IF YOU haven’t already read TCW‘s transcript of Jennifer Bilek’s excellent video on the origins of the trans political movement, then don’t miss it – it sheds some light on a phenomenon which took most of us by surprise.
Jenn Smith’s 2017 essay ‘Synanon, the Brainwashing “Game” and Modern Transgender Activism: The Orwellian Implications of Transgender Politics’ covers similar ground, but from a different perspective. A transgender academic specialising in the study of cults, Jenn Smith quickly recognised the parallels of cults with modern trans-activism. His is a somewhat lonely voice advocating for ‘performance-based’ transgenderism which rejects pharmaceutical and surgical interventions and does not ignore or deny biological reality.
Whereas Jennifer Bilek opposes the trans-activist movement from a feminist academic perspective, Jenn Smith’s arguments are based on a historical and political training as well as personal experience. Both efforts to drag the mainstream back towards sanity are extremely valuable. Both kinds of campaigners face being viciously attacked, sanctioned and threatened. Both show considerable personal courage. Yet the feminist point of view with its celebrity support is widely reported in the mainstream media and spearheads opposition to the trans cult, while other critiques languish on the fringes of the internet, gaining publicity only when Jenn Smith is banned from a university campus or calls for an inquiry into why so many Canadian foster children transition, or when a Christian parent loses a court case.
What’s going on here? Is it the good old Overton window operating again? If a ‘non-approved’ group such as Christians or independent trans thinkers oppose trans-activism, they are largely ignored, while criticism from feminists is acknowledged. Fronted by celebrities such as J K Rowling, it gets the media platform necessary for popular support.
But the uncomfortable truth is that second wave feminism (‘Women’s Lib’) was nurtured from the start by similar ultra-rich, self-interested financial backers to those who created and sustain the trans political movement. For example, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are both part of the $1billion Gender Fund, a feminist initiative to ‘advance gender equality and women’s leadership’. BMGF is particularly active in funding many feminist initiatives; however in 2021 it also donated to the Gender Justice League, a Seattle-based organisation which advocates for trans rights. In the same year, the Rockefeller Foundation made small donations to two US trans organisations, the controversial Translifeline and the highly political Transgender Law Center. Another big charitable organisation, the Open Society Foundation (OSF), announced in 2021 $100million ‘to advance transformative feminist political leadership’. The OSF is listed as a donor on the website of Global Action for Trans Equality. Feminists are clashing with trans activists who may be funded by the same powerful philanthropic organisations. Several motives have been suggested to explain why billionaires are putting so much investment into identity-driven movements, from the increased economic activity generated by feminism to population control, deliberate break-up of the family or atomisation of society.
Second wave feminism remodelled society by transferring much of women’s dependence during child-bearing from men to the state, and by subsidised outsourced childcare nurturing small children outside their families in institutional settings. Trans-activism seeks to remodel society at its most basic by replacing men and women with androgenous beings who decide their ‘gender’ instead of having it ‘assigned at birth’. Both movements claim to give individuals what they desire while dismissing the cost as irrelevant: men’s role as providers, the feelings of small children who would rather be at home than in a nursery, women prisoners who have been raped by or fear transgender inmates, or de-transitioners for whom a complete reversal of a later regretted transition may not be possible. Collateral damage, all of it. Both movements seek to eradicate single-sex spaces; until, ironically, feminists realised they needed to protect women-only space from trans-women determined to assert their right to it.
Both movements attract individuals who hold the opposite sex in contempt. The trans sympathisers who put Dylan Mulvaney in advertisements for Nike, Bud Light and Maybelline are not only promoting a travesty of womanhood but also pressuring women into accepting it. Yet what paved the way for that to happen, if not the ruthless and ceaseless campaigning of extreme feminists? As a movement feminism has shown no concern for a similar equality of outcomes for working-class boys, the lowest-achieving group in the British education system. It endorses and promotes a constant putting down and marginalisation of men and masculinity, including in advertising and popular culture, which if applied to women would be deemed as unacceptable discrimination or hate.
All this makes feminist complaints about Dylan Mulvaney disrespecting women ring somewhat hollow. Feminists have disrespected men for years. Groups such as Fathers for Justice and MGTOW have been reviled and ridiculed into obscurity. Now feminists are facing their first effective opposition – one that uses their own tactics of victimhood politics, but has the blessing of the elites which control the mainstream media – and they don’t like it.
Before we attack the cultish aspects of the trans movement with feminism, let’s ask ourselves whether we really want to fight identity politics with more identity politics? At stake is the organisation of society itself. The West developed on a Christian-based, common understanding of right and wrong. In recent years, this consensus has been eroded in favour of a series of identity groups defined by ‘protected characteristics’ such as gender, sexuality or race. Each group has a narrow focus on promoting and advancing its own interests. This system is inherently prone to creating a conflicted, divided society because, as we see in the case of trans rights and feminism, the promotion of one group often comes at the expense of another. Furthermore, once well-funded and organised campaign groups are formed, they naturally seek to perpetuate their own existence even after their demands are satisfied. This leads to a seemingly endless cycle of new demands for more rights and privileges for their protected characteristic.
If you reject identity politics as I do, then opposing the trans political movement on feminist grounds is a cul-de-sac down which we shouldn’t go. There are transmen as well as transwomen and the trans cult affects boys as well as girls. Given the enormous influence of feminism on young women today, it is also disturbing that so many teenage girls get caught up in a movement, the quintessence of which is to deny their sex. Women are actively supporting, participating in and campaigning for the trans cult. It defies logic to extend the idea of men as perpetrators to the entire trans movement. Instead, let us move away from identity politics and back to a consensus around the Christian ideas of right and wrong which are still strongly embedded in Western culture.
Our opposition to the trans political movement must not be because it is an attack on women but because it harms both men and women; because it tries to erase both males and females, and exploits teenagers. We should oppose it because it is risky and illogical to try to change anyone’s body with surgery who may have prior mental health issues, and then add to their confusion by pretending that they genuinely are the opposite sex, in defiance of reality. We should oppose it because it abuses children by persuading them that their lives can be improved by disrupting their hormones. We should oppose it because locking up women prisoners with a male rapist is terrifying, cruel and wrong. We should oppose the trans cult because it seeks to bully its critics using laws, economic threats, social shunning and violence and because harming oneself and other people is a sin.
Above all, let us not engage in a battle of identities. To do that is to play the game of the big financial interests who fund both sides. So don’t oppose the trans cult because you’re a feminist. Oppose it because it’s wrong. Or, as we used to call it, because it’s the devil’s work.