QotD: “When a man tells his partner “I’m a woman” if they reply “I don’t believe in the gender fairy” – Stonewall records it as violence”
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:
The national lottery was [on the 22nd December] accused of breaking its ban on political funding after giving a large grant to a second controversial transgender lobbying group.
The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) will pay £494,000 to “empower trans leaders and organisations” in “facilitation, media and influencing”. The money is being handed to the advocacy group Stonewall for distribution to other activists, creating a “network of leaders” to lobby for change. Stonewall was central to the campaign for contentious changes to gender laws.
Last week The Sunday Times revealed the lottery had awarded £500,000 to the trans advocacy group Mermaids, which campaigns for children to be allowed prohibited sex-change hormones. More large sums to trans lobbyists are thought to be in the pipeline.
The award to Mermaids, which triggered a backlash, is now under review by the BLF. It is today criticised by a coalition of academics and feminists, who have written to this newspaper calling for a public inquiry into the 25-fold rise in children seeking NHS help with gender issues over the past decade.
The group says it is “concerned” about the role played by Mermaids — which has been accused of bullying doctors, promoting falsehoods and pressuring parents to support life-changing medical interventions for their children — and “welcomes” the review.
One of those who organised the letter, Debbie Hayton, who is herself transgender, said of the Stonewall grant: “The rules say lottery money should not be used for ‘political activity’, but giving lobbying groups a grant for ‘influencing’ is funding political campaigning by another name.”
The BLF said: “We do not fund political activities.”
[The activism of Morgan Page, who now works for the advocacy group Stonewall on its “transgender leadership programme”] may not assuage those feminist concerns. In 2012, amid some controversy, she ran a workshop [in Canada] called Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling. The “cotton ceiling” is a term used by some trans lesbian women to criticise biological lesbian women for refusing to have sex with them because they have penises.
The organiser, Planned Parenthood Toronto, insisted that “sexual consent was absolutely paramount . . . the workshop was never intended to promote overcoming any individual woman’s objections to sexual activity”.
When The Sunday Times revealed last week that the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), which awards grants from the national lottery, had given £500,000 to Mermaids, a trans group that advocates sex-change treatment for children, there was an outcry — and an immediate review.
News of this second grant for a partisan lobbying operation will trigger further questions about the lottery’s approach.
Other Stonewall trans leaders include Aimee Challenor, a former Green Party deputy leadership candidate who was suspended, then resigned, after using her father as her election agent, even though he had been charged with imprisoning, raping and torturing a 10-year-old child. He was later sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Challenor claimed to have known nothing of the crimes, which took place in the attic of the house they shared. Stonewall has since promoted Challenor to secretary of its trans advisory group, according to her Twitter feed.
Stonewall said the new lottery project was “designed to help trans people from all walks of life reduce both the discrimination they face and the fear of violence that is still a daily reality for many”.
David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, said: “Nobody objects to grants designed to provide services to LGBT people. But my concern with grants explicitly described as being for ‘influencing’ is that the lottery is taking a clear position at one extreme of what is a highly contested political debate.
“That is explicitly prohibited by their own rules which say that ‘political activity’ cannot be funded.”
The grants to Mermaids and Stonewall may be traceable back to an event last year held by the LGBT Consortium, an umbrella body for most of the sector’s charities and lobbyists, with the BLF’s portfolio development director, Gemma Bull.
“Basically the pitch was that public donations to LGBT organisations have gone down dramatically since equal marriage, so the lottery needs to step in,” said one person who was there.
A few months later Bull went on an LGBT leadership course run by Stonewall and this year was named as an LGBT role model by the organisation OUTstanding.
Early this year the lottery paid for the LGBT Consortium to hire a new staff member, Matt Halliday, to draw up grant applications and work on a new funding model. Halliday left in July in apparent dismay. He tweeted that he had “written to the funders of my project with a report on my project and the things I’ve seen” but neither he nor the consortium would comment last week. The BLF said it had received no report from Halliday.
