14 February 2014

The Company Cathy Brennan Keeps

What do Paula Deen, John Galliano, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, Charles Murray and Cathy Brennan have in common?

After very public expressions of bias against people different from themselves, all of them claimed they aren't bigots.  

The chief difference between them is the kinds of bigotry they denied.  Dean, Richards and Murray claimed not to have hatred toward those whose skins are darker than theirs.  Galliano and Gibson claimed they harbor no prejudice against adherents to the religion borne of the prophet Moses, or their descendants.  And the estimable Ms. Brennan claims she has no beef with transgender people.

In addition to their undeniable loathing of those who make the world uncomfortable for heterosexual cisgender Aryans, there are other commonalities in the ways in which they "outed" themselves, then denied what they wittingly or unwittingly revealed.

Their scenarios all went something like this:  Someone caught them making (or, in Murray's case, implying) a slur against some group of people.  Then they made public "apologies" laced with self-pity over their perceived victimhood--and, of course, denials that they are bigoted.  Some blame alcohol or drugs.  Others use coded language--or, in Murray's case, out-of-context statistics--to say, in essence, that there is some truth in stereotypes.

Really, they are no different from religious bigots who couch their homophobia in  claims that they "love the sinner, hate the sin"--or who quote any number of Bible verses, not only out of context, but also in translation.  You know, the sorts of folks who, as soon as the tables from their prayer breakfasts are folded, change the topic from how God hates the sin to how obnoxious the sinners are when they publicly kiss their same-sex partners.

(At least Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers have the integrity, if you can call it that, to say "God hates fags" whether or not they are in their pews or at the pulpit.)

If you don't believe that Ms. Brennan is transphobic, look at the statement she and Elizabeth Hungerford wrote and tendered to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in August, 2011.   To me, it reads like the "bathroom" argument on steroids.  The irony is, of course, that their statement ultimately disempowers women--including those they define as "real" women--by reducing them to their urinary and sexual organs, as well as to a particular body function most have from the time they're adolecents until they reach middle age.  It also makes the unbelievable assumption that all men are not only capable of impregnating women, but would use that ability to coerce women to their will.

Yet they--like all of the other "second wave" feminists and RadFem ideologues--fail to cite even a single case in which a pre-operative transgender woman raped, let alone impregnated, a cisgender woman in a bathroom.  Moreover, they claim that trans women have experienced the same sort of male privilege as cisgender men and have not suffered from prejudice, or even violence, for not fitting societal stereotypes of males.  

But, in at least one way, Brennan--and Hungerford--are even more mean-spirited than the other bigots I've mentioned.  They submitted their statement moments before the submissions deadline, which prevented trans people or our allies to responding to their misinformation and hateful rhetoric before a UN assembly.

That makes them bullies, pure and simple.

Worst of all, Brennan's behavior continues to amplify her hatred which, I believe, is an expression of resentment.  She's now doing the bidding of the Pacific Justice Institute, a misnamed group if there ever was one.  The PJI is making up, and using Brennan to circulate, stories of trans women attacking "real" women in bathrooms and locker rooms.   Oh, but it gets even better:  PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds has asserted that in merely entering a women's facility, a trans woman is committing assault.  On that basis, he, Brennan and transphobic feminists want to prevent states and municipalities from enacting policies that would allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of the gender in which they identify and spare many from harassment, violence and worse.

So...a high-profile bigot and bully is helping the cause of a group of bigots and bullies.  How much lower can someone go than that?  How much more proof do we need that Cathy Brennan is just as bigoted as Strom Thurmond ever was.


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