When Michael Gibbon KC, counsel for Mermaids, was cross-examining Harris, he asked her to reflect on whether some people would understand “lesbian” to refer to something other than a natal female who is attracted to other natal females. Or, as he put it, would Harris consider whether some people would have a different understanding of “lesbian” from the understanding her organisation is based on?
This is a massive problem. People willy-nilly (no pun intended) redefining words; if you asked the average man or woman in the street what a lesbian is they would all (with the exception of the hopelessly woke) give some version of LGBA’s definition. I, for one, am fed-up with an individual or group making unsolicited changes to the definitions of words that the rest of us are then expected to accept without demur.
The words are important… as new laws then use them for definitions…
We must protect our words!
Repealing the Equalities Act, passed during the dying days of the Brown government, would help.
Repealing the GRA, surely?
Jo Maugham, the director of the Good Law Project, who are supporting Mermaids said: “Charitable status is for those who serve the public good … We do not believe they meet the threshold tests to be registered as a charity.”
As far as I am concerned Mermaids does not meet the threshold test as it does not serve the public good to encourage the vulnerable young to take puberty blockers and mutilate themselves to try to pass as the opposite sex. The LGB Alliance should have more chance of having Mermaids stripped of their charitable status. The majority of us who are not one of the Alphabet people are perfectly content to accept that some are attracted to their own sex but we don’t want men to be able to invade spaces reserved for women by claiming themselves to be women. Nor do we want words to be redefined to suit a minority’s ideological preferences.
In fact Stonewall are failing their original remit. Remember too that back in 1960/70s Stonewall was reluctant to embrace lesbians, particularly lesbian feminists.
Interesting- can you direct us towards any resources about this?
“Nor do we want words to be redefined to suit a minority’s ideological preferences.”
See my comment about lesbians calling their same sex partner “my husband”.
Not the same thing. The lesbians who call their same sex partner “my husband” aren’t insisting you do it, OR ELSE.
Jo Maugham who allegedly tortures foxes to death with a baseball bat while he’s dressed in kinky clothes. Enough said..
A little distortion of the truth there.
“Jo Maugham, the director of the Good Law Project, who are supporting Mermaids said: “Charitable status is for those who serve the public good … We do not believe they meet the threshold tests to be registered as a charity.””
Whereas a castration cult does serve the public good??!?
“Whereas a castration cult does serve the public good??!?”
As much as I don’t support trans ideology, as far as I know they’re not claiming charity status. The LGB Alliance have to prove they serve the public good to maintain their charity status. How do they prove that they serve the public good?
Mermaids is a charity.
“We are concerned that “same-sex attraction” has been recast as nothing more than a dog whistle for transphobia — an argument made by Mermaids in court.”
Indeed, absolute madness.
I’ve always supported groups who are being messed about.
Trans is incoherent though.
If you have time, and want to see a good discussion on this area, check out this discussion on “The Illogicality of Transgender Theory”:
The myth of course is that anyone who scoffs at trans is a raving bigot, probably an elderly church-goer, with bigoted views on everything. My view is that there is no such thing as trans, and that it’s a mere category error, fomented by adolescent hysteria and groupthink, and given a Trojan horse existence by being lumped with genuinely-deserving issues, such as gay rights. Check these out:
Here we have a female academic committing wrongthink:
Here we have a feminist committing wrongthink:
And look, a gay organisation committing wrongthink:
It doesn’t say much for the trans idea, when you have a new gay grouping formed specifically to oppose it.
And here we have a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health committing wrongthink (a government report which shut down a trans clinic – the [Tavistock trans clinic] clinic is being shut down after review chief Cass, a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, concluded in a recently published report that the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) was not a “safe or viable long-term option”:
And Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare are also committing wrongthink – in February 2022, they issued new guidelines on transgender medicine, recommending that doctors not prescribe puberty blockers outside of “exceptional cases,” as their use is built on “uncertain science.”
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, gay rights for gay people just seemed common sense, and basic fairness. I’d always have viewed anyone who doesn’t support gay rights as some sort of crank.
However, I have no time for trans rights. First, it involves a ridiculous semantic distortion of the word gender, which until fairly recently was just a more vicar-friendly euphemism for “sex”.
