This morning I RT’d a thread by a Scottish trans person about the futility of arguing with transphobes on Twitter. They’re right, of course. There is no point in arguing with someone who isn’t engaging in good faith and doesn’t want to listen to what you have to say. That point was made very forcibly by another tweet I saw in which a trans woman was told that proving anti-trans people wrong was a form of “rape”, because it violated their “autonomy of opinion”. The whole discourse jumped the shark long ago.
The problem with the UK at the moment is that this sort of thing isn’t just true of Twitter, it has permeated the whole of society. There’s the BBC, for example, where transphobic journalists are allowed to make their own news and then report dishonestly on it as if it were unconnected with them. And then there’s the courts.
I had written something about the shameful decision by the High Court on medical treatment for trans youth, but I haven’t published it. What’s the point? If you want a medical view, here’s a very good one from an Australian doctor. Experts in trans health from countries such as the USA and Canada will say very similar things. But the court decision was easily predictable from the fact that they refused to allow trans advocates to testify, but did take “expert” testimony from people whose only qualifications were membership of anti-trans organisations.
Because of the work I do, I see quite a bit of this sort of thing from the inside, and it is everywhere right now. Organisations go through the motions, but it is very clear that decisions have been made in advance, and reports are written to justify the results that are required. Engaging in due process gets you nowhere.
It isn’t just trans people, of course. The same sort of thing is being done to the Windrush families, to the families of the Grenfell fire victims, and to many other victims of the current government’s passion for cruelty. I worry a lot about my friends of European heritage who are still in the UK, because they are going to be made scapegoats for the Brexit disaster.
There are still people who are able to engage in the political process, and some are kindly willing to carry on fighting for others even though the game is clearly rigged against them. For those of us on the bottom of the pile, however, self-care needs to come first. Enjoy the holidays, folks. Next year is going to be brutal.