Talk

Advanced search

What's it like being gender-critical in your workplace?

(285 Posts)
TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 14:02:08

If you're gender-critical, I wondered what your experiences are at work?

I'm an academic. The Vice Chancellor at my university is totally woke, unfurling rainbow flags on campus, and the like. The student newspaper is full of articles denouncing "transphobes". I do not discuss trans issues with my colleagues. A couple of my not-very-PC older male colleagues had a bit of a snigger when someone from the SU sent round a missive that signed off with his pronouns. But the women in the department seem to be very studiously not discussing any of this.

I have shelved plans I had to teach a new module with a strong element of feminist analysis in it. I made that decision after the no-platforming of Greer. I realise this is cowardly of me, but I really do not want to become the subject of a witch-hunt as the job is already destroying my mental health.

Universities are supposed to uphold the principle of freedom of speech, but you only have that luxury if you're willing to put up with the kind of shit that Greer has endured. My university is currently in the process of revising a statute that gives certain employment protections to academics. One of the major worries about this is that they could simply get rid of us for holding controversial views. When the university called a meeting about this, a professor in a medical field said that she worked on a drug that is only effective on biological females and she needed to be able to actually say this without fearing that any shitstorm that came down on the university from transactivists would result in her losing her job. I was shocked at the time that she could think that things could come to this, but having since seen some social media transactivism at work, I now completely understand her concerns.

I'm so pissed off to find myself working in a University and unable to speak openly about my feminist viewpoints. It's like living in a third-world oppressive regime. I feel that some of this is my own fault for not daring to put my head above the parapet.

Just wondering what other people's experiences are?

Amethyst975 Thu 08-Feb-18 14:26:40

Agree completely, Terfy. I also work at a university and I wouldn't dare mention the issue. I don't actually know just how wide-spread pro-trans views are across the whole uni but I've seen a couple of trans-heavy LGBT events/initiatives mentioned in campus news and a few supportive mentions of "gender diversity".

Don't know how my immediate colleagues would respond. Even if they're woke, they're unlikely to be nasty about opposing views. A few of them are staunch feminists/lesbians, but that can go either way, as we know.

I don't mind holding unpopular views. I just don't want my job threatened or to be forced to "recant" to satisfy diversity objectives.

LangCleg Thu 08-Feb-18 14:31:28

I work for myself so I don't really have an issue. The industry I work in has some elements where I wouldn't be able to be openly gender critical so I just don't bid for that work.

My husband works for a "normal" commercial company. Is loudly and openly gender critical and everyone he works with agrees with him but can't see why it's such a big bee in his bonnet. They think it's a trivial issue for the "loony left" fringe to argue about.

Everyonematters Thu 08-Feb-18 14:31:56

Thanks for posting this, I am so shocked that you feel unable to include feminism focusing on women in the curriculum. Also that your colleague is worried about ongoing funding for things that will affect biological women. This is crazy. I feel really worried about all this. This does not go anywhere good for us as a society. Who is your MP? Would you feel comfortable going to meet them to talk about this in confidence or even writing to them? I get you are worried about work, and feel so cross that you should feel like this. I wonder if there is some way to get an anonymous but verified set of messages about this out there, I am hearing it from so many women.

would be interested in others views. I am between jobs at the moment so no issues.

Winefred Thu 08-Feb-18 14:32:30

It's The Kings Clothes - Don't say the obvious.
& Best not get on a 'List'.

My work? Something which requires that I act Impartially. So an extra obligation to keep Mum.

Amortentia Thu 08-Feb-18 14:33:41

I’ve just gone back to working in Academia and I’m shocked at how much it has changed. I was recently involved in a discussion on one of the Lecturers research, I inquired as to why they were using gender and not sex and it did not go down well at all. Apparently, when researching women’s participation in something you have to be inclusive, so I was told. 🙄

I’ve been really saddened to see the sidelining of the person who teaches gender/feminist Theory. I think she’s too old school for the current climate. Also, there are currently no PhD students directly researching anything to do with women or inequality. I do wonder if it’s linked to hardly any women being in senior positions.

anonymice Thu 08-Feb-18 14:39:10

not easy. I teach language and gender. I am very very wary of having any voice or stance of my own. It's constraining and frustrating.

GetOffMyTERF Thu 08-Feb-18 14:42:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoqontroI Thu 08-Feb-18 14:48:23

I work for the local authority and I can't speak about it either. There are posters now up all over the walls telling me what I should think. I think if I openly expressed my thoughts and brought it forward for discussion, I would certainly lose my job.

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 14:49:37

Thanks for the replies - I not sure if it's reassuring or just bloody depressing that others feel the same (the latter I think).

Amortentia - it's true that there has been a massive decline in subjects like English, History, Art History, etc. in faculty working on women. Oddly, my DH's department had a feminist scholar recently retire. Until about five years ago, she was the most popular academic in the department (they actually have a prize hmm ). Then suddenly the students all seemed to turn on her and were making constant complaints. I always wondered if this was about a change of attitude amongst the student body to the subject-matter she taught, rather than a 180-degree personality change that she underwent. Anyway, she certainly hasn't been replaced by another feminist scholar.

