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Reconciling my beliefs (trans, liberal etc)

(31 Posts)
PicklingGherkins Sat 25-Nov-17 22:06:27

Hi, I've been hanging around the feminism boards for a while but have never posted here before. I've always considered myself a live and let live "lefty liberal". Lately, I've read a lot on here and then subsequently from other sources about the proposed gender recognition bill (along with other trans related matters) and I don't feel that this bill is right and agree with many of the points raised about the erosion of women's rights and the misappropriation of women's experiences. The trouble is for the first time in my adult life, I feel like my views are going against the tide. Everyone else seems to be much more welcoming of this bill as a positive step to ending discrimination and all of a sudden I feel like the non-PC, racist nanna who's views are old-fashioned and wrong.

We've recently recognised a transgender Remembrance Day at work and the thought of people being killed or committing suicide because of being trans is awful. Everyone is a person with a right to happiness. My issue is I can't reconcile this with my feelings about the erosion of women's rights because of the current view that if you identify as a women you are one and everyone else needs to get over it (or they're discriminatory etc).

To stand up and say to the world that I disagree with this bill feels like I'm making some giant "Not In My Day" NIMBY declaration and it would genuinely be looked down upon by my employer and I suspect some of my friends. But I really, genuinely believe that I (we?) are right on this. Plus I do have one real life ally.

I'm sorry for the long post but I guess my question is, am I the only one to feel almost conflicted like this? I genuinely want to accept, welcome etc but I don't want my rights or experiences to be taken by men. How do you reconcile this?

SweetGrapes Sat 25-Nov-17 22:12:40

Try reading these threads...
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3088727-I-dont-want-to-be-a-TERF
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3093191-Am-I-Red-Pilling

There's been some interesting discission on similar lines.

IndominusRex Sat 25-Nov-17 22:21:48

Hi Gherkins, many of us feel exactly the same way. The thing is, the trans movement categorically isn't liberal. It's pretending to be whilst simultaneously stripping women of our rights and trying to eradicate gay and lesbian children. It's toxic. And trans rememberance day is propaganda - whilst any murder or suicide if anyone is very tragic, the numbers are startlingly low in comparison to other groups and the murders in particularly are murders of trans sexual workers by male punters - something else we all stand vehemently against.

W8what Sat 25-Nov-17 22:26:31

Pick - i get it, totally, I am supportive of gay marriage, I think people should be able to dress however they like, be as they like with no censure from anyone else.

I had been brewing about this for a while and i finally snapped and registered on mumsnet. it was the one of the few places you could talk about this without people assuming you were also anti-femnist anti-gay rights anti-trans etc.

You are totally in the right place! Don’t feel bad, its not about being unkind or horrible person, there are substantive issues at stake that very specifically affect women and children and need to be discussed.

LangCleg Sat 25-Nov-17 22:55:39

Ask yourself this: why, when more than 1,000 women have been murdered by men in the UK over the last ten years but only 8 transgender people, has your work recognised a Transgender Day of Remembrance but not a Women's Day of Remembrance?

Because the current transgender activism is a men's rights movement. That's why.

To use your analogy: you're not the non-PC, racist relative. You're being gaslit by the non-PC, racist relative.

W8what Sat 25-Nov-17 22:59:37

Lang is right.

Backingvocals Sat 25-Nov-17 23:00:40

Where the hell do you work that you have to go through Trans Remembrance Day?

Do they also have Rachel Dolezal Day to celebrate other deluded people who appropriate rights and spaces that are not theirs or it just a certain type of man who gets this special treatment?

The reason you can’t reconcile your feelings is that you are thoughtful and honest about what you are witnessing. Your awareness of the issue will grow from here and I think you will become increasingly uncomfortable. It’s like those magic eye pictures. Once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it.

MN is a good place to test out your thoughts. I’ve learnt a lot.

