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activism Labour Politics women

What do Rosie Duffield and J K Rowling have in common?

They’re both well known, one extremely well off and the other at least comfortably secure. They both have ways of making themselves heard, and they also, according to those on the left, have allegiances to the wrong kind of Labour Party members.

Duffield and Rowling both recently spoke up about their worries over women’s rights – in Duffield’s case, merely our right to see and hear ourselves called ‘women’ – and I learned all the points above from comments about them doing so – but what matters to me is something else that they have in common.

Knowing your rights, knowing your needs

For various reasons, I made it my business to find, and speak to, as many women as possible who’d spoken up, or wanted to speak up, about what the queer-theory inspired trans rights movement is doing to women. Time after time, when I found those women and spoke to them, it would turn out they were abuse survivors: women who understood firsthand why we need women’s groups, women’s services and women’s health provision clearly signposted and easily accessible and also, why a distressing proportion of the women around us have a deeply emotional need to know that when they’re told they are approaching a women’s service, it will be women who greet them there.

That is why I am still angry. That is why I’ve bashed on with this campaign until I’m absolutely sick to death of it. Please get this, even if you don’t grasp anything else about this tortuous issue: a frighteningly large proportion of the women in this country are, or have been, traumatised by sexual violence at some time in their lives. They are the women most likely to speak out on this issue, and it costs them dear to do so.

And when they do speak out, the more polite trans rights activists tell them they’re being cruel to a group whose oppression and suffering they cannot begin to imagine. The rest send them piles of violent and sexualised abuse. Neither reaction is easily forgivable.

Please pass this message on to all who need to hear it

All women need women’s rights and services. Abuse survivors need them desperately, and need to know that ‘women’ means ‘women’. There are a million and one things we could be doing that make life easier and safer for trans people, things that do not deny traumatised women what they need. If you are so progressive, if you are so righteous and compassionate, could you please go work on those, and leave women’s rights and language alone.

If all you want to do is slap down any and every claim women make, accept that you’re not fighting transphobia, you’re fighting women – that’s just misogyny.

About Duffield’s tweet

About J K Rowling’s tweet

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activism Corbyn Election Labour Politics Uncategorized

YOU have the power

I didn’t like the Ten Pledges our leadership candidates were signing up to, so…

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activism Corbyn Labour Politics Uncategorized

10 Pledges to end the leadership crisis for Labour

Here are ten pledges the Labour leadership contenders might like to sign up to.

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activism Corbyn Election Labour media Politics prejudice Uncategorized

The Labour Party: should I stay or should I go?

I’m an outsider by nature – I hate party politics. Whether it’s best to fight for sanity from within or without is a lifelong poser.

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activism Corbyn Election Labour media Politics Uncategorized

Do people get put off by negative media?

What’s it like, if you live out in the sticks, in a constituency where it appears to be wall to wall true blue?

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Book reviews book shops Corbyn Election Labour media Politics prejudice Uncategorized

DON’T BUY THIS BOOK! DON’T GO TO THAT MEETING! DON’T LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE!

There are so many people trying to use bullying and false accusations as political tools lately that when I heard Waterstones had backed out of a book launch during Labour Party conference, I went straight to my local indie bookshop and ordered it.

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activism Labour Politics Uncategorized women

Gender Critical Labour? – a call to action

If you’re a Labour Party member – have you taken a motion to your CLP about Self-ID or anything related to GRA? That’s how party policy will get changed. There was no such motion at last years LP conference, nor at the Women’s Conference in Telford.

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activism Labour Politics Uncategorized women

Many Happy Returns to the Women of Eastbourne CLP

I’ve always liked Eastbourne – but thought of it as a gentle sort of place, for walking and thinking. I now have it filed under words like ‘exciting’, ‘friendly’ and – yes, ‘socialist’.

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Labour Politics Uncategorized women

Are you going through the motions?

Battles rage all around us in political parties, in councils, in Trade Unions and special interest groups. Often, the passion of the battle is a membership infuriated by the discovery that the organisation that holds their loyalty is acting against their beliefs.

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Corbyn Labour NHS Politics Uncategorized

Brexit debates for the old, the sick and the poor

We are in a state of denial about what happens to us when we get old, or sick, or poor. In the case of the elderly, this has been our silent shame for decades.