X Close

Rape crisis centre worker wins gender-critical tribunal

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre employee Roz Adams

May 20, 2024 - 11:50am

If you’re trying to get away with a lie, it had better be a big one. It’s something populist politicians understand very well, firing up supporters with outrageous claims designed to encourage their preexisting prejudices. One of the biggest, which is shamefully popular on the Left in this country, is the idea that there’s no conflict between women’s rights and the demands of identity politics.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Women are having to dismantle the lie brick by brick, using the courts to show how individuals have been ostracised by colleagues and lost jobs. But the latest in a series of harrowing employment tribunal cases demonstrates not just the damage to a particular claimant, but the devastating impact of gender ideology on victims of sexual violence.

It shows how even women who have been raped, who are so traumatised they can barely speak about their experience, are of little account to a movement that prioritises men over women. The tribunal found that the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre constructively dismissed and harassed an employee, Roz Adams, after she realised that senior managers believed there is no such thing as biological sex, and expressed her concerns about the effect of that belief on traumatised women.

Of course this happened in Scotland, where gender ideology is so embedded that the CEO of the centre is a trans-identified man. Mridul Wadhwa wasted no time in demonstrating his unsuitability for the job, suggesting in a notorious interview in 2021 that “bigoted” rape survivors should be re-educated about trans rights. But the full extent of his influence on the culture of the centre is exposed in the tribunal’s excoriating judgment.

It found that Wadhwa and other members of the senior management team were on a “heresy hunt” when they began a disciplinary process against Adams. It concluded that Wadhwa’s intention was to “cleanse the organisation” of anyone who refused to accept views which were “at the very extreme end of gender identity theory”. Many if not most survivors of male sexual violence don’t feel able to disclose details of an attack to a man, yet employees were told to give ambiguous replies when victims asked about the sex of the counsellor they had been assigned by the centre.

Adams was not alone in challenging this approach. Joan McAlpine, a former SNP MSP, has described a meeting at the centre during which she was told that “anyone who identifies as a woman could be a rape counsellor”. Many of us would regard that as a dereliction of duty towards vulnerable women, but it gets worse.

The centre even refused to refer rape survivors who wanted a female counsellor to a women-only service set up by J.K. Rowling. This is about as far from a victim-centred approach as it is possible to imagine, turning what should have been a service for distressed women into an exercise to validate the fantasies of entitled men like Wadhwa.

No woman, not even one who has been terrorised and beaten by a violent sex offender, is safe from the demands of these misogynists. They have got away with it because too many people have swallowed the big lie that men who “identify” as women are victims who need to be cosseted. Anyone who goes on believing it, after it’s been exposed so many times, is enabling damage to women.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She has been Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. Her book Homegrown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists was published in 2019.

polblonde

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

148 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nancy G
Nancy G
1 month ago

It’s business as usual with the gender ideologues: women are expected, as we always have been, to accommodate male desires, fantasies and fetishes.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Expected by whom? What is bizarre in respect of the trans ideology is that so many of those doing the expecting are women not normal men.

Unfortunately there seems a ready supply of enthusiastic female collaborators to those wishing to celebrate their fetish. Just as infibulation in traditional societies is enforced by women who might be expected to protect against such abuse of the young of their sex.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Ah – but facts are inconvenient and must give way to dogma and ideology.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The women who go along with this claptrap are ‘the enlightened ones’ who are on a superior intellectual plane than the rest of us.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray
David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy G

So what you’re saying is (!): you don’t like trans, you don’t like men, you don’t like male desire, or male fantasy or male fetishes. And because these are all things you don’t like, you think they are all linked together in some sinister way. They aren’t. They are linked together in the psychology of the person who has these feelings. What’s needed is honest reflection.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

It’s all about entitlement. This appalling man, Mridul Wadhwa, has been photographed with an array of politicians who are complicit in the endangerment of vulnerable women. I don’t blame the pervert; I blame the people who are too spineless to put a stop to it. Shame on them.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy G

On what planet is trans activism a continuation of female oppression by men. It’s an off shoot of feminism. Historically and ideologically and in the minds of the feminist activists who support it.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Simple. Trans activism prioritizes trans identified men over women. Mediocre men are allowed to compete in women’s sports and collect their trophies, money and scholarships. Why this unfairness? Because the men throw tantrums (they are louder and more aggressive) and claim they are the victims. Trans identified men get into women’s spaces and women are humiliated and embarrassed. (The female swimmers who had to undress with Lia Thomas were told to get counseling if it bothered them.) Those are just two examples of trans activists (and society) prioritizing the feelings of men. Women, of course, don’t have any feelings.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Reread the thread. The claim is that trans is just a continuation of “business as usual” oppression of women by men. Clearly it isn’t. Trans people aren’t getting special treatment because they are really men. They are getting special treatment because – with the same logic as feminism – they are seen as an oppressed group. Nobody is “prioritising the feelings of men”.

What this take on things does reveal, however, is that many older feminists are anti trans because they are anti men.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You suggest that society prioritises the feelings of men and yet most men when asked depreciate the whole idea of trans women competing in women’s sport etc. The whole farce only proceeds because a significant proportion of women support the trans activists and politicians are complicit in going along with the thing to avoid appearing to be bigots and getting adverse publicity.

The idea that there might be a popular perception that” Women don’t have feelings” seems wide of the mark even as sarcasm. If you want a stereotype to play on the perception is probably that women’s feelings tend to overcome more rational analysis of issues.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Gender as a word was invented by one psychopathic man, but gender as a movement was created by women. Sad but true

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago
Reply to  Nancy G

Mawkish nonsense.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Bang on.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 month ago

This madness has been allowed to proliferate because women have largely gone along with it. It was cooked up in that festering morass known as academia, where women dominate, and they should have put a stop to it immediately. One needn’t be a biologist to know that there are two sexes. Attractions vary, but the sexes do not. They certainly know it in China, Russia, India, Africa, and the Middle East.

But, as a famous psychologist has repeatedly pointed out, we women are agreeable-ing ourselves into these social circuses.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

Judith Butler is a woman. By some distance, she is the most cited female academic in the world. And who is citing her? As you say, humanities academia is heavily female these days.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Is she really though? She seems to have distanced herself about as far as possible from being a woman as she can. Biologically she is female, and I know that’s what matters, but she has betrayed women in every other way.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

Which ones? Most, or at the very least many, humanities academics are women.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Yes she is, and she doesn’t agree with your opinion. That doesn’t make her less of a woman. As several commenters have pointed out, the trans phenomena has more female support than male. It is also far more closely tied to feminist ideology than to any supposed male ideology.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

How many women have you asked about this? You need to get out of your echo chamber and talk to the woman in the street who would laugh in your face if you spouted your support for this lunatic ideology.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

the woman in the street

An unfortunate turn of phrase.

First you’re assuming I support it. I like to remain open minded, but on current evidence I basically don’t. I’d like to see more honest research.

Second, most women I speak to seem pretty relaxed about it all. But that’s just anecdotal. Surveys show women are more ok with it. And generally speaking women are far more left/liberal than men are. Even those men who are on the left economically are far more socially conservative.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Why is ‘the woman in the street’ an unfortunate term? It’s been used as an expression for ‘Vox pop’ forever; albeit usually using the term ‘man’.
What ‘research’ is needed when the only issue is about biological truth!!

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

I don’t know how the stats fall but I find it hard to believe that many men have much time for pretend women.
I think nearly all men do not women to face the difficulties illustrated here

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

The stats show women are more supportive of trans, and of “left” wing causes generally. In general women are moving left and men are becoming more conservative. Anti trans feminists are outliers, out of step with their younger sisters.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Most of the women who support the trans ideology are very young and quite ignorant. They think they are protecting society’s most vulnerable victims. Really, the biggest decision they make everyday is whether to dye their hair blue or pink. In twenty years, they will cringe when they look back at their young selves. (I do.) The rest of the women are diehard progressives who automatically support the cause of the day—like Gaza.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

They are generally younger, yes. It’s a generational thing.