Now, apparently, we’re meant to believe that “gender” means a set of mere behaviours and predilections. The problem with transactivism is that it can only derive from an acceptance of rigid and very outdated sex-based social stereotypes. The idea that your “gender” is not aligned with your sex only makes sense if you accept, as a given, that men and women can only express themselves inside a narrow set of cultural/social parameters.
But I, and millions more like me, have never had a “gender”.
I’m a person, who happens (sexually) to be a man. I don’t have a “gender” on top of that. I like boxing and motorsports and football. I also like poetry. And if at some point I decide to learn how to darn my socks whilst reading Victorian poetry, I am free to do so. I do not need to “change my gender” (whatever that means) in order to behave in un-stereotypical ways. If you’re a woman who likes drinking beer, playing rugby, and rolling home singing bawdy women’s rugby drinking songs (I used to share a house with some fun straight women from Cambridge univ rugby club, quite the learning experience lol), then, as a woman, you’re perfectly free to do that. Those women did not feel they needed to “change their gender” to behave in un-stereotypical ways. Boy George, as a gay man in the 80s, was able to dress up in conventionally-feminine clothes and wear conventionally-feminine makeup etc. He did so as a gay man. He did not consider that he needed to “change his gender” to exercise his freedom to behave in un-stereotypical ways.
That is, trans ideology resurrects and foments (because it has to) some very regressive notions:
First, trans ideology depends on the rest of us accepting that males and females should be incredibly constrained in their cultural, sporting, social or sartorial behaviour. That trans myth is extremely regressive, and socially conservative. It assumes, indeed needs, that we all buy into the fiction that men and women are already forced to live according to outdated small-town 1950s US stereotypes (“rugged capable emotionally constipated men in suits” and “twittering featherheaded weak women in pinafores” etc). That is, trans mythmaking would have us believe that we’re all living in the past, and that being all you can be involves a whole lot of performative cod-psychology bumkum about gender.
Second, trans ideology operates as a form of women cancellation, and of gay, especially lesbian, cancellation. We are frowned upon for using words such as “woman” and “breast-feeding”. Instead, we have to accept that a hairy bloke with meat and 2 veg is a “woman” *merely because he says he is*. And that, based on this imagined nonsense, it’s OK for a big hairy bloke to be sent into a women’s prison, with inevitable consequences:
Culturally, nowadays, insecure young women who may be gay are being offered a fashionable way to avoid coming out as gay in the normal fashion. Instead, they now declare themselves to be “trans”.
So-called “gender” is merely the resurrection and ossification of merely social stereotypes. You take 50% of a behavioural spectrum and call that “gender”. It’s hilariously conservative, and regressive, and de facto tells us that a man, or a woman, cannot access a full spectrum of lifestyle choices without resorting to trans nonsense.
A man does not need to cut off his bits to wear a frock. Ask any Scotsman at a wedding. Nor does he need to call himself “trans” to wear a frock. He’s just a bloke who likes dresses. Big deal. Nor does a woman need to have surgery to play rugby and get drunk with the team, for heaven’s sake. Nor does she have to call herself “trans” to do so. She’s just a woman who likes rugby and the occasional piss-up. Again, big deal.
If you’re anorexic, and are convinced that you’re very fat (even though you may be wasting away), no Dr. will indulge your delusions – they will intervene and seek to have any such mental disorder treated. It should be no difference for trans people. Just because you are a man or woman who wishes to dress, live or behave in an unconventional manner, that full range of behaviours or lifestyles are 100% available to you as a (straight or gay) man or woman already.
Of course, saying the above is not permissible. I’ve already been thrown off a discussion group in Ireland for saying as much.
Pleased you’ve come here instead.
Screenshotting your comment because it makes such a succinct and commonsense argument. Thank you. I could weather the storms of outrage for publicly making the same arguments, but as a single earner working for a woke U.S. company the one thing I can’t stand to lose is my livelihood. It’s insane that it can even come to that.
Thanks for the links, very interesting
It is a well funded ideology, behind which are some very rich adults seeking to make extreme radical changes to society via the indoctrination of the young.
My hunch is that Mermaids are heading for a humiliating defeat. I just hope the judgment is uncompromising.
I pray that you are right, but given the fact that so many individuals and organisations have been captured by gender ideology, I fear that you are being too optimistic. I am often reminded of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the really scary old black and white one). Be careful; there might be a pod in your back garden waiting to turn you into a gender fanatic who believes that men can be lesbians.
