Scared to approach this. Advice needed from the wise women of the Feminist board

(69 Posts)
GoddessOfHellfire Sat 06-Feb-21 02:43:47

I'll try to keep this simple.

We must choose two people from our women's group to attend a women's event to 'represent' us.
One person has been chosen and agreed unanimously, as she is the best person for the job.
The other person MUST be selected from the categories of disabled, BAME or LGBT.

There is a male member of the women's group. This person, who falls under 'T' in the permitted categories, wishes to attend. There is little interest from the few people in our group who fall into the other categories.

I might like to attend, as would - I imagine - other women in the group who also do not fall into the above categories.

So, we are at the point where a male sexed person is given the opportunity to attend a women's event, while a female sexed person is excluded from attending this women's event.

I know I need to bring this up. I know I need to keep it calm and factual while also expressing the absurdity of the situation.

I don't wish to be accused of transphobia or create a scene, but I really do feel that the point needs to be made.

Does anyone have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
BuntingEllacott Sat 06-Feb-21 03:04:37

No matter how reasonably you approach this, you will be traduced. The women's group already has a male person in it, so the likelihood is that there are already many TWAW believers in it too, and at the very least a lot of women socialized to #BeKind.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you think the worth of standing up for women, so that they do not have to line up behind a male, outweighs the other consequences for you. Only you can know that, and I wouldn't want to pressure any woman to put her livelihood or mental health at risk, but I will say that knowing that the female sex is distinct from men and should not have to stand by, and meekly accept their rights being gifted to those who feel they are more entitled, is an entirely reasonable, rational, and fair-minded position to be in. Best of luck.

sashh Sat 06-Feb-21 04:08:25

One person has been chosen and agreed unanimously, as she is the best person for the job.
The other person MUST be selected from the categories of disabled, BAME or LGBT.

I see these two rules are both discriminatory, it means that who ever wrote the rule thinks that the most qualified will always be white and able bodied.

As a disabled person I think that's quite insulting and possibly illegal.

I also think that could be your approach to this.

Use me as an example if you want, say you were discussing your group with a disabled friend and the following points were made:

Who decided on the catagories?
Why just those?
Why not a religious person?
A married person?
Any other 'protected characteristic'

Also under the Equality Act your 'women's group' isn't.

Also the event may have rules about the sex of attendees. Does the event have facilities for a male bodied person without causing offence or difficulty.

Basically if the attendees are there to represent your group it should be representative of your group.

ChakaDakotaRegina Sat 06-Feb-21 04:20:08

Could you put your hand up to go anyway? Is there any way you could describe interests, strengths or abilities you have that would be particularly useful and leverage that? Could you contact the person that is going and see if she would back you attending (without even bringing up anyone else)? Bit of a cowards way but as pp said, this group has already made its rules.

Would it be offensive to identify as bisexual or pansexual? (I think it would but, hey, identity politics are not what they were in my day hmm)

WarriorN Sat 06-Feb-21 06:59:15

I agree that the rules are the issue. Not very helpful, sorry. I do think it always should be the best person for the job.

Pre the T, the LGB really wouldn't have been an issue in a situation like this (who checks sexuality?!) and shouldn't be an issue in situations like this.

Inclusion as far as I first understood the word was more about disability as participation in many things is often physically difficult for disabled people.

I'm not sure how to navigate this one though.

WarriorN Sat 06-Feb-21 07:00:32

as participation in many things is often physically difficult for disabled people - as in, accessibility needs are not considered and so cause a significant barrier.

WarriorN Sat 06-Feb-21 07:00:56

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curleyismyname Sat 06-Feb-21 07:07:20

If you look up Stonewall's definition of 'trans', you may find that you legitimately fit under the LGBT umbrella anyway.

IDontMindMarmite Sat 06-Feb-21 07:13:33

You could identify as agender or genderfree? Ridiculous situation.

IDontMindMarmite Sat 06-Feb-21 07:14:18

Seriously though, I would let people know that I would like to attend.

TurnsOutIQuit Sat 06-Feb-21 07:50:53

Identify as whatever you need to in order to qualify for a place. The deck is stacked, so play the game.

TheFnozwhowasmirage Sat 06-Feb-21 08:03:46

If it were me,I'd announce that I identify as one of the remaining groups to be chosen from. If a man can identify as a woman,and the group has no issue with that,they can hardly refuse you the same courtesy.
But I'm middle aged,angry and don't have the patience for this shit,so wouldn't care about the consequences. It might not be the same for everyone.

Covidcorvid Sat 06-Feb-21 08:07:04

Yes, you can self id as gender fluid or bi or whatever and go.

Or check with others that someone isn’t disabled and you don’t realise. They don’t need to be registered disabled with a blue badge I don’t believe. So people with chronic health conditions, dyslexia, etc could count?

