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Why Scotland’s ‘witches’ fought back A new book reflects on the past five years of fighting gender ideology

Scottish women fight for their rights (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Scottish women fight for their rights (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)


June 8, 2024   4 mins

Witch hunts have long tormented Scotland. Thousands of women were tortured and executed there in the early-modern era, for the opaque crime of “witchcraft”. Over the past five years, a similarly senseless, though slightly less violent, campaign has been waged against feminists who reject gender ideology. But this time, the women fought back.

The 21st-century battle began in 2019, as Scotland was on the verge of introducing a law that would allow men to self-identify as women. That same year, Katie Dolatowski, a six-foot-five transgender paedophile, was convicted of sexual offences against two girls aged 10 and 12 in a women’s toilets in Fife. Dolatowski, born male but identifying as female, was placed in a women-only hostel, putting vulnerable women at risk. Despite this, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the self-professed “feminist to my fingertips”, forged ahead with self-ID legislation that most of Scotland either didn’t understand or didn’t want. Dolatowski, meanwhile, praised her for being a “great first minister”.

Around the same time, a new hashtag was born: #WomenWontWheesht. It was coined by a mother worried that her disabled daughter, given the proposed legislation, might be given intimate care by a male carer. In response to her voicing such concerns, she was accused of being a pearl-clutching transphobe. Her worries for her daughter’s dignity and safety were effectively deemed not inclusive enough of the sensitivities of adult men. And she was told to “weesht”. As a result, the hashtag became a battle cry: the symbol of the feminist resistance to being silenced. And this week, their book was published. The Women Who Wouldn’t Wheesht tells the stories of the individual women who fought to protect women’s sex-based rights, with testimonies from an SNP MP, a prison governor and J.K. Rowling.

As the book details, Mumsnet was an unlikely forum in which women would organise. In response to Swim England’s new guidance, released in 2018, Mumsnetters organised “Man Friday” events, in which they self-identified as men and rocked up to men-only swimming sessions bare-breasted and sometimes even sporting fake moustaches. Within two weeks, the new guidance had been withdrawn. Such demonstrations were akin to the Reclaim the Night marches, Greenham Common and the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movement, marking a return to grassroots feminism. This was an antidote to the horrors being visited on women under the cloak of transgender rights.

Yet such movements were often hindered by financial constraints. The pro-gender ideology organisations were often funded by the Scottish government, while the women resisting did so on a shoestring. Women had to resort to shaking tins asking for donations to pay the lawyers, and crowd-funders were plastered all over social media. In the time-honoured tradition of feminist activism, this work was unpaid.

“The pro-gender ideology organisations were often funded by the Scottish government, while the women resisting did so on a shoestring.”

Female campaigners during this period faced appalling abuse. In 2018, the then-newly appointed rector at the University of Edinburgh, Ann Henderson, was plagued by baseless and vexatious complaints supported by the University and College Union. In the new book, she reflects on her experience: “Lesbian staff members felt excluded from networks. Women-only events were increasingly difficult even impossible — to arrange, and women were concerned about losing their female private facilities.”

Then, in June 2019, I spoke at Edinburgh University about the feminist campaign to end men’s violence towards women. As I was leaving the venue, I was attacked by a six-foot male transactivist, who was shouting that I was a “cunt” and responsible for the suicide of several trans people. The next day, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman caved into pressure from his party and apologised for attending the event.

That same month, poet Jenny Lindsay took to Twitter to complain about an article published in an arts publication, the Skinny, which advocated for violence against lesbian activists at Pride. The backlash was abhorrent — one friend turned against her, writing an “Open Letter on Transphobia” that more than 250 people signed. Lindsay recalls: “Every name I recognised was an emotional stabbing.”

A major boost to the feminist campaign came at the end of 2019, when J.K. Rowling publicly expressed support for Maya Forstater, who had lost her job after tweeting gender-critical views. Rowling recalls: “I’d watched in silence as girls and women with everything to lose had stood up in the face of a modern-day witch hunt, braving threats and intimidation, not only from activists in black balaclavas holding placards promising to beat and murder them, but from institutions and employers telling them they must accept and espouse an ideology in which they don’t believe, and surrender their rights.”

But even she couldn’t make the world see reason. Rowling was cancelled, as were all her supporters. After expressing her admiration for Rowling on Twitter, Young Adult author Gillian Philip was cast out of publishing circles and has since retrained as an HGV driver. She says: “I’m a great believer in fantasy fiction for children, but I draw the line at telling them it’s reality — especially when it threatens to do them actual physical harm.”

