Bang out of order

This happened a couple of days ago: an activist trans man and a feminist woman on Channel 4 News.

The video.

Activist Jack Monroe clashed with a feminist academic during a fiery TV debate on trans issues on Thursday, calling the belief that trans women aren’t women “bang out of order”.

Monroe sat alongside Julia Long, a lecturer in sociology and long-time feminist, on Channel 4 News, after the publication of the first report by the Women and Equalities Committee in Parliament.

It wasn’t “fiery.” There was evident irritation, but no flames. In the next paragraph the Huffington Post said the report “sparked the fury of Dr Long,” which also isn’t true. Neither of them displayed “fury”; it’s all nonsense.

In the heated exchange, Dr Long hit out at the committee’s findings that people should be free to self-identify and select their own gender, claiming that this would place those victimised by male partners in jeopardy.

Again – the exchange was only mildly heated, and Dr Long didn’t “hit out” at anything. What’s the point of all this silly exaggeration? To make women and trans men look out of control?

Long said: “I’d like to begin by saying I think it’s really ironic that the first act by this committee that calls itself the women and equalities committee, the first report that they publish is something that actually antithetical to women’s rights.”

It is, actually. Trans rights are a separate issue from women’s rights.

She cited the case of Christopher Hambrook, a prisoner who exploited laws in Canada which allow for self-declaration of gender in order to carry out a series of sex attacks at two separate womens’ shelters.

Monroe hit back, saying that example was extreme.

“We call all pull cases out where we can say this has happened and that has happened but those cases are very, very rare, and to try and deny services to women on the basis that those women are trans women is abhorrent,” Monroe said.

“I was raped by a cis (to be defined by the gender assigned at birth) man and again by a lesbian woman… I don’t use either of those experiences to try and deny cis straight men or gay women access to rape crisis services.”

Long replied: “The kind of language that Jack is using there is really illustrative of the heart of this problem where even terms like male and female are becoming meaningless.”

“But who are you to decide who is a man and who is a woman?” Monroe asked in reply.

So let all the women’s shelters fill up with men, since no one can tell who is a man and who is a woman? It’s all just a mystery? If a woman is raped, she can’t tell the police a man did it, because who is she to decide who is a man?

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