The Daily Wire’s Micheal Knowles inspired alarmed headlines, and deservedly so, when he declared that “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely” in a speech at CPAC on Saturday.
But what was missing from some of the coverage was the chilling context in which these words were uttered. As trans activist and writer Erin Reed puts it in a must-read Substack post that I’d like to highlight for you all,
it is important to recognize that Michael Knowles’ words are fully backed by the actions of the Republican Party. Transgender eradication is not a slogan – it is an active effort underway in over 20 states.
Indeed, there are a staggering 421 anti-trans bills that have been introduced so far. Reed, who has tirelessly tracked the Republican legislative assault on trans people, notes the intents of some of these bills:
Forced medical detransition for trans youth with methods for doctors to do it spelled out.
Bans on drag that include transgender people, that also state anybody “impersonating another sex” is guilty of a crime if they “excite lustful thoughts” in a cop or prosecutor.
Complete writing of trans people out of the law and banning of IDs and birth certificates.
Fines of $35,000 for calling somebody transphobic.
Forced detransition of incarcerated transgender adults.
Bills allowing people to kidnap trans kids and the kids of trans parents.
Effective bans on clinics providing gender affirming care through policies making the clinics impossible to operate.
Students in schools being given the right to bully trans kids by using their old name and pronouns.
Drag bans that could ban Pride.
Bills and policies that would charge parents with child abuse for gender affirming care.
Bans on any books with trans characters or gay characters, regardless of how family friendly they may be.
Adult bathroom bans that would charge trans adults with sex crimes.
Add to this a proposed national bill from Marjorie Taylor Greene called, perversely, the “Protect Children’s Innocence Act,” which would, as Reed notes,
ban gender affirming care for trans teens and force their medical detransition, ban insurance coverage nationwide for adult trans healthcare, and would even ban higher education organizations from teaching transgender healthcare.
It’s not hyperbole to call this cultural genocide. And it seems highly likely that upcoming bills will be even more cruel and draconian as the confidence of the anti-trans movement grows. We need to stand up and speak out against this war on trans people, before it’s too late.
I would strongly recommend following Reed on Twitter and supporting her Substack. She does amazing and sadly necessary work.
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The people getting charged would be those who don’t “pass”. Blair White will walk into a women’s bathroom and no one will know she’s Trans. If she walks into a men’s bathroom the men will think she’s a cis-woman using the men’s bathroom. So these people don’t even know what they’re talking about.
Why is Dave Rubin a Republican and Daily Wire talk show host? They hate him, his husband and their 2 kids.
That was Montana’s response to what is considered “lewd” according to their new law that prohibits dressing in a lewd manner not in accordance with gender assigned at birth. How do we know if something is lewd? If it “incites lustful thoughts” in law enforcement or the DA.
It’s sadistic, no? They will make all the creepy jokes about trans women not looking like “real” women. But the moment one does pass as a woman, which of course means these guys think of her as a sex object, just like they do cis women, then she can be arrested for their “impure thought”.
Why did they bother limiting the lust to a cop or prosecutor? And how do they figure “exciting lustful thoughts” as a crime? Makes zero sense.
@Love is All We Need:
If I may speculate, it’s because a straight man being attracted to an AMAB person could only happen due to deception, and that deception is a direct attack on his manhood. Being seen as gay is such a threat to personal identity and his social status that it can only be considered harmful. The fact that most liberals and centrists would not consider it a sign of him being gay, nor would it meaningfully impact his social status among them even if he was gay matters to them, only how other conservatives would treat them does.
On its own, that would not lead to it being seen as a crime, just as a legitimate cause to retaliate (see trans panic, gay panic, insults which directly impugn one’s honor if unanswered, “them’s fightin’ words”). However, there also used to be a crime in some places called “manifesting prostitution”. That is, if the police believed that there was a reasonable chance that you might have been a sex worker, then it doesn’t matter if you were or not – into jail goes you. Such laws were often used to crack down on gay men or trans women (same thing, at the time) for standing out as such, in addition to women who dressed “too slutty” or carried a condom in her purse. The idea was that “public displays of immorality” harm the community just as much as actual immorality.