Everyone - it just so happens that I wrote to my MP this morning about the issue of gender ID. I didn't mention my workplace specifically (though did allude to the way in which women are being threatened, including with their jobs). I'll wait to see how she responds and may push the point further - there is so much to draw attention to with trans issues and their impact on women that I was struggling to keep my letter even close to concise.

Unfortunately, this is yet another area where the marketization of higher education has had a completely toxic effect. We have to appease our customers students rather than challenge them. If push came to shove, I don't think there's any way our VC would stand up for academic freedom of speech on this particular matter.

MiMi78 Thu 08-Feb-18 14:52:37

Am openly critical, as my job involves services that are sex segregated at the moment.
I've brought up valid concerns in the office, to our funders and to management.
It wasn't bravery at all though, when I started I didn't realise it was such a hot potato, I just thought I was speaking common sense.
Since I've realised though, I've had insurance in place that would help me legally and financially if I was sacked.
I do wonder at times how many people will have to defend saying 'women don't have dicks' in employment tribunals.

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Thu 08-Feb-18 14:52:41

I work for a private company. Most of my colleagues are quite left wing.

Regardless I don’t feel able to voice any views due to the risk of being seen as transphobic and the effect it could have on my job.

anonymice Thu 08-Feb-18 14:55:06

My area of academia has no space for radical feminism anymore. There are people in my area working on that approach and using second wave sources to interpret our data, but they are not publishing that work in mainstream journals. I have no idea who is gender critical because to raise that subject would be dangerous, I am sure.

wrappedupinmyselflikeaspool Thu 08-Feb-18 14:55:33

I’m an academic. I have to teach a bit of life drawing as part of my job. It’s the only chance I have to point out sex differences - in pelvic size, shape and angle and length of arm reach. The students are often nervous anyway as they quite often haven’t drawn a nude before but you can hear a pin drop when I’m talking through these differences and there are never any questions, and I suspect, though I’ve no evidence, that this is because a majority are hungry for that information from someone who seems knowledgeable and authoritative and they are pleased to hear it but scared to say anything.

I studied feminism and gender studies. I’m actually quite open to the idea that gender expression and performance is part of the whole of gendered culture but I can’t get on board with identity at all, it seems ridiculous, like introducing the idea of the soul or arguing about transubstantiation, as Janice Turner said.

However, I did a PhD (fairly recently) which was connected to female people. At the start I was using the word sex in the text and was told ‘gender, not sex’ in a strange way. I’ve still not fully worked out if both my supervisors had drunk the kool aid or not but certainly they were very careful. During the PhD I heard all manner of nonsense from a Feminist perspective from other researchers, not just about trans but about other currently fashionable lefty stuff. This experience left me hating my PhD and almost not completing it. I wish I had not had a feminist element in the research. I feel extremely alienated from gender studies in universities and quite angry at the way it’s going. All my future academic research will ignore feminism and focus on other concerns, however I do some activities that are more practical, grass roots feminist work, on a small scale. I feel I’m contributing if I continue with that. I find the current situation so distressing I can’t talk about it calmly so I would never deliberately bring it up. The one time it did come up I totally lost my cool, though the other (lib) fem did seem to forgive me.

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 14:57:25

Since I've realised though, I've had insurance in place that would help me legally and financially if I was sacked.

I have legal cover from my Union membership. It has crossed my mind that if I needed to avail myself of their legal services on this matter, they wouldn't be very helpful, and would probably be more inclined to burn the witch.

MiMi78 Thu 08-Feb-18 15:03:28

Terfy, yep I've thought that too.
I'm careful to frame everything from a women's rights point of view, risk assessing and safeguarding
The last two put the shits up people where I am, instead of 'transphobia!' And which i can defend if disciplined or at a tribunal grin

athingthateveryoneneeds Thu 08-Feb-18 15:04:32

This is very disturbing. Do we live in a democracy, or not?

OvaHere Thu 08-Feb-18 15:04:50

Don't have anything to add as I'm currently a SAHM (not really out of choice but maybe a silver lining considering my staunch gender critical views).

This is quite depressing reading flowers to you all.

Lonelystarbuckslover Thu 08-Feb-18 15:09:47

Also in academia. Building has 'all gender toilets' next to the men's toilets. It's very right on. I am connected with another institution, a redbrick, that now has a sociology department that has become predominantly male, has sidelined gender studies and is all about technology type research.

I have outed myself to the academics - women, were adults in the 70s, lefty, feminist types - who I sensed were gender critical.

Not with my students though and not with other colleagues.

We need a handshake or a handkerchief to denote TERF.

I teach social construction in a building that has bought into this.

UpstartCrow Thu 08-Feb-18 15:13:27

All this evokes images of 1940's Europe.

drinkswineoutofamug Thu 08-Feb-18 15:15:41

I work NHS, not sure how my views would be taken , but I keep being told I'm not politically correct . I've tried to educate a couple of friends and they said I was being backwards in my thinking

MasterWu Thu 08-Feb-18 15:18:12

I don't mind holding unpopular views. I just don't want my job threatened or to be forced to "recant" to satisfy diversity objectives

The left has done this to the right for years, it can reap what it sows...

