“Monuments across Wales and the UK have been dressed up as part of a new campaign against the erosion of women’s rights”
Monuments across Wales and the UK have been dressed up as part of a new campaign against the “erosion of women’s rights”.
The early morning rush hour crowd were surprised yesterday morning (Monday, January 29) as they came face-to-face with female statues dressed in black t-shirts or draped in banners emblazoned with “woman. Noun. Adult human female.”.
In the past 24 hours, South East Wales Resisters, known as SeWReSisters, alongside ReSisters United, have carried out a campaign across the UK using the hashtag #WomenStandUp. Statues of women all over the country are now dressed in similar attire.
The sculptures in the heart of Newport commemorate the Chartist rebellion.
SeWReSisters claim: “It is fitting that SeWReSisters honour this working-class movement which fought for the rights of the common people.”
ReSisters United, has co-ordinated this campaign across England, Wales and Scotland, to kick off a global week of feminist action called to protest what it claims is “the censoring of women on Facebook and Twitter and the gradual erosion of women’s rights”.
A spokeswoman for ReSisters United commented: “In today’s climate of hyper political correctness, the factual definition of woman has become taboo.
“The dignity, privacy and safety of women is at risk.
“With this action we send the message that women have the right to speak about our biology without shame, fear or retribution”.
“We’d say that we are not positioning ourselves against trans issues, we are standing up for the rights of women and girls.
“We’re not anti-trans, we are pro-women.”
ReSisters United proclaim that they are “committed to speaking out to protect the right to sex-segregated spaces, without the presence of men”.
Lunapads is a company I would like to be able to support, and to recommend to other women, but I am appalled by your recent behaviour on social media.
Calling women and girls ‘menstruators’ ‘bleeders’ and ‘womb-owners’ is dehumanising and degrading. Putting ‘content warnings’ for ‘gendered language’ (whatever that actually means) on articles about women and girls is turning femaleness into a taboo subject – the tweet (from November 2018) that upset me the most was about Girl Scouts on the International Day of the Girl Child, about “girls lifting up other girls”, apparently that article needed a ‘content warning’.
In a tweet (from September 2018) about ‘patriarchy-free periods’ you talked about ‘all bodies’ being ‘covered’. ‘All bodies’ do not menstruate, only female ones. Obfuscating female biology is not progressive, it’s reactionary, and you do women and girls no favours by making them feel like bigots for talking about their female anatomy.
It’s great that you make ‘gender neutral’ products (but does a woman have to identify as trans or ‘non-binary’ to be allowed to use them?), but if you want to be inclusive, why not just say ‘women and trans men’? It seems obvious to me that this has very little to do with including trans men, and everything to do with pandering to trans women by not using the word ‘woman’ in any context that naturally excludes them.
That this is pandering becomes even more obvious when looking at a photo you posted on Instagram (in December 2018) of a card with a picture of a toilet and the text “Feeling confused or maybe a little upset? Don’t worry! My gender has nothing to do with you and I am supposed to be here.”
Dismissing women’s reasonable concerns about safety in public toilets (and changing rooms, and locked hospital wards, and homeless shelters, and prisons, and overnight accommodation for school trips) as ‘confusion’ or ‘being upset’ is patronising, condescending, and arrogant; the card may as well have said ‘don’t worry your silly little head about it sweetie!’
Do you care about the safety of women and girls at all? You must be aware of the case in Canada of Jessica/Christopher Hambrook, a paedophile and serial sex offender, who assaulted two women while living at a women’s shelter in 2012. Do you think it’s a good idea to tell women and girls to ignore their instincts when they are in close proximity to a potentially dangerous male?
What exactly do you hope to achieve with this mindless virtue signalling? Are there really that many trans men to buy your products? Trans women have male bodies, they do not have uteruses, they will never menstruate, and your products will never have the same fetishistic attraction as scavenging for used tampons and towels from the bins in public toilets.
Have you noticed an improvement in sales? Is alienating your core demographic really a good business strategy?
