Culture Wars/Current Controversies

In Defense of Gavin McInnes

By Justine Tunney

Photo of Gavin McInnes

Last week, Gavin McInnes, CCO of Rooster and co-founder of VICE, was forced to take an indefinite leave of absence (a.k.a. getting fired) for posting an offensive article in Thought Catalog titled, “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural”. In this article, he argues that transgender men and women are mentally ill individuals who mutilate their bodies. He then goes on to condemn society for supporting them, which he perceives as “enabling” their behaviour.

Clearly this article was intended to elicit a reaction, rather than present a cogent scientific argument. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see from a rabble-rousing troll, perched beneath a murky bridge, feeding on liberal outrage. I’ve read stuff like it a thousand times before on websites like Reddit. It’s an unfortunately common point of view. So common that when I see it, I’ll normally just roll mine eyes and continue along with my day.

But a mob of angry clicktivists and click-bait reporters disagreed. They considered his thoughtcrime so egregious that they felt he should not only be fired from his job, but that his employer should face financial ruin. Numerous news articles were published in the wake of his article. Mister McInnes was attacked by a wide variety of publications, such as Gawker, Advocate, and Salon. Even the HRC joined in on the orgy of liberal outrage.

But wait—it gets even crazier. A social movement calling itself “Boycott Rooster” materialised from the shadows of Tumblr and Twitter to demand his head! On the activists’ website, they plainly stated their intentions in inflict economic retribution on Mister McInnes and his employer:

Rooster New York is an advertising agency founded and run by a violently hateful and transphobic person, Gavin McInnes. Their clients include many huge companies. These companies (some of which promote tolerance and nondiscrimination) are supporting an agency run by a hateful individual. Let them know they need to reconsider who they do business with otherwise you will reconsider supporting them. If McInnes wants to make the already difficult lives of trans people harder, we are going to make his life harder as well, by hurting him economically!

Now that’s some positively frightening hyperbole. If I was at Rooster, I’d be shaking in my boots. So it’s no wonder, with the threat of impending financial ruin, that Mister McInnes’ colleagues decided to throw him to the wolves. They were trying to save their own skin.

I just want to say that as a trans woman, I feel very triggered by this whole incident. Not because I found what he wrote to be offensive; I honestly don’t care what he thinks about trans women. The reason why I’m triggered, is because Mister McInnes’ crucifixion at the hands of the bloodthirsty progressive mob, brings back traumatic memories of the times when I received the same treatment. I’m also triggered by the loss of freedom in our society, as the list of people persecuted for thoughtcrime in our society grows longer and longer.

Progressive Mob Mentality

This incident is eerily similar to what we saw last year, when OKCupid blocked Firefox users from its website in order to get Brendan Eich fired. They succeeded. For those of you who don’t remember, Brendan Eich wasn’t just the CEO of Mozilla; he was also the inventor of JavaScript, which is without a doubt the most important computer programming language in the world.

How could such a prolific man get fired? Did Mister Eich commit a homicide? Don’t be silly! An executive like him would simply hire Johnny Cochran and get off the hook. Then perhaps Mister Eich was responsible for causing a crippling global financial meltdown? No, that couldn’t be it… considering the Wall Street guys got away with that scot-free back in 2007. So then surely he must have done something even more horrible, like commit an act of mass genocide. Wrong again! Brendan Eich’s crime was nothing more than a measly thousand dollar donation to the Prop 8 campaign five years prior.

Is this really the direction we want to be heading in as a society? Do we really want to live in a world where brilliant men and powerful corporations are forced to take orders from the mob? A world in which even innocent employees must worry about losing their job due to the actions of an unscrupulous coworker on their personal time? How did it come to pass, that the world’s greatest superpower should tremble before a cabal of impertinent slacktivists on the Internet? Oh how the mighty hath fallen.

There’s no free speech in this country anymore. Especially not for the gainfully employed. In 21st century America, our most cherished freedoms now only apply to the unproductive members of society. Rather than being a nation of laws presided over by great men, we’re instead ruled by the whimsical outrage of degenerates who spend their lives on Twitter, stalking and harassing our best and brightest without consequence, because they don’t have a job that’ll fire them.

In the past, these sorts of people would be relegated to their parents basement, building toy æroplanes. They’d also be the hippies you’d see standing on a street corner, holding up signs with angry slogans. They were the sorts of people whose appearances ensured that no one would ever take them seriously.

But in the new age of social media, lowlives such as these have been granted a tremendous amount of power over broader society. They’re able to hide behind monitors and adopt a fake identity that gives them illusory legitimacy. And they use that undeserved power to attack anyone who contradicts progressive dogma.

