Recently there was a ridiculous fuss raised by the usual suspects whenever transgender issues come up. This was when the beer company Anheuser-Busch featured a trans woman influencer in an online promotion. On his show Last Week Tonight John Oliver describes the absurdity that ensued. (For some reason the full clip was not available anywhere but it can be found split into two parts.)
Deepak Shetty says
I suppose you did too read https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/26/politics/montana-house-bans-zooey-zephyr/index.html
I still dont get the visceral hatred that some conservatives seem to feel for Trans people .
John Morales says
Dunno about ‘hate’ (not anymore than ‘hang Mike Pence’ type rhetoric), but lots of reasons.
Fundamentally, a conservative believes change is bad, and increasing toleration of difference within society is worse still. Running out of targets, too… they’re pretty much down to the last letter in the quiltbag.
But, again, many reasons.
For example: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/why-is-the-gop-escalating-attacks-on-trans-rights-experts-say-the-goal-is-to-make-sure-evangelicals-vote
I get it. It goes to the heart of their experience of the world and their own identity. They crave simple certainties, of which the world offers vanishingly few (“death and taxes”, famously). And for the vast majority of these people’s lives, the heteronormative gender binary is something they could rely on. Men are men, women are women, men have sex with women -- those are “facts” that define the world for them. They grow up going to weddings where men marry women, christenings where the children of a man and woman get baptised -- these are the structures of their lives, just as much as the changing seasons or the colour of a stop light.
And them someone pops up on their TV/Twitter feed who looks kind of like a woman, but turns out to have been born with a penis. What is a simple mind to make of such confusion? (Especially if, horrors, they found that person superficially attractive -- trans panic! It’s a trap!) Or of the concept that no, that guy with the beard isn’t marrying the chick in the dress -- she’s his maid of honour and he’s marrying that other guy with the beard. Even worse, if in their deepest most private moments they’ve had some doubts about their own gender and sexuality, someone being open about it just rattles their cage.
Note: I’m not excusing the hate that flows from this. I’m only pointing out that it’s not completely bizarre and inexplicable. I’d like to think that education and dialogue could help break down these attitudes, but I think they so deeply ingrained in such deeply average people that the only way forward is to wait until they die and place hope in the next generation.
Yeah, an armed mob actively hunting a specific person they know to be nearby while chanting his name and their explicit intention to execute him if they find him isn’t evidence of “hate”. I mean, what is?
John Morales says
I didn’t write it wasn’t evidence… I wrote that it was no more evidential.
Basically, trans people are the cause célèbre du jour.
It ain’t personal, just mob mentality.
Hate is something different.
Ada Christine says
They hate us and there’s nothing really to ‘get’ about it because the analysis of that hatred boils down to religious and patriarchal things that are justified by might making right. There’s a little light though. There are indeed conservatives who aren’t foaming-at-the-mouth bigots, but passive bigots who do hate us but aren’t trying to reshape the state on the basis of their hatred. that’s the bare fucking minimum afaic.
@4 Hate is something different.
Not from where I’m sitting. Maybe a group can be louder and more fever pitched than the average lone individual, but the emotion itself is the same.
As far as I can determine, hate is used as a tool. It’s not fundamentally different from Orwell’s 2 minutes hate. In this case, they’re feeding the base and making sure that they howl to their local, state, and federal reps, and get out and vote.
Eh. I think it’s really simple. They never grew out of being mean grade school children. They know they’re goddamn weird. If they weren’t sure who the people to hate were they’d be afraid it was them. In a way they’re not even wrong but it’s not because they’re someone else’s target of convenience. It’s because they do this. Nobody likes a bigot except another bigot.
Raging Bee says
Even worse, if in their deepest most private moments they’ve had some doubts about their own gender and sexuality, someone being open about it just rattles their cage.
I’m a bit torn about statements like this. I don’t necessarily believe they’re false, but (much like Freud’s early talk of “neuroses” and “sexual trauma”) they’re simply not testable, so we should tend to avoid saying this sort of thing. And (again like Freud’s ideas) I’m not sure they help anyway.
Another possible reason some people hate LGBT+ people, is that some of them indeed knew they had feelings along those lines, but they either got caught and shamed for it, or kept silent to avoid such a fate. And so they decided that if they didn’t get away with being “queer,” then they damn well weren’t going to let anyone else get away with it either.
Oliver, as usual, is brilliant.
@8 -- you’re second paragraph is more or less exactly what I meant.
Deepak Shetty says
I think they would phrase it as incremental change, rather than large change (As opposed to change is bad). But in any case this doesn’t apply to current American conservatives , who are quite happy to demand radical changes, and in general it doesnt even apply to principled conservatives either (Would a conservative argue that abortion , since its the current law of the land and has been so from 50 years , should not be repealed because its a radical change now and we should only minimally add restrictions?). And sure politicians will rile people for their own gains, but thats different from some of the hatred you see directed towards trans people
I understand(in the sense of what bothers the conservatives) some of the dislike/unease -- a lot of it does seem to be what if i was ever attracted to someone who looked like a woman but had a magic penis -or in some cases what if my children want to transition, how would i live it down ? But it feels like there is more to it.
