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Education

I was forced out of a voluntary role as domestic violence safeguarding coordinator

I care because I understand, through my own experience, that women are oppressed, harmed and killed for being female.

I have posted on social media, written to MPs, renounced my membership of the Labour Party, been to events, spoken out in real life.

I was forced out of a voluntary role as domestic violence safeguarding coordinator for my church because I tweeted about DV, its impact on women and girls, and why we must fight for our right to name ourselves and our oppression. I was doxxed and was dragged in front of the Diocesan safeguarding team so they could “assess my suitability” for the role. I resigned.

Vicky Miller, Teacher and trade unionist

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Others

We were absolutely clear about the need to dismantle sex stereotyping (aka ‘gender’)

I got involved with lesbian and gay activism and then feminist activism in the early 1970s.  We were absolutely clear about the need to dismantle sex stereotyping (aka ‘gender’).  And now it is being amplified despite all the successes we thought we’d had.

I raised the issue of the Labour Party deciding that trans-identified men counted as ‘women’ for the purposes of all-women shortlists et al.  I’ve talked to innumerable friends and acquaintances and a few relations.  I’ve spoken at two public meetings (in Newcastle).  I’m involved in the Labour Women’s Declaration Working Group and in a small group doing some research and analysis for the LGB Alliance.

I got absolutely pilloried in my constituency Labour Party….  One friend is suspicious of what I say but not totally disagreeing.  But that’s all.  I’ve had it easy compared to many.

Alice Bondi, retired psychotherapist and very long-term feminist (as in second wave feminism)

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Healthcare

We have to be able to ask very difficult questions

This matters to me because if we change the definition of “woman” or “man” to mean anybody who identifies as a woman or man there will be unintended consequences. We need to think through those consequences really carefully.

It matters to me because I’m a child protection social worker. I see an increase in children who’ve experience significant harm now claiming to be trans. Sometimes they’re encouraged by their schools. Those children may develop to live as trans men or women and that is their choice, as adults. However…

we need to ensure a trans identity is not a maladaptive response to trauma, one that may leave the unmet underlying need while the young person seeks increasingly drastic physical changes to their body.

I worry about the fact that we cannot openly discuss this topic. In thinking about harm to the people with the least power and voice (young children) there can be nothing left unsaid. We have to be able to ask very difficult questions.

I worry about trans-inclusive guidance which tells girls that if they feel uncomfortable with someone in their personal space they should ignore that feeling. Children who’ve experienced trauma need encouragement to listen to their feelings, to their intuitive responses. We work with children to help them recognise the danger signals in their body and then act on those (children who’ve experienced harm may have learnt to “turn off” those survival mechanisms, to have a “flop” response to danger.) Yet trans inclusive guidance tells children the opposite. That’s not deliberate on the part of trans groups, but is the result of an atmosphere in which criticism is not allowed and lack of open consultation. 

It matters to me because -I was a girl who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes. As an adult I still don’t conform to traditional ideas about femininity. Trans identities/ non binary/ gnc etc pushes the idea that i may not be a woman, that I am Other.

I have spoken in my local Labour Party CLP meeting, spoken in my local Quaker meeting. I have campaigned through facebook and twitter, handed out FPFW (Fair Play For Women) and WPUK (Women’s Place UK) leaflets at Labour and LibDem Party conferences as well as at a Trade Union event. I have met with my MP.

I have been to meetings aggressively protested by trans supporters who see the campaign for womens rights as fascism.

I’ve been ostracised by some members of my local Labour Party.

I’ve been insulted in the street.

BV

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Academics and researchers Healthcare

Feelings and opinions’ have trumped everything else

I care about the security and sex based rights of women and children and feel that they are being eroded, particularly in work (I work at a University). When our women’s network tried to publish a new menopause policy it was insisted that it contained a paragraph that stated that trans men/women non binary people also suffered with the effects of the menopause. Trans women apparently suffered with ‘psuedo’ symptoms (and this must be recognised within the policy) even when they were born male (and it stated that as fact). I didn’t agree with that. When I complained (during the drafting process) that I did not want to be called ‘cis’ (a female member of staff kept addressing me as that) I was listened to but frowned upon. I definately feel like I am the one that is looked at as ‘the bigot’ in the room when I challenge the way trans women are being slowly entered into policies and other rules that are meant to protect women.

