- Blog: Some TRAs must be the dumbest people alive! 11/01/2019
- Blog: The Handmaidens’ Tales 30/12/2018
- Blog: The Aunt Lydias of academia 27/12/2018
- Blog: Another feminist voice silenced on Twitter 16/12/2018
- Blog: Inside the warped mind of a Trans Rights Activist 27/11/2018
- Blog: How confused am I! 19/11/2018
- Blog: Someone else’s peak trans story 28/10/2018
- Blog: And why I’m glad I left Humanists UK! 17/10/2018
- Blog: Why I resigned from Humanists UK 20/09/2018
- Blog: A week in the life of… 08/08/2018
- Blog: Brighton Bullies 29/07/2018
- Blog: London Pride 2018: Fearless Feminists vs Misogynists & Lesbophobes 15/07/2018
- Blog: The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 2 12/05/2018
- Blog: The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 1 12/05/2018
I think it’s fairly well-established now that transgender ideology is based on unsupportable tenets and that those promoting it cannot put a coherent argument together. Instead, they rely on misrepresenting the position of their opponents and labelling us in a manner intended to, at best, dismiss our arguments as unworthy of consideration, at worst, mark us out as legitimate targets for intimidation and violence.
Encouragingly, I’m meeting more and more transgender people who are reasonable, who can empathise with us, who are capable of remaining civil in disagreement and who are brave enough to put their heads above the parapet. Others – and their allies – comprise what I call the ‘trans cult’ and they seem to be the dumbest people alive. Or the most dishonest. Or both.
This is the post in which I express my anger against those young women who’ve betrayed the goal of women’s liberation by promoting male entitlement and female erasure. And, no, contrary to what certain trans rights activists (TRAs) such as Stephen Whittle say, the term ‘handmaidens’ isn’t misogynist. Misogyny refers to contempt and disregard for women because they are women, i.e. adult human female. It doesn’t include the disdain we feel for women who are selling us down the river, the women who prioritise the feelings of men over the psychological well-being and the physical safety of women. The true meaning of ‘handmaiden’ is female servant and that, in effect, is what these women are. They’re like ‘Uncle Toms’.
I don’t expect to have to elaborate on the fact that women have, throughout history and across cultures, been oppressed and exploited because we are female and ‘female’ refers to the sex whose role in reproduction is to produce ova, gestate and give birth. The fact that an individual female chooses not to or may, for medically verifiable reasons, be unable to fulfil that function, does not alter the fact that she is female though, thanks to the patriarchal norms holding sway in most cultures throughout the world, it may mean that she is considered a failure by those who feel entitled to adjudicate on such matters.
Feminism is a movement for women – all women – but only women. This isn’t to deny intersecting experiences of oppression such as class oppression, racism, ageism, homophobia, disability. But it does not include men who think, wish, decide or claim they are women. Men who do that are not members of the female sex class, therefore they are not women, regardless of how they feel, present themselves or what they call themselves.
If anyone disagrees with anything I’ve said so far, feel free to present your argument, based on reason and evidence. My money says you can’t. All you can do is cry ‘bigot’, ‘transphobe’, etc, in the hope of intimidating me – and everyone else standing up to your nonsense – into submission. How angry are you that you are not succeeding!
I was a feminist before I ever heard the word. My feminism was a visceral reaction to the experience of growing up in a family, a community, a culture at a time when male privilege was painfully visible and accepted as the norm everywhere I looked. When the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s started competing for headlines with stories of hippies and ‘free love’, anti-Vietnam War and pro-nuclear disarmament demonstrations, it had a feeling of “not before time” about it, as far as I – a girl of 12 or 13 – was concerned. As I reached my late teens and twenties, I got deeply involved in the Women’s Movement, as it was then called, as well as in socialist politics and the Trade Union Movement.
It was hard standing up for women against the continual put-downs of left-wing men. Their lack of support for us and their determination to keep control of left-wing politics and progressive movements was infuriating. But more than anything else, it was frustrating when women, who were all too happy to enjoy the benefits won for them by feminist campaigns, wouldn’t stick their own heads above the parapet, even though they had little to lose, compared to what they had to gain, by doing so.
But, unlike the young women of today in organisations like Sisters Uncut and FourthWaveLFA, at least those timid and ineffectual women who rode on the coat-tails of feminists in the 1970s and 1980s didn’t actively work to undo the achievements of generations of women before them.
You wouldn’t have seen them supporting the bullying and intimidation of women who were simply concerned about the impact of proposed legislation on their lives. You wouldn’t have seen them defending the displacement of women in sports and the consequent crushing of young women’s dreams of sporting success. You wouldn’t have seen them disregarding the psychological well-being of vulnerable women in prisons and refuges out of deference to the feelings of men. And you certainly wouldn’t have seen them rallying support for a violent male in his 20s, much less fabricating and spreading falsehoods against his 60-year-old female victim, who had done nothing to him, them or anyone else.
