Thanks, as ever, to JL, who can't sign her name to this in case she's targeted by someone like Andrea James (see final story).
A group of lesbians attended Edinburgh Pride, determined to define, protect and celebrate their sexuality. They carried banners and wore t-shirts declaring their same-sex attraction. Twitter user @Jackie2009 wrote a thread about her experience.
The women gathered at the rallying point outside the Scottish Parliament where Scottish Green Party co-leader, Patrick Harvey, made a speech in which he condemned the decision of the Scottish government not to hasten through self-ID legislation as “transphobic hatred and bigotry”.
According to Jackie, “this whipped the crowd up onto a bit of a frenzy… Whilst the ‘theme’ of this year's Pride is ‘Be Yourself’ the main focus (as it's been for several years) isn't about the right to love and express that love without prejudice, it is about 'trans rights' front and centre”.
She went on, “I can't remember the last time lesbians were ever front and centre in *anything* LGBTQI+++ related...can you? So the need for Lesbians taking space IN PRIDE is pressing. For we *are* being erased”.
Following the hashtag #EdinburghPride on Twitter the truth of @Jackie2009’s comments became abundantly clear. There were few lesbians in evidence but there was plenty of this:
Last week we included a story from The Sunday Times about British academics voicing their concern over Stonewall and its influence to suppress debate within higher education. According to a letter to the paper signed by over 30 academics, the training provided by Stonewall in UK universities is creating an intimidating atmosphere on campus and posing a threat to academic freedom, specifically with regard to transgender ideology.
Academics talk of having to undergo trans awareness training which makes wholly untrue and unscientific assertions, they are encouraged to ask students for their preferred pronouns, they are instructed to no-platform gender critical speakers and, perhaps most worryingly, they are expected to provide (potentially dangerous) breast binders for students who are ‘changing gender’.
Selina Todd, professor of modern history at Oxford, told the paper, “[This] is really pushing an agenda which is dogmatic and completely overruling freedom of speech...I am very scared that academics will start to lose their jobs. I feel uncomfortable. I’ve told my employer that I feel vulnerable and I’ve had students say they feel intimidated by what’s going on at this campus.”
We didn’t have to wait long for the backlash and for Professor Todd to be proved correct.
A mere week after the paper published the initial letter, The Sunday Times ran a story about one of its signatories being threatened with losing her job. Sarah Honeychurch, a fellow in the Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow University, is in danger of being sacked unless she recants.
She is the editor of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy and has received an email from managing editor, Chris Friend, which states, “Unless I have misunderstood the intentions of the letter or the convictions of your signature, I must ask that you resign your position as editor for HPJ”.
Sarah Honeychurch is also worried that her contract at Glasgow University may not be renewed. But she refuses to retract. “I’m not going to recant,'' she told The Sunday Times. “I signed that letter after hard thought because people get so much abuse simply for wanting discussion.”
Another signatory to the Sunday Times letter, Michele Moore, also faced threats to her job. She is honorary professor at Essex University and has edited the journal Disability & Society for many years.
She has urged caution with regard to the medicalisation of gender non-conforming children and warned that autistic children may be irrevocably harmed if they are wrongly encouraged to question their gender and end up on an irreversible pathway of hormones and surgery. Professor Moore became the subject of a witch-hunt and faced calls to resign. An online petition describing her as a ‘transphobe’ insisted that she step down.
And, of course, Twitter did its thing.
Professor Moore told The Sunday Times, “Somebody has to say we will talk about the potential harm of transgenderism of children, as many with autism or other social learning problems are being caught up in this.”
Notwithstanding that at least two of their academic colleagues are threatened with losing their jobs and facing a barrage of abuse online, a number of academic staff signed a letter to The Sunday Times asserting that there is absolutely no attempt to stifle gender critical views in academia.
Dr Caroline Dodds Penock, a senior lecturer in International History at the University of Sheffield, was one of the architects of this ‘counter letter’ about which she wrote in The Independent. However, serious questions about whether all the signatories of this letter properly understood the context of what they were signing were raised when it turned out that Dr Pennock herself did not understand the context of what she was signing.
Last week we mentioned Murray, the Scottish pupil who appeared to have been thrown out of his class for stating that “There are only two genders”. He secretly filmed the reprimand he received from his teacher who told him that saying there are only males and females is not “inclusive” and in contravention of school policy.
The Evening Standard followed up on this story by reporting that Murray now appears to have been suspended from school.
