I am watching season 2 of the Handmaid’s Tale. Under his eye. Am reading the resignation statement of a child psychotherapist.
It’s not just one. Heather Brunskell-Evans has been publicly abused, threatened, because the understanding of child development, child protection, and contested medical treatment that says no child should be told their body is wrong and should be fixed to match a picture in their head is heresy. Kathleen Stock has gathered anonymised responses from academics frightened of repercussions if they question this harmful ideology and Labour have leaked documents concerning legal action under the Equality Act to activists who target and stalk women. Women’s Equality Party will sack you without a second thought if you dare say a child should not be told their body is wrong, Labour have aided Liam Madagain in targeting women, even as he openly states he is a schizophrenic who can only feel safe if women are erased. The Green Party has Aimee Challoner is using Green Party resources to seek out women who will not obey and target them by trying to get their twitter accounts shut. Woman’s Place meetings are not safe for children even though this is a safeguarding debate they are central to. It’s not the universities where Kathleen Stock works that you find the multi-dimensional understanding of inequality at stake, its the third rate universities that train people to deliver policy not the first rates one where they train policy makers to be wilfully blind. Its those universities where it will cost your job to question this harmful ideology.
This is happening. Now. The tension exposed is not trans vs anti-trans, although it looks like it. This is the shape of an ideology spun from the bullshit disciplines in academic institutions where the main business model is providing theoretical economics and what should be done with the poor. This is the next stage of the reflex to avoid addressing this. With an army of willing elite activists, terrified of having no function in a world where there is no need of an intermediary. Respect my pronouns they demand, as they engage in violence, abuse, intimidation, doxxing and threats to demand people are subordinated to their will, so the identity they developed and the entitlement they developed can be protected. Elite women like Laurie Penny want what cannot be bought, the authenticity of a pretend marginalised identity, so they don’t have to face their role in perpetuating inequality and they have the right to sanction abuse of anyone they choose, cos they are marginalised. Shaun Faye demonstrates his feelings about women, by fetishising trafficked girls and trying to appear as one in a grotty attic conversion and everything isin flux. Respect my pronouns they screech and with this phrase they are suddenly marginalised and may abuse at will. The marginalised are oppressing them by not obeying. The protection of identity at stake here is not trans women, its elite institutions, academic disciplines and political parties desperately trying to hold on to a status quo that has gone. Because to admit they know this is suicide. The reflex that drove austerity is still in play. It’s not malice, with malice there is something to work with. It’s protection of identity and its hitting at the things you cannot conceptualise. Same women in the firing line each time.
The multi dimensional understanding of inequality and how power relations shape systems is in the most marginalised of systems, the ones which protect and are shaped by the evolving rule of law. Child protection, domestic abuse. This is the crisis which pulls us to synthesis as the knowledge which existed in these marginalised systems tries to push against the institutions who have been wilfully blind. But these institutions have power. This professional bodies, this is academic disciplines, this is political parties and they have based their survival on the ability to subordinate women and make them saythings which are not true. It’s an assertion of power is the abilityto make someone say something that isn’t true, but also an admission of weakness. To be dependent on exernal validation and to have employed force to get that validation one must have the power to do so. To make notjust youridentity but an institution dependent on validation of a false identity is to give those expected to do the validating an extraordinary amount of power. This is the crisis that COULD provide acknowledgement of the systems around children and violence, and certainly it is occurring in the midst of other crisis which forcet that examination. But power relations are exposed and anyone who has ever had a violent ex partner knows what that means, and that the most dangerous point is when you leave.
The more women say no, the more pressure is applied. Threats, assaults, degrading dehumanising language, professional repercussions for challenging an orthodoxy which is clearly magical thinking. Sexually abusing lesbians is now LGBT. We find unlikely allies in the Spectator as the Guardian continues to sell this conflation of paraphilia and normal sexuality and identity, and the demands that children are dragged in and safeguarding systems undermined doesn’t matter there because its aclass of people who dont know what those systems do or why this is wrong.
The argument was alreadywon because the rule of law is the centre position and we already won this, the question is whether these cultures can and will take the rights earned in the last seventy years away. This is about power. Whether they can. The Christian Right are circling, but as yet nowhere near as dangerous as the left. Twitter accounts are torpedoed, the explicit need to erase women reminds us of Ray Blanchard’s statement that autogynephiles’ anger toward women results from envy of women and resentment at not being accepted by women as one of them. It is not misogyny in the normal sense. Furthermore, their sense of entitlement comes from narcissism, not systemic patriarchy. The entitlement of trans activists may come from a place of mental disorder, the entitlement of those wielding these activists like a cudgel, does not.
Anyone who has dealt with trans rights activists knows this is true. Enjoy your erasure said Shaun Faye, confident that the system is behind him. I wonder if it is? I wonder how this plays out? Respect my pronouns, or Under His Eye? This has reached tipping point in Canada as Morgane Oger demonstrates male pattern abusive behaviour consistent with narcissism but using the power of his office, it’s reached tipping point in the US where Jazz Jennings provides a grotesque morality tale, and women are waking up here. It’s thrilling to see so many women from across national borders stand up. Power relations are exposed and crisis will now decide the rest. Woman are saying no, are standing up and saying no, and the sight of women across national borders uniting is thrilling but then, that could give false confidence.
Social contagion is time limited, a bubble can pop much quicker than it was inflated and the impact on young people is causing concern at the British institutions who are still holding onto their evidence base to work and not bowing down to violent activists. The question is how these violent activists got so much power in the first place. This is not just here its across Europe, its the US and its Canada and Australia.
Open violent misogyny is now ok, sexually abusing lesbians, and noone has to hide that ‘being a woman is now about harming women, any means needed to silence a woman is necessary. This is not a debate about what if dangerous people access spaces of safety from male violence, because activists have shown what they will do to these spaces and have demanded that women’s freedom of assembly is ended. Women’s right to self determination, define their own sexuality, and to assemble freely is on the table even if noone will acknowledge it is there.
This is not trans vs women, this is elite institutions resisting adaptation, and viewing this cudgel as a handy one to maintain blindness to the context which changed around synthetic modelling. We are that context. How does this end? Is this a storm in a teacup r a sign of thingsto come? The reflex to strip back at capacities to care and the things policy makers cannot conceptualise was never about malice, the Tories just did what reflex told them to do. Reflexes are born of identity and drive cycles and this is born of a group identity and that group is not trans women. Miranda Yardley’s been targeted relentlessly. ‘I identify as’ the last gasp of a neo liberal consensus that is already dead. The seeds of fascism it seems do find fertile ground in these periods. Are we at the point where this knowledge can cross cover or are we at the point where we see what means will be used to prevent reflection on reflexes to the bitter end, or crossover? Under his eye?