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Self employed / entrepreneurs

Women’s rights are new, fragile and threatened

I care because women’s rights are new, fragile and threatened. And trans ideology is not only dangerous but absurd.

I actively support Speak Up For Women, a New Zealand group fighting against sex self-id.

I have lost clients, been threatened, been smeared by activists and by journalists working in national mainstream media.

Sunil W, self employed/ own business, New Zealand

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Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

How can anyone not care about that?

I care about this issue because it erodes women’s sex-based rights and causes harm to people who will end up regretting medical transition. Gender identity ideology is incoherent and implicitly relies on, and promotes, regressive sexist stereotypes. Legislating that people must regard male people as female or vice versa is profoundly illiberal and undermines freedom of conscience.

The way in which gender identity ideology has been promoted has resulted in a stifling of normal and essential debate in clinical and political arenas. This has meant that in discussions about serious medical treatment for children, political aims have superseded good medical practice, which is extraordinary. How can anyone not care about that?

I have written to a small political party I used to be a member of, sadly with little effect, and written to other politicians. I’ve donated to gender critical projects. I’ve set out my arguments on Twitter. I decided to do this under my own first name and profile photo, which scared me as I’d seen the abuse that other women had received. But as the views of gender critical people are so routinely misrepresented, I felt I had to do this.

People who know me know that I am not a right wing fundamentalist: I supported gay marriage, raised money for refugees, and am an environmentalist. I wanted my followers to see that someone with similar views to them on other things was gender critical, in the hope they’d listen to the arguments.

When I decided to speak up, I gave up my business account on Twitter. I suffer from anxiety and I knew that I couldn’t handle it if I started getting abuse on there, I wouldn’t be able to defend myself properly.

It’s not as difficult to argue back from a personal account. I think I was right to do so, having seen what happened to Jess de Waal (an embroidery artist who was targeted after speaking up). If I wasn’t financially secure I probably would not have spoken up, I’ve certainly lost sales over it.

The debate has affected my mental health but it would have done so even if I’d remained silent – the disingenuousness of many who smear gender critical women has really astonished me. It’s made me despair because the scientific community has gone along with all this, I’ve lost a lot of the faith I had in people and in democratic checks and balances.  I’ve lost one or two friends over it but not many.

Sheena, Ireland

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

I’ve seen male people with money using claims about “gender identity” and “transphobia” to weaponize those sentiments

I’ve understood since I was twelve or so that women and girls are treated unfairly, and been involved in efforts to ameliorate some of that in sport. I’ve similarly understood how the poor, racial and sexual minorities are often discriminated against, and worked to ameliorate that. Although cloaked in the language of “equal rights,” I’ve seen male people with money using claims about “gender identity” and “transphobia” to weaponize those sentiments in ways which cause observable harm to others in sport, social social services, etcetera.

I owe a great moral debt to women and GLB people who have stood up for civil rights, and so see my activism as returning a favor AND ALSO just the right thing to do.

I’m active on social media and have brought it up in a variety of groups I am part of.

I’ve been ejected from local political and online groups for defending female-only spaces, and drummed out of two non-profits which were important to me over these issues.

I write my legislators about issues such as male colonization of female sports, and do such things as letters to the editor which note that sexism and homophobia was the key issue in a local killing, not “transphobia.” A man who hoped to get a woman drunk and rape her freaked out when they discovered “she” was really a man, and what that might mean about the attacker.

I’ve been kicked out of SEVERAL groups for my alleged “transphobia,” although I’ve known and worked with scores of trans people of many ages and both sexes over 20+ years. It has cost me many casual friends, and I’m sure it has cost me business as people avoid or gossip and ostracize me. This is nothing compared to the violence women and Blacks receive, or that I saw against gays and lesbians from the 1980’s forward, so I take it in stride. As a self-employed white man I have a lot of privilege, and can afford to take these hits for many years. I have little fear of male violence, and am not easily intimidated.

Rory Bowman, feels a strong moral debt to feminists and earlier GLBT activists, USA

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

After 30 years in the trade union movement, for the first time I can honestly say I felt fearful for my safety

I have a daughter and a granddaughter. I want them to be able to live their lives free from oppressive and restrictive stereotypes that limit what they can do, achieve, how they chose to live. Trans rights is representative of the very worst misogyny I have ever experienced. As a senior trade union officer, after 30 years in the trade union movement, for the first time I can honestly say I felt fearful for my safety and well being because of trans activists.

I have written articles in the Morning Star. I have tried to limit the damage done by the TUC and trade unions adopting wholesale Stonewall policy. I have tried as far as possible to work behind the scenes with other like minded women in unions. I have had numerous conversations with friends and family to raise awareness. I have never felt so silenced in my life and I am a woman who has led strikes and worked at a senior level in trade unions. I do what I can on social media.

I felt I had to leave my job as I could not promote my union’s policies on the GRA and trans rights that I personally opposed. I have lost good friends and comrades.  I expect to lose more before this is over. It is hard to be seen as a bigot by people when you have spent decades working for equality and social justice. 

Trish, Former Trade Union Officer

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Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

I have been smeared and my views have been misrepresented

I care about this issue because it’s an assault on women’s rights. The longer I have been involved in reading, researching and writing about it the more it becomes clear that women’s rights are in a perilous position. Nobody at the top level is keeping an eye on enforcing legislation which protects women and girls. It has been far too easy for lobby groups to make inroads into women’s public safety with no challenge.

