Saturday 28th September - Refs Give Women's Rugby The Red Card
The Times published a story about the referees abandoning women's amateur rugby over fears that the inclusion of transwomen will lead to serious injuries.
England Rugby's rules require transgender women to take a blood test demonstrating that their testosterone has remained below a certain level for 12 months prior to playing on a women's team. However, referees say that they are being directed to take a player's word that this test has been carried out rather than check that the RFU has genuinely cleared them to play.
(It is worth mentioning that 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.)
Under rugby laws, referees are responsible for ensuring players' safety and are required to remove from the pitch any player they feel may endanger others. They could risk legal action if female players sustain injury as a result of competing with males. Yet referees say that they are warned not to challenge players who are clearly male but competing on women's teams, not even if they have a beard.
Dr Nicola Williams of feminist campaign group, Fair Play for Women, said that the RFU “Have been put under tremendous pressure by well funded and powerful trans lobby groups telling them it is inclusion at any cost".
Sunday 29th September - Patients Coached By Trans Lobby Groups
The Irish Independent published an article about transgender lobby groups coaching gender patients to fast-track them into medical treatment.
Ireland's leading endocrinologist, Professor Donal O'Shea, believes that patients are being coached by transgender advocacy groups on how to evade proper psychological evaluation and gain swift access to hormone treatment and surgery.
Professor O'Shea said that a number of patients have told him they were coached on the 'right' answers to give when questioned by psychologists and psychiatrists prior to embarking on transition.
He also expressed concern that vulnerable patients, those with learning difficulties or on the autism spectrum, are also being instructed on how to bypass proper assessment.
Furthermore, patients who regret embarking on medical treatment are being silenced by the very groups rushing them into it. Professor O'Shea told the paper:
"I have been told by patients who have had hormone treatment, who have had surgery, who are now unhappy with their decision, that they have been instructed by patient advocates not to report this because it would be bad for the wider community."
Also Today - Stonewall's Media Director Ignorant of Equality Law
Kathleen Stock and Karen Ingala Smith drew our attention to Stonewall's Head of Media, Jeffrey Ingold, demonstrating a breathtaking ignorance of the Equality Act 2010.
Monday 30th September - NHS Puts Patients At Risk
Journalist, Cath Leng, alerted us to a very alarming NHS document regarding the provision of single sex wards.
Only several months ago Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, promised that the government would review NHS rules which allow males to be placed on women’s wards. However, an NHS document called "Delivering same sex accommodation" which was produced in September describes a policy which will facilitate the very issue supposedly under review.
The NHS allocates accommodation based on a patient's gender identity rather than their biological sex. Having "different genital or breast sex appearance" is, apparently, no bar to a patient being accommodated on a single sex ward.
Furthermore, "If, on admission, it is impossible to ask the view of the person because he or she is unconscious or incapacitated then, in the first instance, inferences should be drawn from presentation and mode of dress."
In 2014 The Guardian reported on a huge increase in sexual violence on NHS hospital wards. The newspaper discovered there had been a 50% rise in sexual assaults in hospitals in the three years since 2011, including a total of at least 157 rape allegations. And only last year NHS watchdogs launched a national review of sexual abuse in hospitals amid fears for the safety of patients on mixed sex wards.
But now the NHS seems to be deciding where to accommodate patients based on their haircut and wardrobe rather than their sex.
Perhaps most astonishingly, these NHS guidelines state that "In some instances, parents or those with parental responsibility may have a view that is not consistent with the child’s view. If possible, the child’s preference should prevail even if the child is not Gillick competent". The wishes of minors, even those who do not meet required competency criteria, overrule the instructions of parents and guardians? What could possibly go wrong?
Tuesday 1st October - Pink News Up To Its Usual Tricks
Pink News published an article about the WPUK meeting in Brighton last week which totally misrepresents both the event and the organisation itself.
We're not linking to the Pink News article but here is WPUK's statement in response, highlighting all of the inaccuracies.
Wednesday 2nd October - New Loos At The Old Vic
The Old Vic theatre proudly announced on social media that, as part of a huge nine month building refurbishment, it has scrapped its female-only toilets.
Some toilets now have cubicles and urinals, some just have cubicles and there is one "specifically designed gender neutral loo" (your guess is as good as ours). Theatre patrons can now use whichever toilet they like "Rather than responding to a label".
But it wasn't too long ago that The Old Vic was fund-raising specifically to increase its number of women's toilets.
Indeed, it pledged to "Double the number of ladies' loos".
There was even a jolly YouTube video full of celebrities promising an increase in female toilets.
What the fundraising campaign totally failed to mention to potential benefactors is that these new so-called "women's toilets" were actually going to be shared with men.
Thursday 3rd October - Girls' Rights Ignored By EHRC Guidelines
The Economist reported on the leaked Equalities & Human Rights Commission guidelines for schools in England and Wales re the inclusion of transgender pupils.
These guidelines mean that a male child who identifies as a girl will be allowed to use girls’ toilets and changing rooms, could be admitted to an all-girls school and, on school trips, may be accommodated in a bedroom with female pupils.