The general idea is that men must not wrongthink, be inappropriately lustful, or lose their place in the social hierarchy. And if any of that happens due to the actions (or existence) of someone of an equal or lower social status, then that person needs to be punished, preferably by the wronged party. Thing is, they’re not exactly allowed to do that anymore… And you may note that all this focuses on men, women who might be “wronged” in such a fashion are of secondary or incidental concern, when they’re not considered property to be avenged. Also trans men don’t real.
(Again, this is all speculative, but likely close to the mark.)
Somebody else lusting after you is somehow a crime you’ve committed. Weird. B just doesn’t follow A here.
To clarify and TL;DR my previous post, an AMAB person being attractive to a cishet man is a form of fraud which harms his personal identity and social status among conservatives; also communities should be allowed to police even the appearance of immorality, as defined by conservatives. The former is a “legitimate cause for retaliation”, the latter is a “legitimate community interest”. The combination of the two makes it a crime in their eyes. The general line of thought which leads to that is essentially a fusion of cishet male supremacy and victim-blaming.
I wish they could just relax, love whoever they might chance to love, and have self-acceptance …
“protect children Innocent” yes because teenagers never have any sexual thoughts unless someone tells them too.
The whole thing is just stupid. I was telling girls I wished I was a boy so they could be my girlfriend when I was 5. I was thinking about kissing girls when I was 8. I wanted to get pretend married to girls and I was 7. My first kiss was with a girl when I was 11. And this was fully without any knowledge about LGBT people. I didn’t hear the word bisexual till I was 12 and was already very horny with large breast and periods in the wave of puberty. Grown men were looking at my sexually, but God forbid I had my own sexual thoughts.
Gay kids are going to continue to be gay kids even if they don’t have a word for it. They are just going to grow up thinking they are broken
I feel for all my peers on your side of the Atlantic. Reading this kind of shit is exhausting, which is still nothing compared to living it. And a grim reminded that this is what those allegedly ‘socially progressive, fiscally conservative’-types are okay with for their goddamned tax breaks.
@Love is All We Need:
This is nothing new; it’s just a different face for “she was asking for it” rhetoric. Toxic masculinity insists that men must be infinitely sexually potent, but it also teaches men to be deeply uncomfortable with sexual attraction — probably because being attracted to a specific woman makes her a person instead of an object, and because attraction often involves being just a bit vulnerable, ceding just a teensy bit of power.
Therefore, if a woman is attractive, she’s an evil temptress who needs to be punished.
However, there also used to be a crime in some places called “manifesting prostitution”. That is, if the police believed that there was a reasonable chance that you might have been a sex worker, then it doesn’t matter if you were or not – into jail goes you. Such laws were often used to crack down on gay men or trans women (same thing, at the time) for standing out as such, in addition to women who dressed “too slutty” or carried a condom in her purse. The idea was that “public displays of immorality” harm the community just as much as actual immorality.
Let’s not forget quotas: if the police need to arrest, say, ten sex workers on a given night, and they can’t find ten…they’ll make some.
(Which, in turn, brings to mind the urban legend about unsuspecting American tourists abroad who get arrested as sex workers and forced to buy a sex work license to avoid prosecution. Barbara Mikkelson notes the smug self-congratulatory tone of the story (our nice respectable justice system doesn’t conduct reputation-smearing sanctioned shakedowns); I’d also hazard a guess that Americans who are something other than White, cis, het, native-English-speaking, and of a nice respectable social class might not find such a scenario funny. Or an exotic foreign experience.)
Cishet men are afraid trans women will attract them. Trans women are afraid cishet men will murder them.
The way I put it to some friends a while back re the plantation derived male protection dynamics around this was
“Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them. Trans people are afraid men will kill them while women look on and laugh.”
Speaking of young people growing up thinking they’re broken:
Translation: a low tolerance for working entirely for someone else’s benefit rather than their own. I seem to recall that Karl Marx had a few things to say on the topic of alienated labor?
Anyone want to lay odds on the historians of 2123 having come to a consensus that “ADHD” was to 20th and early 21st century capitalism as “drapetomania” was to antebellum slavery?
Gay, trans, non-neurotypical, and maybe even just unsuited to alienated labor: all will get pathologized and forced into some sort of uncomfortable conformity if the right wing has its way.