It has been an eye-opener to see how little women and girls are respected or even acknowledged by the people who we elect to represent us. It feels like there is no democracy for women who don’t agree that men are women too.

The reasons women need single-sex protections hasn’t gone away but we are having to have the arguments for them all over again.

I have written a personal blog about many of the aspects of trans ideology which impact on women and girls in various different areas of life. I’ve also blogged on Medium, contributed to other publications and written articles for the local press.

I’ve (unsuccessfully) pitched to the national press. I have written a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment of the Allsorts trans toolkit and sent it out to MPs and local councillors. I have contributed to consultations, written to my MP and others, attended my MP’s surgery, provided evidence for inquiries, attended meetings and demonstrations, joined campaigns and spoken at meetings. I’ve done a few tweets.

I have been smeared and my views have been misrepresented. I have been attacked as a person on social media, sometimes with such vitriol I’ve had to take a step back for a while to recover, before joining the fray again. I have suffered a more physical type of threat at  meetings I have attended, and during campaign activities like leafletting. I have lost friends, especially in the early days of speaking up (although overall I have subsequently gained more so I can’t complain…) I have sometimes felt completely stressed out because the whole thing is a head fuck but the responsibility to keep going can feel overwhelming.

Helen Saxby, Writer, blogger, campaigner, helensaxby11/notthenewsinbriefs.wordpress.com

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Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

I didn’t get the chance to finish before I was cut off

This matters to me as I have two young daughters and I am scared for their futures if sex based rights as girls and women are removed. I disagree with trans women participating in women’s sport for reasons for fairness and safety.

I worry about the safety of women and children, myself and daughters included, if the definition of women is expanded to included transwomen. Male bodied persons should not be allowed access to women’s only spaces for reasons of safety, privacy and dignity.

I am not a cis woman. I do not need a prefix to describe myself. I am a woman – an adult human female.

I have raised concerns about teaching gender at school when it was mentioned in a health and well-being session for parents. I didn’t get the chance to finish before I was cut off and the deputy head started talking about gay friends she had that we’re getting married and how wonderful it was, as if I was some massive homophobe.  I have commented on social media but only on topics about children and puberty blockers. I don’t feel confident enough to speak out on other matters, like women’s rights, without fearing a negative backlash and being accused of being a transphobe. This angers me as it is not transphobic to stand up for women’s rights.

I know the school thought I was a homophobe but this will not stop me from speaking up in future, although next time I will perhaps put my concerns in writing so I can’t be cut off. I am self employed so very aware of speaking out, even on women’s issues, as the current climate is so volatile and I fear for being called transphobic and my business being targeted by TRAs.

I am scared to speak out on social media as I feel that I would be judged and perhaps even lose friends.

Mum of Two, Adult Human Female

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

It’s terribly unfair that women (again) have to move out of the way to accommodate men

I’m deeply passionate about this issue and have been for a number of years. It’s terribly unfair that women (again) have to move out of the way to accommodate men who wish to be known as women. This will impact on every area of our lives and of future generations.

I am extremely vocal on social media and at home. Not as vocal as I would wish to be within my business as I feel it would have a negative effect on my income. I have been vilified in various women’s groups to the extent I had to leave. I’ve left social media women’s groups voluntarily due to constant abuse for my views.

Shirley R, Women’s rights, For the millionth time, Sister Flo

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Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

She pushed back against it for herself, but she has friends who id as non binary

I have been a feminist for over 30 years. I care about the lives of women around the world. I am the mother of one daughter. She asked me whether I thought she might really be a boy because she quite likes girls and is oriented to STEM activities. She told me about trans guys online encouraging these ideas. She pushed back against it for herself, but she has friends who id as non binary. I care about these children.

I have educated myself. I tweet and retweet. I speak to family and friends offline. I share information.

I have lost a very good friend from the Brighton scene. I have missed out on a literary opportunity, I think because they viewed my Twitter account.

SDH, Artist and educator

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

If we deny sex we deny female oppression

Biological sex is the basis for female oppression. If we deny sex we deny female oppression.

I’ve spoken to friends. Posted on social media pages.

I have been blocked and deleted by a few long term friends. I am terrified of being doxxed and having my business ruined. It is a catering company and many of our customers are in the younger demographic who would potentially refuse to work with us over differing views on sex.

Anna

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

I took my eye off the ball whilst practicing as a diversity consultant

I have studied and worked in the gender space for nearly 30 years and was active for ten years before that. I was a Spare rib subscriber and part of a CR Group ( we still meet). I recognized the dangers of postmodernist theory on the practice of feminism but I took my eye off the ball whilst practicing as a diversity consultant. When I read about census changes I got interested, went to an earliish Women’s Place meeting and that was it. I recognized there was a massive fight to be had.

I joined Twitter for which I had had an account not used and started tweeting. I wrote about it in my blog, I’ve written to MPs and met with one, alerted CIPD to what was happening etc.

I get zero response from the industry. I have a project in planning which may not be taken up I because of my stance but I accept there is a price to pay. One colleague at a university where I lecture .. actually  wasn’t asked back this year!  … said  eighteen months ago  ‘ god you’re brave’  which alerted me to the penalties and also the importance of speaking out.

Sarah Rutherford, Gender and Culture Consultant