Five years of frustration, trying to get “the left” to sort out the appalling ignorance of lefty MPs, activists and groups on the women’s rights issue, on what’s happening to vulnerable women and girls, and to our kids – now, finally, the problems we’ve been trying to amplify have “gone mainstream”. Most people at least know there’s a problem with sports, and a problem with sex-offenders taking advantage of the establishment’s tolerance of self-ID.
But “going mainstream” throws up another set of problems. Women make up over half the population and there are also men, especially gay men, and trans people, who have issues with the way Stonewall et al have pushed “gender identity ideology” — There are as many opinions as there are people who hear about it but for most of that time, only one opinion was allowed in the media.
Trying to talk
I say five years because that’s how long, approximately, it’s been impacting on me personally. My contribution in that time has mostly been these blog-posts but I was very aware that the biggest problem, and the most difficult hurdle to get over, was that after so much bullying and so much disinformation, people, particularly women, just can’t find their way to discussing the issue properly – and when I say “properly”, I mean from a women’s perpective. Sure, good friends discuss that side of it in their kitchens, and shock-jocks have great fun with it – but where is the political debate?
For some years, it’s been entirely on the right, where they don’t care if they hurt people, or from the corporate-derived, “LGBTQ+ community” perspective (that is patently not the same as “for trans people” or “for LGBT people”).
“The left” is still afraid to start the discussions we need, and if people don’t hear those angles, too many will stay in ignorance of what’s going wrong. I think the only answer to a situation like that is to “be what you want to see” so I have joined Mandy Clare in recording a long, rambling and uncensored discussion on why this is all so hard to talk about, and on what women of the left have had to put up with these last years.
Live Q and A on Wednesday
It was intended to be a livestream but technical problems happened – apparently, my internet connection just ain’t good enough – so we recorded it, and here, I give my sincere thanks to Resistance TV, who have given Mandy a platform for a series of pieces on the issue. This part is meant to come across as “yes, you can just talk. Here is us doing it.” I daresay I said at least half a dozen things that people could extract and take exception to. I did have notes by me, to check that we covered the main points, but what the heck — I just talked. It’s going out on Wednesday – here’s the link…
… There will be a live chat-line running and Mandy and I will be around to answer any questions thrown in. Do please share the link, and join in to comment.
Finding our way
At the end, of the recording, we recommend a range of groups and websites where people can get more information. Those groups and websites don’t all agree, some are more technical, some more academic, some more populist. Those who support one will criticize another – but that’s the whole point. It’s time to widen the horizon. We need to look at more than one idea, judge for ourselves, accept that there is a wide range of opinions, and accept that people learn gradually, question, discuss, backtrack, change their minds. That’s what discussions are for. I’ve expressed my own doubts, made some clumsy attempts at some ideas, I may even have said some things I don’t agree with – that is normal – that is how discussion works. I fully intend to be entirely un-distressed by any complaints about that – I hope we help more people do the same thing – out loud – because that’s how people learn, and it’s the only way we’ll clear the air and find our way to some answers.
The consequences of oppression
It’s still incredibly difficult for women to talk accurately and honestly about their own rights, wants and needs. If you have made any study at all of female socialization or of the effects of oppression, you should know that but, amazingly, we even have some very well-read Marxists who don’t get that. After the Q and A on Wednesday, I’ll be doing another blog post on the questions and reactions, and where that takes me because – come on, women – don’t fall out over different perspectives – or being at different stages in finding your own true feelings – because I’m still learning and so are you (here’s how you tell: if you’re still alive, you’re still learning).
If you have already fallen out with anyone over this, please at least accept that fallings out are just emotive moments along the way and carry on – let’s just keep talking until we’re sure we’ve found our true voices, because although I said “uncensored” up there, I am aware that I am still talking from a perspective of what I’m sure we have a right to, and what I think, pragmatically, we can win. That’s not really “uncensored” yet, is it?
Who makes the law?
Never forget, women are working from a starting point of the government doing a public consultation on a law that affects women deeply, a law that was written and passed by a government that was, by a vast majority, male, and we then had to fight for the best part of five years to persuade the world we were even allowed to have opinions about it. In the recording, I tell the story of one of the many, many women who have lost jobs or political positions for having the nerve to mention it. See you on Resistance TV at 7pm on Wednesday.
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