A J
A J
1 month ago

She’s a non-binary they/them these days.

Jae
Jae
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Judith Butler is a complete and utter idiot who has used words to destroy society. No one will say so out loud because it’s an Emperor has no Clothes situation.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago
Reply to  Jae

No one wants to think of Judith Butler with no clothes. Including Judith Butler.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago

Not just gone along with it, been the driving force. All the woke progressive nonsense is far more popular among women than men. Left wing parties consistently outperform among women, especially single women.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Oh the rush to blame women.
At the end of the day rape is a penile offence. Somehow someone with a p***s dressed as a woman was put in charge of a rape crisis Centre. So is this because of women shoring up that ideology?
I think at first when gender took over women’s studies as an academic study many women thought it would liberate them from femininity. But of course that didn’t happen it liberated men to demand more, to invade feminine spaces and categories. Something those women championing gender hadn’t foreseen. So yeh blame women for men’s bad behavior that’s not new.

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

As someone who has worked in a leading British university for nearly 30 years, I can absolutely verify this. Women have been their own worst enemies in this regard. Any casual observer could see that extreme 3rd-wave feminism was going to birth this dystopian nonesense – it was simply the logical conclusion of its internal reasoning. Unpicking it all is going to be a fiendish task!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

How ironic – a sitting Justice on the US Supreme Court refused to define ‘woman’ on the basis that she is not a biologist.

Cecilia Kalish
Cecilia Kalish
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Actually, it is surprising that the gender crowd didn’t get angry with Justice Brown-Jackson as her answer at least recognized that, yes, one must look to biology to define “woman.”

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

Women have not just ‘gone along with it’. Most of the TRAs are women. This is being pushed by women more than men.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

Not just women, they are also feminist activists. Their chant is: trans rights, women’s rights, same struggle, same fight.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Well, this is what happens when progressive identity politics – a direct descendant of Marxism, culturally – takes over largely feminine spheres such as the humanities, the arts, and government bureaucracies.
Which gender prefers self sufficiency, independence, and objective reality? That gender would dislike cultural Marxism’s state controls and endless rules.
Which gender feels more vulnerable, prefers conformity and cohesion, and is often willing to exchange independence for safety? And will even trade away their own safety for group acceptance? That gender will be far less likely to object – simply look at the reaction JK Rowling provoked.
A woman who goes against the Sisterhood is a brave woman indeed, which Rowling, Helen Puckrose, et al, certainly are.
Many women feel cowed by leftist activists, even to the point of agreeing to their own erasure. Hamas and “anti Zionist” radicalism, for example, seems far more popular with young western women than Israel, and is a wildly retrograde, illiberal, misogynistic movement.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

And a couple of TERF chants include: ‘I know what a woman is’ and ‘Woman= adult human female’.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Not sure I understand your point. Perhaps you didn’t understand mine.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Boy, you have a serious hatred of feminists. Calm down. Have a cup of tea. We don’t bite.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Actually I have a very mixed attitude to feminism. Much of what it achieved was definite social progress. I’m also a bit less sanguine about the return to “trad” arrangements that some on here are so keen on. And certainly not in favour of a return to some mythical period where women were simply subservient to men. I think this is silly nonsense, though I do think too much emphasis was placed on the glories of work compared to the drudgery of home.

Like most men, and women, it’s the constant male bashing that I find repellent and the pathologising of perfectly normal behaviour by association with appalling, but rare, behaviour. And the psychology of that needs to be examined, not justified. If the portraits in Wells Ann Veronica are at all accurate, man hating always seems to have been there to some degree. Certainly by the second wave it was in full flight – indeed it became the main motivator for action. It’s frankly poisonous.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

And all the Radical Exclusionary Feminists (TERFs) are also women. Could we have some balance here please?

I understand that there are a lot of ignorant & selfish female academics pushing it, but the trans ideology was started by men- John Money and Alfred Kinsey- & is pushed most radically by the trans women themselves.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Honestly – read some history! John Money was grist to the feminist mill until the truth came out. Because feminists took it as proof that gender was a social construct – so “biology wasn’t destiny” “women are made not born” and 101 other feminist tropes.

I understand that some older feminists are unhappy with where their logic leads – but that’s where it leads tra la.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Ironic that you use the word ‘logic’ in your comment. Two biological sexes. Enough said.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

That’s an empirical fact not a logical one. “Ironic” that you don’t know the difference. But I see that at this point I’ve left you far below.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Nice to be patronised by one so wise.
You have to start with irrefutable facts and kick out gender ideology completely; it’s based on a false premise.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Great – but has nothing to do with my original comment.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Unfortunately, you have misinterpreted “ A woman is made, not born.” Women are babies, then girls, and finally women. We are “made” through our experiences. Just like men. Second wave feminists definitely were not supporters of trans identified men.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

No – but they were supporters of the idea that a strict distinction can be made between sex and gender, and that gender is entirely a social construct. They denied any biological, innate aspect of gender. All well covered in Pinkers Blank Slate, but frankly a common place of feminist history.

As such they laid the way for trans activism. The most obvious link is Judith Butler, but she is not alone, and she is not breaking radically with previous versions of feminism. Indeed, second wave feminists often embraced “trans” type phenomena as calling into question the innateness of gender. Masculine presenting women especially, but also men who bent the gender rules. It was masculine men who were the bête noir.

Trans activism may be an unintended consequence, at least for some older feminists, but it does follow on from much of what was earlier pushed by feminists. That gender is only contingently connected to sex.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Unherd deleted my previous long reply from this morning, so I’m trying again, with more creative uses of asterisks and gaps…

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

OK

We’re not agreeing on much, but thanks for putting your time into the debate.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Dear David, you seem like a nice enough, if rather naïve, chap. However, please don’t assume you’re better read than me on this topic, which I have researched quite exhaustively. Here are just some of my findings:

Fact: ‘gender’ is an idea invented in the 1950s by male sexologists involved in normalising intersex infants to make them ‘conform’ more visibly to one sex or another.

Fact: The term ‘transgender’ was coined by the male heterosexual Virginia Prince, who wanted to differentiate from transsexuals and to push for acceptance of the sexual paraphilia known as cross-dressing.

Fact: the key authors of the ‘International Bill of Transgender Rights’ (1995) were older, American, male-bodied persons – many of whom had already fathered children. One of these, JoAnn Roberts, did not claim to be a woman but merely a cross-dresser; another, Phyllis Frye, was a ‘successful’ man well into adulthood and another autogynephilic.

In just 30 years this Bill of Rights has gained widespread acceptance, causing legislation changes and confusion in public institutions, education and prison boards, parents and children as young as 3, pubescent teenagers as well as young adults, r*pe shelters and crises centres, feminists, people on both sides of the political divide and anyone who supports homosexuality, whilst putting real women and girls in danger. It has diverted money away from vital services set up to serve women and in some cases shut down those services.

Fact: women everywhere are being told they are ‘irrational’ (an ancient form of gaslighting) for wanting to cordon off some of the public spaces in which they are at their most vulnerable – toilets and changing rooms – from persons with penises, despite stats revealing just how much violence and assault already occurs in precisely such spaces.

For example, Chase Strangio, a transgender lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & AIDS Project:

The public has a deep fear of trans people in bathrooms, and specifically of penises in girls’ rooms […] We organize our society around very fixed notions of who men and women are, and people whose very existence challenges that provoke visceral, irrational reactions. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/us/transgender-judge-phyllis-fryes-early-transformative-journey.html

Fact: in the UK alone there were 134 reports of sexual assault in changing rooms over the two year period 2017 to 2018. Of these, 120 took place in gender-neutral changing rooms compared to just 14 in single-sex changing areas. https://fairplayforwomen.com/unisex-changing-rooms-put-women-in-danger/

Fact: the Crime Survey for England and Wales published by the Office for National Statistics estimated that 20% of biological women have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims. This means that a significant proportion of females have a history of sexual trauma.