Contrary to what is claimed in the notice above right, Tara Wolf – who was charged and convicted of assaulting me – was not targeted, doxxed or harassed by anyone and there is no evidence that he was. But ‘evidence’ is an alien concept to the handmaidens and not something they concern themselves with.
No sooner had the news of the assault on me broken on social media, than TRAs were scouring my Twitter history and Skepticat UK blog trying to find the evidence that I was a vicious transphobe who thoroughly deserved the beating. They found nothing and had to resort to deception, as for example, Ada Cable does here and Joss Prior does here. Most notoriously, Prior took stills from the videos and rewrote the narrative to present me as the aggressor.
I did complain to Twitter at the time but they didn’t think there was anything wrong with lying about an assault that had been reported to the police in order to help the violent perpetrators and, seeing as the rest of the trans cult had picked up the false story and run with it, I decided all I could do was put a brave face on it and push back where I could.
The privacy settings on my Facebook page were at maximum. Naively, I assumed that all the people who rushed to ‘friend’ me after the assault, were sympathisers. It simply never occurred to me back then how low they would sink. Anyway, I innocently accepted a friendship request from a TRA and, ever since, I’ve seen posts from my Facebook page being distributed across the internet. The most significant was the one below left, which shows exactly how it appeared on my page. The screencap below right shows how it looked after it had been edited and was tweeted by @FourthWaveLFA.
In other words, they took my comment, in which I quoted from a tweet about me by @SecretGamerGrrl aka Jake Alley (whose obsession with me I’ve blogged about here and here) and they tried to make it look like a stand-alone post where Alley’s words are my own and I “admit” to assaulting the dude, when in fact I’m trying to make fun of the ludicrous allegation that I – a 60-year-old, 5′ 5″ female with osteoporosis and permanently injured right shoulder – could thrash anyone around like a rag doll, let alone a young fit bloke in his 20s.
And he is a young bloke. Claiming he’s a woman was just another lie these fauxminists tried to spread but they couldn’t make it stick because people close to Wolf – Ada Cable, for example – had already given away that Wolf’s “girlfriend” was a trans-identifying male (seen in the video below, hooded and trying to grab my camera out of my hands, while Wolf runs up like a little sissy, thumps me and runs away).
FourthWaveLFA was far from being the only account who tweeted that doctored Facebook comment, but most of the others were men like the hateful Elise Hendrick who pretend to be women, not actual women themselves. Other things they did include:
- Attacking me for thanking David Davies MP for writing an article that included the sentence below. Davies is a Tory and a practising Catholic, therefore I’ve no business thanking him for publicly condemning the violence against me, apparently.
“Last week a 60-year-old women’s rights campaigner was assaulted by a transgender activist, presumably a biological male. This violence which was supported by a number of fellow activists is equally unacceptable.”
- Condemning me for letting the Daily Mail, in exchange for a pic of me, pay for the camera that was stolen and smashed by the man they were trying to protect because, in doing so, I was “helping the Mail“. None of my critics offered to contribute to the cost of a replacement camera, funnily enough.
- Claiming I had some kind of alliance with a right-wing organisation. This came from the fact that, below my own blog about the assault, I had linked to many other blogs and articles about it. These included a statement by an American group I’d never even heard of before called the Women’s Liberation Front, which had apparently at some time received funding from a conservative Christian group.
See the desperately labyrinthine thought process at work here?
What this group of young women – who, judging by the vapid sloganeering on their Facebook page, are probably all students of the pea-brained academics featuring in my last blog – categorically did not do in any public arena was acknowledge that I was a woman who had been a victim of male violence and that violence was unprovoked, (unless you think that filming a public protest at Speakers’ Corner from three metres away was provocative), not to mention any suggestion as to how I was to replace my camera, one of the very few things of any value that I owned, given that I was (and still am) on a very low income.
Alexandra Becker: a case study of a handmaiden
I’d like to give a special mention to Alexandra Becker, who tweets as @TweedledumAl. She was one of a number of handmaidens I’d had sour exchanges with on Twitter, months before the trial. She only stood out from the others because of her denialism about the terf is a slur website. It seems that telling women to die in a fire, choke on lady-dick, etc, doesn’t matter because they ‘wouldn’t actually do any of it’. They’re just silly…um…girls, I suppose. It seems nothing will stop Becker believing that those responsible for this kind of vile misogynistic abuse are anything other than the “women” they claim to be.
