TERF Trouble

Poll After Poll Shows Transphobic Panic is More About Cis Male Fragility than Women’s Rights

A common refrain of the anti-trans movement, particularly in the UK, is that trans rights are a threat to women’s rights. But polls in recent months have consistently confirmed what many of us queer folk already know—cis men are much more likely to espouse transphobic views.

Writing for PinkNews, data journalist Ell Folan cites a 2022 YouGov poll that surveyed 1,751 participants in Great Britain. Even the most general statements found cis women always outnumbering cis men in support of trans rights.

When asked whether transphobia is a problem in British society, 54% of women agreed compared with 43% of men. Regarding the access to single-sex spaces, 45% of women reported no problem sharing a restroom with trans women compared with 31% of men. And when it comes to the legal gender change process, only 35% of women said such changes should not be allowed compared with 43% of men.

In 2021, the BBC published an op-ed full of questionable and anecdotal sources alleging a widespread phenomena of trans women pressuring lesbians to have sex with them. JK Rowling, one of the most vocal leaders of the anti-trans movement, has also claimed to be fighting trans rights to protect gays and lesbians. However, a YouGov poll conducted from May to June of this year found that lesbians in the UK overwhelmingly support trans rights, to the tune of 84%.

Because British media outlets like the BBC have often advanced transphobic viewpoints, the fact that these views are not shared by the general population can come as a surprise. According to a YouGov poll from earlier this month, 56% of transgender respondents said they believe that British citizens hold a generally unfavorable view of trans people.

In actuality, only 25% of cisgender respondents said they view trans people negatively. When broken down by gender, that statistic works out to 35% of male respondents versus 18% of female respondents. That statistic is unusually high, given that only 7%-9% of respondents said they hold negative views of LGB people. But even then, it is still very much the minority of respondents who expressed anti-trans views, especially when it comes to cis women.

Again and again, poll data confirms that cis men are leading the anti-trans movement. You might even say concerns over women’s bathrooms and the erasure of womanhood and whatever other excuses transphobes have trotted are just that—excuses meant to deflect from the actual vitriol of transphobia.

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