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AIBU to think Jo Swinson framing lesbians as DV abusers is playing into homophobic tropes?

54 replies

ArcheryAnnie · 25/11/2019 11:01

In an interview with Andrew Marr, Jo Swinson answered a question about transwomen in domestic violence refuges by talking about the hypothetical case of an abusive lesbian partner.

Can women be perpetrators of domestic abusers? Yes, of course they can. Some are. Some of those are lesbians, even. But overwhelmingly violence against women is committed by males, by a huge, huge margin.

Here's what the Office for National Statistics says about victims: "In three-quarters of domestic abuse-related offences the victim was female (75%). This proportion was similar for the majority of offence categories, but for domestic abuse-related sexual offences the proportion of victims that were female was even higher, at 96%."

And here's what the Office for National Statistics says about perpetrators: "Reflecting the profile of victims and perpetrators shown in earlier sections, the vast majority of defendants in domestic abuse-related prosecutions were men in the year ending March 2018 (92%)."

This isn't, and can't be, a clinical discussion where you can discuss hypotheticals and it doesn't mean anything. Homophobia exists, and outdated homophobic tropes - such as the aggressive, predatory lesbian - fuel that homophobia. That Jo Swinson chose to focus entirely on a hypothetical lesbian abuser has consequences.

Either Jo Swinson does not realise that she is playing into outdated stereotypes of aggressive, predatory lesbians, in which case she really is not qualified to discuss these issues at all. or she is very aware of these outdated stereotypes, and is playing into them anyway in order to manipulate people into accepting the idea of mixed-sex DV refuges (thus removing the ability of many women to access refuge space at all), in which case we can judge her on who she is happy to throw under the bus.

Which is it, Jo?

OP posts:
Cascade220 · 25/11/2019 11:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArcheryAnnie · 25/11/2019 11:19

Honestly, it's made me feel ill, that she has done this so blithely, so easily.

OP posts:
PicsInRed · 25/11/2019 11:24

Well, she's completely mad isn't she?
What else would we expect?

Siameasy · 25/11/2019 11:49

Diversionary tactics I think.

A lot of people don’t want this sort of thing discussed

Anyway back on topic. Males of any kind and whatever their identity should not be housed in women’s refuges. Everyone gets why but they pretend not to.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 25/11/2019 11:58


At the slightest

If your answer to a ‘should men be allowed in a female refuge’ is ‘Lesbians are violent too’ then you have no fucking argument and should bugger off til youve found one

Happens on politics threads as well

AnneLovesGilbert · 25/11/2019 12:00

I was gawping at the tv. Shame Marr having brought it up let her off the hook with such a preposterous response Angry

EmpressLesbianInChair · 25/11/2019 12:11

If Thatcher had said that in the days of Section 28, there would have been uproar. Stonewall in particular would have raised hell.

But now, party leaders can express lesbophobic views and hardly anyone appears to care.

breakfastpizza · 25/11/2019 12:12

She doesn't give a shit about women.

Tabinot · 25/11/2019 12:36

There is no stereotyping there. Violence in lesbian relationships is a silent epidemic. The numbers you've given don't reflect the proportionally smaller number of lesbian relationships.

BuzzShitbagBobbly · 25/11/2019 12:46

There is no stereotyping there. Violence in lesbian relationships is a silent epidemic.

But as I understand it (can't watch the iplayer at mo), the question was specifically about male-sexed people entering female refuges.
Not female-sexed people entering female refuges.

Female on female (lesbian) DV is a separate issue with separate resolution pathways. It isn't a subset of male on female DV and should not be conflated as if it were.

forkfun · 25/11/2019 12:48


APerkyPumpkin · 25/11/2019 12:52

Jo Swinson?

The woman who says 'bollocks to transphobia' whilst parading around her adoration of the person that removed women's rights from legislation under the radar?

She is so far up someone's arse all you can see are her gold shoes.

ArcheryAnnie · 25/11/2019 12:54

There is no stereotyping there. Violence in lesbian relationships is a silent epidemic. The numbers you've given don't reflect the proportionally smaller number of lesbian relationships.

Tabinot are you seriously suggesting Jo Swinson gives a single shiny shit about the quality of lesbian relationships, except as a bullshit prop to demonstrate why refuges should be mixed-sex?

OP posts:
Ginkypig · 25/11/2019 13:03

My (admittedly simplistic) view is the perpetrator male or female of the violence is not really anything to do with the question.

If The question is should men (or males bodied people) be allowed to use female Refuges then the reasons why or who perpetrated abuse and violence towards the people in question is nothing actually to do with the answer to that question Imo!

