Reaping, sowing

Apologies for the language, but there is an internet meme that’s become popular:

Me sowing: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!
Me reaping: well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.

And another:

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the consequences of my own actions.

I was reminded of them yesterday when a British anti-trans group blogged about the US rollback of anti-discrimination protections for trans people, gay and lesbian people and women who have or need abortions.

it actively harms lesbians, women seeking abortions and women who defy gender norms… [the] religious right are waging a war on women and against the principle of health care as a human right.

Trans people and allies have been trying to warn anti-trans groups about this for years, which is why many, many people quoted this in response:

I can’t believe leopards are eating my face, says woman who voted for the “leopards eating your face” party.

It’s funny, but it isn’t remotely funny. The US’s anti-women legislation was initially presented as anti-trans legislation, but that was only ever a Trojan horse. And the same tactics are being used here.

In the UK, anti-trans groups have allied with the religious right to attack key legislation such as the Equality Act; yesterday’s government leak indicates that they’re being listened to. But the Equality Act doesn’t just protect trans women. It protects all women. Black women. Asian women. Lesbian women. Pregnant women. Religious women. Disabled women.

And it’s not just the Equality Act. Lawyers who previously represented anti-abortionists are now helming anti-trans test cases in an attempt to remove protections for LGBT+ kids at school. There is a concerted effort to remove the bodily autonomy of trans teenagers, something that would undermine the Gillick and Fraser competences that means teenage girls can get access to contraception.

What’s so frustrating about this is that the religious right has been very clear about it. They even put it in writing. The Family Research Council, one of the key drivers of anti-women legislation, published its master plan for attacking trans people in 2016. The FRC is part of the Hands Across The Aisle Coalition, which connects US evangelicals with British anti-trans activists.

As Brynn Tannehill wrote in 2018:

These right-wing organizations don’t try to hide their relationship with so-called feminists. Indeed, they proudly display it in order to create the illusion that both the left and the right oppose inclusion of trans people in society. In reality, only one side’s interests are being represented here ― the radical religious right.

Real feminists, lesbians, queers and bisexual woman should ask what sort of woman or feminist would align themselves with these right-wing organizations. They are all anti-choice. They all want to ban access to birth control. They universally want to overturn Lawrence v. Texas and allow states to make homosexuality illegal again. They want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, and Roe v. Wade. They want to ban same-sex adoption. They all are hostile to fair-pay-for-women laws. They oppose women working outside the home. They are all hostile to the Women’s March and Me Too. They are fake medical organizations and anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice hate groups. They have cheered the assassinations of abortion providers. They are publications that have published horrible things about women, such as “Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?”

This isn’t a choice between transgender people and women. This is a choice between trans people and right-wing organizations pretending to represent women. And you are deluding yourself if you think these right-wing organizations will not be coming for queers and cisgender women next. They have said that’s exactly what they plan on doing.