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Right-wingers claim Colorado shooter Robert Lewis Dear is a trans woman

Accused Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear
Accused Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear

So far we only know bits and pieces about the strange and isolated life of Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged shooter who murdered three people and injured many others after holing up in a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic yesterday afternoon.

We know that he had numerous run-ins with the law and with his neighbors, that he was accused in the past of domestic violence, that he lived in a small shack in the woods.

While Dear didn’t leave behind a manifesto, the fact that he targeted Planned Parenthood seems to be a rather large clue as to his motivations. Indeed, the mayor of Colorado Springs told reporters that they could make “inferences” about Dear’s motivations “from where [the shootings] took place.” Meanwhile, NBC is reporting that Dear talked about abortion after he was arrested, making reference to “baby parts,” according to NBC’s law enforcement sources.

Apparently embarrassed by the actions of yet another white male terrorist, some right-wingers are trumpeting a bizarre claim: that Dear is a trans woman. 

The claim seems to have originated with the blog Gateway Pundit, which posted voter registration information for Dear that labeled the alleged shooter as “female.”

To Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, this isn’t just an innocent mistake on the part of some government clerk; it’s proof that Dear “Identifies as [a] Woman.”

Naturally, others picked up on the bizarre claim. Rich Hoffman, who blogs as Overmanwarrior, treated this “news” as a giant “gotcha.”

Guess what, Obama, MSNBC, CNN, Hillary Clinton and all the rest of the knuckle dragging losers of progressive politics? They thought they finally had a white middle-aged Republican man who committed a terrorist act—so that they could propose more gun control.

Never mind that most of America’s terrorists are in fact white men.

Sadly for them, the shooter—Robert Lewis Dear—the lunatic who shot up a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on November 27th 2015 appears to be a cross-gender loving pervert who shared much more with Obama’s LBGT community than the NRA loving American traditionalists.

Never mind that the only political activism anyone says they’ve seen Dear ever engaging in was handing out anti-Obama leaflets. 

According to early reports from The Gateway Pundit shown below indicate Robert Lewis Dear identified as a woman, not as the man that he is. Bet you won’t hear that on the news networks.

Probably because it’s not true.

Dear sounds like a cast member of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That would explain his appearance.

Apparently Hoffman has never actually seen Rocky Horror.

Hoffman continued on — and on:

This is just further proof that liberals make most of the problems in our society. They feed anger toward Planned Parenthood with immoral justifications then they create a loose society full of perverts, peeping Toms, and losers who are men who think they are women and women who want to be men. USA Today almost had an orgasm when they saw the pictures of the suspect, but quickly put on the brakes once the stories of this idiot became clear. They reported that the motive was unclear so the hard reporting will probably die now that Robert Lewis Dear has turned out to be a Bruce Jenner clone—a woman in a man’s body. Perhaps Dear was jealous that real woman were able to get abortions for casual sex while he was not able to commit such a vile crime—so he went on a shooting spree. That conclusion is just as valid as Obama’s early comments regarding the push to use gun control as a way to keep more idiots like this loser free to peek in our windows all in the name of a more “progressive” society of morally loose punks and general depraved nut cases. Gun control laws obviously didn’t work with this confused person. Robert Lewis Dear was a Obama kind of guy—a bewildered mess who didn’t know what he was.

 

Naturally, Hoffman isn’t the only one crying “gotcha.” On Twitter, right-wingers are spreading the “news” of Dear’s imaginary status as a trans woman; they sound positively giddy.

https://twitter.com/AuroraStargazer/status/670676592809545729

https://twitter.com/ThomasWictor/status/670535763575087104

https://twitter.com/GotharReichart/status/670722140723945472

https://twitter.com/US395/status/670651383301951488

Naturally, some couldn’t keep themselves from indulging in transphobic jokes:

Do any of these people actually believe that Dear is a trans woman, or are they deliberately spreading disinformation to amuse themselves and muddy the real issues?

I suspect that it is largely the latter. Either way, it is not a shining moment for them.

H/T — Thanks to yutolia, who tipped me off to this development in the comments here.

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Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

I need to find something more descriptive of the range, but I am stuffed if I can find one appropriate and short. if anyone has a good idea please post.

Nonwhite.

