The Gender Critical Boys Club
The Gender Critical movement has a male bias, and ALL women should be concerned.
“We don’t want men in women’s spaces“…
…is the rallying cry of the so-called ‘Gender Critical’ movement, a groundswell of anti-trans sentiment that has been bubbling under for years, but gained a stable foothold in the UK only recently. A state of affairs that has, rather unfortunately, positioned the UK as something of a transphobic outlier on the more inclusive world stage.
Without going into a potted history of what it means to be Gender Critical, the lay of the land revolves around some fairly persistent key arguments — namely the questions of Self-ID for trans people, whether transwomen are women and whether trans men are men, whether trans women should compete in women’s sport, and whether the trans community should be able to use public changing rooms and toilet cubicles based on the gender they identify with (for fear of them being dangerous predators)
The UK press, always looking for an easy pot to stir, has had a field day with the Gender Critical debate, with the stalwart right-wing press (The Times, The Telegraph, The Spectator, etc) all leaning in heavily in favour of a negative anti-trans, anti ‘Gender ideology,’ spin. And, in a deeply depressing turn of events — after 200 years of stoic adherence to bold, challenging and world beating liberal news coverage — The Guardian too has also succumbed to the click bait, easy ride of an anti-trans bias.
SO, WHO IS DRIVING THE GENDER CRITICAL MOVEMENT?
Well, there are many who will be quick to tell you that it is the work of radical second wave feminists, staunchly fighting against ‘female erasure’ and for women to be safe in female only spaces. And on the face of it, that certainly appears to be the case. With a smattering of emboldened names seeming to dominate the Gender Critical headlines across Twitter and the right-wing press — Julie Bindel, Jo Bartosch, Posie Parker, Helen Staniland. Allison Bailey, Maya Forstater, and even the odd wizarding author.
However, spend some time on Twitter — arguably the open battlefield where the Gender Critical and Trans Allies have entrenched themselves in a painstaking battle of one-upmanship — and you’ll notice a disconcerting trend. Something strange looms on the supposedly feminist lined encampments of the Gender Critical…
An absolute bloody avalanche of them.
Write a single word in favour of trans rights and your thread will quickly be lined with John, Chris, Alan, Iain, Nigel, all avidly telling you how wrong you are about trans issues. Yes, there will be many women too, but the number of persistent angry men is absolutely shocking. As is their behaviour. Which seems to flit between posting demeaning memes to out and out nasty (and sometimes violent) misogyny.
Now to be entirely fair, there are some idiots on the trans ally side who post unpleasant things. There will always be the odd idiot on both sides of any argument, especially on Twitter which is a hot bed for those who type before they think. But that isn’t the part I want to focus on.
It’s the fact that MEN — not usually renowned for their heroic support of women’s rights or feminism at any stage from the Suffragettes to the #metoo movement — seem to be all over the Gender Critical debate with the frenzy of a horny Rottweiler. Which begs a serious question…
Why the sudden interest in radical feminism from men?
As researcher Rebbeca Stones suggested way back in 2016, the fact that men don’t normally use women’s bathrooms makes their “heightened concerns about transgender females in female bathrooms particularly curious”.
And, with this strange groundswell of vitriolic male voices in the debate, a single, deeply concerning question started to emerge…
Are MEN actually the driving force of the Gender Critical movement and not radical feminists at all?
LOOKING AT THE HARD DATA
So, with this question front of mind, I went to do want I always do and sought out solid data that might help me with the answer as to who was really behind the wave of Gender Critical sentiment in the UK. Could it really be men?
I didn’t have to look very far to find the data that supports the theory.
A 2020 nationally representative survey of UK Britons, conducted by YouGov, found that people in the UK, on the whole, supported the right of transgender people to use facilities for their chosen gender, but oppose making the legal transition process easier. I won’t get into the specifics of that (although you can read it in full here), but the segmentation of answers between men and women are hugely telling.
Men hold much stronger and more staunchly felt views on the key Gender Critical topics. Women, by and large are far more inclusive. Look at the vast differences in answers to questions around accepting the gender of trans people below. Almost half (47–49%) of women accept the new gender identity of transgender men and women, compared to just 33% of males. In fact, men hard-line ‘disagree’ at 43% whereas women are far more accepting.
Ok, so that could be a one off I thought. So, I looked at the wider survey (below). Scanning across the male answers compared to the female answers across some of the key questions that centre the Gender Critical argument, men and women are completely at odds. Men hold much stronger Gender Critical views than women.
It was a revelation, here was the evidence I was looking for. Actual statistics in black and white that proved men were more likely to hold Gender Critical views than women and therefore more likely to be the dominant force in the Gender Critical movement.
And then it hit me.
Oh shit — this is bad
Bad for feminists. Bad for women. Bad for everyone.
What I’d stumbled on was a damning indictment of the notion that radical feminists were running the Gender Critical movement. Not only wasn’t it radical feminists, it wasn’t even women. It was MEN.
THE MALE BIAS IN THE GENDER CRITICAL MOVEMENT IS REAL
In slight panic mode I attempted to disprove my own theory (even in the light of hard data).
