Shumirun Nessa, a British Muslim Tiktok comedian and mother of young children, has received death threats and online harassment after criticizing American TikToker Jeffrey Marsh, who identifies as non-binary. Marsh, who has 680,000 followers on the platform, addresses kids in several videos and encourages them to go “no contact” with their families. Nessa responded to Marsh, demanding that they stop telling kids to go on their Patreon and chat with them privately without their parents knowing. Nessa was concerned about the particular style and content of Marsh’s videos and pointed to a tactic often used by groomers of “isolating” children from their guardians to render them dependent on predatory individuals.
However, Nessa was bullied by trans rights activists into taking the video down. Nessa then shared a second video in which she tearfully revealed the threats and doxing she had received from these activists. Feminists, human rights activists, Muslims, and empathetic people from other communities immediately stepped up to offer support to Nessa online, and soon #IStandWithShumirunNessa was trending.
Women concerned about female vulnerability to men’s violence are being accused of transphobia for raising the issue of how isolating potentially confused and vulnerable children from their parents and possibly encouraging them to begin a process of transitioning that may be harmful is dangerous. This behavior could be suggestive of some form of grooming – even if not always sexual in nature.
There is a clear need for nuance in this debate. It is not acceptable for trans rights activists to dox a woman with young children, or any other woman, because she pointed out safeguarding issues. It is also wrong to label all trans-identifying people “groomers” and “paedophiles”. Bullying and threatening behavior are never the answer.
While the rights of transgender individuals must be upheld, the answer is not to shut down or silence the genuine concerns of parents, whether regarding trans individuals or the growing number of children presenting at gender clinics asking for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Trans people are not the problem. The problem is a brand of extreme activism that claims to represent trans rights. In reality, this is a men’s rights movement that has grown out of the backlash against feminism, in particular, those feminists focused on eradicating male violence towards women and girls.
Nessa was not taking issue with trans ideology or with Marsh identifying as non-binary. Instead, she was raising a red flag about the inappropriateness of an adult possibly coaxing children to cut off from their parents. The successful attempts by trans rights activists to silence Nessa by accusing her of “transphobia” serve as a warning to others. But those of us concerned about danger to children must resist the demands to capitulate.