Fact: the vast majority of males who identify as women retain their p***s. https://fairplayforwomen.com/changing_rooms/

Fact: every year, an average of 66,000 women are violently killed globally, accounting for approximately 17% of all victims of intentional homicides, compared to 375 transgender people murdered in 2021: the ‘deadliest year since records began’. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2021/11/11/375-transgender-people-murdered-in-2021-deadliest-year-since-records-began/

Fact: men commit violent and sexual offences at far higher rates than women. Women are far more likely to be victims of sexual, familial and domestic violence than men.

Fact: research shows that men who transgender are even more prone to criminal behaviour than other men. Data from the United States shows that 21% of men who transgender has been sent to prison for any reason, which contrasts with 2.7 per cent of the general American population (Grant et al., 2011).

In the UK, a robust peer-review report has concluded that:

MtF transitioners were over 6 times more likely to be convicted of an offence than female comparators and 18 times more likely to be convicted of a violent offence. The group had no statistically significant differences from other natal males, for convictions in general or for violent offending. The group examined were those who committed to surgery, and so were more tightly defined than a population based solely on self-declaration. https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/18973/pdf/

and

Of the 125 transgender prisoners counted by the prison service in 2017, 60 had been convicted of sexual offenses, including 27 convicted of r*pe (BBC News 2018). In the overall prison population, by comparison, 19% of males had been convicted of sexual crimes and only 4% of females (Ministry of Justice 2018b). Michael Biggs, ‘The Transition from Sex to Gender in English Prisons: Human Rights and Queer Theory’, SocArXiv, 17 May 2020, https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/18973/pdf/

Fact: the stats on serious violent crimes and sexual assaults are being skewed because a growing number of men who r*pe and murder are identifying as women.

Fact: women and girls are endangered whenever self-identification as a woman is the only requirement upon which to gain entry to such female-only spaces.

Fact: not one biological woman has physically injured or killed a single trans woman.

Fact: every year thousands of trans women activists call for the violent assault, r*pe and murder of TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists).

Fact: the vast majority of trans people become trans for one (or several) of the following reasons:
– they are gay, but can’t live with the fact;
– they are women who don’t want to be society’s subordinate sex – trans men are often survivors of sexual abuse and assault;
– they are men with a sexual paraphilia that they have lobbied into being a ‘right’ and a protected characteristic. Interestingly, there is no female equivalent for autogynephilia (male sexual arousal at the idea of oneself as a woman);
– they don’t want to be ‘gender-conforming’ and become susceptible to school or other education programs, internet groups and / or their peers;
– identifying as women gives male-bodied persons better access to biological women, especially within LGBTQ+ circles, unisex facilities and female prisons.

Fact: gender dysphoria is real and deserves treatment. Treating mental health conditions is something progressive societies do.

Yet anyone investigating the phenomenon of ‘rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria’ runs the risk of being labelled a TERF, losing their funding and even job, having their work repressed and their professional reputation irreparably damaged. Dr Lisa Littman (Brown University, Rhode Island) is one such scientist whose peer-reviewed study into the reasons why there has been such a huge recent increase in adolescents (mainly girls) seeking cross-sex hormones and surgery, concluded that ‘social contagiousness’ through circles of friends and social media was an influential factor promoting ‘rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria.’

Fact: ‘feminism invented gender non-conformity’ (Janice Raymond). We have been fighting for centuries to escape the narrow confines of being stereotyped as the subordinate, ‘prettier’, sexually-available sex. Trans culture turbocharges these stereotypes because, it seems, the dom-sub power hierarchy turns some people on. This erases the advances of women.

Fact: girls and women should be able to be as ‘masculine’ as they please; men and boys as ‘feminine’. But sex-based rights for women, such as segregated spaces, are necessary because of the sheer numbers of men who abuse them.

Fact: women are more than the sum total of their body parts. At the same time, women’s bodies are, and always have been, the site of their oppression. (Janice Raymond, Doublethink: A Feminist Challenge to Transgenderism, p.44) To disappear biological ‘sex’ in favour of the idea of ‘gender’, you disappear a history of discrimination based on the differences between male and female bodies.

Fact: gay people have fought for centuries for basic rights and cultural acceptance. Trans ideology also erases them and has caused huge rifts in this minority group. Some trans women go so far as to accuse lesbians who don’t want to have sex with them of transphobia and organize to break through ‘the cotton ceiling’ (women’s underwear).

Fact: sexual entryism is r*pe.

Fact: many lesbians and former and current trans men are starting to bear witness to the amount of male-bodied violence perpetrated on female-bodied people in LGBTQ+ scenes and being told that to name what is happening as male violence amounts to killing trans women.

Fact: women are being screamed at, spat on, punched, compared to N*zis and sent r*pe and death threats for being ‘TERFs’. They are having their careers ended & photos of their children circulated on the internet for daring to say any of this.

This is just a handful of the cyber threats daily issued by trans women to biological women:

“Att[entio]n lesbian TERFS. You ugly f*cks deserve to be bu ried alive”

“Ki ll all TERFs”

“Sh oot a TERF today”

“Somebody sl ap this TERF cu nt across the face”

“All TERFs need to cease existing. All of them. Gone. Wipe them from the Earth. They are a plague to be purged”

“pop quiz: if you ki ll a terf, is it a crime? Answer: it is not. They are not considered lifeforms”

“Enjoy my lady stick in your mouth”

“I wanna direct a sn uff fi lm where multiple TERFs get sh ot in the head but don’t die, they just suffer in ag ony”

“I’d pay to watch someone vio lently tip her ov aries from her abdomen”

“B eat TERFs. Ly nch TERFs. Especially get TERFs fired from their jobs. This is a war between them and us for our very existence. Bowing out=losing”

“I want to set every single TERF kid on fi re”[1]

In ‘Transwoman and Narcissistic Rage,’ one anonymous trans woman wrote the following:

I fail to understand how so many who believe they are women, who want to be women, can treat women so terribly … This should cause every self-identifying transwoman shame. They should look at their community, their peers and their ‘sisters’ and be horrified by what they see… Attack dogs are praised or ignored. The truly harmful, the mentally unstable, are embraced and cloaked in an extra layer of victimhood. Transwomen should call on fellow transwomen to stop harassing women … What you are feeling is … entitlement. Being raised male, we are taught how to view women … you will find that the first step towards transitioning away from masculinity is to stop acting like a man. (Gender Apostates, n.d.)

Fact: referring to women as ‘uterus-owners’, ‘front holes’, ‘egg producers’, ‘chest feeders’, ‘menstruators’ and even ‘non-men’ is seen as progressive and inclusive language. Referring to a ‘she’ as ‘he’ is branded as ‘violent’ hate speech and gets you banned from Twitter amongst other internet forums.

Conflating language that upsets with actual violence belittles survivors of assault, battery and r*pe.

Fact: academic feminism has made itself irrelevant. When the first chapter of the New Feminist Literary Studies CUP is entitled ‘Radical Transfeminism: Trans as Anti-static Ethics Escaping Neoliberal Encapsulation’ you know your discipline’s in trouble. If feminism is not about protecting the rights and safety of women and girls, then it isn’t worthy of the name.

Fact: many academics, celebrities, scientists, surgeons, and other people in positions of power, are making a lot of cultural hay and gaining a lot of capital – both literal and in terms of career promotions, exposure, etc – from becoming ‘trans allies’, spouting the above kind of doublespeak while throwing women and girls under the bus-of-woke.

Feminists, gay people, decent men and women everywhere should be working to end misogyny and homophobia, not perpetuating it.

