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[Sat 28th Oct 2017] London Anarchist Bookfair (London)

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
And note how this inflicts itself on MiB's writing — he seemingly cannot accept where I'm actually coming from, and is busily arguing with a hysterical shouty ID Pol stereotype constructed entirely in his own mind.
 
So to go back to the structure of the sentence for a minute, "people’s insistence" meaning who? All pro-trans people?
Meaning those who say it. Yes some people use “only questioning” as a shield for a transphobic agenda but there are plenty who have concerns who don’t have a transphobic agenda. Unless, of course, you’re arguing that anyone with concerns is transphobic. I’ve seen plenty of that including on this forum.
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
Personally I think that most people don't have much background on the topic, so questions is fine — and there's a bunch of resources available debunking the most common myths because pro-trans people aren't actually a mob of shouty hysterics. Some of them were listed on the Freedom statement.

However, I also think that this is a limited-time thing. If you've been reading/participating for a while and you're still pretending you're just "questioning" or "opening a debate" by standing outside a stadium to hand out leaflets for example that's just disingenuous rubbish. The lefletters have a position demanding the blocking of Self ID and they're seeking to convert people to it. Which, if you see Self ID as a needed step forward for trans rights, is quite logically going to be criticised as transphobic behaviour.
 
Personally I think that most people don't have much background on the topic, so questions is fine — and there's a bunch of resources available debunking the most common myths because pro-trans people aren't actually a mob of shouty hysterics. Some of them were listed on the Freedom statement.

However, I also think that this is a limited-time thing. If you've been reading/participating for a while and you're still pretending you're just "questioning" or "opening a debate" by standing outside a stadium to hand out leaflets for example that's just disingenuous rubbish. The lefletters have a position demanding the blocking of Self ID and they're seeking to convert people to it. Which, if you see Self ID as a needed step forward for trans rights, is quite logically going to be criticised as transphobic behaviour.
Perhaps so, but would you agree that even opposing self ID doesn’t equate to “denying trans people the right to exist”? It’s that kind of emotive language that has led to women being attacked / no platformed (which, incidentally, was what brought it all to wider scrutiny).
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
It's not a phrase I (edit: tend to — just realised I did above) use myself because it's clunky and often derails conversations unnecessarily. I think it depends on how the phrase is parsed however as to whether it's ultimately unreasonable or not. Opposing self ID certainly does deny trans people recognition and rights in some very important arenas, and the campaign to do so has repeatedly reinforced tropes and bigotries which can and do lead to violent death. It's very easy to be sanguine when it's not me who has to pay for such things by getting my head kicked in.

Ultimately though I think it's a slogan, and my interest in slogans has always been minimal. Emotive language generally is normal in any heated argument, and has come from both sides. The idea that it has much link causing the various scuffles which have happened I think is a huge stretch, otherwise Chris "eat the rich" Knight would have long since gone on trial for cannibalism.

Actually, a more related example would be the time I was told Freedom was contributing to rape culture and making women unsafe by carrying pronoun badges. That was a bit special. These are the dangerous objects in question, the others being she/her and they/them:

DboNQy9WsAERzFp.jpg
 
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It's not a phrase I (edit: tend to — just realised I did above) use myself because it's clunky and often derails conversations unnecessarily. I think it depends on how the phrase is parsed however as to whether it's ultimately unreasonable or not. Opposing self ID certainly does deny trans people recognition and rights in some very important arenas, and the campaign to do so has repeatedly reinforced tropes and bigotries which can and do lead to violent death. It's very easy to be sanguine when it's not me who has to pay for such things by getting my head kicked in.
It’s inaccurate and dishonest (as was the labelling of ‘TERFs’ as ‘fascists’ which is probably a clearer example of language being used to distort definitions in order to justify actions usually reserved for actual fascists).
 
