All movements have their extremists and their moderates. In light of the ongoing Block Bot debacle, the Witchfinder identifies common ground with some feminists who have been subject to harassment by the same perpetrators.
Unsurprisingly, your author has spent considerable time recently searching online for credible individuals aggrieved with the Block Bot. Whilst trawling I encountered a public spat between a woman called @BoodleOops, (Academic Becca Reilly-Cooper) and some unsavoury SJW types loosely associated with The Block Bot. She was BLOCKED. BLOCKED I tell you. They were calling her a TERF. Your author had no idea what a TERF is but assumed from the lady’s enemies she was probably doing something virtuous. So he looked up the term ‘TERF’.
It is like this … As we all know, SJW (supposedly Social Justice Warrior) may as well stand for ‘Silencing Journalists and Women’. TERF is an acronym invented by SJWs for oppressing women. It stands for ‘Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminists’ and is yet another example of prolixity by the hard left trying to label reasonable behaviour as in some way wrong. TERF is a slur.
So what does it actually mean? Well it is like this … ‘Traditional’ transsexuals who wished to change sex would have operations. The male genitalia would be removed and sculpted into something like a vagina enabling them to have the closest experience to a female life available with modern technology.
Of course all movements have their extremists and some modern ‘tumblr’ sorts consider the operation unnecessary. They consider that you are a woman if you ‘self-define’. That means instead of having an operation they simply state that they are a woman and adopt aspects of what they perceive as womanly traits.
In some cases, as the New Statesman reports in this excellent article, they go to the extent of wanting to be allowed in women’s bathrooms even though this might mean, for example, “people with openly displayed male sexual organs in spaces like communal female changing rooms”.
Some apparently take this further and have invented a term called the ‘cotton ceiling’, which apparently means that if lesbians (in the sense of born females who sexually prefer other females) refuse to have sex with ‘trans’ lesbians (men) they are discriminating. “If you don’t let me penetrate you with my penis you are denying my identity as a woman.”
It sounds like the plot of a frat movie – picture if you will a scene in Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity hall and sniggering protagonists Brad and Duncan, “Dude! I am a woman! They have to have sex with me!”
So naturally your Inquisitor reached the only reasonable conclusion. This entire debate had to be an invention of 4Chan. This could not possibly be a real thing – it was made up like the campaign to abolish father’s day or establish ‘4th wave feminism’. I spent hours trying to unmask BoodleOops and her opponents as sock puppets. But no, fabulously implausible as it may seem exhaustive efforts determine that this is a real thing.
Ok. So these women are effectively being ‘blocked’ for refusing to accept that penises are ‘female’. Like #GamerGate they are falsely accused of being ‘harassers’ when in fact they are mostly very sensible and simply have a small minority of extremists. In fact there is even a whole special site called the ‘TERF tracker’ dedicated to hassling them at one point run by a sex-offender.
The hatred these ladies are subject to is incredible and huge efforts are made to secure their dismissals and their silence (‘no platforming’). Ironically, they are not even per se against transsexuals merely in favour of the idea that ‘feminism’ involves issues specific to people who (for example) have periods or gestate and the associated bodily organs.
The other point raised by such authors as Sheila Jeffreys is the disturbing trend of some extremists to encourage young people to take permanent, irreversible, surgical decisions at a young age. Surely caution in such a sensitive arena is not an unreasonable thing for Jeffreys to urge.
Even Peter Tatchell has managed to somehow not be left wing enough for the TERF trackers and their ideological comrades.
The no-platforming is similar to the absurd denials of the agency of members of #NotYourShield. #NotYourShield is am internet group who do not wish their identities (crudely, their protected characteristics such as race or sex) to be used for political purposes by left wingers who may or may not share them. It is clear from many, many YouTube videos that most #NotYourShield supporters actually are who they say they are. Of course that does not stop them also being 4Chan activists. Why should empowered women and minorities be excluded from such roles?
Ironically, your author also saw member of team SJW joking that #GamerGate, #NotYourShield and the evil TERFs might join forces. Why not? There may well be common ground. Under the propaganda, most of the so-called TERFs are not in fact evil harassers but thoughtful, reasonable women. If we can accept that perhaps they can accept that most GamerGate types do not in fact hate women.
GamerGate do not hate Zoe Quinn we simply feel that Depression Quest is a relatively poor game even by the standard of the twine genre and that left wing journalists should stop promoting poor games for political reasons. We condemn that small minority who seeks to release the personal addresses of opponents and those who engage in death threats.
We are clearly all against the Block Bot and the desire to silence free speech. We disagree on some things, for example, BoodleOops differs from many members of KiA on the Batgirl cover. However surely we can work together on those things we do agree on for the sake of the common good and civil society, whilst courteously agreeing to differ on others? Surely debate can be divorced from hatred, lies and – dare I hope – harassment or defamation?