It appears that neither the Mermaids nor Stonewall awards were considered at the highest levels. One former staff member said only the largest grants went to the BLF board to be scrutinised by external figures. Projects of £500,000 or less were approved by heads of funding, the 12 or so people who are part of the BLF’s middle to senior management.
They “would typically have up to 165 different funding applications to consider in a three-hour meeting”, the former officer said, which meant a little more than a minute on average for each grant. “They would make their decision based on three to four sides of A4 submitted by the funding manager responsible for assessing the application. The vast majority just went through on the nod.”
A senior BLF manager disputed this, saying a maximum of 25 applications were considered at each meeting and the paperwork ranged from 1-10 pages.
The former officer said levels of scrutiny had deteriorated in recent years because of problems with a computer system: “In order to cope, they cut down a lot of the questions they asked applicants including, crucially, on safeguarding. You used to have to describe in detail what the safeguarding risks were and how you’d address them. But now you only have to tick a box saying you’ve considered safeguarding.”
The review of the Mermaids grant could prove important in setting parameters for political grants in the future. Passions are high on both sides: MPs have weighed in and the charity’s supporters have adopted the Twitter hashtag IStandWithMermaids.
Even before its recent spending spree, the BLF was the ninth largest funder of LGBT causes in the world, according to the Global Philanthropy Project, and its money has been pivotal in the creation of a powerful UK trans lobby.
The LGBT Consortium says 89% of all funding for LGBT organisations comes from official sources, including the lottery. Further large grants are expected: the consortium has promised a “very exciting announcement” next month.
In the northeast, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services, which has received £756,000 from the lottery since 2012, faces closure by March after a new funding bid was turned down. Provided by the charity SixtyEightyThirty, it helps about 1000 people a year and is the county’s only specialist domestic abuse service to offer support and counselling for children.
A charity for male victims, Abused Men In Scotland, came within weeks of closure after losing its £419,000 lottery grant. It was bailed out at the 11th hour last month by a new funder, the Crerar Trust, which gave £29,000 to keep it going.
Dame Esther Rantzen’s national helpline for the elderly, The Silver Line, which has received just under £11m from the Big Lottery Fund since 2013, was told this year that funding would end. Rantzen said the charity was “secure for the moment” but its situation “isn’t easy”.
Claudia busts some myths in neuroscience. She meets scientists attending the British Neuroscience Association’s Christmas symposium on Neuromyths. She talks to Professor Chris MacManus about myths around left and right and how we use the different sides of our brain. She discusses with Duncan Astle from Cambridge University about the brain myths that have been used in education in primary schools. Cordelia Fine from Melbourne University discusses the myths about the differences between male and female brains. Anne Cook from the BNA talks about some historical myths which have been busted but why others still persist. Emma Yhnell from Cardiff University talks about whether brain training really works.
We have received a range of correspondence in relation to a proposed grant to Mermaids, expressing both concern and support regarding this organisation. We’re grateful to those who have taken the time to write to us, and in light of the nature and volume of the communication we have received, we have decided to undertake a review of this grant.
A transgender charity that campaigns for children to be given prohibited sex-change treatment has been awarded £500,000 by the national lottery.
The payment to Mermaids has angered MPs, feminists and women’s organisations, who accuse the charity of bullying doctors, promoting falsehoods and using “emotional blackmail” to pressure parents to support life-changing medical interventions for their children.
Mermaids will use the money to create a network of 45 groups nationwide.
David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, called for the grant, which has been approved but not yet paid, to be halted pending an investigation.
“I am absolutely horrified that the Big Lottery Fund are handing out a fortune to this aggressive organisation,” he said. “What they are doing is utterly wrong.”
The chief executive of Mermaids, Susie Green, who took her son for a now illegal sex-change operation in Thailand when he was 16, believes medical intervention is “absolutely vital” for children unhappy with their biological sex. Her view is disputed by NHS gender specialists who say intervention is not always right.
Mermaids also wants to overturn an NHS ban on under-16s being treated with cross-sex hormones, which cause permanent body changes and compromise fertility; those taking them require lifelong medical support. Clinicians say children are too young for such a step.
