Categories
Healthcare

Difference is what makes us human and should be celebrated

This is crucially important as the only thing that makes us male or female is our bodies and there is no such think as being born in the wrong body.  Difference is what makes us human and should be celebrated, not forced in to limiting social constructs that oppress us all and reinforce stereotypes. 

Bodies matter in other ways too and male bodies are much stronger, faster and more powerful so should not be allowed to enter women’s sports.  Only men rape, so they should not be allowed access to our sex-segregated spaces.  Safety, privacy and dignity are desperately important. 

I am also very concerned about the meaning of language and that words that are very specific can be changed as casually as the definition of the word Woman, now changed in law by the Scottish Government.

I have attended rallies (threatened by trans activists beforehand, who also told the organisers that we were intending to rush the stage and be violent – a complete fabrication).

I help to organise local meetings that are very peaceful but have been subjected to really vicious and threatening abuse by trans activists and even local politicians standing outside of the venues.

I work as hard as I can to raise awareness of the issues involved, handing out leaflets and standing up whenever I am able, to share details and correct misinformation.

I am in a number of groups that share links and other information, acting within a political party to support and protect women’s rights and fight against the erasure of the meaning of being a woman / female.

I have written to my MP and been ignored.

On a training course the transgender trainer was extremely unpleasant when I said that women and transwomen have different health care needs.  They made a complaint to my manager.

I was subjected to very intimidating abuse and threats at meeting venues, monitored by trans activists within my political party and my views closed down immediately when attempting to defend women’s rights.

On Twitter & Facebook I have been told to die in a fire and that I should be raped to death, subjected to outrageously offensive comments and aggression, and reporting these comments to the Twitter and Fb resulted in no action being taken by the perpetrators.

I have had my face filmed very closely by some abusive trans activists (some masked) who were attempting to intimidate me from attending a meeting.

J

Categories
Education Healthcare

This goes against all the safeguarding I have ever been taught

I care because I am a teacher, parent and Girlguiding leader and this goes against all the safe guarding I have ever been taught. This matters to me because the safeguarding and single sex spaces exist for a reason and they are trying to be removed with no proper debate. From single sex toilet, changing and sleeping provision to irreversible medical intervention to women and girls being pushed out of sport, I care and I object to women and children and lesbians and gay people being overridden like this.

I have written to my MP and MSPs. I have taken part in the Gender Recognition Act consultations in Scotland and the wider UK and shared them with friends. I have discussed this with friends. I came to it from the idea that it was like gay rights and we should all just be nice but then I read and learnt more and was horrified. Some people I really respect still post things like “Trans Women are Women” and I can only assume they haven’t yet educated themselves properly about it because I know they are not homophobic nor anti women and children’s rights. But it is very hard to persuade them.

Some I have persuaded, others we’ve agreed to disagree for now and some have stopped being friends on social media (those I knew least). As they have been told I am a bigot for thinking like this, it makes opening the conversation harder than it ought to be. There are also many people I have not dared discuss it with (I am a teacher and Girlguiding leader) as if I openly disagree with Girlguiding, I will be removed as a leader. I admire the courage of those who have stood up to them.

As a teacher I try to keep the pupils’ minds open if it comes up (it rarely does with my subject).

Saying “I think all gender stereotypes are bad” caused some discussion though and I thought that was a safe statement. I do not think young people should do anything irreversible and hormones and “puberty blockers” are just that.

We need far more support with mental health and the wider difficulties of being a teenager in general. It’s a hard age to be.

Only a couple have stopped following me on social media. As I have a protected account I have been limited use and had limited harm.

If I were to speak out within Girlguiding, I would have to stop volunteering.

I admire those who have spoken out but haven’t done it myself as I’m scared for the consequences.

EB, Teacher, parent, Girlguiding leader

Categories
Education Healthcare

I feel so completely and utterly betrayed by publicly funded and third sector organisations

I was sexually assaulted by a boy at my school while I was asleep. In late 2017 I read the LGBT Youth Scotland guidance, which recommends that boys who identify as transgender be allowed to share sleeping accommodation with girls on residential trips, and anyone complaining should be reminded of “equality, inclusion and respect”. 

