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Blog: Why I resigned from Humanists UK

First I would like to draw attention to this Conatus News editorial and to ask people to put their name to it by emailing the site directly: conatusnewsmedia@gmail.com and to sign the petition linked to from the article.

Thought Crime in the UK: In Solidarity with Angelos Sofocleous and Others

What happened to Angelos is but another scary sign of our times and it really isn’t an exaggeration to call it an Orwellian nightmare.

I have always considered myself a humanist ever since I first had the word explained to me by my father when I was in my teens, though it was only after his death that I discovered the British Humanist Association and joined the organisation. That was some 25 years ago. A decade later, I became the BHA’s first full-time officer dedicated to developing their ceremonies network. Later still, after retiring from full-time work, I joined that network myself and began conducting humanist funerals.

Eleven years ago, my husband, Alan Henness, and I created Think Humanism. Re-reading what I wrote back then about Humanism, I don’t think I got anything wrong in my explanation of what humanism is supposed to be and how humanists are supposed to act. If I were to re-write that piece today, I  would probably highlight two particular things that I see many humanists (and, indeed, many sceptics who may or may not identify as humanists) failing at.

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Blog: A week in the life of…

Prologue

It was a sunny September day, in the last week of the school holidays. I was aged 7 and I walked with two friends the short distance to the local park to play. There I saw a large unaccompanied dog. I loved all animals and had always longed for a pet of any sort but had never been allowed to have one. I approached the dog and patted his head. I still remember the murderous look in his eyes the second before he lunged at me and tried to have my face for lunch, scarring me for life.

As I walked home, the blood pouring from my wounds, I tried hard not to cry in front of my horrified friends. I had recently joined the Brownies and I recall desperately trying to give “the Brownie smile” which, together with sock-darning and cupcake-making, was a big part of the Brownie organisation’s contribution to the socialisation of girls of my generation.

At the hospital, the medical staff who cared for me and stitched my face back together, marvelled at how brave I was as I lay there quietly, clenching my teeth determined not to utter a sound or allow the tears to flow.

The following week, my mother – who was arguably more traumatised than I was about what had happened and who, for cultural reasons, attributed the incident to what she called the “Evil Eye” – got me my first kitten to make herself feel better.

And that is the story of how I became a life-long cat lady.

It’s also a story intended to illustrate how I’ve always tended to deal with shock, pain and other negative emotions in front of everyone bar those I am closest to. Putting on a brave face, being facetious – anything to hide how I’m actually feeling.

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Jake Alley

My week didn’t improve any after the trip to Brighton and subsequent conflict on Twitter described in my last blog. In my spare time I decided to have a break from Twitter and browse Mumsnet which, in spite of the efforts of trans activists, retains a very large number of brilliant, obstinately feminist and often witty posters, who won’t be defeated by the introduction of policies that pander to transgender ideology.

Unfortunately, it was there I discovered this screenshot of a tweet from Jacob Lawrence Alley aka @SecretGamerGrrl.  Alley comes across as a very sad and disturbed individual. This site uncharitably suggests that “Alley claims to be transgendered (sic) solely for the purpose of insulating himself from criticism”, which is appalling but, alas, quite plausible.

I certainly don’t believe that he is transgender by any definition of the word and I suspect that he enjoys the online friendship and support that his supposed transgender status brings him from cult followers. I don’t care to speculate what he is into and I’m certainly not saying that for a 37-year-old man to use the picture of a little girl as his avatar is in the slightest bit creepy .

Doing a search of my name in Alley’s tweets, I came to the unpleasant realisation that this manifestly sick man is obsessed with me and not in a nice way. I lost count of the number of tweets he has made telling bare-faced lies about me. Continue reading

Blog: Brighton Bullies

A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Brighton for a meeting organised by A Woman’s Place UK (WPUK). Not the “transphobic hate group supported by the far right” WPUK, because that group doesn’t exist outside the febrile imaginations of blustering trans activists. I’m talking about the campaign that was launched back in September 2017, prompted by the assault on me at Speakers’ Corner, “to ensure that women would be able to meet and discuss issues of genuine concern and legitimate relevance to them”. This is a notion so offensive to the virtue-signalling, anti-feminist identifarians of the trans cult that they have since targeted almost every meeting that has been held for that purpose, whether organised by WPUK or by the indomitable Venice Allen. I keep a full list of those meetings with details of disruption attempts here.

There was no respite from their despotic activities at Brighton. The local Friends Meeting House was booked as the original venue and to the absolute shame of their governing committee, they cancelled at short notice. With astounding arrogance they declared that they didn’t think a meeting of this kind “will enhance the wider debate or mutual understanding blah blah blah more likely to aggravate the situation.” Yes, Quakers of Brighton, allowing women a voice is aggravating to misogynists. If you think the solution is to give in to the bullies trying to silence us, think again. The response of WPUK to the Quakers’ statement can be seen here.

