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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Janice Turner article in today's Times

112 replies

Stopmakingsense · 16/09/2017 07:33

september 16 2017, 12:01am, the times
The battle over gender has turned bloody
janice turner

Women who believe that their rights are threatened by transgender activists now find themselves at risk of assault

When is it OK to punch a woman? I’ve pondered this question since Wednesday evening when I watched a 60-year-old in specs and sensible shoes called Maria being smacked in the face. Yet I learn from her assailant’s defenders that it’s fine. Punch harder next time, guys! Because “acts of physical violence against those who are systemically violent are self-defence”.

I was at Speakers’ Corner waiting, along with about 80 others, to learn the secret location of a meeting entitled, “What is gender? The Gender Recognition Act [GRA] and beyond”. It was all very cloak and dagger because the original venue, a south London community centre, had cancelled the previous day on health and safety grounds. Which is one way of saying “trans rights activists harangued our staff and threatened, via various Facebook groups, to cause havoc if it went ahead”. Then, hearing of the Hyde Park rendezvous, they rang every conceivable venue within a mile radius to promise mayhem. Having failed to find it, about 15 of them arrived at Speakers’ Corner with placards saying “TERFs not welcome.”

TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. But lately the definition has expanded to include any woman worried that permitting men who “self-identify” as female to enter women’s changing rooms or refuges unchallenged makes her less safe. Which is exactly what will happen if reform of the GRA, as championed by Maria Miller, who chairs the Commons women and equalities committee, goes ahead this autumn.

TERFs, according to trans activists, are evil. TERF is the new witch. Search on Twitter for “TERFs must die” or “burn in a fire, TERF” and behold a cauldron of violent vitriol. Before the meeting, a trans-woman posted: “Any idea where this is happening? I want to f some TERFs up, they are no better than fash [fascists].” Search “punch a TERF” and you will find crowing approval of what happened to Maria.

So at Speakers’ Corner trans activists and feminists were chanting and taunting each other. Maria was taking photographs when an opponent grappled with her, snatched her camera and smashed it on the ground. Then a tall, male-bodied, hooded figure wearing make-up rushed over, hit her several times and as police arrived, ran away. I asked a young activist if she was OK with men smacking women: “It’s not a guy, you’re a piece of s
and I’m happy they hit her”, came the reply.

After that, organisers whispered the secret venue and attendees peeled off towards the University Women’s Club where one of the feminists, an engineer, is a member. Activists chased them through Mayfair streets in a black cab, but were stopped at the door by the club’s magnificent pearl-clad chairwoman. And in a grand library the meeting finally took place, with the trans activists outside chanting; “Burn it down!”

I wouldn’t trouble Times readers, no doubt weary of reading daily about gender-fluidity and schoolboys in frocks, with this affair if it didn’t reveal such serious issues. Changes to the very definition of “man” and “woman” are being proposed, yet it is almost impossible to hold a public meeting to discuss them. Wednesday’s speakers were a lesbian academic and a trans woman. Two members of the LGBT group Stonewall initially agreed to take part in what was to be a debate, but dropped out. Winning arguments is far harder for the trans lobby than shutting them down.

Winning arguments is far harder than shutting them down
Mainly because trans demands and women’s rights are often in such clear and irreconcilable conflict. Take Martin Ponting, jailed in 1995 for raping two girls, one disabled. After cosmetic surgery, but still possessing male genitalia, Ponting, now called Jessica Winfield, was moved to Bronzefield women’s prison but after making unwanted sexual advances to inmates has been segregated. Are you appalled that a rapist is confined with women prisoners, mainly non-violent offenders and themselves often victims of male sexual abuse? Do you think the Soham murderer Ian Huntley should never be allowed to transfer even if, as reported, he calls himself “Lian”? Then you too are a TERF and deserve to be punched.

When white supremacists marched through US streets, the left concluded it was fine to counter-attack heavily armed racist militia who posed a physical threat to ethnic minorities. But certain trans activists have extrapolated: they believe debate itself makes them “unsafe”, so it is self-defence to attack those who are “systemically violent”, ie anyone with whom they disagree.

This combination of declared victimhood and ruthless vengeance has so far achieved its goal: silence. Maria Miller, chairing her GRA inquiry, did not even call prison gender experts who submitted their fears that male sexual offenders transition into women to be closer — how amazing! — to potential victims. When Miller’s report went before parliament only one MP, the fearless Caroline Flint, raised potential conflicts with women’s safety, for which she was eviscerated online.

But the tide is turning and the trans activists have a lot more people to punch. Like women athletes who fear their sports will soon be meaningless if trans women are allowed to compete; teachers horrified by an epidemic of adolescent girls binding their breasts, persuaded by extreme internet blogs that they’re in the “wrong body”; psychiatrists fearful of demanded changes to gender treatment protocols which will make advising “wait and see” to confused teenagers rather than shoving them straight on hormones a hate crime.

So when is it OK to punch a woman? When she won’t do what you want; when you don’t like what she says. Some things never change.

OP posts:
YetAnotherSpartacus · 16/09/2017 08:51

Excellent article! Thank you Janice!

GinevraFanshawe · 16/09/2017 08:52

Hi ilovesliz there are no men with female genes, and no, it's not ok.

Ktown · 16/09/2017 08:59

Men don't have female genes! They have a bloody Y chromosome, hence they are male.
I read the guardian and Hadley freedman needs to get on board with this. She is gender critical.
The rest of the guardian is a little too far the other way.
It's fine to press for trans equality but not at the expense of females (am not bothering to use women as a term anymore since it can now mean Y chromosome).
Stick to facts.

ladyballs · 16/09/2017 09:00

Great article, thanks for sharing it.

