Academics and researchers Healthcare

Feelings and opinions’ have trumped everything else

I care about the security and sex based rights of women and children and feel that they are being eroded, particularly in work (I work at a University). When our women’s network tried to publish a new menopause policy it was insisted that it contained a paragraph that stated that trans men/women non binary people also suffered with the effects of the menopause. Trans women apparently suffered with ‘psuedo’ symptoms (and this must be recognised within the policy) even when they were born male (and it stated that as fact). I didn’t agree with that. When I complained (during the drafting process) that I did not want to be called ‘cis’ (a female member of staff kept addressing me as that) I was listened to but frowned upon. I definately feel like I am the one that is looked at as ‘the bigot’ in the room when I challenge the way trans women are being slowly entered into policies and other rules that are meant to protect women.

The University /student union introduced a  non mandatory trans awareness training course but when I took a closer look at the details,  the trainer had blocked me on social media (maybe through a blocking app – many people use these now)  so I had no way of knowing any more about the company or the person who was delivering the training. Needless to say I did not attend. I didn’t feel that I could approach the Organisational Development team with my concerns.

I am the women’s officer on our Unison committee. I have tried to raise the issue of gender neutral toilets and how these facilities can be bad for women, nothing is said directly, but again I feel like I am considered ‘the bigot’ in the room for daring to address this. I am usually snapped at (usually by the women on the committee) when I dare to bring it up.  I share some articles on twitter (or more often ‘like’ things) but I know there is no way that I could portray my real feelings on any social media post.

I know I  would be reprimanded I work if I did this too often. 

My University uses Twitter a lot for communication and it would only be a matter of time before someone reported me for any tweets that were considered unsavoury or of having the ‘wrong’ opinion (this is the environment that has been created within the University by trans students).

I am thinking about setting up  an anonymous account so that I can be more open about my views.

I have spoken to one female senior member of staff in work about how I feel, she agrees with my view (that there are only 2 sexes)  but has also told me that she has to be very careful in her position as she would be reprimanded for not being ‘inclusive’.  

I have female friends who are still members of the Labour party and they have a real battle on their hands within the local branches. I left the party this year after my female MP signed the trans rights pledge denouncing A Woman’s Place and LGB Alliance (both of which I support). If you try to address these opinions with her she says trans rights are non negotiable and the conversation is shut down. This is a women with two teenage daughters.  I am in my  late 40’s and have voted Labour all my life – that will change going forward unless they drastically change their opinion on women’s rights. Being looked upon as a bigot or someone who is not progressive is very, very hurtful. I have stood by gay people all my life and was brought up to treat everyone with respect.

I believe there are women at work who do not approve of my opinions, they don’t say so publicly but my voice has been shut down in certain situations (Unison Committee meetings). It’s nothing in particular or you can put your finger on but I know by the way people react to me (mainly women)  I am considered ‘the bigot’.  I haven’t pushed issues any further other than Twitter and the Unison Committee but I know that I would be ostrocised at work if I pushed the subject further.Trans students have pushed for a trans policy over the past two years and it has just been introduced on campuses. In my opinion their ‘feelings and opinions’ have trumped everything else and arguing against it will automatically be closed down.

Nia, Wales