Good analogy. By the way, I too thought that the original film version was scarier and all round better. I hope that the last scene of Kevin McCarthy, desperately trying to get people to listen to his warning, is not prescient
Brilliant reference to that film — it has been in my mind for years. Remember when the boy seeks help from the local sheriff’s office and as the cop bends forward to look at some paper or other the boy sees the fatal mark on the cop’s neck which shows he has already been contaminated by the virus! Spot on, my friend!
Just checked the back garden. OK so far.
Another concerning event is that PayPal have withdrawn the ability to pay the Free Speech Union using their platform. Make of that what you will.
Indeed, if you have a PayPal account and value free-speech you should cancel it to disassociate yourself from an organisation that is clearly now a campaigning anti-free-speech organisation.
I immediately cancelled my PayPal account this morning upon reading about their treatment of the FSU, of which I am a member.
PayPal has also banned Gays Against Groomers. Later that day Google blocked them from accessing their accounts with the company. These companies did this on the day after Gays Against Groomers won status as a charity. There’s a pattern here.
I hadn’t heard that. So PayPal is in favour of Groomers! A bit alarming.
If true,very, very troubling.
It’s been widely reported (except by the BBC and Grauniad, obviously).
Interesting. I’ve had the em from the FSU but haven’t seen it reported anywhere.
PayPal is very convenient. Is there an alternative?
The Telegraph reported it yesterday and if you try to make a donation to FSU PayPal advise they will not make payment. The fact that it is not widely reported shows how much the MSM values free-speech.
There are various others, but it depends on which online retailers or marketplaces use them and most only use one.
Great comment, Julie. Rational and well written. We couldn’t ask for more.
Long ago, in a planet far away, black economist Thomas Sowell imagined a three layer society with the Anointed on top, the Benighted in the middle, and ruling-class Mascots on the bottom.
The first Mascots in this society were workers, but the Anointed soon tired of them. Then they started collecting helpless women as Mascots, oppressed since the dawn of time by patriarchs. Then they got all worked up about black Mascots, then gay Mascots, and now trans Mascots. Quite a collection, you might say. Probably would fetch quite a sum at Sotheby’s.
The problem is that the Anointed taught all these Mascots to be what Taleb calls “intransigent small minorities” so as to teach the contemptible Benighted a lesson as advised by the Anointed.
Nobody thought that one day the trans Mascots would start turning on the other Mascots. Good heavens, darling, surely not.
Thank goodness that on our planet the rulers are much too wise to get tangled up in such foolishness.
Examples, reported today, of the mascots turning on each other, check this out:
Daily Mail as a source on trans issues, who’d a thunk it?
“Mermaids, which advocates for “gender variant and transgender youth””
*Mermaids advocates for the experimental drugging and mutilation of gender variant and transgender youth.
Just to remind people that the demands of the trans lobby do not just affect lesbians. The lobby want to intrude on the rights of heterosexual daughters of heterosexual couples to change and undress in female only spaces. The lobby wants to destroy the sport played by girls and women, heterosexual and lesbian alike. Lesbians are just seen by the trans lobby as a small and vulnerable group that can be victimised first. Take a stand for lesbians’ right to associate and express their views, because it will be heterosexual women next.
It was heterosexual women who first suffered these attacks. So they are not “next”.
Lesbians separated themselves from heterosexual women when they declared they were part of the LGBT community. They now see themselves as victims of something hetero women were already experiencing. They obviously committed themselves to the wrong ideology, there was no unity in the LGBT community. Now they want to claim, for their own benefit, the plight of hetero women. I think they already burnt that bridge.
This is such a retrogressive mindset. It was Betty Friedan who coined the term “Lavender Menace” when she ostracized Lesbians from the Women’s Lib movement in the 1970s. Lesbians continued to fight for ALL women’s right.
The hysterical irony of stating there isn’t “unity” within the LGBT community when the “Women’s Equality” movement has suffered from fissures and infighting for multiple generations!
Your obvious hostility towards Lesbians and the LGB Community isn’t helping move forward the rights of women.
As a woman who raised heterosexual daughters and now has granddaughters I not only have a comprehensive knowledge of our history but ability look forward to establishing the future as better place for all women and men.
