Defining the definition

From Sex Matters November 14:

The Liberal Democrats have revised their definition of transphobia in the light of recent legal cases. 

The previous policy which drew on the work of “organisations such as Stonewall and TransActual UK”.

The definition is dated September 2020 and written by Candy Piercy, Sheila Ritchie and Alice Thomas.

The Lib Dems have always believed trans right are human rights. Over the last year it has become clear that the Party needed to explain what that means in practice. 

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. “The Lib Dems have always believed this thing and we don’t know what it means.” If you don’t know what it means what the fuck is it you believe???

It’s enraging and contemptible and laughable, but it’s also absolutely typical. It’s all rote repetition, to avoid being hauled up before the hanging judge, and nobody even bothers about what it means. Just say the words!!! Trans rights are human rights!!! Do not ask what we mean by “trans rights”!!!!

It has taken us some months and many different drafts to produce a definition that we believe will give members an effective way of answering the question ‘What do the Lib Dems believe is transphobic behaviour?’

Why? Why wasn’t it crystal clear? Why wasn’t it tragically easy to say what transphobic behavior is?

We hope this definition will help guide members who want to support the trans community and call out transphobic behaviour.

After all this time and effort we hope our definition enables bullies.

“‘Transphobia’ is the fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans. Transphobia, whether through words or action, may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, trans or trans allies.

So it’s an emotion. They wanted to ban an emotion.

Transphobic behaviour may include (i) attempting directly or through advocacy to remove trans people’s rights, (ii) misrepresenting trans people, (iii) abuse of trans people, and (iv) systematically excluding trans people from discussions about issues that directly affect them.”

But what are trans people’s rights? Do they conflict with, say, women’s rights, or lesbian and gay rights? If so what do we do about that? Is the definition of transphobia accompanied by definitions of misogyny and homophobia?

(They spent months on this???)

It’s a shockingly brainless mess.

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