law Public Sector

I asked why my work policies misrepresented the Equality Act – I was told must not speak to anyone any further

I was taken aside by my manager and instructed that I must not speak to anyone  regarding this issue any further.

It matters to me as a feminist and as a woman that women’s specific issues and inequality should be addressed and discussed and I believe that this is not possible if male people are included and centred in the category “women”.

I have written to and met with my MSP, posted on social media, donated to crowdfunders for women litigating, attended meetings.

I asked my work why they misrepresented the Equality Act in their policies.

I was taken aside by my manager and instructed that I must not speak to anyone  regarding this issue any further.

Maria , Scottish local government officer

Public Sector

I was a Prison Officer so I had a valid contribution to make

I don’t understand the UK today, why has ‘diversity’ mandatory training in all jobs suddenly become something done by Stonewall – who as far as I can tell from Twitter, have invented a new range of people, instead of just male and female. I

am, at age 52, glad not to be working and having to be ‘educated’ to believe a male with intact genitalia is a woman, the same as me.

I am house bound, no friends and family, so other than trying to put across the dangers of putting men in a women’s prison as Labour MPs like Ms. Butler are recommending, (even when the man has intact genitals but claims to be female), by my use of Twitter, there is nothing I can do.

Just the one Twitter mention of that issue being wrong and dangerous, and I was swamped with hateful tweets and had to lock my Twitter and change the name I used. Yet I was a Prison Officer, so I had a valid contribution to make.

I also emailed the Body Shop about their patronising Tweet to JK Rowling, and have just got a long email back, none of which makes any sense but informs me that ‘males menustrate’ and that ‘ some women don’t have periods’. I don’t understand the world around me now at all and scared of interacting with people if this is what they believe.

I was swamped with hateful ‘Terf’ tweets that left me absolutely shattered – my usual arthritic  joint and muscle pains increased, I couldn’t sleep and my depression and anxiety are now severe.

I had to keep my Twitter locked and will never comment again, despite supporting Maya F and JK Rowling completely. As mentioned, the long Body Shop reply email I got back after supporting Ms. Rowling, seemed to be written by somebody who was insane. Why would companies even be involved  in trans issues when they sell cosmetics and body butters? Why has my whole being as a female, woman, wife etc been erased as though I don’t exist, and the rights of a man who says he is a woman, are suddenly more valuable? Why are Body Shop campaigning to say men have periods at all?

Mrs D J, Woman, wife, and not invisible

Healthcare Public Sector

As an HR professional I feel for colleagues trying to navigate through this

I guess I would have called myself a liberal feminist, a live and let live type.  I thought trans people had GD and medically/ surgically transitioned.  I once worked with a very nice transwoman  who presented as a woman, was called she, but used the men’s changing room and toilets.  When JK Rowling tweeted in support of Maya Forstater, I wanted to know why someone has lost their job over what seemed a non-contentious issue.

The ideology revealed was frightening.  The aggression of TRAs (trans rights activists), and their determination to open every area of female lives to male people, was worrying.  There are deliberate attempts to erode safeguarding and stifle any discussion of how conflict over rights and safety can be addressed.  

The disproportionate influence of lobbying groups like Stonewall on public sector organisations and politics is unacceptable.  Looking further, the concept of the cotton ceiling was abhorrent. 

Although I am not lesbian, I believe that LGB people have an absolute right to their sexual preferences without being labelled transphobic.

I am concerned about the teaching of gender theory to children.  I don’t really understand the science, but see no consensus that would justify teaching that sex is a spectrum.   How the huge growth in the number of “trans” children being referred for treatment is not ringing alarm bells is beyond me.  I am fortunate, I had to retire from work for health reasons, but as an HR professional, I fear that if I was still working, I would not be able to express my concerns freely in this repressive climate.

I am not a great social media user, but I have supported GC voices, mostly with likes and retweets and some not very articulate comments.  I have completed the Scottish Govt GRA consultation survey, have donated to a couple of crowdfunding requests, and have written to my MP.

I am fortunate, Having taken Ill-health retirement, I am immune from threats to my livelihood.  As an HR professional, I feel for colleagues trying to navigate through this, and am sure that if I was still working, I would not feel free to express my concerns, particularly if working in the public sector.  This is a repressive, toxic culture.  I’m sure many people are being prevented from expressing valid, non-hateful opinions and that should concern everyone.

Alison G, Into my 6th decade, married, no kids, TERF, apparently

Healthcare Public Sector

I quickly realised it was largely abuse survivors and women worried about their children speaking up

It was, in the first instance a bullying issue for me. I was a Labour Party officer, responsible for membership in our CLP and was appalled at the way a small local group were being allowed to mistreat and slander women.

When I started talking to people, I very quickly realised that it was largely abuse survivors and women worried about their children who were speaking up and in both cases, they seriously needed back up. I was a ‘known terf’ by then and thought ‘oh well, I’m out there – may as well get on with it.’

I have written blog posts, and articles for newspapers.

 I have attended planning groups for women’s organisations, and spoken at a WPUK meeting.

I spent as much time as I could spare visiting women’s groups in different areas, and having one-to-one meetings with people I felt could use more support and/or had something to teach me about the issues involved.

I did try to put a motion through my local Labour Party but, after my branch passed it almost unanimously, the LP withdrew it as ‘controversial’ after a man had a tantrum in another branch.

