As a feminist all my life I feel we have sleep walked into a very worrying situation. As a teenager and young woman I was very active in feminism. Family and professional life then intervened and I took my eye off the ball. Things were good for me – a supportive stay at home husband who looks after the kids and good career progression and support at work – yes some stereotypes and bias but on the whole good. I naively assumed things were getting better. But I suddenly woke up to find that women’s rights are eroding not getting better. My lived experience and the biases and prejudices I have battled all my life are not recognised.
The issues that arise from my biology – periods, pregnancy, birth, breast feeding, time off for babies – are ignored.
What makes me a woman is my biology not my feelings. I have battled sex based stereotypes all my life – and now find they define what it means to be a woman. Being a woman is not about make up and heels and clothes. My daughter could be expected to change in Top Shop next to a man or compete against a boy or use the same toilet as a man.
I am so not transphobic- I am a liberal leftie type who has always supported minorities and oppressed groups and now I am the transphobe because I believe in biology. Seriously?
I have discussed with colleagues, family and friends and have spoken out anonymously on twitter
I was initially open on Twitter but was cautious and exercised a lot of self censorship particularly after seeing Twitter pile ons and also observing some people being subject to letter campaigns to their employers. My job is safe – I am a partner in a law firm and virtually impossible to sack plus I am close to the end of my career anyway- but I am responsible for a team of people who rely on me to bring in client work and it would not be hard for a TRA to work out the names of the major corporations we act for and approach them to say that their lawyer is a transphobe. So I was cautious.
But then I was spoken to by the head of our LGBT+ group who said it had been brought to his attention that my tweets “supported the women’s perspective” and that it might have a “potential impact on transgender colleagues who are not yet open”.
As a result I set up an anonymous Twitter account. I very occasionally like GC content from my open account but only occasionally. I am still careful with content and tone even with my GC account as it would be possible to work out that I am a lawyer and someone could still approach my regulator who would have the power to find out who I am should anyone complain.
George , woman, mother, leftie feminist lawyer