Green has said the refusal by the NHS to give children the hormones can make them “self-harming and suicidal”, and claimed attendees at the main clinic that treats gender-dysphoric youngsters, the Tavistock Centre, in north London, have a “48% suicide attempt risk”. The clinic says the true rate is less than 1%.
In evidence to MPs, Mermaids singled out a doctor at the Tavistock as “anti-trans” and demanded it conduct “a thorough audit of staff and their views”. The charity criticised the clinic for “media quotes that emphasise [the] uncertainty and complexity” of gender questions.
Green, an IT consultant, has no medical training. Responding on Twitter to an NHS psychiatrist who accused her of “making stuff up”, she wrote that “you need to f*** off. You know nothing.”
In the absence of NHS treatment, Mermaids has referred parents to a private GP, Helen Webberley, who prescribed cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12. Mermaids recommended Webberley even after she was convicted of operating an illegal gender clinic.
The number of children seeking NHS treatment for gender dysphoria has risen by 700% in five years. Michele Moore, of the Patient Safety Academy at Oxford University, blamed Mermaids and other groups for the rise, as they were “not just supporting transition but promoting it”.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of the parents’ group Transgender Trend, accused Mermaids of blackmailing parents and said: “Funding this agenda will lead to more young people who regret such life-changing harms to their bodies.”
Announcing the lottery grant on a private Mermaids Facebook group, Green said the charity was “very excited [by the] amazing news” but was “not allowed to publicise [it] externally”.
The Big Lottery Fund, a quango chaired by the former Tory MP Peter Ainsworth, said: “We are in the process of awarding [Mermaids] £500,000 over five years to increase localised support. If concerns are raised we will always look into them. However, we do not see any reason not to fund this.”
Green said Mermaids did “vital work” and that her claims on suicide were supported by the advocacy group Stonewall.
Few students ever dream that they’ll sue their high school. But that is exactly what several of my peers and I had to do.
Our school is Boyertown Area High School in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, and my reason for suing was to restore the bodily privacy we used to enjoy in locker rooms and restrooms on campus. Now, we have asked the Supreme Court to review our case.
I’m OK with the school district’s desire to hear voices other than mine on this issue. But I have a voice, too — and Boyertown officials have little interest in my perspective. They didn’t even bother to tell me or the other students that they changed school policy to allow students to choose their locker rooms and restrooms based not on their sex, but on their beliefs about their gender.
The moment I walked into our girls’ restroom and found a boy standing there, I turned and fled — the school’s surveillance video caught me running out. I tried to get the attention of administrators to explain to them how uncomfortable — how scared — I felt sharing the girls’ restroom with a boy. They wouldn’t listen. The principal simply wrote down my concerns on a Post-it note and said he’d contact me soon. He never did.
My parents were no less shocked by this new policy. Boyertown officials kept it a secret from them, too. The administrators never sent home a memo saying that, from now on, our school locker rooms would be open to students based on what sex students believed themselves to be.
Instead, our parents first learned of the policy when I found the boy in the girls’ restroom, and when others, like my classmates identified in the suit as Joel Doe and Jack Jones, were changing clothes in the boys’ locker room and looked up to find a girl changing clothes beside them.
Hollywood movies and TV shows try to make that kind of moment seem funny. But in real life, it’s embarrassing and unnerving. Locker rooms and restrooms are supposed to be a refuge for students, and adults, too, for that matter. As a woman, I go through those doors looking for privacy — not to find a guy looking back at me as I’m changing my clothes.
As a former foster child who bounced around through the system, I know what it’s like to be seeking an identity and trying to come to terms with who you are. As a black girl who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, I know what it’s like to be treated unfairly, picked on, and made fun of by insensitive people. I won’t accept anyone being bullied or discriminated against — and that absolutely includes my classmates experiencing gender dysphoria. They deserve our love and support. Even so, my privacy shouldn’t depend on what others believe about their own gender.
Why is it so hard for school officials to understand that young girls care about the privacy of their bodies? It’s natural for us and our parents to worry about who might walk in on us in a vulnerable moment. The school bureaucracy has no right to say my privacy is irrelevant.
