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Do you think women/everyone should be asked about their position on 'trans rights' in any press interview?

(19 Posts)
bishopgiggles Sun 28-Jun-20 19:23:41

I read an interview with a female comedian*, clearly the interviewee asked her about her position on the trans rights debate (sorry, I mean no debate), and it set me wondering as to whom, if anyone, you'd expect to be asked in an interview as to what they think about it. Obviously people directly responsible for setting policy in that area, but all women? all politicians? everybody no matter who?

I do strongly feel it puts people in a bit of an impossible position, knowing you'll potentially be 'cancelled', or frowned upon here, or punched in a public place or threatened with stabbing etc, whichever 'side' you take. I don't know though. I appreciate it when people do set out their side if it's properly reasoned, but I think more men should be asked about it. Then again I wouldn't expect everyone to be asked e.g. about Israel/Palestine.

It does seem that any time you mention feminism or women's spaces or literally anything for women the question 'but what about trans women' always seems to be put forward. I do find it a bit tiresome that we can't discuss anything female-related without having to have some sort of declared stance or proposed 'solution'. Not really sure of my thoughts though as I only just saw the article and it set me thinking.

(*it was Jenny Eclair: ^"Eclair has a trait rarely seen in standup: she’s quite conflict-averse. Even while she’s feminist to her bones, there are faultlines in feminism – the battle over trans rights, for instance – of which she would “steer clear, in case I inadvertently said something inflammatory. Fortunately, I’ve got a 31-year-old very right-on daughter [Phoebe Eclair-Powell, a playwright]. I can always call her up and say: ‘Am I right on this?’ And she could go: ‘No, Mum, I think you’ve got this a bit wrong actually.’” What kind of thing does she typically get wrong, I wonder? “It’s mainly about checking my privilege,” she says ruefully."^)

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slipperywhensparticus Sun 28-Jun-20 19:29:10

Not unless men are routinely asked the same question or maybe asked about penis privilege hmm

It's a non issue unless your invited to discuss that issue

TornadoOfSouls Sun 28-Jun-20 19:30:20

It was in the Graun/Observer and they won’t publish anything sensible on this topic anyway.

VickyEadieofThigh Sun 28-Jun-20 19:33:09

No, because it elevates an issue and forces people to toe a line.

sashagabadon Sun 28-Jun-20 19:36:57

No absolutely not. The guardian do it to be malicious in my opinion especially with older women.

bishopgiggles Sun 28-Jun-20 19:38:31

Not unless men are routinely asked the same question or maybe asked about penis privilege hmm

It's a non issue unless your invited to discuss that issue

Right, well that was my question. Who should be invited to discuss it? And do you think it's OK if men are also asked?

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bishopgiggles Sun 28-Jun-20 19:38:58

sashagabadon

No absolutely not. The guardian do it to be malicious in my opinion especially with older women.

Yes, I think this is starting to become clear.

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Doyoumind Sun 28-Jun-20 19:39:06

No. You can't expect everyone to give an informed or honest answer.

JiggeryWokery Sun 28-Jun-20 19:56:07

I read that article earlier and I thought the trans issue seemed to have been shoehorned in for no apparent reason, presumably by the interviewer. But I also noticed that the paragraph about the menopause (the subject of Jenny's new book) quoted her as saying "people" and "everybody" rather than "women" and "every woman", so who knows.

LonginesPrime Sun 28-Jun-20 19:57:22

What legitimate reason is there for asking such a question?

If nothing else, that question trivialises both trans rights and women's rights.

No decent journalist would engage in woman-baiting as sport when so many women are being threatened with violence and the loss of their livelihoods, among other things. It's in incredibly bad taste and the only journalists who would even consider asking this would be tabloid hacks and/or misogynists (the Venn diagram for which looks like a fried egg).

I would be turning it back on them and unpicking what exactly they think is up for debate and what they are actually asking. I would also ask why they're quizzing me about trans rights in the first place.

bishopgiggles Sun 28-Jun-20 20:06:31

I would be turning it back on them and unpicking what exactly they think is up for debate and what they are actually asking.

Oh yes, for sure.

