Worth considering

Sonia Sodha on the “cotton ceiling” issue:

If policing people’s sexual preferences through the lens of race feels deeply unpleasant, when it comes to sexual orientation, it is wrong and dangerous. Yet we are in the extraordinary position where lesbians are now being told by some activists that it is bigoted for them to say they are not attracted to trans women who are biologically male. This is not a fringe belief: the chief executive of LGBT charity Stonewall recently said in relation to a BBC story about lesbians feeling pressured into dropping their boundaries: “Sexuality is personal… but if, when dating, you are writing off entire groups like people of colour or trans people, it’s worth considering how societal prejudices may have shaped your attraction.”

What are “entire groups”? How do we define them? Are trans people the same kind of “entire group” as people of color? How about poodle-havers? Quiche eaters? Fans of Antiques Roadshow? How do we know when we’re “writing off entire groups of people” when there are so many possible groups to consider?

Last week, a QC on the Bar Council’s ethics committee defended the concept of overcoming the “cotton ceiling” – the offensive idea that a lesbian’s lack of desire for trans women is rooted in bigotry rather than their same-sex attraction – and compared it to initiatives to promote racial integration in post-apartheid South Africa.

Which outraged not only because it compares lesbians to supporters of apartheid, but also because it compares people who call themselves trans to victims of apartheid. It’s hard to know which is more disgusting.

Cotton ceiling is a reference to lesbians’ knickers. It is a riff on the glass ceiling and posits that just as the professional advancement of women is hindered by sexism, the sexual acceptance of trans women is impeded by the “transphobia” of lesbians attracted only to females. It was Cathryn McGahey QC, a witness for Garden Court, who drew the analogy between this workshop exploring how “ideologies of transphobia and transmisogyny impact sexual desire” and South African racial integration and who implied it was possible in a non-coercive way to persuade a same-sex attracted lesbian she might want to have sex with a trans woman.

And on what planet would this “non-coercive way” be found? Certainly not this one. Trans “activism” is the most coercive “social justice” movement I’ve ever witnessed.

3 Responses to “Worth considering”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting