Here’s an interesting example of how misinformation spreads through subtle misrepresentation of the facts.
‘Party refuses to let ‘gender-critical’ woman join’ reports The Times (£):
The Liberal Democrats have told a “gender non-conforming” woman who does not accept that humans can change sex to join another party.
This is accurate. The woman in question wrote an email to the Liberal Democrat’s, describing her views on transgender people and stating “I do not believe people can change biological sex.”
Someone from the Liberal Democrats responded. They recognised that the woman’s views on transgenderism were at odds with party policy, and politely told her she would be better off elsewhere.
But look how this exchange was written up by columnist Jenni Russell in the same newspaper four days later (£):
Jo Swinson claims anyone questioning trans rights is challenging human rights; this week her party said voters who don’t believe humans can change biological sex should vote elsewhere.
They said no such thing. They said that someone who was opposed to transgender rights should probably not join the party. They did not engage her in whether humans can change biological sex, because the Lib Dem policy on trans rights does not depend on that assertion.
(Nor, for that matter, did they say that people who don’t believe humans can change biological sex ‘should vote elsewhere.’ They said that one particular woman should probably not join the party.)
Unfortunately, the incorrect and more fantastical version of this story will be the one that is shared by those opposed to transgender rights (and by those opposed to the Lib Dems).
I’ll paste a link to this blog post into the timeline of anyone I see has shared the inaccuracy, but that will have minimal impact. Those who are antagonistic to trans rights won’t bother fact-checking.
Note also the manufactured nature of this story. A ‘gender critical’ activist proactively baited a political party into suggesting that their views probably did not align with hers. The exchange was never in good faith. Instead, it was concocted precisely so it could be posted on MumsNet, the “ground zero for anti-trans organising in the U.K.” It was then picked up and distorted by one of the more socially conservative newspapers.
All of the other lies that they tell.
— Cheryl Morgan (@CherylMorgan) November 11, 2019
I’ve looked, but I cannot find examples of transgender activists claiming that it is possible to change biological sex.
And why would they? It’s impossible for humans to change biological sex. Our X and Y chromosomes are hardwired. Trans people and their allies know this.
Instead, transgender activists claim that gender and biological sex are different things, and that the former need not depend on the latter. This is a very different conceptual claim.
‘Trans women are women; but they’re not biologically female.’ Among those who support transgender rights, this is not a controversial statement. We should not perpetuate controversy by pretending that it is.