It's not unusual for transgender women and/or activists standing up for their causes to appear notably combative and aggressive in online conversations – if they perceived them in any way challenging their identity or reality.
A trans woman would be an individual “assigned male” at birth, the definition has it. And when women “assigned female” at birth have anything remotely controversial, or simply undesired to say about the subject, they are often faced with extreme hostility. This process is what spawned the “TERF” acronym, meaning, “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” and some well-known public figures like celebrated author J.K. Rowling have been labeled as such.
UK Labour MP Rosie Duffield has now joined this “club,” recently getting harassed online, all the way to receiving death threats because of her comments and interviews, where she expressed that in her opinion, “only women have a cervix.”
Duffield's remarks didn't come out of the blue – she was initially attempting to debate a CNN story published in August that decided to refer to “individuals with a cervix.” Duffield then thought it was safe to opine on Twitter that it's actually only women that have one.
In the wake of the ensuing furor online, that included some urging her party to remove her as a member of parliament, the Labour MP observed in an interview with the Times on Monday that some controversial issues like Brexit and abortion have produced “civilized conversations” with those holding opposing views – but that for some reason, the one about trans women descended into threats, and attempts at “canceling.”
As is often the case, the visceral reaction to any “assigned female at birth women” expressing their own identity juxtaposed with that of “assigned male at birth women” brings about the broader question of whether the latters' activism is these days an allowed and endorsed by liberal media and power centers form of misogyny.
Are women not allowed to ask questions or have ideas, wondered Duffield, referring to dystopian works of fiction that depicted just such a world.
It doesn't help, either, that the Labour Party itself, under the leadership of Keir Starmer, seems to be forgetting some of its traditional “liberal agenda” in order to sit this one out on the fence.
In Duffield's words, Starmer “doesn't want to shine too much light” on this particular issue and we've come to know he's not interested in free speech.