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Education Healthcare

I am worried about the influence that social media, influencers and so on have on children

I work in Education, I am worried about the influence that social media, influencers and so on have on children. I object to the conversion therapy that is affecting young lesbians and gay boys. As I have a child of my own I worry that he will be taught the idea that children who do not conform to gender stereotypes are not what they were born as. I am worried about the legal ramifications if there is no legal word for a woman.

I have campaigned with Fair Play for Women and a Woman’s Place, attended meetings, spoken to friends and family and posted articles and opinion on social media. I have also written to my son’s school to challenge them on terminology and in accurate interpretations of the equality act 2010.

I have been unfriended by people on Facebook for my views and had heated arguments in person.

Donna S

Categories
Public Sector

I was a Prison Officer so I had a valid contribution to make

I don’t understand the UK today, why has ‘diversity’ mandatory training in all jobs suddenly become something done by Stonewall – who as far as I can tell from Twitter, have invented a new range of people, instead of just male and female. I

am, at age 52, glad not to be working and having to be ‘educated’ to believe a male with intact genitalia is a woman, the same as me.

I am house bound, no friends and family, so other than trying to put across the dangers of putting men in a women’s prison as Labour MPs like Ms. Butler are recommending, (even when the man has intact genitals but claims to be female), by my use of Twitter, there is nothing I can do.

Just the one Twitter mention of that issue being wrong and dangerous, and I was swamped with hateful tweets and had to lock my Twitter and change the name I used. Yet I was a Prison Officer, so I had a valid contribution to make.

I also emailed the Body Shop about their patronising Tweet to JK Rowling, and have just got a long email back, none of which makes any sense but informs me that ‘males menustrate’ and that ‘ some women don’t have periods’. I don’t understand the world around me now at all and scared of interacting with people if this is what they believe.

I was swamped with hateful ‘Terf’ tweets that left me absolutely shattered – my usual arthritic  joint and muscle pains increased, I couldn’t sleep and my depression and anxiety are now severe.

I had to keep my Twitter locked and will never comment again, despite supporting Maya F and JK Rowling completely. As mentioned, the long Body Shop reply email I got back after supporting Ms. Rowling, seemed to be written by somebody who was insane. Why would companies even be involved  in trans issues when they sell cosmetics and body butters? Why has my whole being as a female, woman, wife etc been erased as though I don’t exist, and the rights of a man who says he is a woman, are suddenly more valuable? Why are Body Shop campaigning to say men have periods at all?

Mrs D J, Woman, wife, and not invisible

Categories
Lesbians

I have tried to bring it up but they won’t listen – even the ones who should know better

I am a lesbian and a radical feminist. And a biological woman. Obviously!  

(I’ve come back from the last page on the form to note that there isn’t a box under Politics to tick “radical feminist”!)

I have mainly talked about it, written about it and shared ideas and written work with other women who agree with me. I am aware that many people in my friendship groups (especially the ones local to my area) are very liberal (or think of themselves as such) and pro-what-they-think-of-as-“trans-rights”. With some of them, I have tried to bring it up but they won’t listen – even the ones who should know better.

Not experienced negative consequences yet, but I have been a bit of a coward to be honest.

Sam A, armchair activist

Categories
Healthcare Public Sector

As an HR professional I feel for colleagues trying to navigate through this

I guess I would have called myself a liberal feminist, a live and let live type.  I thought trans people had GD and medically/ surgically transitioned.  I once worked with a very nice transwoman  who presented as a woman, was called she, but used the men’s changing room and toilets.  When JK Rowling tweeted in support of Maya Forstater, I wanted to know why someone has lost their job over what seemed a non-contentious issue.

The ideology revealed was frightening.  The aggression of TRAs (trans rights activists), and their determination to open every area of female lives to male people, was worrying.  There are deliberate attempts to erode safeguarding and stifle any discussion of how conflict over rights and safety can be addressed.  

The disproportionate influence of lobbying groups like Stonewall on public sector organisations and politics is unacceptable.  Looking further, the concept of the cotton ceiling was abhorrent. 

Although I am not lesbian, I believe that LGB people have an absolute right to their sexual preferences without being labelled transphobic.

