You may recall the recent furore in the Scottish press over Glasgow Live’s policies for trans people in public spaces such as gyms and swimming pools. The policy â€“ we’ll do what the law says we should do â€“ led to the publication of yet more anti-trans columns and a flood of online abuse against trans people.
One of the inconvenient facts about the policy, which activists claimed would lead to the abuse of women, is that it had been in place for several years with no problems whatsoever.
That can’t be true! said the bigots. We demand evidence!
The evidence is in. Since the policies were enacted, how many complaints have there been about trans people?
The response? Inevitably: “fake news!”
Representatives from the group Forwomen.scot said they were “astonished” by the statistics, adding: “We know for a fact there have been several complaints about the policy.”
Susan Sinclair, who tweets as Scottish Women, added: “The best way to measure whether or not women are concerned about women only spaces and services being inclusive isnâ€™t to go by the number of complaints theyâ€™ve received.”
The fact that there have not been any complaints is not a fact. And anyway, even if facts really were facts you can’t measure the number of complaints by counting the number of complaints. Why do you hate women?
They do this over more serious issues too, such as inclusivity in rape crisis centres. When rape crisis charities tell them that they have been trans-inclusive for years without incident, and that trans women are vulnerable women, they get the same response: your facts are not facts because they are not the facts I believe the facts should be. Why do you hate women?
These are the voices columnists write approvingly about in our newspapers, that broadcast media expects trans people to “debate”, that our MSPs invite to Holyrood to discuss whether we should have human rights.
Update: Apologies. It turns out there was one complaint. But it wasn’t about a trans woman. It was about a cisgender woman verbally abusing a trans woman.