Fact Check: Hillary Clinton and Trans Rights – A.M. de Puits
There are dozens of completely legitimate reasons to dislike Hillary Clinton, but out-of-context quotes without any clear source or transcript and just straight up click-bait bullshit about whether or not she supports cisgender women’s transphobia shouldn’t be one of them.
Articles have been circulating recently after Hillary Clinton’s BBC Radio 4 interview with daughter, Chelsea, promoting their newest publication, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.
Try as I might, I could not find the full interview or a full transcript anywhere on the internet, and when prominent figures are quoted without a full (or even partial!) transcript or the actual interview as a source, that is a huge red flag for fake news.
LGBTQ Nation’s opening statement:
“Hillary Clinton said in an interview this past Tuesday that there are “legitimate concerns” for cisgender women if transgender people get more acceptance.”
The snippet of transcript that I was able to find goes like this:
“I do think there is a legitimate concern about womens’ lived experience and the importance of recognising that — and also the importance of recognising the self-identification [of Trans individuals].”
Uh. That is a far far far far FAR cry from “”Hillary Clinton said in an interview this past Tuesday that there are “legitimate concerns” for cisgender women if transgender people get more acceptance.” In fact, it’s such a gross discrepancy between what is claimed to be said and what was actually said that I decided to stop following LGBTQ Nation on social media because they are no longer a credible source of information.
Comparing Out Magazine’s opening statement to the transcript:
“ Hillary Clinton has continued her unlikely TERF rebrand this week by claiming that trans issues pose a “legitimate concern” for cisgender women.”
Nowhere did Clinton say trans issues pose a legitimate concern for cis women.
What was said was that recognizing women’s lived experiences is a legitimate concern AND ALSO the importance of recognizing self-identification is a legitimate concern.
Both websites cite their claims with links to articles they also published instead of linking to legitimate sources — another huge red flag for fake news.
In regards to a separate claim that stated from Out Magazine claims that “Hillary Clinton Says We Must Be ‘Sensitive’ to Transphobia,” the context of which is uncertain. LGBTQ Nation said it was in response to a question about whether lesbians who do not want to have sex with people with penises are transphobic, and Out Magazine claims it was in response to trans student athletes.
Aitkenhead then said, “A lot of British feminists of Hillary’s generation have a problem with the idea that a lesbian who doesn’t want to sleep with someone who has a penis is transphobic.” This is an extreme position that few transgender people agree with that people often bring up to derail discussions of transphobia, and it had nothing to do with Hillary and Chelsea, who are both straight.
Hillary responded, “I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is. There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ‘You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.’ I hear that conversation all the time.”
When the topic turned to transgender student athletes competing in accordance with their lived gender, Hillary said others must be “sensitive to how difficult this is.”
“There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ‘You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had, so I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me,’” Hillary said. “I hear that conversation all the time.”
Let’s pretend like what she was responding to is of no importance, her response is quoted in both places — Out Magazine took the quote from The Daily Mail which is listed as a “Questionable Source” on mediabiasfactcheck.com. As soon as you go to the Daily Mail website you are bombarded with a slew of pop-up ads — red flag, red flag, red flag!
“I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is. There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ‘You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.’ I hear that conversation all the time.”
People jumped on this quote and filled in the blanks to mean: “I hear this conversation all the time and I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult it is for cis women to have to interact with trans women.” But that is a huge jump. You could also interpret her response as: “I hear this conversation all the time and I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is for trans women.”
Regardless of your stance on her vague response or her as a human being — because let’s be honest, this is really what this is about — the headline “Hillary Clinton Says We Must Be ‘Sensitive’ to Transphobia” is absolutely misleading click bait.
If there are legitimate claims that Hillary Clinton is transphobic, supports transphobia, or urges people to be sensitive to cis women’s transphobia, these two click bait articles are not the sources to use as citations.
I, for one, feel very let down by both LGBTQ Nation and Out Magazine and the team of Rita Skeeters they both have writing what I now see are click bait articles — or worse, headlines meant to be shared without even reading the article just to spur reaction, friction, tension, division, or all of the above. Both sites lost my support entirely as they are no longer credible sources of information in my eye.
Oh, and Hillary’s new book? It features Danica Roem, trans US State Legislator. Can Clinton still be transphobic? Of course she can. But I want receipts, and the receipts in the form of out-of-context quotes from the Daily Mail are not credible resources.