On the day of Tara Wolf’s plea hearing, Alexandra Becker was one of the crowd who turned up to support him. Later, she and a friend passed me and my husband at Baker Street station. They were walking in the opposite direction. When we went through the barriers in order to reach the platform and catch our train, I was perturbed to see that they had done a swift about-turn and followed us through the barriers!
I worried that they were going to try and follow us home to find out where we live, so we told a member of staff, who was manning the barriers, about them. They stood some distance away watching us, while Becker was speaking to someone on her cellphone. We managed to get a few pics of the pair of them. I thought they’d go eventually but they seemed determined to just stay there watching and, I presume, trying to scare me. Their behaviour certainly creeped me out and we decided the only thing we could do was make a dash for our train and hope they didn’t catch up with us. They didn’t.
On the day of the actual trial, there she was again, supporting the violent offender.
A week after the trial she did a long post on her Facebook page, which I have screen-capped and pasted here. (Unlike her fellow trans activists, I didn’t need to use subterfuge to see it.) Here’s some of it:
She smugly tried to evade the issue by using “the defendant” but fell back into male pronouns soon enough. The judge eventually intervened, noticeably annoyed, and asked the question most of us have on our minds all the time on this: “What exactly is the problem?” He asked her again to use female pronouns or gender-neutral terms. “Out of courtesy.” She couldn’t manage. Neither could she and her TERF supporters later show the basic decency of letting the defendant give her testimony without jeers, laughter, tutting.“Acting in bad grace,” is what the judge said the misgendering had amounted to.
A few corrections: I was not “the claimant”. This was not a civil case but a criminal prosecution and I was the chief witness for the prosecution because I was the victim of an assault. But this, of course, is something Becker – like the other transcult handmaidens – cannot bring herself to acknowledge.
Secondly, I don’t call myself a “gender critical feminist”; this label together with “radical feminist” was pinned on me by reporters without ever having asked me. I have a lot of sympathy but also some differences with radical feminism. I come from a socialist feminist tradition but consider my rationalism and scepticism as important to my world view as my feminism. Therefore I call myself a rational feminist these days.
Thirdly, I don’t believe radical feminists in general “welcome” women who transgender but they are not excluded from feminist theory because they are indeed women. Did I mention that feminism is about all women, defined as ‘adult human female’? Anyone who’s (1) read as much feminist literature and (2) listened to as many both male and female trans people as I have understands that the contexts in which men and women transgender are very different. The transgendering of young women should be of extreme concern to feminists…but I guess that’s for a different blog. (As I’ve said before, my use of ‘transgender’ as a verb is deliberate).
Anyway, my point is that Becker – in the tradition of bigoted simpletons throughout history – is labelling me and attributing to me views I have never expressed and do not hold because it fits her agenda to do so. And she’s using a label – ‘TERF‘ – she knows is considered derogatory, not least because I pointed this out in court.
Fourthly, she says I “smugly tried to evade the issue by using “the defendant” but fell back into male pronouns soon enough”. Smugly? Becker would have heard counsel ask me to either use the female pronoun or “the defendant”. Far from trying to “evade the issue”, I was trying to comply with the compromise being offered.
What really beggars belief is when she says the judge “asked the question most of us have on our minds all the time on this: ‘What exactly is the problem?'”
Let me quote from my blog about the trial:
Early on in my testimony I referred to Wolf as ‘he’ and was asked by counsel to refer to him as ‘she’ or as ‘the defendant’. While testifying, I managed to remember to use ‘the defendant’ a couple of times. However, using a noun instead of a pronoun is a very unnatural way to speak and even more difficult to do so under the pressure of giving evidence in court, never mind under cross-examination from a combative barrister trying her best to get her client off. It was at the precise time during the proceedings that I had to relive the assault and answer questions, while watching a video on a large screen of Wolf and his associates attacking me, that I slipped back into using the ‘he’ pronoun.
This was too much for the judge, who interrupted my testimony with the question, “What is the problem?”
What is the problem with watching myself being thumped by a young tall man and having to pretend he’s a woman? Seriously?
Fortunately, most of the rest of the world has more emotional intelligence than Becker and the rest of Wolf’s blinkered supporters. The judge trying to get me to call the man who attacked me ‘she’ in those circumstances attracted more outraged comment from journalists and feminists and sympathisers than anything else in the entire story of the assault, woke a lot of people up to the misogyny of transgender ideology and helped a hell of a lot of people hit peak trans. Remember, Tara Wolf (aka Tara Wood) is at least six feet tall, he’d publicly posted on Facebook of his desire to find our meeting and “fuck some terfs up”. When he attacked me he wasn’t mincing around in a dress and high-heels as he was in court. He looked and behaved like the thug he is. After his arrest he’d also publicly posted that “TERFs” can “suck his cock”.