TurnsOutIQuit Sat 06-Feb-21 08:10:55

I have adhd and don't really tell anyone. I would make it known sharpish and put my name forward.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 06-Feb-21 08:11:01

i have seen people claim what i have - coeliac disease- is a disability. hmm
if you can give up biscuits then i'd recommend going this route. your 'disability' trumps him.

midgedude Sat 06-Feb-21 08:11:17

Is your sense of self really binary and feminine? You don't come across that way

And you know having two protected characteristics ( glosses over the T issues ) Beats 1 any day

UppityPuppity Sat 06-Feb-21 08:16:12

Agreed with other PPs. Say you want to go. You have every right to say this. Why shouldn’t you go?

Also as a heterosexual woman - I bet I could argue that I was:

-non-binary - I don’t identify with sexist stereotype
(unlike EI, I don’t wear pink nail varnish/have long hair)

-queer - I have no idea what that means - but neither does anyone else or your colleagues and if Jameela Jamil can - I can

- agender - I had no desire for sex 3 months of so post childbirth/breastfeeding 24/7. This was temporary - temporary trans statuses are supposed to be equally valid, so this fits too.

Acceptance without exception. Throw it back at them - they won’t question it!

GoddessOfHellfire Sat 06-Feb-21 08:21:31

BuntingEllacott

No matter how reasonably you approach this, you will be traduced. The women's group already has a male person in it, so the likelihood is that there are already many TWAW believers in it too, and at the very least a lot of women socialized to #BeKind.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you think the worth of standing up for women, so that they do not have to line up behind a male, outweighs the other consequences for you. Only you can know that, and I wouldn't want to pressure any woman to put her livelihood or mental health at risk, but I will say that knowing that the female sex is distinct from men and should not have to stand by, and meekly accept their rights being gifted to those who feel they are more entitled, is an entirely reasonable, rational, and fair-minded position to be in. Best of luck.

There is already a fair amount of pushback with regards to this organisation's approach to women, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. I just don't want to have to look like I'm singling someone out (even though I am). If they weren't looking to attend it wouldst be an issue.

I'm actually incredibly angry about it to be fair. The audacity of this person to enter our group and demand blind acceptance, knowing full well that there's little us middle aged feminists can do about it - it's supremely arrogant IMO. It means that there seem to be so many things off the table for discussion, simply by dint of this person's presence.

I'm not too worried about the livelihood side of things and, given that I'm slowly losing faith in the organisation, I have no ambitions.

There are a few legal brains within the group (one of whom is full on TWAW) so I need to construct a clear, concise and logical argument.

OP’s posts: |
ChakaDakotaRegina Sat 06-Feb-21 08:25:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Quotes deleted post

Lordamighty Sat 06-Feb-21 08:31:34

I don’t have a sensible answer sorry but this scenario highlights the ridiculousness of self ID and inclusivity policy.
If XY can identify as female then you can identify as disabled or BAME, there is no difference and people have and are already doing this.

EyesOpening Sat 06-Feb-21 08:33:38

What is happening at this event? Are these two people representing your group going to be proposing things or asking questions etc on your group’s behalf? If so, will there be discussions beforehand for you all to put forward what you want to be discussed/asked etc? If not, why not? They are representing your group, not themselves

WendyTestaburger Sat 06-Feb-21 08:43:23

It is so illogical. For the transwomen to be in your group, the group has to believe they are female. And yet to attend the conference, the group has to remember they are male, otherwise they wouldn't be "T".

Are their any transmen in the group? I'd be interested to know whether transmen feel excluded if they see a group is composed of women and transwomen. It kind of highlights that the common characteristic for the group is gender ID, not sex.

I'm sorry but I would have had to leave the group the minute the transwoman was accepted. Because I'm not interested in a common gender group, I don't have a gender ID. I'd be perfectly happy to share a mixed sex group with a transwoman, or a common interest hobby group of course!

But I agree with PP, that you probably aren't "cis" (very few women are really). It would be interesting to find out how supportive the group are of your new agender status!

FemaleAndLearning Sat 06-Feb-21 09:08:56

There are over 100 genders pick one! Say you didn't really want to out yourself but this policy has forced you to as you really want to attend the meeting because x, y, z As someone up thread say play the game.
I too couldn't be in a women's group that included a TW I would have to leave but I respect your desire to stay and make change.

yetanotherusernameAgain Sat 06-Feb-21 09:11:15

But you say that no one else in the permitted categories is interested in attending. Does that mean if it wasn't for the T person, only one person from your group would be allowed to attend? If so, the T person isn't taking a place from anyone else.

I think you will appear churlish if you complain. If a T person us allowed to join the group itself, then of course they are eligible to put themselves forward under the LGBT category. Would you complain if it were a disabled person?

tanstaafl Sat 06-Feb-21 09:17:40

Assuming the post is real

I’m stunned that ‘disabled’ is in the ‘others’ group.
Is this post from the 70s?

And you don’t have a women’s group IMO, not if there’s a male in it.

I can dress in police uniform but that doesn’t allow me to arrest anyone however much I want to.

angry

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