Something worth reading on the internet

I really had come to the point where I thought no good could possibly come of further internet-based discussion of the UK Gender Recognition Act. I was wrong.

“Some feminists see no difficulty in reconciling a commitment to feminism with a commitment to the rights of trans people. Feminists of this persuasion tend to take the view that trans women are women and that, as such, they – like cis (i.e. non-trans) women – are part of the ‘constituency’ that is feminism’s primary concern. Trans people more broadly are also regarded as an oppressed group in their own right, and hence proper recipients of the solidarity of feminists who subscribe to the principle of ‘intersectionality’: the idea that the struggles against different forms of oppression – such as those relating to race, class, gender or sexuality – must be conceived of not as unconnected or competing struggles, but as fundamentally intermeshed.

But certain other feminists see things very differently. While expressing condemnation of transphobic violence and harassment, and affirming the right of trans people to live in dignity and safety, they contend that there is a deep tension between the demands of some trans women to access women-only spaces and a feminist concern for the safety and well-being of those born and raised female, who have often already been subject to violence and discrimination on the basis of their sex…

Ultimately, we think this argument fails. Yet, we also think that it is unhelpful to lump it together with arguments that are explicitly based on prejudice. While there is no shortage of unvarnished transphobes who continue to depict trans people as perverts, freaks or monsters, some of the feminists who are now raising concerns about the proposed reform of the GRA offer an argument that is at least in principle distinct from this rhetoric. We have seen from experience that this argument is, in some cases, succeeding in raising doubts about reform among people who are broadly sympathetic to trans rights and who would therefore reject overtly bigoted arguments without hesitation.”

Read on.