Elsewhere in Becker’s diatribe, she declares herself “stumped” by the use of the gun-to-head graphic in a tweet from one of my supporters, as if it isn’t a perfectly apt illustration of the kind of abuse women get on that website she’s in denial about. To Becker, the judge wasn’t bullying me, wasn’t complicit in allowing my attacker “one final stab at the victim”, as one journalist with a lot more human empathy than Becker put it. He was simply making a “call for courtesy and respect”.
My jaw dropped at this one. The woman who habitually uses the hateful term ‘TERF’, dismisses as just “silly” the abuse on the terf is a slur site and is quite indifferent to the pain caused by Tara Wolf tells me to have some decency? The least thing I can do is be nice to him? Becker is surely worthy of some kind of handmaiden award for this alone.
Becker also moans about the alleged behaviour of my supporters (and includes me in that allegation even though I played no part in whatever they were supposedly doing and wasn’t aware of any of it apart from a bit of laughter at the goonish defence counsel). She did that on Twitter after the trial too. Clearly Becker’s limited understanding of human nature doesn’t stretch to comprehending why feminists might be unable to disguise their contempt for a violent man who attacked a woman older than his mother, a man who only a few weeks earlier had screamed abuse into the face of a woman trade unionist on a picket line, a man who had lied through his teeth in court and posted disgusting sexually abusive comments on Facebook, a man who even got banned from the trans-friendly Pink News site for his lesbophobia.
And she concludes:
How dare you, Alexandra Becker?
Feminism is not your house. Accusing feminists of unspecified “insults” and “pissing all over the carpet” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – while sanitising threats and vile misogynistic abuse, has no place in feminism. Supporting male abusers of women has no place in feminism, nor does lying about and blaming their female victims. Hateful, violent, aggressive men like Tara Wolf and his accomplices are not entitled to “courtesy and respect” from women. On the contrary, they should be challenged on their behaviour, their misogyny and their entitlement. That is feminism!
I can’t improve on the comment made by the heroic Helen Steel at the top of this post.
The handmaidens unquestioning acceptance of men who want to redefine what it means to be a woman cannot be reconciled with feminism in any shape or form. In promoting the idea that refusal to pander to men’s claims that they can be women is “lack of decency”, “bad grace”, “twisted” – even harassment or violence – they have helped to cultivate an environment in which actual violence against women is seen as justified.
Handmaidens, you are betraying the struggles waged by generations of feminists against men who use violence and abuse to keep women in their place.
Shame on you.
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Anyone who gets embroiled in squabbles with trans rights activists (TRAs) will be familiar with certain canards that crop up time and again. Like a child’s set of plastic skittles, it doesn’t take much to topple them but, wearisomely, there is always someone willing to put them back up to be knocked down yet again.
In a recent article on the BuzzFeed News site, LGBT Editor Patrick Strudwick could have scoured TRA Twitter and come up with the exact same input from common or garden Twitter numbskulls as that provided by the five sociologists he calls – and this is the only touch of humour in the article “leading feminist thinkers”: Akwugo Emejulu, Sally Hines, Tracey Jensen, Alison Phipps and Vanita Sundaram. If you’ve only been a feminist for a few decades, you’ll be forgiven for never having heard of them.
I suspect that no academic worthy of the name would bother responding to the article. Why would they when the Professors’ “arguments” – for want of a better word – could be refuted by a teenager without a single GCSE? On the other hand, the article is a good example of the sheer dishonesty as well as the cultish thinking of the transgender lobby. As such, I think it’s worth including in that very tiny and select group of articles that I refer to on this site because they are so unbelievably bad.
I came across the article because I’d started writing a different blog, for which I needed to check whether I was up-to-date on the definition of a certain word as it is used by anyone who promotes transgender ideology. It was a search I’d done many times before and had always come up short. This time was no different. It is a word for which the trans lobby have no robust and useful definition. The word is ‘woman’. Continue reading
This time it’s mine. A scarily obsessive hate campaign against me by a disgusting and apparently very disturbed individual called Jacob (Jake) Alley, whom I blogged about previously, has culminated in my permanent suspension. How do I feel? Totally unsurprised as, having seen one feminist or sympathiser after another get banned for challenging transgender ideology and the bullies who promote it, I knew it was on the cards. Every time I’ve dived into that cesspit of misogyny recently, I’ve half-expected it to be my last. Naturally, I’m honoured to be in the company of the likes of Meghan Murphy, Kellie-Jay Minshull, Venice Allan, Miranda Yardley and many others who are hated by the trans cult because we can’t be beaten through reasoned debate.