Winefred Thu 08-Feb-18 15:19:21

We need a handshake or a handkerchief to denote TERF.

Ofglen says the Eyes now eat at the hall. She tells Offred about the Resistance movement’s password, “Mayday,” which Ofglen had once tried saying to Offred. The password reminds Offred of spy novels. The Handmaids return home, and Nick’s crooked hat signals to Offred that she’ll have a nighttime meeting with the Commander.

cromeyellow0 Thu 08-Feb-18 15:19:55

TerfyMcTerface I have legal cover from my Union membership. It has crossed my mind that if I needed to avail myself of their legal services on this matter, they wouldn't be very helpful, and would probably be more inclined to burn the witch.

Do you know anything concrete about the UCU's stance on this? I'm a member but no nothing about the union's internal politics.

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Thu 08-Feb-18 15:21:03

I dread to think how my social circle would react.

A lot of them are gay me and one at least has posted about his workplace introducing unisex toilets as being a good thing.

SocksRock Thu 08-Feb-18 15:22:40

Local authority here. They are partners with Stonewall. I keep my opinions very firmly to myself.

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 15:30:48

Do you know anything concrete about the UCU's stance on this? I'm a member but no nothing about the union's internal politics

Definitively? No.

But I can hazard a pretty good guess!

mamaryllis Thu 08-Feb-18 15:31:19

Same as you, Terfy. I’m actually performing mid-life crisis about it. I work in post-sec and was (until last week) also a grad student in the humanities. I withdrew from my course. Work-wise I have GN toilets and anti-harassment training about psychological violence, and meetings run by recently transitioned transwomen who are so far down the rabbit-hole that they have zero interest in actual women’s experiences, and are only dictating ‘how YOU can make MY life easier’.
Study-wise, I am a middle-aged White woman. I am wrestling with having been fighting for diversity in the canon for thirty five years, only to reach the point where diversity is all there is, with the exception of white women. Our new tenure track prof doesn’t have a PhD, but she has a penis. I didn’t leave because of her. I have a lot of shit going on, but it’s all middle-aged White women’s shit. I’m tired. And if I give voice, I will lose my job as well.

WiggyPig Thu 08-Feb-18 15:32:40

We need a handshake or a handkerchief to denote TERF

A sort of flagging system? Purple and green hanky in the left rear pocket of the jeans?

I don't discuss it at work.

mamaryllis Thu 08-Feb-18 15:33:36

<re pronouns - it has been suggested that we sign off all emails with preferred pronouns, and start each meeting introducing ourselves with the same. No one has yet adopted this, but I am watching.>

cromeyellow0 Thu 08-Feb-18 15:34:21

Purple and green hanky in the left rear pocket of the jeans? grin

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 15:37:46

recently transitioned transwomen who are so far down the rabbit-hole that they have zero interest in actual women’s experiences, and are only dictating ‘how YOU can make MY life easier’.

Oh, just like a man, you mean? Who'd have thought it.

I'm sorry to hear about what you're facing, mamaryllis. flowers

anonymice Thu 08-Feb-18 15:40:42

That sounds awful mamarylis We do not have gender neutral toilets and were asked if if would be OK to have 2 for LGBTQ Awareness week. We were asked to give feedback on the ladies becoming gender neutral for a week. This has to do with the student make up of our university though - gender neutral toilets would cause big problems for many of our female students.

MrsJoshDun Thu 08-Feb-18 15:42:44

Also an academic and exactly the same. I bite my lip. Universities are full of trans supporters and hand maidens. Who don’t have a bloody clue.

Recently had to do some e Learning on Trans Rights, it was legally incorrect. Said someone was a Trans person even if they hadn’t taken steps to becoming trans but had thought about it.....or that they had the same protection/rights. Ffs.

Students union ignored my email I sent asking if I was welcome to attend a Women In Leadership event which was tagged as being for transwomen and self identifying women.

instantwhipped Thu 08-Feb-18 15:45:41

I am the parent of a student and it really saddens me that you all feel like this. I am doing my bit at home but no one is backing me up.

I think we need a really strong legal challenge / test case that everyone can understand. I have had to disclose really difficult parts of my personal history in order to make small progress. I really don't want them to end up unemployable with a useless bullshit degree and a massive pile of debt. I get the feeling that quite a lot of students are worried about that too

YourVagesty Thu 08-Feb-18 15:49:09

I'm not at all open about this in the workplace.

I think I could be but at the moment we have an absolute mouth-piece foghorn here who has been loudly scorning of GC thinking. I can imagine that she'd get all hands-on-hips and pointy fingered aggressive if anybody said anything of The Wrong Opinion. So shamefully I just cba.

RealityHasALiberalBias Thu 08-Feb-18 15:49:30

I work at the BBC. No idea how it is in other departments here, but I've not experienced any TRA nonsense in mine (which would probably surprise e.g. the Daily Mail!).

