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nastiness in the online trans debate

(71 Posts)
dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 18:35:16

Posting here as I'm just feeling rather miserable about how horrible people can be. I know, I should just remove myself from such arguments, but I know there are a fair few other MNtters on twitter etc.

I don't know if it's just me…I'm hoping it's not…but I feel so awful about how horrible people can be on twitter. I don't care about if it's directed at me, that's fine, but I think that the deliberate targeting of trans people on twitter is not on. My philosophy is that no matter what my views on gender, these people are actual human beings living actual real lives, with feelings, friends, families and careers. I'm happy to have an argument about theory, politics or policy, but I feel that personal attacks are unnecessary and actually counter productive.

Some examples are a trans woman who works for womens aid NI. She seems to be doing a good job and relating the experience of her friend, not herself and she's been in a psychiatric hospital in the past. Why attack her personally? I think that is inhumane.

Also Dr Rachel McKinnon. I disagree with much of what she says and does but the level of vitriol is astonishing…people getting in touch with her university dept trying to get her sacked etc. I just don't think it's right.

I think there is nothing to be gained by personal attacks nastiness, apart from switching people off to the gender debate as many would just assume that gender critical feminists are balls of anger and hate. What ever people think about trans issues, these people must have had issues prior to transitioning that needed resolving to see transitioning as a solution, and I can't imagine it was something undertaken lightly. I am talking about those that have actually gone for sex reassignment, not transvestites such as Riley or that bloke that works for Stonewall by the way.

Am I not a feminist for thinking this way? Expecting to be flamed, off to borrow a fireman's helmet from my kids...

Batfurger Mon 29-May-17 18:41:22

This is the Rachel McKinnon who calls "TERFs" cockroaches? Can't think why people could have an issue with an academic saying things like that.

Thisisouting Mon 29-May-17 18:42:00

It's not anything that the trans community hasn't done to prominent feminists the personal attacks, the no platforming, threats to women's employment and careers.
There are also the death threats, threats of rape and violence....

Some of it is difficult to read I agree but I have no sympathy for those individuals women didn't start this fight.

deckoff Mon 29-May-17 18:49:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Elendon Mon 29-May-17 19:05:18

Women's Aid in Northern Ireland should never have a man in the centre. Your friend, unless they pass extremely well, is not suitable for the job. I could never join the army because I'm a mid fifties woman. I get that.

Women need abortion rights in Northern Ireland. But your friend who is never going to get pregnant wouldn't understand.

Lesbians are turfed out of their homes in Northern Ireland. But your friend, who is never going to be a lesbian would never understand that.

Girls are raped in their homes in Northern Ireland. But your friend who has never been a girl would never understand that.

Elendon Mon 29-May-17 19:11:23

And do you know what else?

I'm never going to be a fireperson
I'm never going to be a pilot
I'm never going to be a lead detective
I'm never going to be an astronaut
I'm never going to win an Oscar
I'm never going to be a great, great, great, great, grandparent.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 29-May-17 19:12:46

Dr Rachel McKinnon told kids if their parents were unsupportive of them being trans they should leave home, and skype them. Are you ok with that? On a parenting forum?
There are international guidelines that say under 18's should not be transitioned. You think parents shouldn't be concerned, or say 'wait and see how you feel when you are an adult'?

Why arent you aware of the level of hatred shown to women on Twitter? Or apparently concerned about it?

BigDeskBob Mon 29-May-17 19:43:09

Why this thread, here? Do you think we are threatening MTT on twitter?

If you have a problem with twitter, take it up with twitter.

GuardianLions Mon 29-May-17 20:16:32

I am really shocked to hear there is a MTT working at Womens Aid. How invasive, voyeuristic, inappropriate, arrogant and disrespectful- these women are in a vulnerable state!!! shock angry

Poppyred85 Mon 29-May-17 20:20:04

I agree wholeheartedly- personal attacks are completely unacceptable. Are you aware of Have a little look and see things from the other side.
I second bigdesk why start this thread here? It has an air of goading...

dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 20:49:40

Genuinely not goading. I was part of the twitter thread set up a while ago, hence I know that there are lots of other mums netters on here. I am genuinely shocked at how personal things are. The way I see it, it's not the trans person's fault that they were hired by womens aid- they got their job through legitimate channels, doing outreach about domestic violence. It's womens' aid that should be pulled up about that situation, not the individual. And although Rachel McKinnon referred to TERF's as cockroaches again it's not individuals. I am aware of the creepy video but they were getting called a pedophile, which is an extreme label to put on someone without actual evidence, and disproportionate.

Some of the comments I have seen are shocking- violent etc and I've blocked one 'feminist' as the level of hatred was so much that I felt it must be a troll.

