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 This has meant that in discussions about serious medical treatment for children, political aims have superseded good medical practice, which is extraordinary.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.