why I’m transphobic critical

**Post update 2nd April 2017. Since this was published, the original post it critiqued by The Arbourist has been changed. His title has changed from “Why I am tran critical” to “Why I am gender critical”. The post content also appears altered although I can’t be sure. I invite Arb to explain in the comments below.**

these tweets by transactivists are the embodiment of male entitlement mixed with the inherent narcissism of identity politics (IP being the polar opposite of effective Feminism) (The Arbourist)

The Arbourist provides a lesson for all of us on the harm of setting up a class of people as ‘the enemy’ and using the internet to trawl for ‘proof’ they are ‘bad’. I should know, I’ve done it often enough myself.

If there is any group of people we instinctively don’t like – maybe because someone who shares their characteristics has harmed us, maybe because we’ve read a few stories we don’t like about them, or maybe because we immerse ourselves in hate-filled information about them – it’s easy to seek out more incriminating titbits to feed our confirmation bias.

Being an atheist and a feminist, I’ve done my fair share of posts criticising Christianity and also the current sexist structures in society – and in doing so I have more than frequently crossed the lines into criticising Christians as a group, and men as a group. And I’m going to hold my hands up and acknowledge this is wrong. We don’t do anyone any favours by painting whole groups of people with any shared characteristics as ‘evil’ or the ‘the enemy’.

So, when it comes to Arb and his other transphobic buddies’ deeply hateful posts about members of the trans community, I’m shocked on several levels:

  • there’s always the implication that any words and actions of certain individuals they manage to scrape up represent everyone who falls under the label ‘trans’.
  • there’s always the implication that anyone who identifies themselves as trans is wrong about themselves.
  • there’s always the implication that identifying as trans is harmful for feminism and society as a whole.
  • there’s always a deep, abiding and disturbing sense of hate underpinning every keystroke.
  • there is never a sense of acknowledgment that trans people in general are a part of a group of people who have traditionally suffered immensely on the margins of society, and who still face huge levels of discrimination and hate crimes.

For all these reasons, and many more, I’m deeply critical of transphobic rhetoric.

I’d nevertheless like to thank Arb for making it painfully obvious to me where I share these irrational tendencies. I hope I can learn a lesson from his disturbingly discriminatory posts, and never again tar all Christians, men or any other group of people with the same wayward brush.