Together, these women who wouldn’t wheesht contributed to the downfall of Nicola Sturgeon. In early January 2023, the UK government prevented Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill from becoming law, arguing that it illegally impacted the Equality Act. Days later, Adam Graham (also known as Isla Bryson) was convicted of two counts of rape, both of which he committed before he decided he was a woman. Graham was sent to a women’s prison: a photograph emerged of him wearing a blonde wig and tight leggings — his male genitals clearly visible. In a car crash of an interview, Sturgeon was grilled about whether Graham was a man or a woman. Just over two weeks later, she resigned, giving no reason.

It is not my style to be precious, but I found reading this book exceptionally hard in parts. It reminded me of the dozens of hellish scenarios I have had to endure in the 20 years since I first spoke out against gender ideology. The memories of the physical attacks and threats, the humiliation of being de-platformed, the betrayals by women I had thought were committed feminists.

But the book also reminded me of the enduring strength of the feminist movement. Despite facing the worst men’s rights backlash in more than 40 years, feminists from all generations are uniting to fight back. This is a story of a war, written while the bombs are still exploding. But it’s also the story of the resistance — and it isn’t over yet.


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Ian_S
Ian_S
10 days ago

No doubt about it, these women are heroes, who have struggled — and now it seems, are in sight of winning — against the many insults, threats, mobbings, injustices and violence visited by the ever-so-kind “social justice” set. If woke is ever eventually cleared out of schools, the telling of this dark time in Scottish history needs to be front and centre of a new school curriculum — the lessons being to look at what people do, not what they say; and that evil comes in many forms. The awful “transwomen” and their ultra righteous, vilifying and viciously judgemental “allies” all need to be publicly shamed forever for what they have done.

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

You seem to identify “woke” with “trans”. I’m all for getting “woke” out of schools and replacing it with more balanced, knowledge based approaches, with open discussion rather than indoctrination. But that will take a lot of work, and involve casualties on both sides of the trans debate.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Trans people are .004% of the population.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Not sure what the relevance of this is to my comment?

Are you saying that the numbers are so vanishingly small that we should all stop making such a ridiculously big deal about it?

My maths may be wrong, but is that 4 people in 100,000? So 20 in a city of half a million? That seems low.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

That’s probably high…
I work with the public and so far I have come across exactly zero.
Besides, the “casualties” will be needed because the government has been so incredibly inept by allowing this madness to proliferate unchecked, so boundaries where moved further and further without anyone checking, and there have been plenty of “casualties” in the process.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago

So are you saying that the chances of anybody encountering a trans person in a public toilet or changing room are so absurdly small that this is just an enormous fuss over nothing?

I’m genuinely struggling with what you are saying here. Is it vanishingly small or proliferating unchecked? Or do you mean that the reaction to it is proliferating unchecked?

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

In my anecdotal experience the probability is very close to zero, especially if you live away from a university town (and even there it is not that high).
I do think this is something that is being hugely amplified by “gender critical” (I hate that phrase) people, twitter and the corporate world.
HOWEVER, the “gender critical” people do have a point as it is a matter of safeguarding as bad people WILL take advantage of the new rules.
The fault, as I said, lies with the government (and we have had 14 years of “Tory” government who at times were trying to out-woke even the SNP) who didn’t understand the issue AT ALL (to start with I didn’t understand it either, so I can sympathize to some extent). Had they fixed the clear holes in the existing legislation, things would have not got out of control this much – let’s face it, they didn’t feel invested enough and as time went by they were more and more terrified to act.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago

Twice I have been attacked in a women”+’s toilet by “transwomen”. Once in Kings Cross station, when I asked if I could please, wash my hands. I was shoved, kicked and had my suitcase thrown at me. Then in Edinburgh, in a pub where me and a friend were pushed and hit for no reason at all by a man in a dress. The police on both occasions said it was a “catfight”!!

People with alternative lifestyles, unless they are subsistance farmers, have always moved to the large cities and continue to do do as that is where their tribes gather. So if you live in Glasgow or Edinburgh, Dundee or Aberdeen in Scotland you are more likely to meet such a person as there are larger numbers. Abd they are more visible…

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

The women will be encountering the sexual predators who are bound to exploit the opportunity to invade their single sex spaces. That should be obvious to anyone who has even a modicum of insight.

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
5 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

You misunderstand the nature of risk. We’re not talking about random interactions with a trans-female. That’s very low probability, as has been said. Instead, it’s a different probability set that worries people. Which is; what proportion of trans-females who seek out encounters with women and children are taking the *iss and intend to harm. I would say it’s likely to be a 1/3. Remember, I’m not saying a 1/3 of trans-females are dodgy; I’m saying a 1/3 you might meet in a prison, a women-only safe space, etc, are likely to be dodgy. That’s actually a high risk.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

People with genuine gender dysphoria are a very small number of people. Having known transsexual women for more than 50 years., they are happy to tell others that they are men presenting as women. The current “trans gender mob”, their words not mine, have bullied and harassed them for being honest and tell them to shut up or else. The “or else” has been nasty.

