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Clarification on claims regarding the impact of male inclusion in women's support sector

(38 Posts)
WTFSeriously Tue 08-Sep-20 20:56:08

I want to post clarification on claims made about there being ‘no evidence’ of any issues of male inclusion in what is supposed to be female only support services.

In the now closed web chat by Laura Bates she has included a link to claims that male inclusion in female only support has caused/will not cause any issues, from Scottish women’s orgs. She says:

“I believe that all women deserve dignity and safety, particularly in sexual violence service provision. I think it is important to note, for example, that all women’s frontline sexual and domestic violence services that receive Scottish Government funding have been trans inclusive for over 6 years, and that this has not resulted in a single incident of concern or challenge, according to those organisations. (Source: https://www.engender.org.uk/news/blog/frequently-asked-questions-womens-equality-and-the-gender-recognition-act/). “

It’s important to understand just how void of evidence the claims made by Scotgov funded women’s orgs are.

The following exert comes from Maggie Mellon’s website https://maggiemellon.online/2019/08/22/no-problem-no-evidence-2/

About Maggie Mellon: “(CQSW, MSc, Dip Child Protection) I am social worker with many years’experience in both Scotland and England. I have been vice chair of the British Association of Social Workers since 2014, and also chairs the Association’s Ethics and Human Rights Committee.  Non – executive Director of NHS Health Scotland and is a member of the editorial Board of Scottish Justice Matters, and was formerly Director of Services for Children 1st and Head of Public Policy for NCH Action for Children in Scotland. I was chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre from 2009 -12. I now work independently as a consultant on social work practice and public policy.”

Her work on looking at the claims made by the scotgov funded women’s support sector concludes:

“Scottish  Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland have in practice got very little experience of providing their services to men who claim to be  women.  It is not clear from the evidence whether SWA have any experience of providing refuge. They do not say what their experience of service provision to biological men consists of.  Is it telephone based? Is it  mainly their training or outreach services? If they are training others in the inclusion of men who identify as women and vice versa, what is the evidence base for this, given that they have little or perhaps no experience and certainly no research or evaluation?
While SWA and RCS may not currently ask for birth certificates or Gender Recognition Certificates they do currently have the right to require  a GRC, and to refuse a service or employment to anyone without a GRC.  Therefore currently, if a man with a beard applied for service or for a job with them, they would be entitled to and would surely ask for a gender recognition certificate or a  birth certificate in order to protect the women using services designed for women who are overwhelmingly victims of male violence or abuse.
RCS and SWA are concerned for the rights and dignity of men who claim to be women.  But they  support legal changes that would force them and the women who use their services to accept men with fully intact male bodies as actual women for the purposes of women-only services.
The government-funded women’s organisations which are supporting the government’s proposals for the legal changes may genuinely believe that there will be no problem for women. However it is clear from the correspondence and from their own submissions to Parliament that they cannot provide the necessary evidence to support their beliefs. Therefore their testimony should not be used in the way that it has been to support the changes. These organisations’ support for the GRA proposals has been used quite wrongly to dismiss the legitimate concerns of self-funded women’s organisations .
These organisation and also LGBTY and Scottish Trans Alliance are almost totally funded by government. To date I have received no response from the Scottish Government on the question of whether they asked for evidence from SWA or Rape Crisis or Engender before using their claims to support the Government GRA proposals “

Engender do not ask women for any views or experiences on their need for female only support services. They cannot speak for women who have self excluded from any services & do not speak for survivors who have been repeatedly ignored & dismissed by the very orgs funded to support them.

OP’s posts: |
OvaHere Tue 08-Sep-20 21:01:26

Excellent post.

twoHopes Tue 08-Sep-20 21:19:14

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MillyMollyFarmer Tue 08-Sep-20 21:31:58

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Doyoumind Tue 08-Sep-20 21:33:55

Thanks for posting this.

fatblackcatspaw Tue 08-Sep-20 21:43:59

Thank you for collating this info

Hazeldine Tue 08-Sep-20 22:50:40

See also this excellent response to Stonewall from FOVAS

fovas.wordpress.com/response-to-stonewall-2/

stumbledin Tue 08-Sep-20 23:02:11

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Ereshkigalangcleg Tue 08-Sep-20 23:23:52

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Ereshkigalangcleg Tue 08-Sep-20 23:32:31

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Ereshkigalangcleg Tue 08-Sep-20 23:36:52

^See also this excellent response to Stonewall from FOVA^S

Ignored by Stonewall, and also my MP, to whom I sent a personal letter about my history of DV linking this, which he didn't even bother to cobble together a copy and paste response to.

No one gives a fuck about what the actual female refuge users think.

ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings Wed 09-Sep-20 07:43:24

Even at the women and equalities committee meeting with Karen IS, she said that she'd been inundated by messages by refuge workers before the meeting saying that they are having problems but are afraid to speak up. And the other people there said themselves when asked if they'd ever had a problem from including TW that they had, but it was just the "other" women being silly. It went something like "Well the women were upset once that one of the TW didn't look enough like a woman. <lots of hand waving and tinkly laughter> I mean, what does a woman look like?" How anyone working in these services can be so callous and devoid of integrity is beyond me.

Kit19 Wed 09-Sep-20 07:46:33

That thhhhaaaattt!! 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻

You can just imagine how any woman raising a concern would be hand waved away with a sad face & “perhaps you’d feel more comfortable in another refuge” knowing full well there’s only one refuge in a 100 mile radius

thinkingaboutLangCleg Wed 09-Sep-20 08:27:29

And the other people there said themselves when asked if they'd ever had a problem from including TW that they had, but it was just the "other" women being silly. It went something like "Well the women were upset once that one of the TW didn't look enough like a woman. <lots of hand waving and tinkly laughter> I mean, what does a woman look like?"

Beyond stupidity. Why does someone with such misogynist opinions have anything to do with a women’s refuge?

twoHopes Wed 09-Sep-20 08:28:44

The whole thing just shows such an unbelievable lack of understanding of what some women go through. The woman I know who used these services had been raped and beaten by her drug dealing partner. At the time she had 2 tiny kids and was terrified for her life. She began suffering from psychotic episodes and at one point had to be sectioned.

"There hasn't been a single incident of concern or challenge"

I mean for Christ sakes.

OhHolyJesus Wed 09-Sep-20 09:02:09

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BrassicaRabbit Wed 09-Sep-20 09:26:41

The whole thing just shows such an unbelievable lack of understanding of what some women go through

This. Plus I am fed up with hearing from people and organisations who don't understand how trauma works - most of these women will be traumatised.

Fight or flight are well known. Everyone forgets freeze. All trauma responses are involuntary but freeze is often a survival tactic employed by smaller prey animals. It's extremely relevant to women who have been attacked by men, because of the inherent differences in physical strength as well as the structural oppression of women by society.

A traumatised woman who encounters a male bodied person in a "single sex" space isn't necessarily going to be able to raise an objection. A women in need of a refuge is well used to being trapped in a domestic setting with a male who doesn't respect her boundaries. And the gaslighting of the staff who are complicit in the deceit simply echoes the gaslighting and power imbalance she tried to escape at home. She will freeze and or possibly attempt to appease them.

Where is the safeguarding? Where is the empathy for those women who have experienced male violence to the extent that it alters their nervous system? Why aren't they seen as the most vulnerable and worth fighting for?

I wanted to give Laura the benefit of the doubt because I enjoy some of her writing and I believe people have to be left space to change their minds and grow. But this is so upsetting.

Annasgirl Wed 09-Sep-20 09:30:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Quotes deleted post

MillyMollyFarmer Wed 09-Sep-20 11:50:30

It’s so utterly gross to see deleted posts on this thread on support services for women. Thankfully MN don’t run any.

ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings Wed 09-Sep-20 12:37:46

Thinkingaboutlangcleng I'm pretty sure at least one of the people who said that was a TW themself. And if I'm remembering correctly, I think they'd been in a spot of trouble for trying to access porn on the train on the way up to the meeting. I remember Jess Philips asking the TW "how do the service users feel about the inclusion of TW in the refuge?" and the TW saying "the TW want to be in with the women, they're happy there". Jess said "no I was asking about how all the service users felt about it" and the TW looked blankly at her like she just couldn't compute the question. So I think that gives a pretty rounded picture of their character.

GrandmaMazur Wed 09-Sep-20 12:43:02

Wow, that's a lot of deletions.

Ereshkigalangcleg Wed 09-Sep-20 12:48:12

Why was my post deleted?

Doyoumind Wed 09-Sep-20 12:49:21

Someone has clearly gone on a reporting spree here.

twoHopes Wed 09-Sep-20 12:51:24

Wow my first ever deleted post. Given how innocuous that was I'm seeing Mumsnet in a new light now. I'm going to have to delete MN for a bit. I really can't be engaging with a platform that seeks to censor women talking about something as serious as this.

Ereshkigalangcleg Wed 09-Sep-20 12:54:44

I didn't misgender anyone. I don't think I used a bad term. I simply pointed out the dishonest way the trans lobby within the Scottish government was framing this issue with a link to an existing MN thread. Are we not allowed to criticise an elected government and their advisors now? Bye bye Covid threads and the politics board then.

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