Debate Withdrawal Results in Mass Harassment

by Mallory Moore

Mon Feb 21, 2022 · 1245 words · 7 min

Following a meeting with members of the UK trans community, UCBerkeley associate professor Grace Lavery withdrew from a virally advertised debate, to be held during her upcoming UK book tour. During the meeting, community members raised concerns about the debate promoter's routine publishing of far right content. Afterwards, Lavery published a statement withdrawing from one debate, on the basis of these concerns, announcing that she has plans for another debate which may go ahead. This statement was published through her friend Jacqui Shine as a result of Lavery's Twitter account being suspended today for remarks about Queen Elizabeth the second, in an interesting turn for an ongoing bitter public conversation with frequent accusations of trans advocates being against free speech.

What resulted from this was an absolute onslaught of abuse and mockery, much of it targetted at the fact that Shine, Lavery's friend, is undergoing treatment for Cancer. Shine referred directly to this in their original tweet, asking that people do not shoot the messenger, and presumably anticipating the toxicity that would come.

Members of Trans Safety Network were at the community engagement discussion with Grace Lavery and express our respect for her decision to heed calls to step back from involvement with that particular platform. In solidarity with Jacqui Shine who had no involvement in the debate, and was simply relaying a message we are going to document here some of the extensive abuse they faced.

For too long, this sort of casualised abuse targetting people associated with trans public figures has been used as a means of isolating and intimidating trans people, friends and family.

Sister Immolata - Gettr @Cycobikerchick🐧🐐@Banonymous100Remember when you were undergoing cancer treatment and your narc friend guilted you into taking the flack for his cowardly withdrawal from a public debate he initiated? No? You don't have shitty friends like this? Me neither. Quote tweeting jacqui shine I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry. Please don't @ me. I'm a messenger, I am starting cancer treatment this week, my little brother is in jail, & my car is making a gentle rattling sound of unknown provenance. I'm booked & busy. Show this thread

🐞@ladybuglicksdude using his cancer so people can’t be mean to him on twitter dot com Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3hI'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry. Please don't @ me. I'm a messenger, I am starting cancer treatment this week, my little brother is in jail, & my car is making a gentle rattling sound of unknown provenance. I'm booked & busy.

 Jaggybunnet @hughgmeechan In middle of prostate cancer treatment, baffled as to why it's a way to shut down discussion. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry.

WomenAreWomen 🟣⚪️🟢🦕@WomenAreWomen3All that and you have time to shill for an abusive AGP. Wow.Quote Tweetjacqui shine@DearSplenda · 3hI'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry.

Ellie 💚🤍💜@super_dogzSo Lavery cowardly backs out of the debate, throws his cancer stricken friend under the bus, wishes The Queen would die… then plays the ‘poor me’ victim 🤡Quote Tweetjacqui shine@DearSplenda · 3hI'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry.

 The Chatterbox KPSS @TheChatterbox16 Spineless coward and the little simpering skivvy, who expects sympathy, while never showing any to Females. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3h I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry.

The abuse continued for hours, including after Shine had clearly asked to be left out of being a proxy for Gender Critical rage at Lavery.

ForestSoph @ForestSoph You are a narcissist and a coward. You are also very feeble of mind and nerve. If you are going to post something inflammatory then you need to be prepared to receive reciprocation. You put yourself quite "in it". You are infantile, narcissistic and cowardly. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 1h Fuck your quote tweets. Leave me out of it.

Darren Young @mrdarrenyoung He used your cancer to cover up his cowardice and yet here you use it as a way of beating others with. @DearSplenda: of course he's your friend. You were made for each other. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 2h I don’t fucking care what you think about my friendship with Grace. You don’t care that I have cancer, so don’t fucking use that as some sort of cudgel against her.

Some users mockingly said "Take care of yourself and let [Grace] take care of [her]self", while continuing on the pile-on.

GillianK @GillianKeel1 · 2h The first thing that hit me about your tweet was how awful it was that at such a difficult time for you personally, you had to be dragged into this. Take care of yourself and let  @graceelavery take care of himself. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3h I don’t fucking care what you think about my friendship with Grace. You don’t care that I have cancer, so don’t fucking use that as some sort of cudgel against her.

NotMenstruators 🟧⬛@NMenstruators·2hApparently Lavery doesn't care that you have cancer either, or else Lavery would have asked someone else to deal with Lavery's cowardly retreat.Quote Tweetjacqui shine@DearSplenda · 3hI don’t fucking care what you think about my friendship with Grace. You don’t care that I have cancer, so don’t fucking use that as some sort of cudgel against her.

Others accused Jacqui, someone who has no responsibility for Grace Lavery's actions whatsoever, of culpability for uncited claims regarding women being allegedly placed with rapists.

The Chatterbox KPSS @TheChatterbox16 · 2h Women, in particular those from religious backgrounds or that have suffered trauma at the hands of males, are being forced to share with people with prostates, like G.L. Female prisoners are being traumatised by male rapists in jail. Wonder if she cares about ANY of these people? Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3h I don’t fucking care what you think about my friendship with Grace. You don’t care that I have cancer, so don’t fucking use that as some sort of cudgel against her.

Others still accused Shine of emotional manipulation for posting the notice and asking that people leave them alone.

Stephanie Lake @gendermutation · 2h Doesn’t change you have awful friend. You are a writer at NYTIMES? guess that’s why they’ve have such crap articles.  You all are emotionally manipulative Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3h I don’t fucking care what you think about my friendship with Grace. You don’t care that I have cancer, so don’t fucking use that as some sort of cudgel against her.

In all, well over a hundred quote tweets were made targetting Jacqui Shine, in largely similar fashion with large numbers showing absolutely no self-awareness that they were interacting with someone who had no reason to answer for Lavery.

Pukcab Devee @PukcabDevee · 2h I am sorry that your life is challenging. What you are going through is truly unfortunate. I am sorry that Lavery is adding to your burden. The kind of push-back this tweet has generated was to be expected. Quote Tweet jacqui shine @DearSplenda · 3h I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Grace Lavery. Alt text is abridged, sorry.