I am concerned about the teaching of gender theory to children.  I don’t really understand the science, but see no consensus that would justify teaching that sex is a spectrum.   How the huge growth in the number of “trans” children being referred for treatment is not ringing alarm bells is beyond me.  I am fortunate, I had to retire from work for health reasons, but as an HR professional, I fear that if I was still working, I would not be able to express my concerns freely in this repressive climate.

I am not a great social media user, but I have supported GC voices, mostly with likes and retweets and some not very articulate comments.  I have completed the Scottish Govt GRA consultation survey, have donated to a couple of crowdfunding requests, and have written to my MP.

I am fortunate, Having taken Ill-health retirement, I am immune from threats to my livelihood.  As an HR professional, I feel for colleagues trying to navigate through this, and am sure that if I was still working, I would not feel free to express my concerns, particularly if working in the public sector.  This is a repressive, toxic culture.  I’m sure many people are being prevented from expressing valid, non-hateful opinions and that should concern everyone.

Alison G, Into my 6th decade, married, no kids, TERF, apparently

Categories
Healthcare survivor

It’s rape culture writ large

I care because I’ve experienced decades of male harassment and abuse so I understand fully the need for safe spaces for women and girls. I am also deeply concerned about children’s natural explorations of their world and themselves being medicalised to the extent of preventing puberty, having dangerous surgeries, and potentially shortening their lives.

Telling anyone, especially a child, that their body is wrong is incredibly cruel.

I care because women and girls have our lives so restricted and policed as it is without what few rights we do have being erased or curtailed.

I care because women of certain religious beliefs are finding their ability to participate in public life restricted by their right to privacy being eroded.

I care because women and girls who’ve been abused (and those who haven’t) are being bullied into sharing spaces with men no matter how vulnerable and/or terrified they might be by this. I care because women are being hounded, gaslit and silenced, deprived of their careers and incomes, bullied in real life as well as online.

I care because men’s rights activists and fetishists are running the trans rights campaigns and damaging not only women and girls but trans men and women too.

I care because young women are asking whether they should date a trans woman even though they don’t want to because if they don’t they’ll be bullied and harassed. And I care because gay people’s, especially lesbian women’s, rights to set boundaries in their sex lives are being eroded. It’s rape culture writ large.

I have responded to posts and shared information on social media. I have built a database of relevant articles to share to back up the women’s rights case and I follow gender critical accounts and people. I have challenged companies like M&S and organisations like HeForShe with regard to their TWAW rhetoric and associated abandoning of women’s rights. I have helped fund various campaigns to challenge the dismantling of women’s and girls’ rights. And I participated in the government’s GRA survey to stand up for women’s rights being retained while promoting additional safe spaces for trans people who need them.

I have been gaslit, bullied and blocked. I’ve also been stalked by TRAs and put on TERF lists. In real life I’m unable to work so have suffered no consequences there, while the very few people I have discussed the issues with have been understanding.

Maat, Human and animal rights activist

Categories
Education

Very mentally unwell girls were identifying as boys and as their Biology teacher I was told I had to go along with this

I am a graduate biologist, and a science teacher in secondary schools. because I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with schools, and science being a shortage subject, I have always been able to take other jobs which I was interested in. this included working at Chiswick Women’s Aid, after which I had my first child as a single mother and became very involved in the second wave. having taken an MSc in Health Education I met one of the founders of Terrence Higgins Trust and worked as an AIDS/HIV educator for the NHS where of course I learned a lot about sexuality.

I went back into schools where I taught Biology for GCSE and A level, and spent some while teaching various subjects in FE colleges. I volunteered at a charity for street sex workers.

I eventually ended up teaching Science in an adolescent psychiatric unit. which was where the issue finally reached me as very mentally unwell girls were identifying as boys, and as their Biology teacher I was told I had to go along with this.

Luckily I was planning to retire soon anyway but that was really the catalyst, and then the JamJar happened although I wasn’t there I was firmly hooked into this cause.

I have emailed various people, met my MP (no joy there) read a huge amount, contributed to many discussions on social media particularly in my area of expertise which of course is the objective Biological reality of sex. I wrote a submission for the Oxford case (guidance now withdrawn). I have attended many events, and contributed to all the crowdfunders for legal cases. I also attend Raquel Rosario-Sanchez ‘s feminist meetings in Bristo (or did, before lockdown). I am a member of a small group affiliated to Safe Schools Alliance who are trying to get the Bristol secondary schools to look at the materials they use for PSHE, looking at their equities policies etc, and contacting two of the most worrying schools directly to ask to meet.