However, be aware: black Americans face different forms of oppression than other nonwhite groups. Be mindful before you lump them in with other nonwhite groups and be sure that the oppression in question is equally applied.

sbel
sbel
5 years ago

Kinda long, but: Racial and ethnic minorities. Or just “minorities” would do, I guess.

nightmarelyre
5 years ago

@Lisa, I believe the term you are looking for is People Of Color (PoC), alternately Women Of Color (WoC), which is terms I have seen being used by people themselves to describe themselves at least. Since I am white I am no authority on this though, so I would say to go look up what people that this directly affects have to say about it

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

Oh I agree, but that is a great term for the purposes of a short post about the generalised bigotry of those right wing, conservative, racist, misyogynist.religious men..

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
5 years ago

Can anyone actually point me to an example of a TERF (however we define that) actually claiming that Dear is trans?

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Policy of Madness — this is prolly another small corner of radical feminism, but the whole “womyn as womyn” thing makes me noptopus back to places I don’t have to play pick a gender. Just my two cents on why I can’t don the label of an ideology I mostly agree with.

Lisa — Mediterranean? Huh? Maybe this is a New England thing but my Italian ass doesn’t face anything like the shit black Americans face. I am legit confused.

On topic — since when did being a minority, of any sort, mean you can’t also be an asswipe? I was unaware that assholery was confined to the cishet white men of the country. Oh, right, we’re playing “look over there” and since we aren’t babies lacking object permanence it’s not working.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

Argenti Aertheri: perhaps it is my UK and Australian experiences where (for example and pre the whole terrorism thing) Lebanese (yes even the Christian ones) were beng attacked all the time by bigots just based on them being non-white. Indians too, Pakistanis and all the rest.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

@dhag85 @sbel I think the comment that defended TERFs was deleted shortly after it got called out, I assume it was either them realizing they said something bad and deleted it to try and not cause any more harm or that one of the moderators got to it.

Users can’t delete their own comments here, and there’s no full time surveillance either -often when we do want someone moderated or banned we need to reach out to the mods/David and response is far from instant.

Also, any time someone was put in moderation/banned/had comments moderated or deleted, I have always, always always seen a note from David and/or the mod.

I think this is worth making clear since the text that followed was this:

Seems certain others in here is happy to take over the job of trying to defend their precious TERF sisters to the death instead of trying to get the comments back on rails though, hmm

Hmmmm nah, not really.

Either there wasn’t a comment to begin with, or it got deleted for some other reason, like a WordPress error (which I have seen and suffered here).

Also, seconding not being necessary to bring up TERFs when white cis het? angry dudes are terrorizing us.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

Policy of Madness — this is prolly another small corner of radical feminism, but the whole “womyn as womyn” thing makes me noptopus back to places I don’t have to play pick a gender. Just my two cents on why I can’t don the label of an ideology I mostly agree with.

What is the “womyn as womyn” thing? It sounds like gender essentialism, but I don’t recall ever seeing it termed that way so I’m not sure. Gender essentialism never leads anywhere good.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Policy of Madness — yeah, it is. There’s probably a huge overlap between that group and TERFs since they both seem to think trans people have no role in feminism (or worse). It’s excluding women not smacked, declared a girl and handed to mom, and people who were smacked, declared a girl, and grew up to go “nope, I’m actually not a woman”. I *think* it’s how trans men mostly fly under the radar, by being seen as confused women.

Full disclosure here: I’ve yet to encounter anyone calling themselves a radical feminist, with their own blog and audience and such, who didn’t eventually make me wonder just how feminist it was to claim that women who don’t agree with you are blinded by patriarchy. Like, even my best experiences out in the wide world of reading stranger’s words have left that nasty taste of “my way is the only way”.

Sprinkle more “I suspect this is a vocal minority” though.

Lisa — yeah, it’s a cultural thing then, all the places you named would be either Middle Eastern or Indian here, with this weird mostly ignored land in between that I’m not sure people could name on a map despite us being at war in the region and things like the border of Pakistan kinda being a big deal (huh? Did we cross it? Sorry about that *bangs head on wall*)

nightmarelyre
5 years ago

@Luzbelitx Then it must have been a WordPress error or something then as it was there last night when I posted a response to it. Why on earth would I make up something when a response could possibly (and turned out to be) inflamable when my entire point is to stop with derailing the comment section with “what about the radfems” and instead get back on topic?

Incidentily, let’s stop derailing this now, for gods sake.

plswdth
plswdth
5 years ago

I think trans folk have every right to be skeptical of self described radical feminists when, historically speaking, they have produced the vast majority of the body of feminist academic and political projects aimed at othering and demonizing trans folk.

Yes #NotAllRadfems hate trans people, but the vast majority of feminists who employ a particular kind of anti-trans rhetoric are self identified radfems. I do think they have rightfully earned my distrust and the distrust of others. I certainly don’t hate all radfems, but I would be particularly cautious around radfems until they’ve made their position on trans folk clear to me.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

Policy of Madness: yes it is biological gender essentialism.

