Reverse the terms

It’s almost as if they can’t make their case without lying and failing to define terms. Meredith Farkas at American Libraries Magazine:

In February, the controversial Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) booked a room at Seattle Public Library (SPL) for a public event. WoLF denies the existence of transgender individuals and portrays trans women as dangers to cis women.

One: anything can be called “controversial.” Farkas’s article is “controversial.” Feminism is “controversial.” Libraries are “controversial.” Two, WoLF does not “deny the existence of transgender individuals.” It denies that trans people can literally change their sex. Three, trans women are men, so of course they are potentially dangers to women. Four, there is no such thing as “cis” women, there are only women.

That’s just the first paragraph. It’s striking how feeble it is, and how heavily it relies on these infinitely-repeated untruths and fictitious labels to try to form an argument.

I take issue with the notion that libraries are ensuring all voices are heard when they let hate groups speak. Hate speech considered in a vacuum might look merely offensive, but when viewed in a historical context, that speech is inextricably linked with physical violence. Young men marching with torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us” are intentionally evoking the Holocaust, just as a burning cross on a lawn is meant to evoke lynching. These actions are designed to silence those targeted.

There is considerable truth in that. I do think the torches and chants were meant to invoke the Holocaust and to scare the bejeezus out of Jews and descendants of slaves and probably women too. But that very application makes it grotesquely wrong and malicious as applied to feminists arguing that only women can be women. There were no torches, no chants of “Jews will not replace us,” no crosses burning on lawns. Saying that men cannot literally become women is not any kind of hate speech and is in no way linked to violence.

Megan Boler, in her 2000 article “All Speech Is Not Free: The Ethics of ‘Affirmative Action Pedagogy,’” argues that we must apply “historicized ethics” to issues around free speech, recognizing the power imbalances in our society and the fact that “all persons do not have equal protection under the law.” In a world where marginalized people are less safe expressing themselves and their words are given less weight, the equality implied in the marketplace of ideas doesn’t exist. By being neutral, libraries are tacitly giving the privileged power to speak and allowing marginalized individuals to be silenced.

Oh look at what she’s assuming here – that men are the marginalized people who are less safe expressing themselves and whose words are given less weight. Women are the oppressor, the dominant class, the privileged, in her world, while men who say they are women are the oppressed, the subordinate, the marginalized. She apparently doesn’t even notice the absurdity.

The rest of her piece relies on that switch of places, so it’s simply nonsensical.

H/t southwest88

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