belongs” to another gender. But this trivialises and misrepresents the nature of being trans.

An equally durable fantasy is the one about “trans regret” where cis people are forced or tricked by a proselytising trans-dominated medical establishment into transitioning against their will, with horrific lifelong effects. This is simply not the case. Trans people have to fight very hard, often for years or even decades to obtain treatment, and cases of trans regret are vanishingly small. Of the less than 12% of trans people who express regrets about their transition, almost all of these were in regards to surgical outcomes – in other words, they do not regret transitioning, simply that it was not as effective as they had hoped. The tragic but tiny number of non-representative cases of genuine regret are endlessly recycled as evidence of a vast conspiracy of forcing people to transition against their will, something that not only flies in the face of the evidence, but is also profoundly insulting to those trans people who have or are currently battling tooth and nail with the medical establishment for basic recognition of their rights.

It is not intolerant or oppressive to refuse a platform with people who are intolerant or oppressive, but some groups on the left seem to be increasingly taking the view that it is their role to be neutral providers of space for “debate” between oppressive, intolerant views and the people they target. This is the equivalent of allowing a fascist to debate at a conference on socialism. Attendance may well rise as good progressives flock to refute their ideas and their speech – but at the cost of both actual progress and the absence of those threatened by their presence. DGR is currently haemorrhaging members and chapters fast as the bigotry of its leaders becomes more and more apparent and I wish those people luck in building a more inclusive environmental resistance movement. Several progressive outlets have made it clear that they will be providing no platform for DGR’s oppressive ideas, even under the camouflage of “debate” something I can only hope CounterPunch will also consider. (note: obviously not, but I was trying to be polite)

Gender is still a hugely important issue, and while it is understandable that those who see it as an oppressive category would be attracted to the idea of its abolition, it is dangerous to see any identity category in such stark terms. Few would argue that race is not used to oppress people, yet if you were to suggest that racism would be solved, not by getting rid of racists, but by eliminating all racial differences, you would be rightly derided. Gender is undoubtedly deployed oppressively, as a means of social control, but the problem is not gender, it is the rigidity and hierarchical nature of the gender binary. DGR’s confused stance on gender is not just theoretically illogical, it is actively oppressive in practice, and flies in the face of the evidence of a decades-long history of trans resistance to gender oppression. In regards to the oppressive nature of the gender binary, trans activists (as well as non-binary, genderqueer and intersex activists) were and have always been the vanguard of its destruction, not its handmaidens.

06
Jul
13

Please, No Moore: a snapshot of transphobia in Britain’s broadsheets

This article was originally written in January 2013 and posted on Rory MacKinnon’s blog

If you’re UK-based or keep up with trans issues on the web, you’ve probably come across at least some of the fallout from the recent storm over articles by Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill in the Guardian and the Observer. Reaction to these articles and comments made by Moore on Twitter have touched off a firestorm of debate about trans issues that swept rapidly across the media, touching off related debates on internet “bullying”, free speech, feminism, “infighting” on the left and media visibilty for trans people.

Various commentators, some with high profile platforms in the national media, weighed into the fray, and some people desperate to show off their liberal credentials revealed their innate transphobia. After spending a lot of time over the last few days ranting and chopping down ancient, tired, transphobic and cissexist arguments, I wanted somewhere to set out a timeline of the whole furore and work out where we now stand.

On Tuesday the 8th of January, the New Statesman published an article by Suzanne Moore (actually republished from a print anthology of women’s writing from last year) on the necessity for anger directed in a feminist way. It was relatively unobjectionable, making several important points, save for one stand-out line:

We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.

Before I move on to what happens next, it’s worth noting what’s actually wrong with this line. It is not (as many, many, people said) the fact that Brazil has the highest reported rate of assault and murder for trans people in the world. This is a related issue which speaks to a lack of intersectional understanding, but it is not the primary problem. The main issue is that it is dehumanising – it posits a stereotype as the norm, and uses it for a punchline. Moore is relying on the reader’s mental image of a transsexual woman for her joke’s humour and force, assuming that her reader shares her prejudices and preconceptions, mainly that a “Brazilian transsexual” is a) a trans woman, b) of a particular physical appearance, and most importantly c) not a real woman. Moore’s “Brazilian transsexual” is not a woman who happens to be trans, but a transsexual-as-noun, a formulation as offensive as “a black” or “a gay” and this should be held in mind going forward to look at some of the reactions below.

Moore was then criticised by several people on twitter who pointed out why this was an unfortunate choice of phrase, and here I’ll hand over to a leftytgirl’s timeline because the sequence of events is crucial.

The three standout tweets here are:

I dont prioritise this fucking lopping bits of your body over all else that is happening to women Intersectional enough for you?

I dont even accept the word transphobia any more than Islamaphobia You are using ‘intersectionality’ to shut down debate. Its bollocks.

and:

People can just fuck off really. Cut their dicks off and be more feminist than me. Good for them.