"If a girl feels uncomfortable that a male child who identifies as a girl is using the girls’ changing room, the new guidance says that the girl who feels awkward, not the trans child, should go and change elsewhere."
Dr Nicola Williams of feminist campaign group, Fair Play For Women, told the paper that the EHRC is not giving equal weight to the rights of girls. “It must be made explicit that sex and gender identity are different. It is especially important for girls to be able to recognise and name the male sex, otherwise the right to assert their boundaries is taken away.”
Tanya Carter of the Safe Schools Alliance told The Economist, “There are horrendous safeguarding issues around these guidelines”. She also expressed concern over the EHRC's procedure in that it does not appear to have consulted any women's groups in drawing up its guidelines. “They only seem to be listening to the trans lobby groups."
Also Today - Violent Threats From The "Right Side Of History"
Twitter user @RadFemRebeccaE posted a very revealing thread demonstrating the violent threats and aggression faced by women daring to stand up for their sex-based rights.
Friday 4th October - British Medical Journal Reports On Flawed Puberty Blockers Study
Thanks to Twitter user @ripx4nutmeg who brought to our attention the latest edition of The British Medical Journal. Its front-page story focuses on the flawed clinical study which led, in part, to the lowering of the age at which children can be prescribed of puberty blockers.
The NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) provides treatment for children and young people with gender dysphoria. In 2010, together with University College London’s Institute of Child Health, GIDS embarked on research into offering puberty blockers to children in early puberty. (At this time such medication was not available to minors under sixteen years old but the NHS changed its policy soon after and now puberty blockers can be prescribed to children as young as eleven.)
Concerns have already emerged regarding this research. In the BMJ article, authors, Deborah Cohen and Hannah Barnes, reveal further anxieties about the researchers' methods and practices and the NHS decision to lower the minimum age at which puberty blockers can be prescribed.
They highlight a number of areas of concern but perhaps most worrying are the following:
1] Researchers downplayed interim findings indicating that puberty blockers can cause increased suicide ideation and self-harm.
2] Researchers misrepresented data from other similar studies on the potentially harmful effects of puberty blockers on bone density.
3] The study ignored previous research suggesting that puberty blockers put children on a path to full medical / surgical transition.
4] The researchers may have breached rules when seeking ethical approval for the study, they did not provide the Health Research Authority with any of the required annual progress reports and the full results of the research have never been published.
5] Oxford University sociologist, Michael Biggs, used freedom of information requests to obtain certain documentation relating to the study. He alleges that GIDS has suppressed its “negative” data.
Saturday 5th October - Listen To The Detransitioners
Sky News ran a story about the growing number of young trans people who are detransitioning and reversing their medical treatment.
Children and young people are identifying as trans in unprecedented high numbers. However, little is known or written about the detransitioners, those who change their mind and come to regret their previous choices.
Sky News spoke to Charlie Evans, a young lesbian woman of 28 who believed herself to be trans and identified as a man for almost a decade. She detransitioned last year and has spoken publicly about her decision and experiences. Since then, Charlie has been contacted by hundreds of young people who regret their decision to transition.
"I'm in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn't, and their dysphoria hasn't been relieved, they don't feel better for it."
Charlie is now launching a charity called The Detransition Advocacy Network to help young people who find themselves in this position.
Sunday 6th October - Are Mermaids Targeting Kids With YouTube Ads?
Twitter user @genderisharmful posted a screenshot which suggests that controversial charity, Mermaids, is targeting children with advertising on YouTube.
There was also a Mumsnet thread on the same subject.
This tweet from Mermaids themselves certainly indicates that they are inserting promotional material into media watched by adolescents on YouTube.
Monday 7th October - Old Vic Toilet Tantrum
Last week The Old Vic theatre sparked controversy by announcing on social media that, despite operating a year-long fundraising campaign promising more women's toilets, its loos are now entirely 'gender neutral'.
Theatrical newspaper, The Stage, commissioned journalist, Sarah Ditum, to write a feature on the subject of the Old Vic toilets. It was pulled only days later when The Stage received 'strong responses' to its coverage.
The Stage itself then became the subject of headlines amid allegations of cowardice and caving in to online bullies. Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, echoed the view of many social media commentators.
A few days later Ben Ghoul-vichit, a freelance writer for The Stage, posted an 'open letter' (a Google doc with less than two dozen signatures) to the publication on social media. This letter expressed how 'angered and disappointed' Ben was that The Stage had commissioned a woman to give her opinion on the loss of a women's space. Go you, Ben.
Also Today - Girls Skipping School Over Gender Neutral Toilets
The Mirror ran a story about girls missing school or risking health problems because they are scared to use 'gender neutral' toilets.
Increasing numbers of schools are introducing 'gender neutral' (ie mixed sex) toilets to accommodate transgender pupils. Consequently, according to both parents and teachers, schoolgirls are missing school due to a fear of having to share toilets with males. In particular, they are frightened of being ridiculed when menstruating.