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Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
It’s inaccurate and dishonest (as was the labelling of ‘TERFs’ as ‘fascists’ which is probably a clearer example of language being used to justify actions usually reserved for actual fascists).
I'm sort of wondering why you bothered quoting me given you appear to be mostly ignoring what I said and going on refute a comment I've not made.

Anyhoo it all seems kind of one-sided, this attribution of motivations you're offering here. I get that you think people are being inaccurate, what evidence do you have that they (all/most/some/a minority/someone/none) are being dishonest? I've seen a couple of people talk about terfs and fascists in the same breath, my take was that they were being a bit silly thinking of the worst word they could use, which is something we've all seen happen about a thousand times in contexts from shouting at members of the plod who are carrying out an arrest to Animal Rights activists outside an abattoir. Frankly if anything I'd see marking the phenomenon of badly-conceived insults out as somehow being specially tied to pro-trans activists while ignoring the poisonous behaviour of their opponents (evidenced in the very post you were quoting), as far more "dishonest" behaviour.

Do you think slagging people off as tacitly pro-rape for wearing a They/Them badge is honest decent debate? What about getting someone arrested after a scuffle, waiting until they were in the dock testifying and then bray-laughing at their speech impediment to try and put them off to the point that the judge has to intervene? How about, as I've seen recently, putting it about that the entire trans rights movement is a stooge for "big pharma" - should that be treated as a fair and reasonable bit of questioning behaviour?
 
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Pickman's model

every man and every woman is a star
It’s inaccurate and dishonest (as was the labelling of ‘TERFs’ as ‘fascists’ which is probably a clearer example of language being used to distort definitions in order to justify actions usually reserved for actual fascists).
Perhaps used in accordance with the definition of fascists as people the user of the word dislikes
 
I'm sort of wondering why you bothered quoting me given you appear to be mostly ignoring what I said and going on refute a comment I've not made.

Anyhoo it all seems kind of one-sided, this attribution of motivations you're offering here. I get that you think people are being inaccurate, what evidence do you have that they (all/most/some/a minority/someone/none) are being dishonest? I've seen a couple of people talk about terfs and fascists in the same breath, my take was that they were being a bit silly thinking of the worst word they could use, which is something we've all seen happen about a thousand times in contexts from shouting at members of the plod who are carrying out an arrest to Animal Rights activists outside an abattoir. Frankly if anything I'd see marking the phenomenon of badly-conceived insults out as somehow being specially tied to pro-trans activists while ignoring the poisonous behaviour of their opponents (evidenced in the very post you were quoting), as far more "dishonest" behaviour.

Do you think slagging people off as tacitly pro-rape for wearing a They/Them badge is honest decent debate? What about getting someone arrested after a scuffle, waiting until they were in the dock testifying and then bray-laughing at their speech impediment to try and put them off to the point that the judge has to intervene? How about, as I've seen recently, putting it about that the entire trans rights movement is a stooge for "big pharma" - should that be treated as a fair and reasonable bit of questioning behaviour?
Out of idle curiosity, are there any examples of ‘TERFs’ physically attacking trans activists here in the U.K.? It was that which got my goat tbh and the only reason why I’m bringing up the language is because that apparently justified it.
That aside, I agree the extremes on both sides use inflammatory language.
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
there’s seasoned activists supporting this useage.
Who? Are they usually otherwise known for their pin-sharp use of terminology? What was the context, were they drunk and angry in an argument or sober and seriously arguing "terfs want a state-corporate compact characterised by aggressive nationalism"? Why does this example of Godwin's Law matter particularly over say, calling a badge-wearer a rape apologist?

Seriously though I find it really, really weird that trans activists are repeatedly singled out as being vastly more dishonest and aggressive than people who in many cases refuse point blank to even call them by their chosen name, accuse them of only wanting to be women so they can peek at tits in the ladies' bathroom etc etc.

