In January, a woman was photographed holding a sign at the Vancouver Women’s March that included the words, “Trans ideology is misogyny.” This might be viewed as a hyperbolic message for those who consider themselves good, liberal people and who care about a group they have been informed are in extreme danger, and particularly marginalized. And perhaps, if you were unfamiliar with the way women and feminists are addressed by trans activists, you might wonder what statements like this are rooted in. A few years ago, I might have questioned this as well, thinking, “well that’s a bit much, isn’t it.” But as trans activism has gained ground and as I myself — as well as many other women — have begun questioning and speaking out about the aims, ideology, and policies supported in the name of “trans rights,” it has become impossible to deny what is being supported through trans activism: violence against women.
Liberals and the left have broadly defended violence against women as “art” or “sex,” though perhaps in a less overt way than they have outright threats of violence to feminists who wish to question or discuss the notion of gender identity. Pornography, for example, is one area where violence and abuse is consistently defended on account of it being “sex,” “fantasy,” or “free speech.” The ability of men and their allies to avoid viewing a woman being choked, hit, or gang-raped as “real violence” because it is connected to men’s desire and masturbation is without bounds. Similarly, the notion that a man offering a women financial compensation in exchange for permission to abuse her is framed time and time again as “consent,” regardless of the impact on that woman and the broader message this practice sends to all men and women, everywhere.
What is unique about the approach we’ve seen in the trans movement is that it doesn’t attempt to disguise the incitements to violence against women with rhetoric around “consent” and “empowerment.”
The threats of violence against women, on account of having been branded “TERFs,” are frightening not only because we must fear for our physical safety or because of the way these threats act as a silencing mechanism, but because this violence is not being condemned, by and large, by most.
While the San Fransisco Public Library removed the bloody shirt, they did not remove the exhibit entirely, nor do we know why anyone imagined such a display would be appropriate in the first place. One wonders if they would display bloody shirts with the words, “Kill bitches” or “I beat Muslims” next to a display of baseball bats and axes.
Will liberals and progressives stand up before this gets worse? I fear not.