After my experiences I would have found it incredibly distressing to have to share a bedroom with someone I perceived to be a boy.

I really could not believe that this guidance had been endorsed by so many children’s organisations and not one of them had considered or even noticed the potential impact of this on girls.

I wrote a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) of the LGBT Youth Scotland transgender schools guidance. I used a very comprehensive template developed by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland. In the accompanying guidance to the template, CYPCS mentioned that they offered support and assistance to those writing CRIA’s using their template, so I took them up on this. I was working with Women and Girls in Scotland and when we published the CRIA we got some press attention, and CYPCS wrote to the Scottish Government regarding the guidance.  The Scottish Government are now working on a replacement, in part I think due to the CRIA and the intervention of CYPCS. I’m now working with For Women Scotland, focusing on children and education.

This has been very personal and sometimes traumatic for me.

I feel so completely and utterly betrayed that no publicly funded or third sector organisation in Scotland has ever spoken in defence of the interests of girls in relation to the issue of transgender inclusion in schools (or anywhere else), including those organisations who are funded to represent women and girls and the issues that affect them.

This is despite the Scottish Government now acknowledging that these ‘inclusive’ policies do indeed risk excluding girls. My family have been incredibly supportive, as have some of my friends, but I think the biggest toll has been on my mental health.

When I heard Shirley-Anne Somerville’s speech where she announced the replacement of the guidance I cried for a long time.

Categories
Education

I was teased at work for days for objecting being referred to as cis

I care because I do not want women’s hard won rights to be given away because of the current trendy identity politics and to accommodate perverted men.  

I have joined a women’s group, written letters to MSPs and MP, met MSPs and MP, talked to people at work, got training video changed at work from gender to sex in “protected characteristics” , talked to HR manager about using the term gender instead of sex, talked to friends and family, filled in GRA consultation, posted on twitter, distributed leaflets and talked to shoppers, written to M and S written to Weatherspoon’s, written to local councils, written to schools, refused to attend a further Stonewall training at work

I have been laughed at at work for objecting to being referred to as cis and then teased for days after.

The HR manager was also highly amused during our conversation about why sex and not gender should be on a feedback form about diversity training,  Mind you – he’s a bit scared of me now!!   So – win! 

I am ostracised by some team members who believe “Trans Women are Women”. Needless to say they are woke beardy dude bros.  I have had to work with trans boys and refer to them as he and vice versa. I  tried  to speak to team members /teaching staff about how I felt about this but was shut down. I couldn’t push as fear about losing job. Not the child’s fault of course but it really got to me psychologically -especially  the young trans boys who were on testosterone and wearing binders and EACH and EVERY one of them was on the spectrum. I could not say or do anything except affirm. I am supposed to be a support worker – its so incongruous. to have to work like that. I have fallen out with my bestie over the trans issue which was horrible but now she agrees with me on most of it.  

Mabel Frances, Reawakened radical feminist

Categories
Education Healthcare Parent

I was forced to speak a lie

I care because I teach and am a mother. My children had a trans pupil at school (where I worked) and without consultation the other children had their right to privacy taken away in toilets.

I was forced to speak a lie, every day, in using an incorrect pronoun, all while trying to teach pupils right from wrong. The pupil was deeply troubled but no counselling was offered, simply the ‘magic bullet’ of a new name and pronouns.

I spoke up at the time. I have met 2 MSPs, one now a cabinet minister who does not support the Scottish Government’s line , the other pretty much accused me of transphobia. I have written to my SNP MP who was rude and arrogant.

I have supported the work online of several women’s groups but I have mostly hidden who I am, afraid of losing my job for speaking truth to power.

My name was leaked from a private Facebook group so I have become ultra careful online.

Have you had any consequences? Accusations of transphobia by an MSP. Being outed as party if a feminist group. Being afraid to attend public meetings for fear for my job.

