We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.That set off the transsexuals who accused white feminists like Suzanne Moore of being privileged. Which then led another white feminist, Julie Burchill, to write angrily that everything she had she got for herself and that:
we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs.
Well, Julie Burchill's column was removed from the newspaper site; a female minister called for her to be sacked; and she is being investigated by the Press Complaints Commission.
And that has led her friend Suzanne Moore to question the direction of the left:
The wrath of the transgender community has been insane. They say I haven't apologised enough and I probably haven't...The sexual and political confusion is nasty and, while I accept some of it is my fault, is it all my responsibility?She has a point. The enforcement of "tolerance" has become increasingly intolerant and coercive, to the point where freedom of speech, of association and of conscience is being eroded.
...I feel increasingly freakish because I believe in freedom, which is easier to say than to achieve and makes me wonder if I am even of "the left" any more...
And I am serious about freedom of speech. If Lynne Featherstone can call for a journalist and an editor to be sacked, this does not bode well for having politicians and lawyers running the press, does it? Do you actually want to be governed by humourless, authoritarian morons?
How has the left ceded the word "freedom" to the right? It maddens me.
No party represents freedom now...People died for my right to offend you... you may continue to hate me, put me on lists, cast me out of the left. Free-thinking is always problematic...
But what's more interesting to me is that a white feminist should be starting to feel this way. Liberalism hasn't targeted everyone equally. There has been a hierarchy of sorts, in which those groups tagged as privileged lose moral status and can be discriminated against, whilst those tagged as oppressed are told that they will get special treatment to aid their advancement.
Obviously, if you're stuck in the first group liberalism won't be experienced as positively as those in the second group.
Women have been told for a long time that they're in the "special treatment" category - but what happens as other groups press their claims and being female is no longer such a trump card?
The other interesting development in this affair is the column by Dan Hodges, a leftist who has worked for the British Labour Party. He wrote that the dispute was:
...illustrative of some of the problems affecting the radical Left at the moment: not least the fact that a significant fraction of the radical Left is utterly bonkers.In other words, the group which proves to have the most power gets, as its prize, to claim to be the most powerless and therefore to deserve primacy.
....But the fight for equality has always been a bare-knuckle one. That’s because – in truth – it’s not based on equality at all. It’s about primacy...
Though those fighting the good fight would never be caught dead admitting it, they’ve spent decades constructing, and scrapping over, a tightly defined hierarchy of oppression. And that hierarchy is invariably a self-serving reflection of prevailing internal power cliques.