More on that

I’ve realized I have more to say on Peter Tatchell’s fatuous remarks to the Guardian on the definite rightness of the Royal Academy’s libel of Jess DeWahls:

Veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Trans women are different from other women, but being a different kind of woman is perfectly valid and no justification for the denial of their identity.

Let’s think about this. How are trans women “different from other women?” They’re different in being men. That’s a very differenty kind of difference. You could replace it with the word “not.” Trans women are different from other women in being not women. Well yes, that’s different all right, and it’s also a negation, and an opposite. Not-man is not an exhaustive definition of woman, but it’s certainly a crucial one. Women and men are the two human sexes, and there are no others.

So, yes, actually, being a “different kind of woman” in the sense of not being a woman at all, in the sense of being a man, is not “perfectly valid” in the sense of being the thing you in fact are not. That whole claim is simply perverse. It’s like saying “the fact that a potato is not a blueberry is no justification for denying their identity.”

How did we get to the point that grown-ass adults are talking this kind of gibberish?

And then what does “perfectly valid” mean? Nothing. It’s just a club to whack you upside the head with if you try to resist.

And then what does he mean “the denial of their identity”? The identity is not theirs. That’s the whole point. If I say I’m the pope, that doesn’t establish the “validity” of my “identity” as the pope, for the crude but compelling reason that I’m not the pope.

Gibberish. It’s all such gibberish.

“If an artist denied Jewish, black or gay people’s identity, most people would say that the Royal Academy would be right to remove their works from the gift shop. But when Jess denies trans people’s identity, she and other trans critics say that it’s her right to free speech and she should not be penalised. This smacks of double standards.”

What on earth does it mean to “deny Jewish, black or gay people’s identity”? That’s not a thing. Nobody does that. The problem is the opposite of that – it’s saying the identity is spoiled, is bad, is something to belittle or demonize.

And one more thing. Of course Tatchell says “If an artist denied Jewish, black or gay people’s identity” but doesn’t say “women’s identity.” Well he couldn’t, could he, because that’s exactly what he’s doing.

16 Responses to “More on that”