In Hadley Freeman’s column for The Guardian today, which is International Trans Visibility Day, she presents men (‘woke bros’, apparently, when we support trans rights) as showing their male privilege when they condemn TERFs – trans-exclusionary radical feminists – as bigots. The opinion piece is an incendiary provocation given not only its content but the timing of its publication.
I know how TERFs behave. They’re actively, viciously prejudiced against trans women and I don’t like haters of any kind. It’s that simple. Yet, apparently according to Freeman, men who condemn attacks on trans women by exclusionary cisgendered women believe ‘the feelings of self-identified trans women are… the only ones that matter’. No. We really don’t. Perhaps if TERFs considered the feelings and views and lived experiences of others to be as important as their own, we might get somewhere positive.
Of course, what Freeman is doing is nailing her transphobic colours to the mast. And getting paid for prejudice. Her ugly side had been showing previously but not to this degree.
For all the talk in the article of what men think and say, there isn’t a single quote from a man. What Freeman wants is for men to be silent and not involve themselves, not express opinions, not be allies to trans women when they’re fending off assaults both verbal and physical by TERFs. No way. If you’re going to attack vulnerable and oppressed groups, there are men – straight, gay, bi, asexual, poly, and more – who will stand against you and how dare you invoke the argument that we’re using male privilege when we are acting out of good conscience?
No wonder The Guardian hasn’t opened comments on Freeman’s guff, even though it’s an opinion piece and they usually do with those.