Owen Jones talks to Judith Butler the Queen of Queer Theory. Full transcript attached. It was almost impossible to work out where the punctuation was intended. Apologies in advance to the Grammar police, I may have lost the will to live at some point. Transcription errors are mine. Failures of logic are Butler’s.
Here is the YouTube.
Who will rid me of these pesky transphobes?
OJ seems very keen to draw Butler into his public disagreement with Suzanne Moore. The piece starts, quite abruptly, with Butler criticising an unnamed woman who, we learn later, is Suzanne Moore. I would call this a response but it bears little resemblance to Moore’s actual writing on this topic. JK Rowling also comes under attack, as do feminists Janice Raymond and Sheila Jeffries. All women. When a man seeks to draw
women, oops Non-binary persons, into criticising their fellow women, I am a tad suspicious of the driving motivation.
Plenty of men have expressed skepticism about Gender Identity Ideology, including Douglas Murray (Gay Man) and Piers Morgan. He could have also targeted Simon Fanshawe (Stonewall founder and Gay man) who gave his support to LGB Alliance. Why did Jones pass up an opportunity to skewer his, male, political opponents? Instead he has his sights trained on a bunch of left-wing, trade union, women. Could it be that Owen knows what biological sex is when it matters….to him?
Transphobia and Islamophobia.
Owen asks Butler for her opionon on what is happening with British transphobia. Butler hesitates, for about a millisecond, to be the kind of American who comments on other countries. In her reply Butler hands Owen the answer he wants about British feminists, and simultaneously demonstrates
her their complete ignorance about the U.K context. Butler is another U.S “feminist” who would be better concentrating on fighting for maternity leave and reproductive autonomy in their own country. U.K women will continue to fight for the sex-based rights these silly women are giving away. (Butler refers to UK women as silly and our arguments ridiculous so I make no apology for replying in kind).
If you are looking for dazzling insights, into feminism, prepare to be disappointed. If you seek incitement to hate on women, you came to the right place: It’s full of bitchwhistles. Owen, “I am not a misogynist” Jones runs through the usual slurs.
Dismissal of “Older” women. ✅
Owen deliberately ignores the impact of Gender Identity Supremacy on Gay Rights. What happens to SEXual orientation if men can claim to be Lesbians? Nowhere does he mention that many of us are parents of Gay Males. Some of us find it hard to see why calling our sons “girl” in the playground is “bullying” but when the Tavistock and Queer Theorists do it it’s “affirmation”. Why let the truth get in the way of a bit of performative misogyny?
In Butler Land sex, is of course, assigned at birth. The way Butler talks about the inside of the delivery room is reminiscient of the bonkers group Action for Trans Health. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this group, let me remind you, they argued that identifying biological sex was a violent act of State coercion. Butler continues in this vein with the inevitable guff about chromosomes making sex so, so, complicated to determine. Butler’s ham fisted attempt to deny biological reality echoes an average day, playing intersex bingo, with the Queer Theory twitterati.
I expected she would have enough in her arsenal to make me second guess myself. Nope. Turns out What the Butler Saw was not much.
The Trans person’s burden.
The idea that “transphobic” feminists are responsible for the deaths of “trans” people is how Owen chooses to frame the interview. The reference to suicide, at the outset, is grossly irresponsible. To promulgate the False suicide narrative, knowing people who identify as “trans” are among his most devoted acolytes, shows a reckless disregards for the dangers of fostering suicide ideation. Not only is this contrary to Samaritan’s guidance, on media coverage, it is cheap, emotional blackmail. This is Butler’s response to Suzanne Moore’s purported stance.
This is quickly followed by more transperbole. Women. Look what you made me do! Failure to recognise the preferred name/ identity of trans-identifying people means they will be unable to eat and breathe!
Later Butler depict’s Moore defending of women’s rights as based on a deep, subjective feeling that women wish to deny others.
You have just spent ages saying there is no right way to be a woman. Yet, here you are, saying being a woman is defined by this inner, subjective, feeling that we are woman. I don’t have this “genderfeelz” thing. I just am a woman. On the basis of this argument I will have to kick myself out of my own sex class… and see Butler in the non-binary section.
After the diatribe on Moore’s failure to understand trans peope etc Butler makes an astonishing attack:
Now, when someone like Suzanne Moore says “Oh transwomen just think they’re women because of a feeling they have”, That’s a deeply dismissive, transphobic… I’m sure she would be proud to be transphobic I don’t think it’s a falsehood to call her transphobic. I think she values transphobia. She wants more of it in the world.