How do you justify advocating body positivity and self-acceptance on the one hand, but on the other, promoting an ideology that says some women are born in the ‘wrong body’ and that those ‘wrong bodies’ need extreme medical intervention in the form of radical surgery and a life-long dependence on synthetic hormones? What message do you think you are giving to girls who are going through puberty, and all the natural difficulties that major life-change involves, when you put up aesthetic photos of mastectomy scars on your Instagram account?
But what really tipped me over the edge and got me writing this letter to you was a re-tweet (in December 2018) about ‘SWERFs’. ‘SWERF’, like ‘TERF’ is a thought-terminating cliché, designed to shut down debate and critical thinking. Are you aware that many of the women fighting the sex industry, like Rachel Moran and Fiona Broadfoot, have direct, personal experience of being commercially sexually exploited while minors? Are you aware that SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment) have organised a conference in London for this February called Women of Colour Against the Sex Trade? Will you be listening to these women too?
I also found a 2016 post of yours on Instagram where you discuss a potential project with Buck Angel, a trans porn performer. Is collaborating with the sex industry part of your ongoing business strategy? What kind of message do you think you are giving to young women and girls by helping to normalise the sex industry?
Your Pads4Girls program (where you again refer to girls as ‘menstruators’) is designed specifically to help keep Global South girls in school and out of poverty. One of the undeniable purposes of keeping girls in school and out of poverty is to help keep them out of the sex trade, or situations where they need to get an older ‘boyfriend’ who can buy them basic essentials like sanitary towels. What impact do you think the normalisation of the sex industry as ‘just work’ has on the life chances of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women and girls?
I look forward to hearing back from you,
Lunapads can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. Screen-caps, of everything described above, in the comments
In case you weren’t able to attend the sold out Gender Identity Ideology and Women’s Rights talk at the Vancouver Public Library, it was, in a word, beautiful. On Thursday, myself, Lee Lakeman, and surprise speaker Fay Blaney spoke truth to power, shutting down any possibility of discrediting the independent, grassroots women’s movement. Blaney challenged the myth of numerous “genders” in Indigenous cultures, wielded by trans activists in order to justify post-modern, academic theories about “gender identity,” and claim them as “non-Western” for identity politics points. Blaney said, “There are people who are talking about how Indigenous nations had five genders. That’s absolute B.S.” Lakeman reminded “those of you who can imagine bullying us into submission, you’re clearly unfamiliar with us.” I argued that it is unnecessary to trample on women’s rights in order to also argue that those who step out of traditional gender stereotypes should not be harassed or discriminated, and indeed, challenging gender stereotypes is always what feminists have encouraged. No one in attendance could argue, with any integrity, that any of the panelists were “hateful” or interested in harming others.
While many protesters shouted unrelated, nonsensical slogans outside, none had the strength of character or intelligence to address the panelists in good faith, inside. The few trans activists who did attend limited their “protests” to giggling at concerns about fascism and cheering when Blaney — a long time Indigenous feminist activist committed to fighting male violence against women — shared that she had been pushed out of the annual Women’s Memorial March, which honours the lives of missing and murdered women lost in the Downtown Eastside. One trans activist who did speak began by insulting another woman’s hair, before launching into a confusing lecture about race.
Three hundred people attended the event — many more wanted to, but could not get tickets, as the event sold out. Thousands more watched online. The vast majority of the audience was in support of either our positions or, simply, the need for an open conversation about the issues. It is clear that Canadian politicians and the Canadian media are failing the general public in their efforts to distort, censor, and ignore that this is a conversation people desperately want to have, and that most in Canada are not on board with gender identity ideology and legislation, nor do they support trans activist tactics, which rely on using bullying, threats, and libel to silence and smear detractors.
Watch the talk and Q&A in its entirety here:
Government consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act – Fair Play for Women’s ready-made response
The UK government’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act finishes on the 19th October.
The UK government’s consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act closes on the 19th of October.
This consultation is run by the government (it’s not some zombie petition), filling it in is important and does make a difference.