Mandy , Teacher in Scotland

Categories
Healthcare Parent

Schools need to work with parents, not push them out of the picture

This is very personal for me. My 14 year old daughter (likely ASD, complex mental health history) told her Year Head that she wanted to transition to a boy. The Year Head embraces this with enthusiasm and formally transitioned her across the school behind our backs. When we found out and told him we wanted to do watchful waiting (non affirmative, giving her a neutral space to grow and develop) he told us we had no say as parents. I had no idea affirmation was pushed by lobby groups to school as the only acceptable approach.

It’s a highly complex, sensitive issue and schools need to work with parents, not push them out of the picture.

I have written to multiple MPs and MSPs as well as the Children’s Commissioner Scotland. I am active on social media and in a parent support group pushing for evidence based medicine around gender dysphoria in children and adolescents. I have attended and spoken from the floor at various meetings – e.g. seminar at the Scottish Parliament on GD in children/adolescents.

I do the vast majority anonymously to protect my daughter’s privacy. I get backlash on social media- just the usual calling me an abusive parent (and one told me my experience was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society” – wonder where they got that from Maya, eh?). IRL has been fine as have only told a small supportive group of friends. School has been a battle with some teachers supportive, others not.


Betty

Categories
Parent

Reality matters

Reality matters. If we can’t name reality then we can’t address any unfairness, injustice or exploitation.

I got pregnant from a rape (one of many) when I was a young and vulnerable adult, and how I have been targeted on the basis of and generally affected by, my female biology since I was a young child, has had huge and devastating consequences for my entire life. Sex matters. Recognising sex matters. I can’t live in a world where I am forced to pretend reality doesn’t exist and that males who are uncomfortable or deeply distressed with masculinity or who fetishise the idea of themselves as feminine/a woman are the most vulnerable/the most superior type of woman. I can guarantee none of them are raising their rapist’s baby as a single parent living in poverty. Poverty which has resulted from repeated sexual, physical and emotional victimisation by men since the age of 11.

I do not do as much as I would like as I already live in fear of being re-victimised by violent men.

I have seen the violent rhetoric, the threats, the bullying, the harassment of women who have spoken out. I only speak about my views amongst those I know and trust now.

I lost acquaintances and once I realised the things that were happening to others I became very circumspect about what I say and to whom.

Ms S, Frightened woman,

Categories
Parent

We are no longer entitled to privacy, dignity or safety

I care because the sex based protections afforded to me and my daughter by law are being destroyed and that we are no longer entitled to privacy, dignity or safety.

It’s also a sexist stereotype to ” live as a woman”. I don’t wear makeup or dress in especially feminine clothing. Does that mean I am less of a woman even though I bore children?

I have written to my local theatre about them changing some of their female toilets to accept men without consulting their customers. They replied that it was down to their diversity committee and they would not reconsider.

I live in Scotland and got in touch with an educational provider of resources for schools in Scotland regarding relationships etc to enquire about a video they linked to on their website. It was very one-sided about a boy becoming transgender but disregarded how this impacted on girls. They replied that they decided to remove the video; not because of my reasoning but because they realised that the material contained sexist stereotypes that they were uncomfortable with.

I wrote to a castle in Aberdeenshire about their mixed sex toilets. On entering I assumed that they were self-contained and I think the large bearded tourist in front of me was as uncomfortable as I was. I wrote to the castle’s representative and asked why they had chosen to do this. The reply was that the men’s used to be separate but the building became unsafe and they had limited space and planning permission. When I wrote back to explain why mixed sex toilets we’re bad for women and girls ( I cited voyeurism and privacy) they ignored me.

I have written to some MPs and MSPS with mixed results and some patronising comments.

I have delivered some leaflets for For Women Scotland. I do not know if there was anything positive from this but I felt better at doing something albeit anonymously.

If I do anything, it’s usually as a private communication with a company or politician.

I don’t feel confident or comfortable doing it in a more public forum. I did it once on Facebook and received some negative feedback in the form of cartoons. I gleaned from one cartoon from someone who I regarded as a close childhood friend that I was “an asshole”.

Tombs of Atuan, Mother of school age children