I am also, I have to say, relieved. I have tried to leave Twitter many times because it is a thief of time – time that could be better spent on real-life campaigning, developing this website and writing blogs. I can still take from it what I need for this site – links to articles and screenshots of vile, abusive, hateful and insane Tweets from trans activists – but I can no longer be drawn, against my better judgment, into pointless squabbles. Hurray! To answer one of the questions asked of me today, I have no intention of appealing the ban or of going back under a different name.
I dare say many more users will be banned now that Twitter is clamping down on what it calls “misgendering” and “deadnaming” (see glossary if you don’t know these terms). The latter isn’t something I generally do myself. People are entitled to change their names to whatever they like and, so far, I’ve revealed (but not used) the birth name of only one of the many people who’ve targeted me online. That person being the one who goes by the name of ‘Elise Hendrick’, whom I also blogged about previously and who I believe – as I believe of Jake Alley – may be a dangerous psychopath or sociopath or maybe some other kind of ‘-path’. Since blogging about this monstrous individual, I’ve had several strangers contact me with more information, which has only served to confirm my impression: vicious nutter, steer well clear. I regard the fact that, after I blogged about Hendrick, he made his tweets private, with considerable satisfaction.
As for “misgendering”, back in May I tweeted this and I stand by it.
Until relatively recently I had no objections to using the pronouns that made people happy as long as those people weren’t nasty, vicious, misogynistic bullies as so many trans people online have turned out to be. In truth – and this will garner the disapproval of some feminists I love and respect enormously – I still don’t mind using preferred pronouns for ordinary, decent transgender people as a matter of courtesy. But it is a courtesy – not a human right. What I will not do, is be harangued, threatened or bullied into using them. Anyone who tries to police my speech can get stuffed, basically.
So, given that Twitter has nailed its colours to the mast and that these are the colours of male entitlement and trans-activist bullying, it was only a matter of time before I got booted from Twitter and I’ve no doubt my banning will be followed by many others. I can’t express how much I appreciate the many messages of love and support I’ve received. One word that crops up again and again is ‘brave’ but, honestly, I really don’t think it takes bravery for someone who is in my position (about which I am not going to elaborate) to speak up online. I think the brave ones are those who are doing so much in their communities and outside of social media and that’s something I intend to be doing a lot more of (if I can summon up the courage, of course).
In the meantime, please subscribe to my wee blog here at Peakers’ Corner (see top of right hand column) and check the front page of the website regularly for relevant stories and tweet them for all they are worth.
I’m not letting them win.
A couple of days ago, a trans rights activist (TRA) published an article on Medium entitled, I was one of the transactivists on the channel 4 documentary, I regret what I did — this is why.
The documentary in question – which was, in my opinion, excellent and well worth watching – was Trans Kids: It’s Time To Talk. It aired last week and can currently be viewed on Vimeo.
Quite a few people on the gender critical side of what is laughingly called this “debate” have applauded the author, Esther Betts, for being courageous. It is a sign of the times we live in that admitting you behaved abominably after the evidence that you did has already been broadcast on national TV, is called “courageous”. In any event, others – including me – aren’t quite so charitable.
A couple of days ago, a man was kind enough to take the time to comment beneath the blog I wrote about the Brighton Bullies. As a gesture of appreciation and in the hope that many more will see the comment and learn from the writer’s manly wisdom, I’ve decided to copy and paste it here, with a few corrections of typos and punctuation for ease of reading. My response is below it.
Thank you so much for your comment and for helping me realise just how shamefully confused I am!
I am certainly confused that you call the quotes you selected from my blog on my experience at a feminist meeting in Brighton,”straplines and buzzwords” and that you offer these as a justification for what you generously concede are “overly emotional and perhaps ill-considered” responses of some trans rights activists, even though to those of us on the receiving end, they feel rather like vile misogynistic abuse, bullying, intimidation and violence.
Your implicit suggestion that if we only kept our opinions and concerns to ourselves, we wouldn’t provoke such “ill-considered behaviour” is, of course, the epitome of good sense and I can’t imagine why any of us didn’t think of it ourselves. Aren’t we silly girls!
However, it is just possible that you don’t realise those “straplines and buzzwords” contain these things known as ‘arguments’. I’m sure that once I’ve explained what I mean by them to you, you will be able to demolish them effectively using reason and evidence and, in so doing, you will help my development as a critical thinker. I can’t wait!
So here goes:
“the male entitlement to colonise womanhood that is a core part of transgender ideology.”
Definitions are useful, so here are mine:
Male: Member of reproductive class that produces small motile gametes, whose purpose is to fertilise ova;
Entitlement: Sense that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment;
Colonise: To appropriate and establish control over something one is not already a part of;
Womanhood: The state of being a woman;
Transgender ideology: Set of ideas promoted by many trans rights activists because they are held to represent the interests of transgender people. (More about this here.)
