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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?

theflushedzebra Mon 02-Dec-19 23:17:00

It works for me, jam - but go on FB Standing For Women page and its on there smile

jamrollyolly Mon 02-Dec-19 23:37:36

Thanks Zebra!

Angryresister Tue 03-Dec-19 00:33:30

So many questions to ask...if everyone gave it. Go locally we would be heard at least the rest of the audience good luck Charley and well done Posie.

CharlieParley Tue 03-Dec-19 02:09:09

Thank you everyone for the advice. Will take the time to watch Posie's interview tomorrow.

Main purpose of my attendance - raise awareness of this particular women's rights issue, show there's a GC contingent locally, support GC candidate if possible, find out what candidates say when challenged on this.

I really do appreciate all the answers, suggestions, links and general encouragement. It can feel such solitary work sometimes, especially when every party and organisation seem to have signed up to this ideology. Very encouraging to find support here on Mumsnet.

And I'll see you there, Sexnotgender!

GinSin Tue 03-Dec-19 07:03:11

I'm pretty sure there trying to get rid of all sex based protections and rights, I found a research file I can't figure out how to link it on my phone, I'll add it later. The EU is mad into gender mainstreaming which is basically a feminist idea that men and women should be equal in every regard, they been trying since 2002 to get this idea going since. The paper I found on it was about ireland and seemly every high up feminist here thinks men and women being seen the exact same is a good thing. I strongly disagree women are discriminated agasint because of our sex. Like it's telling when the government hasn't realise a full report on sex crimes since 2002 and there been a increase in rapes by 30% but instead of dividing it between the sexes they didnt at all, its one way to get rid of the high rate of volience against women in this country I guess, but that does prove we are not equal so acting like we are is harmful. Also I digress, so I believe that why the whole trans movements took of so quickly. Though but the governments, the EU and the trans movement have the same ideals regarding people right and being equal is more important than sex based rights.

Newuser123123 Tue 03-Dec-19 07:06:43

Given that your parties want to protect women's rights, please can you tell me what a woman is?

Newuser123123 Tue 03-Dec-19 07:07:50

Or, if a male sex offender wants to use women's changing rooms, should we be kind and let them?

Sexnotgender Tue 03-Dec-19 08:31:20

Posie has a video this morning giving advice after the hustings last night.

TowelNumber42 Tue 03-Dec-19 08:38:10

Where are the videos?

jamrollyolly Tue 03-Dec-19 08:38:34

Sexnotgender I was just thinking back to when I didn't really know what your user name was all about. It got me thinking...

Sexnotgender Tue 03-Dec-19 08:50:31

Glad I stirred some thoughts jamrollyollysmile

Alltheprettyseahorses Tue 03-Dec-19 09:21:06

Had a relevant local crime but that will lead to accusations of focusing on bad apples

Interesting. I'd want to know roughly how many 'bad apples' are acceptable to them. How many rapes are okay before they feel they have to take notice? And, of course, why women are seen as insignificant collateral.

Sexnotgender Tue 03-Dec-19 09:46:08

Who knows @alltheprettyseahorsesangry

The offender was then placed in a women’s hostel.

DodoPatrol Tue 03-Dec-19 10:27:12

'The parties will be aware of plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and of the consternation this has caused among prison officers amongst others. For you personally, are there any crimes a man can commit that should exclude him from being allowed to claim to be legally a woman?'

BingBongSong Tue 03-Dec-19 22:43:11

I went to my local hustings tonight and we were invited to write questions down. We had to leave our names and I almost chickened out before going back to write mine down. My question was around when we would hear the results of the GRA consultation, given that it had received 100k responses (am I remembering that correctly?)

Anyway, my question didn't get asked. Out of all of the candidates I felt most aligned with the Green Party candidate. Spoke to him later and said that the thing that stopped me from voting Green was their response to the David and Aimee Challenor issue. He said he hadn't heard of it but would check with Party HQ. Let's see if he gets back to me.

MrsSnippyPants Tue 03-Dec-19 23:47:54

I am getting terribly tired of politicians saying ‘I haven’t heard of this issue’. For me it means they are only getting their news from a couple of sources (the BBC and the Guardian) because otherwise how could they have managed to avoid it?

Answers on a postcard please to ‘pull the other one’.

theflushedzebra Wed 04-Dec-19 00:08:46

Well exactly MrsSnippy - and even on the BBC website (with it's pretty woke bias) there's some stuff there.

Listening to R4 Today/Newsnight etc - pretty usual for a politician, I would think. There's been a lot of items on there.

I'm beginning to think it's their way of not engaging, because they're terrified of engaging - because the whole thing does NOT have public support - it's being pushed on us.

Pushy pushy, shhhhh, don't tell anyone.

OldCrone Wed 04-Dec-19 00:12:29

The Challenor story was in the Guardian, but the BBC hid it away in a local news section.

EverardDigby Wed 04-Dec-19 06:57:42

I thought the Verita report was emailed to all GP members.

How did you get on OP?

MrsSnippyPants Wed 04-Dec-19 08:41:07

My response of choice now to ‘I’m not really aware of this issue’ will be:

‘Don’t you read newspapers or listen to the radio? Gosh, I can’t possibly vote for someone so ignorant of current affairs! Goodbye!’

Closes door, does little happy dance.

OldCrone Wed 04-Dec-19 08:52:22

Great response MrsSnippyPants.

Sexnotgender Wed 04-Dec-19 09:35:50

Well the hustings last night which was meant to be equalities based had a grand total of 2 questions on equalities (one on anti Semitism) before they swiftly moved on! Didn’t get to ask my question.

TowelNumber42 Wed 04-Dec-19 11:31:14

What did they talk about instead?

Sexnotgender Wed 04-Dec-19 11:37:05

Brexit, welfare, airport buses😏

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