I'm the only radfem in my department that I'm aware of, and I will talk about feminist issues if it comes up in conversation. Have tentatively made my Terfy views known to someone who I felt wouldn't raise eyebrows (my gay boss who is very vocal about having no time whatsoever for all this trans stuff!).

In general though, most of my colleagues are not particularly aware of this stuff, or particularly political.

instantwhipped Thu 08-Feb-18 15:51:31

Oh and an example I've faced in the workplace. I had a trans woman salesperson book an appointment with me to discuss a change in supplier. She booked under a female name so I met her alone only to by met by a 6'5" man in a miniskirt / high heels. I felt really panicky and weird about it and wouldn't have gone on my own if I had known she was in fact an intact male - this was a few years ago now when I still had panic attacks after a nasty assault

SomePopularReference Thu 08-Feb-18 15:58:45

@OP you can't let them do that to you and your colleagues. As a public body they have an obligation to uphold free speech and not to discriminate both from a statutory and public policy point of view. The only reason they are doing this is because no one is willing to fight against the transactivists. The transactivists don't have a leg to stand on in court, their only argument is of popular opinion but the law is more powerful and on your side. I knew a brilliant lawyer who taught public law (the area of law that governs public bodies like universities) before he left academia over concerns similar to yours. If you ever feel the need to sue/write a strongly worded letter PM and I will dig out his details for you. Don't censor yourself, that makes you complicit.

instantwhipped Thu 08-Feb-18 16:12:59

^As a public body they have an obligation to uphold free speech and not to discriminate both from a statutory and public policy point of view. The only reason they are doing this is because no one is willing to fight against the transactivists. The transactivists don't have a leg to stand on in court, their only argument is of popular opinion but the law is more powerful and on your side. I knew a brilliant lawyer who taught public law (the area of law that governs public bodies like universities) before he left academia over concerns similar to yours. If you ever feel the need to sue/write a strongly worded letter PM and I will dig out his details for you. Don't censor yourself, that makes you complicit.*

I have been following events in Canada closely and I agree with the obligation to uphold free speech. I believe that there needs to be a legal case against compelled speech (and therefore defending free speech). The problem is that a lot of people really don't get it and just want an easy life, or they are scared of losing their job and reputation

SomePopularReference Thu 08-Feb-18 16:19:14

Well you can hardly blame them. The prospect of losing your reputation as an academic is quite scary but it's about safety in numbers. It used to be the university that taught the students and expected certain standards of behaviour now it seems the be the other way around. I think it's time to change that but it will take one brave individual to be the first. Once one person brings a case to the courts other academics across the country will probably want join the action.

sportinguista Thu 08-Feb-18 16:21:06

I work for myself so I don't directly face this issue. However I have a local authority and some Labour groups as clients. I've not been asked to do any work which is pro trans etc but in theory if it came up I could simply say I was too busy and it would be passed to another supplier. I don't have any clients who are trans to my knowledge but obviously I don't have to take anyone on and have refused potential clients for other reasons in the past.

At work since I'm homebased I can say what I like as by and large there's only the cat to hear my views. I have asked her if she'd like to identify as dog but she said she'd rather have more biscuits and we left it at that!

It scares me that women are now afraid to be sacked for stating the obvious or providing services for women. That you could be afraid to point out differences in the physical make-up of men and women in an artclass is a whole new level of weirdness to me.

motmot Thu 08-Feb-18 16:25:12

Wow, university has changed since I was there in awe of the women lecturers teaching us about women and crime, sociology of the body and sociology of sexuality... There was even feminist analysis in the music module. Sad.

OvaHere Thu 08-Feb-18 16:27:44

Oh and an example I've faced in the workplace. I had a trans woman salesperson book an appointment with me to discuss a change in supplier. She booked under a female name so I met her alone only to by met by a 6'5" man in a miniskirt / high heels. I felt really panicky and weird about it and wouldn't have gone on my own if I had known she was in fact an intact male - this was a few years ago now when I still had panic attacks after a nasty assault

Reminds me a bit of all the publicity around the Suzy Lamplugh case. I think it led to female estate agents not doing viewings alone. What short memories the public have.

NotthePrimeMinister Thu 08-Feb-18 16:29:21

I work in politics - I use this username when I have something work related to share on here. Politicians at the moment are falling over each other to be the most liberal on this issue. My workplace is completely going along with this.We have to do online "equality and diversity" training yearly. Last time I did this it was basically an exercise in telling us how to treat transgender and non-binary people, and how to make them feel welcome and respect them. Making them feel welcome and respecting them I'm fine with, as long as my rights and my identity are also being welcomed and respected, without being trampled on. I was torn between failing the course to bring attention to the issue, and having a quiet life. I went for the quiet life option - I need to keep my job, and i need a peaceful, quiet time at work.

I once voiced my views in work about some women maybe feeling vulnerable if people who appear to be men entered their toilets/changing rooms etc. A younger female colleague looked at me in horror and responded "but what about them? What about their right to feel comfortable?" And i suspect they are fairly representative of their age group.

