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The women promoting transition.

(57 Posts)
PermanentTemporary Wed 27-Nov-19 06:55:21

@MNHQ I'm notifying you of this thread before even starting it...

I think a lot about women involved with promoting transition. Dr Olsen-Kennedy, Dr Webberley, Susie Green. The mothers who appear on forums discussing their small child's social transition in terms of clothing recommendations.

To me they seem like anti-feminists who locate the solution to women's oppression in changes to individuals' presentation in the world, and who will medicalise personal distress by removing distressed women from the community of women, while internalizing the distress of men at toxic masculinity by insisting that any man who feels that distress must be female.

But I'd feel pretty sure that every one of those women would say they are feminists. And many opponents of their approach would use their actions to discredit feminism and say that it's literally about castration... or that 'feminists asked for this' by analysing society in terms of sexual oppression.

I guess I am struggling with the fact that so many women disagree with me in this! I feel like a sex traitor. These, after all,are the women Dworkin meant when she talked about women you don't like.

Needmoresleep Tue 03-Dec-19 15:51:11

@EmpressLesbianInChair thank you. My neighbour, as a gay man, clearly felt similar loyalty but it is finding it eroded.

My one piece of advice, given to me when founding a lobby group aimed at saving a local park, and then passed on usefully to people trying to save a Lido, is to take a step back and do some market research amongst the potential catchment/community.

The priorities of those energised to start their own group will be specific. Something you care strongly about. However if you are to speak for the gay community as a whole and have their support and approval you need to know more about what issues other's care about. My neighbour probably cares little about single sex spaces. He has never had any interest in entering them. He has female friends, who may be straight or lesbian, but will little interest in their sexuality, nor feel any particular solidarity with girls experiencing ROGD. He is however worried about how unsafe the London gay scene is now, "wanting to understand" transgenderism as he is concerned about men with other problems who believe transition will be the answer to their problems, and might well worry about feminine boys being encouraged to believe they are really girls. I suspect he would support and organisation which lobbied for the support needed for older gay men, perhaps those who find themselves socially isolated, or those who are facing specific problems resulting from the long term use of retrovirals. He would like something less corporate which is representing him, not simply selling rainbows.

The important thing is for LGBA to define itself as a voice for LGB people, not just in relation to Stonewall or in opposition to the TRA agenda.

The research might show some areas of conflict where a new organisation might decide to tread carefully or with nuance. The Save the Lido group was initiated by triathlon and distance swimmers, but soon discovered their presence was putting other users off. Talking to other groups and buying some lane ropes, led to a much wider community engagement, better usage, and eventually, the local authority treating them as a community partner. The park research showed up that kids want water fountains, as do dog walkers. Who knew.

Some good research, some good press releases to advertise the research, a proper governance structure and engagement policy.

My threepennyworth!

And @chiochan I don't disagree. It would be interesting to know who is pulling the levers. She seems rather conflicted about her sexuality, and possibly won't have the same emotional concerns as someone who came out as a teenager and worries that young girls today are being encouraged down a route that says their bodies are not acceptable and that being same lesbian is not acceptable.

Sorry about the @s. Its a while since anyone posted, so I am slightly rudely grabbing your attention. Understanding who is behind the Stonewall capitulation is really important.

Chiochan Fri 29-Nov-19 19:10:29

ok, so everyone is probably going to be up in arms about this but...looking at her and reading the article she comes accross as a woman who has never had a disenting thought (or any thought?) in her life.
I would put good money on her not being the brains behind anything. She is a front (you'll love this Jan) man.

thatdamnwoman Fri 29-Nov-19 18:47:38

I just googled Jan Gooding and found this interview that she did earlier this year. It offers a clue about her lack of support for lesbians:

You prefer to identify with the label of Gay rather than Lesbian. Why is that?
That’s right – I identify as gay as for me it means I am more overtly aligned with gay men. We are working towards many of the same goals and law reforms, so it makes sense to me.

