Categories
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

Categories
Healthcare Others

I have four nieces whose rights to their boundaries I will defend to the death

This matters to me because women’s rights have been hard fought for over a long period of time and have only been legally recognised for a very short period of time. Sex-based rights are crucial if women are to overcome the systemic barriers to equity that still exist in UK society and are particularly important for girls and young women who need single-sex spaces for reasons of safety, privacy and dignity. #

I don’t have children, but I have four nieces whose rights to their boundaries I will defend to the death. I also care about this issue because I am a lesbian, a same-sex attracted women. I object strongly to the idea that any male can self-identify as a woman and simply announce they are now a lesbian because of their heterosexual attraction to females. I am also infuriated by the deliberate conflation of sex and gender in official documents and by public bodies and organisations, in particular the Blood Transfusion Service and the NHS where an individual’s sex matters more than any specious idea of masculine or feminine.

I have signed a number of petitions; completed consultations on gender self-identification and reform of the Gender Recognition Act; donated to campaigns for women’s rights; and attended meetings organised by pro-women’s rights groups. I have written to my MP asking that she take account of women’s voices before committing to any vote on reform of the GRA. I have also written to my MSPs asking that they too take account of dissenting voices when it comes to the proposed introduction of gender self-identification in Scotland and followed up on their responses. I have also shared links to consultations on social media, asking people to take part in the consultation to get as wide a range of voices heard as possible.

I have been the subject of some anger and negative responses from friends on Facebook in particular and been accused of homophobia, transphobia and bigotry from people I considered good friends. That led me to make a conscious decision not to discuss the subject on Facebook, which I have stuck to now for around a year. However, the revelation this week that the Scottish Government is sticking to its redefinition of the word woman in the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act is making me rethink that decision, which I now consider a bit cowardly.

Frances Traynor, still believes that language matters and that words have meaning

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Others

Much of current gender theory hinges on circular definitions

It’s important to be able to name our oppression.

I feel that basing policy around ‘gender identity’ reinforces stereotypes.

Definitions are a critical component of social justice. Much of current gender theory hinges on circular definitions.

I’m concerned for autistic girls (like myself) who have never felt comfortable with many aspects of femininity thinking we are in fact male.

I’ve participated in discussion on social media, contributed to crowdfunders. Supported prominent GC figures

I’m mostly losing friends online as my activism is limited to this medium.

Abby

Categories
Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

There can be no equality; there can be no ‘MeToo’ movement, if we cannot talk about sex

I care about this issue because I know how much women have had to fight for the rights they currently hold and I can see how easily they are being eroded. Single sex spaces and the ability to define women as a sex class are both integral to being able to fight against and record male violence.

There can be no equality; there can be no ‘MeToo’ movement, if we cannot talk about sex and protect single sex spaces. As a parent, I also care about this issue because equating biological sex with gender stereotypes is regressive and endangers all our children. Children should be able to play with and wear what they want, without being told their age appropriate child development means they are ‘trans’. Further, I am appalled that an untested medical pathway is being promoted as a solution to ever younger people, despite having poor outcomes.

I have written to organisations that have elided sex and gender. I have contacted groups that have jeopardised safeguarding including the NSPCC and Girlguiding. I have completed the GRA consultations. I have contributed to crowd funders and signed petitions. I have joined feminist groups and attended events. I have leafleted. I have also discussed this issue with family, friends and colleagues. I have changed our household purchasing habits in response to companies’ capitulating to trans rights activists and sacrificing women’s rights to placate bullying campaigns.

I have had some awkward conversations with friends and received some hectoring on social media. However, generally, in real life, I find most people agree with the need to maintain the definition of woman and to protect single sex spaces.

MM, Writer, Editor, Feminist

Categories
Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

I help run the Women’s Human Rights Campaign website

This is important to me because gender ideology is a huge threat to the rights of women and girls. I fear that gender ideology is causing us to move away from truth and reality towards compelled language, pseudoscience and harmful nonsense being encoded into law with huge consequences for society.

I have written to my MP four times. The first two times to Mark Prisk with favourable results and the second two to his replacement, Julie Marson, with poor result. I have attended half a dozen women’s meetings in London and Cambridge. I have volunteered with the Women’s Human Rights Campaign where I organised a conference for the launch of “Inventing Transgender Children and Young People”. I help run the Women’s Human Rights Campaign website and have conducted some lobbying activities across Europe. I speak regularly to most people I know, including at work, share info when I can on social media. I have also written to newspapers.

