A right-wing activist who claims to “love women” (don’t they all) said yesterday that he refuses to support the Violence Against Women Act. But that’s to be expected from Ed Martin, who runs the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, a group modeled after the woman who arguably blocked the Equal Rights Amendment.
His reasoning? The VAWA includes transgender women… and that would somehow be bad news for cis women.
It’s a comment that HUD Secretary Ben Carson made recently and which Martin wanted to defend.
“That is the case for Dr. Ben Carson, who serves as our secretary for housing and urban development,” Martin said. “He told HUD staff that directors of women’s shelters were concerned about ‘big, hairy men’ claiming to be transgender women in order to gain admission. Obviously, that is a very real problem.”
“The women who go to battered women’s shelters are going there because they and their children have been traumatized, likely by an abusive relationship with a man,” Martin continued. “The last thing we need to do is force them to share bedrooms and shower facilities with strange and confused men.”
That old trope again — the “trans women are just male predators in disguise” trope — is about as realistic as someone putting a razor in an apple for Halloween. It just doesn’t happen, but some people act like it’s commonplace because they choose to remain ignorant.
You know what happens a lot more frequently than that? Trans women assaulted simply for being trans women. But facts don’t hold much appeal to men like Martin. Lies have more shock value and make for better headlines. Plus, his base eats it up without any attempt at critical thought.