Women fought long and hard for their rights to single sex spaces often for the most vulnerable among us. If trans identifying men thought we would crumble just because they shout louder, thry dont know women and have never had any idea what it means to be a woman. Just saying you are a woman n doesnt make you one

We support peoole with gender dysphoria and their right to live their best lives. The rest… Can go through the process as is, because it might be long and seem unfair but gender questioning is a medical condition that needs medical treatment. What do the rest think taking cross sex hormones and having surgery is all about? Afternoon tea!

As for the men who think dressing as a woman makes them a woman and that is all it is, these are cross dressers and need to be kept well away from vulnerable women at all times.

We are not in tbe USA where self id originated. And we dont have to import their bad practices just because a group of well funded men scream and shout and have a tantrum every time their “human rights” are taken from them in their minds. If they are human , they have the same rights as they have always had.

The discussion is never two way or constructive as we saw when the GRR Bill was going through Holyrood. Women were told to wheesht because we need to stand in line and fully support these poor men (and women) who think they were born “in the wrong body” or who have a fetish thst makes them want to be the opposite sex. Women wont wheesht just as out mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters didn’t before us. This is too importsnt.

William Shaw
William Shaw
7 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

You say that women have fought long and hard for single sex spaces.
Historically that’s not true. Women historically have always had single sex spaces and the need was so obvious that everyone considered it the norm.
It’s only recently that the woke left wing have advocated for their elimination. It’s also the case that the majority of those who subscribe to gender ideology are in fact young women.

A J
A J
6 days ago
Reply to  William Shaw

You misunderstand, I think. Women had to campaign to get ANY spaces, eg public toilets. Look up the urinary leash. Women couldn’t go further from their home than their bladders would last, because cities had NO toilets for women at all.
Refuges too were started by women for women, and took much campaigning.

William Shaw
William Shaw
6 days ago
Reply to  A J

We’re talking about different time frames. Apparently, you are referring to a more recent period than I. You are referring to the post Industrial Revolution period after the populace moved to the cities.
Historically women did not wear underwear. They wore long dresses and many worked in the fields. There were also no public toilets for anyone, men or women. The long dress allowed women to squat and relieve themselves practically anywhere at anytime without exposing themselves. This basic need is the fundamental reason that dresses and skirts exist as clothing for women.
Obviously, after the growth of cities during the Industrial Revolution public toilets were necessary for everyone, both men and women, if defecation and urination was to be avoided in the street. Certainly women campaigned for public toilets, but so too did men, and they were provided by local authorities for health reasons. It wasn’t only women who wanted and needed them.
Your biased view of history detracts from whatever legitimate points you attempt to make.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

The issue’s importance has been magnified vastly out of proportion to the number of men involved who are pretending to be women because of mental illness. This is thanks to the absurdly-named mainstream media, which is drawn to small but highly visual conflicts as flies are to glistening manure.

Last edited 7 days ago by Jerry Carroll
Peter Principle
Peter Principle
10 days ago

Good article. I admire Ms Bindel and all the other courageous women who have opposed the Scottish government’s gender policies. The phrase “gender critical” sticks in the craw. It should be replaced by “biology affirming” if we really do need a way of labelling the vast majority of us. Or maybe “reality affirming”.

Last edited 10 days ago by Peter Principle
2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
10 days ago

Julie Bindel’s focus is naturally on feminism and I applaud all these women in their fight for safe, fair and dignified women’s spaces.

But in my opinion there is an even bigger story here about freedom. The right to dissent from the beliefs of others (whether those beliefs are a religion or the belief that men are women if they say they are) is fundamental. Without it we are not free.

Orwell wrote in 1984 that the Party’s final, most essential command is that we reject the evidence of our own eyes and ears. The women who won’t wheesht were told they must affirm that men are women if they say they are. It is not being acknowledged nearly enough how important their refusal to do so is for the freedoms of all of us.

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago

Totally agree re freedom of speech.

Though the claim of trans activists is not so much about biology as about social classification. They believe that trans women and cis women should be classified as part of the larger group “women”. They then want society to treat “all women” in basically the same way. Hence toilets, changing rooms, sports etc. Gender critical feminists resist this reclassification.

Not taking sides here, but trying to clarify the terms of the debate.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

In order to clarify the debate, I’d suggest avoiding the ‘cis’ term. There are only women and trans women. No cis please.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Hard to make the point without using it. And it is preceded by “they believe 
.”

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I am not and never will be a “cis” woman, no matter that trans allies try very hard to tell us that the word has been used for decades “everywhere”. I can’t find any record of wide usage except when the trans lobby came online. So please desist from using it. Even trans is inaccurate except that superficially men and women can transform themselves into the opposite sex just as actors have been doing for forever. Tbey do not becone their chosen sex except in their own minds.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
9 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There are only women and men.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
9 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Plus a small.number of Intersex who genuinely are neither and infertile as a result.