The venue of the relocated meeting was kept secret until about two hours before it was due to start. Nevertheless, by the time I arrived – on my own and over an hour early – at the excellent Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront, there was already a large crowd of trans activist protesters there, chanting and haranguing anyone entering the hotel.

I walked through them. As I did so, a young woman thrust a leaflet at me and started preaching. I took the leaflet from her, quietly told her to fuck off, then entered the building.

I was shaking.

It’s not pleasant to have to run the gauntlet of the kind of people who hate feminists so much that they will devote such a huge effort into trying to stop us meeting, trying to drown out our voices, abusing us, gaslighting us, applauding and defending violence against us. I had no reason to assume that this lot were any different from the ones I had encountered at Speakers’ Corner and Tottenham Court Road.

They stood outside both the front and back entrances to the hotel, chanting their harebrained slogans, oblivious to the discomfort and disturbance they were causing to hotel guests, diners and staff alike, concerned only that their feelings shouldn’t be hurt, that their “values” – for want of a better word – shouldn’t be offended.

But it was fantastic to get safely inside and be welcomed by so many friendly faces. I still can’t get used to people I’ve never met before knowing who I am, laughing and waving away my proffered ID. As more and more people arrived, I realised many felt as angry as I did at the attempts to intimidate us and as relieved to get through it. Here’s footage I took from the hotel foyer.

On the bright side all this emotion had a very positive effect on the meeting once it officially started. I don’t recall hearing any of the mob outside while we were in the meeting room and the atmosphere was amazing, which I attribute as much to the shared feeling of being under siege as to the four excellent speakers, Helen Saxby, Kathleen Stock, Gill Smith and Ruth Serwotka.

It’s a shame that things turned nasty during the Q&A session, thanks to a handful of trans allies, none of whom engaged with anything that had been said by any of the speakers. I don’t condone heckling people who have the courage to stand up and say something they know will be unpopular but on this occasion I felt these individuals had brought the hostility on themselves. To any trans activists and allies with a mind to attend any future meetings and who would prefer to be afforded courtesy and respect, allow me to offer some suggestions:

1. Try some respect yourself! Don’t bring your mates to stand outside shouting at people and expect those same people to be nice to you when you stand up and rant in the meeting.

2. If you want to be taken half-seriously, don’t flaunt the fact that you’re pandering to transgender ideology by introducing yourself as “cisgender”, especially when it’s flaming obvious what sex you are. Most people at those meetings haven’t drunk the kool-aid, and we do not take kindly to seeing qualifiers put on womanhood and being reduced to a category of it.

3. Most if not all the attendees are there because they are interested and concerned about transgenderism and the effect it’s having everywhere, particularly in relation to children and to sex-segregated spaces. This means they will have done some preliminary reading at the very least. They will be very familiar with what is possibly the most frequent attempt at serious argument by trans allies, which is about the alleged attempted suicide rate of young transgender people. Bringing it up yet again is not going to suddenly make us start going along with the male entitlement to colonise womanhood that is a core part of transgender ideology.

The same, by the way, goes for other canards with respect to violence and murder. In contrast to the professed sentiments of many online trans activists, we do not support violence nor are we responsible for the murders of transgender people and we are not going to be emotionally blackmailed into supporting an agenda that hurts women and children because of what violent men do.

4. Finally, listen to the speakers and use the Q&A time as it is meant to be used. I really felt that the trans allies who spoke had not listened to a word that had been said and were just using the time to soapbox their own cause, which was very rude and only made many audience members angry and frustrated. While I’m sure there were a few who had some sympathy with them, I’m also sure their intervention won them no new friends and had zero impact on changing anyone’s mind.

I’m not going to defend the general behaviour of Julie Burchill’s disruptive little mate, Zoe, who sat in the audience being far too vocal throughout the meeting, even though she was enthusiastic in her praise for the speakers. Her heckling during the Q&A only made things worse and gave the trans allies ammunition. However, I will defend her for the question fired out while one of the trans allies was ranting. She said:

“Can I identify as black?”

“That’s racist!” came the response from one or more of the trans allies, spectacularly missing the point which, for the benefit of anyone else who seriously didn’t get it, I explain on my page dedicated to bad arguments by the trans cult. Can you identify as black if you’re white?

Soon afterwards, the group of them left the meeting room, uninterested in hearing any responses from the panel of speakers to anything they’d said.

