An activist advocated punching feminists at a rally this weekend
On Saturday, a convicted criminal got up in front of a cheering crowd in central London and publicly incited violence against women. “If you see a terf, punch them in the fucking face,” he declared to whoops of approval from his audience at Hyde Park Corner. (Terf is a slur used against feminists who support women’s rights.)
The trans activist, who now call himself Sarah Jane Baker, served thirty years in prison for a series of violent offences including kidnapping, torture and attempted murder. Since he was released in 2019, he has been a regular attendee of trans events, including a demonstration outside Parliament in January when the UK Government blocked the SNP’s gender reform bill. On that occasion, he was photographed with three Labour MPs who later claimed not to know who he was.
After Baker called for assaults on women at Saturday’s London Trans Pride event, the organisers defended him. They insisted they did not condone violence, but added that “Sarah and many others in our community hold a lot of rage and anger and they have the right to express that anger through their words.”
This goes to the heart of the matter. Time and time again, we are told that transgender people are the most oppressed and marginalised in society, and that their rage is justified. Politicians, including the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who published a grovelling message of support before the march, claim that trans people don’t have full human rights — but are unable to specify which rights they are being denied. (I asked Khan three years ago; I never got a reply.)
The claim is untrue. Trans people have the same legal rights as the rest of us. What militant activists are demanding is a wholesale takeover of women-only spaces by men who claim to be women. The response, when we politely and reasonably refuse, is a form of aggression instantly recognisable to any woman who has witnessed male violence. Sometimes the threats erupt into actual physical violence, as evidenced in assaults on Posie Parker, Julie Bindel and Maria MacLachlan. That, let’s remind ourselves, is exactly what Baker was advocating at the weekend.
The dishonesty doesn’t stop there, however. The notion that “the debate is toxic on both sides” only aids trans activism. There is not a grain of truth in it, but the movement has so successfully indoctrinated supporters that it’s repeated even by Parliamentarians who should know better.
Thus the Labour MP Clive Lewis condemned Baker’s advocacy of violence, but went on to claim that “violent language and actions are not unique to one side on this issue”. Really? When did feminists bang on windows and let off smoke bombs to disrupt peaceful meetings? When did we threaten to rape people with whom we disagree?
Baker’s speech is just the latest example of the dangerous rhetoric routinely used by trans activists. If he was released from prison on licence, as seems likely, he has almost certainly broken his terms and should be recalled. The police should not stand idly by while women are threatened with physical assault.
But the larger issue is this. All that nonsense about gender fluidity and pronouns is providing cover for a violent, narcissistic upsurge of misogyny. It allows angry men to say and do things they wouldn’t have dreamed of getting away with twenty years ago. And the people who make excuses for it are colluding in the most serious threat to women’s safety and rights in my lifetime.