Today, Reader, I bring you a tale of two young women—one Canadian, one American. Both are as smart as the proverbial whips and, more important, heroically resistant to extraordinary pressure by trans activists to disappear them from public life.
Their common “crime” is insisting on the right of women to be acknowledged as a unique phylum in the human biological kingdom, with lesbians as a unique class therein, i.e. female homosexuals, biological women who love biological women.
It amazes me as I write these words that this is a right that needs defending, but such is the pace of women-erasure in the trans activist movement, that what was a commonplace assumption even five years ago is now being treated as a form of hate speech amongst cultural and political elites (and those in media and institutional life who pander to them).
My Canadian subject is outspoken Vancouver feminist blogger Meghan Murphy. In October, to regain access to her Twitter account, Murphy was forced to delete tweets, such as “Women aren’t men,” and “What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” (An estimated 80% of individuals identifying as transwomen retain male genitalia.)
Murphy is continually bullied by trans activists, who for example attempted to sabotage a talk she was slated to give at the Vancouver Public Library in January. They failed, and her presentation was enthusiastically received by a full house. Rational people respond favourably to her message. Small wonder her adversaries are so desperate to see her disappeared from social media.
Murphy has launched a lawsuit against Twitter, which permanently banned her because she “misgendered” a trans activist male-to-female provocateur, who has identified on social media as both male and female. The transwoman’s outlandish aggression against waxologists who refused to wax “her” genitals gained notoriety and intervention in a resulting Human Rights Tribunal case by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (on whose board I sit), which prompted the mischief-maker to withdraw his complaint.
The lawsuit is an important test of Twitter’s relationship with freedom of speech. As a writer, Murphy told an interviewer, she is dependent on Twitter as a “public square…where conversation happens. I can’t share my work now.” Many critics have pointed out that there is no consistency in Twitter’s standards for what is or is not offensive. The social-media giant’s extraordinary sensitivity to the demands of trans activists is at painful variance with, say, their indifference to, or dilatory response to actual hate speech. Twitter did not, for one instance of many, take any action against Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for his use on Twitter of the word “termites” as applied to Jews.
Murphy’s lawsuit alleges that Twitter “covertly made sweeping changes to its Hateful Conduct Policy sometime in late October 2018, banning, for the first time ‘misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.’ This new policy banned expression of a political belief and perspective held by a majority (54 per cent, according to a 2017 Pew Research poll) of the American public: that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth … (Twitter) retroactively enforced its new policy against the plaintiff in this case, Meghan Murphy.”
Of the swift action taken against her, Murphy stated: “The whole situation destroys women’s rights. I don’t even see how we can uphold women’s rights if there is no cohesive definition for women.” Her concerns include the right of girls and women to their own safe spaces—multi-stall bathrooms, locker rooms, shelters and prisons—and the right to a level playing field in sports. Although I am sure there is much that Murphy and I, a frequent critic of feminism’s negative effects on our culture, would disagree on, we are as Thelma and Louise on the escalating public marginalization of women, especially lesbians, by the trans movement.
So far, here in North America, threats of being dragged before human rights tribunals have not morphed into actual arrest and imprisonment as we have seen happen in England, but close observers of what looks to me like a mass hysteria will not be surprised if that happens here one of these Kafkaesque days.
(Full disclosure: I was banned from Twitter for 24 hours for impulsively using the word “bodysnatched” in a tweet—a provocative and charged word, to be sure. The context was my perception of the trans movement’s active recruitment of gender non-conforming children, particularly effeminate boys, who are likely to evolve as gay, and who are instead gently herded toward a dysphoria-suggestive chute leading to Transland, courtesy of the Gender Unicorn and controversial education programs like SOGI123. I am also on record as deeply concerned about adolescent girls with suspiciously rapid onset gender dysphoria [ROGD], to which troubled lesbian girls are disproportionately susceptible.)
As a rather amusing aside, in its account of her suit, the National Post referred to Murphy as “associated with the right-wing intellectual Dark web movement through the publication Quillette.” Quillette does not consider itself to be right-wing, but rather a non-partisan proponent of freedom of speech, and a resource for readers seeking evidence-based rational discourse on charged issues, such as trans ideology and the hostility of its proponents to dissent, as well as the trans movement’s worrying relationship with homosexuality.
It is called right-wing only because so much of left-wing ideology is theory- rather than evidence-based, and because it is only the left that argues for speech suppression on the grounds of dissenting opinion. A recently posted Quillette piece—evidence-based, of course—demonstrates that Twitter does in fact exhibit a pronounced bias in favour of progressives and their views.
The case of Baltimore-based Julia Beck illuminates what can happen in civic life to a principled lesbian who refuses to be linguistically steamrollered by trans activists. Like Meghan Murphy, Julia holds to scientific truths being plowed under by the gender-fluidity juggernaut. Beck sees the “queering” of the LGBTQ movement as having produced a kind of lifestyle buffet mashup, in which everything—gay, bi-sexual, trans, drag—is on offer, and all of it completely untethered to DNA.
I had never heard of 26-year old Julia Beck until I caught her short interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News Feb 11. Impressed by her intelligence and dignity, I turned to the article she wrote referenced in the interview, “How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore.”
