Just when I thought sense was starting to prevail, another round pulls me back in.
Simon Callow (treasured luvvie thespian, gay icon, and erstwhile Stonewall activist) expressed the opinion that Stonewall’s current tactics were counter-productive to actual Trans rights as well as counter to LGB interests. He may even have mentioned women? Prompted partly of course by increasing numbers of high-profile organisations withdrawing from membership of Stonewall’s LGBTI+ awareness arrangements, and the fact that Callow’s opinion was published in mainstream press (eg The Times).
Callow is right of course, and my initial thought was “I hope Callow and Cashman are on speaking terms”. But no.
A fresh furore of Twitter hatred against anyone daring to speak out against Male-Self-ID-Trans positioning, being perceived to be actively driving some wedge between Women/LGB and the TI+ positions. (The “No LGB without T” brigade. Solidarity between different disadvantaged groups is laudable, but ignorance of difference is not.) Lots of people drawing the parallel between this and the history of straight reactions to earlier normalisation of LGB in wider society- Stonewall’s raison d’etre. At this level there is indeed a great deal of parallel – a phobic resistance to a new change to social order – it’s natural. But, the devil is in the details of course – about which I’ve already written reams – and the need for dialogue between good-faith interested parties, as opposed to media accusations and gain-saying attention-seeking.
[I won’t put up the whole Twitter story this time – mostly pile-ons liking and/or retweeting ordnance lobbed from either side, including Michael Cashman – I despair. Plenty of examples posted before.]
Also the cancellation of public dialogue between Peter Tatchell and Kathleen Stock during the mutual “good kicking” above. Inevitable whilst people are aiming kicks at each other rather than actually talking-with-listening. Dialogue it’s called, it’s not about winning a debate.
Turns out the answer was ‘no’. After extreme twitter kicking from both “sides”, Peter Tatchell has pulled out, no doubt causing joy for all. Me, I think it’s shame a conversation couldn’t happen. It was just a conversation. Please don’t harass him on my account. pic.twitter.com/3RCdZZ7Fcb
â” Kathleen Stock (@Docstockk) August 26, 2021
As @DocStockK says “It’s a shame”. One of those issues where activist tactics (breaking others eggs to make their omelette) are missing more subtle points, as they do. I have a lot of time for Tatchell, one of the good guys. I spoke with him briefly at a Hay-on-Wye HTLGI event a couple of years back.
One thought on “And Another Round in the “TERF-War””
Agreement on Tatchell – a brave and principled man with the physical scars to prove it. Seeing him denigrated is not at all edifying. I would have enjoyed hearing him defend his stance. A debate between him and Stock would have been well worth the time.