My manager is gender critical, so I do have an ally, and I know she'd support me if, for example, the colleague mentioned above had complained.

As an employee I am not party political. As a voter, I am completely torn over who to vote for next. This is an issue for me, and one that isn't being adequately addressed in my opinion. And it won't be adequately addressed while the views of one side are shouted down with cries of bigot, terf, transphobe.

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 16:38:18

My university has form for suspending difficult academics, btw. There was a case a few years ago that was all over the media relating to a professor who is an outspoken critic of the neoliberal university. He took on the university when they suspended him, and he won and is back at work, but I gather that his legal bills were astronomical.

rowdywoman1 Thu 08-Feb-18 17:01:53

What a disgraceful thread! Not the comments obviously but the idea of such extensive censorship and bullying.
To see so many women working in the sector being so evidently silenced. Universities all deserve their bloody funding cut if they can't manage lesson 1 in democracy - free speech.

cromeyellow0 Thu 08-Feb-18 17:17:07

For those of you who work in UK universities: I have some ideas about how to expose the authoritarianism which is silencing the debate--which is unknown to the vast majority of academics. I'm male and willing to put my name to a publication, drawing on your testimonies. I think it's feasible to place in a venue that would attract attention, and could be picked up by THES. DM me if you're interested.

53rdWay Thu 08-Feb-18 17:30:58

Don’t discuss at work. Stonewall advise us on LGB(T, I, Q...) issues and are currently telling us off for not being inclusive enough of “trans and non-binary” employees. I

53rdWay Thu 08-Feb-18 17:32:47

I should add that I have no idea what we’re doing that’s not inclusive enough - it’s more a general ticking off about Awareness as far as I can tell. But the senior people are taking this very seriously indeed and I have no desire to end up with my head on a stick over the battlements as an example case!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 08-Feb-18 17:51:10

I'm male and willing to put my name to a publication, drawing on your testimonies. I think it's feasible to place in a venue that would attract attention, and could be picked up by THES. DM me if you're interested

Alternatively you could be an MRA trying to dox people....

It scares me that women are now afraid to be sacked for stating the obvious or providing services for women. That you could be afraid to point out differences in the physical make-up of men and women in an artclass is a whole new level of weirdness to me.

This scares me too - so many people are against this,but too scared to speak out.

On the other hand I'm naively hopeful that once a certain critical mass puts their heads above the parapet, the floodgates will open and people will be unafraid to speak.

OvaHere Thu 08-Feb-18 17:51:46

How exactly does one be inclusive to non binary people?

Serious question. What do they lack that everyone else has?

MountainsofMars Thu 08-Feb-18 17:57:58

I’m an academic. My professorial inaugural was about feminist history. I’m an old school feminist writing and researching to make formerly invisible women visible. I teach courses on “Women and ...” and even lecture on Queer Theory from a feminist perspective. With colleagues, I set up and ran a Women’s Studies MA back in the 1990s.

I was doxxed for my gender critical use of Twitter as “transphobic”. A complaint was made, headed up by someone I have never, to my knowledge, taught or even spoken to. Spurious stuff like because of my REtweets (not even anything I wrote) I would not mark transgender students fairly. One of the demands was that if I did not recant my views, I should no longer be allowed to teach at my university.

I’m not famous. I’m a nobody - just a scholar doing her little bit to help young women understand the structural oppressions of patriarchy.

And they wanted to get me sacked.

My colleagues have been very supportive as have almost ALL of my middle-aged female friends. They get it, they get what it is to be a woman and watch that category being emptied out of any meaning and instead being filled by whatever these fucking men think is female.

Yes I’m still very angry. I’ve had a good ethical honest career of 30 years trying to look after young women, as I was mentored by my feminist “mothers” and these fucking jerks tried to destroy that.

But I’m still a gender critical feminist in the workplace. It’s my job to be so, and I’m a damned good scholar.

OvaHere Thu 08-Feb-18 17:58:01

I'm male and willing to put my name to a publication, drawing on your testimonies. I think it's feasible to place in a venue that would attract attention, and could be picked up by THES. DM me if you're interested

Alternatively you could be an MRA trying to dox people....

This is always important to bear in mind but an advanced search does show cromeyellow0 has a lengthy gender critical history posting in this section.

ITCouldBeWorse Thu 08-Feb-18 17:59:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

53rdWay Thu 08-Feb-18 18:16:09

How exactly does one be inclusive to non binary people?

I don’t know. I’m not even sure we have any non binary employees! From what I gather we do not have enough Awareness of what being non binary means?

TressiliansStone Thu 08-Feb-18 18:16:26

Sorry, cromeyellow, I don't understand the need to "place" a story in a third party venue in the mere hope of it possibly being picked up by the THES?

Or why it needs a male to do this?

Why not just offer the story directly to the THES?

TBH, it sounds like you have some larger narrative and are looking for women as your supporting cast. I'm not working any more so need not apply, but I'd want to know rather more about your project before becoming a poster woman for it.