Christiane F Hankinson
Christiane F Hankinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Bravo Dr E C.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

That’s superb stuff, but I doubt if the zealots will even read it; let alone be persuaded by it. Thanks for trying though.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
27 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Excellent comment, unfortunately you are preaching to the choir here.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Unherd deleted my previous long reply from this morning, so I’m trying again, with more creative uses of asterisks and gaps…

Dear David, I’m sure you’re a nice enough, if rather naïve / bitter, chap. And I’m with you on the fact that some genres of feminism have morphed into a very ugly brand of misandry and misogyny alike. However, please don’t assume you’re better read than me on this topic, which I have researched quite exhaustively. Here are just some of my findings:

Fact: ‘gender’ is an idea invented in the 1950s by male sexologists involved in normalising intersex infants to make them ‘conform’ more visibly to one sex or another.

Fact: The term ‘transgender’ was coined by the male heterosexual Virginia Prince, who wanted to differentiate from transsexuals and to push for acceptance of the sexual paraphilia known as cross-dressing.

Fact: the key authors of the ‘International Bill of Transgender Rights’ (1995) were older, American, male-bodied persons – many of whom had already fathered children. One of these, JoAnn Roberts, did not claim to be a woman but merely a cross-dresser; another, Phyllis Frye, was a ‘successful’ man well into adulthood and another autogynephilic.

In just 30 years this Bill of Rights has gained widespread acceptance, causing legislation changes and confusion in public institutions, education and prison boards, parents and children as young as 3, pubescent teenagers as well as young adults, r*pe shelters and crises centres, feminists, people on both sides of the political divide and anyone who supports homosexuality, whilst putting real women and girls in danger. It has diverted money away from vital services set up to serve women and in some cases shut down those services.

Fact: women everywhere are being told they are ‘irrational’ (an ancient form of gaslighting) for wanting to cordon off some of the public spaces in which they are at their most vulnerable – toilets and changing rooms – from persons with penises, despite stats revealing just how much violence and assault already occurs in precisely such spaces.

For example, Chase Strangio, a transgender lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & AIDS Project:

The public has a deep fear of trans people in bathrooms, and specifically of penises in girls’ rooms […] We organize our society around very fixed notions of who men and women are, and people whose very existence challenges that provoke visceral, irrational reactions. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/us/transgender-judge-phyllis-fryes-early-transformative-journey.html

Fact: in the UK alone there were 134 reports of sexual assault in changing rooms over the two year period 2017 to 2018. Of these, 120 took place in gender-neutral changing rooms compared to just 14 in single-sex changing areas. https://fairplayforwomen.com/unisex-changing-rooms-put-women-in-danger/

Fact: the Crime Survey for England and Wales published by the Office for National Statistics estimated that 20% of biological women have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims. This means that a significant proportion of females have a history of sexual trauma.

Fact: the vast majority of males who identify as women retain their p***s. https://fairplayforwomen.com/changing_rooms/

Fact: every year, an average of 66,000 women are violently killed globally, accounting for approximately 17% of all victims of intentional homicides, compared to 375 transgender people murdered in 2021: the ‘deadliest year since records began’. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2021/11/11/375-transgender-people-murdered-in-2021-deadliest-year-since-records-began/

Fact: men commit violent and sexual offences at far higher rates than women. Women are far more likely to be victims of sexual, familial and domestic violence than men.

Fact: research shows that men who transgender are even more prone to criminal behaviour than other men. Data from the United States shows that 21% of men who transgender has been sent to prison for any reason, which contrasts with 2.7 per cent of the general American population (Grant et al., 2011).

In the UK, a robust peer-review report has concluded that:

MtF transitioners were over 6 times more likely to be convicted of an offence than female comparators and 18 times more likely to be convicted of a violent offence. The group had no statistically significant differences from other natal males, for convictions in general or for violent offending. The group examined were those who committed to surgery, and so were more tightly defined than a population based solely on self-declaration. https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/18973/pdf/

and

Of the 125 transgender prisoners counted by the prison service in 2017, 60 had been convicted of sexual offenses, including 27 convicted of r*pe (BBC News 2018). In the overall prison population, by comparison, 19% of males had been convicted of sexual crimes and only 4% of females (Ministry of Justice 2018b). Michael Biggs, ‘The Transition from Sex to Gender in English Prisons: Human Rights and Queer Theory’, SocArXiv, 17 May 2020, https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/18973/pdf/

Fact: the stats on serious violent crimes and sexual assaults are being skewed because a growing number of men who r*pe and murder are identifying as women.

Fact: women and girls are endangered whenever self-identification as a woman is the only requirement upon which to gain entry to such female-only spaces.

Fact: not one biological woman has physically injured or killed a single trans woman.

Fact: every year thousands of trans women activists call for the violent assault, r*pe and murder of TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists).

Fact: the vast majority of trans people become trans for one (or several) of the following reasons:
– they are gay, but can’t live with the fact;
– they are women who don’t want to be society’s subordinate sex – trans men are often survivors of sexual abuse and assault;
– they are men with a sexual paraphilia that they have lobbied into being a ‘right’ and a protected characteristic. Interestingly, there is no female equivalent for autogynephilia (male sexual arousal at the idea of oneself as a woman);
– they don’t want to be ‘gender-conforming’ and become susceptible to school or other education programs, internet groups and / or their peers;
– identifying as women gives male-bodied persons better access to biological women, especially within LGBTQ+ circles, unisex facilities and female prisons.

Fact: gender dysphoria is real and deserves treatment. Treating mental health conditions is something progressive societies do.

Yet anyone investigating the phenomenon of ‘rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria’ runs the risk of being labelled a TERF, losing their funding and even job, having their work repressed and their professional reputation irreparably damaged. Dr Lisa Littman (Brown University, Rhode Island) is one such scientist whose peer-reviewed study into the reasons why there has been such a huge recent increase in adolescents (mainly girls) seeking cross-sex hormones and surgery, concluded that ‘social contagiousness’ through circles of friends and social media was an influential factor promoting ‘rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria.’

Fact: ‘feminism invented gender non-conformity’ (Janice Raymond). They have been fighting for centuries to escape the narrow confines of being stereotyped as the subordinate, ‘prettier’, sexually-available sex. Trans culture turbocharges these stereotypes because, it seems, the dom-sub power hierarchy turns some people on. This erases the advances of women.

Fact: girls and women should be able to be as ‘masculine’ as they please; men and boys as ‘feminine’. But sex-based rights for women, such as segregated spaces, are necessary because of the sheer numbers of men who abuse them.

Fact: women are more than the sum total of their body parts. At the same time, women’s bodies are, and always have been, the site of their oppression. (Janice Raymond, Doublethink: A Feminist Challenge to Transgenderism, p.44) To disappear biological ‘sex’ in favour of the idea of ‘gender’, you disappear a history of discrimination based on the differences between male and female bodies.

Fact: gay people have fought for centuries for basic rights and cultural acceptance. Trans ideology also erases them and has caused huge rifts in this minority group. Some trans women go so far as to accuse lesbians who don’t want to have sex with them of transphobia and organize to break through ‘the cotton ceiling’ (women’s underwear).

Fact: sexual entryism is r*pe.

Fact: many lesbians and former and current trans men are starting to bear witness to the amount of male-bodied violence perpetrated on female-bodied people in LGBTQ+ scenes and being told that to name what is happening as male violence amounts to killing trans women.

Fact: women are being screamed at, spat on, punched, compared to N*zis and sent r*pe and death threats for being ‘TERFs’. They are having their careers ended & photos of their children circulated on the internet for daring to say any of this.

