So I voted Leave. Once a passionate pro-European, my disillusionment was gradual and culminated in utter horror at the harrowing of Greece during the financial crisis. At the most basic level I felt that the EU was/is ultimately doomed to fail because it does not have popular support. I felt (& feel) staying in & struggling to help make it work was a huge instance of the sunk cost fallacy & fixing that was worth taking a hit in the short term.
During the ref campaign I was the only person I knew willing to argue on FB for Leave. Everyone else in my circle was Remain & I lost a fair few friends. I’m not whining; I want to draw a parallel with what’s happening right now in the campaign against self-ID, bear with me. Being against gender self-ID in ‘polite society’ feels very like being for Leave did during the referendum (& indeed still does). Nice People Like Us don’t hold those views. Granted, trans twitchhunts are more savage than Remainer ones but the groupthink & suppression are similar. Now, I know some gender critical ppl are also #FBPE types & will not relish this analogy. But Remain lost partly b/c Remainers underestimated the strength of popular anti-EU feeling. And I’m saying take heart on the self-ID cause because transactivism is making the same mistake.
Transactivism lives in a tiny woke bubble, reinforced by blocking dissenting views on social media & swarming to vilify, silence & eliminate alternate views. So it has a hugely inflated sense of how well supported it is – like Ed Miliband’s Labour govt, or the Remain campaign. And like the Leave campaign, the real resistance to transactivism will come from people who don’t spend a huge amount of time on Twitter, but whose voices will, in the end, be heard. The silent majority will stand with the radfems on this issue. I’m 100% certain of it. So if you’re gender critical, be cheerful: the common sense majority agrees with you. Self-ID is nonsense. And everything you do to reach out beyond activist circles will help your cause. This issue isn’t getting popular resistance because many ordinary ppl are still oblivious.
Just to be clear: I am not saying being gender critical is like being a Leaver, or any bollocks about right or wrong sides of history. I don’t believe in historical progress. But transactivism is in a sense the same kind of liberal high water mark as the EU. Wanting ordinary ppl to bin the ideas of male and female in the name of some sunlit upland of ‘progress’ is an even bigger ask than wanting them to bin national identities. Resistance is being traduced as reactionary in a similar way. But resistance will be similarly implacable.
As a final note, though, Remain lost the referendum – but, with the entire cultural establishment on its side, it is winning the war. While campaigners against transgenderism may take heart from the fact that we have popular opinion on our side (however niche the issue may appear to many averagely apolitical people) it’s clear from Remain’s remarkably effective and sustained post-referendum rearguard action against the implementation of Brexit that pushing popular opinion against the enlightened views of the cultural establishment can take some doing.