If you are not sure why this matters, have a read back through the ‘trans issues’ category of posts on this blog, or look at the rest of Fair Play for Women’s website, or A Woman’s Place, or Transgender Trend, or Gender Trender, or 4th Wave Now.
Lesbians mounted a parade-stopping protest at London Pride today, July 7, 2018. They objected to the erasure of lesbians caused by so-called allies among gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations and individuals who forcibly rename lesbians as generic “queer people” and who demand that heterosexual men who sexually fetishize lesbianism must be accepted by same-sex attracted women as if they were actual lesbians.
The lesbians first gathered in front of the march, displaying their message. They carried signs and banners that read “Lesbian=Female Homosexual”, and “Lesbian Not Queer”, “Transactivism Erases Lesbians” and “Get the ‘L’ Out!”, among others. Then they lay down in the street, halting the parade and drawing attention. After a few minutes, they stood, and led the Pride March, remaining at the helm for the duration.
Back in March I made two complaints to the BBC over the way commercial sexual exploitation was reported on the BBC’s news website; in April, the BBC replied to my concerns, and altered the web pages.
I am absolutely certain that, in relation to the BBC’s reporting of Fiona Broadfoot’s victory in the High Court, I am far from the only person to have complained to the BBC, so cannot claim this as my own, sole, work.
The BBC originally used the headline “Former sex worker ‘vindicated’ after High Court win”, it now reads “Sex abuse victim ‘vindicated’ after High Court win”
This is my original complaint:
The use of the term ‘sex work’ in a piece relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls. Fiona Broadfoot was 15 when she was first commercially sexually exploited, 15 is below the age of consent so this was statutory rape, rape is not ‘work’. Broadfoot has said clearly on twitter that she was never a ‘sex worker’. ‘Sex work’ is a partisan term and should be used with caution, and should never be used to describe the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
To which I received this reply:
Thanks for contacting us regarding use of the phrase “former sex worker” in the headline to the following BBC News article:
The use of this phrase in the headline reflects the fact that the “three women, who say they were groomed into prostitution as teenagers, have won a High Court battle” and “successfully argued that the disclosure of convictions for working in the sex trade many years ago was disproportionate and a breach of their Article 8 Human Rights – the right to a private life.”
Thanks again for your feedback. Complaints are sent to senior management and news teams every morning via our overnight reports.
So I complained again:
I contacted the BBC two weeks ago to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in an article about the commercial sexual exploitation of a fifteen-year-old girl, the reply I received was an insultingly lazy, circular, cut-and-paste (effectively: we used the term ‘sex work’ because it was an article about ‘sex work’). ‘Sex work’ is a partisan term, the debate over whether the sex industry is a form of exploitation, or freely chosen work is far from over. The term ‘sex work’ itself is begging the question (‘sex work is work’, ‘this bad thing is bad’). Under any other circumstances, coerced sex is called rape, but when money is exchanged, coerced sex gets called ‘work’. Fifteen is below the statutory age of consent, therefore any sexual activity below the age of consent is rape. Fiona Broadfoot has contacted the BBC via twitter to say that she was never a ‘sex worker’, and that she objects to the use of the term in the article about her. I would like someone at the BBC to explain to me why it was considered appropriate to call a commercially raped child a ‘sex worker’
And received this reply:
Thank you for getting in touch about our article reporting that three women have won a High Court battle which means they will not have to tell future employers about their soliciting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43261021) and we’re sorry that you were dissatisfied with the initial response from our central complaints team.
Having reviewed your complaint I think you raise a fair point.
While we wouldn’t refer to statutory rape in the absence of actual charges or convictions for that offence in connection with the story, we have since amended the headline to now refer to how:
Sex abuse victim ‘vindicated’ after High Court win
We hope you’ll find this satisfactory and we’re sorry once again that you’ve had to write to us twice to make this point.
I also complained about the reporting of trafficking into the sex industry in Spain. This is the complaint I sent:
I am writing to complain about the use of the term ‘sex work’ in an article about sex trafficking, sex slavery, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (‘Spanish police break up Nigerian sex trafficking gang’ published online 23 March 2018).