I agree with you all, there's no reason for it. I think I'm just so used to it being used as a talking point or stick to poke people, and I forget that actually most people aren't particularly informed about it.

What legitimate reason is there for asking such a question?
I wouldn't say 'legitimate', but it seems to be as soon as you discuss anything female-related (that small, funny little minority who aren't like the normal, default men-people) it's seen as fair game to ask.

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MintyCedric Sun 28-Jun-20 20:09:49

I think, policy makers etc aside, no-one should be obliged to share their views on the subject.

If they want to talk about it, fine, but the pressure on people to come out on one side or the other is appalling.

I'm a massive fan of JKRs Cormoran Strike series and there have been calls by other fans for the actors that play the main characters in the TV series to make statements as per Radcliffe et al.

I hope to God they don't bow to this kind of crap. Theres a new book and TV adaptation due out over the next few months and I imagine it'll crop up ad infinitum for them in interviews.

LonginesPrime Mon 29-Jun-20 01:04:26

I think I'm just so used to it being used as a talking point or stick to poke people

Yes, this is the problem - this social conditioning encouraging everyone to judge individual women on whether or not they're prepared to do the decent thing and admit that women already have all the rights they need. It's especially awful in the context of their careers, where a wrong move could cost them everything. Railroading women into taking a position, one by one, means that it's difficult for them to take a different stand later and basically bullies them into submission by threatening them with financial ruin.

Also, I'd also want to understand why, if the interviewer believes that TWAW, they are referring to TW are a separate class when it comes to women's rights. Because there's implicit bias in the question that seems designed to produce a 'so and so is a bigot' headline, and that needs to be pointed out to them. Every single time they pull this shit. If TWAW why does a conversation on women's rights have to separate the trans women? If that's the case, why have they only asked about trans women and not about black women or disabled women or gay women, etc? And if the interviewer believes TWANW, why use female interviewees as a conduit for that message?

Its shit that people think 'you're a middle-aged woman - what do you think about all your awful cronies saying this and that? You're not one of them are you?

This is the only time anyone has ever been remotely interested in hearing what women actually think. No-one was ever interested in discussing women's rights back when it was about women.

UnWilly Mon 29-Jun-20 01:09:03

This!

This is the only time anyone has ever been remotely interested in hearing what women actually think. No-one was ever interested in discussing women's rights back when it was about women.

Sadly spot on Prime

HelloPanda98 Mon 29-Jun-20 05:01:50

If you're being interviewed on your thoughts about the LGBT community then sure, if not I personally don't see why you should be asked.

BigBadVoodooHat Mon 29-Jun-20 07:13:00

This is the only time anyone has ever been remotely interested in hearing what women actually think. No-one was ever interested in discussing women's rights back when it was about women.

Yes, exactly.

Coincidentally I was wondering about Jenny Eclair the other day. I’d assumed that as she’s vociferous about the menopause she’d be a believer in the realities of female physiology/biology.

I’d love to hear Jo Brand’s take on this, given that menstruation made up a lot of her material in the 90s, and in light of her excellent shut-down of Hislop one Merton for their casual sexism on HIGNFY.

Beerincomechampagnetastes Mon 29-Jun-20 07:20:28

Asking Germaine about trans rights was goading and deliberate. Greer asked them “why are you asking me? It’s got fuck all to do with me”?
They continued, “do you believe ‘twaw?

“No”.

Result. Non platformed.

Siablue Mon 29-Jun-20 07:56:23

I honestly think they shouldn’t be out does put people in an awkward situation.

They have asked all of the older actors from Harry Potter for a statement and none of them gave one. That could well because they agree with her.

You can’t win this argument or even have your own position. You either have to agree with the TRAs on everything or be labelled transphobic.

LonginesPrime Mon 29-Jun-20 08:18:28

If you're being interviewed on your thoughts about the LGBT community then sure, if not I personally don't see why you should be asked.

But even this would be disingenuous unless you're under the T of LGBT - asking anyone who's not a trans person or TRA how they feel about trans rights is tantamount to saying "should trans people have rights?".

Which is a nasty and goady question to ask about most groups without specific context.

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