Datun · 16/09/2017 09:03


You can't change your DNA or your chromosomes. Men have XY chromosomes, women have XX.

(A few people are intersex, but that is a genetic disorder).

When you say Swedish lady, are you talking about Rachel Dolezal? She pretended to be black as she identified with black people. She was roundly criticised by everyone, including, ironically, transactivists.

Men who claim to be women, are still genetically male. Through and through. Gender dysphoria is a condition, similar to anorexia, where your anatomy feels wrong. It doesn't make you female.

Presenting as female helps to alleviate the symptoms. Which everyone is perfectly happy to accommodate. But it doesn't turn you into a woman.

Thelilywhite · 16/09/2017 09:05

Thanks OP. Good old Janice.

woman11017 · 16/09/2017 09:08

Great article. Excellent feminist social media campaigning. Smile Thanks for posting OP Flowers

iseenodust · 16/09/2017 09:08

Have shared on Twitter. Worth doing as seems like the pay barrier is not in place on this article.

SuburbanRhonda · 16/09/2017 09:11


I will never stop using the word "women" to describe women.

WillowWeeping · 16/09/2017 09:17

Great article - if you like it tell people, share it, tweet it, write to the editor. Be vocal in your support: the TAs will be busy planning how to "take down" the Times. Show them that their stance is appreciated.

DamnDeDoubtanceIsSpartacus · 16/09/2017 09:18

But at least we'll have our own railway carriages eh?

Well we won't, it will be stuffed full of "female" penis owners in the brave new world.

Great article.

I am sickened by the activists who are either defending the violence or claiming it didn't happen. They are exactly like a violent, abusive man.

SamShamAndThePharaohs · 16/09/2017 09:19

Thank you Janice.

YetAnotherSpartacus · 16/09/2017 09:21

I am sickened by the activists who are either defending the violence or claiming it didn't happen. They are exactly like a violent, abusive man

Most of them are violent abusive men.

Izzy24 · 16/09/2017 09:22

Thanks OP for this.

Very testing times.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere · 16/09/2017 09:34

Great article, fabulously worded. Thanks for copying it out.

I am nervous of publicly sharing this or commenting online - isn't that awful? I'm scared to have an opinion and voice it. Blush

I just don't know how to eloquently word my opinion and don't want to tie myself in knots or offend some of my many LGBTQ friends who are nominally Trans allies but would by horrified by this week's attack and would condemn it.

There was a Pool article on FB about the 'boy-in-a-dress' parents and ALL of the comments were shaming the couple and incorrectly assessing the issue as them being scared of a boy wearing a dress rather than 6 yr olds being punished for not accepting that a boy can become a girl and potentially accidentally deadnaming him/her (no offence meant, isn't the child in this instance 'changing genders' regularly? Surely this would be easier to explain if he just wanted to be called his girl name all the time and wear dresses all the time; I think the changing confuses the situation even more)

Anyway. I always read these threads and never comment. I don't have anything to add that others don't word much better than me.
I'm scared of being seen as a bigot when I am an LGBTQ ally and have worked with two kind and funny Trans people, and don't have any problem with men dressing as women and wanting to be called Susan... just not expecting every one to call them women and change the meaning of woman.
(What wrong with being called transwoman anyway? Why do they need us to accept them as biological women? Why not just say Yes I'm a transwoman and am finally happy now I've changed?)

IrenetheQuaint · 16/09/2017 09:35

Great article. The Guardian has an article today by a detransitioner who thinks he was pushed into transitioning far too quickly with no discussion of his issues:

Plus an article by Hadley Freeman about everyone being non-binary.

AssignedPerfectAtBirth · 16/09/2017 09:35

Maybe post in one of the faster boards OP? People need to know about this.

(I can do it but didn't want to step on your thread)

hambo · 16/09/2017 09:38

Thank you Janice and thank you feminists of mumsnet for keeping me informed.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 16/09/2017 09:40

This is the event that finally made me come out on Facebook as gender critical. If any of my friends are ok with punching a sixty year old woman for going to a feminist meeting I don't want them to be my friends any more in any case.

Cocolepew · 16/09/2017 09:47

Great piece Flowers

scaryclown · 16/09/2017 09:48

I think the fascinating thing here is why men are so disabled by masculinity that they believe violent bullying is the first go-go method of persuasion on such a complex topic, and also why trans women so easy can draw on the rules and behaviour codes of former, and I would say exaggerated, masculinity, when they want to 'win' a xmconfkict rather than use the conflict resolution tools more characteristic of women and less bestial types of male.

It's an odd mix. Can't we just have a third gender, male, female and hybrid?

scaryclown · 16/09/2017 09:57

I would have thought trans women are one of the last groups that should advocate assault on people who disagree with your gender definition I would imagine they have forgotten that once they become women, they are supposed to plead to authority, not take it (as you can if you are the dominant class/gender) I agree that violence can be the last resort of a oppressed group to wake up an authority with overwhelming resources and blindness, but this particular issue has had a surprising amount of intellectual, cultural and legal interest and support by using higher conflict resolution techniques.

PerkingFaintly · 16/09/2017 09:58

Excellent article, articulates it very well. Thanks for posting that.

Butterymuffin · 16/09/2017 10:06

This is good to see. Well done Janice Turner.

yumyumpizza · 16/09/2017 10:08

Brilliant article!!! Agree 100%. What can we do to help??

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