‘Sex work’ is a partisan term, it is not a neutral descriptor; under any other circumstances, coerced sex is called rape, but when the rapist hands money over to a third party controlling the rape victim, some people try to call this ‘work’. The term ‘sex work’ takes a sexual abuse and sexual exploitation issue, and reduces it to a mere labour issue.
The article in question clearly says that one of the victims of sex trafficking was an under-age girl, which means she was incapable of consenting to sex, and it is therefore entirely inappropriate to describe her rape as ‘work’.
Language matters, the meaning of words matters, the BBC is supposed to be impartial and trust-worthy; by using a contested term like ‘sex work’ in this context (the Europol report uses the terms ‘prostitution’ and ‘sexual exploitation’ only), the BBC is failing to be either of these things.
I received this reply:
Thank you for getting in touch with your comments on a recent article headed, ‘Spanish police break up Nigerian sex trafficking gang.’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-43514125)
On review we agree that use of the term ‘sex work’ may be ambiguous in relation to the 39 women and girls trafficked into forced sex by a notorious Nigerian gang.
We have updated the article to clarify that while they were paid for sex, they were not employed in ‘sex work’ in the traditional sense of a person legitimately employed in the sex industry.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we hope this addresses your concerns.
The line in the article “Gang members forced the women into sex work in order to pay off a 30,000 euro ($37,000; £26,000) debt.” Has been changed to “Gang members forced the women into paid sex in order to pay off a 30,000 euro ($37,000; £26,000) debt.”
It’s not ideal, since ‘paid sex’ doesn’t really communicate fully the reality of being held captive and raped so someone else can receive money, but it’s better than ‘sex work’. I also don’t agree that the sex industry is ever ‘legitimate’ even when it’s legal, but that is a political stance, and I can only ask the BBC to be impartial!
The moral of this story is, it’s always worth complaining to the BBC, they are a publicly funded body, and they are therefore answerable to the British public.
QotD: “Feminists join men-only swim in protest of proposed law to enable people to self-identify as male or female”
Female activists took a group of male swimmers by surprise on Friday evening when they attended a men-only swim session wearing just trunks and pink swimming caps.
Amy Desir, 30, was one of the two women to gain access to the south London pool session, as part of a protest against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would enable men and women to choose their own gender.
Both women explained their attendance to staff at Dulwich Leisure Centre by saying they “identified as male” and subsequently had the right to be there.
Amy Desir: ‘Misogynistic and homophobic pro-self-ID policies are allowing men to appropriate women’s spaces, services and positions’ (Amy Desir)
They also used the male changing rooms before going into the session and were later asked by an elderly man if they realised it was a male-only session.
Their actions form part of a nationwide campaign formed on Mumsnet called #ManFriday which encourages women to “self-identify” as men every Friday in protest of the proposed amendments to gender laws, which would enable people to self-identify as men or women.
“The aim of the group is to raise awareness among men of the misogynistic and homophobic pro-self-ID policies that are allowing men to appropriate women’s spaces, services and positions,” Desir told The Independent.
“Most men either aren’t aware of the issue or don’t think it has anything to do with them.”
There are currently 91 women taking part in #ManFriday, revealed the mother-of-two, all of whom self-ID as men every Friday to access men-only spaces.
“We don’t change anything about our appearance, or pretend to be in the process of transitioning, just state that we are men.”
Desir and her fellow campaigners are concerned that the proposed legislation would enable predatory men to abuse women in single-sex spaces by self-identifying as female.
“We want to challenge the idea that sex and gender are interchangeable and for organisations to use the lawful exemptions in the Equality Act to protect the rights, safety, dignity and privacy of women,” Desir added.
“We also want women’s organisations to be consulted on proposed changes to the law.”
Let’s start with this statement: I am not going to justify women having their own spaces. Thousands of women, some I know, most I don’t, fought the fight for women’s spaces before I was born so that I, and other women in the UK today, don’t have to. Thanks to them, women’s rights, protections, spaces, and services exist to facilitate women’s participation in social life by upholding and protecting our safety, privacy and dignity. Programs and offices reserved for women seek to redress systemic discrimination against women that puts us at a disadvantage compared to our male peers.
