Alright, everyone, it’s time to explain how progressive men will use typical manipulation tactics to dismiss women’s concerns about their rights and legal protections. Feminists might call this “mansplaining.”

Today we have an example from Virginia Delegate Marcus Simon.

Back in January, a group of Virginia delegates introduced a bill that would overhaul the legal method of changing a person’s sex on his or her birth certificate.

You can read all about HB 407 by clicking HERE.

Marcus Simon was a patron of this bill. Thankfully, it was killed in a House subcommittee by Republicans a month after it was introduced.

Here we have Mr. Simon in an email exchange employing a variety of tactics to steer the conversation away from legitimate concerns while also revealing his transphobia against transgender-identified females (“transmen”).

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Let’s check out what he does (and you’ll notice this pattern happens ALL THE TIME when women express such concerns online):

1. Make it personal.

You seem very passionate about this bill. I’m wondering what got you so interested in this topic.

No, he doesn’t really care about you. They never do. What they want to do is make this personal—maybe they’ll try to make it about your political beliefs or your religion or your personal experience. “Oh, you’re just a bigot / transphobe / hater” in order to invalidate your concerns.

Depending on how they think you feel and what they think you believe will determine if you are a person they should listen to or an unperson to be disregarded.

And now he reveals his transphobia:

This often involves men who were born as women.  I’ve met several of these men and I definitely wouldn’t want them in a bathroom or locker room with my daughter- but that’s not really what this bill is about.

No one is “born as a woman,” Mr. Simon. We are born as girls (females) or boys (males). Womanhood comes with physical FEMALE maturity.

He doesn’t want transgender-identified females–maybe because of the way they look or because of their mannerisms?–to be in a bathroom or locker room with his daughter. He doesn’t explain why he feels this way, but it’s not like they’ve got male reproductive organs or male chromosomes. What’s he afraid of? Their muscles? Their facial hair?

2. Focus on the small potatoes, and ignore the elephant in the room.

No one yet checks your birth certificate on your way in and out of public restrooms.

The purpose of this tactic is to derail the conversation. In this example, he misrepresented the entire purpose of the email in an attempt to avoid addressing the serious concerns.

Mr. Simon then employed tactic #1 again:

What got you so interested in this topic?

Translation: “Please give me something that I can use to accuse you of ignorance or bigotry or ANYTHING, and then your concerns can be invalidated because you are an unperson.”

3. Shame.

Most of my constituents are more concerned with fixing Metro, improving their commutes, attracting better teachers to the profession, and doing something to address the epidemic of gun violence.

Yours is one of very few messages I’ve received about this topic which affects a relatively small number of people.

Translation: “Normal people worry about ___ or ___. Obviously there is something wrong with you to be concerned about this small issue.”

This is one of the nastiest of manipulation tactics. And it speaks to his mindset: “You should think the way I think you should think otherwise you think wrong.”

4. Condescension

Sorry to have alarmed you.

He is not sorry, of course. They never are because they’ve been attempting to unperson you the entire time.

My, my, Mr. Simon. You are a real piece of work.

2 thoughts on “How progressive men shut down women’s concerns

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