Stymied by Covid at the moment. luckily I have not been in danger of losing my job as I am retired. I have been shouted at in my NEU Samba Band that I have to agree TWAW, several people I know have been distinctly cooler in their reactions to me, local Labour people have accused me of being a bigot, and “knowing nothing about Biology”……

Some of my closer friends have asked me to not go on so much as I am passionate about getting the information and implications out to the public.

Alison W, Biologist, Health Educator, Teacher, Mother Grandmother

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Others

Vulnerable people are being sold a lie at great cost

I care because vulnerable people are being sold a lie at great cost and because of the appalling effects of this on the world’s only oppressed majority – women.

I run OBJECT.  We have been out on this issue since 2016. I was in the London Pride action in 2018 and was interviewed for Pink News. This was beamed round the world and resulted in a transactivist Twitter pile-on to Humanists UK with whom I worked as a self-employed Funeral Celebrant. HUK raised an entirely hypothetical complaint against me based on this..  I vigorously defended myself in a 20-page document which peak-transed the 3 women deputed to process the complaint. I chose to stop working with HUK as they did not apologise.

I have been vilified by Humanists UK and was dragged through a trumped-up complaint based solely on a transactivist Twitter pile-on.

Jan Williams,, Chair, OBJECT, http://www.objectnow.org

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Others

I’ve sacrificed my career, my reputation and at times my sanity

I’m a lifelong feminist and trade unionist so I care deeply about the sex based rights of women and girls and our freedom to politically organise and discuss issues that impact us and our access to single sex services.

I’ve sacrificed my career, my reputation and at times my sanity. I have written blogs and vocally spoken out on social media. I have attended meetings and protests, raised in my trade union branch and discussed it with friends, family and workmates. I have completed the government’s consultation. I have sacrificed my own job by refusing to recant my views to my employer after I was reported by trans rights activists (one of them a former friend).

I lost friends and was ostracised out of two trade unions (Unison and the International Workers of the World union). The bullying I received contributed to a mental breakdown and I went off work on long term sick. I was then reported for ‘transphobia’ whilst sectioned in a mental health hospital because the stress of this issue and my employment problems triggered a manic episode.

My employer then told me they would start a formal investigation if I ever returned to work.

Paralysed with anxiety and attempting to recover from severe mental illness, my employer told me it was preparing to finish me on ‘incapability’ and pushed me to apply for early retirement at the age of 39.

My views on transgenderism were cited as evidence of bi polar disorder by my psychiatrist.

Distraught, I resigned instead and now subsist on benefits.  I have had no thanks or recognition from the feminist community for my sacrifices and I believe that prejudice against those of us who suffer from severe mental ill health is the decisive factor here. The lack of support is a major factor in my ongoing depression.I’m afraid I will never get a job again.

Sara , A socialist feminist and trade unionist

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Others

I am worried about the loss of single sex spaces

I am worried about the loss of single sex spaces, fearful of the future for girls who not be able to have boundaries and angry about men stealing sporting chances from women athletes.

I have done very little as I don’t feel I can express myself well enough to raise my voice. I have used social media and supported crowd funding.

I have experienced some abuse on social media and being blocked by some high profile accounts.

Linda, 65 year old, white, working class

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Others

I fought for rape crisis lines refuges and women only services as a 2nd wave feminist

I fought for rape crisis lines refuges and women only services as a 2nd wave feminist. Women having space away from males is vital for their freedom & empowerment. The trans people demanding that men be treated as women just because they say so are putting all of my and other women’s work in jeopardy. Male bodied individuals can be dangerous to women whether they self I D as women or non-binary or not – offending rates of violence and sexual abuse have been shown to remain the same.

I have attended meetings and been very active on social media

I used to work for Galop an organisation calling itself  “LGBT” against hate crime. The services for trans took over and staff started to use hatespeech like “terfs” no one took my problem with this seriously. We were lectured on using “correct” pronouns. Finally I left after a man dressed as a woman followed me into the ladies when we almost alone in the building and was plainly masturbating in the stall next to mine.

I felt I couldn’t report this as he was treated as a woman by everyone else so I left without telling anyone why.

Jay, 2nd wave feminist LGB ally adult female woman