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Others

You can’t fight what you can’t name

I care because as a 64yr old woman with daughters I have experienced sexism and misogyny, I know that this is based on biological sex. I know our own history as women, I know how our biological sex and it’s functions (esp menstruation) are at the root of our oppression. You can’t fight what you can’t name.

I have come out as GC on Twitter, mumsnet and Facebook, using my own name. I am a frequent tweeter on this issue. I have attended numerous WPUK meetings. I belong to a number of feminist groups – local and national.

I have lost one friend due to speaking out on FB, and it’s a very sore subject with a few more.

Diane Brewster, Computer scientist (Retired), Dianebrewster

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Self employed / entrepreneurs

I’ve seen male people with money using claims about “gender identity” and “transphobia” to weaponize those sentiments

I’ve understood since I was twelve or so that women and girls are treated unfairly, and been involved in efforts to ameliorate some of that in sport. I’ve similarly understood how the poor, racial and sexual minorities are often discriminated against, and worked to ameliorate that. Although cloaked in the language of “equal rights,” I’ve seen male people with money using claims about “gender identity” and “transphobia” to weaponize those sentiments in ways which cause observable harm to others in sport, social social services, etcetera.

I owe a great moral debt to women and GLB people who have stood up for civil rights, and so see my activism as returning a favor AND ALSO just the right thing to do.

I’m active on social media and have brought it up in a variety of groups I am part of.

I’ve been ejected from local political and online groups for defending female-only spaces, and drummed out of two non-profits which were important to me over these issues.

I write my legislators about issues such as male colonization of female sports, and do such things as letters to the editor which note that sexism and homophobia was the key issue in a local killing, not “transphobia.” A man who hoped to get a woman drunk and rape her freaked out when they discovered “she” was really a man, and what that might mean about the attacker.

I’ve been kicked out of SEVERAL groups for my alleged “transphobia,” although I’ve known and worked with scores of trans people of many ages and both sexes over 20+ years. It has cost me many casual friends, and I’m sure it has cost me business as people avoid or gossip and ostracize me. This is nothing compared to the violence women and Blacks receive, or that I saw against gays and lesbians from the 1980’s forward, so I take it in stride. As a self-employed white man I have a lot of privilege, and can afford to take these hits for many years. I have little fear of male violence, and am not easily intimidated.

Rory Bowman, feels a strong moral debt to feminists and earlier GLBT activists, USA

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Healthcare Others

All women need the security of female only spaces and fair representation

This matters to me because all women need the security of female only spaces and fair representation.  Sexism cannot be addressed if we lose the ability to define each of the sexes unambiguously.

I have handed out leaflets in the street and talked to people to ask them to fill in the GRA consultation in 2018.  I have written to my MP and my children’s schools.  I have attended meetings and protests, signed petitions and contributed to crowd funders.  I am part of a sub-group that puts together info for one of our campaign groups to use in their campaigning.

I have made a point of catching up with all my current and former acquaintances who are school governors, on health boards etc and have made them aware of the situation and issues with safeguarding.  I strike up conversations with women I don’t know and give them FairPlay leaflets.  I occasionally post on social media, mostly Mumsnet with a few twitter posts.

I have been attacked on Twitter and it now makes me uneasy to use Twitter.  I have had a few friends distance themselves from me.  I have resigned from my political party and all the local members that I had thought of as friends are no longer in contact with me.

S

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Healthcare Men

As a gay man, I thought I was part of a movement which was dismantling gender stereotypes

This matters to me because I’m a gay man who supports feminism. I see sexism as the fundamental structural inequality. It means that women are unsafe in their homes, workplaces and the street and disadvantaged in every part of their lives. It also means that lesbian, gay and bisexual people and all gender non-conforming people (assertive women and feminine men) are under attack.

As a gay man, I thought I was part of a movement which was dismantling gender stereotypes. Now I feel the LGBT movement is reinforcing sexist stereotypes and dismantling the protections and special provisions that are meant to try to rebalance a sexist society. Self ID and encouragement of children to be trans is the opposite of progress.

I want full legal and social protection for trans people who definitely face discrimination but not at the expense of women’s spaces, sports and sexual equality provisions.

I try to discuss through Facebook but am worried about LGBT activists.

S

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Others

I once was a TRA, and considered myself a trans man/non binary

This matters to me because I can’t unsee the truth, that this is a bigger threat to women, homosexuals and free speech than I had ever imagined possible. I had no idea how quickly and easily all our legal rights could be taken away, and how much hated and indifference society and men feel towards women.

I once was a TRA, and considered myself a trans man/non binary. But deep down I knew the rhetoric I was trying to convince myself was progressive and forward thinking was the most regressive sexism and entirely because of trauma.

I now consider much of the gender movement a cult, promoting an entirely nonsensical agenda which is applicable to pretty much anyone who isn’t a walking stereotype, and conveying transition as a wonderful, liberating journey, rather than a serious medical undertaking with many risks, and irreversible and unknown consequences.

