Genocide & Julie Bindel

October 20, 2008

Genocide.

It’s a strong word. A frightening word. A word that seems far too terrible, far too extreme for what an especially transphobic journalist or filmmaker advocates–even when you consider the existence of multiple forms of genocide, cultural genocide as well as genocide based in mass murder. That seems far too extreme for describing actions of Dr Zucker, [cis] gay historians, [straight][cis] historians, previous gatekeepers in the medical establishment.

But when Zucker’s method of therapy is to isolate and terrorize, to create PTSD in response to gender-variant behavior in order to stop it, when he says that our way of life is so depraved that it’s preferable for us to end up alcoholic and self-injuring
when Janice Raymond’s “solution” to transsexuality is to “morally mandate it out of existence[emphasis mine]
when historians hide every shred of knowledge we have about our cultural ancestors,
when other historians find that knowledge and deliberately erase the gender aspects, appropriating those figures for their own, entirely apart from us–thereby cutting us off from our history and our ancestors,
when gender clinics made silence about our existence a condition for treatment, did everything they could to isolate us, kept us from talking to each other in a common language, kept us from finding each other, only treated those of us who will be in no way distinctively trans in appearance, action, or speech,
when doctors “treating” intersex children not only mutilated their genitals, but deliberately kept the knowledge of their intersexuality from them, taking great pains to ensure that intersex people would not reach out and find each other, their common ground, share their stories–

Amongst all that, how are we to take this:

I chose the title, “Sex change surgery is unnecessary mutilation”. … Are we right to support sex change surgery, and is it right to apply a surgical solution to what I believe is a psychological problem? (link)
But a leading feminist campaigner claims that sex reassignment surgery is based on unscientific ideas – and could be doing more harm than good. (link)

To use Sarah Brown’s words, “her core message [is] that she wants to open a “dialogue” about why trans people shouldn’t be allowed medical transition.” And by nominating her for journalist of the year, Stonewall UK, at minimum, agrees to that ‘dialogue’.

I hope it’s clear that Bindel conflates SRS with medical transition as a whole (because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, surprise).

So let me translate this one step further:
She wants to wipe transsexual bodies from the face of the earth. She wants to make trans bodies cease to exist.

There’s a word for that.

16 Responses to “Genocide & Julie Bindel”

  1. […] a comment » Cedar writes about how various people have expressed the fervent desire that trans people not exist: […]

  2. It is powerful, and a connection that I’d not been making. Now it has been made, I think it is a fair one.

  3. Bindel obfuscates her core message behind an affable personality, self denigration, playing the martyr and the guise of just wanting to “talk it over”. Thank you for cutting right to the chase.

  4. There’s a guy on Facebook who’s arguing that the most ethical, proper course with trans people is to find a way to cure us of being trans in the womb. Ugh…

    He keeps saying bullshit like this:

    Merely saying that transsexuality is “different” as opposed to “unnatural” or “wrong” however seems insufficient to me, and moreover, missing the point. Is such a state healthy or desireable? I would be tempted to say that it is not because, as you have pointed out, social factors create many problems unduly for such persons.

  5. That is, because society is unkind to trans people, we should cease to exist to accommodate society, rather than the burden placed on society to accommodate us.

  6. sable said

    And people who makes these sorts of statements make them without ever thinking, “What if I applied this same statement to, say, people of color?”

    *sigh*

  7. oh no, i’m sure she has her precious one token transsexual friend (who you *know* she refers to as a “tranny”) who is okay. the rest of y’all can, you know, cease to exist. that way it’s not “genocide” but simply “academic discourse.” then you make sure to claim that trans people all hate lesbians as part of the argument for demonizing…

    oh wait the end result’s the same. never mind.

  8. Mireille said

    That makes lots of sense. Rather than try to get society to see people as people, better to remove any abnormality in the womb. The world would be much better if we were all the same!

    And this is a great article. Thank you for this.

  9. Michael said

    Agreed that this is powerful.

    As for the moron on Facebook that Lisa Harney referenced, and her response to that, I need only point to a famous George Bernard Shaw quote: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’

    (Ignore the understood masculine there; a product of its time, dontcha know.)

  10. Yes a powerful piece.

    Now two rhetorical questions:

    What would Stonewall’s reaction have been had a BME group nominated Ayatollah Khomeini as Politician of the Year.

    Would Stonewall accept Ernst Rohm* for nomination in a new Historical Figure category.

    *gay man who was deputy leader of the Nazi party until the Night of the Long Knives in which he was murdered.

  11. Cedar said

    I feel like I should say I feel uneasy about direct comparison to the struggles of POC, Nazis, etc. I want to make this argument on its own, because it operates very differently than other historical forms of genocide–it’s neither worse, not as bad as, nor equally bad as other world/national events. An attempt to exterminate should be self-evidently bad if the people bearing the characteristic being exterminated aren’t the primary ones calling for it, unanimously.

    Also, when comparisons between oppressions are made, they should be of a mind to further discourse about *both* oppressions, rather than using one as a teaching tool/lab rat/etc for the other. We know about this from queer theorists and medical theorists and Middlesex–let’s not do it ourselves.

  12. With a number of countries demanding sterilisation as a requirment for recognising Transgender people properly, according them basic rights and essential services…

    and if being transgender is genetic or genetics is a factor…

    Then such a policy is also genocide. Literally a policy of Eugenics.

    Forced and coerced sterilisation is a recognised Human Rights Abuse. Cultural genocide is too.

  13. Cedar said

    Batty,

    Thanks for pointing that out. You’re totally right, and I’m still processing that.

  14. drakyn said

    Hey, fyi, Julie has quoted a few of these comments and referenced your post Cedar!
    Don’t you feel special?
    She also still refuses to admit that she has called for genocide.

  15. […] when we know he’s going to use it for transphobic ends, without any accountability…and we’ve never seen this […]

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