Patricia Hardman
Patricia Hardman
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

People with DSDs are either male or female. Please look it up before spouting such nonsense.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 days ago

Calm down, dear.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Ninety nine percent of intersex people are clearly male or female. The are no third or fourth sexes.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

The differences in sexual development are within each of the sexes. Not between or across or not at all.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  Jessica Oh

The phenotype (outward appearance) of an individual is characterised by the presence of the Y chromosome which confers ‘maleness’, although even genotypically male individuals can develop outwardly as ‘females’ if the SRY gene on the Y chromosome is not functional.
There are chromosomal abnormalities which occur but whenever there is a Y chromosome, the individual will develop as a male. In Turner’s Syndrome (X0), the individual develops with female characteristics because of the lack of the Y chromosome. They are sterile. XXY will develop as a male; once again they will be sterile.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

They are still men or women…as has been explained over and over when they or clownfish are used to convince others of the trans argument. .

Rob N
Rob N
9 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Or even ‘only women and men, whatever they try to identify as’.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

“Though the claim of trans activists is not so much about biology as about social classification.”

Depends who is talking and what suits them at that point in time, doesn’t it. Eddie Izzard’s claim to have more “girl DNA” than “boy DNA” is a biological claim. The internet is awash with men who identify as women claiming to have “begun their first period” and demanding treatment from gynaecologist.

So yes there is a strand of trans activism which is mostly about social affirmation. But co-opting the biology of women is absolutely at the movement’s heart.

“They believe that trans women and cis women should be classified as part of the larger group “women”.”

That’s indeed part of it and often used as a more reasonable position which activists retreat to when cornered. Its also the position many “just be kind” left wingers try to use to remain in the inclusive gang without having to admit to themselves the obvious implications of the “kindness” of, for example, allowing dangerous men into prisons with vulnerable women.

But of course re-classifying women in order to include men who identify as women inevitably means erasing the very criteria by which women are recognisable as a class. It cannot ultimately do anything else.

That’s why the trans movement settled on the unequivacable slogan “Trans women are women” rather than anything nuanced like “Trans women are a type of women”. They cannot escape the logical consequences of their metaphysical delusions.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago

Great post, thanks.

I think you can always find someone who is saying something crazy, and use them to discredit a whole movement. It’s a product of a populous planet plus internet. And some are just provocateurs. I’m not sure that they are typical, any more than, say, black or white supremacists are typical. But they are handy for their opponents to point at.

Personally I’m a believer in old fashioned tolerance. I’m resistant to the idea that our whole way of seeing the world must be overturned to suit a small group of activists. So I feel the same about “cis” as I feel about “heteronormative” and the rest.

And I really don’t like teachers and others meddling with kids heads to fit them to their ideology. And that goes for feminists deconstructing gender as much as for trans activists.

AC Harper
AC Harper
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I’m generally in favour of toleration… but many activists (for different causes) want more than toleration – they want respect, sometimes deference.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Yes – I’m in agreement with you. I think they expect too much.

In fact it sometimes goes beyond that, with groups who would previously have been considered as normal being denigrated. Hence toxic masculinity, whiteness, heteronormative when seen as negative descriptions of group behaviours. Even things like stoicism, self sacrifice, conscientiousness, emotional control etc – previously considered virtues – get turned on their head as collective character flaws.

Last edited 9 days ago by David Morley
Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Perhaps you could ‘clarify’ what you mean when you say ‘feminists deconstructing gender’.
You’re probably going to need to give your personal definitions for all three words along with some examples of how you think feminism is ‘meddling with kids heads’.
You clearly have an issue with whatever you think feminism is. So, for clarity’s sake you should probably explain what you think it is.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Jessica Oh

You might want to follow my link to an interview with JB herself. For the rest there’s Google. This is not esoteric knowledge.

Nancy G
Nancy G
9 days ago

Transwomen are not a type of women. They are a type of men.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
9 days ago
Reply to  Nancy G

No argument from me. I’m surprised if you have taken anything else away from my posts on this subject.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

There is no such thing as a ‘cis’ woman; only a woman. The fact that you use the terminology of the trans activists means you have lost all credibility to broker an argument. Ask ‘women’ what they want to be called and you will find that precious few actually buy into these ludicrous terms.
All the adult human females that I know would be appalled if I called them a ‘cis woman’.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