TressiliansStone Thu 08-Feb-18 18:20:32

This is a highly depressing thread, but necessary. Thank you everyone who is posting.

Fifi5000 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:30:34

I am openly GC in my workplace. I used to be nervous about it and then I thought, I’m not actually saying anything hateful and 99% of the general public would probably agree with me. Even the law acknowledges that transgender women are not literally women (even if you have a GRC there are situations when you can be excluded from services like refuges). So they actually can’t fire me for having these views. I’m not an employment lawyer but I’m pretty convinced they can’t! I’m lucky because I know for some people it’s not the risk of being fired, but more the risk of being sidelined, and that isn’t a problem for me.

Fifi5000 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:33:02

And if you’re in the public sector, policies like unisex toilets ought to have an impact assessment, which should consider whether the policy will have a detrimental effect on people with protected characteristics, eg sex. If they haven’t done this you can challenge them.

areyoufuckingcrazy Thu 08-Feb-18 18:46:10

Yep, I work for a university. I wouldn't dare talk about it.

I didn't even dare fill in an apparently anonymous form they sent round yesterday asking us to talk about LGBT issues.

Chrysanthemum5 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:48:06

I work in a university and I attended a meeting where one of the presentations was on 'inclusive' language. I pointed out that using the term cis-woman wasn't inclusive as many women hate it. The presenter patiently explained to me that it wasn't offensive, I clearly didn't understand that it was simply a factual term. I repeated that it was offensive and that they were conflating sex and gender. Sex is a biological reality, gender is a made up social construct.

They also asked me to agree to open any meeting I'm running by asking everybody their preferred pronouns - I refused so they let it drop.

But sadly that's as far as I can go without seriously risking my job. Which is ridiculous things to have to realise about working in a university

Badweekjustgotworse Thu 08-Feb-18 18:49:41

@GetOffMyTerf please ask mnhq to take your post down, I’m worried that if there’s any of the Madigan brigade reading and watching these threads they could cross ref their list wothyour job description and try to doxx you given what you’ve said about your role. It’s shameful that we need to be so wary but, unfortunately we’re dealing with people who play dirty

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 08-Feb-18 18:59:07

On the contrary if any of the Times journos are reading this there are the makings of an excellent expose. So many women with similar experiences. Perhaps someone can DM it to them via Twitter? (I'm not on it)

TressiliansStone Thu 08-Feb-18 19:05:18

Yes, that sounds much better than going via third and fourth parties, ALittleBitOfButter.

Floisme Thu 08-Feb-18 19:13:22

I work for a charity. It's not reared its head yet but it's only a matter of time as we work a lot with young people. I made my views clear a couple of years ago when the Tara Hudson prison transfer came up in conversation. At the time I didn't really understand the issues but I thought the idea was batshit crazy and highly dangerous. I said as much, took one look at my manager's face and have kept quiet ever since. I had one colleague with similar views and we used to have whispered conversations about it but she has now left. I very much doubt I would get any support from my union.

I'm just hoping that the shit won't fully hit the fan for a year or so, by which time I'll be old enough to get my coat and slip away. I realise that makes me very lucky.

cromeyellow0 Thu 08-Feb-18 19:19:05

@ItsAllGoingToBeFine Alternatively you could be an MRA trying to dox people
Look at my posting history or contact datun.

@TressiliansStone
Sorry, cromeyellow, I don't understand the need to "place" a story in a third party venue in the mere hope of it possibly being picked up by the THES? Or why it needs a male to do this? Why not just offer the story directly to the THES?
Great, go for it!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 08-Feb-18 19:31:51

Look at my posting history or contact datun.

Apologies crome I was reminding people to be careful, and I really wasn't casting nasturtiums at you specifically.

As you know there's a lot of pretty unpleasant stuff going on at the moment, and we need to be careful.

Cooroo Thu 08-Feb-18 19:46:41

I work in a very different environment - a small company producing publications for print in north of England. Mostly men, working class, amiable, they talk about football and tv. I once rolled my eyes at a news story and got a sympathetic chuckle from the right wing conspiracy-theorist, but I'm not sure we were coming from the same place.

One of the women is gay but I haven't discussed it with her either - I don't think she's on the scene and has probably never heard of the cotton ceiling. But I could be wrong.

Certainly I could say what I liked without fear of reprisals - they'd just think the posh southern tart was being weird again. I keep meaning to ask the younger guys if they have friends who are trans. But the whole issue doesn't seem to have reached my colleagues.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 08-Feb-18 20:01:20

I'm about to start working at a university. Doing the forms now...

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 08-Feb-18 20:03:52

...obviously I have to lie low and not comment on the fact that ludicrously they don't want to know the sex ratios of their staff, just their personality types...

GetOffMyTERF Thu 08-Feb-18 20:05:59

Thanks BadWeek I took your advice and got my post deleted. I’d love to be brave enough to say fuck it, but I can’t afford to lose my job. How sad and enraging that this is a real threat.

