Anti-Trans or Anti-Man? Hard to Tell
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Anti-trans or anti-man? With feminists like Posie Parker, it can be hard to tell
Posie Parker is a British women’s rights activist and until recently a committed leftist-feminist who has been in the news lately alongside other feminists who object to trans women in women’s spaces. Not long ago she was interviewed on a podcast called Triggernometry with comedian hosts Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster. There, she made some valid points about the radical trans agenda, especially concerning children encouraged to transition at very young ages, and biological males competing in women’s sports, but her position seems to rest largely on uncritical gynocentrism and, unfortunately, a hefty dose of man-blaming.
At one point, she was asked how a female-presenting trans woman using a ladies’ public washroom—not speaking to anyone, not interacting with anyone, simply going into a private stall—can be deemed an intimidating presence. She could do little more than emote about safe spaces and the unspecified threat presented by any biological male. Only someone fully convinced that her experience as a woman matters far more than anyone else’s experience could use “what matters to ME” as an argument.
Near the end of the interview, Parker was asked whether she thought that feminists had any responsibility for the virulent conflict over trans rights that has arisen within leftist-feminism. In her answer, she claimed that “loads of MRAs” were certainly delighted at the attacks she had received, even including a visit to the police station in which she was lectured about the possible criminal consequences of her “hatred.”
To be clear, I am not happy that Parker has had such a hard time, and frankly I find it hard to believe that “loads of” MRAs are happy about it either. Most MRAs are too busy with real issues like male suicide to pay much attention to feminists’ internal squabbles. But I can understand why some MRAs, accustomed over years to feminist accusation and abuse, might find that their hearts do not bleed for Posie Parker.
Parker did admit that “a little bit of her” felt that feminism had invited its own demise with its all-consuming preoccupation with women as victims. This is a step forward, one must admit, though it’s somewhat unsettling that it took her until just recently to realize that many feminist claims are exaggerated, even lunatic.
But Parker was quick to backtrack on even this rather limited skepticism about feminism by saying that the real issue of trans aggression was “men’s fault.” Yes, feminists had opened the door with their holy cult of victimhood, but that didn’t excuse the “men,” so called, from adopting the same rhetoric. This is exactly the kind of anti-male thinking that makes it difficult to sympathize fully with Parker.
Notably, Parker makes no distinctions here between the general population of men, the very small percentage of the male population who were born male but consider themselves trans (and simply want to live as women, not bothering anyone), and the even smaller percentage who are radical trans activists who cause trouble for all. The experiences and attitudes of these groups are completely different, and conflating them simply supports the feminist obsession with blaming “patriarchy.”
Parker’s reflex bias in favor of women and against men is flaunted throughout the interview, in which she expresses various crude stereotypes about men that would never be tolerated if uttered by a man about women: she claimed at one point that men are dirtier than women, for example—a ludicrous statement left to stand by the interviewers; she claimed that men can’t distinguish trans women from real women because the only things men notice are makeup and boobs; she alleged that men use words like “penetrate” and speak aggressively, as women supposedly never do.
Parker makes no secret of the fact that she feels far more empathy for women than for men. In this, of course, she is not unusual, and it seems that the two male interviewers were happy to support her bias. Notably, Parker BROUGHT forward not one iota of evidence to prove that HAVING trans women in women’s bathrooms has resulted in harm to women.
So why might some MRA’s take satisfaction in Parker’s persecution by some radical trans activists? Parker is outraged that as a person on the Left, she has been called a hater and a bigot merely for telling the truth as she sees it. It is outrageous, indeed, that standing up against an aggressive ideology makes one a target for social media sanction, police visits, and persecution.
But what Parker and her interviewers likely do not know or care about is that for decades this has been the lot of anyone who dared to offer robust criticism of feminism, especially in relation to men’s issues, and the radical feminists who are now vociferating most angrily about the trans agenda were perfectly fine with the silencing of critics of their ideology; and they were perfectly fine colluding to sideline the voices of men suffering because of feminist policies and laws, whether the issue was parental alienation, false allegations, male suicide, male victimization in domestic violence, male homelessness, and so on. Feminists told us for years that these were problems that men created for themselves, a convenient way of saying, without admitting it, that they simply didn’t care about men.
Feminists also told us until they were red in the face that gender was a social construct, and that anybody who said otherwise was an oppressor of women. The social constructionist thesis was used to support charges of sexism against any sought-after industry or field of study where women weren’t represented equally to men. Anybody who pointed out that men were stronger than women, or had different intellectual abilities, or had different hormones, resulting in different behaviors and attitudes, was howled at and vilified.
Now suddenly biology is back, and Parker can affirm with a straight face that men and women are very different, and that she can tell just by looking at someone whether they are really female or not. Suddenly Parker is all for obeying the gender rules of society; but of course the rules she wants obeyed are those that restrict men’s behavior and privilege women, not the other way around.
For a long time, feminists couldn’t have cared less about free speech because their speech was always protected, and any speech critical of feminism was to be suppressed. Feminists even alleged that allowing students to form men’s issues groups on university campuses to discuss men’s issues made universities “unsafe” for women, as if a few non-feminist men and women talking together would provoke rape and violence. I never once heard a feminist defend a campus men’s group or anything pro-male on a university campus.
At the same time, feminists were aggressive in their attacks on male spaces, whether these were male clubs or workplaces, sports or recreational activities. Men rarely objected, but if they did, they were slandered as misogynists. Female sports reporters were in men’s change rooms, feminist mediocrities harangued young men about the video games they played, and feminists insisted that all workplaces must change not only to allow women entry but to make sure that women felt comfortable, even if that meant lowering standards or changing the workplace culture beyond recognition. Men who didn’t feel good about any of these changes were told: too bad. Anyone who tried to argue that men had a right to their own spaces, that these were healthy and necessary, became the object of derision. Over time, most men accepted second-class status, and the Posie Parkers of the world didn’t even notice.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly it’s not so pleasant being told you’re a hate criminal merely for expressing an opinion. Welcome to the world feminism created, and that’s why some might take grim satisfaction in Parker’s troubles. Parker regrets that feminists opened the door to “men” as she calls them, to use the same rhetoric and tactics feminists have used. Big deal. Unfortunately, her basic view about women’s right to greater social compassion than men, and women’s right over men to dictate social reality, doesn’t seem to have changed much at all.