If you are a UK citizen, you can sign the government petition here (because it is set up via the UK government, they, in theory, have to take notice; it currently has over 8000 of the 10,000 signatures needed).
The government proposes to amend the law to allow people to self-identify as men or women, and to stop allowing organisations in sensitive situations to exclude people of the opposite birth sex. We call for women to be consulted on how to protect women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity.
We call for:
– Respectful and evidence-based discussion about the impact of proposed changes and for women’s voices to be heard.
– The government to consult with women’s organisations on how self-declaration would impact on women-only services and spaces, data-gathering, and monitoring of sex-based discrimination.
– The principle of single-sex spaces to be upheld – and where necessary extended.
The Daily Mail has reported on this as well, and this quote towards the end of the article is effectively admitting that this is about letting any man into women’s spaces:
Bernard Reed, a trustee of the Gender Identity Research and Education Society, said: ‘This case demonstrates that women may enter men’s spaces, just as men may enter women’s spaces.
‘Simplifying the current unduly onerous and degrading process of obtaining a gender recognition certificate will just make life easier for trans people.’
In a bizarre (not) case of reversal, tans activists are calling these women sex offenders:
While the response from the Mermaids organisation was unsurprisingly daft:
I also found via tumblr, screen grabs that suggest Swim England’s policy was/is that female bodied persons who identify as male can only swim in binders (which they claim is safe, which I can’t believe) or some other covering – women are not allowed to complain about penises in the women’s changing rooms, but breasts in public are obscene! I can’t currently find this on Swim England’s website, but the colour scheme matches, and I did see a tweet saying Swim England was examining its policy.
To finish, here’s another ManFriday tweet:
Comrades, we are a group of Labour women who want to ensure all-women shortlists stay reserved for females and that women’s representation in the party increases. We believe that the election of transwomen as women’s officers and their inclusion on all-women shortlists is reducing and undermining female representation in the Labour party.
We are absolutely committed to trans people, as a marginalised group, living free from discrimination and violence: we need trans representatives, trans councillors and trans MPs in our party. We are socialists and we are egalitarians. However, trans representation must not happen at the expense of female candidates and we are furious that we are having to fight another battle for women’s representation, just 100 years after the suffragette victories.
We have been advised that a legal challenge to the Labour party on this could be winnable. The party has recently allowed males to be elected as women’s officers and males to be selected over females in all-woman MP candidate selections. This has happened because Labour, in practice, has started to define ‘women’ by sex AND by self-identification. Self-id is not legally recognised (as defined by equality act exemptions) whereas sex IS but Labour, nevertheless, relies on these two antithetical definitions of ‘woman’ which is causing a conflict of interests which needs resolution.
As socialists we understand class analysis and we know the most meaningful way to classify women is by sex. Sex, along with poverty, age, disability and race, is one of the major oppressive hierarchies in the world today. Women’s biology has always the basis for our oppression worldwide BY MEN. Feminism is defined as the movement to liberate all women from sex-based oppression.
Self-id also impacts on lesbians and gay men who, by definition, are not homogenderists but homosexuals. Lesbians and gays are currently afforded legal, sex-based protections from discrimination and these are already being diluted by self-id. We believe gender is a manmade, toxic set of stereotypes, used to restrict men and women and we want to see it abolished, not codified into law. We support all gender non-conforming people: be they lesbian, gay or trans. Feminists have always been at vanguard of the fight for people to live their lives in a gender non-conforming way and will continue to do so – but never at the expense of women’s rights and representation.
We do not classify people based on a set of gendered ideals by which most will fail: the superficial markers of clothing, hairstyles and make-up… or by body type, weight, or perceived femininity or masculinity. We do not assess people’s worth by the way they look or speak – women and men succeed as women and men simply by being. The same is true for girls and boys. All girls are acceptable as girls and all boys are acceptable as boys, however they dress, look or behave. We condemn the medicalisation of pre-pubescent kids who are encouraged to take puberty blockers if they play with the ‘wrong’ toys or want to wear the ‘wrong’ clothes. Conservatives see a boy in a dress and want to change the outfit, liberals see the dress as fine but want to change the kid’s body. Socialist feminists want kids to be kids and wear what tf they want.
