Categories
Education

I spoke to my political party, I was ignored

I worry about long term consequences ; safeguards, protections in law changing, blurring of definitions.

I have entered into conversations that have usually become tense and intimidating, I spoke to my political party, I was ignored. Stood my ground but listened and tried to see the other sides point.

I’ve been made to feel like a bad person, called a bigot, intimidated and threatened online, often felt like I’m shouting into the wind and being mocked by people who use quite childish and nasty tactics. And men trying to bully and silence me. It can be scary. And exhausting.

Gertz, Tired

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Others

I strongly object to the words we need to discuss our experiences being taken from us

I care about this issue partly from the free speech viewpoint (issues affecting policy and law should be widely discussed, and in general people should be able to state opinions and debate freely) and partly from the viewpoint of being a woman and the mother of a woman. I strongly object to the words we need to discuss our experiences being taken from us, and to our being reduced to a set of stereotypes and a performance of femininity.

On social media, I have supported individuals being attacked as bigots for stating material reality (eg Maya Forstater) or for wishing to discuss the issues (eg Kathleen Stock) I have contributed to crowdfunders and have attended events organised by WPUK. I have discussed the issues with some members of my immediate family.

I have been labelled a bigot by a member of my family, and told “you can’t say that”.

Gail, Retired librarian

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survivor

I am a survivor of severe, organised abuse in childhood

First and foremost, I am a survivor of severe, organised abuse in childhood.

Secondly, I have worked for decades for women and vulnerable people, including as a human rights lawyer for victims of violence, as a writing teacher with mothers in prison and the community and in groups campaigning on consent.

Thirdly, I am a bisexual woman and was on the ‘gay scene’ for years.

Fourth, I am a parent and work often in education and concerned with safeguarding. I care deeply about this issue because whilst I think every consenting adult is free to have their own beliefs and make choices about their body, the TWAW lobby is infringing the human rights of others, with harmful implications and it is constantly threatening and seeking to close down freedom of speech.

I have spoken about this issue on social media and in real life for the past three or more years. I have written countless posts and emails and I have kept a diary on this issue to process my own thoughts before formulating my own speech in what can be a fast paced and abuse-oriented environment on social media.

I have been called a “terf” many times. I have been ostracized by a group of women campaigning with me on abortion rights (though remained good friends with others). On social media I have been told directly that I am “fascist scum” or I have been patronized as an abuse survivor who is somehow biased, disregarding my qualifications as a human rights lawyer and background supporting people. Other negative consequences include the mental health toll of constantly being “gaslit” implying that I am the person in the wrong. A tactic used by those who want to reframe reality the world over and I know that, yet still so sad and wearing!

Anna Morvern, Writer, speaker, teacheryer, translator

Categories
Healthcare Others

I’m from a relatively poor country (India). Girl children are killed at birth

Sex based protection of women is so important to me.

Biological facts are important to me. I’m from a relatively poor country (India). Girl children are killed at birth. Ultrasound sex determination is illegal. Life is often misery for girls and women since they are born. Only the privileged can afford to lose the definition of “woman” diluting it to something as offensive, arbitrary, and irrational as a “feeling” or “emotions” or “assertion” (“if someone says they’re a woman she’s a woman”).

I’m tired of it. I’m exhausted. I’m losing hope for the future of left-wing and liberal thought in India.

I approached the discussion with two of my closest friends, both very liberal. One refused to reply at all. Saying my fears are “cis paranoia” (does she not see waving away my doubts as misogyny?) and transwomen are literally dying because of cis women’s paranoia. After gaslighting me for my worry about losing laws, reservations, protections under the definition of the word “woman”, she stopped replying. I doubt we have a friendship any longer. Other friend told me she’s shocked and uncomfortable with the discussion. I asked her to define the word woman and she said she didn’t know how to define it. An educated woman unable to define the word woman out of fear.

Doubt either will want to be my friend any longer. I spoke to my family about it. They agree. They live in the real world not on twitter so to them it is obvious women are women, and transwomen are transwomen. One of my friends accepted my position and understands deeper that gender stereotypes are a human creation to maintain the patriarchy.

Tired of men, tired of feminine socialization, tired of fear, India

Categories
Private sector

As a woman in tech, I totally understand what being a minority is

As a woman in tech, I totally understand what being a minority is. I totally get what discrimination is, including plenty of subtle ways that women in tech experience. I know it sucks. I can only imagine how difficult it is for trans people, I feel for them, and I’d love them to be accommodated in any ways possible.

At the same time, I wish advocates of “Trans Women Are Women” opened their eyes to possible abuse if the laws and rights in this matter are not extremely carefully considered. It goes for so many potential issues, from bathrooms, changing rooms, prisons, shelters… I am all for freedoms, respect and rights for underrepresented groups – but these rights cannot come at the cost of rights and safety of another vulnerable group.

I am totally opposed to possibility of ever going to a gym changing room and suddenly seeing a dick and balls on someone next to me.

I am totally opposed to female athletes being beaten by someone who maybe weeks prior was competing in male’s sports. I cannot imagine the horror of a woman escaping to a shelter from abuser – and her getting abused in there by another male presenting as a woman.

I have not spoken out. I wish I had the courage – but I don’t.

 I have witnessed so much abuse going towards the much more powerful women out there, I simply do not want to bring this on myself.