Taking Greer as an example it is purely about XX genes (she doesn’t acknowledge the science about the need for hormones to trigger them properly at the right times) and that intersex people are all just ‘failed males’ (and that “cis women should be ‘cruel and unsympathetic’ to AIS, other intersex and trans women”).

She also stated that trans men are ONLY caused by endocrine medical conditions, the implicaton is that if they were fixed then they would not want to be trans anymore.

I did an analytic comparison between Greer and the right wing Christian Family Research Council and Geer was actually more gender essentialist than they were, because they at least acknowledge hormonal effects and intersex people.

Most of the rest of the TERFs are the same, biological essentialists, you are what your genes say, what genitals you are born with and that is that forever.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

The conservatives are just going downhill, I wonder how many trans people will be attacked or killed over this:

“Ted Cruz Describes Alleged Planned Parenthood Shooter As ‘Transgendered Leftist Activist’.

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/11/29/3726311/ted-cruz-planned-parenthood-shooting-transgendered/

erica, ascendant
5 years ago

I will defend not using that acronym because it has this nasty habit of showing up clipped out of context with allegations that it’s a “slur”. How about “genetic essentialists”? Seriously, I’m pretty obviously not against radical feminists as a radfem myself, so I don’t even know. That’s my personal call, but I don’t really want to end up being demonized for using the acronym, so I don’t. That’s selfcare. But I need a term to use to refer to the women who falsely take up the banner of feminism and use it to punch down on other women. I’m all ears, but I’m not using that acronym, because being accused of using a “slur” leads to demonization that’s very bad for me. No, it hasn’t happened here, but I am not free to use that acronym because what happens here can show up elsewhere.

Similarly, being accused of “blaming feminists” requires a reply. I’m sorry that part of that cascade got things off-track, but it is very necessary when someone accuses a trans woman of “blaming feminists” unbidden. There needs to be some level of shared trust, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request, as that accusation gets used to silence trans women, whether or not it’s the intent. How can I blame feminists writ large as a feminist myself?

I’m sorry things went sideways, but at the same time, please don’t assume evil intent because a trans woman is trying to participate and protect herself at the same time, and the assumption of evil intent and disingenuous responses on top of words being shoved in my mouth is deeply uncomfortable and alienating. Please understand these are real human beings involved and I’m trying to do my damn best.

zyrusticae
zyrusticae
5 years ago

Just chiming in to say that I totally agree that this topic is well within the purview of the blog. Such transparent misogyny is, at the very least, sourced from much the same twisted viewpoints as the rest of the manosphere.
I’m really glad this blog is here and that this madness is being noted so we can all collectively /facepalm over it like responsible citizens.
And, boy, do I need to. Shaking my head, etc., etc. It’s sad that I’m so used to it now that all I can manage is a shrug and a sigh (and a short burst of explosive anger that thankfully dissipated).

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

I’ll take credit if you want to give it to me 😀

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

What do TERFs call themselves? What are not-TERFs ‘allowed’ to call them? Do they prefer not to be spoken of as being a distinct group? From what I’ve seen of TERFs, they’re big on trying to tightly control all discussion (maintaining frame?).

Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

zyrusticae
Please don’t say “madness” it’s ableist. if you are new here then welcome.

zyrusticae
zyrusticae
5 years ago

Sorry. Old habits die hard. Still need to train myself to catch the ones that slip into casual usage.
Replace the word with “stupidity” if that works better for ya. Or maybe “foolishness”. Hmm, lots of options…

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog): That varies, some call themselves radical feminist lesbians, some just radical feminists , others gender critical feminists, some just feminist butch lesbians, etc.

There is no clear self administered term they use.

LG
LG
5 years ago

“Sometimes people get called TERFs when they’re not TERFS but that doesn’t mean that the term itself is a problem any more than the fact that some non-racists get called racist means that we shouldn’t use the term racist.”

I really disagree, David. I think that “TERF” being used too loosely and pitched at (potentially) anyone who’s at all transphobic, transmisogynistic or trans-exclusionary is akin to calling someone a “Neo nazi” when they display everyday racism: it suggests that this very dangerous everyday bigotry comes about only as a result of consciously choosing to subscribe to a specific, essentialist ideology. It becomes far too easy for people to dismiss the criticism because we know we haven’t subscribed.

And I would argue that if someone calls you a “racist” when you’ve displayed racism, they’re right.

