Self employed / entrepreneurs

When I’m old and vulnerable I don’t want to find my woman doctor is actually a man

I believe women have the right to privacy and to spaces where men can’t go. I also believe women have the right to be treated (medically for example) by women and to refuse to be treated by men. I do not believe people can change sex, so even if a man is ‘transgender’ he is still biologically and in reality a man. I don’t believe he should be able to hide that fact in all cases. To allow that would impinge on women’s rights in many ways.

When I’m old and vulnerable I don’t want to find my woman doctor is actually a man. Also, I have stepdaughters and I don’t want them forced to accept that men can be women and to have men invade their privacy. I also fear that ‘self identification’ will provide an opportunity for any man to invade women’s spaces in order to harm women and girls.

I have responded to the GRA consultation and I wrote to others to tell them about it and encourage them to respond. I also tweeted and facebooked about it and wrote to my MP. I’ve made contact/connected with other women – inc locally – to work on this issue together. I’m also part of a group of women working to challenge the issue in the political party we are all members of. I raise the issue with friends and family when I can. I donate to crowdfunders when I can afford it. I also sign petitions and write letters to those in/with power. When I can I share letter templates and encourage others to write/speak up too.

After tweeting about the GRA consultation, a young transwoman (a trans identified male) who works in the same field as me attacked me on social media. A long, ranty thread including accusations of transphobia etc. I didn’t know/had never met this person in real life.

Perhaps foolishly I responded (I spent an hour writing three v.careful tweets in reply). There was a ‘pile on’ against me by others in my industry – including people I did know personally. I felt bullied and it was extremely stressful.

It made me afraid – and I’m not someone who’s used to that feeling. I’m mostly confident and more than capable of sticking up for myself. I lost a lot of Twitter followers (no big deal in the grand scheme of things). Then in the autumn several jobs I usually did at this time (that I’d done annually for several years) weren’t offered. I don’t think it was a coincidence – but I can’t be sure. I wasn’t offered the work in 2019 either though.

I largely stopped tweeting about gender critical things after this and blocked the person who attacked me as much as for their sake as mine. After the original incident, the following summer, I found out the same young person was badmouthing me on Twitter again but could no longer @mention me.

They’d clearly looked back through my feed to find gender critical things (inc. shock horror a RT of @glinner!) and would have seen I’d tweeted nothing on the issue for approx four months. This didn’t stop them tweeting about me, accusing me of transphobia and telling their followers to DM them so they could tell people who I was. They and a few of their followers also encouraged people to shun me and unfollow me. Several clients and contacts unfollowed me at this point. During this time I became very anxious and depressed and found it hard to work. I was afraid of losing the work I still had and too nervous to attend industry events. It took me ages to feel strong again – thanks to connecting with other GC women and a self defence course.

“Alice Brean”, Freelance writer