I am all too aware of the other side, rape threats, violence etc, mainly from faceless accounts/gamers. I don't think 2 wrongs make a right though, and I don't agree with systematically attacking individuals…questioning them yes but not trying to destroy them! I posted on here to see if there are others who feel as uncomfortable with the situation as I do, to see if it's just twitter nastiness/trolls or whether it is more of a general gender critical feminist thing…if so I don't think I want to be associated with it. Which is no great shakes for feminism obviously as I am just one woman! It's more of a personal thing.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 29-May-17 21:04:21

If you feel some people have been abusive then report those tweets and stop tarring us all with the same brush.

I'm going to say it again because you have evaded the issue. On YouTube, McKinnon told kids to leave unsupportive parents, and skype them.
That person has a duty to disclose. Not encourage kids to run away from home.

Trans people are applying for positions in all women's and LGBT groups. You think there is nothing sinister about that. I will direct you to the official position of the ACLU in Maine, which is actively opposing a bill against FGM.

deckoff Mon 29-May-17 21:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OlennasWimple Mon 29-May-17 21:08:58

It would be entirely possible for a TW not to take a job that was unsuitable. Even if it came about through a "tap on the shoulder" rather than an open competition, they are perfectly at liberty to decline and explain that there are others who are a better fit.

I generally take the "play the ball, not the person" approach to difficult debates, and have read things that make me cringe both about TW and feminists. But I have never ever seen a feminist telling a TW to die in a fire, for example, or wish them to be raped

dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 21:18:11

…it's not tarring everyone with the same brush if I'm asking if anyone else is feeling uncomfortable. As with nearly everyone on twitter I don't actually know if they are mumsnetters or not…for all I know mumsnetters might be maintaining silence on the issue or reporting tweets. Or they could think it's ok/be leading attacks, I don't know. I don't have a list of mumsnetters on my twitter page.

I haven't evaded the issue- McKinnons video is creepy and they shouldn't have been suggesting kids contact them. They were getting called out on that which is absolutely right, pointing out that it could be interpreted as grooming was fair too, and if they had half a brain they would have taken their video down. To accuse them of sexually abusing youngsters is a step too far though.

I can't see the relevance with opposing the genital mutilation bill and trans though? It doesn't say that TRA's are suggesting that the bill is dropped. I would have expected that there was more pressure from communities that practise genital mutilation.

Terfing Mon 29-May-17 21:28:19

Attacking individuals is not okay, unless in self-defense. When debating the issues around transgenderism, I tend to criticize the ideology, not the people. However, sometimes people will ask for specific examples, and that's when I'll reference someone like Danielle Muscato or Caitlyn Jenner. However, I would never aggressively insult these people.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 29-May-17 21:35:32

Can you explain why the ACLU, which supports the rights of trans people to enter womens spaces, is opposed to stopping FGM?

dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 21:37:55

olennaswimple I agree they didn't have to take the job…but still have difficulty with the personal attacks. And I have seen violent threats/suggestions etc from the feminist that I blocked.

…and deckoff it's not 'I don't want to be a feminist' it's more I am uncomfortable with some of the tactics of gender critical feminists, and don't think I want to be associated with that.

Anyway, I'm off now to do something mindless and try and feel less down about everything.

dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 21:43:15

but before I go seriously DJBaggySmalls that's taking 2+2 and getting 5? It's a coincidence but not proof of some trans agenda. I had a look on ACLU website and they also have a fair bit about immigrant rights etc…I'd be quicker to assume that it was being argued to be a religious/traditional 'freedom' rather than anything to do with trans. Especially as I can't see how cutting off a young girls labia/clitoris has anything to do with trans at all!

dangermouseisace Mon 29-May-17 21:43:55

and no I DON'T agree with it at all under any circumstance before I get accused of that...

WhisperingLoudly Mon 29-May-17 21:51:11

The abuse directed at women who want to preserve women only spaces is far far worse.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 29-May-17 21:54:31

I'm still puzzled as to why you're on here complaining about abuse on Twitter confused.

GuardianLions Mon 29-May-17 21:58:18

I think a MTT should not apply to work at Women's Aid. There's a good chance women's services feel obliged to take positive action on trans because of the history of Rape Crisis/DV shelters being bankrupted by transactivist legal action and knew they couldn't afford to be labelled 'transphobic'.

venusinscorpio Mon 29-May-17 22:04:44

I think a lot of what you are referring to is in self defence. And twitter is very misogynistic as a whole. There is a siege mentality. I agree that sometimes arguments get personal and go too far. But the two people you mention are deserving of criticism and what I have seen from transactivists is far worse.

BigDeskBob Mon 29-May-17 22:12:15

Women seem to be held to higher standards than MTT. When women highlight things MTT say or do, we are told its not important - it's only one persons view or it's activists, not true trans people. When one woman says something wrong, its supposedly a reflection of the whole of feminism, and we have to stop the debate and apologise.

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