DrStringzDulcimer Thu 08-Feb-18 20:15:08

I'm an academic, in women's health. So it's pretty hard to get away from the realities of female oppression and biology, but god knows some of my colleagues try in the name of 'inclusivity'. My students are all pretty terfy as far as I can work out...however the university as a whole is famous for its no-platforming and 'safe spaces'.

I don't talk about it at work.

Badweekjustgotworse Thu 08-Feb-18 20:25:50

Sorry getoffmyterf I was making dinner and reading and only got to your post before I had to run off and attend to the minions so didn’t have time to write properly.

I’m glad you had it taken down, fucking shit that we feel like we have to but such is this current climate that we need to protect ourselves

I’ve just started taking some part time lecturing and I’m gender critical. There are posters up all over our campus about gender, issued by charities that focus on dispelling the myth that gender is binary. It makes me so angry to think these messages are being put out there with so little actual research or real stats to back them up. Of course fucking gender isn’t a binary, there’s as many genders as there are human beings on this earth if we all subscribe to their dogma. The thing is though what they’re describing as gender is just personality. Sex however, IS binary and it’s a lie to tell kids that they can literally change sex simply because they don’t like having short ‘masculine’ hair cuts and want to wear nail varnish and feel feminine or rather reject masculinity (and vice versa)

I’ve not been there long and thankfully my subject is such that it’s unlikely to ever come up in my material as a contentious issue where I’d have to speak my mind, but there will be something I’m sure where I’ll have to choose to stand up and be counted or roll over....

I really don’t want to roll over, but standing up may well mean the end of my career. Scary choice...

QuentinSummers Thu 08-Feb-18 20:26:06

little I would tick the other box on gender identity. Play them at their own game.
I do talk about it a bit at work but very very carefully.

OlennasWimple Thu 08-Feb-18 20:45:24

This thread is one of the most chilling things I've read on MN for a long time

TadlowDogIncident Thu 08-Feb-18 20:50:21

I'm gender critical at work. I'm the head of a team, my deputy is a strongly gender-critical lesbian and the other senior staff are late middle-aged men who just find the whole trans agenda mildly insane, so it's much easier for me than for most. It's a public sector organisation but the age profile is significantly older than average, which may be relevant.

I did go on a Stonewall training day (strongly encouraged for senior staff) and very nearly lost my rag altogether. The frustrating thing is that as a senior manager I want to be a good LGB ally, and I support the rights of all individuals to wear whatever they like and call themselves whatever name they like. But I'm damned if I'll pretend that a man in a dress is a woman just because he "feels like a woman".

I have said to my boss that if we go down the self identifying route as a matter of law, I'm going to identify as a man for all their statistical purposes (which will not improve their stats on senior women). After all, if it's all about the conventional gender identity, I'm clearly a man - I'm the main breadwinner and I don't perform femininity in any significant way.

MiMi78 Thu 08-Feb-18 20:57:01

tadlow
How was the stonewall training?
Was it full of shit stats and trans are the most oppressed of all ever.
I think I have training coming up, and I'm not sure il be able to keep my mouth shut if it's like that.

SingingSeuss Thu 08-Feb-18 21:03:05

It's very scary the way this is all headed, everyone's distracted by brexit, and missing the more important issue.

joangray38 Thu 08-Feb-18 21:10:48

I used to work in a uni before long term illness and still hear what's going on. After years of lagging behind in terms of disability rights for both students and lecturers, women not getting promotions to professorships and being on lower pay grades they are jumping on transgender rights before they sort out the inequalities that have been staring them in the face for years. No one dares say anything due to possibility of redundancy/ being accused of not being in tune with the departmental / university ethos of inclusion.

rb67 Thu 08-Feb-18 21:18:16

I work in a job where we come into frequent contact with abusers. Self id is viewed with horror and I have no problem talking about it.

EmyRoo Thu 08-Feb-18 21:24:10

This has raised its head at my institution. We are supposed to be getting someone from the Transgender Alliance or Equality group to come and tell us what we need to do. I did have one discussion with some colleagues where I have questioned some of the language used (for example, i see assigned female at birth as politicised language) and it got heated very quickly. One male colleague did out himself as GC but it was a very hushed conversation.

It has massive implications for what I teach and how; I have not decided whether to change my focus or doggedly hanging there being clear I am talking about biological females when I mean women. I think I will just point out that the terrain is contested and this is how it used to be.,.

TadlowDogIncident Thu 08-Feb-18 21:43:30

MiMi, it wasn't as bad as that - there was a really irritating video about how Hard it Is Being Trans, and someone called me cis, but to do her credit she stopped when I pointed out that that isn't what I call myself and I find it objectionable. But a lot of the focus was on the LGB aspects, which was absolutely fine and quite useful.

QuentinSummers Thu 08-Feb-18 22:04:11

After all, if it's all about the conventional gender identity, I'm clearly a man - I'm the main breadwinner and I don't perform femininity in any significant way.
Quite. This is why I'm ticking the other box and writing "no gender". Let's mess with the stats.

