Categories
Self employed / entrepreneurs

After 30 years in the trade union movement, for the first time I can honestly say I felt fearful for my safety

I have a daughter and a granddaughter. I want them to be able to live their lives free from oppressive and restrictive stereotypes that limit what they can do, achieve, how they chose to live. Trans rights is representative of the very worst misogyny I have ever experienced. As a senior trade union officer, after 30 years in the trade union movement, for the first time I can honestly say I felt fearful for my safety and well being because of trans activists.

I have written articles in the Morning Star. I have tried to limit the damage done by the TUC and trade unions adopting wholesale Stonewall policy. I have tried as far as possible to work behind the scenes with other like minded women in unions. I have had numerous conversations with friends and family to raise awareness. I have never felt so silenced in my life and I am a woman who has led strikes and worked at a senior level in trade unions. I do what I can on social media.

I felt I had to leave my job as I could not promote my union’s policies on the GRA and trans rights that I personally opposed. I have lost good friends and comrades.  I expect to lose more before this is over. It is hard to be seen as a bigot by people when you have spent decades working for equality and social justice. 

Trish, Former Trade Union Officer

Categories
Healthcare Parent

I don’t want their childhood brought to an early end with distorted teachings on RSE/PSHE

I care because I’m worried about the elimination of sex based protections for women. I have two children, a 7 year old boy and 8 year old girl, and I don’t want their childhood brought to an early end with distorted teachings on RSE/PSHE, and I don’t want them growing up with gender stereotypes. Let kids be kids, and be happy in their bodies.

I mainly act on twitter: I have liked and retweeted GC tweets, and (since JK Rowling’s essay) I have been posting comments. I have discussed what I read with family, spreading the knowledge of what’s happening to people who otherwise wouldn’t know. I have posted in Facebook a couple of times to correct someone’s misinterpretation of JK Rowling’s essay. I have emailed my MP to signal my support for Liz Truss’ proposed roll back of the GRA, and I plan to write to my local council, school and MP about the RSE tuition material that was due to come in in Sept 2020.

I have not had any negative consequences to date. I post in my own name (on FB and Twitter), and am self-employed, but I have a number of local authority and charity clients. I worry that if I raise my voice too loud, there could be a pile on to my clients which might make them change auditor. I cannot afford to lose fees, but recognise I cannot afford for my daughter or I to lose our sex based rights.

Rosie D-M, Small business owner, accountant, married mother of two, Woman

Categories
Healthcare Self employed / entrepreneurs

I am extremely concerned that trans ideology has very serious issues around child protection

I care because I am a woman and the erasure of women’s rights affects all natal females in terms of our personal care, privacy, safety, sports and careers. I am a parent of a young child and want my son and his peers to grow up free of oppressive gender stereotypes. I also worked with vulnerable children and adults with learning difficulties, including autism, and with the elderly in a hospital setting for many years. As such I am extremely concerned that trans ideology has very serious issues around child protection and child and young adult mental health.

I have contributed to quite a few crowdfunders for women’s rights, sex discrimination and for freedom of speech. I have written to my MP and completed the Scottish GRA consultation questionnaire. I wrote to M&S about their changing room policy. I have signed many petitions and asked my name to be added to letters in support of feminists I follow on Twitter. I retweet a lot but am not confident to share my own voice. I have talked about it with friends, family and some clients at work.

My family and friends (mainly female) don’t like me mentioning it as they don’t understand my concerns and think that I’m overreacting so I tend to avoid it these days. I have to choose who I speak to about the topic quite carefully. This I think is mainly due to their belief that transwomen have all had GRS, that the suicide stats are true and that the ‘born in the wrong body’ ideology is also true. Unfortunately as such they don’t think that the issue will really affect them despite me trying to give them information to the contrary.

Nina C, Self employed/own business

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

Categories
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 Others

I have a niece who insists everyone refer to them as “they” and they want to get a double mastectomy- they are 17

I care about this issue because gender ideology seems so obviously harmful, with more children and young adults wishing to become permanently medicalized and feeling they have to change their name simply because they don’t want to confirm to rigid sexist stereotypes.

I have a niece who insists everyone refer to them as “they” and they want to get a double mastectomy – they are 17. Other than that, they remind me so much of virtually all of my friends when I was 17. Edgy, into the latest cool look, playing around with image, being provocative in all sorts of ways. The most we did was tattoos, piercings and food-colouring hair.

Double mastectomy?? New name?? Abusing people for using normal pronouns? It’s like a generation has no new ways left to be shocking and this is it.

Ultimately, I care about protecting women’s spaces from this absurdity.

I’ve donated a lot to crowdfunders who aim to protect women’s spaces. Donated to to eg yours Maya, Posie Parker’s, Jennifer James… Many more, but I mentioned JJ because I remember the Labour keep All Women Shortlists female Only campaign was a turning point for me.

Women are excluded from politics, not because they stick some lippy on, but because they are of the sex who fall pregnant, and everything that comes with that.

Unfortunately the JJ campaign seems to be completely stuck in the mud, but that’s where trying to come up against the Labour Party will get you I suppose.

I have replied to more petitions than I can list here.

I have tentatively raised concerns (WRT women’s spaces) with friends and have, to my relief, found many agree with me. My brother is too woke at the moment, but my Dad has been diamond.

Well, my brother said I was “like a racist” because I thought Transwomen shouldn’t be in women’s sports or prisons, and appears to have typecasted me as a bigot, despite myself being very lefty and liberal, so our relationship has soured a bit.

I got “ghosted” by a Canadian friend who works at the BBC, after I stated I wasn’t 101% supportive of R McKinnon (winning women’s world records). I actually thought they might be different.

I haven’t raised the issue with my child’s school or at work at all. I know how risky it can be.

Ophelia Forte, Mum, feminist, gender free

Categories
Others

We can’t discuss the ways in which women are oppressed based on our biology

I care because I see women and their biological reality being erased. We can’t discuss the ways in which women are oppressed based on our biology if we can’t talk about it. Trans ideology reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and I feel strongly that these stereotypes should be abolished not upheld. I am concerned about the rise of trans ideology affecting young women.

I have a gender critical Instagram account to raise awareness.

I have been harassed and threatened on social media.

Helen , Irish woman living in the U.K., athenasowl

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 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