Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Westboro Baptist TERFs

Just when you think TERFs cannot sink any further into their cesspit of ignorance and fanaticism they surprise me and do so. Although having said that they also do not surprise me, if you see what I mean. This time one of the most fanatical TERFs has set up a website which appropriates the murder of trans people. Sickening. In my opinion the product of a badly diseased mind.

I'm not going to link to it here, it does not deserve additional publicity. This site imposes its own interpretations of the deaths of trans people and, simplistically as usual, puts the deaths of trans people down to the essentialist concept of "male violence". This is an oversimplification the likes of which led one particularly ignorant UK-based TERF to say that trans people should not exist because they "obcure the clear lines of oppression of women." It is also a deliberate misrepresentation of the reasons that trans people are murdered.

Aside from the fact that some trans people are murdered by women, including a Spanish trans man who was tortured to death by two women a few years ago, and the women who were part of the medical teams that have refused to treat trans victims of accidents, it is wrong because it obscures the reasons trans people are murdered which are largely structural and cultural.

The majority of trans people are murdered because they are forced to exist in vulnerable situations. The bulk, in excess of 80%, of recorded trans murders are in Latin America. They are usually murdered because they live in vulnerable situations and, for cultural ressons, do not have the protection of the police. Many trans women in particular, are forced into sex work because they are denied access to employment and education. It is likely that a significant number, if not the majority, of those who deny them access to education, are women (since women tend to predominate in employment in schools and colleges). This has the result that they have nowhere else to go but survival sex. Doing sex work leaves them particularly vulnerable, especially to drive-by shootings and murder caused by unusually violent clients. This does not merely result in death but in huge numbers of trans people being injured in such attacks every year.

This is not a product of the simplistic concept of "male violence"; an essentialising concept which seeks to position all men as inherently violent, something which is simply not the case, it is a result of the structure of society and its cisgenderist culture.

The problem, which makes the Westboro Baptist TERFs action even more sickening, is that back in the  US in the 1980s, under the Reagan administration it was TERFs who connived with this particularly nasty, and indeed misogynistic, right-wing government, to withdraw medical services for many of the poorest trans people. This resulted in them having to resort to sex work in order to pay for treatment. So the TERFs are the ones who were responsible for the extremely high murder rate of, particularly black and Hispanic, trans people. The hypocrisy is mind-numbing.

To then seek to appropriate the murders of trans people for their own simplistic and essentialising purposes places them beneath contempt.

I can't imagine that they can sink any lower than this. But I am sure they will...