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The trans lobby is frankly brilliant at propaganda. They have shoutable slogans (“Trans Women are Women!” “No Terfs on our Turf”), & emotive sayings ( “better a healthy daughter than a dead son”). What they don’t have is a set of cohesive ideas.
They have a mythos: a set of stories that explain clearly what they want to convey. A girl trapped in a boy’s body.Colonial conspiracy to invent Sex.The legend of Cis. These grab the attention because humans love stories. We need them, as surely as we need bread&roses.
They offer parables people can believe in that are designed to appeal to their audience. Yet, who are they for when they are so harmful? They don’t mention rate of desistance among dysphoric children or the seriousness of the drugs.They don’t rail against stereotypes.
They don’t talk about the reality of the bodies we inhabit,they talk about something akin to a soul.They ignore co-morbid mental health issues or the pain being experienced by trans people&conjure the spectre of misgendering instead.These are not stories designed for trans people
Even where they’re created by them. Pronoun badges& “living as a woman”. It’s frothy stuff. Like the bubbles on the water. The real stuff, including the things we feel circumspect about are the things that can’t be discussed. We are deviating from the script when we raise them.
The people who have concerns are dismissed as alt right or powerful bigots or insignificant or rabid women. The tale grows taller, until suddenly all this rage is reserved for uppity women, & none of it is on the men hurting trans people.
Or directed at the lack of proper research or specific resources in society for them as a population group.For such a visible group,with so many people screaming about rights,there aren’t a lot of people demanding we tackle medical wait times,or offer more thorough counselling
Or provide resources for their specific needs. Or talking about how they are invisible in data as a distinct group.All of the focus is on getting other people to accept the mythos&speak as if they do.
For trans people who buy into that,surely it is the most incredible act of desperation.Wanting to hurt less makes total sense to me.That making everyone tiptoe around them is the option they’re offered is unreasonable. As unreasonable as the behaviour we then have to put up with.
We have a group of vulnerable people, who in one study were found to have an 81.4 percent rate of personality disorders & an average of 3 diagnoses per person (a review of studies found the rate to be between 3-66 percent). Many of whom are suicidal.
They belong to a population with high rates of HIV, can struggle with poverty, housing and employment, and are often ostracised from human connection in one way or another. So, what are we doing for them, really, as a society, besides glamorising their experiences&lying to them?
Most of the initiatives for trans folks we read about don’t tackle any of these things. Or the other serious issues they are facing. Instead they try to force other people to believe things that don’t make sense to believe & cheerlead while they do it.
The biggest problem facing trans people right now doesn’t seem to be transphobia, to me. It seems to be indifference to, and a complete unwillingness to recognise, the scope&nature of their suffering. Anything truly dark they are experiencing is swept under the rug.
There are so many issues with the ideology being pushed, that we will keep raising until something is done, but the people in the centre of this are not the problem. They are result of a total lack of care for, or engagement with, the reality of what is happening to them.
Women really are collateral damage here, and we are being allowed to be because it is easier to let women be imposed upon than it is to put time, effort, money and concern into helping a group of people who are not waving, but drowning, every single day.
When we look at the level of insanity we are currently wrestling with, what we are really looking at is what happens when a group of people whose pain is consistently untreated get to control the conversation, while society simultaneously does not actually try to help them.
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