On this page of this site, I give many examples of what I see as men colonising womanhood. Here are a few of them:
- The accomplishments of girls and women in sports stolen from them by males competing in women’s events.
- The psychological and emotional well-being of vulnerable women in prisons and women’s shelters disregarded because of the feelings of some men who claim to be women.
- Clothes shops, among them fashion chain store, Topshop, whose customers are primarily very young women, introducing gender neutral changing rooms out of deference to men who claim to be women.
- A man who’s been married three times, fathered six children and won an Olympic Gold medal in a men’s event chosen to be Glamour magazine’s ‘Woman of the Year’.
I would be deeply honoured if you could take any one of these examples and explain to me why I am wrong to feel this way.
The next quote you selected is this one:
“emotionally blackmailed into supporting an agenda that hurts women and children because of what violent men do.”
Now you’re teasing me! The context makes it clear what I mean, does it not? Just a reminder, the context is about trans rights activists repeatedly suggesting that, because we refuse to kowtow to transgender ideology (see definition above), we are responsible for the suicides and murders of trans people. If you don’t think ’emotional blackmail’ is a fair description of that behaviour then please help me to improve it.
One wee question though: Why do you think an accusation of ’emotional blackmail’ is more provocative than an accusation that our disagreement with certain ideas makes us responsible for causing deaths by suicide or murder?
Your final selected quote from my blog:
“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”
Now I admit my little girly brain doesn’t understand why you think this is so provocative as to justify “overly emotional” responses like saying we should be shot, burnt, have our throats slit, choke on their dicks and much more besides which, by happy coincidence, serve as examples of the kind of hate speech we genuine feminists don’t sink to. Oh! Is it the term “genuine feminists” you think is wrong? I’m so sorry!
But you see, I’m one of those old-school feminists who grew up in the 60s and 70s, when feminists were belittled as ‘Women’s Libbers’ because of our demand to be liberated from…well, all kinds of stuff, including the regressive gender stereotypes associated with women now being embraced by many men who demand to be accepted as bona fide women. My use of the word ‘genuine’ is intended to describe those feminists who define women as ‘adult human female’ and whose feminism is concerned with campaigning for women who fit that definition and not some flakey idea that a woman is anyone who feels like one some or all of the time.
But thank you so much for explaining to silly little me how I’ve been doing feminism wrong for the last four decades. I’m sure I would greatly benefit from some further explanation of what feminism actually is. And without wishing to place an undue burden on your important, manly time, there are a few more things for which I would be grateful for your instruction.
You ask me:
You mean trans “women” are real women? Really? I know it’s totally my fault but I don’t see how they fit the definition of adult human female, which I thought was the globally accepted definition. Gosh, I feel so stupid! So women can actually be born male? How come? I mean, what exactly is it that makes them women and how do we distinguish between them and other males – the ones that aren’t women?
Forgive my ignorance but what are “trans males”? I count among my trans friends, Miranda Yardley, who uses the term transsexual male, but from the context in which you use the term, I’m guessing you don’t mean anyone like Miranda. Perhaps you are talking about transgender females – by which I mean those adult human females who refer to themselves as ‘trans men’? Well, as I said in that sentence you don’t like, “genuine feminists who do indeed include all women in our feminism”. That includes even women who wish they weren’t women because they are still female, however they ‘identify’. The majority are indeed lesbians and, in the 20 months that I’ve deeply immersed in this subject, I’ve only heard of one such woman being seriously aggressive. Amazing, isn’t it? It’s almost as if men are more likely to be aggressive than women.
I see you’ve rumbled the fact that there is something missing in my life. Aren’t you clever in a way only a man can be! Yes, indeed it’s time to come clean and admit that what’s been missing from my life since I was treated to some “ill-considered behaviour” by trans activists last year:
- A sense of pride in all the achievements of women of my generation and those that went before us because these are now being flushed down the toilet by those who think they’re being progressive.
- A faith in basic human decency. I know now that I was silly and naive but, as a child of the 60s, I honestly thought people living in liberal democracies in the 21st century would be free to express opinions and to disagree with other opinions without being abused, assaulted or told to shut up. In my youth, there was this notion that violence was a bad thing that only bad people did. Violence didn’t win arguments and was only justifiable in self-defence. I didn’t imagine that hundreds of people would not only celebrate the violence of young men against an older woman but that they would exhort more violence be carried out against more women and that my attempt at defending my property would see me positioned as the aggressor attacking poor defenceless bepenised “girls”.
- An enjoyment of young people’s company. Seeing so many people who are even younger than my own children joining in the bullying, harassment and attempts to silence dissent means that I no longer prefer the company of young people but will go to some lengths to avoid it in case they trigger my PTSD, which I am finding hard enough to cope with on a day-to-day basis.
