Philosophical question for the weekend

#WPUKManchester speakers

The vast majority of women who get involved with Woman’s Place, or go to its meetings, do so for these two reasons:

Reason one

They have experienced the mind-numbing horror of childhood sexual abuse, such as rape, manipulative sexual behaviour in the family or FGM; or the fear and frustration caused by sex discrimination and bullying in work, in sport, in politics or in their union; or the atmosphere of terror rising in women’s prisons and hostels, as news spreads of male sex-offenders successfully presenting as women in order to gain a transfer to a women’s institution, or the disgusting way lone female refugees are treated.

Reason two

With at least one of the above experiences jangling in their minds, they realise that the push from Stonewall and others to replace ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’ in law, in order to firm up the practice of self-ID, will officially remove any attempts at gate-keeping female-only spaces.

The question

Given these two reasons and the mind-set they produce, do you think the experience of running the gauntlet of a mob of largely male thugs in order to get into a meeting, and even more scary, to disperse in front of them afterwards and hope to get home safely, will persuade these women to stop campaigning to maintain and ensure legal protections for women?

“F**k terfs” appears to be their reasoned argument against women discussing their concerns.

Here’s what some observers (including actual socialists) thought about it all…

Lachlan Stuart: You don't need pronoun badges to see that there are a lot of aggressive men in this crowd trying to intimidate and silence women talking abou ttheir experiences as refugees, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence.
The #WPUKManchester event tonight shows 2 things: inside, a democratic discussion' outside, a shouty projtest that doesn't seem to know or care what the issues are. So please cut the evenhanded "less heat, more light" line. Acknowledge the reality.
Stephen Knight: I'm living in bizarro world. I'm sat amongst mostly middle aged women (obeservation, not insult), istening intently to other women talk about women's rights whilst a huge crowd outside chants about the nonexistent hate happening.

Two important points revealed in those comments: one is the age of the women. This is not just a generational divide. Young people do not necessarily support gender-ideology over sex but it is way, way harder for the young to speak out against the mob.

Perhaps even more importantly, it is women who have suffered sexual abuse and discrimination who are most concerned, and experiences like that, especially if they occurred in childhood, take decades to come to terms with, so it has always been mostly women over 40 who campaign for, set up, fund, protect, maintain and lobby for women’s spaces and services.

Secondly, it is not a ‘toxic debate’. Yes, there are toxic versions of the debate all over Twitter. Twitter and other social media do toxic versions of everything but you know even there, although you see women getting angry and sometimes making ill-judged or insensitive comments, they come nowhere near matching the pile-ons of sexual and violent threats and revolting abuse they receive, merely for doubting the trans activists’ version of sex and gender.

I hear colleagues on the Left constantly say, re the trans debate...

Out in the world, in politics, in the unions and in the community, women have been desperately trying to have a civilised debate and get across their concerns, whilst being shouted down by mostly male bunches of thugs.

There is one sliver of an excuse for the baying mob’s behaviour: because of Stonewall’s one-sided lobbying (yes, really one-sided – when did Stonewall last give voice to the lesbian and gay people who are worried about trans activists’ aggressive denial of same sex attraction?) and because of Stonewall’s workplace ‘virtue’ badges, many, many people have stayed silent about bullying on this issue for fear it may affect their careers or political or trade union positions. As a result, the shameless behaviour of these abusive mobs is facilitated by the silence of people who should be calling them out.

Are you one of the silent facilitators of mobs trying to terrify women out of political life? If you have spoken up clearly and regularly about these years of public (and worse behind the scenes) mistreatment of women, thank you. If you have not, well – please understand that secure adults calling out bullies on behalf of the vulnerable should be routine and universal. That’s how we (used to) maintain civilisation.

Please also remember, despite the nonsense you hear, allowing mobs to bully women does not do anything to help trans people – rather the reverse, because tempers are rising everywhere as a result of this, and opinions are polarising. That’s not good for anyone – the only cure is to protect and facilitiate civilised debate and negotiation, which is precisely what Woman’s Place UK was founded to do.

Wonderful women ad, featuring JKRowling, Joanna Cherry, Johann Lamont, Joan McAlpine

If you have stayed silent because you don’t understand either the legal or the ideological issues involved, well that’s understandable. Many people don’t get it, because debate has been skewed and limited by the thugs, and many academic and political writers who should know better have produced masses of word-salad in an attempt to sound ‘on message’ whilst talking nonsense.

Please help to facilitate a proper discussion so that the issues become clearer. If you don’t see the need to speak out, we will continue to be limited to ‘discussion’ by extremists, shock-jocks, and point-scoring, shameless politicians, whilst the best of our women remain in the background holding besieged meetings that many do not dare to attend.

A reminder of my question:

Do you think the experience of running the gauntlet of a mob of largely male thugs in order to get into a meeting, and even more scary, to disperse in front of them afterwards and hope to get home safely, will persuade these women to stop campaigning to maintain and ensure legal protections for women?

Here’s a piece of evidence for you. I have experienced violent and sexual threats, vandalism, slander and sabotage aimed at my work and my political activism, I have walked into, spoken at and anxiously walked home from meetings besieged by mobs yelling abuse during the years of my involvement in this campaign. I have had friends (not the real ones, obviously) and colleagues cool off and cold-shoulder me for fear of attracting the heat themselves, and the result is that I won’t stop writing and speaking about it until women’s legal rights and protections are properly discussed, assessed, and where necessary strengthened and renewed. Why? – because I have found out what real mortal fear is like, and I’m not willing to live that way, or bequeath a world like this to the girls who come after us.


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3 responses to “Philosophical question for the weekend”

    • Thank *you*, Kevin. It was so good to see a range of men highlighting the problems this time around. Women can and will deal with this, but it’s great to see that solidarity isn’t entirely dead.


  1. Just read this excellent piece- well done Kay for keeping on fighting, for precisely running the gauntlet on this. There is a lot more discussion needed – who knows you and I might also shift our position but, as you say, this is less likely if we are greeted with shouts of T£$F C***S for daring to raise concerns….and as for protecting our girls and young women in schools and universities from the impact of pornorgraphy, male entitlement (and male confusion)!!!!! One of the main arguments for a true feminism (not numnber crunching identity politics of how many women we have in Board Rooms of rapacious capitalist corporations) is that men will also be free to live the lives they choose and not be bound by social expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

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