(The answer is “no.”)
One of the more annoying rhetorical sleights-of-hand deployed by anti-trans feminists is their tendency to claim they “speak for women.” One brilliant Scot decided to test that theory by contacting every women’s crisis resource in Scotland to query their policy on trans women. As it turns out, antagonistic positions are far from guaranteed to be the norm, or even represented at all:
It was stated that Scottish Women’s Aid don’t speak for individual Women’s Aid services, so unless we somehow managed the impossible task of ringing round all 40 to check if they were trans inclusive, we couldn’t possibly know. Spoiler alert: the only reason that’s impossible is because there’s actually 36, but more on that in a bit. I had a midweek day off and my maw got me unlimited minutes for Christmas, so I rang them and asked.
Catriona ‘We Simply Don’t Know’ Stewart is a senior journalist at the Herald & Times Group. To me that means she’s got a fancy desk, a big salary and every contact under the Scottish not sun at her fingertips. But rather than try and find out so she didn’t give ground to the misrepresentation of services and instill fear in women who might need to one day present at their local Women’s Aid and might also be trans, she sent a pointed and scary tweet, then logged out. Brass neck points for pulling us up for not speaking to individual services, while choosing to imply something more than a bit dodgy without… speaking to individual services. (Just ring them, Catriona, and if you can’t be arsed surely there’s an underpaid intern somewhere who’s fed up shredding Iain Macwhirter’s draft novellas).
We weren’t surprised that frontline workers and specifically support and refuge workers were the people this mibby, mibby not but probably transphobia was being attributed to. No one is else going to say it so I will because none of you know my real name: that’s because those workers are more likely to be working class women. And of course the implication is that while national officers might understand the ever so complicated dance of being sound to trans women, workers on the ground have been caught in a whirlwind of confusion and outright rage, turning up to work head to toe in trans panic alarms for the last 10 year. Gies peace. And let them do their job.
Antagonistic positions are still taken elsewhere in the world, and they’re devastating when they happen because a person in crisis is pretty much, by definition, going to lack the resources to combat that. But it’s worthwhile to remind anti-trans feminists that they represent a minority, and not “women.”
Read more here.