Presumably John Nicholson would also accept that a female-bodied transman who claims to be gay is, in fact, a gay man, who would be accepted as such in gay bars and other gay men’s gathering places. And in their beds?
“We are concerned, too, that lesbians are being labelled bigots for not wanting to have sex with people who have penises.”
*We are concerned, too, that lesbians are being labelled bigots for not wanting to have sex with men.
Let’s call out lesbians for the evil phallophobes they are.
You could say trans women are phallophobes too,going as far as reassignment surgery..
Yes, lesbians play the word game, too. Are they even conscious of this?
The great majority of people have no interest whatsoever in this endless constant self publicity seeking LBGT whining, aside from that fact that the word homophobia does not exist, most people accept others choices, and wish they would shut up and get on with their lives, instead of inflicting their endless, tiresome, tedious and boring diatribes, which, as said, most people just do not care one jot about- How about thinking of those who really DO have life and liberty threatening problems?
I think it was you I attempted to agree with and reply to a few hours ago – only to find our comments being removed. Well, I’m agreeing with you again. What you are saying is important and needs saying.
Personally, I find it offensive to have comments removed without explanation. I don’t believe either contribution was offensive or had any intent to be so. All very well for us to complain about PayPal censorship – but we should expect higher standards here.
The people with a dog in this fight obviously exist in a parallel universe relative to the majority of the population.
Most of us have a dog in the fight in the sense that most women whatever their sexual preferences are not keen on males claiming to be women sharing their changing and other personal spaces, and most men support them in this desire. The LGB Alliance appear to be defending this right and Mermaids wish to have them stripped of their charitable status for doing so. I trust the WI is speaking up on their behalf of the LGB Aliance in the case.
“most women whatever their sexual preferences are not keen on males claiming to be women sharing their changing and other personal spaces, and most men support them in this desire. The LGB Alliance appear to be defending this right”
Though I’m sure there are LGB people who share that concern, this story is not about womens’ personal space and nor have I noticed the LGB community showing much concern about womens’ personal spaces. The LGB Alliance does not seem to be defending this right. They are more concerned with the challenge directed at lesbians by trans. When a lesbian said of her same sex partner “this is my husband” they started the word game about identity.
According to a Guardian article it is argued by Mermaids “that the group was set up primarily to lobby the government to restrict the legal rights afforded to transgender people”, which I take to mean seeking to prevent men claiming to be women the right to enter spaces set aside for women.
However, you may be right that this worthy aim may simply be an invention of Mermaids as a stick to beat the LGB Alliance with from a Charitable aims point of view. It does seem they are more concerned about the eradication of gays of both sexes through “homophobic” pressure to transition to suit the appropriate stereotype.
Nevertheless I am happy to support the LGB Alliance dog here despite the misandrist nature of some involved as Mermaids seem to be the aggressors who also have an undesirable impact on non-alphabet women.
Even that sounds ridiculous.
Unfortunately, the WI isaccepting transwomen as members.
Just over half the population has a dog in this fight whether they realize it or not. Trans activist demand access to women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms and sports. If you have daughters, sisters and a mother who are being forced to accept males who identify as women into spaces designed specifically for the privacy and safety of women, then you’re a just a small step removed from having a dog in this fight.
With the advent of feminism, a man showing concern for the feelings of a woman is rather like a lamb being concerned for the hungry wolf.
“allowed misogynistic men to scream “TERF” at any passing feminist”
Well, the story from the Daily Mail posted elsewhere suggests a deranged (Labour Party employed) woman screaming ‘fascist’ at a father and baby. I do wish that Ms Bindel wouldn’t ruin her pieces with the usual, predictable misandry. Most men agree with her on this, but speaking to female friends who have encountered such behaviour, it is very often OTHER WOMEN who are the inquisitors and prosecutors for these ideologies.
I seem to remember heterosexuals being attacked for disagreeing with gay marriage, being called bigots and homophobes, and accused of being responsible for the suicides of gay youths because of this disagreement. So now lesbians get the same treatment. This is how it goes. What goes around comes around.
To a hammer everything looks like a nail…. To Sexual Orientation Charity everything looks like a ……..
I said something very similar – and a bit more intemperately – on an UnHerd thread a couple of months back.