I had once lost my voice in the foster care system. And I was once again losing it in my own school: School officials withheld information from me and my parents, then silenced me by ignoring my concerns. Fortunately, my parents also taught me to speak up for myself, and I found my voice through this lawsuit.
I recently graduated from Boyertown Area High School, so I’m not taking this stand just for myself. I’m speaking for my friends and my little sister, all of whom are having their privacy interests ignored by their own school — a school that should be protecting everyone’s privacy. That’s not fair to them. And whether school administrators intend it or not, their secrecy and silence create the distinct impression that they aren’t really interested in fairness at all.
Schools can and should be compassionate in supporting students who experience gender dysphoria. So should other students. But a truly fair and genuinely compassionate policy doesn’t have to be kept secret from students and parents. And an effective policy would be one that secures the privacy of every student — which is nothing more than what every parent and student has a right to expect.
Alexis Lightcap is a 2018 graduate of Boyertown Area High School in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. She and other students have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their student privacy lawsuit through their attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom.
QotD: “”(The Vancouver Police Department) will be monitoring and will take appropriate action should conduct breach the Criminal Code”, says a Canadian public library about a feminist speaking about women’s rights”
“(The Vancouver Police Department) will be monitoring and will take appropriate action should conduct breach the Criminal Code”, says a Canadian public library about a feminist speaking about women’s rights.
Today is International Women Human Rights Defenders Day.
QotD: “This year really has demonstrated how lucky we are in the talents of our elected representatives”
The exchange [between David T.C. Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth in South Wales, and Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford, who is also a former science teacher; which formed part of a debate in Westminster Hall], captures a great deal about this issue, which has excited strong feelings among some woman (and men).
Some of them are unhappy about rules allowing male-born people to ‘identify’ as women. They worry that doing so could compromise the female-only spaces that society has provided in recognition of the potential danger that male-bodied people pose to their safety and privacy. They argue that if, as a slogan suggests, ‘trans women are women’ and a trans woman is anyone who says they are a trans woman, then there is nothing to stop a male-born person with full male anatomy and malign intent entering female-only spaces. And that, they say, is a problem, because a male body (especially one guided by male socialisation) is always a potential threat to female bodies, female privacy, and female dignity.
Ms Moran has said she believes trans women are women. Mr Davies has said he believes that a person with a penis cannot be a woman.
Their exchange is here:
David T. C. Davies:
‘I hear what the hon. Lady is saying. May I bluntly ask her whether she would be happy sharing a changing room with somebody who was born male and had a male body?’
‘I believe that women are women, so if that person was a trans woman, I absolutely would. I just do not see the issue. As for whether they have a beard, which was one of the hon. Gentleman’s earlier comments, I dare say that some women have beards. There are all sorts of reasons why our bodies react differently to hormones. There are many forms of the human body. I see someone in their soul and as a person. I do not really care whether they have a male body.’
And that, in a nutshell, is the transgender debate. Remember, Ms Moran, an intelligent and educated member of Parliament was speaking in a debate about laws that help determine how and whether people with female bodies can chose to separate themselves from people with male bodies. I’ll repeat her key observation again, just for clarity:
‘I see someone in their soul and as a person. I do not really care whether they have a male body.’
Truly, Britain is a fortunate nation. This year really has demonstrated how lucky we are in the talents of our elected representatives. But even after the masterful Brexit debate and all the other delights, we didn’t know just how blessed we are. Because it turns out we have an MP who has the gift of being able to see people ‘in their soul’.
That must come in handy for all sorts of things, including the sort of case Mr Davies raised: being able to look at someone and gaze deep into their innermost thoughts and essence and understand what sort of person they are and what intentions they have would doubtless allow you to decide whether you were happy to undress in their presence.
But what about those women who do not possess Ms Moran’s remarkable gift, and who might just be a little concerned about the anatomy of the people they share changing rooms and bathrooms with? Women who might not subscribe to the fact-free, anti-evidence superstitious gibberish contained in talk of seeing souls? Women who might just consider material reality, biological fact and thousands of years of accumulated evidence about male violence, committed with male bodies, to actually matter? Women who might be left asking, if even MPs debate laws on sex and gender on the basis of ‘souls’ not bodies, what hope is there?