What's more dishonest and aggro, getting angry at a progressive event when people come to hand out leaflets attacking the idea of you getting important rights that have until now been denied? Or going to an event you know will be full of trans people specifically to hand out "questioning" leaflets in full knowledge that it'll kick off a fight, then legging it and claiming you're the innocent victim of savagery (while bragging Job Done to your mates)? I genuinely don't get looking at these stunts and coming up with the idea that it's just Gender Critical Victims vs Terrible ID Pol Psychos.

is there any examples of ‘TERFs’ physically attacking trans people here in the U.K.? It was that which got my goat tbh and the only reason why I’m bringing up the language
Yes, the other side of the reports on Hyde Park alleged that the person punched had acted first by attacking someone from behind. Thing is though a main plank of the anti-trans strategy has been to deliberately wind people up and then play the victim card when they react (eg. above, and my other examples of poisonous verbiage), which has been a standard activist tactic for as long as I've been around and doubtless long before.

And it's easy to do that in this case, in the same way as it's easy for I dunno, a white guy to wind up a black person by claiming Black Lives Matter actually means black people are being racist against whites, keep their cool because it's not them getting slapped about by cops and then claim "look I told you these blacks are just unreasonable" when tempers are lost.

I tend to facepalm when people take the bait, and certainly don't condone physical attacks (potential exclusion from progressive spaces is a broader question), but I think the level of abuse which has gone on is generally revolting. I mean fucking hell the amount of shit that got slung at Lily Madigan, who'd never physically hurt anybody, was just breathtaking. The stuff that pops up on the social media feed of Paris Lees and the like is as bad or worse, and near enough continuous. I dunno if you saw Genderquake, but the comments there are pretty common fare.

And I've not seen prominent "gender critics" take this behaviour to task, in fact when I've seen them asked about it there's mostly just been sliding on to the next topic, or a blank inability to stop trying to divert it into how terrible trans people are.
 
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Wilf

Slouching towards Billingham
Think I'm making just about the same point I made on one of the disappeared trans threads, but it seems even more relevant on an anarcho-specific thread. Anyroad, I previously posed the question 'what would the 'trans v terf' battle look like in an equal society'? That might look a bit utopian and a bit 'why can't we all get along', but neither are intended. I'm just getting at whether there's a prefigurative politics available that avoids what I've read about bookfair organisers being pressured to sign up to statements and the rest.

Hopefully without displaying any mansplaining, cis-splaining or similar it just looks to me like this as a battle, as a way of carrying on, is using the tools and weapons of ID politics, not solidarity. Part of that is about real issues, real positions that can't easily be split down the middle. Issues around the GRA, around women only spaces, around whether trans women can expect people to respect self definitions. Fwiw my instincts are around full trans rights, but then I've also listened to some arguments about women only spaces/services. But my instincts are not the point, I'm neither trans nor female. These are difficult, real issues for women and for trans men and women. In a way, it's not surprising that this plays out with everyone's real, raw concerns about challenges to their identity and status. But, to get to my point :oops: it's hard to see how any of this will go anywhere if it still plays out as ID pols. Privilege theory and intersectionality don't provide a way through this, don't allow for common struggles, don't even take us towards a place where feminist and trans activists could campaign together on, say, sexual violence. Neither does ID politics take you to a place where you could think about a world where would even need to be hung up on some of these boundaried and owned identities.
 

MadeInBedlam

Arm the mentally ill
Alleged transphobia.

The article you link to provides no examples of her alleged ‘transphobic heckling’ (unless there’s something hidden away in the article).

And the article itself repeatedly puts trabsohobia in scare quotes.

