Grieving the left.
“Okay, does my eleven year old daughter have the right to a female changing room without seeing an adult penis in it?” It’s a simple question, right? We know the right answer is "of course she does". Who knew this question in a left wing group would be so difficult to answer?
As a little girl I was pretty proud of the UK having a female prime minister. Margaret was strong and powerful woman surrounded by men who were all beneath her. This was the ultimate sign of equality, right? Thatcher was also one of my nicknames, ironically due to an insidious cultural sexism and early puberty, relating to being ten and having breasts and she lived at number ten.…you catch my drift. The juxtaposition of those two ideas is not lost on me. I don’t remember any of my views aligning with hers and my family were definitely liberal democrats, or whatever they were called back then, as the Labour Party was lead by a man with a dodgy coat and then a ginger Welsh man (who would vote for him?). Throughout my teens I was served an incredible political nourishment, a unified left satirising our politics. Loads o'money, Ben Elton, Spitting image all pulled me closer to a left wing ideology and one that I’ve held in my pocket for a good quarter of a century.
I’ve barely even thought about any other party in that time as Labour have perfectly packaged up my own views and offered them to me. Don’t crap on the poor; don’t vilify single mothers; don’t forget people with disabilities; welcome immigrants; invest in schools and the NHS and so on. I simply agreed like a faithful nodding dog on a tired old shelf of a spluttering clapped out old banger. To my shame I even found myself happily painting those who voted Tory as stupid or ignorant, uncaring and often at their own expense. I probably still agree that some people voting blind without thought, I had little idea that I was one of them.
When we [Labour] lost the general election in 2015 my world as I knew it was about to change, seismic shifts not only in my personal life but also in how I viewed the political blanket I had long wrapped myself in. For a start I moved from a hip affluent city to a small town and saw a reality I didn’t really know existed like one of those places you drive quickly through and wonder why there’s no by-pass. Secondly I began to see the totalitarian left that many had talked about. It’s funny that you don’t know you’re with the bad guys until you disagree with them and they swiftly become your enemy. I think the left has always had this problem, unlike the right, it’s a bizarre thing to witness. The right, as aptly shown by Jacob Rees Mogg, can be polite about discourse even when they’re about to offer something dreadful. Rees-Mogg attacked at his speech in Bristol offers dialogue, Prescott when faced with an egg offers a sharp fist. The far right and the far left are too similar to waffle on about, both resort in violence and intimidation. But the run of the mill Tory doesn’t seem to be quite as loathsome and censoring as the run of the mill Corbynite.
So here I am, in 2018, politically homeless. I’m reminded that my good friend Rebecca warned me about Bromentum and Corbyn a long time ago and I told her, with passion, that she was plain wrong. She ask me to be fearful of the misogyny in Labour, I’m pretty sure I brushed off her concerns with some lazy James O’Brien accusation of Paul Dacre or something equally idiotic. I think I first paused at this with the “I’ve never kissed a Tory” badges and pride, I was perplexed by this acceptable prejudice. I had always adored Anne Widdecombe and John Bercow, as thoroughly fabulous politicians irrespective of their views.
Then along came the big fat elephant in the room, trumpeting in a way that even the profoundly deaf could not ignore, “identity politics” it blew “trans ideology” it screeched. Identity politics had always meant white and female to me, I waxed lyrical about privilege and oppression. I had no idea that this accepted scale of oppressed to privileged would see middle aged middle class white males claim maximum oppression points. These dizzy new heights are how the question “does my eleven year old daughter have the right to be a changing room without seeing a penis?” was met with vitriol and accusations of bigotry and trans phobia. Here are some of the answers:
“Speculating about possible eventualities such as ….. (the horror, someone call Paul Dacre!) …the highly unlikely prospect of young girls being confronted by male genitalia in female toilets is both prurient and wholly besides the point. It makes some of the above posts sound less like radicals than Republican Christian evangelicals. I hope we can place the liberation of humanity before our own personal identities. That will require a humility from us all that is sadly absent from much of this thread.”
“the relentless focus on genitalia and toilets comes straight out of the Christian Right's handbook of moral panics.”
“why would your daughter be experiencing a trans person and possibly seeing their penis? What situation?”
“Question for you - how comfortable do you think a trans person is using communal changing rooms? Maybe they're scared and embarrassed too!”
“I'd keep you out .. you're a dark and dangerous energy. I'm just feeling for your poor fucking child at this point I hope you find the light before you spoil that beautiful soul with your own issues”
I was kicked out of other leftie groups with my “perverted daughter raised to stare at genitals”. This is the left, well the loudest voices on the left, they would rather put my daughter at risk and distress than keep her safe with sex based protections. The cognitive dissonance demands that there can be no concession, no deviation from the lie "transwomen are women" better to sacrifice the rights of women and girls in a wholesale fashion than even admit in a minuscule way that maybe, just maybe trans women are not the same as women.
I gave up my Labour party membership last September, just as well as I’d probably be able to add an interrogation from them to my one from the police about my views. Venice Allan’s was nothing short of Orwellian. It’s a funny thing after being a such a champion of a political party that just when you think they’ve gifted you a leader, a man of the people who is more aligned to your views than yourself, the fall back down to earth is so monumental you feel its crust smash your feet. Jeremy Corbyn has offered to steal my identity and make it meaningless so that men can tell the world they’re women. Frankly at the next election if the Tories offer me my language back I’ll vote for them, otherwise I’m spoiling my ballot.
I will never vote Labour again.