PicklingGherkins Sat 25-Nov-17 23:19:26

Thank you for your replies, I appreciate you taking the time to post. My feelings have developed bit by bit on this and now I'm just want to shout out that we should stop, look then walk!!!! I appreciate the links to earlier posts, it's genuinely nice to know it's not just me that feels like this. It feels so "politically incorrect", I accept and try never to judge. However women haven't even had the vote for 100 years yet and it feels like we're going backwards now. It takes a long time for society to change and we haven't got anywhere near far enough for us to take a step back.

PicklingGherkins Sat 25-Nov-17 23:23:07

To answer the previous post directly, I work for a government department.

Backingvocals Sat 25-Nov-17 23:25:26

God how awful. I used to as well. I would not be able to tolerate that.

Ttbb Sat 25-Nov-17 23:31:27

I think that you may need to recalibrate your understanding of the word liberal. Being concerned about going 'against the tide', 'Looking down' on others for rationally held beliefs, being frightened to say what you think is all very illiberal. Being a liberal is about supporting individual choice and freedom including the freedom to think differently and say so. If you really want to be a liberal then stop being a lemming.

nauticant Sat 25-Nov-17 23:48:35

If I had to break it down into two sides, one is saying "there's lots to discuss" and the other is saying "if you don't agree with us, you're a bigot".

I know which side looks better to me.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 25-Nov-17 23:55:22

There is nothing liberal about telling a Muslim, Romany or Jewish woman they are a bigot for not being able to share a changing room with a male bodied person.
Or for telling those women they have to allow a male bodied person into their area of worship.

To give trans people more rights, men can move over, and trans people could ask for a third gender neutral space.
But they wont. They are telling - not asking, telling - women to give up rights that we actually need, such as women only domestic violence shelters and Rape Crisis counselling.

It is not a liberal movement.

RedToothBrush Sun 26-Nov-17 00:03:50

Being liberal about representation and injustice and the need to balance the needs of those who are disadvantaged.

The key bit: balance the needs.

Being liberal is to be intolerant of intolerance.

TRAs are failing to do this, not just with women but within their own community. They are profoundly authoritarian in their methods and have more in common with Trumpian politics, the politics of Farage and the politics of ISIS. Central to this is the creation of the notion of 'the enemy' and the idea of some sort of persecution to gain legitimacy. The pattern of polarisation and the elimination of rival ideology. You are either with us or against us. All these movements extensively use propaganda techniques as a form of persuasion rather that letting arguments stand on their own merits and up to scrutiny. This is what makes them profoundly undemocratic and illiberal.

To reconcile your liberal identity realise that TRAs are not liberal but must profess to be in order to have support. The have hitched the wagon to homophobia saying that criticism is of TRAs is transphobic. It's not but many liberals do not want to be a bigot and don't question further. The differences between the experiences and objects of the two groups are never talked about and these differences matter.

Liberal politics is about consensus building that there is a shared interest and benefit to society as a whole and then using the law to protect the consensus. Authoritarian politics are about using the law to suppress ideas that challenge and to prevent debate and scrutiny.

Presenting the fight for trans rights in this way is a con trick. People who oppose the methods of TRAs are not automatically against rights for the trans community. It's just been painted this way. They can be pro trans rights but aware of conflicts in how you balance interests.

The fact you are questioning things, is good. Authoritarians want to stop you thinking freely.

Focus on the principles of democracy and what it is to be liberal. Does this match with what's going on?

morningrunner Sun 26-Nov-17 07:45:15

A good parallel here is the way that Muslim extrenism was tolerated in the UK up to 2001 on the grounds of multiculturalism. People outside the Muslim community feared challenging extremists (despite the fact that they were clearly peddling violence and intolerance) in case they were perceived by other ‘right on’ types to be bigoted. It lead to the uk becoming a haven for Islamist extremists for a few years in the 90s and did fuck all to help uk Muslims . I see so many parallels here.

SweetGrapes Sun 26-Nov-17 17:17:05

That's interesting morningrunner. I didn't know that. I guess the rotherham crisis makes more sense now because there's good old fashioned misogyny added to the mix.

To the OP, we haven't had trans remembrance day yet but we do have stonewall providing guidance on lgbt+ issues so it can't be long. I am thinking of broaching the counting dead women plus womens remembrance in the new year.

