When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My 15 minutes of fame, and what it was about

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George Orwell 
A post I wrote over a year ago, Death doesn't misgender. You die as you were born, attracted the ire of transgender activists who'd presumably found it through my Twitter profile while they were taking exception to what I'd written there. On February 4th I had a phone call from a woman police officer who told me there'd been complaints about the blog post and some tweets, including one that read "Gender is BS". During a brief conversation we established that I'd done nothing illegal and had no intention of self-censoring to avoid upsetting whoever had complained, and we left it at that. Then I tweeted about it, and things went mad. Fellow gender critics shared my tweet, which attracted a lot more followers (from a couple of hundred to over four thousand), and I had another phone call, this time from James Kirkup, who writes for The Spectator, among other publications. He wrote about it. Subsequently the story was shared in various other newspapers, in the UK and abroad, and in podcasts and on ITV regional news. And it was all because of a very brief, non-threatening phone call. The publicity resulted in a call from a Detective Chief Superintendent, who rang to apologise and tell me that they'd "got it wrong". I've seen no reason to tweet any differently since then, and several people, including a professional pathologist, agreed that my blog post was entirely accurate; you do die as the same sex as you were born.

I got off lightly. Some police forces appear to have had "training", which is more like indoctrination, from organisations who give the impression that they're experts, but aren't. They're pressure groups staffed by people without any appropriate professional qualifications. West Yorkshire, Humberside, Liverpool and Sussex police have all had visits from these people. Some have apparently been motivated by a small minority of transgender officers, maybe even only one or two. Consequently they've acted as conduits for complaints from trans activists who spend a lot of time trawling through the Internet on the lookout for anything to complain about. As the law on so-called hate crime is rather woolly it's relatively easy to make an allegation of "causing distress" - one of the indications of a "hate incident" - and they do. So while I was let off with the suggestion that I might be more careful, in other words not upset anyone, others haven't been so fortunate. Death threats have been made, as well as complaints.

One benefit of the hoo-ha, as far as I'm concerned, is that I've met some lovely people online, feminists and allies, who mostly have a healthy sense of humour and of the ridiculous as well as being angry about the absurdity. It's struck me that transgender activists seem to lack a sense of humour and are generally unhappy people, which is sad.

I was going to write about transgenderism and what's wrong with it on my other blog, but no point in that when others have done so much better than I. A comprehensive account by Helen Joyce is one of the best. It's a long read, but worth it.

My next post here will be about dead-naming, as I thought it appropriate in a blog about death. Watch this space.


Anonymous said...

Wow thanks so much for the shout-out for my article! Really flattered - Helen Joyce

Unknown said...

Fab x

kidofyesterday said...

Great post came by your account through the innocent drink issue. Glad I did

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you favourably retweeted known anti-Semites. It makes me wonder if people aren't wrong to condemn you.

Elizabeth said...

Have requested a follow on Twitter, through the Innocent drinks debacle. You were totally correct.

Imogen said...

Pleased to meet you

Unknown said...

Dear Margaret,
Have just left a tweet reply then noticed the 'dead interesting' bit, which I look forward to exploring. Read about the transgender 'twitter storm' in the article of February 13 and was intrigued by your 'part' in it. I began my own website on life after 70 in 2015 and one post (32) of 2018, The Other Woman, might appeal to you - though in a very different style.


Margaret Nelson said...

Not sure what you mean, but if you're referring to criticism of Israel, its military and the illegal settlers' treatment of Arab civilians, that's not antisemitic. It's about human rights.

Margaret Nelson said...

You're very welcome Helen.

Margaret Nelson said...

You're right, it is a totally different style, but we're different. For example, "The expansive, 21st century self tells me there has to be space and time in this world for another kind of woman, beyond biology". I disagree. There are very many kinds of women but there's no "beyond biology". Both men and women have demonstrated for millennia that social mores are constantly changing, and that we can ignore them. We don't have to subscribe to the quasi-liberating ideology of transgenderism to do that. It's anything but liberating. Our biology is immutable. Self-expression is different, and while some people spend an inordinate amount of time and effort imitating others, or pretending to be what they're not, a majority are content to simply be, their personalities formed by their experiences and interests, involving no effort whatsoever.