“it feels like there is more to it.”
I really think you’re over-thinking it.
@ 2 John Morales
Hey, thanks for putting the fears of that uppity minority to rest Juan Ramón. We’ll be sure to pass on to the members of that minority that some random elderly cis fuckwit on the internet who wouldn’t know a trans person from a tortilla has decided it’s no different to some rando expressing an completely idle threat to hang Pence.
Meanwhile, back in the reality of trans people’s existences:
Silentbob, do you know what the ‘idle’ in idle threat means?
Okay, I’m not sure Mano’s okay with me giving English lessons on his blog!?
adjective, i·dler, i·dlest.
not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers.
not spent or filled with activity: idle hours.
In contex,t the English word you are confused by means that no person is actually in a position to “hang” Pence who is an extremely well to do straight white politician at no risk whatsoever, while trans people are experiencing hatred almost unprecedented against minoities in the last half century at least, and so extreme has the hate of people like yourself become, it’s not a flight of fantasy to speculate concentration camps and gas chambers are on the horizon.
Instead of just hanging around hate sites that repeat every transphobic hate meme whatsoever as though they were fact -- can I ask you to consider that your attitude towards equality for the %0.5 who were born trans and are stuck with it no matter how bigots like yourself may wish they didn’t exist has historical significance. If just being a decent person isn’t enough for you -- do you seriously never think, “I was gladly part of the most notorious hate movement of the first quarter of the 21st century”, isn’t going to go down so well with the grandkids (who will of course undoubtedly have openly trans friends, collegues, coworkers, relatives, etc.
John Morales says
Deepak @1: “I still dont get the visceral hatred that some conservatives seem to feel for Trans people .”
Me @2: “Dunno about ‘hate’ (not anymore than ‘hang Mike Pence’ type rhetoric), but lots of reasons.”
Silentbob @13: “Hey, thanks for putting the fears of that uppity minority to rest Juan Ramón.”
So, in NotSilentBob’s estimation, transgender people are an uppity minority, and my responding to Deepak is supposedly putting their fears to rest.
Anyway, no worries. Appreciate your gratitude.
Sbob, as you’ve expressed an appreciation for the context in which words occur… “hang Mike Pence” entered politics in the context of the attempted coup of the 6th of January 2021. The mob broke in at multiple points, swarmed through the corridors, many of them were armed (or took up impromptu weapons such as flag staffs), and several had handcuff zip ties. I repeat: do you know what the ‘idle’ in idle threat means?
The rest of what you type can remain in your silly fever dreams.
John, I think sbob is imputing ‘uppity’ to you, a paraphrase of what he thinks your attitude is towards them.
Crossposted from elsewhere because I know it will never see the light of day and I’m egotistical enough to want to see my words of wisdom anyway. X-D
Why are you leaving out the bit where you didn’t “say nothing” but you lied through you teeth that “of course” you supported trans rights, and anyone saying otherwise was a liar, liar, pants on fire. Do you remember that lie?
Because suckers like me believed you and supported you only to find to their disgust that you were every bit the transphobic bigot you were suspected of being and them some! Including poor PZ who stood by you and was utterly made a fool of, when you finally decided it was fine to come out as a ranting transphobic looney.
There are, of course, zero trans people who think, “people are or can be the other sex” -- what the fuck do you think “trans” means. It’s exactly the same as saying you oppose immigrants because, “I don’t think people are or can the born in a different country to the one they were born in”. Neither do immigrants, so what’s that got to do with anything? And what has it got to do with “pretending” anything? Trans people are people who are much happier and healthier living as a different gender to the one assigned at birth and (typically) reassigning their bodies. What does this have to do with any pretence? What pretence? I don’t know of a trans person on the face of the earth who claims to have been born with different gonads to what they have, or whatever it is you think they’re “pretending”. If they were “pretending” how would you even know they’re trans? To be openly trans means, surely, that they are not “pretending”.
For fucks sake -- “the subject” hasn’t changed. Trans people continue to be a tiny persecuted minority exactly as they were in the 70s. What is new is that having lost the culture war against gay people, the right has chosen a new target, and radicalized whatever suckers it can find into joining the cause. You continue to be as utterly unaffected by the existence of trans people as you were ten years ago. The “devouring” is you being radicalized so that the existence of a tiny persecuted minority that never has, and never will, affect you in any way whatsoever, has utterly consumed you. For fucks sake, snap out of it and stop being a puppet of wankers like Matt Walsh and Tucker Carlson.
Oh P.S. Here’s a thoroughly feminist critique of the Goldberg piece, which far from being “very good” was an early attempt to launder Janice Raymond style hateful transphobia into the mainstream (and didn’t fool anyone).
Your comment was let through, and people have responded. Read them, everyone in that thread wrote more insightfully than you. Except the bit where I simply jeered at you.