Either Karens or future Karens

About this whole issue of men just not seeing women as a class of people who face systematic unequal treatment, a class of people who are dismissed and ignored and ridiculed because they are that class of people. There really are a lot of men who just don’t see that, who don’t believe it’s true, who don’t think it matters. Who see us as “Karens” or potential “Karens” and who feel no embarrassment about dismissing women as “Karens.” Harvey Jeni points out that Lloyd Russell-Moyle is one such man.

Russell-Moyle has since apologised, but it is worth noting he is not alone in his point of view. The idea that women are cynically using their experiences of domestic and sexual abuse as justification for the supposedly unspeakable belief that sex based exemptions currently contained within the Equality Act ought to be upheld, is gathering apace. The Guardian columnist Owen Jones made a similar accusation when he tweeted a thread in condemnation of JK Rowling, attacking her apparent portrayal of herself as a “martyr”.

How have Jones and Russell-Moyle and so many other men (and women) managed to convince themselves that a man’s desire to role-play being a woman is the real subordination and martyrdom while merely being a woman is just the precondition for being a Karen?

… according to men such as Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Owen Jones, women best not dare imagine that being traumatised by male violence is any kind of excuse for rejecting mixed sex spaces. We are to accept them without murmur, and if we don’t we are oppressive bigots. They couldn’t give a shit what we’ve been through, nor do they want to hear any more of our manipulative whining about it. So there, shut up.

They couldn’t give a shit about it and quite frankly they don’t believe it.

Still many women have taken the brave step of speaking out in an effort to explain why an end to single sex spaces will curtail their freedom further. We want others to understand why we might be reluctant to access support services if we cannot be guaranteed a female service provider. We are trying to explain why we might feel too frightened to use a public toilet situated down the end of a dark deserted corridor if any male person claiming a female gender identity (and with no gatekeeping literally any male person can claim one) has a right to be there. We are trying to show why it is not unreasonable for us to ask that the person performing our cervical smear, or any other type of intimate care, be female.

But rather than listening, we instead have men in positions of power accuse us of deliberately and calculatingly using these experiences to hurt and oppress others. Of course. Women are scheming like that. Ha! We are not really upset, we’re just pretending — and anyway, the crime of recognising trans women as biologically male is far greater than any triviality we might have endured.

Women are privileged at best and oppressors at worst. It’s only men who say they feel like women who are truly oppressed and disprivileged.

How did we get here? I don’t know. Massive bullying is certainly part of it, but how did the belief get so entrenched that the massive bullying happened? I don’t know. I don’t understand it. The belief is so silly and so counter to reality that I just don’t get how it dug itself in so fast.

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