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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:
DJBaggySmalls · 16/09/2017 10:08

Brilliant article, thank you Janice.

“acts of physical violence against those who are systemically violent are self-defence”.
By 'those' do they mean 'people who belong to a class' or 'people who are actively violent'?
'Terf' is not an identifiable class its whoever you say it is at the time.

MP's are going to debate the bill, we can debate it, and we can certainly talk about what effect it will have on us. This is the UK, not North Korea.
If people think that boundaries erase them, thats their dysphoria talking.

YogaDrone · 16/09/2017 10:09

Thanks for sharing this OP. Well done Janice. Well written and critically excellent article. I hope she knows that she's probably letting herself in for a torrent of hate from TRAs and their handmaidens.

QueenLaBeefah · 16/09/2017 10:12

Well done Janice Turner. It's now inevitable that this debate is going to enter the mainstream. The trans activistism inherent gaslighting cannot withstand honest and open debate.

Puffpaw · 16/09/2017 10:38

Thank you Janice! I've renewed my subscription to the Times just for your writing.

busyboysmum · 16/09/2017 10:45

Can we get this on AIBU or chat for traffic? Needs sharing and discussing far and wide.

Ifitquackslikeaduck · 16/09/2017 10:59

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Datun · 16/09/2017 11:01
cinnamonwoman · 16/09/2017 11:01

Thanks for posting

Also, looooong time lurker, de lurking....finally!!

Datun · 16/09/2017 11:03


Fantastic. Big up to the lurkers!

fruitlovingmonkey · 16/09/2017 11:23

I've just bought a subscription to The Times in support of Janice. I hope someone from The Times reads this. It's a pretty big deal for me, as I've been a Guardian reader my whole life, but they will not get a penny of my money while they prioritise the trans agenda and ignore women's rights.

CeeBeeBee · 16/09/2017 11:30

I've shared the article on FB and I hope it receives maximum exposure. No responses of any kind yet though.

AlistairSim · 16/09/2017 11:32

I'm so happy to see this!

busyboysmum · 16/09/2017 11:36

Last time I shared anything like this on Facebook there was radio silence from the women. 4 male friends and my brother discussed with me and were appalled but not a word from the women.

thecatfromjapan · 16/09/2017 11:42

Smile @ Janice.

TanteRose · 16/09/2017 11:50

Thanks for C&Ping the article - really excellent piece by Janice

qumquat · 16/09/2017 12:49

You can see the article for free if you register. Great article thank you Janice. I was also pleased the Guardian ran the detransitionaing article. Also a good article in the Independent about the risks of transitioning children.

ErrolTheDragon · 16/09/2017 12:52

And who would have thought it would be the Times that stands up for women's rights now the Guardian has given up on them...

Anyone who's read it for a while. Its more grown up and balanced than any other UK paper I know of (I know thats a low bar) but at least its journalists are not all singing from the same hymn sheet.

It may be surprising in a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, but for all his faults, it occurred to me that perhaps as an American he has some appreciation the virtues of freedom of thought and investigative journalism as exhibited by e.g The Washington Post?

rookiemere · 16/09/2017 12:58

That's a good article - thanks for sharing it.

I feel like we're lone voices. We discussed the boy in a dress as general chit chat on Wednesday. I tried to put across the point that it wasn't so much the boy in a dress that the parents objected to, but the fact that he was now to be referred to as she, which must be confusing for young children. I also went on to say that I thought it was great that boys were wearing dresses - that everyone should wear what they wanted - but wearing a dress didn't and shouldn't make you a girl.

They looked at me as if I'd just said that Trump was a great guy and I supported all his policies.

I still worry that people - particularly women, are so worried about not appearing accepting of all, that they'll sleep walk away all our hard won rights, in order not to upset a teeny tiny percentage of the population.

NotAgainYoda · 16/09/2017 13:00


I agree

I've been able to discuss this with a few men. Not my female friends

ErrolTheDragon · 16/09/2017 13:00

Just in case anyone with a Times subscription doesn't realise, you can now get links - like the one in the first post - which allow you to share content. There's a limit of the number per edition, I think, I'm not sure how many.

YetAnotherSpartacus · 16/09/2017 13:04

Errol - is there any way to save as a file - maybe pdf? I couldn't figure one out.

enoughisenough12 · 16/09/2017 13:14

@ErrolTheDragon I'm another one who can't believe that I'm actually reading and appreciating The Times - but it is true that their journalism is very thoughtful and much less 'proselytising' than the Guardian. Of course there are right wing commentators but I am amazed at how often alternative views are presented. It really doesn't come over as the 'voice of the establishment' any more. In fact it is highly critical of the current shower.

BeyondNoone · 16/09/2017 13:16

I've just bought a subscription, and the person I spoke to is going to let them know that it was Janice's article that prompted me

Blanchefleur · 16/09/2017 13:45

Brilliant! Thank you Janice, and thank you OP for sharing.

ErrolTheDragon · 16/09/2017 14:04

A newspaper which only has commentators which share your viewpoint isn't worth the (virtual) paper its written on. I reserve the right not to read Melanie Phillips though.Grin

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