I have been more circumspect with what I post on social media recently because I am short of (freelance) work.

Kath A, Adult human female

Categories
Voluntary sector

My organisation fights for the rights of all women and I don’t want to stop using the language I use to sound inclusive

My organisation fights for the rights of all women and I don’t want to stop using the language I use to sound inclusive. ALL WOMEN

I have set up a charity. Bintiperiod

On occasion I’ve been told I’m making things up

MKG, CEO and Founder

Categories
Voluntary sector

It has been stressful and frustrating for myself and other staff

I care because in my organisation, I have found that the constant blurring of sex, gender and gender identity in organisational policies, blogs, guidelines and training materials at best undermines their effectiveness, and at worst installs regressive and harmful stereotypes.

I care because I value the power of data to advance the rights of all, and am deeply concerned about the quality of my organisations’ evidence when we use confusing terms like ‘non-man’ or ‘woman-identifed’ in staff or community surveys.

I care because women in the UK are losing their jobs or on ‘performance improvement plans’ for speaking up.

I care because I think there is real work that must take place to fight genuine anti-rights actors and human rights abuses around the world, and until we tackle head-on the issues of conflicting rights we cannot move forward.

I have rewritten guidelines, tools, research papers and strategic documents that: used gender identity instead of sex; included incorrect or problematic definitions of gender; did not use the word women in the name of inclusion and intersectionality. 

I have carefully spoken to staff across the organisation about this issue – always from a rights-based perspective – asking questions, sharing blogs or studies when relevant. I have repeatedly attempted to influence senior managers to follow correct Equality Act legislation rather than Stonewall guidance (with partial success). I have flagged reputational risks of alienating female supporters.

I have listened to women who have been told their feminism is ‘trash’ (by men) and spent time explaining to staff why calling other staff members ‘TERF’ is unacceptable, whilst trying my best to build bridges across staff communities. I have lobbied for spaces to discuss these issues in the workplace.

The negative consequences have been opaque and veiled warnings: be careful, get in line, be inclusive.

There have been impacts on workloads – without a serious policy framework language must be agreed on an exhausting and time consuming case-by-case basis. Hours have been spent drafting detailed policy recommendations that carefully address conflicts of rights which are swiftly ignored or rebutted with the mantra ‘we will be inclusive’ with no time spent engaging in any of the substance.

On an emotional level, it has been stressful and frustrating for myself and other staff. I know a number of staff who feel silenced, and unable to discuss openly on our online work platform because of the backlash, which has included warnings by senior managers. Meanwhile, potentially negative impacts of policy capture and new strategic direction on the communities we work with are yet unknown and unexplored.

Anonymous, Working on Women’s Rights for a UK INGO

Categories
Healthcare Others

I’m grateful my daughter is grown up and not the toddler that insisted she was a boy

I care about women’s rights, freedom of speech, democracy. I dislike and fear authoritarian and violent nature of trans activism. I care about democracy and rights of women to meet, right to speak out. I care about accurate use of English language. I care about accurate data. I care about safeguarding children, and vulnerable women. I’m against gay conversion therapy whether it’s psychological by churches or medical and physical by voluntary organisations and the medial establishment. I’m grateful my daughter is grown up and not the toddler that insisted she was a boy.

I responded to consultations on reform of GRA in Scotland and Westminster, to implementation of Gender Representation on Public Boards, evidence on conflation of sex and gender to Scottish Government, responded to Hate Crime consultation. Write to MP, MSP, Cancer Research UK of effect of self ID on clinical trials. I’ve talked to friends and family and small group of people and arranged talk for same group. I’ve attended meetings. Left leaflets in books, metro on buses other public places.

I’ve had some angry messages when I arranged discussion of issues to small group.

Luddite, born in 60s, grew up 80s.

Categories
Voluntary sector

As women we have the right to set our boundaries

This matters to me as I believe that as women we have the right to set our boundaries, we need to have language that allows us to speak about our experiences, we are oppressed because of our female sex and gender identity politics are regressive and reinforce male power structures.

I have been part of a group that organised a WPUK event. I have raised at Labour Party meetings, attended other events and spoken about them and the issues online and in person.

I have been attacked on social media. My former employer was contacted on a number of occasions. I’ve been bullied out of local Labour Party meetings.

WelshRadFem, speaking up for women’s rights

Categories
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