It is. It is a moral panic. I wrote about my own disgracefully slow realisation, prompted by a family member and Bob Dylan, back in February 2021:
I’ve been thinking. I used to be a sociologist. I liked the way sociology asked questions, all the time, about anything and everything. Especially, I liked the way it exposed how entrenched power differentials explain the suppression of some groups.
I often say it changed me for the better and for good.
I think I may have betrayed my younger self recently.
In the debate on the trans community supposedly trying to possess the SNP, so busy with my thing – media bias – and the rest of my life, I’ve angrily batted away other issues that seem unimportant distractions but…
Listening to Bob Dylan tonight, ‘It’s alright Ma (I’m only bleeding)‘ a favourite, I heard a line that, not for the first time, slaps me out of geriatric lethargy and conservatism –
The hollow horn plays wasted words, proves to warn that he not busy being born is busy dying.
I’d been reading about the ‘trans threat’ to the SNP and that line somehow stopped me in my tracks. I’ve largely ignored the debate or sided with radical feminists against trans arguments. I haven’t read anything. That’s bad.
What if I’m wrong? What if this is just another moral panic where the deviancy of an oppressed minority is amplified and distorted to enable them to be demonised and kept down? I was a sociologist FFS, shouldn’t I be anticipating just that?
Anyhow, late though it was, I searched and quickly found this:
Sex wars and (trans) gender panics: Identity and body
politics in contemporary UK feminism
Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, UK
This article considers how sex and gender – as conceptual categories and as a lived experience – are subject to contestation and renegotiation in the contemporary UK. Exploring gendered shifts through the lenses of identity and embodiment, the article captures key moments where certainties have been undone within feminist and transgender thought and activism. Yet such
fissures resound with calls for a return to traditional understandings of the sexed body. The article pays particular attention to debates within feminism around transgender issues, and sketches out a climate of transgender moral panic whereby conservative thinkers and some feminist activists are joining forces with the aim of resurrecting gender binaries.
I’m off to read it. Let’s see what happens