Any more info or should we just accept as fact the word of The Green Party and Munroe Bergdorf?
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
Huh, didn't clock that the "questioning" anarchist bookfair leafletter was also the person who went on the telly to shout "penis" at a trans panellist. You can hear her from around the 41-minute mark.

it's hard to see how any of this will go anywhere if it still plays out as ID pols. Privilege theory and intersectionality don't provide a way through this, don't allow for common struggles
So I think this goes some of the way to my uneasiness about "ID Pol" as a term of criticism. It's way too broad and nebulous imv, as privilege theory and intersectional theory both have elements which are useful and elements which can be (and are) misused either deliberately or no. Yes there's a lot of stupid shit goes on (eg. the oppression Olympics) but that's true of any social trend or political tendency - pillocks will be pillocks right? Intersectionality as talked about by Bell Hooks and Patricia Collins for example has a lot of interesting things to say.
 

rich!

stalin tache
After the bookfair, several complaints and a request for suspension were made, but it was decided that they wouldn't be suspended during the investigation of the complaints. The more public display resulted in additional complaints and a request for suspension that was upheld.

The actual investigation into the original complaints is still going on - GP internal procedures are not the fastest moving in the world...
 

andysays

Defiantly non-premium member
Am I the only one who is struggling to see why the 'temporary suspension in order to prevent possible harm to the Party’s reputation’ (not expulsion, and not explicitly for transphobia) of a member of the Green Party is being discussed on the Anarchist Bookfair thread? Apart from smokedout's dishonest and disingenuous attempt to shoehorn it in here, of course.

It would make more sense to include in the "Why the Green Party is shit" thread, TBH
 

ska invita

back on the other side
Am I the only one who is struggling to see why the 'temporary suspension in order to prevent possible harm to the Party’s reputation’ (not expulsion, and not explicitly for transphobia) of a member of the Green Party is being discussed on the Anarchist Bookfair thread? Apart from smokedout's dishonest and disingenuous attempt to shoehorn it in here, of course.

It would make more sense to include in the "Why the Green Party is shit" thread, TBH
Because the trans perplexed thread got locked and there's still a lot to talk about
 

andysays

Defiantly non-premium member
Because the trans perplexed thread got locked and there's still a lot to talk about
My recollection is that that thread was locked because of the usual accusations of transphobia against more or less anyone who disagreed with smokedout and a few others.

The temporary suspension of a member of the Green Party following their behaviour in a TV studio has nothing to do with the Bookfair, and smokedout shoehorning it in here seems to me an attempt to continue to attack the Bookfair organisers rather than continue any meaningful discussion about trans issues.
 

andysays

Defiantly non-premium member
She was one of the leafletters at the bookfair.
I know that, but the fact the Green Party have now suspended one of their members while they investigate a complaint arising from something she did last week isn't of any significance to the Anarchist Bookfair, unless you (or more appropriately perhaps as they brought it up smokedout) would like to explain what relevance it has to the Bookfair in particular or Anarchism in general
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
I mean, I dunno what interaction you had with the fallout, but a good chunk of the argument about the Bookfair involved critics saying people were overreacting to "questioning" leaflets and that it was outrageous people trying to open a debate were being treated in the same way as if racists showed up.

That one of the two leafletters has since shown up on a national telly programme shouting "penis" at trans panellists and been suspended from the fluffy wuffy Greens surely goes a fair way to showing that the leaflets were not in fact motivated by opening a debate at all, and the people who confronted them were spot on in identifying her as a bigot.
 

andysays

Defiantly non-premium member
I mean, I dunno what interaction you had with the fallout, but a good chunk of the argument about the Bookfair involved critics saying people were overreacting to "questioning" leaflets and that it was outrageous people trying to open a debate were being treated in the same way as if racists showed up.

That one of the two leafletters has since shown up on a national telly programme shouting "penis" at trans panellists and been suspended from the fluffy wuffy Greens surely goes a fair way to showing that the leaflets were not in fact motivated by opening a debate at all, and the people who confronted them were spot on in identifying her as a bigot.
But surely the important question for this thread is not whether her leaflets were bigoted (we don't need her to be suspended by the GP to help us decide that FFS) but whether the method of confronting on the day was appropriate or useful, whether the way various other groups with a grudge against the organisers subsequently used the incident to attack them and how/if some sort of Bookfair can be effectively organised in the future given the clear split between people on both sides who care more about the ongoing TERF/trans activist battle than they do about the Bookfair and, I suspect, Anarchism in general.