So Stonewall is headed by a woman who is male-identified and has deeply internalised homophobia. No wonder lesbians have been sold down the rover. The Chair of the Stonewall board doesn't want to be known as a lesbian!

EmpressLesbianInChair Fri 29-Nov-19 12:04:12

I came out during Section 28, Needmoresleep.. I volunteered for Stonewall, had a standing order for them & matched at Pride. I still remember the rush of joy I felt when a SOME PEOPLE ARE LESBIANS: GET OVER IT billboard appeared down the road from my flat.

Now I demonstrate outside Stonewall conferences in defence of same-sex attraction, against young potential LGBs being drugged, sterilised & mutilated, & Stonewall call the police on me. Pride is something to stay well away from & the rainbow has become a symbol of homophobia.

I’m really, really hoping the LGB Alliance will fix things.

Datun Fri 29-Nov-19 11:15:26


NonnyMouse1337 Fri 29-Nov-19 10:56:42

Interesting post Needmoresleep.

I have not heard of this person before.
There are lots of intriguing people and groups behind the trans lobby.

Needmoresleep Fri 29-Nov-19 10:36:09



For many people perceptions of Stonewall have changed radically. If asked five years ago I would have probably said I considered Stonewall to be an important voice representing same-sex attracted people, who had achieved some impressive and important societal changes.

A few weeks back I had lunch with my 50 something, immersed in London's gay scene for 30 years, neighbour and we discussed Stonewall. He had felt that Stonewall was his organisation. Life for gay men was very different 30 years ago. He had had lots of friends who worked there, pride was his event and so on.

I explained that I was concerned about:
1. the restrictions of free speech, the #nodebate which effectively prevented women from talking about the impact on their rights and needs.
2. the transing of children, especially girls with ROGD, using an affirmation only approach, rather than watchful waiting.
3. the corporatisation of Stonewall and the massive conflict of interest of having a lobby group provide policy advice and training to senior people across the public, financial, commercial and third sectors.

My neighbours concerns were that:
1. Pride no longer felt like his place. It was too commercial and too corporate, and he was not certain that Stonewall really represented people like him any more.
2. He was worried about three vulnerable friends (the erosion of boundaries and the proliferation of drugs amongst the gay scene in London was creating vulnerable people) who had decided they were "trans". He struggled to understand what was going on, and worried that "dysphoria" was being seen as a quick fix to other problems.

Jan Gooding is clearly hugely influential, yet her role is rarely discussed. Others mentioned on this thread seem to fall under the heading "useful fools", not fully aware of how they are being used. Ruth Hunt gets to run a major charity, and then is whisked off to a seat in the House of Lords, Sally Hines gets lots of research money and a Professorship, but I don't think either are heavyweight.

Jan Gooding in contrast is clearly heavyweight. She is bringing corporate and marketing nous to the table, and is almost certainly behind the embracing of the "T".

I would love to know more about her. Who is supporting her? What are her influences? What is her motivation?

Somehow Stonewall have managed to cow the British establishment. Until recently only one MP out of 650, David TC Davies, was willing to stand up to contest the dogma that TWAW even though we knew (from James Kirkup) that many, including members of the Cabinet, agreed with him. Great British firms like M&S and John Lewis, who would rarely make business decisions without market research, allow men into women's changing rooms without any customer consultation, whilst firms in every sector rush to promote their wokeness and to cover themselves with Rainbow glitter. Whilst crucial safeguarding institutions like the police and NSPCC seem to have abandoned their principles without thought or research.

Who managed that, and how did they do it. Jan Gooding is one of them. There are some very serious questions to be asked of her.

ConfessionsOfTeenageDramaQueen Fri 29-Nov-19 01:12:31

What I find really irritating is women who think that, because they don't mind men in women's only spaces, the rest of us shouldn't. Some women like rough sex - does that mean the rest of us should consent to that also? It's just a ridiculous argument and the self-centredness of it really annoys me.