Beck’s troubles began after university, she writes, when she was “ostracized from more social circles than my rapist (in a telephone interview, Beck confirmed that she is a rape survivor).” She raised hackles when she asked, “Why is a man named ‘Woman of the Year’?” (referring to Glamour Magazine’s award to Caitlin Jenner).
She lost a good friend because she refused to call herself “cisgender” (as I do. I don’t announce myself as “hearing” or “average-heighted” either.) It was a great relief, she wrote, to meet other women asking the same questions at potluck dinners, including, “Why are all the lesbians transitioning?”
In early 2018, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, started an LGBTQ Commission, meant to be as “inclusive” as possible. At the launch reception, transwoman Ava Pipitone, president of Baltimore’s Transgender Alliance (BTA), echoed Pugh’s sentiment. Many subjects were discussed, but, according to Beck, the word “lesbian” was never uttered.
A month later, Baltimore celebrated Pride, which was lavishly funded by corporations keen to establish their progressive credentials. Trans flags dominated the event. There were workshops for “queer” fun, “like vogueing and anal sex.” There was nothing specific to lesbians. On the contrary, the vibe was, Beck noted, “lesbian-exclusionary.”
Beck marched in the parade with friends, holding signs protesting lesbian erasure: “Lesbian NOT Queer,” “Violence Against Lesbians is an epidemic,” “Dykes Don’t Like Dick” and so forth. Beck and her friends stuck close to the mayor’s entourage, so were not harmed. Some people cheered them.
Others shouted, “Go home TERFs! (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, considered a slur).” Beck was doxed and some friends received threats on social media. Other protesting lesbians with similar signs at the San Francisco Dyke March were assaulted.
Beck stuck with the Commission, attending events and even getting elected as Co-Chair of the Law and Policy Committee. At one meeting Pipitone challenged her, demanding Beck name his sex. She said, “You’re male.” As they sparred, Beck mentioned Karen White, the notorious British transwoman who, though committed to life imprisonment as a “predatory and controlling” male rapist, upon announcing “her” new identity—yet still legally male—was assigned to a Women’s prison, where “she” sexually assaulted two more women.
Pipitone and some other gay men on the committee found Beck’s opinion that White and all biological males should be barred from women’s single-sex spaces meant to guarantee their privacy and security offensive, even “criminal.” Pipitone expressed concern with Beck’s committee leadership, claiming lesbianism and transgenderism were “incongruent political forces.”
He then accused Beck of crashing “our parades.” Having already admitted that lesbianism and transgenderism cannot co-exist in political harmony, he was affirming that Pride is now a vehicle for the Trans movement. It would seem that LGBT is the victim of a coup—and not a bloodless one either.
An emergency meeting was called. Beck was supported by a few feminists, but she knew the fix was in. One gay man said that “modern science debunked sex.” Another committee member, a transman, referring to her own vulva, said it was “masculine, and it’s a male and it’s a man.” Beck’s co-chair, Akil Patterson, a gay man, asked her, “[C]ould you in a responsible manner not publicly bring your internal language to a table of diversity?” He really meant, of course, could you not bring your diversity – your insistence on facts—to a table of a uniformly-approved internal language of fact-hostile feelings.
These stories of weaponized indignation have a surreal quality to them. How many medal-snatching male athletes on podiums will it take before female athletes reclaim their rightful competitive estate? (If transwomen claims that their male biology did not give them an advantage were valid, would we not also see transmen athletes in speed or strength-based sports on podiums?) How many rapists—evil but not necessarily stupid, and happy to take up their open invitation to penetrate Women’s prisons—will it take before the trans Furies come to their senses?
In our conversation, Beck told me that she sees the fussily feminine presentation of many transwomen as a gendered expression of “blackface,” which she explicitly calls “womanface.” Women do not—or should not—need elaborate makeup and high heels to prove they are women, says Beck. When men perpetuate a stereotype to demonstrate their womanhood that Beck associates with oppression, she feels existentially mocked and de-valued in the same way that black people do when white people appropriate their colour.
The word “womanface” shocked me at first, considering its provocative leverage of a word associated with racism and the horror of slavery. Is it a reasonable analogy? Upon consideration, I think the analogy is justifiable when one considers the stakes for all women inherent in the anti-scientific dogmas against which Beck and Murphy are dissenting. These dogmas are penetrating and transforming the institutions tasked with upholding justice, individual freedoms and public safety.
As the transformation progresses, it becomes clear that, apart from vulnerable children, women are the principal victims in a zero sum cultural game: the pace and reach of trans rights is directly proportionate to the pace and reach of the erasure of women as a distinct sex with immutable characteristics.
If a lesbian cannot say on Twitter that a transwoman is a male identifying as a woman, or find herself welcome at Pride or treated as an equal on an official civic committee, then no woman or her daughters will be safe from identity erasure of some kind in her lifetime—somehow, somewhere, some day—by the same tyrants who hate Murphy and Beck for the heterodoxy they represent.
Whether women are feminists or not, straight or lesbian, mono or bi, conservative or progressive, evangelical Christian or secular: If you do not want to see our sex culturally eradicated; or even if you disagree with Murphy and Beck, but believe in their right to speak their minds without fear of systemically-endorsed punishment, stand with these courageous women, and join your voice to theirs in solidarity.