Smokedout clearly comes into the latter category, which is why I'm not surprised at them bringing this up, but in what way do you think it's helpful to the subject of the thread to drag this in here and now?
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
I don't think the "important question" of this 51-page monstrosity of a thread is yours to decide, tbh. If you want to talk about how bigots should be confronted fine, but even if you don't like smokedout it's a bit shit to call them "disingenuous and dishonest" for posting a directly relevant followup to a related issue which very much is part of the debate.
(we don't need her to be suspended by the GP to help us decide that FFS)
Edit: Also are you serious here? A good chunk of people on this thread had very clearly not agreed on the subject, how on Earth is providing new information a "we don't need this ffs" moment?
 
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rich!

stalin tache
I know that, but the fact the Green Party have now suspended one of their members while they investigate a complaint arising from something she did last week isn't of any significance to the Anarchist Bookfair, unless you (or more appropriately perhaps as they brought it up smokedout) would like to explain what relevance it has to the Bookfair in particular or Anarchism in general
There are also outstanding complaints from the Bookfair incident.
 

andysays

Defiantly non-premium member
There are also outstanding complaints from the Bookfair incident.
Yes there are, but I can't see that those being resolved will make any significant difference to issues around the Bookfair.

It's as if some here imagine that if the Green Party decide to permanently expel this person for transphobic actions, anyone who currently doubts or denies that she should have been prevented from leafleting the Bookfair will immediately become convinced, and that all the actions of the protestors who attacked her and others on the day and those who used the incident as an excuse to attack the organisers will be proved correct, and then, what exactly?

Will this help in any way to resolve the trans/TERF split or make it more likely that future Bookfairs can happen without this hostility raising its head again?

Or is that unimportant compared to the feeling of being able to say 'I told you they were a bigot and now even the Green Party agree, so if you don't agree, you must be a bigot too'? Because that's all this will achieve.
 

rich!

stalin tache
Yes there are, but I can't see that those being resolved will make any significant difference to issues around the Bookfair.

It's as if some here imagine that if the Green Party decide to permanently expel this person for transphobic actions, anyone who currently doubts or denies that she should have been prevented from leafleting the Bookfair will immediately become convinced, and that all the actions of the protestors who attacked her and others on the day and those who used the incident as an excuse to attack the organisers will be proved correct, and then, what exactly?

Will this help in any way to resolve the trans/TERF split or make it more likely that future Bookfairs can happen without this hostility raising its head again?

Or is that unimportant compared to the feeling of being able to say 'I told you they were a bigot and now even the Green Party agree, so if you don't agree, you must be a bigot too'? Because that's all this will achieve.
I agree with you on this, fwiw.
 

Rob Ray

Irony is well sad
It's as if some here imagine that if the Green Party decide to permanently expel this person for transphobic actions, anyone who currently doubts or denies that she should have been prevented from leafleting the Bookfair will immediately become convinced, and that all the actions of the protestors who attacked her and others on the day and those who used the incident as an excuse to attack the organisers will be proved correct, and then, what exactly?
Who has suggested this? I certainly haven't. What I have suggested is that it is pertinent supporting information about one of the main instigators of the confrontation, and maybe you shouldn't fuck people off for posting it. I'm not sure why this is rustling your jimmies so much, or why you're focusing on the Greens aspect of it rather than on the shouting abuse at trans people on national television aspect. Or why you're characterising it as a case of "making excuses" for "those who used the incident as an excuse to attack the organisers" — which tbh is a pretty partisan way of putting that.

Will this help in any way to resolve the trans/TERF split or make it more likely that future Bookfairs can happen without this hostility raising its head again?
Will being a bit more on it and identifying bigots who are trying to stir shit up early prevent hostility from getting out of hand at events? Probably yes. Will moaning about them mad ID Pols oh if only we didn't have to deal with this shit blah blah help? Likely not. In fact it's probably quite counterproductive.
 
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