Sadly, Ms Moran did not say anything about those women who are not fortunate enough to share her special gift. Perhaps she’ll get to them next time MPs debate this issue.
Thank you to everyone involved with the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for this really incredible honour. I want to thank everyone involved in the Prize – founders, patrons and supporting organisations, for making it so important over the years, and the judges for selecting us in this, its twentieth, year. It’s really so moving to have your recognition.
Nothing is possible without sisterhood. Thank you Kiri Tunks, Ruth Serwotka and the team – our speakers, treasurer, writers, editors, graphic designers, meeting organisers – all so talented and giving of their time whether publicly or modestly, and a special shout-out to Sarah Johnson representing us tonight at a public meeting in Bath.
Thanks also to thousands of women in the grassroots movement, attending meetings, filling in the GRA consultation, writing to and meeting their MPs, and defending us so valiantly against constant slurs and lies.
Woman’s Place UK exist because women have faced male violence when they have spoken up: from the beating of Maria Maclachlan at speakers corner to Rosa Freedman being told she should be raped. This abuse aimed at women must be a wake up call for all campaigners against male violence.
We exist because male violence against women and sex discrimination still exist. We stand for women’s sex-based rights and protections in law, and for women to have a voice in legislation that affects us. The right of women to assert our own boundaries, to say ‘no’, is the non-negotiable basis of women’s liberation.
We have spent the last year working really hard to push back and change the landscape, so that other women and women’s services can hold their heads high and say without shame ‘yes, we use and value female-only space and services, and are proud of it.’ It breaks my heart that the local organisation (founded by and for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse that I used in my teens and early twenties) no longer offers female-only services, and worse, that they have no referral pathway for women who need those services.
It really is a case of ‘Use them or lose them’, when it comes to single-sex exemptions.
Twenty years! Who could have believed, twenty years ago, that we would now be fighting on such a fundamental principle – the right of women to have boundaries, to say ‘no’, to our own spaces and services, to be counted, to speak? Well, some women did already have an idea.
In 1995, the year Emma Humphreys was released after ten years in prison, Vancouver Rape Relief were issued a legal writ for remaining a female-only collective .
In 2004, the courageous Julie Bindel wrote about Vancouver Rape Relief’s legal victory and has suffered the most appalling attempts to isolate and vilify her ever since.
Women saw and were frightened and were silent.
Where has silence led?
A case just reported, from Canada: a father convicted of sexually abusing his daughter can be housed in a women’s prison because he claims to identify as a woman. This is where prioritising men’s feeling over women’s reality has led.
I am delighted to accept this prize from Jenni Murray who has also spoken up for women’s reality and faced vitriol for doing so.
Let this forthcoming year be the year all of us speak up for women and girls, against female erasure, against lesbian erasure, for female reality.
Somebody calling themselves George Godwyn on social media wrote this (there does appear to be a ‘real’ George Godwyn out there, a very minor libertarian commentator, but there’s nothing I can find to prove they are the same person as the above). As star-of-wormwood puts it on tumblr, this is classic DARVO:
“DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.”
There is a distinct strain of paedophilia to queer/trans activism, from the sexualisation of trans identified boys, to the celebration of a ten-year-old ‘drag queen’ in a dog collar (I cannot bring myself to put the necessary words into a search engine to find out exactly where the first image comes from):
To child abusers running ‘trans youth programs’, to extortions from adult trans activists for children and adolescents to run away from home and join a ‘glitter family’, to obviously perverted shit like this:
All this is nothing new, paedophiles have been trying (with greater and lesser success), to infiltrate the gay rights movement for decades. Gay men and lesbians have always fought back, but the ‘queer/trans’ end of the alphabet soup doesn’t seem so concerned.
EDIT to add these tweets (previously posted here):
EDIT 09/12/18 to add these tweets: