Dr. Jane Clare Jones - Twitter, Trans Rights Totalitarianism, and the Erasure of Sex.
Posted: 27 Sep 2018 09:22
I will quote a part from the long blog post https://janeclarejones.com/2018/09/26/t ... re-of-sex/
So enter Twitter. Given the extent to which public discourse has been closed down around this issue, there are presently only a few significant online public spaces where there is anything resembling an open discussion around the nature and political implications of the trans rights movement. One of these is Twitter and the other the ‘Feminism and Women’s Rights’ boards on Mumsnet. As I’ve said before, it’s no accident that women who have created and fed other humans with their bodies are not buying this ‘bodies are politically irrelevant’ business – in fact, it’s an axiomatic non-accident, because what is at stake here is all about the political importance of reproduction, and the immemorial patriarchal erasure of the mother. ‘Mumsnet Towers’ have done a sterling job, in the face of persistent harassment by the trans rights movement, of defending the rights of women and mothers to name their bodies, the political importance of their bodies, and to analyse the political stakes of the erasure the trans rights movement is currently effecting. Unlike Twitter, however, Mumsnet caters to a particular segment of the population. It is not, as Twitter is, the 21st century virtual equivalent of the Greek agora – the public square where people (well men) came together to debate and discuss the political and philosophical issues thrown up by running their early, democratic city states.
For better or worse, Twitter is where we now do democracy – on a global (although very much tilted, like all global power, to the Western) scale. When the internet first took over our collective lives, there was a good deal of talk about its ‘democratising’ potential – and while that utopian promise has inevitably been corrupted by commerce, and, as in the case of Cambridge Analytica, by the collusion between social media corporations and nefarious political power, it’s not complete hogwash. For all its ills, the great virtue of Twitter is that anyone with a computer and a phoneline can get on there and start shouting. It has the capacity to connect people in power, and people with public voices, with people who have particular political interests, expertise and concerns. And it has the power, sometimes, to actually give direct political voice to people who otherwise would have none.
The resurgence of feminist activism at the beginning of this decade, was down, substantially, to Twitter. Almost the entirety of my feminist political life – the friendships I’ve made, the meetings I’ve attended, the writing I have been empowered to do and the audience it has found – has been down, substantially, to Twitter. The expression and organization of resistance to the impact of trans rights activism on the lives of women, girls, lesbians, and homosexual men, is organized, substantially, on Twitter. When people find themselves confounded or shocked by something they hear briefly on the news – that Lilly Madigan has become a Labour Party Women’s Officer, that a trans woman has assaulted four women in a female jail, that Pips Bunce has won an award for being a female executive although he is a transvestite and not actually a female person – they come to Twitter. And on Twitter they find a LOT of people talking about this. Serious, smart, well-informed, researched up-the-wazoo women and men who have serious theoretical and political objections to a discourse that is holding our political life in a kind of stunned zombie-thrall. And Twitter knows this. And Twitter wants it to stop.