This is just a handful of the cyber threats daily issued by trans women to biological women:

           “Att[entio]n lesbian TERFS. You ugly f*cks deserve to be bu ried alive”
 
           “Ki ll all TERFs”

           “Sh oot a TERF today”

           “Somebody sl ap this TERF cu nt across the face”

“All TERFs need to cease existing. All of them. Gone. Wipe them from the Earth. They are a plague to be purged”

“pop quiz: if you ki ll a terf, is it a crime? Answer: it is not. They are not considered lifeforms”

“Enjoy my lady stick in your mouth”

“I wanna direct a sn uff fi lm where multiple TERFs get sh ot in the head but don’t die, they just suffer in ag ony”

“I’d pay to watch someone vio lently tip her ov aries from her abdomen”

“B eat TERFs. Ly nch TERFs. Especially get TERFs fired from their jobs. This is a war between them and us for our very existence. Bowing out=losing”

“I want to set every single TERF kid on fi re”[1]

In ‘Transwoman and Narcissistic Rage,’ one anonymous trans woman wrote the following:

I fail to understand how so many who believe they are women, who want to be women, can treat women so terribly … This should cause every self-identifying transwoman shame. They should look at their community, their peers and their ‘sisters’ and be horrified by what they see… Attack dogs are praised or ignored. The truly harmful, the mentally unstable, are embraced and cloaked in an extra layer of victimhood. Transwomen should call on fellow transwomen to stop harassing women … What you are feeling is … entitlement. Being raised male, we are taught how to view women … you will find that the first step towards transitioning away from masculinity is to stop acting like a man. (Gender Apostates, n.d.)

Fact: referring to women as ‘uterus-owners’, ‘front holes’, ‘egg producers’, ‘chest feeders’, ‘menstruators’ and even ‘non-men’ is seen as progressive and inclusive language. Referring to a ‘she’ as ‘he’ is branded as ‘violent’ hate speech and gets you banned from Twitter amongst other internet forums.

Conflating language that upsets with actual violence belittles survivors of assault, battery and r*pe.

Fact: academic feminism has made itself irrelevant. When the first chapter of the New Feminist Literary Studies CUP is entitled ‘Radical Transfeminism: Trans as Anti-static Ethics Escaping Neoliberal Encapsulation’ you know your discipline’s in trouble. If feminism is not about protecting the rights and safety of women and girls, then it isn’t worthy of the name.

Fact: many academics, celebrities, scientists, surgeons, and other people in positions of power, are making a lot of cultural hay and gaining a lot of capital – both literal and in terms of career promotions, exposure, etc – from becoming ‘trans allies’, spouting the above kind of doublespeak while throwing women and girls under the bus-of-woke.

Feminists, gay people, decent men and women everywhere should be working to end misogyny and homophobia, not perpetuating it.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

I hate to tell you this, after you’ve written so much, but you seem to have simply assumed what my position is on the trans issue, out of whole cloth, and entirely out of your own imagination. My view is probable closer to the opposite of what you have assumed.

On feminism, I’m ambivalent. Many of its achievements were positive, but the anti male thing is just really getting old. Insisting on the social construction of gender was misguided, a hostage to fortune, and probably completely unnecessary. Pushing the deconstruction of gender in schools may well have led to the current confusion some young people feel about gender. It’s also resulted in an understandable, but unpleasant and misguided, backlash on the part of young men.

In a broad sense trans phenomena seem to be part of the human condition. I would include in this broad definition masculine presenting lesbians and others who are gender non conforming. How we respond to trans phenomena is a difficult question. If we could wave a magic wand and change sexes at will that would be great. But we can’t. I tend to see people who are genuinely trans as tragic figures. They will never get what they want. Their lives will always be just the best of a bad job. They’ve been thrown the worst of all curved balls, and deserve our sympathy.

In contrast to the discussion on other topics on Unherd, that around the trans issue is really low level, verging on the fanatic. And most of the writing (K Stock excepted) is lower level too. I’m not sure if it brings out the worst in people, or just the worst people.

K Stock btw has a good grasp of how feminist intellectual history fed into trans. And she doesn’t let “her side” off the hook for it. I’ve read her book and recommend it. I find her suggested ways out of the impasse less convincing, but then I don’t have any solutions either. We need more research, and we need to move forward more slowly, and with much more caution than we have been doing. And perhaps with a bit more sympathy.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

I’ve inferred precisely *nothing* about your views on the trans issue. What I’ve objected to is the grotesque misogyny of your comments, plus the assumption that I’m ignorant about feminism.

The fact that you took to posting not 1, not 2, not 3, but 47 comments under an article about a woman having been hounded out of a rape crisis shelter for defending raped women’s rights speaks volumes. You have mocked & belittled other Unherd readers who showed support for those victims, laughed at the perfectly innocuous phrase ‘women on the street’, blamed feminists for the whole trans ideology, basked in the ‘delicious irony’ of it all, then finally drifted into attacking all women, e.g. by joking that, if transwomen ‘enjoy seeing women humiliated then perhaps they are real women after all’ and quoting Chinese proverbs and pop articles from Psychology Today. Unhinged.

No, trans activism is NOT ‘an off shoot of feminism’: historically or ideologically. It is an offshoot of queer theory, given a massive dose of support by some deranged feminist activists. (I call people like Judith Butler deranged because, for ex, they support gang raping Jewish girls to death.) And, no, my potted history does NOT ‘make feminism a spin-off of trans ideology’, though of course it is a product of male oppression. Feminism both predates ‘the ‘70s’ and has evolved since. Have you heard of Mary Wollstonecroft? I’ve read her _A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ and recommend it.

You claimed that ‘With a few exceptions men are repulsed by the idea of harm and humiliation where it involves women’ but have had nothing to say about my substantive points, including eye-watering stats, about male and especially male-bodied trans violence against women. Indeed, your reply was that we should all have a bit more sympathy for trans women. Where’s your sympathy for the female victims of rape?

After all that, you’re trying to maintain that you’re ‘ambivalent’ about feminism? (Having already posted that it’s ‘Puritanical, hateful, angry, dogmatic, anti male. Not appealing to the average woman.’)

You’ve shown a woeful understanding of the history of this very multi-faceted, centuries-long series of very different kinds of movements. Feminism is not one unified bunch of man-haters – and the fact that you treat them as such says everything I need to know about your knowledge of this area. (You refer constantly to ‘they’ and ‘them’: ‘they were supporters of x’; ‘they denied y…’)

Have you read Kathleen Stock’s book? And do you recommend it? Hurrah for you! And do you think you’re the only person who has?

I’ve changed my mind about you being simply naïve. You’re obviously a card-carrying woman hater. I am so against the state of contemporary feminism and I wrote very clearly at the top of my post that I was against misandry of every stripe, but, in the face of such evident misogyny in response to an article about female rape victims, is it any wonder that at some point feminism turned nasty?

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Deleted replica reply.

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
1 month ago

What I can’t understand is why the very obvious question is never asked.
“Why would this biological male want to be a woman’s rape counsellor?”
As a man I can think of a couple of reasons.
Neither of them good.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
1 month ago

They enjoy seeing women humiliated. It gives them a sexual thrill.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 month ago

I am convinced this is the answer. Why compete in women’s sports, go into women’s washrooms and change rooms? Because they hate women and they love to dominate them and worse.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

You’re projecting, and it’s silly.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

What a bizarre and paranoid view of things.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

It really hurts you to hear the truth about yourself, right?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

School playground comment.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

They enjoy seeing women humiliated

Then perhaps they are real women after all.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Spoken like a true misogynist.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Surely you can do better than that. Give me something I can get my teeth into.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Not trying to get a rise out of you, just stating an obvious fact.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

I’m curious. How do you know that women like to see other women raped and humiliated? Another man who thinks he knows everything about women. Are you trans?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

First you interpolated rape. Second it was meant to be humorous. But third it was always well known that the readership for true crime style fiction in which female victims featured almost exclusively – was female. It doesn’t seem to have changed in the age of Netflix and the rest.

With a few exceptions men are repulsed by the idea of harm and humiliation where it involves women. Women seem drawn to it. What the psychology of that is, I don’t care to speculate.