Grow Up

There’s no honour in bullying individuals in order to deny them their right to free speech, and firing them from their job is just downright cruel. Free speech shouldn’t be predicated on a willingness to sacrifice one’s livlihood! People can say all they want about their “right” to have a reaction to someone’s speech, but it’s another thing entirely to act like a vicious child.

We should instead strive to act like mature adults. We need to maintain a healthy emotional distance when it comes to matters such as politics. We must learn to take what others say with a grain of salt. This is because at the end of the day, articles written by random strangers on the Internet that don’t mention you, can not hurt you—unless you let them.

It’s also important to consider that Mister McInnes wasn’t actually attacking any individual. He was attacking an idea and the group of people associated with that idea. There is no reason for any one individual to be personally offended by his article, because it wasn’t directed at any particular person.

But that doesn’t stop people from choosing to feel outraged. Which is most unfortunate because, since the publication of the article, outraged liberals have decided to make it personal. The progressive shaming mob appeared instantly at his Twitter doorstep to viciously attack him. Attacks which were directed at him and his family, rather than his ideas.

I consider this sort of behaviour to be far more sadistic and cruel than anything Mister McInnes wrote. Unlike speech that’s directed against a group or an abstract idea, it’s much harder to emotionally shrug off attacks that are directed against you as a person.

As I mentioned earlier, I too have been the victim of progressive mob shaming. There’s been numerous occasions where I’ve been tormented by literally thousands of angry progressives—both in real life and on Twitter—who’ve berated me with hate speech, threatened me, and wished death upon me. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Which is why I consider progressive mob shaming to be the ultimate form of hate speech. But what makes their sadistic behaviour so ironic, is that they claim they’re doing it in order to ‘liberate’ minorities and ‘abolish’ hate speech. You can’t make this stuff up!

There’s been dozens of reporters over the past year alone, who’ve attempted to get me fired from my job, just for trolling people on Twitter and chatting about right-wing politics. Like one time I was ridiculed in the world press for filing a petition where I politely asked Mister Obama to resign and appoint my favourite tech-industry executive as “CEO of America”. One journalist called me a mouthbreathing machiavelli… There was also an incident last year, where I was maligned by some reporters for proposing the idea of nonviolent militias as a potential strategy for the future of peaceful protest. But the worst incident of all happened a few weeks ago, when Sam Biddle of Gawker called me a “pro-slavery lunatic” and then proceeded to bully mine employer into firing me. I feel incredibly blessed to still have a job.

But despite the claims of quasi click-bait journalists who’ve besmirched me, I’ve never actually supported slavery. I believe that people should be free to live dignified lives, performing meaningful labor for their families and communities. I believe we should work only for those who’ll love and appreciate us. But under the current liberal capitalist regime, we’re forced to be wage slaves who toil away for cruel uncaring corporate bosses who don’t care whether we live or die. This is why, when I talk about slavery, I’m merely questioning the commonly held notion that it was abolished in the 19th century.

This sort of radical honesty undermines progressive dogma, because it challenges the notion of social progress itself. Progressives rarely live up to their promises. You can always tell when they’re failing in that regard, because they need to fall back to using tactics like shaming. Would that really be necessary, if they were actually doing a good job?

In fact, I would even go so far as to say the only progress we’ve had over the past few centuries, has been brought to us by scientists and engineers. If it weren’t for technological progress, life would be no different for wage slaves today, than it was for chattel slaves two-hundred years ago. Therefore I believe progressives are nothing more than charlatans who take credit for our achievements. But then again, I’m biased as a software engineer.

I’m sure Mister McInnes also felt that his article was an act of radical honesty. Even though his views are ignorant and wrong, I respect the fact that he was bold enough to challenge the predominant consensus. These sorts of things have a tendency to provoke interesting debates. In fact, he might have even done trans people a favour, by galvanising the public to rush to our defense.

I also can’t help but point out the possibility that Mister McInnes may be trans himself and simply in denial—sort of like how many homophobic men turn out to be gay. If that were the case, I’d respect him just the same. I would however strongly urge him not to transition, since he’s in his forties and has a wife and children. Being a father requires a certain level of self-sacrifice, so transitioning is a very selfish thing to do in those sorts of situations.

But the most unfortunate thing is, even if he were to come out of the closet, it would only escalate his ridicule in the media. Never underestimate progressive hypocrisy.

Free Speech

I do not agree with what you have to say,
But I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.


Free speech shouldn’t apply only to progressives. It should apply to everyone, no matter how repugnant their words might be. This is something I learned growing up in school, when one of the most evil and loathsome groups in this country decided to stage a demonstration in my hometown.