FruitCider Thu 08-Feb-18 22:07:35

My colleagues and I are all gender critical to varying degrees. We all agree that gender is a social construct and that if people were just accepted as a masculine female of a feminine male then they wouldn't feel the need to attempt to change their constructed gender. However we all agree that for a very small number of people gender reassignment surgery is the right thing. We think female spaces should be kept for use exclusively by those without a penis.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Thu 08-Feb-18 22:25:56

This is grim reading. Reminds me very much of The History Man.

birdbandit Thu 08-Feb-18 22:56:06

This is terrifying.

PotatoesOfTheCarribean Thu 08-Feb-18 23:01:30

University here too. It is NOT spoken of. Unisex toilets though in all new buildings. There are no trans people in the department (yes I know this for a fact) and we're a closed unit, so no visitors to consider. Fuck it though, it's policy.

I'm wary even posting this ffs.

hyperspacebug Thu 08-Feb-18 23:18:22

Not many political opinions raging at my work (IT) and everyone keeps it to themselves and no one stands out to shout down over us. Thankfully. Most are mildly lefties at least, some young Tories too. I did discuss TRAs gone mad with my boss (Green-party voting) and it turned out he read similar.

I wouldn't dare to be open on FB though - regretfully I am not too blessed with gift of the gab to deal with backlash intelligently (one vocal trans MtF, mum of child who was only 3 or 4 when she started dressing the child in pink clothes and renamed to female name, a few very trans-supportive friends who post a lot about trans suicides and transphobia violence)

Lunarsey Thu 08-Feb-18 23:27:37

I work in maternity care which includes breastfeeding support. My organisation has just been asked to clarify if this excludes trans women.

I fully expect to be asked to enquire of a 6ft, hirsute man in a dress how they found their breastfeeding experience.

And all in time I could be using to support new mothers.

I haven't decided yet whether I will risk my job by arguing this so I've namechanged for this post.

TerfyMcTerface Thu 08-Feb-18 23:36:16

I fully expect to be asked to enquire of a 6ft, hirsute man in a dress how they found their breastfeeding experience.

Gosh. If you don’t ask them, you won’t be accepting of them as a woman. If you do, you’ll be rubbing in cis-privilege and triggering them.

Either way, some slur or other will be thrown at you. Which I expect is the whole point.

Lunarsey Thu 08-Feb-18 23:43:36

Yup Terfy damned if we do, damned if we don't.

No doubt it'll be introduced with a mandatory "How to be nice to the men in frocks" training course, thereby taking up more time that the public purse can ill afford to pay for. Obviously all training in supporting women has been stopped due to funding cuts...

busyboysmum Thu 08-Feb-18 23:55:54

Wow all this is amazing to me. A revelation. I am seriously considering not encouraging my children to go to Uni. One son is a particular worry as he is very sensitive and easily influenced.

I work in the law and everyone I work with is very gender critical and supportive of my stance.

My husband is a manual worker and there's none of that nonsense from the people he works with.

hipsterfun Fri 09-Feb-18 01:44:14

I work for an organisation that has already caved in to transactivist pressure not to discuss the issues.

No1IronGirderRS Fri 09-Feb-18 02:40:49

Apologies as I'm only on page two, so haven't finished the thread yet but really wanted to comment. This is such an important discussion, thank you for posting OP.

Just out of curiosity, are there any universities that still have the Women's Studies Courses? Our universities have dumped them and changed to Gender Studiessad

TerfyMcTerface Fri 09-Feb-18 02:58:30

I know York still has its Centre for Women's Studies. I think it my be the only one left.

No1IronGirderRS Fri 09-Feb-18 03:43:39

Thank you @TerfyMcTerface .

Another question I have for those at the universities is, how is biology being taught these days? It must be an absolute minefield!

instantwhipped Fri 09-Feb-18 03:45:56

This is pretty disappointing and shit as far as I'm concerned what's the fucking point of trying to stand by people who are just going to take the I'm alright jack attitude. I'm really quite sick and tired of this online inertia it is doing nothing from what I can see

instantwhipped Fri 09-Feb-18 03:49:11

I work for an organisation that has already caved in to transactivist pressure not to discuss the issues.

don't mean to pick on you but I work for under £10 an hour and I don't really see wtf your point is are you that afraid of losing your status that you can't fight this through your unions....any of you? Seriously??

Emerencealwayshopeful Fri 09-Feb-18 04:10:32

This thread and others here lately have been both chilling and informative.

I’m pissed that the resources that could go towards making it possible for me (as a wheelchair user) to access services are instead being put into pushing an agenda.

I’m also angry that my children are growing up being told that self definition trumps reality.

Specifically, I’m annoyed that I have friends who have decided to fight for a third section - in the centre which pushes actual women away from the action - in orthodox religious services for non-binary and intersex individuals (who have not even asked for their own section btw) but won’t fight for wheelchair access to services because it’s not exciting and new.

I’m not GC in public much, and I ‘work’ from home so it’s only the dog, cat and dolls who hear me. But I almost retracted a paragraph about women’s bodies from an article I wrote because I was not sure I could handle the ‘not all’ crowd.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: