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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:
OlennasWimple · 16/09/2017 16:49

Excellent article.

I feel like we need to start shouting loudly about how TRAs are just using the age old excuses violent men make when they use physical violence* to shut women up.

"She was asking for it"

"She wouldn't stop going on about it"

"She drove me to do it with her incessant whining"

"If she hadn't been nagging all the time, I wouldn't have had to shut her up"

"She knew what would happen if she kept winding me up, and she still kept going on and on and on"

*aka real "literal violence"

IndominusRex · 16/09/2017 17:46

More and more people are having their eyes opened. The problem is that the authorities refuse to see it and people are too scared to speak out. I think change is coming though, I really do.

retreatwhispering · 16/09/2017 17:53

HURRAY! Another one ditching the Guardian for the Times. I dislike misogyny more than Murdoch.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim · 16/09/2017 17:59

Is that pompous twat rusbridger still editor of the grauniad? Anyone fancy emailing him to tell him he's haemorrhaging readers because his rag is more mired in misogyny than the murdoch press? Grin

Elendon · 16/09/2017 18:07

I'm never going to read the times but I will read Turner. Murdoch is misogyny and patriarchy.

Thanks for posting.

Elendon · 16/09/2017 18:08

The editor of the Guardian is a woman. Katharine Viner.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim · 16/09/2017 18:15

Then she's doing an even worse job than her predecessor, which I suppose is a feat in itself

fruitlovingmonkey · 16/09/2017 18:15

Women's rights above all else in my eyes retreatwhispering.
To any other Guardian readers, do you know that their darling shitbag Owen Jones is retweeting some twat who claims that Maria provoked and attacked the TAs.

SophoclesTheFox · 16/09/2017 18:22

Owen Jones, the cleverest boy in the sixth form

Doesn't surprise me in the least, he's the poster boy for the right-on lefty dude who chucks women under the bus at the first opportunity.

AssassinatedBeauty · 16/09/2017 18:32

Just read that twitter thread... wow. How it's possible to pick on someone who runs at you and hits you I don't know. Plus the description of that person as a young thin weak trans girl is ridiculous if you've seen the footage. It's a male bodied adult who is the aggressor in the situation. It's really astounding to see how determined some people are to try and twist and spin a story to make them out as the victims.

OlennasWimple · 16/09/2017 18:45

Funny how "anti-bullying campaigner" Paris Lees has been silent on this incident of clear and outright bullying and abuse of women... Hmm

BeyondNoone · 16/09/2017 19:05

You might want to look at this quickly before it's deleted...

HornyTortoise · 16/09/2017 19:10

Amazing article. Dare I hope the tide is finally turning...the more people think even just a little more about this stuff than the usual 'transphobia, bad' that we are expected to do...the more people will see how much bollocks it all is.

Cooroo · 16/09/2017 23:07

Great article. So many people are totally unaware of the batshit goings on, this puts the story out there in a wonderfully articulate way.

BeyondNoone · 16/09/2017 23:36
ErrolTheDragon · 17/09/2017 00:22

Well, I suppose at least the DM seems to know who is a feminist and who isn't, which is more than you can say for the Guardian sometimes.

And I'm puzzled by the last para - who are Trans Health London? The name sounds TRA-ishbut the statement seems to be supporting exactly what the feminists were doing Confused

Datun · 17/09/2017 00:51


Action for Trans Health London is where the transactivists came from.

They are the ones who 'liked' the I want to fuck up some terfs comment. They are the ones who rang around trying to find a venue. They are the ones who called all the transactivists to arms in the first place. They are responsible for it.

Their original statement after the violence put the blame entirely on the victim. It has since been deleted, unfortunately.

Perhaps they knew that comment was going in the Daily Mail. But it is not what they said. At all. The opposite in fact. Just banged on and on about violence to transwomen.

Datun · 17/09/2017 01:07
BetsyM00 · 17/09/2017 01:13

ErrolTheDragon I believe if you replace the word women with transwomen in that statement you will be closer to Action for Trans Health London's viewpoint. They think the feminists were the violent ones.

ErrolTheDragon · 17/09/2017 01:24

Its bizarre, isn't it? Surely anyone can see who is committing the all too literal violence, hatred, misogyny and intimidation.

Well, hopefully the police investigating the incident will.

SummerflowerXx · 17/09/2017 08:44

Glad the police are investigating. But the feminists there were not extreme, to contradict what the DM says.

It is not extreme to want debate on an issue which is fundamental to how we as a society define men and women, it effects every single person in the country directly or indirectly. That is a moderate and reasonable demand, and it should not even be an issue.

Also, DM itself also seemed to recognise that feminists oppose 'some' trans demands, which is again not extreme.

I would have been very interested to hear the discussion. It does not matter what 'side' of the debate you take, debate should be freely heard.

HornyTortoise · 17/09/2017 15:23

TERFs are feminists who are opposed to some campaigning by transgender women

Hmm. Thats prob ably the best they could get away with. Doesn't make 'TERFs' sound evil at all, like the guardian and a such would do.

hackmum · 17/09/2017 17:31

The Mail article is a bit of a mess. I couldn't work out whether the two journalists who wrote it really didn't understand the difference of opinion between the two groups or were deliberately trying to pretend they were both as bad as each other.

I looked them up - I couldn't find anything else by Mark Wood, but Sanchez Manning regularly reports on trans issues for the MoS. So assuming he understands what he's writing about, it does look like a deliberate muddying of the waters.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 17/09/2017 17:36

Actually I have it on good authority that Sanchez Manning is on holiday and it was Wood who wrote the article, so no need to think any muddying is deliberate.

They were trying to make it look like a catfight, but when you read it carefully it does at least get right who was doing the actual violence.

hackmum · 17/09/2017 18:19

Thanks, Countess. That's helpful to know. Curious who this Mark Wood person is, though.mi

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