In your comment you have again conflated ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’.
‘Woman’ is not any type of identity or social classification.
It is a sex-based word.
By definition it means ‘human’ and ‘female’ and ‘adult’.
To use the terms ’cis’ and ‘trans’ as if they both don’t change the meaning of the word ‘woman’ is not ‘clarify (ing)’ the terms of the debate. It is fundamentally misunderstanding the debate.
If you use the word ’trans’ in front of the word ‘woman’ it eliminates the ‘female’ part so you are left with a ‘non-female’ adult human.
That’s a man.
If you use the word ‘cis’ the assumption is on your part that it is necessary to be able to distinguish men from women.
It also is using the misogynistic language of an ideology that seeks to destroy the reality of sex.
Again, if you don’t really care enough to listen to women please don’t claim to understand this issue.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
10 days ago

Good article. I found one sentence grating, though:

“Dolatowski, born male but identifying as female…”

This should read, “Dolatowski, a male now identifying as female…”

That “born” is… borne from the gender theology playbook that creeps everywhere.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 days ago

Replace “identifying” with pretending to be for accuracy.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
9 days ago

Quite. I had inverted commas to start with, but then I removed them. Your version is certainly better!

Last edited 9 days ago by Arkadian Arkadian
Patricia Hardman
Patricia Hardman
8 days ago

I came here to say that!
Just Say Men

sal b dyer
sal b dyer
10 days ago

It’s strange how there aren’t many trans-men falling over themselves to be placed in a male prison. It can’t be due to fear of testosterone. P#*is envy perhaps?

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
10 days ago
Reply to  sal b dyer

Same story with sports. There are zero mediocre female college swimmers declaring themselves to be men and subsequently dominating men’s events.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 days ago

“As the book details, Mumsnet was an unlikely forum in which women would organise.” Why ‘unlikely’? Because the women in the discussion forums were not lesbians? Because they were not in organisations that JB is a member of? Because they had not been anointed by academia? Were JB to check her own prejudices, she would have found more allies earlier.

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago

I don’t think she can help herself. Even if her cause depended on getting men on board, I don’t think she could help putting something nasty, bigoted and alienating about them into her article.

Last edited 10 days ago by David Morley
Dr E C
Dr E C
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Projecting much?

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

“…nasty, bigoted and alienating…”
Oh please, give it a rest.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I’ve provided a link to an interview with JB herself. Check it out.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

You really dont know JB do you? She has many male allies and friends and guess what, not all are gsy…what’s your excuse?

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
10 days ago

What I think she meant is that Mumsnet is a forum where predominantly women talk about motherhood, fashion, general chitchat and so on.
It is indeed an unlikely meeting point for a topic like this. I myself first came across it on there, but I confess, I didn’t believe it.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 days ago

I think the clue is in the name – ‘Mumsnet’. What’s more cuddly, inoffensive and comforting than a mum? The group started life as a forum for women to exchange advice on anything to women’s lives – health, childcare and the rest. It’s morphed into a campaigning body later on, partly in the wake of the rise of the gender nonsense and has published a manifesto this month in advance of the election. Incidentally, it’s been seen as a nest of transphobes for some time. Before you ask, yes, I’m a member.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
9 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I quite agree, but the reason for my commentt is to ask if you can see my almost identical comment just above yours. I ask because it doesn’t have any buttons below it, so I wonder if it has been hidden.

Edit: that has now appeared, but another has gone. WTF, @unherd??

Last edited 8 days ago by Arkadian Arkadian
Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago

In your rush to condemn JB it seems you failed to notice that she was talking about the forum not the women in it.
There are mothers who are lesbians.
There are mothers who are feminists.
There were all types of women on Mumsnet.
And if you want to talk about ‘allies’ – perhaps if homophobic men hadn’t rejected feminine or gay men or if men hadn’t distanced themselves from AGP men – and insisted instead that they were women’s problems to deal with – we would not have had this issue at all.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago

Lesbians are women. Lesbians can give birth. Lesbians can be mums. Plentyy of lesbians on Mumsnet. You are letting your lesbophobia leek out…

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
9 days ago

While Julie Bindel is a glorious force of nature on this and several other issues, she bears more than a passing resemblance to the middle-aged, middle-class women who are conspicuous at trans events. Young men tend to be sceptical of this as much as of #MeToo, as well as tending to be very left-wing economically, and strongly anti-war internationally; all those things are connected. But behind a small number of mostly older male transvestites march hordes of young women, a large minority but still a minority of whom think that they are men. Alongside those young women march a goodly number of their academic instructors and administrators of the same sex, as such instructors and administrators do now tend to be. Whether she likes it or not, Judith Butler is a woman. By some distance, she is the most cited female academic in the world. And who is citing her? Humanities academia is ever more heavily female. Gender critical feminists need to have a word with their peers.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 days ago

Despite facing the worst men’s rights backlash in more than 40 years, feminists from all generations are uniting to fight back.
Those damn men, I knew they were behind this somehow! Will we ever be rid of them?