When this racist organisation visited our town (whose name I shall not mention) to hold a demonstration in the park where we played our football games, many of the children asked the teachers why such a baneful group of people should be permitted to express their views publicly.

It’s a natural human reaction to not want to give quarter to one’s enemies. But our teacher told us that, as good citizens, we ought to begrudgingly respect the rights of others to have a voice, even if that voice happens to be one with which we disagree. She emphasised the fact that they were following the rules, went to the trouble of obtaining a lawful protest permit, and then she went on to teach us about the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Even though I didn’t like the group in question, over time I came to hold the lesson my teacher gave me that day close to my heart. This is because I learned over the years that it’s just as easy for an ordinary citizen such as myself, whose heart isn’t filled with hate, to wind up holding views that’ve fallen out of fashion with the dominant regime. I hold views that many progressives consider to be evil. Ideas that, before the baby boomers ruined America, any well-born person would consider sane and normal. So just like Mister McInnes, I’m all too familiar with what it feels like to be persecuted for using the wrong words.

Free speech is the cornerstone of American democracy. The founding fathers made it the first amendment for a reason. If we don’t have the right to contradict groupthink, then it’s far too easy for we humans to backslide into pluralistic ignorance. As Americans, I think we should cherish the little boy who tells the emperor he has no clothes. But for every person like me, there’s three others who’d prefer to grab their pitchforks and hang him by his toenails.

Over the past ten years, a new progressive ruling class has risen to power, in tandem with the rise of online media. And during that time, the importance of free speech seems to be something we’ve forgotten. It absolutely breaks my heart to see one of the finest traditions in this country, reduced to rubble and cast asunder. And don’t think for a moment it’s only happening in America. Even in the Netherlands, there’s been talks about banning speech that criticises feminism.

I know from experience, as someone who was once a radical left-wing activist, that it’s become increasingly fashionable amongst the intelligentsia to deride free speech as a bourgeois delusion. In fact, many of them don’t believe that rights exist at all! The only right that the far-left supports, is their own right to be indignant and impose their beliefs upon society—which isn’t a right at all!

There’s nothing progressives love more than feeling powerful. They get off on bullying powerful men and corporations. Their mouths foam at the thought of ruining a hard-working American’s career. And I can assure you that the progressive inquisition is only going to get worse and worse, if we don’t fight to take our freedom back.

I don’t want to live in this country if I’m not allowed to do silly things, like demanding our government enthrone a benevolent dictator to replace the President. It’s my birthright, for heaven’s sake! Just as it’s Mister McInnes’ right to be an offensive rabble-rouser who questions the soundness of transitioning.

In some ways, I really empathise with Mister McInnes, since I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it must feel, to lose your job when you’ve got a wife and three kids to support. I’ve yet to adopt little critters of mine own, but I hope that when I do, I won’t be forced into such a horrible position of uncertainty. I wonder if the angry mobs on Twitter thought about what’d happen to Mister McInnes’ children, as they plotted to ruin his life.

I hope he’s got a nice nest egg tucked away from the success of his previous endeavours, because all this publicity might threaten his ability to find well-paying work again. And by ‘again’, I mean ever again, since search engines will record his sins for life. There’s no “right to be forgotten” in America. But even if potential firms have no qualms with the things he’s said, then the PR risk engendered by his employment alone would surely cause any competent executive to think twice before hiring him. What a cruel fate to befall such a successful man. Some would consider flogging kinder.

White Knightery

Now by progressive logic, it makes perfect sense to attack a straight white cisgender anglo-saxon bogeyman like Gavin McInnes. After all, he had the audacity to speak out against trans people! Didn’t he know that you’re not allowed to criticise one of the “protected classes” in progressive society?

Progressives refer to trans women such as myself as “marginalised people”. The reason why they do this, is because deep down inside they believe we’re helpless and weak. On the other hand, they consider men like Mister McInnes to be strong, proud, and just oozing with privilege.

This is the prejudicial narrative by which progressives justify their shaming. It’s why the media feels justified in attacking thought-criminals. It’s also why employers acquiesce in firing them. Social justice warriors consider themselves noble rebels like Robin Hood, who tear down the strong and give to the… actually scratch that—they don’t actually do anything for the poor, aside from occasionally imploring the government to pay them a pittance, paid in full by the tax dollars of the productive people they ridicule.

This paternalistic sanctimonious nonsense has got to go! As a trans woman, I don’t want the media white-knighting on my behalf. I refuse to accept the notion that being trans and female makes me weak. I like to think of myself as a smart courageous woman who’s perfectly capable of defending herself. So I’m sure you can understand how unhappy it makes me to see cisgender activists acting all indignant in my name, because some random dude said something politically incorrect about trans people.

