The social media giant Twitter has officially pledged to silence dissent on transgender issues by considering “misgendering” and “dead names” “hate speech.” Miriam Ben-Shalom, the first lesbian to be reinstated to the Army after getting kicked out for her sexuality, denounced Twitter’s move as reminiscent of the anti-free speech dystopia of George Orwell’s “1984.”
“Once again, in order to protect the feelings of the 0.6 percent of the population [that identifies as transgender], freedom of speech is discarded,” Ben-Shalom told PJ Media. “Twitter, like so many other places, has drunk the Kool Aid and actively engages in suppression of thought and civil discourse, allowing only the words of those who are delusional, at best.”
“Weep for the demise of freedom of speech and free discourse,” she added. “Welcome ‘Back to the Future’ of ‘1984.’”
The veteran was referencing the government in Orwell’s novel, which engages in the promotion of “doublespeak,” a process of destroying independent thought. The motto “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” captures this perfectly. By redefining the meanings of words, the government makes free thought impossible.
So what exactly did Twitter do? It redefined “hateful conduct” to include “targeted misgendering or dead naming of transgender individuals.”
Some men self-identify as women and some women self-identify as men, going by the term “transgender.” Many change their names, and almost all of them insist that other people refer to them by the gender opposite their biological sex.
“Misgendering” involves referring to a man who identifies as a woman as male, or referring to a woman who identifies as a man as female. “Deadnaming” involves referring to a transgender person who changed his or her name by their original name, contrary to their wishes.
Twitter’s new rules — applied in October but only recently recognized — amount to an effective endorsement of transgenderism and a ban on any disagreement with transgender identity as “hateful.”
While people who identify as transgender do face unjust bullying and discrimination, policies like these actively suppress important dissent on transgender identity. Miriam Ben-Shalom has vocally opposed transgenderism, noting that the ideology involves an “erasure of women.”
“Women, especially lesbians, should not be told they are haters if they refuse to sleep with males who identify as trans. Women and children should not be forced to deal with males in their spaces, whether it be locker rooms or bathrooms,” she wrote in The Federalist.
In October, the lesbian veteran told PJ Media that “males identifying as trans are NOT women — they are simply a different type of man (no matter what they say, they remain genetically XY) — and women identifying as trans are NOT men (they remain genetically XX) — they usually are lesbians who have been brainwashed into thinking they are men.”
This ideology has wreaked disastrous consequences. In her comments on Twitter’s new move, Ben-Shalom told PJ Media, “Never mind that criminals can hide former crimes and sentences by claiming they are transgendered; never mind that civil voices of dissent are being silenced; never mind that trans activists habitually threaten those who disagree with trans ideology.”
Twitter should not be in the business of silencing dissent on transgender issues. There are many good reasons to oppose this new movement, in a civil and respectful way.
“It is dismaying to me to see women being erased and censored by trans and their allies,” Ben-Shalom told PJ Media in October. “It is angering to see the human rights of women and children, the most basic of which is privacy, being shunted aside by cocks in frocks. It is outrageous that these people are dictating to parents how they ought to deal with their children. And it is plain wrong to insist that we all should accept the delusions of these people as being ‘normal’ and regular.”
Twitter should reconsider this policy, as it is indeed Orwellian.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.