The debate of same sex domestic abuse is an important but different debate.

stophuggingme · 25/11/2019 13:08

I can’t stand her. That earnest gurning face while she trots out patronising cobblers.

Did she say “look” and “absolutely “ umpteen times too?

GoodbyePiccadilly · 25/11/2019 13:11

Not just that this was an incredibly nasty and prejudiced thing to say but she was surely prepared for the question and this was the response. So this is the party line, pre-agreed, even though I don't believe it really represents the Lib Dems at all. I genuinely don't understand Jo Swindon's extremist stance on this issue, in the face of huge safeguarding concerns for women and girls.

BuzzShitbagBobbly · 25/11/2019 13:12

Did she say “look” and “absolutely “ umpteen times too?

Along with the earnest use of "really" in a "look at me I'm one of you, really keen to fix the thing which is really broken, we promise to work really hard and will really focus on the thing"

And I bet she does that infuriating "thumb point" as well.
(TBF, they've all been trained out of using their fingers to point now.)

GrumpyHoonMain · 25/11/2019 13:21

While I want to agree, I also know that a lot of LGBT violence (even lesbian related) goes unreported because there’s a fear police won’t understand or couples have battled so hard to be with each other than leaving isn’t an option - also many women’s shelters can’t manage female / female relationships - have known of abusive women being welcomed in and threatening their partners to return with them. So we have no idea as to the true scale of the problem.

Then there’s also the problem that trans or transitioned women and gay men face in relationships with men. Much DV in that space also goes unreported due to fear of not being taken seriously and believing that women’s shelters might not take in a trans or transitioned woman (for gay men there is often no option available - men’s shelters are few and far between). I imagine the problem in this space is greater as it involves men.

Anything that highlights DV in the LGBT community has my support but Swinson should have demanded a full enquiry or report not just cherry picked a single point to curry favour with her non-existent voters

PencilsInSpace · 25/11/2019 13:31

Anything that highlights DV in the LGBT community has my support

That's not what she was doing though. She was saying that admitting a lesbian into a women's refuge is just the same as letting a male in.

She doesn't give a shit about abuse in lesbian relationships she was just using a nasty lesbophobic trope to try and justify the destruction of women's spaces.

ArnoldWhatshisknickers · 25/11/2019 13:37

The question was not about lesbians, it was about MALES, who of course can't be lesbians what with them being the wrong sex.

Deflecting the question by comparing women who happen to be homosexual to males is deeply homophobic.

Swinson did not answer the question of whether or not bog standard males, regardless of any 'gender identity' they may believe themselves to have should be allowed into spaces where some of the most vulnerable women in the land will be in a state of undress, a state of unconsciousness and where they have fled to to escape male violence and recover.

Swinson doesn't give a shit about women, she can't even answer a straight question about us.


PencilsInSpace · 25/11/2019 13:44

Andrew Marr asked her: Under the Equality Act, at the moment there are certain so called safe spaces - women's refuges and prisons and so forth - which are able to turn away trans people. Will you change the Equality Act to stop that happening?

Jo Swinson said: There's not some kind of hierarchy of equalities. Everybody matters and you can't say that, you know, trans women or cis women, you know, that one group is more important than another. What all of those places have to do ... you know, if you're in a refuge and you have a woman who comes to that refuge, who is being abused by her partner, her partner is a same sex partner, then clearly that refuge has to be making sure they're doing a risk assessment on those coming in, because you wouldn't want to have a situation where that partner who had been abusive was in the same refuge. So this isn't an issue about gender, this is an issue about managing that risk, and that has to be done with all of the people a refuge is accepting and trans women are often at significant risk of violence and abuse within relationships.

Full transcript here:

ArcheryAnnie · 25/11/2019 13:47

That's not what she was doing though. She was saying that admitting a lesbian into a women's refuge is just the same as letting a male in.

This. If anyone here doesn't understand how deeply homophobic this is, then they need to learn a bit of history.

OP posts:
MrsMaiselsMuff · 25/11/2019 13:49

They need to get her off TV. Every time she does an interview their poll ratings fall.

GrumpyHoonMain · 25/11/2019 13:50

Let the abusive female partner of another female into a shelter without any checks and then letting that partner blackmail / threaten or just drag her partner out of the shelter IS a problem. Risk assessments do need to be made. But there needs to be a proper enquiry first and JS should have requested this.

GrumpyHoonMain · 25/11/2019 13:52

The truth is that TW are more likely to be both abused and murdered by their male partners - but how would you define a TW as opposed to a man if she hadn’t transitioned yet? That assessment needs to happen

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