TM
TM
10 days ago

To follow the language and position of the author, the violent opposition of the trans activists that she’s referring to are men? That doesn’t even begin to touch on the bigger picture of the whole Andrew Tate / Red Pill / Trad Wife culture, which I can assure you from observing my nephews’ friends is absolutely real and having an impact

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago
Reply to  TM

These phenomena are not at all connected politically. An argument could perhaps be made that they are all the result of damage inflicted by feminism. Trans in terms of gender confused people – especially children. Tait et al as a misguided, if understandable, reaction to a society which disparages men and masculinity.

Trad wife (in both the silly back to the 50s, and more sensible forms) seems to be a female as much as a male thing. Perhaps even more so. A lot of women (and men) don’t think that everybody working non stop, having no kids and not being able to afford a house, is a great outcome.

TM
TM
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

All of that seems fairly fair and sensible analysis – I was merely pointing out that there has been a ‘mens rights’ backlash in recent years of various forms, and I don’t think the author was being unfair

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

An argument could be made – but it would not have any validity.
And that you can claim ‘everybody working non-stop’ etc is an outcome of feminism and not capitalism is laughable.

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago

It’s hard not to mock isn’t it.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago

Well, those who claim to be ‘trans women’ are in fact men.
Those who demand extra rights for ‘trans women’ are in fact demanding extra rights for men.
Those who want to destroy the definition of the word ‘woman’ are in fact doing so to include men.
But you think men aren’t behind this?

Last edited 8 days ago by Jessica Oh
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
9 days ago

What happens when movements lose their way? Stuff like this, where anyone daring to point out the glaringly obvious – i.e. supporting violence against women is bad, period – is treated as the problem. Julie can almost recognize that, but cannot herself with lines like this: Despite facing the worst men’s rights backlash in more than 40 years, feminists from all generations are uniting to fight back.”
Feminists are among the biggest cheerleaders of the chix with dix movement that is as anti-gay as it is anti-female. Men are not the ones attacking JK Rowling, nor were they the ones targeting Ms. Forester or the lady who suggested that violence against lesbians was out of bounds.
Feminism has the same problem as civil rights and gay rights – the inability to take ‘yes’ for an answer and claim victory. Every gay rights issue of my lifetime has gone in favor of the Gs and Ls. Opportunities for women have grown exponentially in that time and the same applies to racial minorities. But activism rejects solutions; it exists to perpetuate issues, not resolve them. And that’s why the reality is not that “the story isn’t over yet,” it’s that the story will NEVER be over. If it does end, the activists lose their livelihoods.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Not to mention women now massively outnumbering men at university.

Great post. The only thing I would say is that I don’t think it is only about livelihoods – I think it also betrays a rigidity of thought. To read JB is to watch someone desperately trying to deal with cognitive dissonance. The facts no longer fit the narrative framework she is wedded to – so the facts must give way. Hence her bizarre framing of the trans movement as a men’s rights backlash.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Feminism, as with every other “movement”, comes in all kinds of varieties. It is not a homogeneous movement. My feminiism is about equity. I dont hate men. I know plenty of decent human beings who are male.But I have also worked with male sex offenders and guess what, they look ordinary and dont have a tattoo on their foreheads saying “a danger to women and children, keep away”!

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
9 days ago

The last Parliamentary Labour Party contained more women than men, and probably every one of those women would have called herself a feminist. All of two were gender critical, with perhaps half a dozen more who were sympathetic. At least one of that half a dozen has retired at this General Election, and at least one of those two would have struggled to have held her seat after the end of the university year even without the Green candidate that she had not faced in 2019.

Of 14 SNP women MPs, again no doubt feminists all, precisely one was gender critical, and both MPs who left the SNP for the Alba Party were men, as the Workers Party’s only MP was a man. 10 of the 15 Liberal Democrat MPs, two thirds, were women. Did any of them ever give anyone cause to call her a TERF? Nor did Plaid Cymru’s only woman MP. The only Green MP was a woman, and the most likely Green MP this time is a woman. It can never be said too many times that this whole situation has arisen under the Conservatives, of whom it is Penny Morduant rather than Kemi Badenoch who is typical. And so on. Gender critical feminists need to have a word with their peers.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

The whole portrayal of this as feminists v trans, or even in this article as feminists v men (or men’s rights) is completely off kilter.

Women tend to be evenly balanced (pro and con) over trans in bathroom issues, men are more anti, older women are more anti than younger women, and feminists in general (as you point out) tend to be pro.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

No woman that I have ever spoken to about this issue wants men in women’s toilets. We obviously move in different circles.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

I read surveys.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Prove it. Explain what women said *after* it was explained that a man needs no medical or surgical intervention to get a GRC. That any man can declare himself to be a ‘trans woman’.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Jessica Oh

Google the survey.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
4 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I have read the survey hence my question to you.
You clearly have not read it. If you had you would never have used it as evidence that women are supportive of intact men in intimate spaces.
Have you ever asked yourself why your consistent response to this issue is ‘she brought it on herself’ rather than ‘what these men are doing is reflecting badly on all men’ or ‘what can I do to make effeminate men feel more comfortable in male spaces?’?