After the meeting, I went to the loo and found the stickers Handmaids ‘R’ Us had put up. I bet they felt really naughty and subversive putting up nonsensical stickers in the toilet of a posh hotel and the irony that they were trying to shut up genuine feminists who do indeed include all women in our feminism but aren’t prepared to submit to male entitlement and don’t sink to using hate speech, would have been lost on them.

I had a drink in the bar then left through an exit not guarded by the mob, who were still ranting outside. I didn’t feel safe until I was well away from them.

The next day on Twitter I got into a squabble with a few of the protesters and their mates, who mentioned the alleged “racism” and insisted that the meeting had been “peaceful” because to them, peaceful means just “non-violent”. Shouting through a megaphone until late in the evening and disturbing people trying to enjoy their dinner or get an early night’s sleep is absolutely peaceful, of course, and one can’t imagine why the hotel lost business because of it, as they claimed. Here’s the WPUK organisers account of what happened.

Despite the meeting ending at 9.15pm, the protests continued until at least 10.30pm causing great, and unnecessary, inconvenience to hotel guests. Several came down to complain about the noise. We truly regret the inconvenience caused to those guests but we were not responsible for it. We are sickened by the abuse and harassment the hotel staff faced for honouring a booking made by a group of women for a legitimate meeting on rights they hold in law.

There are no depths to which these people will not sink. One of the allegations made by several transcultists the next day was that somebody attending our meeting had gone out and aggressively threatened one of the protesters and been “removed by police”. Here is the only evidence offered in support that particular piece of hogwash. In spite of the person being “threatened” apparently cheerfully using a smartphone to film, I’ve yet to see any videos or pics apart from this one.

What that pic shows is a man who was probably disturbed by the racket while dining in the hotel. There is nothing to suggest he had anything to do with our meeting and I am absolutely certain he wasn’t in attendance. He would have stood out like a sore thumb if he had been. And, of course, he wasn’t “removed by police”, he was simply told to move along. I did ask those tweeting this pic why the man’s face was fuzzed out but got no answer. If there’d been anything to suggest he was really a “gender crit” as the batty Teresa Clark (see screenshot, right) calls us, they would have relished “doxing” him.

The worst thing though was seeing a screenshot of what appeared to be a Facebook page, on which someone was boasting that they’d been spitting at the protesters heads from behind on their way into the hotel to attend our meeting. I was mortified that any feminist would behave like that. I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I can still be taken in by bad people and I was taken in by that screenshot. It turned out to be fake. Seriously, trans activists really will sink that low.

According to a report entitled Social Media Attacks on WPUK:

It is now clear somebody created a fake FB account using a photograph of a woman without her permission and made posts implying she was a ticketholder to our #WPUK event in Brighton. After the event they posted, as if from her, that she had spat at a protestor and thought it was funny. This post was screenshotted and posted on Twitter.

My experience of the Brighton protesters both at the event and online afterwards was somewhat traumatising, all things considered. I’m sure they’ll be delighted to hear that because basic human decency isn’t their strong suit – hating, bullying, intimidating and lying is what they do best. But on the plus side, the nastier they get, the more people they propel towards peak trans, the more people want to meet and talk and fight back and the more I put on this website. So up yours, bullies.

 

Published 29.07.18

London Pride 2018: Fearless Feminists vs Misogynists & Lesbophobes

Much as I welcomed my week-long suspension from Twitter, it got a bit frustrating being unable to challenge the nonsense I was reading about the protest at London Pride 2018 by a courageous group of women campaigning to Get the L out of Pride. The cartoon drawn by the wonderful Sandy Manning is spot on as always. One of the banners carried by the women bore the apparently outrageous assertion that lesbian=female homosexual. In the perverse world of trans activism, this is “transphobic”.

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Blog: The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 2

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The Second Day: Friday 13th April 2018

For the first day see Part 1 here.

Four of the protesters were witnesses for Wolf and it was soon apparent to those of us watching that they had got together and cooked up a story, most of which was clearly contradicted by the video evidence shown in court.

The testimonies of all four witnesses – who, by the way, all used the label ‘TERF’ with impunity – were designed to bolster Wolf’s claim that he feared I would use any footage to “out” them online. The idea of being outed was obviously terrifying to this group of youngsters who’d travelled to that most public of all free-speech venues – Speakers’ Corner in the centre of London – to shout down women they disagreed with.

And, of course, as that was the only thing I knew about any of these people, it follows that it was the only thing I could possibly “out” them for – being in a gang of bullies trying to silence women. I didn’t even know their names and never would have, had they not decided to put them on public record and testify in defence of a woman-beater.

But I know them all now.

