Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the story of CubanaAngel, the woman who confronted a man identifying as a woman at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles. The man had exposed himself around young girls and women, and the confrontation between CubanaAngel and the man went viral and resulted in several protests. Although most mainstream media outlets ignored the story, it soon turned out that the “transgender woman” in the Wi Spa story was a serial sexual predator named Darren Merager—and the LA PD put out a warrant for his arrest.
The Critic explained how the media covered for the trans activist—and the transgender movement—by attempting to explain the story away:
News coverage in the US is seemingly terminally polarised, but what happened next dug a grave for the integrity of the Guardian, and then pissed in it for good measure. The US edition of the paper decided to run two stories which heavily implied the entire incident was probably a hoax, and that those who objected to males exposing themselves were narrow-minded bigots allied with white supremacists.
“offered a case study in how viral misinformation can result in violence, and provided clear evidence of the links between anti-trans and far-right movements”.
UK journalist Owen Jones praised their article as “a brilliant @USGuardian report on a campaign of lies”. And yet, the footage of CubanaAngel in the spa remained.
For a while this seemed to be a matter of “Schrödinger’s schlong”; a report both of a penis attached to a flasher and a sexless appendage dangling from the nether-regions of a harmless transwoman. As with the famed cat, what happened depended on who was looking.
Over the summer reports began to emerge of similar incidents at the Wi Spa. One mother explained that a naked man had joined her and her six-year-old daughter in a women-only hot tub. She told the Daily Mail:
“He had a five o’clock shadow on him, and his penis and scrotum hanging out…The person I saw seemed like an activist… Almost enjoying everyone around them being uncomfortable.” She said.
On 2nd September, five weeks after a second Guardian article implying the incident was fabricated for political purposes, the news broke that charges had been filed against Darren Agee Merager for indecent exposure at Wi Spa. It transpired Merager was a registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that five individuals had come forward, and that the department “conducted interviews of victims and witnesses, reviewed the evidence, and ultimately corroborated the allegations of indecent exposure”.
Responding to the news, the Guardian tied itself in knots with a begrudging report acknowledging charges had been brought whilst artfully avoiding pronouns and again smearing the protesters as dangerous, far-right extremists. CubanaAngel’s Christian faith was referred to, as if this somehow nullified her experience.
Notably absent from the Guardian’s most recent piece on Wi Spa, is the fact that Merager will be imprisoned with women who will have nowhere to run. In California, the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act allows prisoners who identify as ‘transgender, non-binary and intersex’ to be housed and searched in a manner ‘consistent with the incarcerated individual’s gender identity’. Were the Guardian serious about standing-up for those at the bottom of the pile, they would speak to the women now forced to share cells with sex offenders like Merager.
For all the Guardian’s handwringing about #metoo, when it comes to believing the women who complained about Merager’s crime, rather than “giving a voice to the powerless” they pretended his victims didn’t exist. Women like CubanaAngel are ideological inconveniences. Ultimately, the statement ‘if a person has a penis he’s a man’ is not a right-wing dog-whistle, its not even a political point, it is simply fact.
If you want to know why the transgender movement has achieved cultural dominance so swiftly, the collaboration of mainstream liberal newspapers like The Guardian is one reason. Women and girls, as always, are collateral damage.