Feminist poster banned because it could ‘offend trans people’ Times 11.10.18

The original article is here.

The definition of “woman” was banned from the sides of buses in Edinburgh over fears it could offend trans people and the rest of the general public.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, 44, paid more than £2,000 for the word, with the slogan #adulthumanfemale, to appear on ten buses in the Scottish capital.

However, she received a refund after Exterion Media, the company that controls advertising space for Lothian Buses, refused to display the adverts on the grounds that the message was “likely to offend” the general public.

A similar billboard in Liverpool, which stated: “woman, noun, adult human female”, was also paid for by Mrs Keen-Minshull last month but was taken down after it was described as part of a “hate speech” campaign by trans rights campaigners.

Mrs Keen-Minshull, who is married with four children and lives in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, said she was keen to take her campaign north of the border because of “troubling” policies being pursued by the Scottish government around transgender issues.

She criticised an anti-hate crime poster addressed to “dear transphobes”, a term often used to condemn those who question whether trans women are women. The SNP administration is also backing measures to allow people to self-declare their own gender.

Some feminist campaigners, including Mrs Keen-Minshull, reject the claim that men who become women are women and fear the implications for those born female. Among concerns are an end to female-only spaces such as changing rooms and refuges, which could undermine protections for women guaranteed by law. She said: “Scotland seems to be more steeped in the nonsense than we are in England and that’s saying something. That poster is like something put up by the thought police, it belongs in Nineteen Eighty-Four. So I booked ten buses.”

She insisted the aim of the bus campaign was not to offend trans women, but to draw attention to what she viewed as the “insane” proposed changes to the law and demands of the trans lobby. She said adverts often featured scantily clad women designed to titillate men, but that the definition of woman, according to the Google dictionary, had now been banned.

“The intent is to say the fundamental issue of women and any protections that we would ever wish to have are based on the actual word woman,” she said. “If we no longer have that word as our own, we have no rights.

“You have companies willing to have a woman with her arse out on a billboard but not the definition of woman. We can’t define ourselves but we can be sexually alluring to men on billboards.”

Mrs Keen-Minshull’s billboard in Liverpool survived about a week before it was taken down by Primesight, the advertising company. Adrian Harrop, a Twitter activist and NHS doctor, accused it of being complicit “in the spread of transphobic hate speech”.

The row over the Liverpool poster led to Mrs Keen-Minshull, a blogger under the name Posie Parker, appearing on national TV; she said she had been inundated with messages of support for “saying what other people think”.

Hannah Pearson, of the Equality Network, backed the decision to ban the signs from buses and argued it was the “vehement anti-trans” campaign behind them, rather then the definition of women itself, which caused offence.

She added: “Companies should not be forced to advertise campaign groups that many of their customers find offensive and intimidating.”

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