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Academics and researchers Healthcare Parent survivor

I am concerned that my gender non-conforming son will grow to hate his beautiful healthy body

I, like too many women, have experienced grooming, rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence and am fearful of allowing men into women’s spaces.

I am concerned that my gender non-conforming son will grow to hate his beautiful healthy body because of the narrative that gender trumps sex.

I have created anonymous social media accounts to voice my concerns and engage in discussion. I have discussed with my children their right to retain their own spaces and their right to express themselves (i.e. their gender) in any way they choose without this altering their sex. I have contacted my children’s schools to discuss their policy re self identifying students.

I felt compelled to step down from an important task force at work re women in STEM when headed by self-ID trans woman and no opportunity or environment for objection.

I have lost friends and been ostracised from left wing, feminist, and social justice groups of which I was previously an active member. I have had to develop new and anonymous social media accounts because changes in work policy have made clear that I will lose my job for refusing to share women’s only spaces i.e. toilets with trans women.

L C, PhD in STEM (medical sciences)

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Academics and researchers

We are overlooking the legislating away of women and girls’ rights

I worry that in racing to be kind and accommodating to trans people (which I’m all for on a personal level), we are overlooking the legislating away of women and girls’ rights.

I am also disgusted at the volume and violence of the misogynistic abuse levelled at women who want to have a public discussion on this issue (given that it is an issue which will affect most of the public).

I have done very little so far (following people on twitter and the occasional like) because I am worried about the backlash from acquaintances and colleagues.

L, Scientist

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Academics and researchers Healthcare Men

I feel that free speech is being stifled in academic environments

This matters to me because I’m scared that the TRA movement is aggressively and perniciously invading the basic human rights of women and children. It further matters to me because I feel that free speech is being stifled, notably in academic environments.

I have spoken up on social media, at work and within my union.

I’ve been threatened and bullied on social media so have almost been forced to make anonymous account. I’ve been threatened and bullied at work.

A man who supports women, terrified academic

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Academics and researchers

An unethical, dangerous absurdity

Widening the legal definition of ‘woman’ to include men, particularly intact males, is an unethical, dangerous absurdity.

Voluntary social inclusion of transwomen by women is fine and good; coerced imposition by male people, regardless of presentation, on female people in situations where they are or expect to be able to be vulnerable (prisons, shelters, health care, changing rooms) is totalitarian and abhorrent.

Destroying fairness in women’s sport and wider representation makes a mockery out of women and our achievements.

I campaign on social media (Twitter) anonymously, I discuss the matter one-to-one with friends and colleagues.

I have not received any negative reactions in my private life, or from individual colleagues I have spoken with. I am careful, of course, but there is broad agreement among the people I have spoken with. I have received abuse on Twitter (like anyone does who speaks up) and I went to one WPUK (Woman’s Place UK) meeting that was mobbed by an angry, kicking, shouting crowd of trans activists.

‘Blob’, Academic anonymous

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Academics and researchers

I no longer attend political meetings, I no longer vote

This matters to me because I’m acutely aware that, the world over, women and girls still need same-sex boundaries, spaces and rights for safety, privacy and dignity. We fought for those same-sex rights for our own protection and our need for them has not changed.

I have been frequently and openly vocal – online and off – with friends. I have written to my MP repeatedly. I have discussed my opinions with colleagues. I have written an article about trans activism and the media.

I have lost friends and, as a political activist on the left, I have lost support and solidarity. I no longer attend political meetings, I no longer vote, I do not approach my trade union (UCU) for support.

Rachel Broady , Anti poverty campaigner, journalist, lecturer

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Academics and researchers

They even started to tell me that my personal experience (frustration as a woman in tech) is not representative

As a female educator in technology I am very aware of the challenges girls/women confront on a daily basis, and really appreciate the awards/support some organisations provide to give girls recognition in this area. However, it is frustrating to see some times those opportunities have been giving to transwomen.

I have discussed with friends.

I feel some of my friends do not agree with my views and they even started to tell me that my personal experience (frustration as a woman in tech) is not representative. I was very shocked. I will never discuss this online as I am very scared – my workplace is very left leaning so I won’t even dare to talk about it at all at work. This is very worrying that I cannot even discuss this openly. Thanks for providing this platform!

