A colonized mind

I find I have to go back to the dreadful Quisling LSE blog post by Ilaria Michelis, because there are just too many irritations and outrages to ignore.

The impact of their rhetoric and political action has been and will continue to be devastating for trans people, from the halting of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act despite public support, to ever more intense levels of transphobic violence taking place online and offline.

What is online violence? Besides an oxymoron? And note the very selective catastrophizing. Oh oh oh trans people; women, meh.

I explore the function of so-called ‘gender critical’ feminism as a reactionary response to anti-racist and decolonial campaigns…

And by “explore” she means “make up.”

In July 2020, JK Rowling infamously decided to take a very public stance on the issue of trans rights and women’s safety through a series of tweets and an essay.

“Infamously.” JK Rowling dared to say something, in public of all things, and another [white!!] woman calls that infamous and hints that it’s brazen or rude or privileged to be so public about it.

As Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests spread around the world in response to George Floyd’s murder, and as Edward Colston’s statue was toppled to highlight Britain’s lack of accountability towards its colonial past, the novelist’s choice to use her substantial platform to reignite the debate on trans rights appeared highly insensitive and a product of her current class and race privilege

What utter bullshit. Censorious, creepy, witch-hunty bullshit. It is not the case that people stopped talking about other things as BLM protests spread, nor was it expected or demanded that they should.

Alyosxa Tudor asks “How bored and annoyed must JK Rowling be that she thinks the perfect moment in which she can reheat her […] comments is the height of Black Lives Matter?” (emphasis mine).

Emphasis hers; emphasis stupid. People are always talking about more than one thing. Feminists are allowed to talk about feminist issues even at “the height of” BLM. Michelis is of course carefully ignoring the fact that many gender critical feminists are Black.

One of the core arguments of so-called ‘gender critical’ ideology is that trans women cannot be fully ‘accepted’ as women because their experience of womanhood is not identical to that of cis women

Ah ah stop right there. It’s not that it’s “not identical,” it’s that it’s the opposite. It’s that male people can’t have “their experience of womanhood” because their experience is necessarily, by definition, experience of manhood.

… and trans women can therefore not fully comprehend or empathise with the supposedly universal subordination of women. This argument rests on the fiction of a single female experience, a fiction which has routinely silenced and side-lined women who experience racism, colonial domination and other forms of oppression that cannot be singularly attributed to their gender.

No no no no. Not the same thing at all. A dishonest manipulative piece of rhetoric.

Depictions of trans women as deceitful monsters seeking to violate the purity of innocent young women and their ‘safe spaces’ recall all too clearly the starkly racist representations of Black men during the Jim Crow era.

All too clearly? More like a window plastered in mud.

Media and public attention towards BLM and global struggles against racism and coloniality have increasingly challenged white women, including white feminists, to consider their own participation and complicity in systems of white supremacy and imperialism. Concepts like “white fragility” and “white women’s tears”[5] have become mainstream…

Indeed they have, and guess why. Guess whose interests that diversion promotes.

Perhaps JK Rowling was indeed quite annoyed because BLM and other anti-racist movements had decisively shoved the conversation away from the narrative of white women as the ultimate victim towards the long overdue recognition that Black, Brown and other racialised and minoritised groups, and amongst them Black trans women, suffer incredible levels of daily violence which many white women can barely imagine.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps Ilaria Michelis is aligned with the Eating People’s Faces Party…or perhaps not, but let’s just throw it out there for credulous people to embrace. That’s the approach of the whole piece.

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