No wonder Jones felt obliged to insert this slide..
Next up Butler bastardises feminist thought. They/Them repurposes centuries of work questioning the social construction of “femininity”, to better serve our Trans overlords. UK feminists have long argued that Gender Identity appears to be based on regressive, sex stereotypes. Butler bollox twists this to lend credence to the foolish notion that we have no idea what a man or woman is! Queer Theory does not, in fact, deconstruct “femininity”, or “masculinity” , it merely reassigns the sex of anyone who doesn’t successfully perform sex stereotypes. Queer Theorists also throw in a veritable smorgasboard of other identities like a post-modern pick and mix. Butler has, we later learn, opted for Non-binary, something inbetween. Sigh.
What is a woman?
This might fool a neophyte, like Jones, it ought not to have fooled so many others. Of course we should deconstruct societal expectations, of both femininity and masculinity. That should not mean reifying sexist stereotypes to assign flamboyant males, or butch women a new sex designation! Note the failure to conform to uber pornified “femme” presentation covers many more of us than Butch lesbians. It’s the stereotypes. Stupid!
More on the same theme. Who are these Women who do a thing and then immediately think, the doing of the thing, means they are “not really a woman”. When I was the person paying the mortgage one of the banks we applied to only had the option for MAN:Yes or MAN:No. This was twenty years ago, in England, not Afghanistan! Who exactly was telling me this was not something a woman should do? Could it be that the computer system was designed by a bloke still shocked that women had their own bank accounts? Why would this make me question my sex, rather than note the sexism?
What is “gender”?
The current trend for asserting the primacy of “Gender Identity”, over biological sex, is doing the EXACT same thing as rigid enforcement of sex appropriate roles. Are you are girl who likes short hair, trains, playing with boys, computer games? Are you really a “boy”? Same for boys who are bakers not fighters. It’s so utterly regressive. Before all this Queer Theory bollocks we were making some headway fighing to liberate females and males from these constraints. NOW? Oops I seem to be a great scientist and I fancy women: I must really be a man.
Butler’s arguments are so full of hesitation, deviation and repetition. They are also hard to follow. We are informed that, after Butler publishing her book,Gender Trouble, she had some negative feedback from the Trans community and how she learned to listen to trans people. They were were at pains to dispute the idea their Gender Identity was not innate. Butler offers up trans theorists who claim an innate Gender Identity and advises this is an area of much debate within “trans-studies”. She is abject in her desire to learn at the feet of the great trans theorists and scold’s transphobic feminists for not reading her recommended gurus. (We have, Judith. We just thought it was regressive claptrap, but, hey, maybe if it were not for my #LadyBrain I could grasp how this is meant to be progressive).
Butler concedes that there is a vast difference in expections of 1950’s women to modern day expectations. She understands the formation of “Gender Identity” varies according to historical context but still claims “Gender” is so deeply seated it is not really a choice.
So it’s not chosen. It’s not innate. It’s historically changeable but also deep seated. These are the kind of intellectual acrobatics required to include Bearded Lesbians, like Alex Drummond, under the trans umbrella.
Butler also takes issue with the misunderstandings about Gender which she patiently
explains, obfuscates. Gender is performative but not a performance, its deep-seated but not innate, it is performative but it’s not artificial, it’s a powerful social and historical reality but it isn’t just based on sex stereotypes. Keep up on the back benches. Are you really going to legislate based on this nebulous concept?
Here is how Butler experiences their “gender”. Seeing so many drag queens in gay bars helped Butler understand that some men could out perform her in “femininity”. Yep. People. This is what passes for progressive thinking. Women who don’t perform in the s expected way are somehow failing at being women and therefore must be non-binary? Men? #NobodyDoesItBetter apparently.
Stonewall and Historical Revisionism
Below Owen reminds us that Stonewall only added campaigning for the T in 2015. It has taken just five years to destroy an organisation once remarkable for it’s work defending gay rights. As we can see from this clip they justified this by the historical revisionism which claims Transwomen were key players in the Stonewall Riots. This is an egregious lie. In fact the Stonewall Riots were started by a Lesbian and supported by Gay men. Transsexuals /Transwomen played a minor, to non-existent, role. To see OJ cravenly thanking trans people for their liberation, as a gay man, is cringe-making. Later in the piece both Butler and Jones criticise historical revisionism and completely overlook this example of their own. In the same section Butler claims that post-modernists are not in the business, as far as she knows, of denying facts. Pull the other one.