I went back to Rebbeca Stones article from 2016 (the one which was curious as to why men were concerned about trans people in women’s toilets) and was confronted with more male bias data.
She had done her own study and found men were 1.5 times more likely than women to express concerns about the above issue. Admittedly this was a US study, but the statements hit hard: “Men are much more concerned than women about transgender women using female bathrooms” and “men are more likely than women to hold an unfavourable image of transgender women”. As for women, over 70% were non-negative on the topic of transgender women using women’s bathrooms
I looked for even more sources, but I couldn’t get away from MEN dominating the Gender Critical narrative.
I turned to the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) and its 2020 report on ‘Attitudes to Transgender People’, and there also the demographic split on Gender Critical topics saw a distinct male bias. “Women were significantly more likely than men both to say that prejudice [of transgender people] was wrong and to describe themselves as not prejudiced at all” and “Women were more likely than men to have positive feelings about transgender people. Half of the women who responded said that they felt respect, compared with two in five men”
With this bombshell I thought I‘d turn back to Twitter and voice my concerns on the Gender Critical movement actual being a boys club and was met with vitriol by women and — you guessed it — an onslaught of men. Women chimed in with a few choice words, but it was men who came at me all misogynistic guns blazing.
One of the lone female voices, Helen Staniland (well known in GC circles) went out of her way to share data from the Gender Recognition Act fieldwork in 2018, in a bid to disprove my theory of male dominance in the Gender Critical movement. However, in a strange foot shooting moment for Helen, the survey actually showed a 58% male over a 46% female swing in favour of saying a transwomen is actually a man. Rather irritatingly for Helen she had added to my mounting pile of evidence.
Naturally, many pointed to the prominent female voices and staunch GC feminists on Twitter, as if a handful of names might sway the balance against multiple hard data sources.
But even then, if you dig into some of these names, men are always lingering in the shadows.
Helen Staniland pops up often in the videos and musings of Graham Linehan (a GC man and former comic writer). Bev Jackson and Kate Harris, the retired lesbians who formed the LGB Alliance, have Malcolm Clark (a GC man) as a director and the most vocal mouthpiece of the group. The LGB Alliance USA too has Kurtis Tripp (a GC man) as its most vehement and vocal content creator. Maya Forstater and Allison Bailey’s Gender Critical lawsuits would be nothing without the solicitor Peter Daly (a GC man). And Jo Bartosch, Julie Bindel and other female journalists would have no media presence at all if it wasn’t for Chris Evans, John Witherow and Fraser Nelson (the GC male editors of the Telegraph, The Times and The Spectator).
So, I had mounting data led evidence that showcased the male bias in the Gender Critical narrative, that men hold stronger Gender Critical views than women, and that the entire Gender Critical movement — far from being a movement led by feminists — is in fact just another boys club.
The big question now, was why — why are men so interested in owning the Gender Critical agenda?
THE GENDER CRITICAL MOVEMENT IS A BACKDOOR OPPORTUNITY FOR MISOGYNY
Misogynists have always been with us, but of late their opportunities to offload their misogynistic rhetoric have been stunted. Women’s rights have come to the fore over the last few years, as social media, the woke agenda (as they like to call it) and the #metoo movement effectively closed off all avenues to publicly denigrate and demean women.
And then came the Gender Critical movement — a polite word for transphobia — where men could vent their misogynist rage at a whole new set of women: trans women. Not only could men declare open season on a whole new free to abuse segment of the female community, they could now do it with the full blessing of the very feminists who had opposed them for so many years. It was like all their Christmases had come at once.
Ever seen a GC man say anything about a trans man? Nope, they are rarer than hen’s teeth. Do you know why? Because trans men are great. Trans men just means more men. So that’s all fine to the GC males. Trans woman though, hell these misogynists don’t want more bloody women to deal with — they can have both barrels.
All in all, the GC men cannot believe their luck. After years of women’s rights thrust in their faces, the Gender Critical movement enables them to reduce ALL women down to what they always wanted. Just their biology. Just their chromosomes. Just their ability to bear children
Hell, they even got the feminists to dress up as Margret Atwood’s handmaidens, fulfilling some Gilead role play fantasy of theirs. And they got the women to think it was their idea. You literally couldn’t make it up.
And that is where we find ourselves in the UK right now.
The feminists who have spent a lifetime fighting for women’s rights — are in thrall to a misogynistic boys club, the Gender Critical movement.
SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
It’s time for the feminists, for ALL women everywhere, to rise up and fight with all the power of the Suffragettes once more against the oppressive male dominance, the unbridled patriarchy, of the utterly fraudulent, utterly male centred, Gender Critical movement.
To do nothing and idly stand by while the Gender Critical retain their hold on the UK, would be to leave the door open to the erasure of women.
And I, as a woman, simply won’t let that happen.
“Men make the moral code and expect women to accept it” said Suffragette leader and activist Emily Pankhurst. But I won’t be bound by their Gender Critical boys club.
So, all women everywhere, take courage, join hands, stand besides us, fight with us and resign the Gender Critical movement to history.
Say it loud with me “no more men in women’s spaces”.