But thank you for your enormous sensitivity in suggesting that the reason I’m filling “the void” in my life by maintaining this website is because I “get a kick out of being right on”.
And thank you for telling me about sciencey things that, as a woman, I can’t possibly be expected to know anything about. I am fascinated by your terms “female-brained” and “essentially female” and would love to learn what they mean. Does, say, Martin Ponting (aka Jessica Winfield), who used his penis to rape two underage girls, have a female brain?
Is Duncan Smart (aka Jacinta Brooks), who has three convictions for sex offences against children – the most recent after he pretended to be a teenage boy in order to groom a 12-year-old girl online – “essentially female”?
Are all these guys, who post the most misogynistic and disgusting comments I have seen in six decades, really females born into male bodies? How on earth did you work that out? Clever you!
Well logic happens to be one of those subjects I’ve spent a considerable amount of time applying my fluffy little pink brain to. Of course, not having one of those big blokey blue brains, I did need to read this question some 367 times in my attempt to parse it (unfortunately my husband wasn’t around to help me). In the end I decided you might be trying to say this:
P1: Some males have female brains
P2: Some of these female-brained males are not allowed to become female
C: Therefore they are more likely to be violent and abusive because…that’s what people with female brains do when they don’t get what they want, innit!
Um…that’s an interesting argument. But I see a couple of teeny-weeny problems with it.
Firstly, without knowing what exactly you mean by ‘female brain’, I don’t see how males can have them. If a brain is in a male’s head (or, as is commonly believed, in some other part of his anatomy), that surely makes it a male brain by definition? A man may have qualities, tastes, interests, a demeanour and all the other things that go into making up an individual’s personality, that are more commonly viewed as feminine, but he’s still a man, isn’t he? Or is it our personalities that determine whether we are male or female? Someone had better tell those pimps and traffickers, eh!
Secondly, I don’t see how it’s possible to change sex. You can take hormones, have surgery, change your name, wear make-up and ponce around in a dress and high-heels if you like, Darryl, but you can’t change the fact that you were born with a penis and testicles, that there is Y chromosome in every cell, that you are male – always have been, always will be. So it’s not a question of not being “allowed” to become a woman; it is an insurmountable truth that you cannot become one. The most you can do is present as your idea of one. The degree to which you may be sincerely accepted as one is out of your control, however much force is applied to those of us standing up for the truth. I’m trying to be gentle here because I’m afraid of what abuse and violence that ‘female brain’ of yours will unleash in you!
One more thing:
Effective at what? Effective at letting males into places where they are not wanted like women’s prisons, shelters, changing rooms, sports teams, all-women shortlists? Ya think? Oh well that makes all the difference because that is exactly what we all need isn’t it? More Martin Pontings, Duncan Smarts, Travis Alabanzas, Liam Madigans…that would be my dream!
Now this one really confused me and induced me to read all through that particular blog again trying to find what assertion I had made that anyone could possibly interpret as my claiming to know better than “these professionals”, whoever they are. But I found nothing – not in the blog nor anywhere else on this entire site. So I have to conclude you’re winding me up, you big tease, you!
Anyway, I think you are suggesting that once people have achieved an approximation of an appearance of the other sex – the one they wish they were or think they really are – then “they would feel complete and happy and therefore less likely to be violent and abusive”.
Hmmm…..I can see why, if you think violence and abuse are caused by feeling incomplete and unhappy, that you might indeed make that assumption. (If only someone had realised Peter Sutcliffe and Ian Huntley were simply feeling incomplete and unhappy!) But please allow me to tell you the problem I have with that line of arguing.
The first is that, according to the evidence I’ve seen – and I am, of course, open to the possibility that this evidence is wrong and you know better – violence and abuse against women are not really typical female responses. So I find the idea that those who are violent and abusive are actually unhappy females occupying male bodies, a little bit hard to get my head round. And I don’t think there is a professional in existence who goes along with that idea anyway.
The second is the existence of transgender criminals. On this page of this site, I have accumulated reports of male-born trans people who have committed really horrible crimes, Darryl. Take, for example, these delightful ‘female-brained’ individuals, all of whom have undergone the process of transgendering.
Or this one:
Or this one:
Or this one:
I could go on….and on and on. But I hope I’ve said enough for you to understand why I’m not entirely persuaded that transgendering makes people i.e. violent and abusive men, “less likely” to be violent and abusive.
Well, yes, I understand my arguments do not add up to you. I’ve always had this unfortunate tendency to overestimate people intellectually and to be impatient when they can’t follow my reasoning or refuse to either provide evidence for their claims or consider the evidence I provide for mine. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways.
