• Michael Nugent, Smears, and Transphobia.

    I am writing this on my phone so please excuse any spelling, grammatical, and formatting  errors as my uncoordinated fingers fight with my shitty touch screen phone.

    Nugent is, again, embroiled in a debate where his name is being smeared. It seems to be the go to tactic nowadays and we have seen it with Maryam Namazie being labelled Islamophobic  and Peter Tatchell being called a racist. It’s not a new tactic but it’s one that is growing rapidly among the left. But Nugent is well capable of taking care of himself so I won’t discuss that here.

    The claims made about Michael are patently ridiculous but I do think he mischaracterised transphobic comments in his comments section.


    So Micheal believes Cindy is merely discussing the idea that cis men might abuse laws intended for trans people in order to assault women in their spaces. Firstly, this doesn’t mean that this is transphobic. It is possible that this is simply dog whistling. The idea of women being assaulted by men thanks to laws enacted to protect the rights of trans people is a well known right wing trope. They use this fear,  an utter invention, in order to deny trans women access to women’s spaces and even to try to eliminate trans women’s identity.

    If a person raises these concerns and wants to find a solution that protects both women and trans women then I don’t see a problem. Is that what Cindy is doing? I don’t know, I am not a mind reader but nobody who knows who Cathy Brennan is and cares about trans people would ever link to her favourably. The manner in which Cindy discusses trans issues just reaks of TERFism. In my opinion, Cindy’s comments about cis men entering women’s spaces amounts to nothing but dog whistling transphobia.

    We see the same tactic being used against marriage equality. The story of two gay men adopting and abusing a young child is often cited. They feign concern for child safety and tighter controls on adoption laws but their objective is to ban LGBT people for marrying or adoption. So you can quite easily replace Cindy’s concern for women with anti marriage equality concern for child welfare: it’s not what they actually care about.

    This is further solidified by her others comments which are directed at trans women and not just deceitful cis men as Michael mistakenly thinks.


    The above comment is about trans women, not cis men. Cindy is clearly referring to trans women who haven’t surgically transitioned yet. And insinuates that they will leering at women and girls. This is, again, the hateful “transexuals will assault women”  trope. Sure,  Cindy does mention cis men who may intend on abusing the laws but much of it is about “be-penised” trans women.


    Again this comment is about trans women, not cis men. As you can see in the parenthesis Cindy distinguishes the deceitful cis men from the rest of the comment. So the rest of the comment is clearly referencing trans women. In fact, “or in some cases” suggests the deceitful cis men are a minority of those that commit the rapes which Cindy mentions. Also saying “based on nothing but ‘feelz’” denigrates trans people and their indentity.

    Again, this was on my phone so I apologize for any errors or if my thought process was a bit scattered. But the TL;DR is Cindy was clearly referencing trans women when talking about women being attacked. This is a well known hate trope. And in the instances where she wasn’t taking about trans women, it appears to be nothing but dog whistling.

    And as grand as it is for me to ponder whether or not Cindy and others  are dog whistling, or if she is referring to trans women or cis men in this or that paragraph, I doubt it’s fun for trans people who have to put up with this constantly. And have laws enacted to erase their indentity  based on these lies.

    Now I don’t think Michael is a transphobe, supporting transphobia, materially or otherwise. Or is dog whistling or any other of the ridiculous labels thrown about. He is a good person who has been an LGBT advocate for over 30 years and I just think he is mistaken in mischaracterising Cindy’s comments. And 30 years of advocacy shouldn’t be whitewashed because somebody is mistaken. The left needs to stop tearing itself apart by attacking anyone who appears the slightest bit impure. If you think a person is wrong it doesn’t mean they are Hitler incarnate.

    However, I can confirm, Michael, is an actual Leeds fan and for that there is no redemption

    Category: Uncategorized

    Article by: Humanisticus

    • I’m glad I’ve never heard of this Cindy person. Is she a SJW?

      Incidentally, you used the phrasing “women and trans women.” Trans women are also women, so you’re making a false distinction there. You wouldn’t write, “cats and Siamese cats,” would you?

      • I am not sure if she is SJW. Unlikely, more likely a TERF.

        I was making the distinction because I was talking about transphobia and cis women aren’t the target. But you’re right, I think I should have said “cis women and trans women” as opposed to “women and trans women”.

        • Clare45

          I have had to look up both “dog whistle” and TERF in the urban dictionary. Had no idea what either meant!

    • An Ardent Skeptic

      Are transwomen at risk if they are required to use facilities designated as “Men”? – Yes, absolutely.

      Are cis and lesbian women at risk if they are forced to share facilities with unscrupulous cis men who will abuse rules which allow transwomen to use facilities designated as “Women” – Yes, absolutely. (And, no, I’m not suggesting that cis men will start dressing like women so they can get into facilities designated as “Women”. Unscrupulous cis men will abuse poorly written policies and laws which will allow them to claim they are transwomen because that’s the way they “feel” when, in fact, they are not transwomen.)

      The solution isn’t to solely address one particular problem when there are, in fact, multiple problems. And, this is when I get really pissed off. I’m tired of the insistence by people of Group X, Y or Z that their concerns, and only their concerns, are what matter. And, because they think Solution A is the right solution, we all have to approve of Solution A otherwise we’re anti people of Group X,Y, or Z.

      We need a serious discussion about these problems, not people who identify as being X, Y, or Z insisting that what they want is the right solution for everyone and those who don’t agree are horrible people who don’t give a damn about people of X, Y, or Z.

      Skepticon’s attempt to make all bathroom facilities equally accessible to everyone is the worst possible solution. How did we get from “the atheist and skeptic communities are rife with misogynists who mistreat women” to “let’s give all men access to women when women’s pants are down” in the blink of an eye? The dichotomy between these two points of view is mind boggling. And, there are people who have been making the claim that misogynists are in abundance at skeptic and atheist conventions who have also hopped on board with the ‘gender neutral bathroom’ designations. So which is it? Are men mistreating women at conferences or can men be trusted around women when women are more vulnerable to abuse because their pants are down?

    • MichaelNugent

      Peter, I have started to respond to these issues with these two posts.

      Why we should stop segregating public toilets by gender http://www.michaelnugent.com/2016/03/16/public-toilets/

      Why do some people feel entitled to casually defame others online? http://www.michaelnugent.com/2016/03/16/defame/