Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Hypocrisy: My opinion of Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans

In my opinion the question is not whether Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans of Leicester University is a hypocrite but how much of a hypocrite she is. 

In her disingenuous article on the University of Leicester website she effectively criticises Caitlyn Jenner for having a normaitve appearance. The implication being that all trans people should have non-normative appearences in order to undermine the Patriarchy or whatever her brand of feminism wants. Apparently for her trans people are the shock troops of some Radical Feminist assault on whatever it is they want to take on. We are to be sent over the top into no-man’s land with no protection from the machine-guns of patriarchical oppression; trans people should present in some kind of non-normative way, and be clearly identifiable as such, and be mown down by the violent males of the patriarchy. 

Subversivism is a problem for trans people, not all trans people want to undermine the patriarchy in the way she wants, and most of those who do are quite capable of deciding for themselves how they will do it thank you. I suspect Caitlyn Jenner sitting in a sports car wearing a red minidress is doing more to undermine the patriarchy than a whole sewer full of TERF academics.

After all, according to Brunskell-Evans’ in her attempt to undermine the patriarchy the logical people to recruit cause are, or course, the 0.5% of the population that consists of trans women, rather than the 50%-odd of the population who are cis women (or indeed the other approx 50% who are cis men). I haven’t seen Brunskell-Evans single out any cis women on the cover of Vanity Fair for her critique, so why is she picking on Caitlyn Jenner? Smells like the odour of double-standards to me.

Of course her article dredges up the old discredited TERF transphobic canard of “autogynephilia”, which properly marks her out as a TERF, just in case there were any doubt and she deliberately misgenders Caitlyn at the start of her article too, the usual treatment trans people have come to expect from transphobic bigots, however much they pretend to be allies. 

However Dr Brunskell-Evans’ article also reflects the current TERF trend of presenting transphobes as the victims of the “trans police”. If only. Other minority groups get protected from the sort of language trans people are told they have to put up with on a daily basis in the media. No-one thinks twice about condemning someone if they start spouting homophobic language in the press, yet somehow trans people are fair game for abuse and harassment and are portrayed as totalitarian when we fight back. And this apparently “Radical” Feminist is prepared to cite and support a hard-right-wing libertarian, who doubtless supports the kind of neoliberalism she ostensibly criticises.

Yup, hypocrisy in layers, buckets, shedloads, multilayered hypocrisy, but the big one is the one not immediately apparent; this is Dr Brunskell-Evans on the University of Leicester website; hammy not exactly non-normative, as you can see, especially not uncisnormative. 

But I guess that is OK, she can tell others to be non-normative while remaining within the relative safety of her normative appearance. "You can be marked and Othered, you can be a target, you can make yourselves vulnerable, I will continue to pass safely." 

Lovely.

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