One of the boy’s friends told the paper that he took the action “because he wanted to show what was going on in schools today for simply stating there are only two genders… He believes telling kids that boys are girls and girls are boys is a very dangerous thing and wanted to get his views across.”
Trans activist, Phaylen Fairchild, discovered that Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, is following a lesbian radical feminist, Magdalen Burns, on Twitter and immediately wrote a blog condemning her as a ‘TERF’.
Witchfinder Twitter promptly went into meltdown.
Magdalen Burns is a young lesbian who dares to challenge the rhetoric of gender identity politics. She is uncompromising in her fight for lesbian rights and her refusal to deny the reality of biological sex.
This isn’t the first time JK Rowling has fallen foul of trans activists; she has received accusations of bigotry and abuse in the past for ‘liking’ gender critical tweets. As Fairchild points out in the Medium piece, JK Rowling once appeared to endorse an article suggesting that violent rapists shouldn’t be housed in women’s prisons.
(Sidenote: Magdalen's Patreon is here if you feel like sending her some support.)
Transgender Trend brought Twitter’s attention to a Gendered Intelligence GoFundMe page. It seems that Gendered Intelligence are raising funds for a trans youth overnight residential to Trans Pride Brighton. A ‘youth’ residential, that is, which involves an age range of 8 - 30.
When other Twitter users began questioning the safeguarding issues, given the broad age range of participants, the wording of the petition was hastily changed to suggest that attendees would be aged between 14 and 21.
The altered details suddenly read:
The Science Museum held an event as part of its “Lates” series entitled “The Un-Whitewashed Herstory of Pride”. The advertisement on its website indicated that attendees could learn more about two of the major contributors to the original Stonewall riot. However the two people mentioned, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, seem at odds both with the word “herstory” and with historical accuracy.
Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were gay male drag queens (though recently it has become politically expedient to re-classify them as transwomen) and, by his own admission, Johnson arrived at the Stonewall Inn that fateful night only after the riot had begun.
The real heroine of the Stonewall riot was a black butch lesbian called Storme DeLevarie. She incited the riot when, assaulted by the police, she fought back and spurred the crowd into action. Sadly, The Science Museum appears to have whitewashed Storme out of their particular version of ‘Herstory’.
The Morning Star ran an interview with social justice and environmental campaigner, Helen Steel. In it she describes the violence and intimidation she has experienced from those on the left wing of politics for expressing her views about sex and gender.
In the interview, Helen discusses the ferocity of the debate around transgender ideology. “There is such disparity between the image portrayed of trans people as the most vulnerable minority in society and the fact that the trans advocacy movement wields such massive power and influence…. In a relatively short space of time the trans lobby has managed to get governments and organisations around the world to change laws and policies to the detriment of women’s rights without women being consulted.”
The word “Orwellian” is often applied to aspects of transgender activism. On Friday Julie Bindel drew our attention to a project for which it is the only apt description.
Transgender activist, Andrea James, has started a Kickstarter funding page in order to create something described as “An interactive data visualization of the platforms and people creating biased content about gender identity and expression”.
James describes the aim of the project in more detail on the Kickstarter site.
Apparently, this interactive source of data will list not only all those guilty of wrongthink, but also their friends, employers, employees, colleagues and collaborators and make the information readily available in an easy to use format.
Andrea James will be familiar to those who have read Alice Dreger's book on scientific harassment Galileo's Middle Finger as the activist who targeted Michael Bailey, author of the book 'The Man Who Would Be Queen".
Dreger wrote: "Ms. James was one of many transgender women who were deeply offended by Michael Bailey’s 2003 book, The Man Who Would Be Queen. But Ms. James was notable for the way she decided to go after Bailey’s children to extract revenge. She posted on the internet photographs of Bailey’s daughter and labeled her a “cock-starved exhibitionist.” James also claimed in her online publications that there “are two types of children in the Bailey household,” namely “those who have been sodomized by their father [and] those who have not.”
Dreger continues: Universally the people who wrote to me about Ms. James asked me not to use their names publicly. This demonstrates, I am sorry to report, that Ms. James’s methods of intimidation are effective. Indeed, she has effectively censored people to the point of causing them to engage in self-censorship. After my experience with her, I understand their choice; nevertheless, I find this depressing and frustrating because I think it sets back both transgender rights and sex research. Mostly I am disappointed that so many people—whether they be transgender people, sex researchers, or both—do not think it is safe to speak publicly about who they really are and what they really think."