My immediate reaction to that piece by Suzanne Moore and the reaction to it was the depressing confirmation that I just don't understand women. On reflection, though, what's also causing me consternation is a difference in the conception of what politics is, or should be, about.
From one perspective, being respectful to transsexuals is a matter of basic courtesy, not a political issue.
Herein, though, lie two different conceptions of politics, both of which rest on different ways of interpreting the slogan "the personal is political."
In one conception, all aspects of personal behaviour become political. Rudeness to transsexuals thus automatically becomes a political matter, just as does behaviour such as how much we save and what we eat.
In another conception, though, the slogan draws our attention to the fact that personal behaviour is shaped by political forces, by power relations.
There are (at least) two aspects here which Marxism draws our attention to.
First, the division of labour creates fixed social roles which do not necessarily fit our humanity well. Communism, by contrast, would overcome this alienation:
As soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. (The German Ideology)
From this perspective, hostility to transsexuals is politically reactionary, in as much as it represents an internalization of the alienation imposed upon us by pre-communist social structures, and a failure to embrace the communist ideal of more flexible social roles.
Secondly, the ideology created by inequality - and exacerbated by capitalist crisis - leads people to behave meanly to others. The just world illusion leads to a blaming the victim effect the out-group homogeneity bias facilitates "divide and rule" tactics by the ruling class, and so on. In this sense, nastiness towards transsexuals, like hostility to the disabled or immigrants, is a product of capitalist ideology.
It would, of course, be idle utopianism to believe that radical social change would eliminate all nastiness. My point is just that politics (for Marxists such as me at least) is about power relations and the basic structure of society. What's depressing about "Mooregate" is that this point is easily forgotten.