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Hustings on hostile ground. Please help me ask a question on women's rights.

(49 Posts)
CharlieParley Mon 02-Dec-19 19:59:36

I'm attending a local hustings tomorrow. Venue manager as well as the organiser (and their respective organisations) are committed believers in the transformative power of the words "I identify as" and openly hostile to GC views. The former knows my views very well and disapproves.

Candidates: Green, LibDem, Conservative, Labour and a GC independent. First two are full-on TWAW.

The incumbent (Labour) is committed to abolishing the specific protections for women in the EqA but I don't know whether this is rooted in ignorance or conviction. Sends out emails about changing sex-based exemptions to accommodate males in female-only spaces, replies with misinformation on EqA, refuses to meet (I've been trying to engage since October '18).

Expect the audience to be hostile, too, given who is involved in organising and the GC views of the independent who's been attacked for them since the campaign started.

Have never been to a GE hustings. Do I assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of candidates and audience and jump right in with a question or do I assume the candidates have no clue and explain first?

How long a preamble is too long? Which question is the most important to ask? Is it okay to ask more than one question, or to respond to the answers?

I don't mind getting chucked out btw. as I am self-employed and out as GC, but I have been on hostile ground like this before and it can be nerve wracking, so I'd like to at least have a good question or two prepared.

OneEpisode Mon 02-Dec-19 20:03:51

Are you able to lead with a local example, for instance a place in the constituency which is a single sex space now?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 02-Dec-19 20:08:50

Agree with making it local if you can. Keep it simple and memorable, you want at least some people to go away and Google.

Mixed sex toilets in schools?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 02-Dec-19 20:09:44

Also try and avoid transwoman / transmen. People outside the bubble assume that a transwoman is a woman who is trans.

MrsSnippyPants Mon 02-Dec-19 20:25:17

Whatever you ask Charlie you will be great, you are very articulate, but i completely understand you want to make the absolute best of what may be a small window of opportunity.

How about something along the lines of'

"Do you think women should have to share private spaces with men? Your daughters, your wives, your mothers, ALL women should be forced to be in a state of undress or vulnerability, in a changing room, in toilets, a hospital ward, with a male unknown to them?"

It should pique the interest of complete newcomers to the issue! I think being blunt is best; if you're going to be thrown out, make it worthwhile wink

midcenturylegs Mon 02-Dec-19 20:29:06

MrsSnippy's advice is good I think, raising questions will open up debate.

CharlieParley Mon 02-Dec-19 20:29:21

Had a relevant local crime but that will lead to accusations of focusing on bad apples. No mixed-sex toilet in schools AFAIK. Because of the way the hustings has been advertised, I wanted to ask a women's rights question on upholding the Equality Act without mentioning trans at all.

Also I stopped using the expression months ago, as yes, it does confuse people but most importantly because I am no longer willing to concede the word "woman" to a man. It insults women and muddies the water.

merrymouse Mon 02-Dec-19 20:33:53

I would ask them how they plan to protect women who don't identify as having a female gender from sexism if the protected characteristic of sex is removed from the EA.

You could also ask how the Labour Party proposes it will protect trans people from discrimination if the protected characteristic of 'Gender reassignment' is removed from the EA and replaced with Gender.

HermioneWeasley Mon 02-Dec-19 20:35:44

Look at the Woman’s Place questions and see if they’ll work for you

TowelNumber42 Mon 02-Dec-19 20:41:37

Depends what your goal is.

Do you want the uninitiated to start looking into the issue?

Do you want to let the candidates know that people haven't all drunk the kool aid?

Do you want to feel like you've made a stand?

You could say "If a person says they don't believe humans can change biological sex, do you think that is criminal hate speech?"

"If a young teenage girl says she identifies as a boy and an older female relative suggests that maybe she should consider that she might be a lesbian, would you deem that good advice or hate speech?"

TowelNumber42 Mon 02-Dec-19 20:43:02

Do you think Mumsnet is a hotbed of transphobia?

Get some traffic over here.

Dolorabelle Mon 02-Dec-19 20:43:32

Also maybe frame it in promotion and defending the rights of women as a sex category under the 2010 EA - with local examples of dangers/threats?

Good luck OP

mummmy2017 Mon 02-Dec-19 20:46:07

Ask them about indecent exposure.

Sexnotgender Mon 02-Dec-19 20:52:17

I’ll see you therewink

theflushedzebra Mon 02-Dec-19 21:10:21

Charley posie parker has just grilled Helen Belcher at a Hustings.
Facebook Video here

She's a brave woman.

Sexnotgender Mon 02-Dec-19 21:11:54

Fuck, imagine looking into your audience and seeing Posiegrin

theflushedzebra Mon 02-Dec-19 21:16:44


The video is worth a watch...

I can categorically say I would be voting tory if I was in Chippenham - given the Lab and Lib answers to her questions. And I've never voted Tory in my life.

Redshoeblueshoe Mon 02-Dec-19 21:22:48

Charlie good luck.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Mon 02-Dec-19 21:25:32

You could say "If a person says they don't believe humans can change biological sex, do you think that is criminal hate speech?"

I think this is a good one.

And maybe something along the lines of "and if a woman believes that there is at times an important difference between being female/a woman and a male-who-identifies-as-a-woman, is that a bigoted view?"

Campervan69 Mon 02-Dec-19 21:30:25

Posie asked great questions. Maybe something along that line?

PermanentTemporary Mon 02-Dec-19 21:35:51

I would be really straightforward and open.

Pick whatever is an aspect of this that bothers you personally, and just ask where they stand on that, in a way that works for you.

For me, the single thing I care most about is in fact accurate sex-based statistics and recording.

Coming up behind that very closely is social transition for children presented as neutral when in in fact it's a highly interventionist act.

Third is women's sport.

Just say 'I am basing my voting decision mainly on women's/children's rights. I feel it is wrong for (people born male to be recorded as female/children to be taught they can change sex/people born male with male levels of testosterone even when artificially lowered to compete in women's sports. What is your view?

SirVixofVixHall Mon 02-Dec-19 21:39:36

Bloody hell the idiocy of the replies to Posie. Those people expect votes ? My dd could have done better than that aged 8.

BingBongSong Mon 02-Dec-19 21:43:51

Good luck, Charlie.

I'm also going to a local hustings tomorrow, but like you, will probably be on hostile ground. I wrote to the 5 election candidates a few weeks ago with the WPUK questions, only had a response from the Green candidate. I am thinking of re-asking these questions, but would also like to ask the Conservative candidate what on earth happened to the results of the GRA consultation, given that the closing date was over a year ago...

SonicVersusGynaephobia Mon 02-Dec-19 23:08:58

but would also like to ask the Conservative candidate what on earth happened to the results of the GRA consultation, given that the closing date was over a year ago...

Oh yeah! I'd bloody forgotten we were waiting for that!

jamrollyolly Mon 02-Dec-19 23:12:51

Good luck OP!

Zebras, I can't get that video to work, is it just me?

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