Fay and Fluffy are out

The scene at Meghan Murphy’s talk yesterday evening was revolting. I’ve seen several video clips of it and it’s repellent.

The Globe and Mail has one account:

People exiting a speaking event at a small Toronto Public Library branch were met with a chorus of boos as they descended the staircase at its front entrance on Tuesday evening. The branch has been at the centre of a firestorm over the line between free speech and hate speech.

Except that Meghan Murphy isn’t offering “hate speech.” It’s not “hate speech” to say that men are not women.

Hundreds flocked to the TPL’s Palmerston branch in protest after weeks of heated debate over the library’s decision to allow writer Meghan Murphy to speak Tuesday at an event put on by a group dubbed Radical Feminists Unite.

Or, less sneeringly, by a group called Radical Feminists Unite.

Funny old world when people on the left are accusing radical feminists of hate speech.

LGBTQ advocates have been harshly critical of the library’s decision to let Ms. Murphy speak, and they launched petitions, a phone campaign and a flurry of social-media posts preceding the protest, which took place at the same time as the speaking event.

Because they think men can magically become women just by saying so, and that it’s evil and “hate speech” to think they can’t. That’s how weird things have become.

“I hope that the Toronto Public Library realizes that trans people matter,” Gwen Benaway, a transgender poet who won a Governor-General Award on Tuesday, said at the protest. “Hosting transphobic speakers that promote intolerance in Canadian society is damaging and against the work of the Toronto Public Library.”

But Meghan doesn’t “promote intolerance.” That’s a lie.

Also Tuesday, drag artist duo Fay and Fluffy, who hold a popular storytelling event for children at several TPL branches, announced they have severed ties with the library over their decision to play host to Ms. Murphy.

Again with the slyly subtly denigrating word choice – the library didn’t “play host” to Meghan, it rented her a room for an event.

“I could not call myself an ally and fighter for my community if I continue a relationship with a space that will host someone who is actively fighting to take away my legal rights as a human,” wrote Kaleb Robertson, one half of Fay and Fluffy, on the duo’s Instagram page. “It’s heartbreaking to be put in this position by a place I have loved since I was a child.”

Meghan is not fighting to take away Robertson’s or anyone else’s legal rights as a human.

Despite the fierce opposition and public rebukes from prominent figures, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, city librarian Vickery Bowles backed the event because the TPL has “an obligation to protect free speech.” She said earlier this month that Ms. Murphy’s event was not in violation of the library’s room-booking policy, which allows the library to cancel events that “[promote] discrimination.”

That’s interesting – so it is a substance argument as well as a free speech argument. That’s how I see it too – they can say no to the KKK because the KKK does promote discrimination (and exclusion and violence). Radical feminists who think men are men are not comparable to the KKK.

Ms. Bowles also said that Ms. Murphy has never been charged with or convicted of hate speech. Toronto city councillors tabled a motion Tuesday calling for stricter room-booking policies at TPL branches, to “ensure that activities enabling discrimination and tolerance, including transphobia and transphobic activity, are given all due consideration as a human rights violation.”

So if that passes the TPL will be refusing to rent rooms to radical feminists in the future. Nice job, Toronto city councillors.

It still amazes me how quickly misogyny has come roaring back, and how shameless people are at proclaiming it.

Two hours before the event, a crowd of about 100 gathered in the heart of Toronto’s gay village for a preprotest rally organized by Pride Toronto and The 519, a local LGBTQ resource centre.

A mural depicting a diversity of LGBTQ people towered over the crowd as former Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo led them in a chant proclaiming that “trans rights are human rights.”

Rah rah rah, but what are trans rights? What rights are specific to trans people and not to anyone else? Are they all “rights” to be endorsed and “validated” as being of the sex that they’re not? Because if so, that’s a very peculiar “right,” and one that’s in tension with other people’s rights.

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