Home » Uncategorized » Does the elite support transgender?

Does the elite support transgender?

The elite accepts the trans trend grudgingly, under pressure from below, according to most of the Left. Laura Miles, for example, says that the legal rights of trans people “exist on sufferance as far as the ruling class are concerned.”

In fact, the elite’s response to the trans trend has ranged from cautious support to celebratory endorsement. Transgender demands have been backed, and sometimes cheered on, by Obama and the Democrats, a host of CEOs, a Tory-dominated parliamentary committee in Britain, the BBC, Facebook, glamour magazines, the Murdoch media and liberal media magnates. Even some leaders of the US Republican Party are sympathetic. Only a small fringe of elite figures back social conservatives in their opposition to transgender. The Economist, an ideological flagship of neoliberalism, is patronising to those on the Right who haven’t moved with the times.

The ultimate reason for this elite support lies in the implications of the trans trend for women.

The capitalist class, female members included, is addicted to working class women’s unpaid labour in the home, which sustains present and future wage workers, free of charge, for bosses. For this to continue women must go on accepting inferior social status, and that in turn means women accepting stereotypical ideas of themselves. This is growing more important to the capitalist class, not less, as it seeks to cut state welfare and throw back the burden of personal care onto the family. At the same time, women work and study alongside men and see on a daily basis that they are equally capable. This generates a counter-pressure to ditch repressive stereotypes and to give women equality. The result is today’s unstable mix of pro- and anti-woman ideas in society.

The elite gives ground to women when it has to, but it needs to keep returning to the attack, always probing for ways to make anti-woman ideas more acceptable. More generally, in the face of growing hatred of neoliberal austerity the elite must also look for new ways to advance right wing ideas among working people.

The views of the elite are mediated via commentators, editors and journalists, MPs, judges, top government officials, etc. These are people who respond to trends, fads and social contagion and also to pressure from below, but ultimately, with very rare exceptions, their horizon of thought is circumscribed by the interests of the capitalist system and big capital. The ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class.

In transgender ideology the capitalist class has found itself facing unfamiliar ideas with contradictory implications. Some of these it has quietly put aside (it cares little whether trans victims of violence are dealt with seriously by the police, for example). But there is also a lot to like, and disseminate through the corporate mass media. Such as these ideas:

  • Women should define themselves by stereotypes, not upbringing; their “instincts”, habits of mind and “inner voices” are their true selves, not the result of socialisation
  • There will always be a great big pink world and a great big blue one; almost all of us fit naturally with that
  • Dissent from stereotypes means swapping between pink and blue (as fluidly as you like), not defying them altogether
  • Nothing is a “woman’s issue” unless m2fs can be included, eg abortion restrictions are not about women’s oppression.

In transgender the elite finds a set of ideas in which attacks on women are suddenly and miraculously “progressive”: a limited front of the wider battle, but still, a front in which feminist and left wing opposition has been almost silenced. Annoying the Christian Right is a small price to pay for such a prize.

Naturally the Left (and many trans people) would not agree with the all the ways in which transgender is presented in the corporate media. But nor have they challenged it. When some feminists have decried the elite’s anti-woman propaganda around transgender, the Left has not supported them, or sought common ground. It has joined the attack on them.

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. […] and private institutions of capitalism have seized on this new trend (as previously discussed here and here), and carried it from the margins to the social […]

    Like

  2. Thanks for this comment. I don’t know if you heard about the recent British LGBT Awards. Helen Steel (of McLibel fame ) had this to say, which I think is very pertinent to how this trend is embraced and promoted by the elites:

    “Trans advocacy sponsored by MI5 and bankers!

    Why has the relatively new ‘trans’ ideology made so many gains so fast? Much faster gains than ever achieved by those fighting sexism and racism. Why is this new ideology splitting so many progressive movements with its demands for absolute adherence to that ideology and total intolerance of any debate or critical thinking. Who benefits from its demands that women be expelled from political movements and parties for daring to think and speak for themselves about their life experiences of sexism? How has it taken over LGB organisations so successfully that the most blatant attacks on lesbians’ rights by numerous trans advocates go completely unchallenged?