Even between female “friends”, the amount of badmouthing, backstabbing, ostracism, reputational harm, and general denigration is shocking.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

But how do you know that women, between friends, are badmouthing, backstabbing ,ostracizing, harming each other’s reputations and denigrating each other? Are you privy to the relationships between women? Do they welcome you into their world, so that you can witness how awful they are? Really, how do you know so much about women? I’m a 64-year-old woman, and while I’ve known awful women, I don’t recognize your authoritative observations of women.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I spend a lot of time in coffee houses – it’s hard not to overhear. I’ve also had relationships with women and am a good listener so I hear a lot of it. And I have daughters. It’s women who are women’s worst critics. Many find male company a relief – it’s so chill and light hearted in comparison.

You talk as if men and women live in separate countries and never talk to each other.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

ancient Chinese proverb stating that “the tongue is the sword of a woman – and she never lets it go rusty.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/out-the-ooze/201506/is-the-tongue-the-sword-woman

Worth a look if you prefer evidence to anecdote.

Studies show that women are much more likely than men to engage in indirect, relational aggression, and gossip (with the goal of socially ostracizing rivals) is the weapon of choice in the female arsenal. This relational aggression usually transpires in retaliation for perceived slights or envy over physical appearance or males, and the goal is usually to exclude competitors from one’s social group and to damage their ability to maintain a reliable social network of their own.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Unherd doesn’t seem to like embedded links.

Interesting psychology today article – “Is the Tongue the “Sword of a Woman?”. Google should find it. Short, and gives some recent research.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
25 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

‘I spend a lot of time in coffee houses’. Wow! you must be so in touch with ‘The woman on the street’. I use that term unreservedly.

David Giles
David Giles
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Oh, it was meant to be humourous. Yeah, rape is such a good subject for humour.
May I suggest you rethink your other career as a stand-up comedian.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Giles

Who joked about rape? Certainly not me. Have a look.

So far we’ve had: the argument from rape; the argument from populism; the argument from Jimmy Saville; the “not a real woman argument (applied to Judith Butler) and much more. I’m just waiting for the argument from Hitler.

Come on guys, turn those brain cells on. It’s Unherd not Unthink!

Sara White
Sara White
1 month ago

Or they’re picking up techniques for next time.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

I ask the same question about Drag Queen Story Hour. Why exactly would a grown man, grotesquely parodying women with fake breasts and clown make up, want to go to a library or a school to read stories to small children.
I know the reason and it is beyond belief that it being allowed. The marketing of these creeps has been very effective. “They are marginalised and persecuted and they just want to be loved”.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

I am delighted for Roz Adams, who, like Joan Smith, Joan McAlpine, J.K. Rowling, and several regular contributors to this site, bears more than a passing resemblance to the middle-aged, middle-class women who are conspicuous at trans marches and the like. Young men tend to be sceptical of all of this as much as of #MeToo and all that, as well as tending to be very left-wing economically and strongly anti-war internationally; all of those things are connected. But behind a small number of mostly older drag queens march hordes of young women, a large minority but still a minority of whom think that they are men, and a goodly number of those young women’s academic instructors and administrators of the same sex. Ms Smith and others need to have a word with their own peers.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

Another vanished comment. Does this site really need subscribers? You would never guess.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
1 month ago

What was done to Ms Adams is appalling and this judgement a complete vindication.

But I’m sure she would herself agree, that pales into insignificance compared with the utterly despicable treatment by ERCC of women seeking refuge from sexial violence.

If you are not outraged by a situation in which female rape victims are compelled to affirm the delusions of men with the power to deny them the support and safety they need, then you have completely lost your moral compass.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 month ago

Quite so

Thomas Donald
Thomas Donald
1 month ago

“One of the biggest, which is shamefully popular on the Left in this country, is the idea that there’s no conflict between women’s rights and the demands of identity politics.”
Brilliantly said.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Donald

No, not really. It’s a conflict within identity politics.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
1 month ago

I had the lightbulb moment on this issue, after being brainwashed by the be-nice brigade, when I started following an amazing disabled women named Henriette Freeman on X/Twitter. She is an advocate for same-sex care for disabled women. Hard to believe one has to advocate for that, yet here we are.
I have an adult autistic daughter, and she needs help with some intimate care. Right now, I provide that help, but the harsh reality is I will not live forever, though I am giving it as good a try as I can. When I called my local state agency, NYS in the US, I was told I could only be promised she would receive same-gender care, which is as good as nothing. So basically a man, potentially a predator, could have intimate access to my disabled daughter.
This is where we are people, but it’s like screaming into the abyss because no one seems to care. It’s all about not being a transphobe. Well, guess what I am afraid of men I don’t know providing intimate care to my vulnerable daughter. I am survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape as an adult, so I know full well what men can do. And predators find weak areas in systems and exploit them. That’s what they did in the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, Women’s Gymnastics, and they are doing it here, and will do so more every day we let them.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

Honestly, WTF is wrong with some of the writers around here? How in the world can an essay about the extreme ideologues running our institutions start with this sentence? This is the very first sentence of the essay.

“ If you’re trying to get away with a lie, it had better be a big one. It’s something populist politicians understand very well, firing up supporters with outrageous claims designed to encourage their preexisting prejudices.”

This literally has nothing to do with anything in the entire essay. If this is your opening sentence, maybe you should provide some examples, or at least make it relevant to the rest of the essay.

Joann Robertson
Joann Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I agree Jim. Very bad opening, and a confusing start to an important and well done article.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Fair point, but I suspect you’d have been more displeased with the examples, if provided. They wouldn’t be confined to one side of the sociopolitical spectrum, but they’d include quotes from the most divisive figure in present-day politics.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The outrageous claim she refers to is only too obvious. THE CLAIM THAT MEN ARE WOMAN. You didn’t notice that?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Betsy Warrior

So which populist politicians are pushing that line?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s just damning by association. Certain writers on Unherd use rhetorical tricks like this a lot.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’m telling you man. It’s virtue signaling so they can get published at liberal leaning outlets. Why else would it be right at the front of the essay? What better way to pander to some lazy editor at Vox or The Guardian? They only have to read one sentence and their brains click, “oh this guy is one of us”.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Sounds plausible. But why on Unherd?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Because editors might skim the author’s other articles to get an idea of the author’s leanings. Not all articles are written for a specific publication either. Freelancers might write adticles and submit them to multiple publications. Few publications have enough writers to generate all their content, so they supplement with freelance work. I don’t know how much UH does this but I do see articles that aren’t from the usual staff writers. I doubt even the major contributors like Mary, Kathleen. Thomas, etc. write exclusively for this site.

A J
A J
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

She does state what the lie is: that trans rights do not detract from women’s rights. The whole essay then details this particular instance. The rights of Mridul Wadhwa, a trans-identified man, are detracting from women rape victims’ rights to a woman-centred service.