This is the world they wanted, and now they have to live with it. Unfortunately, so do the rest of us.
Lesbian and gay people didn’t and don’t want autogynephelic heterosexual men identifying as women, dressing up in obscene costume and teaching school kids.
Nor do we support the elder abuse of disabled gay rights veterans by mobs of trans activists.
In the struggle against trans extremism, we are allies, not adversaries.
“In the struggle against trans extremism, we are allies, not adversaries.”
Interesting. I didn’t hear anything like that before when we heteros were called homophobes. So, it’s a bit like Russia and England against Germany in WWII, don’t you think?
The downvotes are interesting, when the point that you make is both true and obvious: the gender crowd are running the same playbook that the gay crowd did, and to great effect. Just as the gay crowd used the same playbook that the civil rights crowd did decades earlier. These playbooks are used for a reason: they work. People should be careful, therefore, about the means which they use to advocate for their own advantage, because the means that they use can very well be turned back against them at some stage, as we are seeing today.
Thanks for the homophobia
There’s no homophobia there.
no such word or expression.. how can ” fear of single” actually mean anything” Can I now use ” Anuphobia ” for an incurable allergy to those who speak out of their sphincta?
You make some good points but while the lesbian and gay rights movement certainly drew inspiration from the civil and women’s rights movements, we did not try to aggressively colonise either of these and drive out the very people they were founded to serve as Trans is trying to do to us.
In a way you did ( assuming from your comment that you’re a “we”). You branded those who did not support gay marriage as homophobes, regardless of their reasons. You insisted that their position was a threat to gay youths. You changed the way language was used. You colonised an existing culture.
Well, no, actually the “gender” crowd are not running the same “playbook”. The gay crowd, as you call us, campaigned for the right to get on with our lives and relationships without being harassed, bullied or discriminated against – in other words, the right to be treated just like everyone else.
The “gender” crowd are demanding something completely different, viz. the legal right to be recognized by everyone else as something that they are not. Furthermore, organizations like Mermaids want children to be encouraged to believe that their bodies may be wrongly sexed and can be “transitioned” to those of the other sex. To that end, they want children and adolescents who do not conform to “gender” stereotypes, or who have difficulty accepting their immutable sex, to be given puberty blockers, which retard normal development, and cross-sex hormones, which irreversibly distort it.
It may seem that way to the casual observer because trans activist have attached themselves to us like leeches. The only things lesbians and gay men wanted was to be treated equally and to gain legal recognition of our relationships. That’s all.
Trans activist have pushed their agenda into schools. They’ve demanded that people use biologically incorrect preferred pronouns, and access to women’s spaces and sports. Attempts to make a persons inner feelings of gender more important than their biological sex. But the most insidious thing trans activist have pushed is for the medicalization of children with mental health issues. Pubery Blockers for kids as young as 8. Opposite sex hormones and dangerous cosmetic sugeries.
As you can see, there are vast differences between what LGB people wanted and what extremist trans activist now demand.
“The only things lesbians and gay men wanted was to be treated equally and to gain legal recognition of our relationships. That’s all.”
”That’s all”, as you put it was a lot more to heterosexuals. Lesbians and gays wanted to change the conditions of marriage, they changed the use and meaning of words, they challenged the beliefs of others and called them homophobes, they challenged the right of those people to have opinions in a court of law. That may be “all” to you, but not to a large part of the population. The trans activists are running a very similar playbook; they muddy the waters, they play with words and meaning, they challenge long held ideas about relationships and how they flow through communities, they make demand based on “rights” and “free speech”. Lesbians and gays had the right to be free of discrimination but in the process of fighting for that they used the same playbook.
Many gay people, including me, think same-sex marriage is unnecessary. Marriage has connotations and a history that are intrinsically heterosexual. Equality need not mean sameness and lesbian and gay people were already well served by civil partnerships. So, I agree with you on your point that we may be reaping the rewards of societal overreach where this issue is concerned anyway.
Other areas – I’m not so sure that our campaign for equality was quite the same as the trans demands for primacy even if that means the rights of women, children and lesbian and gay people are sacrificed. For example, I don’t recall any gay person or gay organisation I was familiar with back in the day presuming to redefine other people or mandate who they must be attracted to or how they may organise, as Trans seeks to do.