    Take a look at the LGBT awards last night and think about whether this agenda is driven by the most oppressed people on the planet or whether it’s actually driven and funded by those with power and money – by predominantly rich, very privileged white men, who despite their position still want more. Sponsored by MI5 ! Sponsored by Barclays, HSBT, Virgin, PWC. Award to Playboy! Awards to bankers.

    What genuine activist fighting oppression would think it appropriate to have an award sponsored by MI5 for the category which “celebrates influencers, activists, campaigners or trailblazers in the LGBT+ community, who have made an impact either on a grass roots level……..”. How were they in contact with MI5 in the first place?

    In all your years of fighting injustice, have you ever seen anything like this movement for creating division but having massive success in getting laws and policies changed. How has a movement which demands that we deny the reality of biological sex and the reality of physical differences between women and men, and which can’t even provide the new definitions of the words it has appropriated, made so many gains so fast in so many countries around the world. This movement upholds rather than destroys sexism and sexist stereotypes. Ask yourself who/what does this movement really represent?

    Inequality and injustice are rampant at present, sexism and racism are on the increase and there’s a massive and growing divide between rich and poor. There’s a huge amount of work to be done to create a better world. I know there are many genuine and caring people active within trans politics now, but the rich & powerful are always happy to use others as cannon fodder to fight their wars.

    Who benefits when we are not able to talk to each other about our ideas and visions of the society we want to see? Can we start to rebuild our progressive movements by starting to talk and listen to each other about the world we want to see, without the shackles of sexism and sexist stereotypes or any other forms of oppression and where money doesn’t get to determine whose values and priorities dominate.”

    Helen Steel May 12th 2018

    Like

    • freerlives says:

      How very well said by Helen Steel!! Thanks very much for this gendercriticalfemale. Yes indeed, the huge and incredibly rapid gains of the transgender movement can in no way be explained by “pressure from below”. This needs to be taken up bigtime on the Left.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “This needs to be taken up bigtime on the Left.” you can say that again. I got kicked out and blocked from a “Marxist” discussion facebook group recently after raising some points underneath a post about “transphobes”.

    I have no idea which post of mine in particular led to my unceremonious expulsion, but I am guessing, that it was asking questions and putting forward another point of view which they didn’t like.

    I’ve been in internet groups since 2001 and this was my first removal and blockage, all in one. It is very unusual, in general, to remove people without warning or explanation from internet groups, but when it comes to this issue it seems common-place.

    I asked for a materialist defence of transgender ideology and activism. I am guessing they could not provide it.

    I was also asked whether I thought transwomen were women, I gave what I thought was a pretty generous reply, and asked for the questioners opinion also.

    Blocked.

    Honestly, if they cannot even defend their position to someone who is politically left, interested in their view, sympathetic, and polite, they have no hope whatsoever with the general public.

    Now, I didn’t use or interact with that particular group much, and I think it had a lot of old-left (who would probably have a fit if they knew I was a “trot” , probably as bad as “transphobe” 😉 ), but I see this sort of behaviour all over when it comes to this issue. Gender Ideologists seem to have no arguments, so instead attempt to block all debate, in pretty much every group/forum/platform they can.

    They are having some success on twitter at the moment. Quite a few people, including transsexual Miranda Yardley (not the right kind of trans! ) , were kicked-off twitter in the past few days.

    I intend to try to do more about raising this issue in Ireland, but have been holding back due to the abortion referendum, which most people on the left are involved in. I am worried I won’t even be able to get people to listen to what some of the concerns are before getting blocked or removed group groups. I’ve never come across something like this before.

    Like

    • freerlives says:

      This is the deeply disturbing quality of the trans phenomenon. It is supported from above by the institutions of neoliberal capitalism, and from below by the Left and social activists, including the union bureaucracy, making it almost inevitable that big corporations like Twitter will take this stance. Once you accept the mysticism of gender identity, any challenge is seen to aid and abet oppression.
      There is an urgent need for gender-critical socialists to collaborate.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: