“Speaking truth is a threat to power and those in power will seek to suppress it. If you are being silenced, they see you as a threat. If you have become a target, you are doing something right.”
— Casey Chapman
Remember last month when transgender activists attacked a woman at a feminist gathering in London? That incident has had enormous impact in calling attention to an internecine conflict on the Left which, like the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the liberal media have been desperately trying to ignore for years. This battle in the transgender war on women was described by Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy:
The men who punched and kicked Maria MacLachlan had come to protest the women on account of their interest in feminism and in discussing the way new conversations and legislation around “gender identity” could impact the women’s movement and women’s rights. The protestors did not frame their anger and inflammatory rhetoric in this way, though. Instead, they labelled the women “TERFs” (trans exclusionary radical feminists) — a word that has come to signify a modern witch: to be silenced, threatened, harassed, punched, and — yes — killed.
The idea that feminists who question the notion of “gender identity” should be beaten and murdered has very rapidly become accepted by self-described leftists. We’re not just talking about Twitter eggs, here. Men with large platforms who are publicly associated with Antifa and groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have amplified the “punch TERFs” and “TERFs get the guillotine” message proudly, with the support of their comrades. In reference to The Handmaid’s Tale, many have taken to saying “TERFs get the wall.”
“TERF,” like “white supremacist” and “fascist,” is one of those terms used by leftists to silence their opponents. If you don’t agree 100% with their latest slogan, or if you call attention to facts that don’t fit their agenda, the Left will make you a target of these epithets, in an attempt to discredit you, and thus to exclude you from public forums. To these totalitarians, facts are “hate” and disagreement is “harassment.”
We on the Right have witnessed this tactic in action for years as, for example, those like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been demonized as “racists” for speaking out against radical Islam. The Left has now become so deranged as to denounce freedom of speech as “genocide,” and it is dangerous to be a Republican on a college campus. However, this totalitarian tendency of the Left has also been manifest in the attempt to enforce ideological conformity within the Left.
Casey Chapman is a socialist who resigned from the Democratic Socialists of America in August after she was accused of being “trans-exclusionary.” In fact, Ms. Chapman has “experienced gender and sex dysphoria for most of my life,” she “previously identified as trans [and] was part of the trans community online.” However, Ms. Chapman stopped short of pursuing “transition” via surgery and hormones, and eventually “re-identified” as a woman. She now identifies as as bisexual, and is in a heterosexual relationship with a socialist comrade, Jonathan Phipps.
Because DSA members were prominent among those promoting online attacks against feminists as “TERFs,” Ms. Chapman recorded a YouTube video addressed to DSA leaders:
Ms. Chapman calls this left-wing anti-“TERF” crusade a “dehumanization” tactic, one that functions for left-wing men as “a convenient way to say you’re an ally to women and still hate women.” Gosh, doesn’t that remind you a lot of Harvey Weinstein supporting Planned Parenthood and giving money to Democrats in order to conceal and/or rationalize his predatory behavior toward women? And if you are familiar with the way David Horowitz became an ex-leftist, doesn’t this remind you of his wake-up moment, when Horowitz realized that his Black Panther “comrades” had murdered Betty Van Patter?
What feminists like Ms. Chapman might discover, if they are paying attention, is how the Left’s rhetoric of “equality” and “social justice” tends to provoke conflict, justifying hatred against scapegoated enemies by blaming them for the victimhood of those who claim to be oppressed. Believing yourself to be a victim of oppression, fighting against systemic injustice, becomes an excuse for antisocial behavior. After all, if “society” is to blame for your suffering — as transgender activists claim — then all the laws, customs and moral codes of society may be rejected as oppressive. Obligations of courtesy toward women, for example, are rejected by the Left and therefore feminists who offend transgender activists are targeted with abusive language and acts of violence.
Radical hostility toward “society” (as racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise unjust) becomes a license for destructive impulses. This is why radical movements always attract immoral people with antisocial personalities. It’s why, as Hayek observed, “The Worst Get on Top” in totalitarian regimes that offer “special opportunities for the ruthless and unscrupulous.” Wicked people crave power for selfish purposes, including revenge against those who disapprove of their wickedness. In the Soviet Union, for example, the head of Stalin’s secret police was Lavrenti Beria, “notorious for his sadistic enjoyment of torture and his taste for beating and raping women and violating young girls.”
Meghan Murphy says transgender activists are guilty of “hate speech”against feminists, which suggests that such speech should be criminalized, but do feminists wish to use the force of government to silence their opponents? Isn’t the problem that transgender activists, by accusing their critics of “hate,” are trying to silence opposition? If both sides of this conflict seek to silence each other, why? And what does this mean for those of us who have disagreements with both feminists and transgender activists? We have seen leftists use violence to prevent conservatives from being able to speak on college campuses. Defenders of religious liberty have been smeared as “hate groups” by the SPLC.
On her Twitter profile, Ms. Chapman calls herself a “thought criminal,” which ought to be a badge of honor in an era where there are so many people trying to prevent us from thinking and speaking freely.