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Blog: The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 1

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The First Day: 12th April 2018

I was assaulted by Tara Wolf (aka Tara Flik Wood aka Flik Reade) because I was a dangerous “trans exterminatory radical feminist” and he just knew I was going to post footage online outing trans people so that they can be targeted by “exterminationists”. This is what he told District Judge Kenneth Grant, who was presiding over Wolf’s trial at Hendon Magistrate’s Court last month.

Having given my own testimony earlier in the day and now watching from the public gallery, this was the first time I’d seen any explanation from him for what he did to me but it was not the first sign of his rank stupidity and nor would it be the last.

Before he started his testimony we had sat watching in bemusement at his attempt to navigate the simple task of taking the oath. I’d expected him to affirm as I’d done. Instead, he spent ages staring gormlessly at the different books on the stand in front of him, as if trying to decide which colour he liked best. He eventually plumped for a nice dark blue Holy Bible, indicating he’d decided to identify as a Christian for the occasion. Or maybe he really does follow Jesus Christ, his Lord and Saviour. Who knew?

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Blog: Truth is the new Hate Speech

My second post on this blog is also copied across from Skepticat_UK, having originally been published on 17 March 2018

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell

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Many of the posts on this blog have been written out of anger. This one is written more out of despair, which is why it’s been the hardest one I’ve ever had to write.

It’s about transgenderism. That will probably be enough to stop many of those who’ve read and enjoyed this blog in the past from reading any further. It appears to be a topic that skeptics don’t want to think deeply about and I can understand that – I didn’t myself for a long time. Sometimes things need to impinge on one’s personal life to make one sit up and take notice. This was the case for my husband – a respected and very active skeptic – whose interest in this topic only dates back to the events of 13 September 2017 at Speakers’ Corner.

But sometimes it’s simply a matter of having one’s eyes and mind open, seeing that harm is being done and wanting to do something about it. At the risk of sounding sanctimonious, that was what happened with me and why I became very concerned about a year ago when I was horrified by reactions to what seemed to me to be perfectly reasonable opinions expressed by Dame Jenni Murray in the Sunday Times, by seeing a local newspaper report on a fugitive convicted rapist referred to as “she” throughout and by becoming aware of a website called terf is a slur, which documented tweets made by trans activists about women who disagree with them. The hatred, the vile sexual taunts, the exhortations to assault and kill those women labelled ‘TERFs‘ for having the temerity to disagree, shocked me to the core.

Since then, I have immersed myself deeply in the subject and read everything I can get my hands on from every point of view. I’ve collected several hundred links that I’ve put on a website I’ve made called Peak Trans. One purpose of this post is to introduce that website to those who don’t already know it.

Warning: one “skeptic” who saw it today called it “TERF central”, which leads me to the main purpose of this post and that is to ask:

“What the hell is going on with skeptics?”

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Blog: When vicious entitled thugs attack, I fight back!

Welcome to my blog at Peakers’ Corner. For my first post, I am simply copying and pasting from my Skepticat_UK blog my account of the incident that started it all. It was originally published on 27 September 2017.

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Introduction

It’s been a couple of years since I last felt compelled to add to this blog but that has changed in the fortnight since I was a victim of assault, criminal damage and theft at Speakers’ Corner on Wednesday, 13 September. That corner of Hyde Park is, of course, historically associated with free speech. The irony that I was assaulted for filming a group of people trying hard to close down the free speech of others isn’t lost on many who’ve commented already on the incident. You’ll find a list of blogs and articles at the bottom.

And in case I forget, I’d like to thank every person who has messaged, tweeted, commented and written their support for me. You have helped me to rise above it all and stay sane. Here are three videos showing what happened from different angles.

 
 

Readers familiar with this blog may be surprised to discover that the hundreds of people who apparently think I deserved to be beaten up aren’t all homeopaths (new readers: yes, I do mean homeopaths. I’ve done a lot of anti-quackery campaigning and made many enemies from that quarter). The overwhelming majority hate me because I wanted to hear from speakers with a different view on transgenderism. The accusation – which is repeated ad nauseum by trans activists – that if we don’t see things their way, if we are concerned with the implications of the proposed legislative changes on the lives of women and girls, if we criticise any part of trans ideology, then we are responsible for causing mental health problems, suicide attempts or the violence they suffer from other people, is so patently ludicrous that it isn’t really surprising that all they can do is shout, insult, gaslight and abuse. There is simply no danger of their ever making a coherent argument that can be taken half-seriously and, at some level, I think they know this.

For those who don’t know the story, a meeting about proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act was due to be held at the New Cross Learning Centre – opposite Goldsmiths University in South East London – that evening but after a bullying campaign (documented here) by people who just can’t bear the thought of anyone saying anything that might hurt their feelings, the Centre cancelled at very short notice. Continue reading