Saturday 19th was a particularly busy day. (By JL)
- SNP Women's Convener Won't Pledge to Uphold Women's Rights
Rhiannon Spear is the newly elected SNP Women's Convener. She has refused to sign the Women's Pledge, a declaration of intent to protect women's rights.
The Women's Pledge was put together by a group of SNP women who are concerned with protecting women's sex-based rights and spaces. It affirms women's single sex protections under the Equality Act 2010.
Rhiannon Spear has refused to sign this pledge. She says she will not sign because, apparently, pledging to maintain women's sex based rights "Could appear hostile to trans inclusion". Despite its architects being SNP members she also describes the pledge as coming from an "external group".
But her attitude is hardly surprising. In July Rhiannon tweeted that politicians should start "Speaking up for trans identities" (not trans people, trans identities). She expressed her support for Mhairi Black's video in which Black vilifies the women worried for their sex-based rights and calls them "Jeremy Hunts".
Rhiannon, who used to be a television researcher and is now embarking on a career in law, also upholds the 'Sex work is work' rhetoric.
Because as you may or may not be aware, current liberal orthodoxy is that sex work is 'empowering'.
2. A Public Library Hosting A Feminist Speech Is a "Betrayal"
At the end of the month Toronto Public Library is scheduled to host a speech by Meghan Murphy called “Gender Identity: What does it Mean for Society, the Law and Women?”. The library has faced a great deal of criticism for hosting this event and has come under increasing pressure to cancel it.
One might assume that writers and publishers would be the first to oppose such censorship, especially in a library. However, an online petition demanding that the event be cancelled was started by a trio of authors. It threatens that the publishing professionals who sign will no longer take part in the library's events if Meghan Murphy's talk is allowed to go ahead.
The petition accuses the library of providing a platform for 'hate speech' and of "Denying the resources and promise of safe and equitable space to trans communities". It says a great deal about the misogynist, entitled nature of this ideology that hosting a feminist writer who wants to discuss legislation which will impact women's rights is 'hate speech'.
Soon, the directors of Pride Toronto step in , writing an open letter in which they threaten to exclude the library from all Pride events. The letter also contains the rather menacing phrase, "There will be consequences to our relationship for this betrayal". Betrayal is a dangerous word to use around lesbians when you refuse to call out the disgusting sexual coercion that is the 'cotton ceiling'.
"Sometimes ... when you're defending free speech, you're in a very uncomfortable position where you're defending perspectives and ideas and viewpoints that many in the community, or a few in the community, whatever, find offensive. But it's at that time that it's most important to stand up for free speech. That is what makes Canada a democratic country, and that is what we need today more than ever."
There is a petition for those wishing to express support for Toronto Library and its decision to host Meghan Murphy's speech.
3. Don't Mention The Males Threatening Violence Against Women
A few weeks ago a new trend began on Twitter in which (mainly) adolescent boys and young men were revelling in making threats of violence against women.
Under the cover provided by the casual dehumanisation of feminists using the word 'Terf', they shared photos of themselves posing in an aggressive and threatening manner, usually armed with some form of weapon, and using the phrase “POV you’re a TERF in my mentions”.
Author, JJ Barnes, wrote about this phenomenon and provided plenty of examples in her recent blog.
Twitter feminist @RedFemRebeccaE was recording and documenting these threats of violence perpetrated under the guise of trans rights activism. So, of course, she had to go. Twitter suspended her account.
4. Labour Party's All Women Shortlist Doesn't Do Exactly What It Says On The Tin
The Labour Party is soon to decide on the candidate who will stand in Poplar & Limehouse at the next General Election.
This seat has an all-women shortlist. All-women shortlists are intended to be a means of increasing the number of female MPs and improve the representation of women in parliament. With less than a third of MPs in parliament being female, current representation is woefully inadequate.
Women were invited to apply for this seat to the Labour Party and a panel has now drawn up a shortlist of three candidates. The three people on that list are Cllr Amina Ali, Apsana Begum and... transwoman Heather Peto.
This isn't the first time Heather Peto has been on an all-women shortlist; she was on an AWS to be the Labour parliamentary candidate for Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire last year.
"Trans rights are human rights" is a strange phrase, because trans people have the same human rights as you or I. Its meaning is beside the point, however. The phrase is meant only to establish the virtue of the person saying it, and frame the person being addressed as someone who doesn't agree with the statement.
Of course, trans people have human rights, again, the same as yours or mine. What is being asked for are additional rights. Sadly, those rights must come from somewhere.
Trans rights are human rights, but why are they also women's rights?
5. Cheat still somehow getting away with it.
The cheat Rachel McKinnon has won the female 35-39 sprint category at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships for the second time. McKinnon also set a new world best time in the qualifying round and took a silver medal in the 500m race earlier in the week.
Dr Ross Tucker has a PhD in Exercise Physiology and is a science and research consultant for World Rugby. In his recent article about transwomen competing in female sport, he concluded that even after the lowering of testosterone levels, it seems highly likely that transwomen retain performance advantages.
Sweden's Karolinska Institute has published findings that the suppression of testosterone is actually negligible in the reduction of muscle strength in transgender women and that their physical advantages are maintained even post-transition.
But none of this research is really necessary. One of the big taboos around this subject is the publishing of photos of transwomen in sport. It has become taboo precisely because it is powerful proof of what everyone knows to be true, yet somehow can no longer say: that men have physical, societal advantages over women, and women suffer when this difference is ignored.
Hilariously, when one competitor refused to play along with McKinnon's routine, McKinnon accused her of bad sportsmanship.