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Famous feminist outed as not a trans cocker.

AS THE LEFT continues to devour itself in a frenzy of ever-refining offence-taking, so its established icons fall. The latest is Germaine Greer, veteran feminist, author, academic, media person and rainforest owner. To which we can now add a no-platformed speaker.

Greer’s fall has been precipitated by the familiar process, ie something she said offended some dimwits who then organised a petition for other dimwits to sign so they could stop her from talking in public, and so on. The aggrieved and aggressive victim group complaining this time are the transgenders, who seem to be current top minority in the Olympics of the Oppressed.

g.greerGreer had been invited by Cardiff University to deliver the Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture in November, entitled “Women and Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century”. According to the petitioners Greer is guilty because she has “demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether”.

Nothing unusual here, then, is there? You say something with which we disagree therefore you should shut up. You’ve said that gender is based on biology not on wish fulfilment. You are not sensitive enough to our poor hurt feelings therefore you are a bad, bad person.

The petition continues: “Trans-exclusionary views should have no place in feminism or society. Such attitudes contribute to the high levels of stigma, hatred and violence towards trans people – particularly trans women – both in the UK and across the world”. Note the way in which the whole thing is jargonised and the arrogant authoritarian diktat is delivered in a high moral tone, as if these squeaking bigots are the sole arbiters of what can and cannot be debated, and of what can or cannot be allowed a “place” in any discourse.

IT’S ALSO A bit of leap from saying you hold views of which we disapprove and those views contribute to physical violence against us. For myself I can’t yet make the transition to believing that the thugs who do attack transgendered people feel justified by the opinions of Germaine Greer or any other public intellectual. And you can always equate this transphobia — calling something a phobia these days is so victim-hip — with racism, sexism or Holocaust denial because that way you expand the guilt by association smear.

Greer has been decidedly unrepentant for upsetting the milquetoasts, though she said she is too old to put up with travelling to Cardiff just to be shouted at, and will now not deliver the lecture. “Bugger it,” she said in an interview with Kirsty Walk. Who can blame her?

I don’t know how many people really care about this sort of thing. I know I couldn’t care less if someone wants to change their sex. It’s nothing to me, for instance, that a famous male athlete decides he is better off as a woman (without lopping off his tackle, however, which does suggest he’s not really committed to the process), makes it all very public and then gets to feature as “Woman of the Year” in Glamour Magazine.

This issue is used by the left as another weapon against the rest of society, to make us feel guilty…The upside is that their major targets are increasingly others on the left.

What’s more to the point is that this issue is used by the left as another weapon against the rest of society, to make us feel guilty and to make us conform to their view of the world regarding sexuality. The upside is that their major targets are increasingly others on the left. When your biggest enemies are those on your own side you’re in trouble.

As a tough old leftist, though, Greer is always up for a fight, and accordingly chucked petrol on the blaze by saying later: “Just because you lop off your **** and then wear a dress, doesn’t make you a woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a ******* cocker spaniel.”

All of which, according to trans actor Rebecca Root, is “grossly offensive, quite ludicrous, and very, very out of date”.  To which the proper response is “so what?” – none of these criticisms warrants a demand for retractions or the prevention of someone from giving a lecture. On the contrary, they prove the need for a clash of opinions. I want to hear all sides of the argument so I can make up my own mind. And then I want the freedom to express my own opinion without the fear of being silenced.

Those banging the trans drum are certainly making their voices heard these days – nobody seems to be gagging them – and it’s about time they extended to others the great tolerance that is given to them. They may think themselves the apex of civilised progressive thinking, but they’re as likely to fall foul of a new generation of self-righteous offence-takers as Greer is.

It will be sooner than they think, because someone, somewhere is already refining the definitions of various offenses, ready for when they become luminaries in the Students’ Union and they can persecute a fresh set of allies. By which time, I’d wager, transspeciesphobia will definitely be a thing, and being a trans cocker will be all the rage.

Michael Blackburn.

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