In the trans-exclusionary bathroom: a quick reply to Daphne Lawless on left transphobia

“whether or not them all just fucking off would be a desirable outcome, it doesn’t seem like a likely or a workable one, so I can’t see any alternative to finding ways to constructively discuss things with them, to de-escalating rather than escalating some conflicts, and to continue working together where possible.”

To put it in perspective, we’ve sat in antifascist meetings with apologists for Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

Cautiously pessimistic

The Aoateroa/New Zealand-based group Fightback recently published a short article by Daphne Lawless, aiming to challenge the spread of trans-exclusionary/transphobic ideas on the New Zealand, and international, left. In general, I definitely welcome this article – I also see those ideas as being reactionary, and so I’m always glad to see people arguing against them. But there are a few points I wanted to take up further.

Firstly, Lawless objects to a group called the Left Network for Free Speech, saying that their “insistence that state action against “hate speech” in fact makes things worse” is reminiscent of the old UK Revolutionary Communist Party’s edgelord contrarianism and slide into rightwing positions. I would say that this position in itself is a pretty defensible one – while, with all the other ills in the world today, I’m never likely to make opposing hate crime laws a particular priority, I do…

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