It shouldn’t take courage to say so

Juemin and Louise

Juemin Xu and Louise Irvine are standing for the Labour Women’s Committee this year. They are supported by the Labour Women’s Declaration, because their manifesto includes standing up for women’s right to speak about women’s legal rights.

Go back a few years and say that, and I simply would not have believed you. Nevertheless here we are, the clash between traditional feminism, which sees sex as basic biology and gender as an oppressive set of cultural ideas, and the new kid on the block, ‘gender identity’ ideology that sees gender as an innate, individual characteristic that needs protection has made talking about sex almost illegal.

I am seriously saying this to you: many women, possibly a majority of women in politics and in trade unions, are now afraid to speak openly about their own, sex-based, legal rights because talking about the reality of being women and girls has been well and truly conflated with ‘transphobia’.

Maya Forstater, a founder member of the Sex Matters organization, had to go to court to establish her right to believe in, and talk about, biological sex. The catch line of the organization is, “sex matters, in life and in law. It should not take courage to say so”.

Gender critical beliefs are a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

This is a really dangerous situation, and whilst I would love to wax lyrical about the many and varied issues that have particular impact on women and girls, not to mention all those social benefits that women and girls could be offering if they were less beset, we can’t get on with any of that if we can’t talk freely and fearlessly about what it means to be a woman.

So please, if you’re still in the Labour Party, listen to Louise Irvine and Juemin Xu’s statements, and consider nominating them to your CLP as candidates for the Women’s Committee where, I kid you not, women tremble in their boots when they see the necessity of talking about women’s rights approaching, and they rarely say what they really feel.

Labour Party Members – I think you need these two courageous women on the Labour Women’s Committee. Here, Juemin and Louise explain why they are standing…

Juemin Xu

Video and candidate statement

Juemin Xu explains why she’s standing for Labour Women’s Committee
Juemin Xu's candidate statement

Louise Irvine

Video and candidate statement

Louise Irving's candidate statement

Amazingly, some people have responded to their campaign saying they don’t want to vote for ‘single issue’ candidates. Well firstly, on the women’s committee, women’s legal rights is not “a single issue” it is the position from which we can address all the issues that impact on women and secondly, they are not single-issue candidates. As you can see from her video, Louise has a long history of trade union and NHS campaigning and as for Juemin, I first met her when working on a different topic entirely. I was putting together a workshop on socialism for FiLiA, and wanted to focus on ‘sex, race and class’. Juemin took on the topic of racism, speaking about the experience of immigrants, and why it’s so hard to get their voices heard in politics.

Click here to read Juemin’s speech at FiLiA.

Read on to find out how to support Juemin and Louise…

If you’re a Labour Party member

Here’s what you can do to support them:

1. Nominate Juemin and Louise. You may nominate the candidates at your branch or CLP meetings. You may ask your CLP secretary or Women’s Officer if your CLP has a different procedure. Many CLPs are having these meetings very soon, probably during Apr or May. The deadline for CLPs to submit their nominations is 12 noon, Friday 23 June 2023. 

2. Stand as a delegate, if you are a woman. Each CLP can elect up to two delegates to the Women’s Conference. If a second delegate is sent, one delegate should be a Disabled, BAME, or LGBT+ woman. If you are a woman, please put yourself forward as a delegate of your CLP. Please also encourage other women who support LWD candidates to stand. Your CLP secretary or Women’s Officer should have already received the email about delegate registration. The deadline for CLPs to register their delegates is also 12 noon, Friday 23 June 2023.

3. Spread the message. Please circulate this message to Labour members who might be interested:

Labour Women’s Declaration is organising a webinar for you to meet and hear from our candidates, at 2pm, Saturday 13 May 2023. Book your place here: It’s free. 

If you’re not in the Labour Party

Well, love ’em or hate ’em, please remember it’s quite likely Labour will be a part of the next government. Please share this article with friends who are members, and tell them why Juemin and Louise are offering to do a very important task for women.


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