Their very existence

Kezia Dugdale, former leader of the Scottish Labour Party, does the “hurr hurr Joanna Cherry isn’t being silenced, look, she’s still talking!!” routine.

In one interview yesterday she said: “Lesbian feminists and women such as myself are being prevented from speaking in public about our views”.

This is a literal quote from the teatime STV News bulletin watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Her views were being broadcast to, let’s say, the equivalent of Edinburgh, compared to the venue capacity of The Stand?

An operator yes, a martyr no.

In other words the Streisand effect. The Stand withdrew its invitation to her, and the result was a lot of bad publicity for The Stand. You know what? That’s not Joanna Cherry’s fault.

But never mind that, because she has views that are unacceptable. Why are they unacceptable?

The runner up in the SNP Leadership race Kate Forbes has lent her support to Ms Cherry via her own newspaper column.

In it, she says “When you believe in the strength of your case, you do not fear debate. It’s those without a case to answer who run from arguments… in a fair, free and respectful debate, the truth always wins.”

That’s a powerful bit of writing until you remember this isn’t some theoretical school debating club. It’s about people’s lives.

Ohhhhhh, people’s lives.

But here’s a puzzler. The women who resist the pressure to pretend that men are women in all circumstances and locations also have lives. Of course it’s about people’s lives; that’s why we refuse to obey.

There are trans people who feel their very existence and identity are threatened by the words of people who share Ms Cherry’s outlook. They are not up for “debate”.

If the staff in the Stand are trans, or know trans people or just understand the above in their own bones, surely they have a moral right to withdraw their labour and hope a good employer would respect that?

That’s an extraordinarily bad argument. The fact that some enraged loonies “feel their very existence and identity are threatened by the words of people who share Ms Cherry’s outlook” does not make what they “feel” true.

It doesn’t even demonstrate that they really “feel” that. It could be pure rhetoric all the way down.

Yes, we know that there are shockingly many people who make frenzied catastrophizing claims about their Very Existence being threatened, and we also know that’s one of the signs this “activism” is irrational and dangerously aggressive. Gender critical feminists don’t assault trans activists; the same cannot be said in reverse.

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