We also have gender neutral toilets for a long time but they are done well so are fine.

PicklingGherkins Sun 26-Nov-17 17:46:09

I've been mulling this all over again today and I agree with everything that's been said so far and have reframed my thinking. I remain liberal in my views and believe that we should all have the same rights and opportunities. However women's rights are being eroded at the moment without consultation or consideration and that is not acceptable irrespective of who else it benefits. It's prioritising one groups rights over another's and that isn't equality irrespective of the groups involved. It's head above the parapet time for me.

QuentinSummers Sun 26-Nov-17 18:17:12

We have TDOR at work, it's not something I'm prepared to put my head above the parapet on.
Interestingly we are also having a gender neutral loos trial and they have converted the gents to gender neutral. That's been a good way into convos. When people ask "why the gents?" You can being up religious issues for women, the fact there is usually more demand for the ladies so longer queues, the fact women may be dealing with menstrual issues and not want men around (and men may not want to be around).

TheGoalIsToStayOutOfTheHole Sun 26-Nov-17 18:20:58

If I had to break it down into two sides, one is saying "there's lots to discuss" and the other is saying "if you don't agree with us, you're a bigot".

Well said. I don't see the trans-agenda as progressive at all. Its misogynistic and homophobic. The transing of kids is modern day gay eugenics, yet so many support it blindly. It scares the shit out of me how unquestioning people are

Copperkettles Sun 26-Nov-17 18:40:24

You aren't alone. I'm kind. I like being kind and I want society to be kind because the alternative, at worst, is terrifying. We are capable of such evil as a species. I think it's healthy to question your feelings and make sense of whether they're appropriate. I think there has been a tradition of doing this since WW2 because of what happened on European soil. But there are lots of other people out there who've asked themselves the same questions you are and still have a sense that there is something very wrong with what TRA's are saying.

It is very hard to stand against people calling you a bigot and a transphobe. It feels very uncomfortable. But people are saying those things to aggressively shut down all debate. It's a very powerful tactic and it's nonsense. I want transpeople to be safe because I want everyone to be safe. I don't want women to be less safe or lose hard won rights because a minority of men are having a tantrum and emotionally blackmailing people.

ReanimatedSGB Mon 27-Nov-17 18:28:01

I don't object too much to TDOR. A friend of mine observes it as one of her good friends was a trans woman who had a very difficult life (disowned by family for being trans, history of being abused) and jumped in front of a train. There are people advocating for trans rights who don't hate women, and it is possible to be supportive of both women's rights and trans rights. There are just a lot of screaming arseholes repeatedly poisoning the whole discussion.

SweetGrapes Tue 28-Nov-17 08:52:01

The screaming haters are much louder and have the ear of the powers that be.
Usually we can ignore the screaming haters but in this case we can't. (e.g edl isn't shaping policy in westminster. But mermaids is).

FirstShinyRobe Tue 28-Nov-17 08:59:12

The answer, as usual, is more Feminism grin

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 28-Nov-17 09:55:24

There's also nothing liberal about telling transpeople that they have to tack themselves on to the services designed for women rather than having their own, tailored services which can accommodate their unique needs.

MadeleineMaxwell Tue 28-Nov-17 20:00:33

I hear you Gherkins. I normally just lurk about these parts, but I do just want to say I get it and feel the same.

It is difficult to reconcile because it's been packaged and sold as a progressive movement - and it does look like that until you investigate deeper than the surface.

The way I frame it in my head is as a tension between women's rights and trans rights. I uphold trans people's right to life, love and happiness the same as anyone else's, but their rights cannot be allowed to neutralise or negate others'.

A woman in a vulnerable position or location has as much right to safety and dignity as a trans person. How can we safeguard everyone? The only sane answer to all this IMO is to create those third gender-neutral spaces, which you don't generally see many trans people arguing or campaigning for.

Having said all that here, I would never say this in public under my own name. I know exactly what would happen and I don't want any of it. It's tough.

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