“Is this the Scotland you want for your children?”
Last night police were called to the Doctors bar in Edinburgh. Five officers turned up and ejected a group of about a dozen women who’d been quietly sitting eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company.
Apparently one of the women had been wearing a T-shirt proclaiming that “women won’t wheesht”, which naturally offended the woman-hating member of the bar staff, who is a self-confessed porn-addicted autogynephile.
You may be getting a sense of déjà vu here. It isn’t the first time people have been offended by T-shirts bearing anodyne slogans worn by women who have been victimised as a result. First, there was Rebecca Wershbale then the National Theatre debacle. In the latter, the group who were discriminated against initiated legal action. One member of the group eventually posted that the action was discontinued after “constructive conversations” with the theatre.
But that was in England.
Scotland is a place where a woman can be arrested and charged for tweets that are so innocuous they don’t even break Twitter’s draconian anti-women rules under which countless women – including me and some of our male allies – have been permanently banned, while the accounts of hateful, abusive bullies are allowed to remain. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the woman in question – Marion Millar – and many others who had gathered in Glasgow to support her on the day her plea hearing was supposed to take place, having already been rescheduled from a month earlier. A few days before the rescheduled date, the hearing was postponed again but those of us who decided to go anyway had a wonderful day.
As I understand it, Marion was out with her husband celebrating his birthday last night and only popped into the Doctors bar to join her friends for a drink before heading home. She was recognised by bar staff and told to leave, which she did. Having met Marion and her friends and supporters, I have no doubts about their decency and integrity – these are not haters and bigots. Presumably, if they were they wouldn’t have the support of a number of trans people – including the one in the above photo (guess!).
Judging by the account given by the bartender at the Doctors bar, can anyone say the same about him? Look at some of the tweets from both sides and decide for yourselves.
So apparently this group of women, who were enjoying each other’s company while partaking of the bar’s fare, were making staff and other customers feel “threatened”? How, exactly? Were they abusing people? Were they picking arguments with people who didn’t want them? Had they vandalised anything on the premises? I think we should be told and, frankly, seeing as this ‘porn-addicted male’ went straight onto Twitter to boast about having got them thrown out, it beggars belief that we aren’t told.
But then…maybe there is nothing to tell? Maybe it really is just a case of unconscionable bigotry on the part of this guy and other staff. The fact that he says he should have kicked them out the minute they appeared – before they had a chance to make anyone “feel threatened” – suggests it is.
Of course, the claim that they needed to be removed for the “safety” of his staff just makes him look ridiculous. Nobody who has all the parts of their brain working as a team will believe for a nanosecond that they were making the staff or customers unsafe in any way. There’s no excuse for this:
Allow me to introduce you to this “terf material”. Apparently there was a sticker saying woman means adult human female and this leaflet:
On one side it says:
Do you believe a man is a woman if he says he is?
The Scottish Government is planning to change the law to allow any man to declare himself a woman. This is known as gender self-ID.
Why does this matter?
Men who say they are women are:
- Treated on female hospital wards;
- Joining women’s sports teams;
- Acting as rape counsellors for women;
- Able to access women’s domestic violence refuges;
- Having their crimes, including rape, recorded as being committed by a woman;
- Locked up in a women’s prison if convicted of a crime, including sexual and violent offences.
This is already happening in Scotland.
On the other side it says:
Women are taking action
We say NO to gender self-ID
We say SEX MATTERS
We know human beings can’t change sex.
We know no man is entitled to women’s rights.
We are the Sole Sisters and we are on the march.
Join our fight to protect the rights of women and girls.
What you can do
Get informed on gender recognition reform
Ask your MSP to commit publicly to the Equality Act 2010
Write to newspapers about the issues with gender self-ID
Pass this card to another woman
Follow @VoteWithOurFeet on Twitter
So what is the problem with this material? You may not like it. You may disagree that women should have the right to privacy and dignity and to feel safe on hospital wards, in refuges and in prison. You may not understand why or care that women are angry when we see male-typical crimes of violence and sexual assault reported in the media as if they are committed by women. After all, we are only women and our feelings don’t matter, right?
But what exactly is it about the content of this leaflet that would make bar staff “uncomfortable”? Because from where I’m sitting, the only people who could possibly be uncomfortable with it are people who are stewing in their deeply-rooted and unassailable misogyny. People like you, porno man.
As you obviously feel it threatens your male privilege, you could always have told the women off for leaving it in the toilets of your bar. It may well have saved you a lot of trouble if they then realised that it isn’t a welcoming space for those fighting for women’s rights, so they wouldn’t spend another penny there. But then you would have been deprived of your power trip and that warm fuzzy feeling you got when all your fellow bigots on Twitter congratulated you for taking on a bunch of uppity women.
As for “seeing their level of entitlement and belligerence develop”…this was after you told them to leave for no good reason, right? I hate to break it to you but you’re in the wrong job, mate. When people who haven’t been behaving badly suddenly get turned on because some nasty bully disagrees with their views, they tend to get angry. That’s human nature.
Naturally, the backlash on Twitter was swift and pulled no punches. It may have come as a shock to porno man and his fellow bigots that people are becoming fed up and disgusted at cowardly bullies using women as punchbags – women who are not hating or targeting or bullying anyone; women who are simply fighting for our rights against those intent of depriving us of them. People like porno man.
There is a lot more I could say about this despicable individual but hopefully I’ve shown enough to persuade anyone who happens to be in Edinburgh to steer well clear of that particular location. It is NOT a safe space for decent law-abiding feminists. I’ll leave the last word to one of them.
Here is the story in the Edinburgh News: Inquiry launched into row over ‘transphobia’ in Edinburgh pub
And here is the irrepressible Glinner. Women In Possession Of Opinions Will Be Barred
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