Siobhan in The Establishment: How the Media’s Bullshit ‘Both Sides’ Punditry Harms Trans People

On May 15, 2017, a Medium user published an article to her personal handle arguing — among many other things — that the presence of trans women in women’s spaces constituted an act of aggression, and that the vocabulary proposed by trans men to describe themselves “erased” cis women.

Despite the rather extreme premises assumed in the piece, a feminist publication by the name of Athena Talks decided to pick it up shortly after it was posted, resulting in a second round of sharing among feminist outlets.

I am, unfortunately, rather used to having my mere presence likened to violence. Calling myself a feminist as a trans woman has meant that I’ve had to share spaces with people who argue, in all seriousness, that my health care is a conspiracy theory to eradicate gay people.

What I haven’t acclimatized to is the practice of abandoning any commitment to discovery or knowledge, something that seems distressingly widespread in media practices today. Because what Athena Talks did next also follows a well-established pattern: They published another article that was critical of the first piece, without any acknowledgement that the arguments previously presented were both based on inaccuracies and illogically constructed.

Read more in The Establishment. 



  1. Greta Samsa says

    There’s no need to issue a retraction, apology, or any editorial comment whatever for publishing a bigoted manifesto in a supposed feminist journal, they’ll just publish a response so that both sides are represented. It’s not like anyone’s life could be adversely affected!
    I look forward to seeing their first manifesto from Sargon, which will no doubt be closely followed by a response piece (but no actual action to suppress hate speech).

  2. says

    I am, unfortunately, rather used to having my mere presence likened to violence.

    It’s like you’re one of them mooslims or something.

    Christfuck I hate how ignorant people are. I feel like the battle-lines have been getting defined more clearly, in the last year; I suppose that’s maybe a good thing – at least we know who our allies are.