December 19, 2021 - 11:06am

Trans activists are in retreat. With a number of high-profile victories won by feminists refusing to be silenced by the deafening chants of ‘trans women are women’, momentum against the trans lobby is picking up speed.

The latest example is an apology from the Scout Association apologises to Maya Forstater for two years of investigation following a complaint of “misgendering”.

Forstater, who was an Assistant Cub Scout Leader in St Albans raised safeguarding concerns in 2019 about their transgender policy, arguing that it would mean an end to autonomous spaces, including sleeping facilities, for girls.

During a Twitter argument, she had also referred to Scout Leader Gregor Murray, a man with a beard, by the pronoun “he” instead of “they”.

There was ample evidence, forwarded to the Scout Association, of Murray’s behaviour, including calling women on social media “TERFs” and “vile” and “utter scum”, and referring to lesbians who were protesting their invisibility at Pride as “utter cunts”.

Murray had, in fact, been recently suspended as a local councillor in Dundee for this behaviour.

But despite the fact that Forstater’s only ‘crime’ was to refer to a man as ‘he’ (in contrast to Murray calling women ‘cunts’), the Scout Association went ahead with a two-year investigation against her.

In a letter to the Scout Association early in the complaints process Forstater wrote that she disputed Murray’s claims, saying that they were ‘vexatious and without merit or evidence’. She added that she considered that Murray “has succeeded in using the complaints procedure of The Scouts Association as a means to harass and intimidate me.” But nevertheless — doubtless emboldened by the climate of unbridled misogyny towards women who challenge trans orthodoxy — the process continued.

As well as the stress, time, and damage to Forstater’s reputation, the investigation and accusations against her by Murray ended up adversely influencing the judge in her original employment tribunal case. Judge James Tayler chose to include as evidence the fact that she had defended her right to refer to a man as ‘he’, using it to support his judgement that her views were “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”, and had the nerve to criticise her in open court for not “seeking to accommodate Gregor Murray’s legitimate wishes”. This judgement was overturned in June this year at appeal.

The apology is another win for feminists against the trans witch hunt, but for Forstater, the battle has been fraught and arduous. “It has taken two years and countless letters and emails just to clear my name with the Scouts,” she tells me. “As soon as someone says “transphobia” organisations crumble.”

Perhaps, as more women stand up to be counted, these bullies and harassers will finally run out of steam. And maybe — just maybe — organisations like the Scouts will start to put the safety of children above the demands of trans extremists.

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.