Furthermore, doctors have reported that girls are risking urinary infections or dehydration due to a horror of sharing toilets with boys. They are either not drinking any liquids at all whilst at school or refusing to use the toilet, both of which can cause serious health issues.
Tuesday 8th October - Gender Critical Academics Facing Death Threats
The Telegraph ran an article about the gender critical academics who face harassment, no-platforming and even death threats for expressing their views.
Professor Rosa Freedman is a human rights lawyer and an academic at Reading University. Over the past year she has expressed her views regarding proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act and their potential effect on women's sex based rights and changes. As a result she has suffered intimidation and harassment and numerous attempts to get her sacked from her job. She has been the subject of threats so violent that Reading University have provided her with a panic alarm and CCTV security at her office.
Professor Kathleen Stock is an expert in analytic philosophy at Sussex University. She has also challenged gender identity ideology and its erosion of women's rights and spaces. As a consequence she has faced online abuse, a no-platforming campaign and attempts to get her sacked.
Of particular concern for academics who speak out about gender identity ideology is the way students try to have them ousted from their positions by making formal complaints to their university. Professor Michael Biggs, a sociologist from Oxford University, is part of a network of academics concerned about gender identity ideology. He told the paper that most of those involved have faced disciplinary procedures as a result of student allegations. Whilst the complaints are not usually successful, the process is stressful and time-consuming.
Also Today - Academic Robbed of Status Over Gender Critical Views
Dr Louise Moody wrote about being removed from her role at the University of York following comments she made on social media.
Until recently Dr Louise Moody was a Research Associate at the University of York. Earlier this year she made comments on social media about aggressive trans rights activist, Rachel McKinnon, correctly describing McKinnon's sex. Consequently, two self-appointed "Prominent members of the LGBT community" (ie Dr Doxx and a litigious golfing enthusiast) made a complaint about her to the university.
Dr Moody then received numerous emails from the university's Head of Philosophy who deemed her to be in breach of the employee's social media policy (though he did not explain how this could be since Dr Moody was a Research Associate and not, therefore, a university employee). Despite it being the summer vacation, he also demanded an immediate response from and meeting with Dr Moody.
When Dr Moody failed to bow to this pressure and stood her ground over needing time to take legal advice and prepare a response, this Head of Philosophy then abolished all Research Associate roles without giving a reason.
Wednesday 9th October - Swedish TV Challenges Early Affirmation / Transition Model
Twitter user and linguist, Leonora Christina, helpfully translated the second part of a Swedish TV documentary called “The Trans Train” for us. The programme looks at the rising numbers of children and adolescents wanting to transition and challenges the model of early affirmation and medical treatment.
A subtitled version of the first part of this documentary is now available and well worth watching ahead of reading Leonora's excellent translation of part two.
Thursday 10th October - Outcome of US Legal Case Could be Devastating For Women's Rights
Feminist commentator, Jo Bart, wrote about a legal case in the USA which could have far-reaching implications for women's rights.
Aimee Stephens is a male who 'identifies as a woman'. He was a funeral director in a public-facing job at a family-run funeral home in Detroit. He requested permission to wear a skirt at work. His employer refused and Stephens lost his job, apparently for being in breach of the company's dress policy. Stephens approached the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which successfully sued the funeral home for sex discrimination. The case is now before the Supreme Court.
Basing the case on 'sex discrimination' means that in effect the court is ruling on whether a biological man must be recognised as a woman if he 'identifies' as one. It could change the definition of sex from a verifiable biological fact to a matter of self-declaration based on wholly subjective feelings. And if people are are forbidden from recognising women as a sex class, how are women's sex based rights to be upheld?
As Jo Bart explains, the outcome of the case will have huge implications:
The idea that women can have penises is absurd. The notion that believing this could be enshrined in law is gravely concerning and would be laughable if it wasn’t happening in the most powerful nation in the world.
Friday 11th October - Just Who Is Making Who Feel Unsafe On Campus?
The University of Melbourne hosted a talk called "Preserving the excised genitals of transgender patients and other moral conundrums in psychiatry and medicine". The speaker was Nicole A Vincent, a professor from Delft University whose research focuses on how theories of responsibility inform ethical, political and legal debate.
Trans activists responded to this academic discussion in their usual measured way.
Also Today - I Can't Believe They're Not Better
The owners of Flora margarine, Upfield Global, have ended the brand's partnership with Mumsnet.
This is because Twitter user, @mimmymum (Helen Islan, the former marketing officer of controversial charity, Mermaids), made allegations that online forum Mumsnet platforms 'nasty trans-hostile posts' and urged her followers to flood the company and its owner with complaints.
Islan's initial tweet was made at 00.29 on 10th October and @UpfieldGlobal responded to say they'd pulled the plug on Flora's partnership with Mumsnet at 14.08 on 11th October. One wonders just how much Upfield can have 'investigated' in less than 38 hours. One thing they certainly missed was that Islan tried to get a trans person charged for transphobia, a case that was thrown out after one day.