Furthermore, it’s not detailed here but the actual case arise because a “service user” asked if her group support session would be run by a male or a female, as she had been given a male name. The support worker is a woman who had recently decided to be non-binary, and adopted a male name. Roz Adams asked her manager, and the support worker, what she should say to the service user. This triggered an extreme and punitive disciplinary process against Roz, and the woman enquiring was dismissed from their service without being referred to Beira’s Place, the women-only rape crisis centre set up and funded by J K Rowling.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  A J

The support worker is a woman who had recently decided to be non-binary, and adopted a male name

OK, I’m going to get shot down in flames by all sides for this, but: didn’t this arise because these kinds of workplaces, and large chunks of the public sector too, tend to attract these kind of fruitcakes. Because they see it as a relatively safe place in which to act out their narcissistic psychodramas.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

This turned out okay in the end, but that’s not the point. The point is that this case should have never been a case. What do you mean senior managers believed there is no such thing as biological sex”?
Do they also believe there is no such thing as gravity and how do such obtuse people become managers at any level, let alone senior? There is something uniquely evil with the civil services across the West, academia, much of the media, and the political class. The criminal has been elevated over the law-abiding, the illegal takes primacy over the tax-paying citizen, and here, nonsense takes precedence over reason.
By the way, be sure to count certain women in the club of “misogynists.” There is no shortage of females who are actively participating in the erasure of womanhood and who would gladly sacrifice however many genuine women are necessary for the sake of appearing tolerant and inclusive.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
1 month ago

I guess my comment was removed. I said I became aware of the reality of this movement when I started following a disability advocate on Twitter/X. Perhaps I shouldn’t have shared her name. I admire her very much. She advocates for disabled women to have same-sex care, which presently in the UK and the US they cannot ask for.
I have an adult autistic daughter who needs help with some intimate care. I help her now, of course, and I would forever, if God would let me live as long as she does. But that is not the case. When I talked to my local health department in NYS where I live, I was told I could only be promised same-gender care of her. So, a man would be allowed, if he identified as a woman, to provide intimate care to my vulnerable, childlike, disabled daughter. This enrages me.
Predators find any opportunity to victimize. I know. I am the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and rape as an adult. Just look to the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, Women’s Gymnastics, and on and on. I don’t trust strange men with my daughter, and why should I be asked to?
So this is where we are – the feelings of men matter more than the rights of disabled women to be safe.

Marko Bee
Marko Bee
1 month ago

We have reached a point where a man’s comfort takes precedence over fairness and safety to women. This is one of the clearest examples of how we have become a failed society.  

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
― George Orwell, 1984

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Marko Bee

We have reached a point where a man’s comfort takes precedence over fairness and safety to women.

Oddly enough, I thought this was the standard feminist view of the whole of history so far!

Andrew R
Andrew R
1 month ago

It all makes sense when you accept that the progreesive Left are psych0paths who have lost touch with material reality.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew R

It all makes sense if you believe in goblins and fairies. Too bad there aren’t any.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
1 month ago

Apparently the bloke’s under pressure to resign.

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
1 month ago

Another example of the seriously dysfunctional, ideology-driven, bonkers, rule in Scotland by the SNP/Green ‘politburo’ in recent years.
Changing the spec to ‘dual-fuel’ engines on the two ferries, after the keels had been laid and hulls built, was another ‘inspirational’ decision forced through by the Greens. Utter lunacy, and it would have been cheaper to scrap both and start again, but this was deemed ‘politically unacceptable’ by Nicola Sturgeon. Increasing the contract cost from £97.0 million to somewhere north of £370.0 million today is the result, although this could reach £400.0 million before both vessels are actually in service.
The list is long and very expensive, as well as disruptive across the board.
I doubt whether the SNP can row back on enough of the errors before the next elections in Holyrood in 2026. They won’t be missed by many.

Nanumaga
Nanumaga
1 month ago

As an aside – why do upvote ticks seem to generate so many different numbers? I’ve seen mine registered as anywhere from 3-7 instead of one. It’s very odd.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago

“They have got away with it because too many people have swallowed the big lie that men who “identify” as women are victims who need to be cosseted.”

Before I debate this specific point, let me make clear I agree wholly with the generality above and that it is quite unbelievable that this madness was permitted to develop.

However, the sentence in quotes appears to miss an important point, or at least not to mention it: it is indeed a big lie, agreed, but one that sits inside the even bigger lie that victimhood itself is a valid basis for determining a person’s identity. If it was not for the biggest lie – intersectionalist identity politics as a whole – the ludicrous situation whereby men-pretending-to-be-women were in a position to outbid women themselves in an victimhood-oriented bidding contest, could never have happened in the first place.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 month ago

.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

conflict between women’s rights and the demands of identity politics.

Now there’s a dichotomy I never thought I would see. Feminism is identity politics, and in many ways defining of it. What we are seeing, rather, is that sooner or later the claimed rights of one identity group will bump up against those of another. It’s not supposed to happen, because all oppressed groups are supposed to be on the same side. So there’s a squabble.

A J
A J
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Dear oh dear. Feminism is based on the material reality of sexed bodies. It is demonstrable that humans are a sexually dimorphic species made up of males and females. No magical identities are needed.
Anyone who claims gender identity theory is feminist, is not a feminist.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  A J
Tricia C.
Tricia C.
28 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

GENDER identity.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
25 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

Women are a real identity because they exist in reality. Identity politics is a load of bollocks which smears people who want to have a reasonable debate about far reaching issues. Free speech campaigners have become ‘far right fascists’ because they oppose lunatic ideologies.

Christiane F Hankinson
Christiane F Hankinson
1 month ago

Oh the rush to blame women on here!.
At the end of the day rape is a penile offence. Somehow someone with a p***s dressed as a woman was put in charge of a rape crisis Centre. So is this because of women shoring up that ideology?
I think at first when gender took over women’s studies as an academic study many women thought it would liberate them from femininity. But of course that didn’t happen it liberated men to demand more, to invade feminine spaces and categories. Something those women championing gender hadn’t foreseen. So yeh blame women for men’s bad behavior that’s not new.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Something those women championing gender hadn’t foreseen

Exactly! Maybe own up to the fact. A bit of accountability wouldn’t go amiss.

And there is a kind of delicious irony in feminists attempts to liberate women from femininity leading to some men embracing it for themselves.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Hardly any women describe themselves as feminists these days. I wonder why?!!!

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

There’s no mystery really. Puritanical, hateful, angry, dogmatic, anti male. Not appealing to the average woman.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

And men aren’t hateful, angry and dogmatic? You obviously hate women and sound like a frustrated transbeian.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

And men aren’t hateful, angry and dogmatic?

Sometimes, yes of course. I’m like most men, I really like women. But we need to drop the idea, started by the victorians and picked up by feminists, that men are beasts and women are angels. This is based on making all men responsible for the bad actions of a few, and largely making women not responsible for their own actions. This demonises men and infantilises women.

Also, you’ll note that I am talking about a political movement and (some) of its members. I am not talking about women in general. Indeed, I point out that these negative attitudes are repellent to most women and have put them off feminism.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

You think the fact that women are being endangered by biological men in rape crisis centres, prisons, sports etc is deliciously ironic?
I don’t know what the feminists have done to you but you need some serious therapy.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Straw man

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

No it isn’t. You could say it’s ad hominem, but not straw man. I’m using your very words.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

That’s not what I said was ironic.

Christiane F Hankinson
Christiane F Hankinson
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

You have some serious issues Mr Morley. Why wouldn’t women , the second sex, denied so many freedoms not desire a less restricted society and if that meant embracing gender fluidity quite understandable. They underestimated the patriarchy, that equality wasn’t going to happen without a very unfair fight.
I remember how Women’s’ Studies disappeared from publishers lists, and from academia, to be replaced by Gender Studies. Inclusive of men in a way Women’s Studies weren’t. Of course many female academics thought they could fight on this new level playing field.. but it wasn’t level it was a trap they soon fell foul of. And people like you blamed them. That’s the irony.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Well, you wanted gender fluidity and you’ve got it. But many of you don’t seem happy.

Are you aware that women now massively outnumber men at university?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 month ago

It’s not men’s bad behaviour, it’s the bad behaviour of a small minority of wierd men.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
1 month ago

At the end of the day rape is a penile offence. Somehow someone with a p***s dressed as a woman was put in charge of a rape crisis Centre.

Can I just point out that the “somehow” isn’t a mystery in the slightest.
It is simply the logical conclusion of redefining “woman” to include men who feel like they are or should be women. Once that was allowed then inevitably sooner or later all women’s reserved spaces would be populated by men who say they are women.