LG
LG
5 years ago

I’m sorry, I thought you were defending such misuse of the term, as well.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

Gender essentialist probably gets to the heart of it, because while some people who are gender essentialist try to be trans-inclusive, they can only manage it by not actually thinking gender essentialism all the way through. Gender essentialism is intrinsically trans-exclusionary. It also has other, extremely serious, problems, any one of which would be a good enough reason to 86 the entire concept.

nightmarelyre
5 years ago

A TERF is a TERF, no matter what they say. It’s not a slur, it’s an acronym that describes their ideology, and claiming otherwise is a distraction tactic to try and label the TERFs as the victim and the accuser as a bully. TERFs don’t need protection from trans people, trans people need protection from TERFs.

Also you might not consider yourself a TERF yourself, but if you are indeed a radical feminist who say transphobic things, it should be no surprise when trans people feel it’s fitting to label you as such. If you don’t want to be called a TERF, don’t act like one or defend those who do or say stuff like “it’s a slur, you are the bully here”

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

“Planned Parenthood singles out Republicans for ‘hateful rhetoric’ that incited Colorado attack”

In a press release, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said: “It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create. Even when the gunman was still inside of our health center, politicians who have long opposed safe and legal abortion were on television pushing their campaign to defund Planned Parenthood and invoking the discredited video smear campaign that reportedly fed this shooter’s rage.”

Lageuns called out candidates Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz specifically, although the organization’s message seemed to apply to the wider GOP rallying cry of attempting to close Planned Parenthood as an organization.

http://www.dailykos.com/

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

Claiming that TERF is a slur is a way to shut down discussion, and I’m quite sure that’s intentional.

BVH
BVH
5 years ago

“BVH: I know you didn’t intend it that way, but the “cut off their dicks” meme is both factually incorrect ”

Yes, I know…THAT’S WHY ITS LUDICROUS. FFS.

It was really that unclear from my comment that

a. this is a bullshit position based on either ignorance or a deliberate mis-characterization
b. I am aware this is a bullshit position
c. therefore IMHO these people are being dishonest/disingenuous

???

Really? And your take away is that I really think that” the cut off the dicks” thing is factual?

REALLY?

This is what made me stop commenting for a while. This blog is great, and I know people have their hearts in the right place. But the knee-jerk, false positives friendly fire is tiring.

I have much less misunderstandings at AVClub, where, ironically the crowd is much more supportive and educated about women’s capabilities than many vocal people in the comments here.

For instance, there was a notable time I bit my tongue and said nothing while the otherwise awesome people here made uneducated and out right ignorant remarks about women supposedly being just naturally weaker than men. Not that they tend to be weaker because of a lot of factors(crappy physical education, crappy diet, bad exercise programs, concerns about getting too “big”, cultural aversion, not starting training until much later in life and missing the prime adolescent years), but that, a la “bio truth”, that’s the way it is.

I find this 100X more insulting than all the ablism issues,as it’s in the comments of a woman positive, pro feminist blog, for god’s sake. I’m an amateur powerlifter, but even before that I was as strong as many men my size and weight. I am an average person, 5 and half feet and 170 pounds and I’m not fat. But I didn’t start that way. No strong person does. NO ONE. You build it slowly over the years; if one is active in adolescence it might appear to be magic, but it isn’t. Without training hard, I’m about 125-130lbs. Even then I could do 20 pushups and 10 pull-ups. That women are just doomed to be weaker bullshit was old when I first heard it at 5 years old, it was old in high school, And it’s really fucking old decades later when everyone is supposed to be more educated and informed.

But no one here was offended by it. Okay–go team! /s

I kept my mouth shut because it wasn’t really the topic of the blog post and whatever, I’m just another voice on the Internets. But the irony was ironic.

But I get rebuked for something I didn’t even say or mean. And that’s not counting the false positive friendly fire in the past over the abilism issue.

One is left with the impression there is literally nothing one can do right, and that is not healthy. I know that is not what you meant, but that’s the effect.

Now I must do the healthy thing and go back to just reading the blog and ignoring comments.

No hard feelings…Keep Calm and Carry On.

kale
kale
5 years ago

TERFs are now using the term “gender critical (GC)” to describe themselves, just FYI in case that info helps anyone de ide what terms to use when talking about them. (Yea I know its not a realistic term for “women who identify as feminists and most often also as lesbians who hate ans harass trans women”, but its not like MRAs do anything for men’s rights either, so we dont really need to go into a whole conversation about it given the circumstances. Its just a bit of info to ponder).

nightmarelyre
5 years ago

@kale, Question, why should we use the term they want, which hides their true ideology and make them seem much more harmless than they truly are, instead of using an acronym that perfectly encapsulates their core ideology, namely excluding and extermination trans people?