GirlinTech, Female educator in tech , Sorry but no…

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Academics and researchers

As a young child, I was told that I could not participate in the sports that I loved because they were ‘not for girls’

I can’t begin to do justice to the importance of feminism and womanhood in my life. As a young child, I was told that I could not participate in the sports that I loved because they were ‘not for girls’. I have been overjoyed to see the strides made by women’s sport in the past 25 years, and that – on the whole – there are far more opportunities for girls to participate in sport than when I was growing up.

It breaks my heart to see these strides undermined simply to appease a small group of biological males who seek to ‘affirm their self-appointed gender’ by taking the hard-earned place of women in sport. I am devastated that women’s sporting history is being rewritten by people like Lauren Hubbard and Rachel McKinnon.

Girls and women are subject to all manner of abuse – mostly at the hands of men – and they fully deserve (and need) single-sex spaces in which to thrive and feel safe. Every woman knows what it is to feel unsafe and vulnerable, and no-one has the right to dismiss our concerns.

The idea that biological males can simply announce themselves female and enter women’s safe spaces is obscene. I have never felt more strongly about anything in my life.

It is a topic that I discuss with my partner and trusted friends on a daily basis. While I have engaged with some of the public debates on Twitter, I don’t feel that what I do is enough. I am in the difficult position of knowing that if I speak up, I will most likely lose my job – a prospect that I cannot afford to risk at the minute.

My work colleagues have extremely strong views on the ‘transgender’ issue, and regularly use offensive terms such as ‘TERF’ to publicly bully those with genuine concerns into silence. While I have never directly received such abuse, I know that if I were to be more vocal, I would be their next target.

K

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Academics and researchers

I’m a 22 year old going into the tech industry, I can’t speak, the vitriol is suffocating and terrifying

I’m a woman in computer science. In school I was bullied for taking maths subjects and had to suffer silently as teachers and pupils alike bullied me. I now see women who faced these same experiences, lose female centred opportunities to people who got to experience this as male, and therefore faced none of it.

The trans movement damages the reputation of women in spaces where we’re already desperately trying to quash stereotypes by suggesting that all it takes to be a woman is to wear a dress and makeup, which is NOT what makes me female.

Please help me, please help us, the trans movement is terrifying, I’m terrified. I’m sorry for not speaking out, but you see the backlash.

I don’t know what I can do without risking my career. I’m watching the rights of women be eradicated by identity politics.

I can see Olympics in the future with only trans or male athletes, the misogynistic structures of the past awarding women’s awards to men who don’t know what it’s like to fight for your place in society your whole life, but just get to put on a dress and then claim the whole lived experience of a woman.

It’s not acceptable for white people to identify as black, and then claim the lived experiences of people of color. For all the same reasons men cannot become women and then truly know what it is to grow up and live as a woman.

Please, for my daughters in the future, who currently have no future, fight this to the end.

I’m sorry, I’m a 22 year old going into the tech industry, I can’t speak, the vitriol is suffocating and terrifying. But I know my silence is a problem and I’m sorry, I’m just too scared of losing my entire future.

E

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Academics and researchers

You don’t need to say anything more than ‘transwomen are not literally the same as women’ to be considered guilty

I a woman and a mother of girls. I thought feminism was making progress, that their life would be better than mine and mine better than my mother and grandmothers.

I see that my right to define myself and my right to say why I feel kinship with other women can be shouted down as hate speech, and so I have therefore no right to define myself. So feminism is as likely to go backwards as forward.

I’ve written to my MP and complained to IPSO. I have spoken to friends. I have spoken to my girls. I have written a couple of blog posts and was going to give a paper.

I have set up a module that will deal with feminism. That has, weirdly enough, reconfirmed my commitment to feminism and made me more active.

But I am worried about my job, and the negative consequences. I know from colleagues that this is very real and you don’t need to say anything more than ‘transwomen are not literally the same as women’ to be considered guilty. And it is targeted: some colleagues who are not considered ‘terfs’ get to joke about it; others have every word monitored (by students, by the way).

I am relatively new to this debate and am expecting a complaint to happen, as my students are now aware of my views.

M

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Academics and researchers

I am a competitive rower and I am concerned about possible future changes that would remove the level playing field for women in sport

This matters to me because I am a competitive rower and I am concerned about possible future changes that would remove the level playing field for women in sport. I have seen the physiological advantages of males over females in my sport and want to make sure women retain the right to compete against women.

I have begun speaking to friends about the issues surrounding transgender rights and activism, and the implications for women’s sport and women’s spaces in society.

However due to my field of work (academia) I am too scared of the professional implications to speak out more publicly.

R, Researcher