Feminism Human Rights inclusion LGBTQIAP+ Politics of hate

Trans rights – women’s rights, inseparable by Jo Edwards

It strikes me that, even if you are anti GRA, you would surely still have enough empathy to take a minute of your day to say ‘it’s horrible people have died because of anti-trans hate and violence’

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). A day which people within and outwith the trans and LGBTQ+ community, like most remembrance days, is dedicated to reflecting, recognising and remembering people who have died due to extreme hate and violence; victims of murder or those who took their own life.

To any reasonable person, this is a day to step back from the debates and arguments, a day to let go of the resentment and grievances, a day to stand silent on your disagreements and instead stand in solidarity with those who have lost someone, and those who have been lost.

It strikes me that, even if you are anti GRA, you would surely still have enough empathy to take a minute of your day to say ‘it’s horrible people have died because of anti-trans hate and violence’, that’s what reasonable people would do. Any reasonable person will use this day to show empathy, sympathy and compassion.

But, sadly, the world is not full of only reasonable people, there are also those people who feel their hate is so important to them, they cannot even let it go for one solitary day while people grieve.

On this day, a tweet put out (by an account I won’t name here) decided to #SayYesToHate. What does this mean? Saying yes to hate, means the ability to hate people for their gender, sexuality, race, disability, and discriminate or otherwise actively harm those people in any of these marginalised and oppressed groups. And, logically, you cannot say yes to hate without saying yes to hate crimes; which are fundamentally based on the hate of someone’s gender, sexuality, race, or disability.

Hate causes hate crimes. Hate is directly responsible for hate crimes.

However, this is not just about TDoR, it’s also in relation to both the GRA and the new legislations for the Hate Crime Bill which are being addressed by Scottish Government.

Now, I won’t sit here and pretend to be any kind of lawyer, this is far outside of my areas of expertise, but I would say this is a good thing, for everyone in any group who is the target of a hate crime which is as of yet not properly specified in or punishable by law.

What I can say I’m an ‘expert’ in is misogynistic harassment and abuse – much of which comes from the Scottish left. And as a woman, I would be glad to see it put into law and see men who continually harass and abuse women online finally have consequences to their endless streams of abuse and targeting trans and cis women and non-binary people for an online pile on – whether via tweets or blogs.

And make no mistake, trans rights and women’s rights are inextricably interlinked and are inseparable.

Since the GRA ‘debate’ began I’ve had my share of misogynistic harassment and abuse from people in the YES movement, simply for being a trans and non-binary supporting woman; and I’m far from alone. In fact, any woman who is vocal about her support for trans and non-binary community is quickly shot down with a barrage of abusive bullets from ‘the gender critical feminist left’.

Women in politics, whether cis or trans, have learned to expect a massive amount of abusive replies, whatever they say. There are a few women who are constant targets for this abusive group of ‘feminists’. Every few weeks, if not days, they are the victim of a hate fest pile on, and all the rest of us can do is watch and say we hope they are ok and we support them. This should be unacceptable to the left, to the YES movement. And yet, all of this comes from the left and the YES movement.

Not so long ago on twitter there was a trans woman of colour in Scottish politics – whom I won’t name here, I do not want to add to the abuse she has already received – she posted a photo online and the onslaught of  racist, transmisogynistic hate and abuse she received was horrific.

Another woman in Scottish politics is regularly bombarded with hate and abuse, whether she discusses politics or something utterly innocuous and personal, and she is a cis woman.

This hate is indiscriminate, it targets both trans and cis women.

If, as they claim, gender critical ‘feminism’ is about ensuring women’s rights, it begs the question, do they really believe, harassing, targeting and attacking women is the way to do that? It strikes me that if your feminism is about prioritising women, you wouldn’t spend your days and nights harassing women online.

I would challenge the notion this is about women’s rights and say this is about nothing but hate; which is supported by the constant harassment, attacks and # SayYesToHate as a tagline.

If the left, and the YES movement, want to claw back any semblance of what they once professed to be, they absolutely need to deal with this. It cannot go unchallenged any longer. Women deserve better.

Jo Edwards

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