Every penny of the money we raise will go entirely on our legal funds, we will produce all our bank statements, legal bills and legal updates and upload to this site. We want our donors to make the decisions on how to move forward and we will crowdfund direction as well as money. We will follow where you lead, and will keep in regular contact by email, so we can democratically decide how we do this, what we want to achieve, how we go about it and who we employ to act on our behalf.
Your support will mean a great deal to women, it will mean there are people who care, who have not forgotten them. It will mean they are not politically homeless: we stand with them.
Please do not give more than you can really afford, it’s not necessary… and don’t feel you have to donate – your support and your help in sharing the crowdfunder is enough and IS appreciated.
Any left-over funds will go to fight against self-id, against the medicalisation of children and to keep women’s spaces female-only, specifically: women’s hospital wards, gyny screening, prisons, domestic violence shelters, changing rooms, saunas, spas, sleeper train carriages, scholarships, quotas and national and international women’s sports.
We all know that only the Labour party has the best interests of women at heart. Please help us to overturn the decisions of the party liberals, weather vanes and bureaucrats to prove this is the case. Self-id is a tory manifesto policy for heaven’s sakes… which gives us all an idea of just how bad an idea it is.
Your solidarity is appreciated and ours is eternal.
Jennifer James Garston and Halewood CLP
Anne Ruzylo Bexhill and Battle CLP
Dr. Viv Pointon Derby South CLP
Emma Salmon Bexhill and Battle CLP
Suzanne Weaver Stroud CLP
Pilgrim Tucker Vauxhall CLP
Christine Bayliss Bexhill and Battle CLP
Venice Allan Lewisham Deptford CLP
Samantha Marshall-Cameron. Sheffield Central CLP
Teflon John: The Man Who Hid In Plain Sight
This is the story of suspected baby trafficker, pimp, kidnapper, and major charity fraudster John Davies.
It is also the story of a world renowned academic, missionary, gold-hearted philanthropist, and expert in combatting trafficking in women and children.
Which of these two descriptions is true?
After an investigation lasting almost 20 years, Julie Bindel knows the answer. But will you believe her? Or might you prefer the version peddled by Davies and his supporters since the rumours began to circle back in the 1980s?
The intensive 18-month stage of this long-term investigation has been self-funded by Julie. She now needs to secure production costs to make a ten-part series.
The estimated cost per episode is approximately £500. The remaining funds will go to promotion and distribution in order to disseminate the story of John Davies far and wide. Julie is confident that on hearing the evidence against Davies, more victims and witnesses will come forward.
Once the first two episodes are funded, the team will begin to produce them.
Once properly underway, with regular donations coming in, we aim to produce a 20 minute podcast on a regular basis, covering the ten major phases of the story.
Please help fund this vital investigation, where there will be attempts to silence Bindel’s reporting and allow the podcast team to start producing.
You can listen to a taster of this story here: https://t.co/i4BmmJzM69
Julie Bindel is a British journalist, researcher and feminist campaigner. She has written hundreds of articles published by The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesmen and other news agencies in Britain and around the world.
She has appeared in countless television interviews and debates in defence of feminist perspectives of male violence, and is a co-founder of the law reform group Justice for Women https://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk/
Bindel is sole author of the forthcoming book, ‘The pimping of prostitution – Abolishing the Sex Work Myth’ (Palgrave McMillan, 2017).
Bindel has devoted her working and non-working life to campaigning against male violence – going after the men who murder, stalk, abuse, terrorise and rape women and girls. Equally, she has exposed the structures, cultural, legal and political practises and ideas which lend themselves to the epidemic of male violence, particular the very idea that the bodies of women and girls are things to be bought, sold, acquired and taken in service of male power and privilege.
Read more at:https://www.byline.com/project/68