(Ruth Hunt now has a seat in the House of Lords. For swelling the Stonewall coffers with Trans Lobby cash and, in doing so, destroying the reputation of a once venerable organisation. Interview with Ruth Hunt , below, on Hard Talk makes it clear she measured success by revenue. Looking forward to how Ruth Hunt revises her history when the damage to young lesbians becomes clear. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csy97p)
Next up. This is how Butler characterises writers like Janice Raymond and Sheila Jeffries and women who are campaigning for penis free spaces. This argument would not be out of place on a Men’s Rights Forum, because this is exactly what this movement is. Butler below doing the classic #NotAllMen so beloved by MRAs and TRAs.
Once again. We exclude ALL men to safeguard women and girls from the FEW. We exclude ALL men not just for safety but for privacy and dignity. It is perfectly reasonable for women and girls to wish to undress, shower and acccess the toilets in FEMALE ONLY spaces.
Here she is on JK Rowling. Women talking about a history of domestic abuse are leveraging their trauma in order to persecute others!
Here are JK Rowling’s actual words. Trigger warning. They are PERFECTLY REASONABLE!
Owen commits and unpardonable faux-pas!
To end. Well worth watching this snippet to see Owen spluttering an apology after making a capital error and failing to respect Mx Butler’s identity! OJ decides to ask a question from one of his viewers and …
He, of course, blames the questioner..another woman and Butler makes
her their feelings perfectly clear.
I didn’t disagree with Butler on everything. She gives a creditable account of why the work of Kimberle Crensaw is important. Not withstanding the reputation of intersectional feminism is now utterly ruined by the parasitic leeching of Gender Identity Ideology. It is certainly true that women could have made common cause with refugees from masculinity IF they had not turned out to be neo-colonialists. Certainly those of us who are not willing to give up our sex based rights are not, as Butler mischaracterises us, unconcerned with structural racism. Once again the hijacking of #BlackLivesMatter by the obsession with trans issues has haomorrhaged respectability for that campaign, but the initial aims were laudable.
I also wholly endorse this statement though for rather different reasons than Butler
If you can support my work your contribution would be deeply appreciated. I am able to speak up because I have no employer, and therefore no income. If you have the latter but are not able to speak up this is a way you can help.
4 thoughts on “Talcum X talks Butler Bollox”
Thanks for helping us digest the indigestible.
Recently I found myself being told by a person over forty years my junior that I should educate myself about trans issues by reading Butler before I shared what she called TERF ideology. I tried to engage in conversation, but that was a complete waste of time that has caused a great deal of friction, since the young person in question is the daughter of a friend. So thank you for reading Butler for me. It is as I suspected – intellectual gibberish sustained by petulant adolescent angst.
As a sixty something prostate cancer survivor, I know all about the effects of the hormone depleting drugs – the same ones used as puberty blockers. The most profound of these on my own being, apart from my continuing to be alive and the hellish side effects, is the final deconstruction of my maleness. Although it was socialised into being a man, the mind this body carried was always gender critical and it learned a great deal from feminism, and now the body is completely sexless, my sexual organs have atrophied, I am not motivated by testosterone and the in-your-face visibility of toxic masculinity is palpable in every crack and crevice of these benighted societies. To find it in the reactions of young people seeking to support their trans chums is seriously depressing.
These days I regard myself as non-binary – in the sense that I refuse to identify with any category that requires definition by its opposite, or with any point on a mythical continuum between these. I was never happy identifying with anything, least of all my maleness, for this inevitably becomes claiming membership of a group, bringing this inside and using it to solidify something which is essentially mobile and impermanent. Describing myself as non-binary in this way I find myself confronting the most puerile and simplistic binary processes in the reactions of trans allies against gender critical ideas. Demonstration perhaps of the irony the the idea of non-binary is parasitic on the idea of binary …. ho hum 🙂
What a superb reply. We are all non-binary. We just don’t deny our sex to reject sex stereotypes.
Thank you. I am glad to be able to contribute without a pile on from idiots.
For what it’s worth, apart from my experience of hormone depleting meds, I take inspiration from the work of Luce Irigaray. Particularly her Being Born and In the Beginning She Was.
Thank you for shedding much light 🙂