The University /student union introduced a  non mandatory trans awareness training course but when I took a closer look at the details,  the trainer had blocked me on social media (maybe through a blocking app – many people use these now)  so I had no way of knowing any more about the company or the person who was delivering the training. Needless to say I did not attend. I didn’t feel that I could approach the Organisational Development team with my concerns.

I am the women’s officer on our Unison committee. I have tried to raise the issue of gender neutral toilets and how these facilities can be bad for women, nothing is said directly, but again I feel like I am considered ‘the bigot’ in the room for daring to address this. I am usually snapped at (usually by the women on the committee) when I dare to bring it up.  I share some articles on twitter (or more often ‘like’ things) but I know there is no way that I could portray my real feelings on any social media post.

I know I  would be reprimanded I work if I did this too often. 

My University uses Twitter a lot for communication and it would only be a matter of time before someone reported me for any tweets that were considered unsavoury or of having the ‘wrong’ opinion (this is the environment that has been created within the University by trans students).

I am thinking about setting up  an anonymous account so that I can be more open about my views.

I have spoken to one female senior member of staff in work about how I feel, she agrees with my view (that there are only 2 sexes)  but has also told me that she has to be very careful in her position as she would be reprimanded for not being ‘inclusive’.  

I have female friends who are still members of the Labour party and they have a real battle on their hands within the local branches. I left the party this year after my female MP signed the trans rights pledge denouncing A Woman’s Place and LGB Alliance (both of which I support). If you try to address these opinions with her she says trans rights are non negotiable and the conversation is shut down. This is a women with two teenage daughters.  I am in my  late 40’s and have voted Labour all my life – that will change going forward unless they drastically change their opinion on women’s rights. Being looked upon as a bigot or someone who is not progressive is very, very hurtful. I have stood by gay people all my life and was brought up to treat everyone with respect.

I believe there are women at work who do not approve of my opinions, they don’t say so publicly but my voice has been shut down in certain situations (Unison Committee meetings). It’s nothing in particular or you can put your finger on but I know by the way people react to me (mainly women)  I am considered ‘the bigot’.  I haven’t pushed issues any further other than Twitter and the Unison Committee but I know that I would be ostrocised at work if I pushed the subject further.Trans students have pushed for a trans policy over the past two years and it has just been introduced on campuses. In my opinion their ‘feelings and opinions’ have trumped everything else and arguing against it will automatically be closed down.

Nia, Wales

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Healthcare Parent

The future scandal…will be similar to that of thalidomide

I care because I believe the future scandal over the grievous lack of care for children & young adults who will have suffered permanent physical damage will be similar to that of thalidomide.

I care especially about the thousands of young girls, many of them likely to be lesbian, who have been drawn in via social media grooming, in the context of a society that renders potential female role models invisible.

I care because throughout the world women and girls are discriminated and oppressed on the basis of their sex. They cannot identify out of it. They need safe, specialised, single sex services and spaces.

I have shared & commented on gender critical articles and opinions on twitter. But not before removing all links to my political party from my bio. Not for fear for myself, as I have no political ambition, but in order not to damage by association other women. I do not post about my local party, or my activity within it. I have attended Woman’s Place meetings & posted about them.

I have raised numerous times with my political party, so far to no avail, my dismay that they no longer collect data on sex, a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equality Act. Worse, if members consult the individual data held by the Labour Party, previous data given years ago on sex has been converted without permission to ‘gender identity’, with the entirely false claim that this data has been provided to them by me. It has not!

I am regarded by most party activists as transphobic, as is anyone who speaks up for women’s sex based rights. I am retired, so have no concerns about my employer being pursued. I suspect official complaints will have been made about me.

My male partner, who has a lifetime’s working experience in child protection & investigation of historic child abuse, was called transphobic and dismissed as ‘an old white man’ for daring to mention autogynephilia in a meeting.

Red Swan, Socialist feminist, mother & grandmother