“So typically male.”
Two radical feminists on Wednesday barged into a private meeting to confront a transgender rights activist in Washington, DC.
Lesbian author Julia Long and transgender-critical feminist Posie Parker, who are both British, challenged Sarah McBridge, a 28-year-old American trans woman and human rights activist, about her efforts to promote transgender rights.
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McBride was wrapping up a series of consultations she led between parents of transgender kids and members of Congress. Her work on Capitol Hill coincided with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s promise to advance the Equality Act, a bill that has been floating around Congress in various permutations since 1974. This bill would cement protections against LGBTQ discrimination, including special guarantees for transgender people to be regarded in federal spaces according to their self-identified gender rather than their biological sex.
Long and Parker, like many cis women activists derogatorily called “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” have argued that the transgender equality movement and feminism are locked in a zero-sum game with each other: any progress achieved by one is a step backwards for the other.
They pressed McBride on the Equality Act, while repeatedly referring to her as a man.
“‘Scuse me, are you prepared to listen to the concerns of women about the Equality Act,” Parker started in, before a man sitting with McBride could begin to interject. “I want to know why this person is advocating to remove the safety for women and girls. Why do you want to do that?”
“Why are you championing the rights of men to access women in women’s prisons? And rape and sexually assault them as recently happened in the United Kingdom?” Long followed-up in reference to Karen White, a British transgender female convict who had sexually assaulted inmates at a women’s prison.
Long, who has long regarded transgenderism as the “erasure” of womanhood, also pushed McBride on the young age at which biological women are allowed to transition: “Why don’t you care about lesbian girls at 14 having double mastectomies? Why don’t you care about that, Sarah?”
“We hear your hatred of lesbians very clearly, Sarah,” she added. “Wear hear your male entitlement very clearly, and we see your male violence against women very clearly,” she added.
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As McBride and her associate got up to leave, Parker quipped: “Everyone, this is Sarah McBride ignoring women and girls’ concerns, as usual. So typically male.”
Parker uploaded the video to her Facebook, but it has since been removed.
McBride, who remained silent throughout the video, tweeted the next day that she was saddened by the stunt but “won’t let it incident diminish the love, pride and solidarity that filled that room just moments before.”
The sad truth is that this kind of harassment is the reality for far too many transgender people, particularly trans women of color, across the country and around the world.
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) January 30, 2019
“Today I stand in solidarity with all those who face harassment for merely seeking their rights: women, both trans and cis, workers, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and Black, Latinx, Asian and indigenous people,” she tweeted. (Did she omit any group from this exhaustive list of the aggrieved?)
Today I stand in solidarity with all those who face harassment for merely seeking their rights: women, both trans and cis, workers, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and Black, Latinx, Asian and indigenous people.
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) January 30, 2019
Olivia Dalron, who directs communication for McBride’s advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, told HuffPost that the timing and style of the TERFs’ “attack reinforces the massive gap between our message of love and their agenda of bigotry.”
Left-wing Twitter was upset.
I am so sorry this happened Sarah. Thank you for all your work, particularly on behalf of our transgender youth. Sending extra hugs & love your way.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 30, 2019
— girl with the staff (@hayleyglyphs) January 31, 2019
Even old-school feminist Julie Bindel, a fierce critic of identity politics, tweeted that despite her ongoing battles against the “trans lobby,” she “despise[s]” Parker and Long’s performance art.
death of trans people who were in the vicinity and died of smoke inhalation – so not only do I feel I have nothing to apologise for, it would be a massive waste of time. But I want to say how I despise the latest tactics of Posie Parker and disciples, and want no part in it. As
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) February 1, 2019
Pluralist managed to preserve a copy of the video above.
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