Goosefoot Fri 29-Nov-19 00:10:07


Yes, that's been my observation. Many people have heard in someplace that there is some scientific justification for that idea and are still thinking on that basis. I've talked to quite a few who read something in Scientific American or National geographic, which they consider to be reliable about scientific questions.
They don't believe someone like you or I who tells them otherwise, and I can't blame them in a way.

HandsOffMyRights Thu 28-Nov-19 22:49:15

Just watching Question time with Caroline Lucas, who still ended up on T*RFblocker despite courting the TRAs.

GetbusywiththeFizzee Thu 28-Nov-19 21:21:41

Re wrong body, we tend not to talk about this anymore after I wondered out loud if she was taking the proverbial for the entertainment factor. That came off the back of her saying she knows someone very gentle, easy to talk to unlike other men and now he’s transitioned she realises it was because he was actually a woman all along. 🤦‍♀️
Like the user name Quick 😀

Chiochan Thu 28-Nov-19 20:27:01

I think a lot of peole are unaware that there is no actual scientific evidence for born in the wrong body.
there was some studys along the lines of gay men missing out on testostrone in the womb and having a more feminisied brain (probably now debunked) and I think this has lead people to believe gendered brains are an acutal thing.

EmpressLesbianInChair Thu 28-Nov-19 20:15:43

I am inclined to believe that Ruth Hunt did not change Stonewall’s direction, but that she, as a long term staffer, was appointed to deliver the Trustees priorities. My impression was that she was quite lightweight so more likely used to deliver someone else’s agenda.

Julie Bindel has a couple of Twitter threads about Ruth Hunt’s change of policy on trans issues. She thought Jan Gooding was behind it.

DickKerrLadies Thu 28-Nov-19 17:36:05

I suppose it's further proof that the only thing women have in common is our biology.

quickkimchi Thu 28-Nov-19 17:24:44

Op, when I feel like this I remind myself that it's unfair to hold women to a higher standard than others. Most women are not feminists. We all swim in the same cultural waters.

Getbusy but I thought the 'born in the wrong body' narrative was medicalisation, stigmatisation, transphobia and actual violence? Ask your friend why she's so transphobic.

Ereshkigal Thu 28-Nov-19 14:46:42

There's a strong element of reverse psychology to it. Because social conservatives have long discriminated against and even persecuted those who are not gender-conforming, including trans individuals, many people who regard themselves as socially progressive feel that they must take the diametrically opposed position, which means unconditional support for trans and "queer" people. It really is as shallow as that.

Yes I think so. Especially in the US where it's more polarised along political/religious lines.

Needmoresleep Thu 28-Nov-19 14:22:22

I am curious about Jan Gooding, Chair of Stonewall and hugely influential in the city (major roles in several blue chip companies including Aviva and a marketing expert).

I am inclined to believe that Ruth Hunt did not change Stonewall’s direction, but that she, as a long term staffer, was appointed to deliver the Trustees priorities. My impression was that she was quite lightweight so more likely used to deliver someone else’s agenda.

What is Jan Gooding about? Is she with the T, which I assume she is, given Stonewall’s role in the mess, and why. Does she care about lesbians and the erosion of female rights and protections? Or has she been part of City boy’s clubs so long she prioritises her acceptance by men over any solidarity with women?

And why can’t she find a new CE for Stonewall? Is there a problem identifying someone with the necessary vision and experience, who also lines up with Trustee priorities?

NotDavidTennant Thu 28-Nov-19 13:36:13

There's a strong element of reverse psychology to it. Because social conservatives have long discriminated against and even persecuted those who are not gender-conforming, including trans individuals, many people who regard themselves as socially progressive feel that they must take the diametrically opposed position, which means unconditional support for trans and "queer" people. It really is as shallow as that.