I’m not suggesting that the gay campaign for equality was the same as trans demands.I completely agree with the comments here about the trans activists and their demands, and I would support the LGB community in their resistance. But just to reiterate my point (probably unnecessarily) once you start pulling at a lose thread then eventually the whole thing comes apart. I agree one hundred percent that LGB people should not be discriminated against, but the bending of words and meaning began with gay marriage.
The slippery slope got far slippier in 2013.
The ceaseless complaints of the alphabet people are becoming ever so tiresome – wish you would all go back into your closets, the whole damn lot of you.
The amount of time and energy being spent here seems way out of proportion to any actual problems – and the very real problems we do have to deal with. Isn’t everything these people wish to do now legal and largely accepted ? What is it they still need to campaign for ?
Perhaps the need to campaign is so ingrained, that they now feel compelled to continue, only campaigning against adjacent groups ? I don’t claim to understand any of this – and I really don’t want to – but this sort of thing does bring to mind the People’s Front of Judea.
Well, don’t let ignorance stand in your way.
No, the wider question involves the significant issue of whether males claiming to be women/girls must be afforded the status of females. E.g.,
—should athletes who say they are women be allowed to compete against bio women athletes (Lia Thomas);
—should a male be permitted into the women/girls area of a spa or a swimming pond just by claiming to be female-identified (WiSpa, various);
… to name a few examples. Currently all “LGBT” organizations focus exclusively on the T aspect of their advocacy. And T advocacy seeks to erase the legal & social effect of the biological reality of there being only two sexes, male and female.
Hope this helps. Apologies for the snark, above.
Not at all Helen. I freely admit I’m ignorant here. So perhaps I should just shut up and say nothing ! I knew no good could come of saying something here. My views here are certainly far too old fashioned and simplistic, so I have no difficulty answering your questions.
I’m afraid money-grubbing is the at the root of it all. Once equality has been achieved new taboos must be transgressed in order to retain funding revenues.
Mainly, I find these groups to be vicious to everyone: Walking through a Provincetown restaurant with my husband and another straight couple, several tables of lesbians hissed “breeders” (a pejorative, I guess). The waitstaff ignored us, and all laughed when we left. No glitter, rainbow-y love is love for us! Oh, and those people with penises are men. Three letters, no definition necessary.
I’m still struggling what a sexual orientation like homosexuality or bisexuality has to do with wanting to change gender.
All the upticks cancelled.
Interesting article as ever on Unherd. What I find so upsetting and disturbing is the appalling intolerance, vindictiveness and hostility of a small proportion of trans activists. This court action screams ‘vindictiveness’. I am totally confused and hurt at the arguments and allegations of this small group. I’m a straight woman. I have absolutely no issue with trans women or trans men – I have a friend who is trans and I have seen how difficult it has been for her to move in the world and find out who she is. I absolutely support her on what has been a difficult, and at points scary, journey trying to articulate who she is. I also have a female friend who was brutally assaulted by a man and has severe PTSD as a result. Do I think that a transwoman is likely to be violent towards me because, by sex, she is male? Does my friend? No – that’s ridiculous. Neither she nor I would bat an eyelid, indeed would welcome a lovely transwoman to natter to in the loos etc, but where there is counselling, she needs a space where she can feel completely safe, and the notion that someone who dresses like a man, speaks like a man and is male bodied, could just come in and say ‘I am a woman and you can’t question that and if you do you’re a bigot’; is not a reasonable position to take. It would be the ultimate ‘gaslighting’ – telling the woman who has actually been harmed that she’s not the victim but the victimiser, that her experience counts for nothing and is valueless. Equally, what if you were a women within a religiously orthodox faith who needed to access services (a marginalised group where great effort has been rightly made to provide access to services)? Why is it ‘wrong’/homophobic to think that there is a ‘third sex’ and instead celebrate and integrate that as a concept and community? What is this seeming obsession with saying that transwomen or transmen have to be women or men (ie binary)? Being a transwoman or man is, in itself, a unique and lovely thing, and doesn’t require the negation of anyone, but the insistence by a small group that, essentially, a woman is merely a concept (which the gender argument seems to suggest), is insulting. It is insulting to