Talking Gender

Yesterday I received a message from an amazing women, 'A.,' who reached out to me, concerned that my recent battles on social media were maybe getting me down. She is perceptive. Yes, this past few weeks have taken their toll on me - and I can only imagine this comes as good news to those who made it their mission to make things tough for me. I have taken a position on the so-called gender debate many people really do not like. While I have my reservations about some of the content of gender theory, I am unwilling to stay quiet while perfectly innocent transgender people are subjected to the most appalling abuse from people who believe they are defending women's rights.

Rosa’s ‘Apologia’

The apologia pro vita sua is an apologetic — a formal defence or justification of a theory or doctrine. The article I was sharing with Rosa was a defence of my position. I was explaining why I have taken the position I have on this debate, and that is that I do not accept the biological essentialism of the gender critical people and nor do I uncritically endorse everything about gender theory. What I am against is hatred and bigotry. I stand by this apologia.

Positionality in the Gender Debate

Clearly this is a subject the internet has opinions about. Since 25 October 2020, when I first engaged in this discussion, I have lost somewhere in the region of two thousand Twitter followers, been on the receiving end of a handful of stressful dog-piles, and have experienced a shunning (where online followers are either too nervous or too angry to like or retweet anything posted by the shunned) — all indications of the internet’s displeasure. Lots of people in every corner of this furious argument have suffered similar, and sometimes worse, experiences.

Was Muhammad a Paedophile?

Now, perhaps some reading this will see a clear cut example of the Austrian legal system and the ECHR giving undue protection to a religion. After all, the default age of consent set by the European Union is sixteen. It is sixteen in Scotland. On the surface, then, this may look open-and-shut; this is an example of and adult having sex with a minor. It is difficult today to separate this from the neo-orientalist anxiety surrounding child brides, and so it is at least understandable why some people arrive at the conclusion that this was paedophilia.

The Great Conspiracy

The proposition is that the Scottish National Party — the party in government in Scotland, headed by Nicola Sturgeon — has been captured by an ‘entryist cabal’ which aims to push through policies which advance the objectives of a gender or trans ideology, and that the Scottish government is doing this in full knowledge that such legislation will be detrimental to the health and wellbeing — and to the lives — of women and girls. We see, especially on social media, a preponderance of this particular vocabulary (which we discussed in the last article).

Flying with the Crows

The anti-gender movement has by innovation and borrowing manufactured its own in-speak, a language and vocabulary that at once fosters among its members a sense of belonging and provides them with a particular phraseology by which to communicate and articulate the ideas of the movement. This, of course, is useful to the observer in that it permits us to identify strands of thought which are native to the group, inherited from the wider group or groups from which it emerged, and those that it borrows or shares with other groups which are influencing it.

This is Not Women’s Rights

For no other reason than for being a trans-woman, Millar sees Veronica Ivy as ‘creepy.’ This is a person she has never met, and no doubt Veronica Ivy has never heard of her (well, maybe she has now). She is creepy for being transgender, and so, by extension, it is reasonable to conclude that Millar and trans-exclusionary radical feminists like her see all transgender women as men who are sexually inappropriate, perverted, and who attempt to gain sexual gratification by using women’s toilets and getting their nails done in beauty parlours.

Cogito Ergo Vinco

Regular readers of the Random Public Journal will no doubt be aware of the personal crisis I have experienced in the aftermath of the last election. My desire to see the creation of a supermajority for independence in Holyrood was crushed. Once again the movement lapped up the honeyed promises of the SNP, and once again the SNP stopped talking about independence as soon as the election was over. This and the endless vitriol from gender critical activists online have driven me into a pit of despair.