As well as being an attempt to incite gay panic, I suspect that their Congressional lawyers informed Montana that prohibition of adult trangender people from existing in the state would violate the Constitutional rights of US citizens. This is a way around that, to try to weaselly claim that they are not restricting the rights of transgender people, just enforcing obscenity laws. As Snowberry pointed out earlier, it’s a long established tactic of discrimination against the LGBT community.
@ Elaine the witch
Some people just seemingly can’t fathom that sexual and gender minority children exist. Whenever someone says we need to keep all talk of gender diversity away from children lest we “confuse” them, they’re completely ignoring all the children who are confused because no one ever told them that gender is a complicated thing.
Now that I’m older and I know a bit about things, I can think back and kind of remember some complicated gender feels from when I was a child, even before puberty hit and I had no idea why things were kind of suddenly just not good. But I guess that was all a me problem.
Happy International “Why Isn’t There An International Men’s Day?” Day, women!
@Crip Dyke: To you as well!
(To the hypothetical dudebro sea lions out there: enbies are next, on July 14th. November 19th is your turn.)
And this post seems as good a place as any to leave the following announcement: she’s Suzy Eddie Izzard now:
Zero. There’s absolutely no question whatever that the neurological state presently defined as ADHD* is divergent from the normative neural state found in the majority of the population. The neurological state in question is definitely far less adaptive in late capitalism than it has been for most of human history. That said, even in our current economy, there’s places where the likes of us can function better than neurotypicals: I have yet to meet a neurotypical person who can last two shifts in a commercial kitchen.
*I am of the school which holds that the states presently defined as ADHD and autism are part of the same spectrum of neurological states.
I’m glad you said that.
I didn’t want to tread in and get into amateur diagnoses or anything; but when I read this:
I thought, well, that is exactly me. And a lot of other people I know. That might be self selection of course. But that behaviour seems bog standard ‘normal’; to use a loaded word.
I mean, is there anyone who can get enthused about a task they don’t care about? There might well be I guess. Humans are a very interesting bunch when it comes to how we all tick.
I do also have that thing where I’ll put far more effort in trying to get out of a task I don’t find appealing than it would have actually taken me to do the blooming task.
There’s an excellent chance you would be amazed at how neurotypicals actually operate, internally. That said, that particular aspect is one that’s often misinterpreted, and is a reason why you can’t reliably diagnose ADHD from a questionnaire. The short of it is that yes, many people have a much greater capacity for pushing through tedium than I (or, I suspect, you) have. (Semi related: do you have an opinion about change ringing?)
You mean as in the church bells thing?
I can’t say I know much about it; but I do have an admiration for anyone who takes up an activity that requires dedication and skill. I also find church bells quite romantic and wistful; but when they’re in the distance.
We have a cathedral down the road. Whilst a lot of bell ringing is automated now; they do do a lot of ‘live’ sessions. It is very impressive; and pretty loud; especially when you’re actually next to the cathedral.
I prefer though the bells of a smaller church across the valley. Especially at night or when there’s mist muffling the sound. There’s just something so evocative about the sound.
I love in Summer when I’m out in the lanes and I can hear a church bell in the distance, just merging with that summer soundscape of birdsong and insects. It’s hard to explain; but it provokes particular feelings in me. All that being part of the landscape but also reminders of human connectivity when I’m somewhere I won’t see another person for hours. I’m probably not making a lot of sense there; but it’s a very powerful emotion. Similarly in winter. I love being on a snowy landscape and hearing bells in the distance.
Maybe it’s an evolutionary hangover? Like we have an innate feeling of relief/happiness when we’re isolated and far from home but we get a signal as to where other humans are at?
There’s a Madonna song that ends with some synth strings; but they’re playing a particular ring change tune. I sometimes listen to just that bit. It reminds me of all of the above and triggers the same feelings.
Any of that make sense?
ETA: I also like foghorns.
Oh, I’m not claiming there isn’t a neurotype that correlates fairly strongly with the diagnosis of “ADHD”.
I’m just suggesting that perhaps that neurotype isn’t actually a disorder, but part of the normal spectrum of human variation, which has been pathologized only because it’s not particularly useful to the billionaires, and so that the people in question can be drugged into being more compliant workers without a giant outcry.
@Sphinx of Black Quartz:
Therefore, if a woman is attractive, she’s an evil temptress who needs to be punished.
AKA Frollo’s Law.