Saturday, 30 January 2010
Doubtless Bindel will use this in another article in the Guardian or Standpoint to crap on trans people (even though it was not only trans people who have a problem with her). This is her stock-in-trade, she cannot win the argument so she provokes... classic tactics used by the morally dubious, from Goebbells to Palin, claiming to be the victim of bullying when she is the one with access to national media.
So what happens next? Let us be clear, we are at war. This is not just about an evil individual using her power over one of the most disenfranchised and downtrodden communities, in an attempt to define us in the way she would like to. It goes a whole lot further than that. Last night I spoke to one of the representatives of the sex worker community and he described how she had been instrumental in having the law changed to make life more difficult for sex workers. Life for these people is now apparently measurably worse.
This is about Julie Bindel's campaign to have Gender Reassignment Surgery removed from NHS funding. This was the purpose of the incredibly badly written and distorted article in Standpoint Magazine, a hard-right wing organ apparently established to influence an incoming Tory government, which, despite the veneer and airbrushing, is going to be as nasty and right-wing as Thatcher's. This article was clearly intended to establish her credentials as an anti-trans journalist, who would be able to assist the Tories with making "cost savings" to the NHS budget by getting rid of GRS. It is worth noting that the Taxpayers Alliance, the Tory Party's alter ego, has been publishing costs of GRS in various NHS areas around the country.
Cometh the hour cometh the Bindel. Assisting the Tories to achieve these cost savings (at the cost of lives) will be just the boost her career needs. This woman clearly has ambitions along the lines of Melanie Phillips, yet she has one attribute which Mel P does not; she is a lesbian and as such will be seen as someone who can write about us with credibility. The value to the Tories of Julie Bindel in this situation will be immense. Trying to remove GRS from the NHS will generate a lot of negative publicity and some Tory MPs will come under pressure from constituents affected by the changes. Being able to find someone who, however dubiously, can give them some kind of justification for doing this will be God's gift to Cameron.
Julie Bindel's next career move is planned, her positioning ready to take advantage of a Tory government, the sky is the limit, she will achieve greatness over the dead bodies of transgender people.
Our reaction? This is something which needs to be set in train very quickly. We need a united national organisation which can speak for all, or pretty much all, transgender people, and their supporters. PfC has been very successful up to now in improving things for trans people, but they have achieved this success with a Labour government not a reactionary Tory one. What is required now is not a fight for more but a defence of what we have and that is going to be achieved not merely through rational considered argument and political lobbying, which PfC and others have done very well, we need a bigger voice, we need to be able to shout as loud as Bindel, so that when her campaign (no doubt coordinated with the Taxpayers Alliance and Central Office) to have GRS removed from the NHS starts in earnest we can make our voices heard.
We need a national organisation not merely because then we will have much better opportunities to get our voices heard in the media, but also will be able to show unity in the face of the inevitable provocation which Bindel will engage in. As a community we will need to be disciplined and well organised.
Back in November, I was at a conference in Sweden about trans issues and there I met a group of people from Ireland who had formed a national trans organisation there. In a country with a much greater degree of hostility to us than the UK they have been able to achieve much greater progress for trans people than anyone could have expected. A national trans organisation has also resulted in them being able to bid for funds from the EU which has helped their cause immensely and resulted in a greater unity amongst all trans people in Ireland. It is time we did the same. We need to establish a similar organisation in the UK, bid for funds and start to employ people to deal with the media and to put our points across more forcefully, countering Bindel's lies, provocations and disingenuous distortions. We will need a properly established constitution and democratic elections to an executive, but there are constitutions of other national organisations which we can borrow and adapt. We have people in our community who have experience in running trans organisations on a smaller scale, we need their expertise and experience to turn to something larger.
If the opinion polls are correct we could be operating in a much more hostile political environment soon, the brick wall we hit with the Equality Bill is just a small foretaste of what is to come. Make no mistake, over the next few years trans people will be under attack from all sides. Now is the time to get organised and make a fight of it.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
So let us examine someone who speaks for two of these groups; a lesbian feminist.
“There is a false power which masculine society offers to a few women who “think like men” on condition that they use it to maintain things as they are. This is the meaning of female tokenism: that power withheld from the vast majority of women is offered to a few…”
...said Adrienne Rich in 1979. She might have been describing the sad life story of the Lesbian Feminist Separatist of the 21st century, reduced to the status of hired assasin. With calculated duplicity, she decides that being able to bring to the attention of broadsheet-readers the problems of rape and domestic violence is worth the sacrifice of the lives of transgender people. Access to the media, to write about the ultimate act of violent masculine hegemony, the violation of women’s bodies, is worth the sacrifice of the lives of transgender people. If I join with the oppressors, show my colours, demonstrate to them that I am one of them, that I am willing to exercise the same power of hegemony as a cisgendered member of the gender binary, they will permit me to write about those within their ranks who take male hegemony a step too far (and in doing so undermine the cause of male dominance).
It was her decision, yet it was not a decision which was hers to make.
She will make a healthy career from pretending to speak for the subaltern, but they can be sure she is one of them, as Margaret Thatcher would say. In the final analysis she will maintain the order of things, their order. She will shit on those below her just as they shit on her, and this can be used against her, if she ever tries to cross the line, to really challenge their dominance, just as the dictator forces those around him to commit crimes from which there is no way back. As Spivak said;
“The putative center welcomes selective inhabitants of the margin in order better to exclude the margin.”
The real enemy are those who would threaten the very atoms of male domination by removing its foundations at a molecular level, if men can become women and women men and other genders, our naturally assumed power is but a chimera, a trick of history. But who can take on this threat, who can rid us of these troublesome trannies? By criticising them we become open to easy accusations of gayness, which would never do!
Up to the mark steps The Lesbian Feminist Separatist. The doer of men’s dirty work. The men watch silently and smile, the foundations of their castle safe from disintegration, the power of the Phallic maintained and defended at two removes, they don’t even need to fire a shot.
But what will this Pied Piper of masculine domination want in return? The rapists, the pervs, the scumbags they would rather do without anyway, throw to the lions this sacrifice, a punishment for humiliating us by raping our sisters, wives, daughters or mothers. Payback time.
The calculation by her? Much simpler. I hate rapists. If I do your dirty work and take on the trannies, will you let me crush the rapists, pervs and associated male scumbags? After all these trannies’ lives must be so miserable that they are happier dead anyway…
Deal, a calculated betrayal, an esprit fasciste and a token woman and lesbian is admitted to the inner circle at once defending it and legitimising it. A win-win situation. For some.
But who pays and who wins? The transgendered pay, the male hegemonists win, and they don’t even have to play. Feminism’s soul is sold and it becomes protector of that which it once sought to change. As the trans people seek to explain their apparently complex lives to those who take rigid gender assignations as given as gravity or the air that we breathe, the defender of the status quo, the protector of the hegemony drowns out their voices with loud, shrill, distorted one liners and externally imposed misdescriptions of who we are, located in Daily Mail “commonsense” and expounded Jan Moir style with innuendo in place of fact and insinuation in place of understanding. She does her duty well.
To explain oneself is to exist, to be-in-the-world, to deny a people the possibility of explaining themselves is to deny their existence, to nullify and vaporise, a cultural genocide which threatens to become a real genocide.
Saturday, 9 January 2010
To be given the title "Most Dishonest Politician" is quite a feat these days; there is a lot of serious competition out there, however sometimes a particular politician rises to the occasion with levels of dishonesty which would shame Geoffrey Archer.