Goosefoot Thu 28-Nov-19 13:12:06

It's not true that Toryism per se is about individualism. Since the early 80s conservatives in many countries have embraced economic individualism. Before that, they weren't especially known for that, less so the farther back you go.
Even now, it's not particularly the case that they've embraced social individualism, they've maintained a sort of class analysis there, a structural approach.
Liberals of various types historically have been the ones who supported economic liberalism. Now they claim to take a more structural approach, though frankly I think it clearly serves capital rather than any other class group despite appearances to the contrary.
On the other hand they have embraced social individualism quite markedly.
As a concept though, Toryism and Conservatism are not about individualism, they are about social structures. The exception to that might legitimately be the US. Their state was founded on individualism and so arguably that is "conservative" for them. Though it's still not Tory, they don't have much of a Tory tradition.

Justhadathought Thu 28-Nov-19 12:36:01

You think that a working class person might not support a party which encourages hard work and initiative?

Of course, and most 'traditional' working class people do, which is why many end up turning to the right when they see others "getting stuff for free" etc......but then don't necessarily see, that for most, it doesn't matter how hard you work - if you are born into a class or another 'condition' in which the cards are stacked against you from birth, then there is only so far that hard work will get you.

Basically, there is no analysis of class or other structural prejudices in Toryism - it is all about the individual, and about making things easier or more profitable for businesses and corporations.

NonnyMouse1337 Thu 28-Nov-19 12:15:52

Yes I've had online conversations with some women who seemed very onboard with what I was saying ( for example, talking about male violence) and agreeing with me that men might not understand women's experience etc etc, but then when the TRA enters the thread and says the dreaded 'what about trans women', all of a sudden it's a very deferential 'of course TWAW' and they want to quickly exit this perfectly rational conversation as they realise they have overstepped an imaginary boundary and been caught in the act for the crime of engaging in conversation with a 'transphobe'.

Goosefoot Thu 28-Nov-19 12:07:45


Yes, I think that's probably true. I see the second type getting involved in conversations about this topic more by accident, often when they don't realise some POV is out of bounds.

NonnyMouse1337 Thu 28-Nov-19 11:53:48

Goosefoot from what I've observed, there are two types of women who use the TWAW mantra.

There's the gender ideology believer that you describe who is a self-appointed guardian of morality to go around attacking and telling people off in all the social media groups they are in, and feeling very smug about it all and feeling that they are some really important player in this grand fight for trans rights.

The other type is a bit timid and docile and faithfully uses the TWAW mantra but doesn't seem as strong in the faith as the first type. They say they truly believe but always seem a bit nervous to engage in heated debate with outsiders, they flounder easily and retreat quickly, they might repeat all the usual propaganda and just want everyone to be nice and play along. When the 'what about trans women' phrase is thrown into any conversation, this type very quickly backtracks and uses the TWAW mantra as a token to observers that they are part of the faith and to signify that they too believe, so that they don't provoke any backlash. They seem apologetic or fearful in their behaviour, as if they think the slightest infraction could be misconstrued as transphobia on their part.
They quickly say TWAW and bail out of any potential argument. It's like their faith would crumble if they were forced to justify their position.

I think the timid type is in awe and also in slight fear of the more pushy righteous keyboard warrior type.

GetbusywiththeFizzee Thu 28-Nov-19 11:53:09

To add to my previous post, I think it’s women whose internal belief system is that men are superior to them yet a part of them knows this is actually untrue . Bringing men ‘on side’ as women then makes these women feel better in some way, maybe it raises their perception of women in society and in turn their own sense of self?

GetbusywiththeFizzee Thu 28-Nov-19 11:46:05

I know one person like this: middle aged, intelligent, champions women’s rights and employed in this capacity but firmly believes TWAW because and repeats the ‘born in the wrong body’ mantra.
When we’ve discussed this, her stance is I’m a narrow minded bigot who refuses to support another woman trapped in the wrong body.
I say this in the kindest way- she’s in a long term abusive relationship and has poor boundaries ; I think she’s spent so many years being manipulated by her arse of a husband, she clings to the belief that there’s a class of woman even more down trodden than her. Human psychology I suppose.

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