Parasites and the turkeys voting for Xmas

I love this cartoon by Paul Noth in The New Yorker.

This week the Conservative MP David Davies (not the successful one; that’s David Davis. This one’s the MP for Monmouth) held a meeting of anti-trans militants in the House of Commons. The speakers are well known for their extreme views.

As Newsweek reports (the UK media hasn’t covered it beyond LGBT magazine Pink News; it contradicts the narrative of brave women standing up against wicked trans):

An academic who reportedly compared trans people to parasites during an event held at the British Parliament has been accused by LGBT rights advocates of using “fascist” and “dehumanizing” language.

I’ve read pretty detailed reports of what was said at the meeting and none of it was surprising, but it’s surprising that it was welcomed in the House of Commons.

Or maybe it isn’t, because Davies’ voting record is spectacularly anti-LGBT and arguably anti-women too. He was famously described as being on the “far right of the Conservative party”, is a climate change sceptic, was a passionate opponent of equal marriage, has problems with charities such as Save The Children and has repeatedly voted against legislation to make LGBT people’s lives and poor people’s lives better.

You might think he’s an arsehole. I couldn’t possibly comment. But supporting anti-trans bigots is hardly a stretch for him.

Still, it’s ironic to see one of the meeting’s organisers happily posing with Davies and thanking him on Twitter for “standing up for lesbians”, when his entire political career is based on doing exactly the opposite.

But then, it’s also ironic to see the same activists gleefully fuelling anti-trans hit pieces in right-wing newspapers, those famed supporters of women’s equality and LGBT rights.

I can’t help thinking that in the future, the activists rushing into alliances with hard-right conservatives here and in the US will become like the Twitter joke: “I can’t believe leopards are eating my face, says the woman who voted for the Leopards Eating Your Face Party.”

But disgust makes people do strange things, and disgust is clearly the background here. “Parasites” may be a relative newcomer, but the sentiment behind it isn’t.

The members of the Gender Cynical wiki on the social media site Reddit collated the various terms and allegations made against trans people by self-declared “gender critical” people on just that website. When you see them all listed it’s really something.⁠1

As the wiki notes (with references for each; often, lots and lots of references), our heroes claim trans people — and primarily trans women — are:

Dangerous, rapists, “the bad guys”, “easy to spot”, “paedophile rights activists”, “men’s rights activists”, “men’s rights activists with a sissy fetish”, “like men’s rights activists who go on shooting sprees”, mentally ill, too mentally ill to consent to changing sex, too mentally ill to work, too mentally ill to fly planes, disgusted by mentally ill people, insane, psychopaths, sociopaths, untrustworthy, delusional, obsessed with Wikipedia, narcissists, whiny women, screeching, shrieking, a bunch of entitled assholes, a cult, armed robbers, just another dangerous fad, submissives, “natural slaves”, unworthy of empathy, openly paedophilic, autistic, sexually exhibitionistic, stereotypical, not stereotypical enough, “correctively raping young lesbians”, “lying and deceptive creeps appropriating the experiences of an oppressed class they cannot ever be a part of”, contagious, predators, death metal fans who befriend men, representatives of rapists, in need of humiliation, sick, disgusting, unnatural, drag queens, a deviant minority, more socially accepted than gay people, mistaken, subhuman, male supremacists, male supremacist victims of psychological warfare, inherently sexualised, an elite aristocracy funded by 76 large corporations, femme gay men, straight men with low self esteem, socially awkward autistic men who hate lesbians, hysterical, fetishists, “outright perverts and criminals”, abusers, latent mass murderers, “the worst thing to happen to gay people since AIDS”.

It’s quite the list. I’m surprised nobody’s claiming we can’t swim or that we have lower IQs.

Bear this in mind the next time you hear these people say they want a reasoned debate.

1 https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCynical/wiki/index