Major Papers Rule That Nasty Speech by Trans Woman Isn't Uncivil, But 'Misgendering' Is

April 21st, 2023 4:46 PM

This could be a poll question: Which speech is more offensive? 

-- "Misgendering" a trans woman as a "he"? 

-- Telling someone who opposes trans amputations and chemicals they have "blood on their hands"?

The Washington Post picked (A). Their headline was "Montana Republicans misgender trans lawmaker in letter calling for civility." Reporter Maria Luisa Paul explained state Rep. "Zooey Zephyr" claimed Republicans were shameful for making gender-dysphoric kids go through puberty without chemicals:

As legislators in Montana debated a bill Tuesday that would ban gender-affirming care for minors, state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), one of two transgender lawmakers in the House, made an impassioned plea to her colleagues to reject the legislation.

Withholding treatment from children struggling with gender identity, she said, amounted to torture — and could result in trauma, harm or suicide.

“If you vote yes on this bill, I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said.

Ultimately, the GOP-sponsored bill — dubbed the Youth Health Protection Act — passed over the objections of Democrats. That same day, the Montana Freedom Caucus, a bloc of some 21 right-wing state legislators, said Zephyr’s comments amounted to “hateful rhetoric” and demanded her censure in a letter that called for a “commitment to civil discourse” while misgendering Zephyr.

Zephyr never drew an ideological label, but the reported added that the Montana Freedom Caucus was affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus, one of the most well-known and hard-line Republican ideological factions." The trans activists aren't "hard line" or "ideological"? Ever? 

The Post included video of the nasty floor speech. They also found an expert to compare Zephyr to the "Tennessee Three" and a Texas congressman censured by the state GOP: 

The three incidents point to a Republican-led “norm erosion” in state legislatures, said Jake Grumbach, an associate professor of political science at the University of Washington.

“The continued erosion of norms in state legislatures around legislative procedure, civil rights and liberties, and democracy itself have contributed to the weakening of American political institutions in recent years,” Grumbach said.

So telling people they have blood on their hands for failing to support amputations sounds like it needs a fact check as well as a civility check. Who's eroding norms here as they nuke the gender binary? 

The New York Times also celebrated Zephyr. One caption had this bizarre quote:

“This bill tries to define male and female as binary,” said State Representative Zooey Zephyr. “You could not legislate binary sex any more than you could legislate that the Earth is flat.

So the Flat Earthers are the ones who stick to basic biology? "Blood on your hands" didn't make the promotional tweet.

Times reporter Remy Tumin also cited "conservative" Republicans, but assigned no ideology to Zephyr as she was quoted repeatedly. is also on the trans train to Montana.