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Böll.Global 15 | Violence against transgender people: How do we deal with antifeminist and transgender hostile discourses?
A series of online discussions on current international developments
On 31 March 2023 the International Transgender Day of Visibility will be celebrated for the 14th time. This day is not only about creating awareness for the manifold cases of discrimination and violence towards transgender people, it is also about honouring their contribution to society. In recent years transgender people have gained higher international visibility in the media, in the worlds of culture and sport and in politics.
However in too many countries, the legal recognition and social equality of transgender people still falls far short of the regulations and guarantees required in the spirit of a comprehensive understanding of human rights and continues to be the subject of controversial debates. The German Bundestag has at least started to discuss a law of self-determination. On the other hand discrimination, hostility and acts of violence towards transgender people are on the increase across the globe. 350 murders were committed in 2020, in 2021 375. 75% of all murders were committed in Central and South America.
Instrumentalised discourses of transgender as a “trend”, or of a so-called “transgender ideology” deliberately stir up hatred and fears in so-called “majority society” and intentionally create preposterous threat scenarios. The attack on a 25 year old transgender man at this year’s Christopher Street Day in Muenster showed that this hatred can end fatally.
Hatred of individuals who do not fit into predefined social norms is the core element of the mobilisation strategies and capabilities of right wing movements worldwide. They instrumentalise transgender people as scapegoats, talk about a supposed decline in social values and discredit the demand for human rights and legal guarantees for transgender people as a danger to democracy.
The “two genders only” discourse shows how closely antidemocratic attitudes, antifeminism and transphobia are intertwined and also fuel each other on social platforms in sometimes absurd seeming overlaps and alliances. Transmisogyny involves directing targeted exclusion and violence disproportionately towards transgender women: They experience a devaluation of femininity and transgenderness not only by antifeminists, but also by some traditionalist feminist actors. The partly conscious appropriation and fragmentation of feminist discourses and movements by the right, considerably increases the danger that antifeminist and antidemocratic actors will take over and determine the discussion spaces.
We would like to discuss the following questions and more in the 15th Boll Global online discussion:
- Can global trends be observed regarding the spread of hate crimes and transgender hostility?
- How are these exploited by right wing movements?
- Are feminist movements that exclude transgender women still feminist?
- Are there political and civic counter strategies?
- Where are feminist struggles for cis and transgender rights successfully brought together and alliances forged against the right?
Our guests are:
- Tessa Ganserer, member of the German Parliament, Alliance 90/The Greens
- Jovan Džoli Ulićević, director of Asocijacija Spektra, Montenegro
- Naureen Shameem, director of Noor
- Lina Cuellar, director of Sentiido, Colombia
Moderated by: Jana Prosinger, Head of the Global Unit for Feminism and Genderdemocracy, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation
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