Christiane F Hankinson
Christiane F Hankinson
1 month ago

Yes, somehow, something so bizarre with barely no limits became law in Scotland. Since then many chickens have come home to roost but not before real damage has been done. It was astonishing it happened in the first place. That was the ‘somehow’ a decision so incongruous it is still sinking in, sadly highly supported by the Scottish Greens.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago

I for one do not blame women for this situation but I most certainly do blame feminists, for having been so utterly stupid as not to foresee the potential dangers associated with redefining women’s rights and protections according to the arbitrary and nonsensical laws of intersectional politics.

This scurrilous and indefensible nonsense was not something done to women by men. It was done to women by progressive political activists, including the arm of progressivism that supposedly protects and nurtures women’s rights – feminists. It seems to have escaped the notice of many people here, but conventions regarding female-only spaces and protections existed for millennia before a bunch of silly political activists decided that the conventions in question should be redefined as rights. Had this redefinition not occurred, the absurdity of men successfully getting access to female-only spaces could never have happened: only the political redefinition of the concept of “woman” could permit such a thing to happen, and happen it indeed did.

If you think men in general are going to be apologising for this crap then you are in for a nasty surprise: the vast majority of us had nothing whatsoever to to with it, and the tiny minority who wear dresses and makeup due to being mentally ill cannot possibly be used to generalise about the rest of us.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Did you read _any_ of my post above. I wrote a pretty exhaustive list on how: 1. biological men invented the term ‘gender’, 2. a biological man invented the term ‘transgender’, 3. the key authors of the ‘International Bill of Transgender Rights’ (1995) were older, American, male-bodied persons and 4. this ideology has been, and continues to be, pushed most vigorously by, surprise surprise, trans women themselves. And yet somehow this is all women’s fault?
I _understand_ that ‘men in general’ are not responsible, but nor are ‘women in general,’ not even ‘feminists in general’. (Feminism is not a monolith btw.) I understand, too, that a proportion of female academics, Judith Butler et al, ran with this ideology and that a large number of mostly young women today stupidly, even aggressively, support it – though the tide is quickly changing – because young women tend to be the most susceptible to cultural trends. Hence the phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria: an epidemic amongst young western women.
My point is that this doesn’t make women or feminists responsible, it makes them ‘useful idiots’ in an ideology thought up by men. Just as they are ‘useful idiots’ in the war aims of Hamas. That doesn’t make them Hamas. That doesn’t make _all men_ Hamas. But Hamas is still an all-male group.
Can you guys see the difference at all?

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Yes I did read your post, and my reply to it is my way of saying I think you’re talking nonsense. You have completely misdiagnosed the problem and how it came into being.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I’m afraid that’s true. After all that writing I almost feel bad about it.

These trans related articles create total mayhem.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Well, now you put it like that, I’m completely won over to your side of the argument. Thank you for enlightening me.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Ironically your potted history makes feminism a spin off of trans ideology – and the product of men – since it is precisely the distinction between sex and gender which became so central to feminism.

It’s not true of course. Whoever first used the term gender in its fully modern sense is disputable – what is clear is that it becomes of cultural, theoretical and political significance only with feminism in the 70s. At that point its usage in academia takes off. It’s also clear why. If female behaviour and personality are rooted in biology then the possibilities for “liberation” are limited – biology always will, to some degree, be destiny.

Trans ideology takes that one stage further. If gender is only contingently attached to sex, then cross gendering is possible – women (g) with men’s bodies (s).

Also, Judith Butler saw trans phenomena as backing up the feminist view. By drawing attention to the contingent nature of gender they subverted the idea that sex roles and associated personalities and behaviours are naturally attached to a specific sex. If men can “play” at being women, it suggests that women are, in a significant sense, playing at being women too. This is feminism through and through.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Trying to make sense of all this, though it’s not easy. Are you an anti feminist who just thinks that the whole feminist movement was just some sort of stage in the trans movement. “Useful idiots” as you put it. Are you saying that they’ve been duped since the 50s, 70s?

I find it hard to believe you really think this, but it does make your writing make a kind of sense.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Please save yourself the effort of trying to make sense of what I wrote. I know it can’t be easy for you.

Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
1 month ago

“It’s something populist politicians understand very well…”

How the hell did the populism bogey get into this piece?

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
1 month ago

Every time I read about these occurrences, I think of Jimmy Saville and the power and influence that was ceded to him so he was able to commit his heinous crimes.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Mark – try and not think about Jimmy Saville so much.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

What’s that for?

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago

DM doesn’t want us to think too much about bad men because, in his worldview, women are the true cause of the world’s problems

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

A bit more thinking and a bit less mind reading and straw-manning please.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
25 days ago
Reply to  David Morley

The trans activists are pushing for the same types of nonces being allowed into into women only spaces. Jimmy Saville should be ‘front and centre’ in everyone’s minds as to why men want to occupy the same spaces as women. It’s so they can sexually abuse and rape them in plain sight. You need to wake up and see why sexual perverts are pushing an ideology that is being banded about in all our institutions; including schools.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

I am delighted for Roz Adams, who, like J.K. Rowling and like several regular contributors on these matters, bears more than a passing resemblance to the middle-aged, middle-class women who are conspicuous at trans marches and the like. Young men tend to be sceptical of all of this as much as of #MeToo and all that, as well as tending to be very left-wing economically and strongly anti-war internationally; all of those things are connected.

But behind a small number of mostly older drag queens 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.

Still in thrall to the most androgynous figure ever to have emerged in British public life, who contended that a man or a woman could be “self-made” and who destroyed the stockades of working-class male employment while creating a new ruling class of middle-class woman funded and empowered by the State, conservatives produce almost none of their own gender critics, and of course ignore the absolute soundness of the Morning Star and Counterfire on gender self-identification, or the fact that both Alba and the Workers Party of Britain have been founded in no small measure because of this issue.

Instead, a platform is given, and we do have to be grateful that it is given to anyone, to ostensible refugees from a Left from which their economic views had often suggested a dislocation, and their foreign policy views even more so, long before anyone remotely mainstream had ever suggested that human beings could change sex, or that biological sex did not exist, or anything like that.

Knowing their new audience and that it paid a lot better than their old one, and manifesting the fact that centrism and right-wing populism were con tricks to sell exactly the same economic and foreign policies to different audiences by pretending to wage a culture war, the permitted voices of gender criticism joined gleefully in the takedown of Jeremy Corbyn, are gearing up for another round of that against his Independent candidacy, broadly hint that they think that Alex Salmond was a rapist after all, simply call Julian Assange a rapist in so many words, therefore never miss an opportunity to brand George Galloway “a rape apologist”, and parrot the #IBelieveHer case for the genocide of Gaza, a case that several of them have made for every previous neoconservative war, and most of them for at least one.

Those of a certain age have dusted down the file of lurid allegations that they deployed against working-class men during the Satanic panic of the Thatcher years, and which have been levelled, practically word for word, against every designated enemy since. At best, they raise no objection to the same treatment of racialised communities in Britain, who are today’s Enemy Within, which is why that status will very soon be enjoyed again by the working class in general and by working-class men in particular, insofar as that has ever ceased to be the case.

In the meantime, people whose intersection of sex, class and generation matches the gender critics’ perfectly, and who are usually the same colour as well, expel pro-ceasefire students, send in thugs to give them a beating, connive to revoke their visas, and so on. All while driving out or keeping down the gender critics, and while marching with those who threatened them with extreme violence. Those centrist mums and centrist aunties need to have a word with their own peers.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
26 days ago

As I read this, “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend” sprung to mind.
The majority of the hyper-progressive attack-dog types that I have run into (far too often, unfortunately, as I’m a physician in Canada) are women.
Joan Smith falls into the trope that it is “misogynists” causing this problem. It is not. It is a hyper-feminized, hyper-empathetic society that sees victimhood as sainthood, and then goes on to define victims by intersectional measures. Heterosexual women (particularly, god-forbid, if they are white) fall below Trans on the totem pole.
This is not “misogyny”. This is progressivism, taken to its illogical extreme.