Flashers’ rights

Trans activists are now defending the right of men to show their genitals to young girls.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

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Topics Feminism Identity Politics Politics USA

So it’s come to this, has it? Trans activists are now defending the right of men to show their penises to seven-year-old girls? That is the properly mental take-home message of the Wi Spa scandal, in which a heroic woman marched to the front desk of an LA spa and demanded to know why there was a person with a penis – what we used to call ‘a man’ – parading around the women’s changing rooms. She’s been branded transphobic and a bigot. And there you have it. It’s bigotry to defend the right of women and girls not to have to look at someone’s dick and balls, and it’s progressive to defend the right of the owner of said dick and balls to show them to whomever he damn well pleases.

This is a flashers’ rights movement. There’s no other way of putting it. The viral video of the Los Angelean spa-using lady complaining about the presence of a biological male in the female changing area really captures what is at stake in the increasingly fractious debate about transgenderism and self-identification – whether or not women (adult human females) have the right to associate, organise, talk and undress separately from men. The woman, the anger clear in her voice, confronts a receptionist. ‘So it’s okay for a man to go into the women’s section [and] show his penis around the other women, young little girls – underage – in your spa?’ The Wi Spa worker mutters something about ‘sexual orientation’, to which the lady replies: ‘What orientation? I see a dick! That lets me know he’s a man. He’s a man. He is a man.’

In this era of obfuscation and doublespeak, in which woke speechpolice will hound you for expressing biological facts about sex, and in which the actual police will take down stickers stating the dictionary definition of a woman (an ‘adult human female’) on the basis that they are transphobic, this woman’s commentary was so refreshing. She struck a brilliant blow against the woke forces of unreason that compel us to say that a person with a penis can literally be a woman. Literally. ‘Trans women are women – get over it’, as Stonewall cultishly intones. She saw a person with a penis and she knew what it was – a man. ‘He’s a man. He is a man.’ There’s more sense and wisdom in her ‘viral rant’ – as some trans activists and allies are calling it – than you will hear from most of academia and the political elites who have bought into the nonsense notion that you can swap your sex.

The most bracing part of the woman’s enlightened, scientifically informed commentary on the ideology of transgenderism – ‘He ain’t no female’ – was her mention of young girls. This is a reality too many trans campaigners wish to dodge: the fact that changing rooms, domestic-violence shelters and other women-only zones don’t only have women in them, but children too. When you green-light self-ID, you green-light the right of men to walk around naked in front of young girls. You green-light the right of rapists to go to women’s prisons. You green-light the right of male-bodied individuals to go into institutions full of women who will understandably not be in the mood to see men – domestic-violence refuges, for example. You can dress this up as ‘trans rights’ as much as you like, but to that Wi Spa woman, and to many others, it looks like an all-out assault on women’s rights.

The spa lady, awfully but predictably, has been called a bigot. ‘Woman goes on transphobic rant’, says one account. ‘You can watch the video below, but be aware that some people may find it disturbing to listen to’, says Heavy.com. Not as disturbing as a girl seeing a grown man’s genitals, I’ll wager. This sums up what ‘transphobia’ means – it is basically just an insult used to demonise any person who criticises any aspect of the transgender ideology or the notion of self-ID. The woman in the video doesn’t say anything phobic or bigoted. She merely states what most people would understand to be true – that if someone with a penis is walking around the women’s changing rooms, then that is a man in the women’s changing rooms. That’s not hate – it’s reality.

At the root of this viral scandal – and at the root of the broader discussion about transgenderism – is the question of reason. Does someone who was born male, went through male puberty and is still in possession of male genitalia become a woman simply by declaring himself to be one? I say no. Most people would say no. But the shrill woke warriors of the transgender movement – not ordinary trans people – say the opposite. That person is a woman and anyone who says otherwise is a hateful bigot, they cry. This is what needs to be challenged: the mad Orwellian notion that reality should be made subservient to the fancies and whims of small numbers of activists and their allies. Until we do that, women and girls will find that their rights to free association have been completely pummelled. And that’s not on. In a spa or anywhere else.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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