I understand that many of the “trans activists” women have good intentions. I understand their desire to improve lives of other vulnerable groups. But I really, REALLY wish they admitted we live in a “real world”, and for every genuinely vulnerable trans woman, there will also be a man who will put on woman’s clothes only to abuse the situation. For this reason, amongst other things I am totally opposed for self-identification, for ability to just say one day “I’m a woman” and that’s it. It needs to be a proper process – we don’t just let people change nationality on a whim, and surely gender change is an even bigger part of identity than this.

I’m sure there are ways where we can find middle ground, protect trans people whilst ALSO protecting women’s (female!) rights. It’s making me really sad that TRA present this as a black-or-white issue, if you have any concerns then you are a terrible TERF.

I am grateful for your work, and thank you for speaking out for those of us who do not have the courage for this. Even following you sometimes feels like risky business.

L, Europe

Categories
Lesbians

I have called this racist sexist rhetoric out at work (it got me fired)

I am a Black Lesbian woman. Aside from being told I’m a bigot because I don’t date males, I’m being told that my womanhood is only valid because men can be women too. TRAs are using racist rhetoric that kept Black women from accessing the same facilities as white women.

I have called this racist sexist rhetoric out at work (it got me fired). I have talked person to person with other women about this. I have raised my voice in disagreement when a law was being considered in my small city (I’m in the United States).

Fired from my job. Subject to sexist and racist harassment.

T, Black Lesbian Woman, adulthumanfemale11, USA

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Others

I find it traumatising to be adjacent to or touched by male-bodied people in situations where I feel physically vulnerable

This matters to me because I have suffered discrimination on the basis of my biological sex and need the laws written to protect me to be clear and fair. Due to my personal experiences of male violence I find it traumatising to be adjacent to or touched by male-bodied people in situations where I feel physically vulnerable e.g. getting changed in a gym or having a cervical exam.

I am adversely affected by attempts to redefine the word “woman” or “female” in law to mean self-identification with the subjective concept of a particular gender identity: I have no gender identity, nor have I been discriminated against on these grounds. People of colour are oppressed on the basis of their skin, not their ‘black identity’. Women are oppressed on the basis of our muscular disadvantage and the role we play in reproduction, not because of ‘female identity’.

I have joined other women in online groups to discuss our sex-based rights. I have always done so anonymously. I have spoken to my husband about my views.

I have been careful.

Rhea, Sexual Assault Survivor

Categories
Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

People stay silent; they won’t engage

I care about the protection of women’s spaces, services and sports. I am worried about an ideology that teaches children that if they do not conform to narrow gender stereotypes they were born in the wrong body. I am horrified by irreversible harms done to these children/young people through puberty blockers, hormones and surgery. I believe in freedom of speech and find it incredible that stating biological fact can cost someone their job. I think gender identity ideology is nonsense; but people should have the right to believe it or not believe it as with any idea. I am horrified by the bullying tactics of trans activists who try to stifle debate and punish dissent — it’s authoritarian and that has no place in a democratic society. Good policy and law should be a) evidence based and b) discussed fully and openly.

I have started to talk to friends, written to my MP, attended WPUK meetings and posted about these on social media. I am very open on twitter, more careful on Facebook

I am self-employed so no repercussions at work. But I feel huge stress when talking to people or posting on Facebook because of the fear of being misunderstood and being thought bigoted.But what actually happens is that people stay silent; they won’t engage.

Jan S, humanist, dog lover, adult human female

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Others

There is a highly vocal minority who are using the transgender issue for the wrong reasons

I care passionately about this issue as I believe that sadly some men are using it to pursue their own agenda. They are not transgender, they are not really interested in changing there gender, it’s being used a cover to let them access places they should not. I believe it is a tiny, tiny percentage that are doing this. I believe that there are real transgender people who have spent any years of their lives living miserably only to find real happiness when they have changed gender. However, they seem to be the people who are quietly going about their lives, day to day, and finding ways to alter, change and adapt their lives and situations so they can change gender.

There is discrimination for transgender people and they do need the law to help them achieve their desire status, but there is a highly vocal minority who are using the transgender issue for the wrong reasons and the pace of change needs to be slow, carefully thought through and not allowed to infringe women’s hard fought rights.

I discuss these issues on social media using women’s rights groups and with my partner and family.

I have had a couple of transgender ( male to female) people I know remove me from friends lists and no longer in contact with me.

Amnesia, Just a mature woman with a voice, Amnesia

Categories
Education

I have seen badly drafted laws passed, with negative consequences

I care because I see an undermining of the very concept of truth. Certain truths have become unspeakable because groups of activists have deemed them hateful or distressing. I care because I have seen badly drafted laws passed, with negative consequences. Even worse, I’ve seen interested parties covertly undermining the laws that help to keep women and girls safe. I have two daughters. I do not want them to have fewer legal protections than I have had, and I do not want them to be silenced from speaking the truth.

I have shared my concerns with friends and family, and had very positive discussions with each of them. I have introduced several people to WPUK (Woman’s Place UK) and brought my daughter and a friend to the Women’s lib 2020 conference. I have challenged my daughter’s school about their mixed-sex toilets, supported safe schools alliance, and contributed to many crowdfunders.

There have been no negative consequences so far, possibly as a result of not being on social media. I am concerned as to potential reactions of my colleagues, should this issue be discussed at work.

Diana, Teacher