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Where are you getting the idea that women are evenly balanced on this concept of men using women’s facilities?
If it’s the YouGov survey then read the actual report.
If it’s something you have just assumed then declare that.

Nancy G
Nancy G
7 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Older often means wiser.

Dr E C
Dr E C
9 days ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

I completely agree with both of your posts David, because, unlike David Morley’s observations, they do not confuse the origins of the trans movement with feminism and lay all the ‘deliciously ironic’ blame of trans activism at the door of feminists.

Far far too many women support this movement, particularly younger ones &/ ambitious careerists, particularly queer ones without children (Butler, Sturgeon). I see tonnes of misplaced empathy, as well as social contagion. However, the organised resistance to it is also mostly coming from women: Bindel, Rowling et al as well as grassroots movements like Mumsnet and feminist groups like Filia.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
8 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

“queer”? Meaning what, exactly?

Dr E C
Dr E C
5 hours ago

You tell me – it’s their bl**dy label! I used to think it meant gay, but since lots of straight people have started adopting the term, at this point it seems just to mean ‘anti-west’

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
9 days ago

I am going to donate to these brave women, is there a site I can access? “To the barricades”!

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
8 days ago

Good for Julie Bindel ! Voice of reason.

0 0
0 0
8 days ago

Putting aside its political content for a moment, GBNews was the only TV station to air this topic regularly. Sharon Davis, the Olympic swimmer, had a weekly slot and spoke intelligently about the issues. They interviewed Trans people from both sides of the debate and made a small but significant contribution in bringing the subject to people’s attention for which they deserve credit.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 days ago

Marxism is a mind virus. Cultural Marxism, a product of Frankfurt School, Gramsci, H Marcuse and Post Modernists has evolved and the latest variant is Transgenderism. If one decides that 3500 yeas of Biblical teaching, Classical learning and common sense based upon experience, is wrong, then Transgenderism is the result. Most humans have only lived settled lives for about 5,000 years and if one wants to destroy the traditions that have enabled people to live together without killing each other, then be prepared unforeseen consequences.
In engineering one does not proceed until one has undertaken extensive calculations, testing of materials, building prototypes, testing them and the rigourous testing of final product. Progressives believe they can destroy existing structure and create new ones without rigorous testing and expecting them to work : they are wrong.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
9 days ago

Surely, the cause of Sturgeon’s resignation was that she and her husband trousered ÂŁ660k and bought a luxury RV from party funds.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
9 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Whose trousers were they?

William Shaw
William Shaw
7 days ago

“
and rocked up to men-only swimming sessions bare-breasted and sometimes even sporting fake moustaches. Within two weeks, the new guidance had been withdrawn.”
I find it impossible to believe that any man would complain. If women want to swim bare chested in the men’s pool every man I know would approve.
So the question is
 who on earth complained? Not the men, that’s for sure.

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago
Reply to  William Shaw

who on earth complained

It makes you wonder if it really happened. Odd that anybody would think that men would be bothered by this. Annoying if they blocked the fast lane I guess.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
6 days ago

Step one in being gender critical is refusing to use gender terminology. So not “born male but identifying as female,” but simply “a male”, or better yet: “a man”

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago

Despite facing the worst men’s rights backlash in more than 40 years, feminists from all generations are uniting to fight back.

The whole problem with JBs take on this is summed up in this sentence. It’s silly. This is not a backlash – it’s about a specific group of activists wanting to push the identity politics agenda further than JB herself. And it is certainly not about men’s rights.

JB doesn’t like trans, doesn’t like men and doesn’t like men’s rights – so she bundles them all together and treats them as in cahoots.

(if you think identity politics = trans, please Google identity politics)

David Morley
David Morley
10 days ago
Reply to  David Morley
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Different perspective in the UK! But younger women tend to conflagrste everything American with everything British without any real thought… But kerp digging the hole!

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
10 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes, I agree. Julie Bindel should recognise that the ‘men’ she’s complaining about are not normal people, who can be persuaded by reason. As Activists, they want to normalise themselves, which is impossible. People like Nicola Sturgeon seem to have no idea who they are dealing with, and giving them rights only adds fuel to the fire. Psychological disorders (yes, that’s what they are) cannot be resolved by merely passing laws.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
9 days ago

Yes, we have to recognise that body dismorphia is similar to other psychological disorders such as anorexia, where the poor deluded sufferer cannot see reality any more. It is extraordinary that this form of mental illness has been elevated to a cause which all ‘right-thinking’ people should support.

