A visit from the religious police
The UK's police force is institutionally misogynist
A woman has received a visit from the police for placing a sticker in her window which read ‘TRANS IDEOLOGY ERASES WOMEN’. For this, she received a visit from a particularly pompous, threatening PCSO. Luckily, she also had the presence of mind to record the conversation. Recording follows, then transcript. (Thanks to Parrot for the latter).
BELLA DOE: You’re told you’re transphobic if you don’t… If you’re a lesbian and you don’t include trans women.
PCSO: What? Why would you not include trans women?
BD: Um. Because they’re men.
PCSO: No they’re not.
BD: But they can’t… they can’t change… then you’d have to...
PCSO: Okay, where you are in your thinking is very much needed a lot of enlightenment and reading. I find that very offensive and I’d like you to take it off.
BD: But why do you find it ...why do you find it offensive?
PCSO: Because you’re...trying to...tell people in the real world…not inside your house...outside...that trans people don’t exist. That it’s an idea, it’s ideology. And that’s it’s being harmful for women, which it isn’t. And it’s not a point of view, that’s fact. So I think that is quite damaging because what you’re actually doing is trying to give other people the idea of what you believe. Which, I think, you need to do a lot more reading on...personally.
And now because somebody’s spoken to you about it you’re going to keep it there because you feel that that’s your right to do so.
BD: No. I don't...I want to…no. But it’s been…it’s faded, it’s been there for so… it’s been there. You’re. This. So now I’m…I have…I cannot ex...
PCSO: You can express your views in your own world. This is not inside your world, is it? Anybody that comes to your door is going to see that.
BD: I don’t… Why… I thought… I said I’d keep myself to myself. This is ridiculous.
PCSO: It’s really upset you?
BD: Yes it has. So…
PCSO: But you don’t think about the fact that...
BD: I do. I think about…
PCSO: It upsets all the trans people to say that they’re erasing women. Which it simply isn’t true.
BD: But that… doesn’t that… If I go to a support group about rape… if I’ve been raped, right?
BD: And I go to the support group.
BD: I have to include trans men in that, why?
PCSO: What do you mean you have to include trans men in it?
BD: I mean trans women. Trans women...because...
PCSO: You don’t think trans women get raped? You don't think trans women don't get raped? Trans women get raped too. Trans women are women get raped. Men get raped. Trans men get raped. There’s no differentiation and nor should there be.
BD: I’m not talking about the sex…those who have had their um… (Silence for a few seconds)
PCSO: It’s difficult if you’ve had an experience that has coloured your gen… your..your..your idea of what’s going on what's going on in life. However, that sort of thing is just preying on your fears, making you scared of something you shouldn't be scared of.
BD: (sobs) I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t scared until I was told that it might cause offense. Now, I feel...
PCSO: No but you’re…no, I’m not on about that. I’m on about the fact that you’re living in fear of trans women.
BD: No I’m not. I’m not in fear…I’m not in fear. I just want to be able…I want to be able to…oh..
PCSO: What do you want to be able to do?
BD: I want to be able to go to my support group for my stuff that has happened to me from men without having men there, and then you’re telling me that..
PCSO: Ah, right, yeah, so this is what I'm saying about you've got...you've got in your head that a trans woman is not a woman.
BD: But they’re not how are they a woman (inaudible) what are women?
PCSO: Okay. That’s not my job to educate you, but you need to educate yourself. There’s plenty… If you go on the Internet there’s tons of support groups that will help you with this.
BD: But you’re telling me that I have to change… I have to change my belief.
PCSO: Oh, it’s not beliefs, it’s not beliefs it’s fact. It’s not a belief system, it’s not like “do you believe in God?” you know something you can’t see. It’s not… that’s not..that's not what this is. Again you… you’ve got to try..
BD: You can’t change sex. It’s impossible to change sex.
PCSO: It’s not change. Okay, it’s how you’re born. It’s how you’re born. Now if a person is born in the wrong body and spends big portion of their life in that wrong body and suffers terribly from all sorts of disorders because they have been born into the wrong body...to allow them to transition to the right body to enable them to feel… be the person that they are, isn’t something that doesn’t exist. It isn’t a choice, just the same as being gay isn’t a choice. Do you understand that being gay is not a choice, yeah?
BD: That’s what I’m saying about les, about being lesb..
PCSO: Yeah, so being gay is not a choice. Being trans is not a choice. It’s not a choice. It’s not something you just wake up one day & decide to be. It’s not a choice. It causes distress. It causes suicide. It causes people terrible mental health crises & mental ill health for many many years until they find the courage to be the person that they actually are. It’s not that they want to be. It’s not that they wish to be. It’s that they actually are. Does that make sense? (Silence) Does that make sense?
PCSO: It doesn’t make sense. Okay. (inaudible)
DAUGHTER1: Don’t get upset. It’s a sticker, mum. It’s a sticker.
BD: But my…my...I’m offending trans women who are women.
D1: So if I had a sticker about something else, a poem or something else and so I was…and someone else has complained about it why should I remove that sticker?
PCSO: Because it’s offensive.
D1: How is it offensive?
DAUGHTER2: Well they shouldn’t look at it then.
D1: It's like me putting lesbians...if I was to put lesbians don’t have a penis.. penises. Am I offending… Who am I offending?
PCSO: That’s… you again… you’re going away from the point. The point..
D1: How is it offensive?
D2: You shouldn’t look at it.
PCSO: Because it’s stating that trans peo… trans women are an idea not a..not a…and they don’t exist.
PCSO: Which is what your your… is it your mum?
D1: Yeah. It is my mum.
PCSO: It’s what your mum’s saying.
D1: Can’t believe all this about a sticker.
D2: They shouldn’t look at it then.
PCSO: If you read something on there that was racist, you would understand why I was coming to say you shouldn’t have that on your door, wouldn’t you?
BD: Completely different. Completely different.
PCSO: How is it different?
BD: Completely different.
PCSO: How is it different?
BD: Because people are born black. Like, people are born their sex, male and female.
PCSO: No, that’s not… Again, you’re missing the point. All I can urge you to do is just to… just read… just educate yourself.
BD: I have. I have. I have. I have.
BD: Oh no. Sorry, I’m not… I’m not educated… I’m not being educated on being a man being told he’s a woman. A man is not a woman, he never will be, he’s a man.
PCSO: Hang on a sec.
BD: No, I’m not.
PCSO: So, nobody’s being told anything. This is what I’m saying… that that’s where there’s a big big gap in understanding here. There’s a huge gap in understanding.
I'm going to annotate this with comments on the law later
So, what do we do about it? How do we get this officer dismissed? How do we ensure that the police henceforth keep to their task of enforcing the criminal law of the land, rather than bullying citizens into taking political stances which are NOT the law?