If I can just ask one more favour of you, it would be to explain exactly what you mean by “feminist right wing drivel”. You see, I’ve always thought ‘right wing’ meant ‘conservative’, ‘reactionary’. Cultural ideas and expectations about how people of each biological sex is supposed to think, feel and behave – what we might call ‘gender roles’ – are what I see as examples of conservative thinking. So when you talk about ‘female brains’ and being ‘essentially female’, it sounds to me like…well, right wing drivel. But not feminist right wing drivel. More the kind of right wing drivel that informs state policy in Iran.
The notion that we should be free to express ourselves however we choose and pursue the activities and lifestyles we want to regardless of our biological sex and provided we don’t harm anyone else is what I, as a feminist, see as progressive and worth fighting for.
Finally, you ask me:
Thank you so much for the permission to tell you – on my own blog too!
- I am afraid of the possibility of being a victim of physical violence (again) given that it is being promoted by trans rights activists and allies on social media every single day.
- I am afraid of the loss of privacy and dignity afforded by sex-segregated spaces. Not to mention having to sit on toilet seats that men have pissed all over.
- I am afraid of seeing women’s sports erased and of seeing sporty girls have their dreams of success crushed by males.
- I am afraid of seeing more and more women being silenced by being banned from social media, our websites taken down as a result of targeting by trans activist bullies.
- Every time I set off to attend a meeting in another part of the country, I am afraid I will arrive to find that the venue owners have given in to trans rights activist bullies and cancelled.
- Every time I set off to attend a meeting anywhere, I am afraid of having to run the gauntlet of protesters who think I deserve to be punched for disagreeing.
- I’m afraid of having my language policed as is happening in other parts of the English speaking-world.
- I’m afraid of the consequences of my disobeying those who try to enforce an ideology of gender that I disagree with, as I surely will because I would rather die than go along with it.
- I’m afraid of being treated as a criminal by the courts (again).
- I’m afraid of the personal cost both financial and in terms of my emotional and psychological well-being for fighting for what I believe to be true.
- Finally, I am afraid of having to live the rest of my life in a state of fear because of autogynephilic men like you claiming the right to tell women that we must accept you as women or you won’t support us and that you aren’t a threat to us as long as you can’t get pregnant because that’s what womanhood is!
But of course, you’re right. We should really just shut up, submit, support you and then you’ll be happy and that’s all that matters isn’t it?
Under His Eye.
I’m grateful to the author of the account below, which was posted on Twitter a few days ago, for granting permission to re-post it here. I don’t know who she is. It’s a sign of the times that she feels has to remain anonymous.
I don’t know if anyone will ever read this. I’m a new account with very few followers. If anyone sees this and considers it worthy of an RT (retweet) I’d be grateful: I so much want to be heard, if only this once.
See, I joined Twitter a few months ago in a different ID, to discuss Labour politics. I like lefty Twitter. I’m happy there. I’m a party member. I knew nothing about the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) debate at that point; but did see mentions of transphobia. Naturally, I was against that.
I saw as well mention of horrible bigoted people called “TERFs,” and obviously I was against them too. And when I learnt what TERF stands for, I was surprised. What’s happened to feminism over the last 20 years or so while I haven’t been paying attention? Has it got nasty?
I thought, I’ll investigate further.
This post is a follow-up to my last blog: Why I resigned from Humanists UK.
I have said repeatedly that the society we should be striving for is one where the whole thinking around “gender” changes. Let’s discard stereotypes, roles and expectations based on biological sex and let people be free to express themselves however they like as long as they don’t pretend to be what they are not. The truth matters and truths are discovered through the scientific method, evidence, and reason – at least that’s what Humanists UK say on their website.
My opinion on the subject of personal identity has been much the same for more than four decades and nothing I have heard or read in the year and a half since I’ve been immersed in transgender issues has changed my mind. On the contrary, having both seen and experienced some of the hurt and harm caused by those promoting transgender ideology, my opinions have, if anything, become more entrenched.
I am now firmly of the opinion that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria should not justify the creation of a legal fiction, which is what the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) does. I am in favour of the Act being repealed or re-drafted in such a way as to protect transgender people from discrimination, without undermining women and without conflating ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. This means doing away with the nonsense enshrined in Gender Recognition Certificates that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are gender categories. They are not. They are the names we give to the two reproductive categories – the two sexes – in mammals. What the GRA does in effect is allow someone to legally change their sex.
However, it seems we are stuck with the GRA for the foreseeable future and the government consultation on whether we should make it even easier to create such fictions, is due to close in two days time. As I wrote in my last blog, I resigned my membership of Humanists UK (HUK) after 25 years because I understood – though they wouldn’t confirm it – that the organisation was supporting gender (effectively sex) self-ID. This is a position I feel is irreconcilable with humanist principles.
What happened to Angelos Sofocleous 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.
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.
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