The thing I find the most unbelievable, other than the most insane misogyny I’ve ever seen, is the attack on free speech. The complete complicity of the media, government, NHS, the police and many public figures who are not only parroting rhetoric they themselves cannot explain, but aggressively denounce groups like a Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance as hateful. That anyone could watch the videos or read the website of the former and view it as bigoted hate makes me feel like I’m living under Stasi dictatorship, where something is so obviously wrong, yet everyone is publicly paying tribute to the ideology in the face of all evidence, reason, and plain sanity.

I am active on social media ‘under an alias’ and speak about it with trusted friends and colleagues.

I’ve had aggressive responses online. But in person no, only because I keep it completely secret most of the time.

CJ, GC women’s rights activist, CJ_liberte

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Healthcare Public Sector

It can only serve to make sexism worse by entrenching regressive sex stereotypes

I care because, as a male, I have long been horrified at how pervasive sexism has remained in society, and at how in some respects, we’ve taken steps backwards (e.g. increasingly pink/blue binary for children’s toys and clothes). To the extent that transgender activism deals with “innate gender identity” it can only serve to make sexism worse by entrenching regressive sex stereotypes.

I’ve just recently been inspired by J K Rowling’s essay to post on social media about this under my own name. For a while now I’ve also spoken in person to many friends and family members to make them aware of what gender identity ideology actually involves.

Thankfully I’ve not suffered negative consequences yet. However, I remain worried that it might affect me professionally.

AJ, Civil Servant

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Others

I respect and support trans women but their experience is different to mine

I’m a 52 year old menopausal woman.  I’ve experienced my life as a woman.  I’ve had to look after myself, deal with sexual harassment, painful periods, pregnancy, childbirth, an equal pay claim and a lifetime of navigating everything from overt to subtle sexism.  I respect and support trans women but their experience is different to mine.  They have experienced a different perspective. 

I don’t discount anyone’s experience but I want my experience as an adult human female to be valid and separate.  It cannot be right that trans women can compete against women in sport.   Please can we have diversity of perspective on this topic?

I’ve been moderately active on Twitter.  I’ve supported financially where possible.  I’ve talked to people – debated.  I’ve tried to support women and trans women where I can.

Not experienced consequences so far…. but I’m worried

Jo C, Adult Human Female

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Men

She proudly proclaimed “I am not a stereotype” and dismissed the idea of being trans

It matters to me as my 8 year old niece, in experiencing sexism and gender roles, thought she was trans because she “doesn’t like her gender”. Luckily when I discussed gender stereotypes with her she proudly proclaimed “I am not a stereotype” and dismissed the idea of being trans. I fear for others who don’t have someone to offer them the same advice and dispel the idea of being trans as a means of overcoming sexism. 

I have spoken about it with family and friends in a mild manner and only when the topic is raised.

From my limited speaking and ‘devils advocate’ approach, no consequences. But I know if I expressed myself fully I would be dismissed, especially within the gay community of which I am part.

Would love to but can’t, gay man, Ireland

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Others

I am angry about the drift towards rejecting the term “same-sex attraction”

I care about the conflation of sex and “gender identity” because it risks undermining the legal and political rights of women and lesbians. How can the pay gap be tracked when people who have achieved a top job as a male then identify as a woman, changing their employers statistics overnight and erasing any trace of the real picture? No longer being able to reliably record, collate and analyse statistics of the social, political and economic impact of our biological sex will make it impossible to have an evidence-based discussion about sexism and misogyny.

I am angry about the drift towards rejecting the term “same-sex attraction” and that organisations such as Stonewall are not supporting lesbians, and are actively silencing discussion on this issue.

I am very worried about the numbers of young lesbians that report that they resorted to defining themselves as non-binary, asexual or “queer”, often being coerced into having relationships with males, and taking several years to realise that they were lesbians.

I am very proud of those young women now detransitioning/desisting from a trans identity, but am very upset about their experiences of a conveyor-belt approach to hastily validating and medicalising their trans identity, with no consideration of the other factors that had led them to start on this path, and no exploration/promotion of the possibility that they were lesbians.

Given that such a high proportion of those in prison who identify as “transwomen” are convicted of serious and sexual offences, then either there is a high proportion of transwomen who are perpetrators, or a high proportion of perpetrators who falsely claim to be transwomen – either way, including biological males in women-only spaces clearly adds a new and statistically very significant risk, and the silencing around discussing this is nothing new in the context of sexual and physical abuse.

I have initiated many discussions in real-life with people and have shared articles on social media. I have taken part in discussions on social media and tried to focus my thoughts on those who are new to this discussion and need to see something other than name-calling and antagonism.

I have had a huge amount of my time taken up by having to keep responding to antagonistic and accusatory comments, rather than leave them stand – it is difficult to get the balance between not allowing people to maliciously take up my time, and ensuring that they do not get to dictate the tone and context of the discussion. I have been very fearful of reprisals and targetting of organisations that I’m publicly associated with, so have always had to double-check everything I write/say.

Jill H, Lesbian feminist

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Others

Its stealing our ability to describe sexism

I think this is the biggest women’s issue of our age. Its stealing our ability to describe sexism.

I’ve talked to people in my personal life. Explained the issue and my objections

I’ve been repeatedly blocked and unfollowed online. I’m sure it would be much worse if I wasn’t anon.

M, Mother of a daughter, domestic violence survivor