I care as a woman, as a lawyer, and as someone who studied physics and believes in the value of science – of independently verifiable facts. I care about the meaning of words, particularly the definition of terms used in which have a direct impact on people’s legal rights and self determination. I care about consultation in a democracy. I care about women and girls’ voices being heard and respected, as so often in the past this has not been the case. In particular I want women and lesbians to be consulted – and heard – if there is to be a change in the accepted definition of ‘woman’ and ‘lesbian’. I have genuine compassion for those experiencing gender dysphoria. I appreciate as a lawyer that sometimes the rights of different groups can come into conflict with each other. This is not uncommon. In such situations I believe in open, rational, respectful debate as a means to find a fair and reasonable compromise. I strongly oppose bullying, shaming and ‘cancelling’ people for simply having a different view on such issues.
I have read articles and blogs and essays to try to educate myself about the issues, then spoken to trusted family and friends.
I have ‘liked’ a few tweets and articles where I have agreed with the views being expressed, and ‘followed’ those posting them, several of whom are trans women, trans men or desisters. But I tread very carefully as I am fearful of the consequences.
There are some friends and family I will not raise these issues with as I am afraid they will think – quite wrongly – that I am transphobic. I am not.
I have recently found myself blocked by the twitter accounts of people who I do not know. I suspect I may be on a block list somewhere for ‘liking’ certain tweets of which they do not approve. It makes me sad and fearful. I will never raise the subject at work. I am too scared of the consequences as they are very heavily and publicly influenced by Stonewall.
I have tentatively spoken to two good friends outside of work who each indicated at an early stage that they disagreed with my position that trans women remain biologically male. We are all politically on the left and they seemed shocked and disappointed in me. I now avoid the subject with them. Fortunately I have other friends on the left who share my view and understand it is rooted in science and not in any way hateful. I would never wish harm on anybody. I simply want to protect the existing rights of women and girls.
Jenn, lawyer and former scientist.