These people have no right to feel outraged, because they’re not actually trans! And they especially have no business using us an excuse to commit hateful actions. All it does is brood resentment within society against trans people such as myself.

It’s not the media’s job to use its iron fist to enforce social norms in our society. This is because, unlike the police who protect us from real hate crimes—like physical violence, not words on the Internet—the media doesn’t have things like due process and habeas corpus.

There’s no courts or juries at the progressive inquisition. All it takes is one reporter with a chip on his shoulder to act as judge, jury, and executioner. And if they succeed in depriving you of your livlihood, there won’t be any appeals process. Yet for some reason, progressives call this social “justice”.


Here’s the thing about trans people. Most of us are perfectly ordinary citizens who live gender-normative lives. We aren’t activists trying to subvert society’s concept of gender. We don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable or bully you if you use the wrong pronouns. We aren’t even trying to invent new pronouns, as that nonsense is typically promulgated by queer activists who pretend to be trans.

In fact, you probably don’t even notice most of us, as we generally don’t advertise the fact that we’re trans. This is because well-adjusted trans people are invisible in our society. Generally speaking, people only notice us during that awkward phase of the first two years, while we’re in the processing of adjusting to our correct gender. So the kindest thing the media could do for us trans people, is simply not talk about us!

All we want to do is be ourselves. This is why we invest so much time, money, and energy into modifying our appearances. We do it because it’s the only way that society will accept us as ourselves. That’s what allows us to feel comfortable in our own skin.

Hormones do magical things. Someone who is born with XY chromosomes, has all the code in their body to be either male or female. There are even women born XY who’ve given birth to XY daughters. The only thing that makes those women different from men, is a lack of androgens and the presence œstrogen. This is because hormones are responsible for determining which parts of sex-related DNA get activated.

So would you really prefer that we didn’t use hormones to change our biology? That we didn’t receive surgery to change our appearances? Do you actually want to see us relegated to the status of permanent crossdressers, who stand zero chance of passing? Surely if that were the case, we’d make you feel ten times more uncomfortable than you were before!

So really, we’re doing you guys a favour. Conservatives should be grateful that we go to all this trouble just to fit into their norms. So please, stop whining, accept us as who we are, and move on.

Ulterior Motives

Now chances are that you, my dear reader, are a good decent person who cares about their fellow human beings—including trans people. You might even wish to help us live happy lives where we have access to proper health care and don’t have to deal with discriminatory laws that make our lives more difficult than they need to be. But is media shaming of advertising executives really the way to achieve that? I think not. So have you considered that the media might actually have a different motive?

I don’t think the media actually cares about trans people. At best, they see us as a useful ally in executing their political agenda; and at worst, we’re being used as pawns in their war against traditional gender roles and social norms. But I think I speak for most trans people when I say that we don’t want to be the media’s next pity project! We don’t want to be weaponised against conservatives, just as the media used gay marriage to weaponise homosexuals against the christian community. I think gay marriage is a wonderful thing, but it’s also a very useful tool for suing churches and getting the CEOs of non-profit organisations fired.

Now I don’t mean to question the candor of all progressives. I think the majority of them are good people. But that doesn’t vindicate the vocal minority of cruel clerics in the media and trolls on Twitter who publicly represent their ideology. My argument is simply that these people are disingenuous about their motives, and only interested in power.

If you need proof of this, then you need look no further than how they’ve treated me. Why is it that, someone such as myself, should attacked just as viciously as Mister McInnes? One would assume that since I’m a trans woman, a cancer survivor, and a formerly prolific left-wing activist, that I would be beyond reproach! Few people can claim to such a lofty progressive pedigree. But they still attack me, nonetheless.

I suspect that the media’s subversion of gender/sexual norms is simply a means to an end. Their true goal is to challenge the ideological hegemony of the old religions, such as Catholicism, of which Mister McInnes is a member. The thing about the old religions, is their social fabric is built on heterosexual marriage and child-rearing. They’ve been slow to adapt to modern technologies that make things like transitioning possible. Many sects condemn the act altogether. This makes them vulnerable to being attacked, because it gives progressives an opportunity to claim the moral high ground.

Progressivism and Christianity have two important things in common: they’re both memeplexes and they’re both competing for the hearts and minds of the same people. So is it really all that surprising that the two should attack each other? Just as it is in the world of business, two entities competing for the same market will do anything within their power to weaken their opponents.

Understanding the nature of this conflict is absolutely essential to understanding why the media so frequently attacks thought-criminals such as Mister McInnes. Perhaps if we can recognise and be truthful about the nature of this conflict, we can begin to take steps to correct it. If not, then perhaps the time has come to weep for the death of freedom in America and welcome our new progressive overlords.

Leave a Reply