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Canada Jonathan Kay: The silencing campaign against Meghan Murphy is a disgrace

15:20  18 october  2019
15:20  18 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Meghan Murphy , the reincarnation of Andrea Dworkin minus the wit and literary knowledge, made a career stoking irrational hatred against men. Now she and her friends are shocked, SHOCKED I say, that the irrational hatred has come for her. Boo hoo.

And who is Meghan Murphy ? According to CBC radio host Carol Off, Murphy is someone whose extremism summons to Meghan Murphy is a young Vancouver-based feminist activist and writer who says out loud what most Jonathan Kay is Canadian Editor of Quillette, and Tweets at @jonkay.

a close up of Meghan Murphy: Trans-rights activists are campaigning to prevent feminist writer Meghan Murphy, seen in an undated photo, from speaking at the Toronto Public Library. © Eyoalha Baker Trans-rights activists are campaigning to prevent feminist writer Meghan Murphy, seen in an undated photo, from speaking at the Toronto Public Library.

When I attended university in the 1990s, our registrar’s office employed a trans woman — though no one then used that term. She was sometimes referred to as a cross-dresser or transvestite, even by those who bore her no ill will. We were not educated about gender dysphoria, and our sensitivity regarding the issue existed on the level of a Benny Hill sketch.

Thankfully, times have changed. Educated people now know that gender dysphoria is a real phenomenon; and that the challenges associated with it are exacerbated if we don’t treat trans people with respect. As both friend and colleague, I’ve heard stories from trans people who feel as if their voices are finally being heard. And I am embarrassed by the insensitive language I once used to describe trans people when I was younger.

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The silencing campaign against Meghan Murphy is a disgrace Meghan Murphy , the woman behind trans wars breaking out at the public library Event featuring Meghan Murphy ignites debate about libraries’ role as forum for free speech Jonathan Kay .

Jonathan Sumption is a former Supreme Court judge and last year’s BBC Reith Lecturer. Plan A was published on March 3. It concentrated on ensuring the provision of medical and other essential services. It relied on advice and guidance to the public, not coercion.

But as the campaign to bar feminist Meghan Murphy from delivering a speech at the Toronto Public Library shows, there’s been an unwelcome flip side to this progress: At its leading edge, the effort to empower trans people has inspired a campaign to silence women.

Like other social-justice campaigns, the trans-rights movement is led by an activist vanguard that demands we prioritize a certain set of rights over others. This is a normal feature of all types of activism. But the trans-rights vanguard is unique in the way it casts any deviation from orthodoxy as a species of deadly thoughtcrime. Anyone who has debated this issue on social media will be familiar with the lurid phraseology: Dissenters are “denying the right of trans people to exist,” or seeking to “erase” them from the planet.

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' Meghan is nervous about complications such as an emergency Caesarean and doesn't want the pressure of having to look immaculate on the hospital steps just hours later.' The source said that the Duchess of Sussex did not want to be 'primped and blow-dried to within an inch of her life'

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In almost all cases I have witnessed, this apocalyptic language is used to attack feminists who (rightly) point out that a policy of no-questions-asked gender self-identification can put girls and women at risk in prisons, rape-crisis shelters and even shared bathrooms. These women also have raised concerns about some young children being given a hard sell on aggressive transitioning therapies.

As with all conflicts involving important rights, finding the right balance will be difficult. But it won’t even be possible until we acknowledge that it’s hardly “transphobic” for women to argue on behalf of their own hard-won rights.

As a journalist, I’ve interviewed and published numerous women who express such concerns in a thoughtful way. Not a single one is a “transphobe” if that word is taken to mean someone who hates trans people or who denies the reality of gender dysphoria. They include philosopher Kathleen Stock , renowned journalist Helen Joyce and feminist activist Julie Bindel. All are leftists. Several are lesbians. Yet they are routinely denounced as if they were Nazi propagandists seeking to throw people into rail cars.

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In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Stephens recently ruled against the Trump campaign 's push to stop the count in order to gain additional access for its observers. 'I have no basis to find that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,' she said.

KotakuInAction is a community that condemns willful censorship, exclusion, harassment, and abuse. It is a community that organizes to hold the media accountable to the concept of artistic freedom by standing up for the artist, the developer, the writer, the filmmaker, and all who enjoy the freedom to

Such is the climate of hysteria that an LGBT legend such as Martina Navratilova has been demonized for pointing out the (perfectly obvious) fact that male-bodied individuals have the capacity to ruin female athletics. Even some trans people — such as a board-gaming friend of mine who lives in Indianapolis — have been shunned within their community for bucking the party line. It has become a modern red scare, with “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) replacing “commie” as the preferred term of abuse.

Of course, trans activists have every right to make their case in a maximalist way; and even to smear feminists as genocidaires. But it is the job of others — lawmakers, police, judges, journalists, educators and doctors — to parse those demands, and to advocate reasonable compromises. A distinguishing aspect of the trans-rights movement is that it has succeeded in convincing many such decision-makers to adopt a zero-compromise position.

Which brings us back to Murphy, who sounded the alarm two years ago in The Walrus about trans activists bullying feminists in Vancouver. Most progressives ignored Murphy’s activism. And many actually cheered when she was tossed off Twitter for confronting a vexatious, sex-obsessed web troll named Jessica Yaniv. Now Murphy is coming to speak in Toronto, and her opponents are seeking to de-platform her by claiming that her mere presence will make trans people feel “unsafe.” As of this writing, Murphy’s free-speech rights rest with the courage of city librarian Vickery Bowles . But disgracefully, Mayor John Tory has lent his voice to the pro-censorship side, though I suspect he knows nothing about Murphy’s actual views.

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If they please, Murphy’s critics can read her own words at the website she founded , Feminist Current — or they can listen to my podcast interview with her . What you’ll find is that her views on gender and sex are probably closer to the mainstream than those of the critics seeking to shut her down. It’s great that we now protect trans people from hate and discrimination. If only progressives would extend the same courtesy to women as a whole.

Jonathan Kay is Canadian editor of Quillette. Follow him at @jonkay.

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