Standing up for women and girls.
In the summer of 2015, when many women on the left were reeling from a Tory party majority, I joined an online group of women called Amazing Leftie Women, on Facebook. I joined when it was just a few hundred members and watched it grow into a huge movement of over 20,000 women. I had great hopes for what transpired to be an impotent cesspit of misogyny and silencing of women’s voices. First came the policing of language, then hushing of voices and ideas that didn’t comply. This was my first encounter, of many, with a less than democratic left. After a few weeks it was apparent that a disproportionate number of self identifying women were joining, i.e. trans women. As one fellow member commented, herself a victim of serious male violence, many of the trans women had a “male voice” and used language and expression that was recognisable as male. Unlike the other women who focussed on the political many of the trans women posted photos of themselves, usually with the clarity of a 1970s misted bathroom window. They were greeted with a bizarre fawning, women seemingly competing for an award for the most outlandish virtue signalling. What is striking is that where there are trans women trans issues become the central focus of everything.
My involuntary exit from the group happened when a trans woman targeted me, much like India Willoughby did to Amanda Barrie on celebrity big brother. When Nina joined the group they introduced themselves by joking about a woman tied to a radiator as a victim of male violence, something most suited to the palate of Roy Chubby Brown and very much at odds with the tone of the group. I simply asked how long “Nina” had identified as a trans woman. Their response was disproportionately aggressive, I was accused of transphobia and causing the “literal murder” and “suicide” of trans gender individuals. I was taken aback as up to that point I had no idea that the demand of trans activists was that “trans women are women”. I genuinely thought it was live and let live, and that no one was insisting women pretended that they saw trans women and women as exactly the same. That women should throw the idea of sex based oppression instantly out of the window in favour of how one felt, surely as women we knew we didn’t feel like we should earn less, do most of the free labour in our homes and be sexually objectified from the moment we hit puberty? This is basic class analysis. It was here, this precise instant I hit, what I now call, my peak trans moment. I now know that Nina lives as David most of the time, and did at the time of joining the group.
Over the next few months I would watch as each one of my “yes but it won’t go that far” ideas about transgender issues was obliterated and, thankfully, I discovered that many women felt like me but couldn’t speak it aloud. A pernicious and odious movement had swelled like El Nino and was flooding our news, social media and general consciousness. Framed as a progressive movement, it was easy to bring on board liberals with the notion that opposing it was bigoted and transphobic, that you could literally cause the suicide or murder of trans teens if you even questioned the whole ideology. This movement managed, in a very short time, to dehumanise women who objected as TERFs and this particular language enabled women to be harassed and even physically assaulted without widespread condemnation. It’s a new misogyny with the cloak of LGBT and demand of compliance that no movement in history has expected. It’s not so much about tolerance for the transgender ideology but more an intolerance for those that don’t follow.
Some of the conversations I’ve had and the groups I’ve been evicted from for asking reasonable questions is beyond parody. I was kicked out of the Bristol Labour women’s group on Facebook for raising questions about the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. I was told in no uncertain terms that trans women are women and any deviation from this would resort in being reported to Labour party officials for compliance and my membership threatened. I was advised that if my ten year old daughter objected to a male bodied trans woman in the communal changing area of a swimming pool then she was a pervert for looking at someone’s genitals. There was no instance whereby women should not accept trans women as women, not ever. I called into a national radio station and I was told by the liberal dudebro host that I was paranoid for not wanting trans women, or men, in store changing rooms. I have had friends being doxxed and reported to their employers for comments on social media, friends reported to the police for hate crimes for saying women don’t have penises, I have had emails and direct messages from women too afraid to speak up about their views in public, including a serving female MP. If this sort of silencing doesn’t frighten women, it should, it should frighten us all.
In this time fame hungry opportunists have pushed their gender questioning children in front of every lens and into people’s homes to show how “brave” they are. Little John who likes pink and barbie dolls, who ripped off his trousers and wanted to wear dresses is now little Jane, and flocks of fawning imbeciles uncritically applaud the bravery of the parents. Often the masculine little “girl” is told she’s really pretty, because in 2018 that’s all there is to being a girl, ammirite? Charities have sprung up to support “Trans” kids and have access to our news, social media, MPs, schools and groups in a way feminism never has. It’s easier these days to help a child “socially transition” than stop the word “gay” being used as a pejorative. A new wave of grooming and homophobia is upon us but most are too “progressive” to notice.
My primary school children will be covering trans gender issues in their classes this summer, I’ve no idea why telling children that they can change sex is not seen as harmful. It seems the “love the body you’re in” message has been vaporised and a hot imposing steam of stereotypes and falsehoods have rushed in to fill the void. We no longer tell boys that liking pink is just a colour and that they too can care, we tell them that if they do that maybe they no longer belong in the boy box. Girls that want short hair and refuse to fit the stereotype we impose on girls, literally illustrated by Mermaids as a pink image called “Barbie”, then they can take untested rebranded chemotherapy drugs at eleven, halting puberty; cross sex hormones at sixteen, rendering them sterile; and a super empowering double mastectomy at eighteen. The lie that trans teens are at great risk of suicide if you don’t go along with their social and physical transition isn’t even challenged. Everyone is afraid to speak up. My secondary school children have been told there are thirty genders, this is presented as facts not an ideology and no alternative view is even discussed. Girl guides and some schools have policies not to inform parents if a child of the opposite sex who identifies as trans is in your child’s dorm on a residential trip. Some schools are already allowing trans pupils to choose which sex private space they use without consulting the other children whom this will impact.
I now belong to a number of national and international online groups with members from all aspects of the political landscape. These groups have to be secret as the threat of assault, harassment and being reported to an employer is very real. The one thing that unites us is that we recognise that being female is a biological fact and our desire to protect women and children from the trans gender ideology that permeates every aspect of our lives. If we cannot meaningfully define what being a woman is, how on earth can we be protected? Some of the women in the groups are brave enough to stick their heads above the parapet and raise questions about male rapists (and other males) in women’s prisons; trans women in mental health wards for women only; trans women in Labour’s all women shortlists; the harm of puberty blockers and transitioning children; the unfair advantage trans women have over women in sport and finally the status of who can be recognised as a woman in law. We are living at a time whereby if you ask someone to define woman they can no longer give a straight answer as they may out themselves as a “murderous bigot”.
Currently the GRA, Gender Recognition Act, provides an effective gatekeeper for women’s protection. Individuals need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and have to provide evidence that they have been in transition for at least two years before they can apply to legally change their gender. Sunday 23 July 2017 the Government asked the 1.5million LGBT people in the UK to share their views on public services to help inform policy. You note that women, also affected by this change, are not considered or consulted.
If you are invested in women and girls, find a group, any group and join like minded women. For now women are whispering, we need you to shout.