David Morley
David Morley
9 days ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

Just to play devils advocate: both homosexuality and masturbation were seen in the past as signs of mental illness, as was promiscuity in women. Oral sex (giving) was seen as a masochistic perversion.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

It’s all about consent. Women are unable to deny consent to having male perverts in their protected spaces.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Decent nen get it and stay away from wimen only soaces. As I said above, sex offenders look like ordinary blokes and dont have forehead tattoos telling women to keep away. So no men in womens spaces keep everyone safe, including men! A GRC does not a woman make…

Adam Grant
Adam Grant
8 days ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

As recently as the ‘nineties transvestism was understood as a comparatively harmless kink. If a man wants to exert control over a female body, dressing up as one is perhaps the lowest-violence path to achieve that. Making the cross-dressing more believable with drugs and surgery is a bit disturbing but still probably okay. It’s when he starts forcing other people to treat him as they would a female and/or invading female-only spaces that he needs to be stopped.

Dr E C
Dr E C
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Bundling them all together and treating them as in cahoots
 Where have I seen that before? Oh yes, every single one of your posts about feminists.

Last edited 9 days ago by Dr E C
Mike Downing
Mike Downing
9 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

“In the time-honoured tradition of feminist activism, this work was unpaid.”

I agree – she just can’t help herself. This comment had me in stitches – who does she think should be paying for feminist activism ?

Surely nobody should be paying for anybody else’s activism ? JB clearly thinks we all owe her something in the same way many migrants appear to think that we owe them a life.

Jessica Oh
Jessica Oh
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Did that comment upset you so much that it wiped your memory of the preceding one?
Trans activism is funded. By governments, pharmaceutical companies, charities and universities among others.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Except much of the trans lobby in Scotland is paid for out of the public purse in the form of government grants to support organisations, including the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Julie Bindel does like men; she is just opposed to sexual perverts invading women’s spaces, as I am. The only way you can exclude predatory nonces from taking advantage of these lunatic policies is to exclude ALL men.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

You might want to do a bit of research on JBs attitude to men if you think that. A good starting place is her admittedly comedic, but more telling than funny, idea of putting men in concentration camps.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I have seen her interviewed and debate many times, thank you, so I don’t need you to patronise me. She has fought for the rights of the most vulnerable women in society who have no voice of their own; i.e. prostitutes, women prisoners, victims of male assaults in the home. She has guts and determination and I am full of admiration for her. I am stunned that you continue to misrepresent her as a ‘man hater’ when all she has ever done has try to prevent women being harmed by sexual perverts and violent men.

David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Doesn’t sound like she likes men all that much to me:

will heterosexuality survive women’s liberation?

It won’t, not unless men get their act together, have their power taken from them and behave themselves. I mean, I would actually put them all in some kind of camp where they can all drive around in quad bikes, or bicycles, or white vans. I would give them a choice of vehicles to drive around with, give them no porn, they wouldn’t be able to fight – we would have wardens, of course! Women who want to see their sons or male loved ones would be able to go and visit, or take them out like a library book, and then bring them back. 
I hope heterosexuality doesn’t survive, actually. I would like to see a truce on heterosexuality. I would like an amnesty on heterosexuality until we have sorted ourselves out. Because under patriarchy it’s shit.
And I am sick of hearing from individual women that their men are all right. Those men have been shored up by the advantages of patriarchy and they are complacent, they are not stopping other men from being shit. 

Last edited 8 days ago by David Morley
David Morley
David Morley
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Or if you prefer:

I would love to see a women’s liberation that results in women turning away from men and saying: “when you come back as human beings, then we might look again.” 

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

We do…

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

I strongly suggest that you watch Julie being interviewed on ‘Triggernometry’; a forum for reasonable discussion. It will be available on ‘YouTube’.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

You dont understand irony or sarcasm, do you…

David Morley
David Morley
7 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

LOL. You’ll need to read more JB if you think she’s being ironic. I can’t blame you for thinking she is – who would honestly write with such bile and kind of mean it?! Not everything that isn’t literal is ironic. Google it.

Unintended irony she does in spades – usually in the form of revealing her own psychology to intelligent readers, while being blissfully unaware she is doing so – because she lacks self awareness.

If you want to read someone intelligent on both trans and feminism (but is herself a feminist) read KS.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 days ago

The remarkable explosion of modern Maoism in Scotland has been linked to the nationalist cause in its pandering to the youth vote (free university tuition fees having a lot to do with that). But now the Far Left-camouflaging Greens have been removed from the equation, the independence cause is on a backburner.
However, the Left’s Cultural Turn persists and the Scottish Nationalist movement is bang at its centre in Britain. Might it be that women aged 35-75 years will actually put back the independence cause for a whole half century?

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
8 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Mmmmm.. All women aged 35 to 75 are the same? What does that say about men of the same age?

David Morley
David Morley
6 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Fed up?