This matters to me for many reasons. Because women are being erased and redefined, reduced to their bodily functions, recategorised as a sub section of their own classification, having their rights removed and their ability to stand up for and protect themselves reduced. Because I worry for especially young women who are learning who they are and taking drastic actions which they live to regret. Because I’m seeing an increase in homophobia. Because there are troubling safeguarding issues for my daughters.
Because the males who are impinging on women’s protected spaces are affecting vulnerable women and certain religions and because asking why there’s a male in your safe space isn’t protecting women it could get you arrested for a hate crime. Because I’m dismayed that decent people who think they’re being liberal and welcoming are unaware of the cost to women. Because I see so much aggression and vile comments aimed at level-headed women just trying to raise awareness of the issue.
I’ve not done much. Discussed it some with family. Chat in private groups of like-minded women. I was sharing stuff on Twitter but I’ve dialled back on that because I’m freelance and I’m working currently with a third sector organisation and they are notoriously ‘woke’.
A year ago I was right there on the Trans Women are Women side of the fence, but then I started to see how simply raising legitimate concerns and questions about how we could accommodate male bodied people into women’s and girls’ safe spaces got you instantly labelled as a TERF.
And I started to see male bodied people using their self ID to access and beat women out of female specific awards and sports and scholarships that were there to redress the male focused opportunity and privilege, and then I started to see rape crisis centres have their funding cut for trying to protect traumatised women from sharing a safe space with a male bodied (ergo more physically powerful) person, and Jessica Yaniv and male bodied people who self ID abusing vulnerable women in prison. (Obv, not all Trans people.) And again when women tried to raise legitimate concerns about these things – whilst still trying to find a way to support trans people and help them to find a way to live their lives as they want to, safely and free from abuse and incorporated and welcomed – still being shouted at and labelled transphobic. And then I saw lesbians being called bigots for being same sex attracted. And then I saw people trying to pretend that actual biology ergo science was not a tested, provable thing which is a very dangerous route to take. Then I’m afraid my position shifted somewhat.
I started out just asking simple questions about safeguarding and was called transphobic and a TERF very quickly. I saw the same pattern repeated again and again with pleasant, caring women who showed concern for trans women and wanted them to live safe happy lives but not at the expense of women feeling safe and secure because of opportunistic men taking advantage of self ID, being threatened and called bigots and then I realised there was something very wrong with the TRA movement.
Shiv, Woman, mother, freelancer, feminist