I have been extensively slandered on social media and in my home town – bizarrely, this has had positive consequences as well as negative ones – a colleague and I organised a WPUK meeting in my town which was an enormous positive overall, but led to members of the local Pride group sending slanderous letters about us to the council and to any venue in town they could think of so, I’m self-employed, and have probably lost business through being ‘controversial’ and have certainly suffered a lot of stress.

I was turned down by the local Labour Party as a council candidate. The stated reason was that there was a complaint about me in process but, when I went to an appeal hearing, the reason given was they didn’t like my blog.

Did I lose friends? Not really – losing false friends leads to finding new and more interesting ones.

Kay Green, socialist feminist, former Labour Party officer

Public Sector

It seems counterintuitive that in order to feel like yourself, you need to change?

This matters to me because I was raised in a way that was as gender neutral as possible, and having three daughters, it’s important to me that they understand that they are not constrained by their born sex. I have overcome many prejudices in both my personal and professional life to prove that I am as capable as a male. I was taught that I shouldn’t need to change to be acceptable to society, so it seems counterintuitive that in order to feel like yourself, you need to change?

I have friends in various stages of transition, and watching them in their efforts to change their bodies is heartbreaking to me.

They were perfect the way they were, why not change society to accept all flavours of human, rather than force change on people so that they fit in?

I have been involved in action groups, taking an organisational and facilitation role. I have helped to organise meetings of women, and we have been lucky enough to secure a venue which is resistant to pressure, and will always honour our booking. I have leafleted and was involved in the guerrilla sticker campaign.

I’ve been lucky that my immediate manager was supportive of my stance,  but I would not be open to publicly stating my views due to fear of repercussions for my career.

MR, Scientist

Public Sector

I felt as a former psychiatrist and seasoned politician I should stand up and be counted

I first became aware of how large an issue this had become about three years ago on Twitter. As a man, it wasn’t something I had seen much of before then. As someone who has always supported women’s rights I think I just assumed that this was no longer a campaigning issue but a matter of driving home the message at work and in politics.

Then I encountered the loathsome Dr Adrian Harrop bullying a woman who had had the temerity to stand up for her rights.

This introduced me to the delusional world of the trans activists, who I discovered were infiltrating every aspect of women’s lives.

I felt as a former psychiatrist and seasoned politician I should stand up and be counted.

I have argued with TRAs on Twitter and Facebook, organised a meeting in the House of Lords, joined groups of like minded people, contributed money to groups and encouraged others.

I left the Labour Party I had served for forty years. I’m not sure if that’s really a negative.

Lewis Moonie, Member House of Lords, former MP and government minister

Public Sector

As an ally to lesbians I want to protect their rights to homosexuality

As a woman I am terrified of the erasure. As an ally to lesbians I want to protect their rights to homosexuality.

I have only spoken on social media. I’m too afraid otherwise

I am too afraid to say something at work.

EA, Concerned adult human female, No thank you, USA

Public Sector

It’s toxic for morale in an organisation when someone decides to identify a certain way for cynical reasons.

I work in HR in a large government organisation. It’s toxic for morale in an organisation when someone decides to identify a certain way for cynical reasons. I’ve had several really bad experiences with this. I’m sick of it.

I have been very forceful in making sure the actual not the stated wishes for is adhered to. I treated false accusations of discrimination and bullying extremely seriously.

I’ve been removed from groups, made feel unwelcome at events. Nothing too serious because I stood up to it.

Joh , 20 years as a HR professional, wont be intimidated by bullies, Ireland

Public Sector

Gender ideology spreads lies and reinforces sexist stereotypes

I care about the truth. Gender ideology spreads lies and reinforces sexist stereotypes.

I’m anonymously vocal on Twitter. In real life, I talk about this to everyone (friends, family, coworkers). Most people are not even aware of this issue. Yet when they find out, all agree with my position.

I serve in the military. If I were using my real name on Twitter, I am 100% confident that activists would track me down and that I would be forced to release.

Nathalie, Canada

Public Sector

When I can’t use the words women or woman, how can I work in a feminist way?

As a woman and long-time feminist I need the language to be able to describe the sex class I belong to and the issues we all face as females. To have this language taken from us, to be silenced in this way, is profoundly disturbing and authoritarian.

Knowing the harsh and unfair consequences that some women face for speaking out has had a chilling effect on me. I am otherwise an outspoken woman but working in local government, I know I cannot question the gender ideology that is prevalent these days.

I risk being labelled a bigot at best and facing official censure at worst. This means I cannot work as I would like to further the cause of women’s liberation. When I can’t use the words women or woman, how can I work in a feminist way?

I have done all my activism in a very different way to usual. It’s been filing in consultations and getting informed. I’ve only spoken about the issue to my male partner and had one or two tentative conversations with friends.

At work, where our ‘diversity and inclusion’ officers have removed women from campaigns against violence against women and have widened International Women’s Day awards to men (not just those who think they’re women), I have had to be very careful.

I edit with caution, use words that can’t be argued with (for example, quoting external official bodies that haven’t totally erased women). But mainly I stay away from work fighting for women’s rights that in previous years I was driving within our communications team in local government. I am so disappointed in myself for this but I also don’t want to take on the bullies in my organisation who I know will attack me if I stand up for women’s rights and against gender ideology.

I haven’t really spoken up yet. I am slowly building my confidence and being inspired by vocal women who have. Like you Maya.

Sarah, local government worker, Australia