infer that my, or my sister’s or my mother are ‘ideas’ or that we are, in effect ‘performing’ who we are/that our lives and experience are mere performance. It’s not anyone’s ‘fault’ that chromosomes exist. Equally, transwomen and men have unique experiences and lives which are distinct. Beautiful but different. There’s room for everyone without having to negate the other. I can’t escape the thought that, if the case is that most of the accusations of transphobia are being directed by a limited number of trans women, that this smacks of male privilege telling women, yet again, to comply. That Stonewall can state, without blushing, that lesbians are transphobic if they don’t want to have sex with a male bodied person, simply beggars belief. You are attracted to who you are attracted to. I’m not a bigot because I fancy men of a certain type, so why would lesbians be labelled as such? Would gay men who just like bears be bigots if they didn’t like more ‘femme’ men? Women being ‘told’ by men or by individuals who have all the early / teenage years of being men (and the privileges which come from that), who they should and should not sleep with, what they should or should not believe and behave like, and to just shut up and take it or be labelled as ‘bigots’ and punished, is a story as old as time. And Owen Jones, bless, I’m glad he’s around to make a counter argument – but he’s just another guy who is veering so far left he’s assumed all the intolerance of the right wing. And yes, he’s a guy telling women that they’re wrong, selfish and causing harm, when all any of the women I know are merely saying ‘we exist and we’re happy that transwomen and transmen exist, we were all having a great tolerant time working to build a community based on wonderful difference until the left wing nazis appeared and decided there had to be a fight’.
“I can’t escape the thought that, if the case is that most of the accusations of transphobia are being directed by a limited number of trans women, that this smacks of male privilege telling women, yet again, to comply”
An interesting point. I do get a bit tired of the “male privilege” mantra. Presumably this doesn’t apply to all the gay men who lived those difficult lives in the past, and all the men who live comfortably with their female partners. And with this “privilege” comes a lot of things that don’t feel so privileged. But it is interesting about these aggressive trans women, who in their aggressive behaviour, expose the fact that they’re still men.
What exactly is the commonality that links LGB? And what was it when it was LGBT?
This is a bit off topic, but then maybe not. Last night, in Michigan, an 83 year old woman was going door-to-door handing out pro-life pamphlets, as there is a referendum on the issue in November. As she turned to walk to her car, she was shot in the back. She drove herself to the hospital and appears to be doing well. A year or so ago, a man was praying in front of an abortion clinic, when he was approached by another man who proceeded to fall on ground, claiming that the first man had assaulted him. There was an arrest. Turns out the event was filmed. When the film was shown to the judge, he dismissed the charges, as the second man was an obvious flopper, or so it appeared to the judge. A day or two ago the FBI raided the first man’s home and re-arrested him, this time on federal charges. Yes, federal charges. He was, by reports, denied bail, and awaits trial. These are clues, aren’t they, but about what?
I’m not really interested in the Charitable status of any of these things, to my view they are all in some way divisive.
Who needs a LGB Charity now? We all should simply recognise that what other people do with their naughty bits is their own business. If we need a campaign it should be for that purpose alone.
Thank you Ms. Bindel! Great piece.
« perceived slights towards trans people must always come first.«
Has not GOD himself explained his views on botty banditry and the like? (Leviticus 17-26).
parable of the uphill gardener?!!!
From my research north of the Red Wall I gather the term used for this particular activity is ‘f*dge packing’. I have no idea of the origin of this exotic description.
I am unreliably informed (by the internet) that the etymological trail leads us to a stand up comedy routine by the late Robin Williams, ca. 1990. I cannot recall hearing or using the term before this time; but recollections may vary, as they say.
But of course, just as he has explained his views on having intercourse with your wife during her menstrual period (Leviticus 18:19; 20:18), sowing your field with two kinds of seed or wearing clothes of mixed fibres (Leviticus 19:19), accepting interest on a loan (Psalm 15:1, 2, 5; Ezekiel 18:5, 8-9, 10, 13), and what to do with non-virgin brides (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
Yes that is a problem.
Some years ago when I was taking a granddaughter around a South London Park complete with nineteenth replicas of Dinosaurs, she asked “ What was God doing Grandpa when Dinosaurs were around?” To which I could only answer “Not much”.