Moore, ever since this exchange, has painted herself as a victim of bullying, subject to vicious attacks and death threats because of this one “throwaway comment” about Brazilian transsexuals. Not once in either of her published defences (see below) does she mention the escalation of her rhetoric from inadvertent casual transphobia to overtly transphobic language in response to a relatively gentle call-out. She also pulled out an Indy article from 1997 which refers to hermaphroditic worms and freshly-mutilated bodies as evidence of her LACK of transphobia…

Moore’s most visible response, though, was this article in the Guardian of Wednesday 9th Jan (note the quick turnaround time) which was really where it all kicked off. Moore is highly disingenuous here, farting privilege in all directions like some sort of collapsing cis Hindenburg. Firstly, she establishes that she can’t be transphobic because she wanted to have sex with David Bowie, once met some (exotic) trans women, and did “a lot of queer studies”, before going on to spout yet more boring transphobic cliches about trans people, including the classic radfem dogma that transsexual people somehow reinforce gender norms (as if cis people are somehow all wonderful genderfluid snowflakes). Finally she finished off with a wonderful bravura performance of that old privilege classic: “why aren’t we talking about what REALLY matters – the economy! Or possibly rape in India. Or maybe the Tories! Anything but the thing I’ve been accused of doing!”

Understandably this cemented what most of us already knew, that Moore was one of a particular breed of self-described feminists, cis, white, middle-class-claiming-working-class-roots, utterly convinced that their prejudice was actually solid feminist principle, and therefore sure in their conviction that anyone who disagreed with them must be anti-feminist. There it might have lain, until for some baffling reason, the Observer (the Guardian’s sister Sunday paper, technically a separate entity, but practically strongly linked in both the public mind and sharing offices and a website) decided to publish a hate-filled screed from Julie Burchill on Sunday January the 13th. The piece drew over 2000 comments in one day, several PCC and police complaints for hate speech, and was eventually pulled down by the editor (it remains to be seen if this Sunday’s printed Observer will contain an apology) with a weaselly statement that can be seen here.
While most people agreed that this was naked clickbait designed to drive traffic, the overt discriminatory language displayed in this piece raised connected issues with regards to hate speech and incitement, and several commentators noted that, even as a deliberately “controversial” piece designed to attract negative comments and attention, it would never have been approved for publication in the first place had it refered to any other marginalised group.

Several more right-wing publications and writers immediately went with the “censorship” line, especially after Lynne Featherstone (the laughably ineffectual former minister for equality and current minister for international development) called for her to be sacked and for the Observer editor, John Mulholland, to resign. Prominent among this mob was shameless self-promoting half-man half-frog Toby Young, who immediately leapt on the chance to [MAJOR CONTENT WARNING FOR VIOLENT TRANSPHOBIA] republish Burchill’s article on his Telegraph blog [MAJOR CONTENT WARNING FOR VIOLENT TRANSPHOBIA], which also featured the usual gleeful handrubbing about fractious lefties (such as this horribly hateful article by Rod Liddle, which, bizarrely, more accurately identifies the reason Moore’s language was offensive than most people managed.

The Independent ran an opportunistic poll on whether her (scare quotes!) “transphobic” comments went too far (as if there was an acceptable level of transphobia!) declining to mention they had employed Burchill for a year and a half to write precisely the same kind of attention-grabbing rants, and were quite happy to give space to Moore’s original 1997 transphobic article dressed up as concern for trans rights, as well as an opinion piece on the 15th by Tony Peck which was overtly transphobic.

Depressing as all this was, it did give rise to some comment that was, more or less, enlightening. Here, in no particular order, are people smarter and more articulate than me discussing various aspects of these events:

(The latter are two of the best pieces on the original Moore response in my opinion, identifying the major issues and problems that it brought to the surface.)

  • Trans journalist Paris Lees’ polite response written before Moore decided to triple-down on everything. Paris Lees was due to debate Moore on C4 news, but Moore chickened out, so instead of interviewing Lees about trans issues, they dropped the piece altogether. (Can’t discuss racism without a racist to provide balance!)

Further developments: First, Moore (who had quit Twitter), briefly returned to give this non-apology apology (still marked as an apology in this headline, despite the fact that Moore stated categorically that she had NOT apologised), once again refusing to acknowledge her most transphobic remarks and painting herself as a victim of unprovoked attacks. Julie Bindel (another transphobic radfem with a long history, but canny enough to be more circumspect in her recent writing) denounces the “trans cabal” “bullying” Moore.

Moore has now published a second Guardian article today (17th Jan) which again paints herself as a victim and the only person concerned about the real issues. She also still refuses to acknowledge her transphobic tweets, pretending everything has been about the “Brazilian transsexual” line.

UPDATE:  I’ve just realised that in concentrating on Moore, I’ve skipped over some context. This last week, in response to the prosecution (some might say persecution, with some justification) of a trans doctor by the GMC for treating trans people, a hashtag #transdocfail was launched, for trans people to tweet about their mistreatment at the hands of the wider medical community.

http://www.complicit…cfail-lowlight/ (Content note – harrowing descriptions of bad experiences with the medical community)

Also relevant to the generally terrible state of trans representation in all sections of the media was this fantastic post about trans “regret” and why it’s bullshit even though it seems to be a mandatory topic in every story about trans people: http://cisisnotadirtyword.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/trans-regret/