Yeah, that’s right, you heard – we’re making a fellow pro-indy blog Weekly Wanker. And the reason is because you can’t defend the indefensible, and no one is immune to the potential for making a total wanker of themselves.
Wings Over Scotland is run by independence blogger “Rev. Stuart Campbell, a Liberal Democrat voter at every election for the last 22 years” by his own admission. We’ve never had any major bone to pick with them (except that the logo is a bit scary lol), we’ve even linked to them a few times.
Unfortunately though, as is prone to happen when people let loose on twitter, it turns out he’s a bit of a wanker. A lot of a wanker actually. A really transphobic wanker. After being pulled up for deliberately misgendering Chelsea Manning, he let rip with this twitter tirade:
I don’t think I really have the energy to explain how out of order this is. I’ve written a little about transphobia in Scotland before. We know by now, surely? We know, don’t we?! Apparently we don’t. There is no circumstance in which it is ok for a cisgender person to assert their dominance over a transgender person’s right to exist. And neither is there a circumstance in which it’s ok to let this slide. Just because it doesn’t use sweary words doesn’t mean it isn’t out and out hate speech.
Personally, I think that anyone who denies the existence of trans people should be held directly accountable when a cis person, confronted with the undeniable reality of a trans person’s existence, goes ahead and murders them. This isn’t fucking funny. Transphobia is incredibly dangerous, you are seriously playing with people’s lives when you engage in it.
Clearly, Wings Over Scotland doesn’t share the same vision of independence that we do. If you don’t want Scotland to be a country in which trans people can live safely, with their lives acknowledged and valued, then you don’t want independence for all. We’ve got a very real chance here to build something so different, a country that could – if we do it right – support and empower its citizens in a way we’ll never have with the status quo. I am not up for keeping quiet about transphobia, sexism, racism or anything else for the sake of the referendum. I want transgender people to feel there is value in them voting yes, not the same old shit or worse. We know we want independence, the important question is what kind of independence we want.
Special wanker shout out to the various pro-indy movers, shakers and tweeters circling the wagons to defend one of their own, no matter how gross they are. Don’t think you’ve escaped the Wanker Hammer.
In particular, I want to make an appeal to Alan Bissett. Do you truly want to call yourself a male feminist? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt this time and believe that you do. Please take seriously what I am saying. The very first step to being a male feminist, Male Feminist 101, is know when to stop talking. You absolutely have to listen to what women are saying on this, and that means not just cis women but trans women too. When you raise – for what reason, I’m not entirely sure – the point of “yeah, but he’s totally sound on independence though”, you are enabling his transphobia. Excusing someone’s right to hold on to dangerous, violent ideologies on the basis that they are right about other things is excusing their behaviour and worse than that, it’s allowing them to continue. If they know that no matter what outrageous, hateful stuff they say, there will always be other men around to say ‘yeah but we still have to listen to him when he talks about other stuff’, they can continue to say whatever they like for as long as they like. It doesn’t matter what his opinions are on other stuff! What matters is sending a message to him that no one will listen to what he has to say about other stuff unless he ditches the virulent transphobia.
It’s a bit like saying yes well Tommy Sheridan is a terrible misogynist but he is very good at shouting so let’s talk about that instead. George Galloway literally goes on telly to deny women’s experience of rape – why on EARTH should we stand by and let him also go on telly to talk about Syria? He’s lost the right! Any time we let him back on telly to talk about his other interests, his ability to publically encourage rape culture grows stronger. There absolutely is power in cutting off people who otherwise might be on our side, when they prove that fundamentally they see some of us as less than human. I’m pretty sure that if Wings Over Scotland dude, or George Galloway, said publically that they saw YOU as less than human, you’d give less of a shit about whether they’re pro-independence or anti-war.
And by the way, turning to ‘but George Orwell and Malcolm X were homophobic and we value what they did’ is incredibly daft. Firstly, it probably actually IS a bit shit how hard a boner lefties get for 1984. I’m sure his homophobia did affect his work. We should talk about it more so we’re not doomed to repeat the same mistakes, constantly pissing ourselves for the gatekeepers of academia instead of giving a shit about the people they deem expendable. But more importantly, are you SERIOUSLY trying to excuse CURRENT, REAL, HAPPENING BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES oppression on the basis that it’s happened in the past? You can’t do anything about historical homophobes. You very much can do something about the transphobia occuring in our own independence movement, that you surely feel you have a stake in, right now.
Please, god, for your own sake – learn when to stop talking and when to start listening.
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