This seems like a somewhat disingenuous framing of Mermaids’ position, and reason for pursuing this court case. As I understand it, they are maintaining that the LGB Alliance exists not to advance the cause of Lesbians, Gay men, or anyone identifying as bisexual, but to specifically advocate against the transgender community and the Mermaids organization. And from what I’ve seen of the LGB Alliance’s activities, there appears to be a very reasonable argument to be made to that point.
That’s very interesting. The LGB Alliance has put forward the idea that they’re fighting for the rights of women, particularly the invasion of womens’ spaces by trans women, But I don’t think, up until now, I’ve seen much evidence of that coming from the LGB community. So this may very well be a political power spat among the the “Rainbow” community, or the realisation that the radicalism of trans activists is hurting their public image.
“We have the right to define ourselves and not to be redefined by others”
But you don’t have a ‘right’ to societal definitions as these are arbitrary social constructs/choices. And while society defines femaleness in terms of both biological & archetypal modes of being & it does, a lesbian can be either a biological female or male.
It’s a fallacy to suggest ‘lesbians’ as they are understood in the more popular sense are erased as it is to say ‘women’ are. These definitions have simply expanded to include present day accepted societal meaning.
But do these societal understandings conflict & thereby cause harm? They don’t have to. It’s not as if risk factors can’t be managed.
Your interpretation of “societal meaning” is far from being what you think it is, or would like it to be. It is, in fact, an attempt to hijack ‘meaning’ by a minority who don’t speak for ‘society’.
The very fact that you claim there are ‘risk factors’ that need ‘managing’ pinpoints precisely where the problem lies. Whilst biological females are having their private spaces compromised, there can be no mitigating of the risk that predatory biological males will try to take advantage of this for sexual purposes. Until organisations such as Stonewall can reconcile the need for biological female-only spaces with their own agenda, they will lose support and will lose this case. Any other outcome would be disastrous for biological women.
It’s not up to society to allow this to happen, although it is up to society to find a way to accommodate the needs of genuinely trans women who need privacy just as much as anyone else. Stonewall simply aren’t helping by campaigning against the rights of biological women.
However, over the pond….. (Copied and pasted from an article in Forbes, I think) ‘ federal judges, the ACLU and now the Associated Press have made it clear that the transphobic terms, “biological male,” “biological female” and “biological sex” are nonsense words, coined during the North Carolina bathroom bill days specifically to oppress trans people.’
This has been the longest April the first ever!
“Your interpretation of “societal meaning” is far from being what you think it is, or would like it to be. It is, in fact, an attempt to hijack ‘meaning’ by a minority who don’t speak for ‘society’.”
On the contrary, it’s thoroughly routine for ‘men’ & ‘women’ to be understood as such via stereotypical expressions by the overwhelming majority of society. We don’t as a matter of course require genital verification when doing so.
“The very fact that you claim there are ‘risk factors’ that need ‘managing’ pinpoints precisely where the problem lies. Whilst biological females are having their private spaces compromised, there can be no mitigating of the risk that predatory biological males will try to take advantage of this for sexual purposes.”
Transgendered individuals have had unfettered access to women’s private spaces for eons without any evidence of a trend in sexual abuse so there is no risk in such areas which has been proven in numerous studies. Where abuses have occurred (although their numbers cannot yet seen to be a trend as per the high court) is in prisons where risk assessments can be conducted for known sexual predators.
What is the “female mode of being”? Please describe it for me.
I specifically referred to female archetypical expressions which as much as is the fashion to conveniently deny is the associated norm for what is societally understood as ‘woman’.
You’re still avoiding the question of what these female archetypical expressions are though?
The hilarious thing is that all of your lot know perfectly well that the only specific things you can list are the most superficial stereotypes, so you do everything you can to wriggle out of being specific.
Gender expression or presentation regarding trans males & females refers to a persons behaviour, mannerisms, interests, appearance & roles that are socially typically associated with gender specifically with the categories of femininity & masculinity.
Yes these maybe stereotypes but stereotypes in gender expression are in fact the reality for most humans.
“These definitions have simply expanded to include present day accepted societal meaning.”
Accepted by whom?
Accepted as in agreed meaning. ‘Trans man/woman’ has an agreed meaning whether the majority like their existence or not.
“A word gets into a dictionary when it is used by many people who all agree that it means the same thing.”
Wow. You have just given the world a whole new definition of the word “expand”.
Nothing less than one would expect from a fictional character living in a fictional world.