Thursday, 1 July 2021

Two Speeches from the Commons

Today has seen the Commons graced by two excellent speeches. The first from Labour's Dan Carden speaks about his struggles with alcoholism and how it almost cost him his life. The second is from the SNP's Mhairi Black who takes aim at the transphobia running riot in the British media, the government and, disgustingly, among those who consider themselves otherwise tolerant and progressive. Including people classifying themselves as socialists.

It's not often parliamentary speeches are must-see events outside of a crisis.


BCFG said...

I regard myself as communist, I regard myself as being very very positive about trans people, have absolutely zero prejudice against anyone who wants to specify their gender any way they see fit.

So why do I find what the SNP person said so disgusting?

Maybe it’s the conspiratorial nature of what she said, one far right person on a panel said this, twitter accounts promoted the other. Maybe it is because I seriously doubt she can back up most of her assertions, such as trans people are more likely to be in poverty, do me a favour, or trans people have a worse experience accessing health, what worse than most of us, again do me a favour. Maybe it is how she attempts a pre-emptive strike to label anyone who questions anything related to these issues as far right. Maybe it is how she presented herself as being oh so eloquent and impassioned while spouting her unsubstantiated assertions.

Or maybe it is all of the above. But sorry, I for one was disgusted.

Now I always avoid the British media, simply because they sicken me. So can you please provide examples of their transphobia, it would not surprise me if they are I just want to see what it amounts to.

Also can you provide the legislation that currently exists which shows the government is transphobic or what legislation they have planned?

My assessment is that Britain is overwhelmingly positive about trans people, from the establishment down.

I think to compare trans issues to say gay issues pre 1990’s is ridiculous. I just think Britain is a markedly different place than it was then, and that is something we should all be thankful for.

Throwing class to one side, the issues around poverty and opportunity are in my view issues that disproportionately affect darker skinned people. I see no evidence that they disproportionately affect trans people.

Maybe I need to get out more, but I want hard facts, not eloquent bile.

Michael said...

As with most people on the left for many years I had the opinion that trans rights were simply an extension of gay rights and women's rights and I just supported them without much thought.

I initially became concerned over the issue of no-platforming. In the past this tactic has usually been reserved for outright fascists or holocaust deniers like David Irving in the past for very good reasons - as socialists we can hardly claim the right of free speech for ourselves if we deny it to others. Whatever one thinks of Julie Bindel or Germaine Greer, they are NOT fascists and do not deserve to be attacked or threatened with violence.

As a psychologist myself (although not clinical or therapeutic), I then became even more concerned at the warnings of both individual psychologists I know personally, and groups like Thoughtful Therapists, who have warned that many young people are being seriously harmed by many current medical practices by organisations such as Tavistock. Moreover, discussion on this issue has been labelled as bigoted and transphobic by multiple organisations and individuals. I've already discussed these issues on the comments section of a previous post here so I won't repeat myself:

I have just one more point. The claims of many trans rights activists and some therapists that trans people have an innate gender identity and that they were "born in the wrong body" and that this is the cause of their gender dysphoria cannot be literally true unless one holds an dualist position on the relationship between body and mind. This gender identity view is wholly incompatible with an embodied view of cognition, which is the only sensible realist approach in my opinion.

This is not to say it cannot feel like it is true that one was "born in the wrong body" to sufferers of gender dysphoria or indeed to trans people who do not suffer gender dysphoria but are nonetheless convinced that their inner gender identity is the opposite to the biological reality of their sexed bodies. However, Marxists and philosophical materialists/realists rejected dualism quite some time ago for very good reasons. Reality matters, in politics, science and in therapeutic approaches.

Finally, I hope you look more into these issues Phil - most people engaging in the current debate are far from transphobic and the issues are a lot more complex and nuanced than they initially appear. Moreover the days of stopping debate by labelling any disagreement with gender ideology as transphobic look numbered.


Phil said...

Good grief, what a pair.

BCFG, the so-called communist arguing the government isn't transphobic. What a laugh.

And Michael, the chap with "genuine concerns". What a load of patronising guff.

Perhaps you should get to know some trans people and find out about their struggles straight from them, or spend some time reflecting on the people and the institutions attacking them.

Once again, this is not the place for you to have jolly academic debates while there are people and comrades under attack for being trans. Future posts questioning trans people will be deleted on sight.

Chris Williams said...

Is it a good idea to invite bigots to contact trans people? Trans people have enough to cope with already. It might be better to invite the bigots to go away and read a few books by trans people?