Disagree with transgender activists for very long at all and they’ll probably accuse of you of causing the deaths of transgender people.
That was the case when a feminist conference planned an event where they would sell cupcakes decorated to look like women’s genitalia. The organizers were told that linking the idea of women with female reproductive organs was, “literally the primary tenet of trans-exterminatory feminism* and that branch of feminism has literally killed** trans women.” They were told, “Trans women are dying and you are aiding and abetting in that. You are complicit in that. YOU ARE KILLING*** TRANS WOMEN WITH YOUR BELIEFS.”
To be clear, the deadly belief in question is that the word “woman” means an adult female human. Transgender advocates may insist that this idea originated with white colonialists**** and is now maintained only by religious people and radical feminists, a claim so silly it’s embarrassing to even repeat.
(But thanks for the idea about talking to conservatives, that was a good tip! Next thing you know, social justice overachievers will call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape, and I wonder how they’ll paint the cross-partisan opposition to that? Hold on. Sorry. Not funny. They have already begun to call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape. If you don’t agree, you’re “carceral.”)
After a flood of other abuse, the event was cancelled. It’s not the only time a like-themed feminist event was challenged for this reason. It’s hard to know what to say to people who claim to be mortally threatened by a simple cupcake party, without any threats made or any hate symbols displayed.
More recently, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson declared that he didn’t want to be compelled by law to use the singular, gender-neutral “they,” or other preferred pronouns, for students. When accosted over these beliefs by a student who claims to be non-binary and wants to be called they, as this video shows, it only takes about three and a half minutes for the professor to be accused of being complicit in transgender homelessness, unemployment, and suicide. At the 4:28 mark, the student accuses the professor of creating alienation that results in suicide.
The transgender activist argument for disagreement as mortal threat has two parts.
In the first place, there are violent men who may assault or kill transgender people because they feel threatened by uncertainty about the other person’s sex. Often, these men are connected to the sex trade or other illegal activities. No one in transgender activism makes this connection, because they usually support the full legalization of the sex trade and so refuse to face the root of much of the problem. They also don’t want anyone talking about the death rates for prostituted women, which are similarly high because the sex industry is traumatic and the pimps and customers (graphic content warning) are often especially violent people.
Secondly, there are claims made that transgender persons have a very high suicide rate. The issue calls for discretion and respect; no one should do themselves harm nor be encouraged to do so. But a suicide threat made to compel obedience is a common tactic of domestic abusers. It is manipulative and cruel. A distinction has to be made between sensitively dealing with at-risk populations and giving in to abusive threats, or accepting deeply flawed excuses for terrible behavior.
As unnerving as such accusations of harm are, and they are routine in any disagreement with transgender activists, some people are more vulnerable to these comments than others. None more than the parents of minors who’ve come to believe that they’re trapped in the “wrong” body for their personality.
Public mob activism and misguided laws have made it increasingly difficult for therapists and medical professionals to recommend any option besides chemical castration for young patients who have trouble fitting into sex stereotyped roles. Institutions and practitioners have rushed to cash in. Some parents are enthusiastic about the idea of transitioning their children. Yet others still sometimes resist the intense pressure to treat their children’s psychological or social distress with sterilization.
For these families, there’s the suicide threat. Sometimes, peer encounters on message boards or elsewhere coach would-be transitioners to ask the question of whether the parent wants “a dead son or an alive daughter” (graphic content warning.) Sometimes, the dire warning comes from a medical professional, as it does in the following video, where Diane Ehrensaft explains how she convinces nervous mothers and fathers to accept the chemical castration of their young children.
Never mind the questionable nature of widely reported statistics on transgender suicide. Never mind the simplistic and sensational reporting, which ignores all the recommended guidelines about preventing suicidal contagion. Never mind that some parents of autistic children, who are already at greater risk of suicide, worry that their children are being wrongly diagnosed as transgender.
According to the transgender movement, everyone must just keep asking if they want children sterilized or dead. Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead?
Though maybe, hear me out, a boy wanting to wear a Dora the Explorer costume isn’t a medical emergency?
* – There is no such thing as trans-exterminatory radical feminism. “TERF” is a slur (graphic content warning.)
** – Not true. Sexual dimorphism isn’t a feminist plot, deadly or otherwise.
*** – Still not true, or how can any of you survive the existence of biology textbooks?
**** – I’m not an anthropologist, but it seems to me that people from outside of Western Europe had also figured out how babies are made before white people showed up.
*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.
“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”