AnAndrejaPejicBlog (@A_Pejic_Blog)

@nightmarelyre There’s a post on this page from a trans woman who was treated badly (she used the word ‘demonized,’ so quite badly, I’m guessing) for using TERF. Understandably, it’s an experience she doesn’t want to repeat.

kale
kale
5 years ago

&for the record, I did go and look at some TERFs timelines on twitter and they are indeed retweeting stuff about this killer being registered as a woman. Im sorry but I wanted to kmow and I think it is worth a mention here.

kale
kale
5 years ago

@nightmarelyre I mean Im not gonna, fuck TERFs…. >;D~

kale
kale
5 years ago

…but its not like they deserve that F for Feminist at the end there either. I dont think hurting women is feminist. Its not like they just hate trans people, they specifically hate trans women. Its misogyny, not feminism, that drives them, thats how I see it.

kale
kale
5 years ago

anyways, I would like to go look for, and talk about, ways to support the victims and oppose fortced pregnancies and shit rather than dwelling on stuff that makes me feel bad personally so Im gonna take a break from talking sbout you-know-who(s). I wish I had $ to donate to PP, or even just time, clinic escorts for example are rad.

Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

zyrusticae
Thanks

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

Just to add my own piece of kindling onto the fire, here is a personal observation;

Back when I was just starting to really devour anything related to Feminism and didn’t even know what a “TERF” was, I stumbled across some blogs written by TERFs and read them thoroughly. I have to say, based on my experience then, and my experience since, I don’t think TERF’s problem is so much Transmisogyny as it is, “everyone who is not as CIS woman is privileged and disgusting and fuck you. Get your penis out of here I’m a rape victim and you’re triggering me!” I quickly fled those blogs, because TERFs really are terrible people.

Now, I’m not saying that TERFs are *never* Transmisogynistic, it just doesn’t seem to be a primary motivation. Compare this to what is motivating these conservative men; actual, undeniable transmisogyny. These men hate women, therefore Trans men and women suck as well. Undeniable transmisogyny.

In short; I have no idea why the hell we’re talking about TERFs in this instance instead of the terrible, horrible transmisogyny coming from CIS men. Unless some TERFS are directly making this claim, I don’t see them as being relevant. TERFS and Trans hating, conservative, CIS men are both terrible and hateful, but they’re not one and the same.

nightmarelyre
5 years ago

@mrex Sounds like transphobia and transmisogyny to me. Also http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Trans-exclusionary_radical_feminism

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Kale — I think even autocorrect has learned that I use TERf for exactly that reason.

Policy of Madness — “Gender essentialism” = I’m with you on that one! And my personal view on gender? I’m done debating which box I go in, I’ll be a cat and just lay over ALL THE BOXES!! (I joke with cat analogies, but yeah, I’m opting out of that internal debate and sticking with “neither” followed by silly noises because it only took a decade for that lightbulb to click)

Tangentially, can I whine for a second? I found a sports bra I like, it was clearance, I ordered three… the courier the company (a large one you’d know) uses only works business days. So my pre-Black Friday order went absolutely fucking nowhere over the biggest shopping weekend of the year. That’s very off topic, but really? You deal in shipping retail orders and don’t work Black Friday? The mind, it boggles.

Also, I can deal with grumbling at customer service, the actual topic just makes me want to scream and there’s no “how can we help you?” number with a helpful person on the other end.

… so, how about them cats in boxes?

kale
kale
5 years ago

well we are talking about TERFs becauase a trans woman rightfully included them in a list of people who hate and terrorize trans people, and was immediately told by a bunch of people that she shouldnt be casually mentioning TERFs when she lists the people who torment trans women for… reasons.
Look, it has been suggested we move on and Im all for that, thinking about the people who bully me and bully my sisters even worse makes me feel terrible, but come on. It isnt the trans people here who turned this conversation about trans issues into a mess, not that we are all perfect but cis people you need to recognize that we walk roads you havent been down and just, idk, cut us some slack when we are being blamed for murder and thus having our safety threatened again. Please?

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Can I also join you in opting to be a cat in a box?

So much simpler, it would be…

kale
kale
5 years ago

OK to change the subject – maybe we can say some trans pos things?
my young cousin came out to me as a dude at Thanksgiving. It was really nice to be able to tell a 12 year old “welcome out!” I didnt have that self awareness, courage, or support at his age and Im very happy for him and proud to have blazed the trail for him. 🙂