Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s woman’s hour has recently shared her viewpoint that Transgender women are not ‘real women’ in her piece in Sunday Times Magazine entitled: “Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a ‘real woman‘”
1. I do not seek to silence you
There are those that feel that respectable press and institutions should not give a platform to right wing individuals such as Germaine Greer and Jenni Murray to peddle their views. In fact right now, there is currently a petition to prevent Ms Greer from talking in Brighton at the Dome on International Woman’s Day 2017.
For the record, I find her views offensive, small minded, flawed and privileged. I also have enormous respect for the organizers of the petition as activists and as people that have increased the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is clear that there is a large group of women that hold similar views as Ms Greer and Ms Murray. Silencing them will only make those that hold similar viewpoints feel more disenfranchised. The reality is that echo chambers are what lead to Brexit and Trump. The path to progress is through debate, not through oppression.
I am not saying that the opinion of these people is valid; In so far as if a survey revealed that more people thought 5 was a bigger number than 15, then it doesn’t suddenly make what they’re saying correct. Opinion does not equal fact. Nor am I saying that I am happy for my identity to be decided in the court of public opinion, but preventing people from sharing their views, however offensive doesn’t stop their views going away and in the long term does not help our community.
If our movement is valid and just, it can withstand people holding opposing views. However, we must resist “The bias towards fairness”.