With thanks as always to my collaborator, JL, who has to remain anonymous in case trans rights activists try to destroy her life
In an interview with US radio station NPR, award-winning writer and actor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge discussed her childhood and the desperate desire she had felt to be a boy. As a child, she called herself Alex and, at one point, even shaved her head, as well as eschewing all of the usual toys and pastimes stereotypically associated with girlhood. She commented that, had she been offered the choice, she may well have “jumped at the chance” to be a transgender boy.
Twitter then provided a helpful demonstration of what awaits anyone who doesn’t follow the ideological line on gender matters.
Controversial children’s charity, Mermaids Gender, responded on Twitter by using an image of Waller-Bridge juxtaposed with the words of a trans teenager for reasons known only to themselves.
Scottish National Party Students posted a video on various social media forums of one of its members discussing the European elections. The man, sporting a Stonewall “trans women are women” t-shirt and the beginnings of a beard, was described as the ‘Women’s Group Leader of the SNP Student Committee’.
A number of social media users questioned why a bearded male was in a women’s post. The enquiries did not receive a response but the tweet was deleted from Twitter altogether whilst the Facebook version was edited to read “One of our Group Leaders” instead of “Women’s Group Leader”.
The Guardian published an article about transwomen wishing to ‘feminise’ their voices through vocal therapy. “Achieving a higher voice can be essential to embracing a female identity,” wrote author, Serena Daniari, before discussing the treatment undertaken by transwoman, Lillian Primrose, to attain higher and, presumably, more ‘womanly’ tones of voice. Being trans herself, Daniari also describes her own transition and her frequent desire to, “Change every aspect of my identity in order to live up to what society expects women to be: submissive, subdued, sensual and feminine .”
The BBC reported on a former soldier who had been found guilty of possessing indecent images of children . Described as “odious” by the judge in the case, the images portrayed child rape. This is the 36-year old’s second time in court, having received a suspended sentence for similar offences in 2016.
The article describes Ella Davies (formerly known as Daniel Reeves) as a “transgender woman” and refers throughout to “She” and “Her”. Nevertheless, the photograph accompanying the article clearly shows a man with several days of beard growth. Davies will begin his sentence in an all-male prison until “Officers decide whether to house her/[sic]/in a male or female jail”.
The Metro ran the story of a 32-year-old transgender man who had presented at a hospital suffering from severe abdominal pains . Apparently, the patient did identify himself as transgender on arrival and his medical records listed him as “male”. Presented with a man who was having issues with his blood pressure medication, the nurse did not consider that the patient’s symptoms might be related to pregnancy.
The misdiagnosis resulted in a stillbirth.
Extraordinarily, while writing about the case in/The New England Journal of Medicine/, Dr Daphna Stroumsa of The University of Michigan said of the patient, “ He was rightly classified as a man . But that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs”.
The City of London Corporation adopted a policy of allowing anyone who ‘self-identifies as a woman’ to enter female-only spaces and facilities , including the famous Hampstead Heath women-only pond, a bathing area that has been a female-only haven since 1926.
According to the description on its own website, The City of London Corporation is the governing body of The Square Mile, responsible for the provision of services for residents and businesses. According to George Monbiot writing inThe Guardian , it is “The dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable”.
Last year it launched a consultation with regard to “gender identity”, focusing on facilities such as Hampstead Heath Ponds, the bathrooms and changing areas of sports centres and public buildings, and who should get to use these single-sex facilities. The survey that had been circulated seems to have been instigated by Edward Lord, the chair of the City’s Establishment Committee, leading on workforce and inclusion policy, and a member of the powerful Policy & Resources Committee. Lord, who describes themself as ‘non-binary’, uses they / them pronouns and is a member of male-only organisation, The Freemasons .
Edward Lord(s?) has a history of involving themselves in matters of inclusivity and equality. Last year they wrote about the “Hateful TERFs” at London Pride, commenting that the protest by lesbians during the LGBTQ parade was “ Man-hating, trans-hating bigoted bunkum”.
He also appears to subscribe to at least one ‘Terf blocker’, an automated block list which ensures he won’t be subjected to the opinions of 30,000+ women who disagree with him.
The results of the City of London Corporation’s survey have now been published and the policy of allowing people to use whichever facility suits their ‘gender identity’ has been adopted.
However, it then emerged that almost half of the responses have been disregarded. The City received nearly 40,000 responses to the survey but claimed that only around 21,000 were deemed valid. These methods have been criticised by leading social scientist, Professor Alice Sullivan of University College London.
“ That is a large number to dismiss, “ she said, “and it is not how competent statistical analysis is done. There are other facilities on the Heath apart from the ponds that are affected by this policy. There are, for example, a lot of young girls who use the changing facilities at the running track. Are we really saying anyone who claims they identify as a woman, or as non-binary, should be able to walk in there?”
There are already a number of challenges underway. Freedom of Information requests as to the methodology have been submitted and a group of Orthodox Jewish women have objected on the grounds it discriminates against their beliefs.
Senior/Buzzfeed/reporter Ryan Broderick criticised a/New Statesman/article written by journalist Helen Lewis. The article reported on a feminist event in central London on Monday 20th May which Lewis had attended. Featuring speakers such as veteran women’s rights campaigner, Julie Bindel, and feminist activist, Meghan Murphy, the subjects discussed at the meeting surrounded the protection of women’s sex-based rights and spaces. Claiming that the New Statesman “Went full TERF”, Broderick describes Lewis’ report of the meeting as “One of the most bad faith hateful pieces of writing I’ve read in a while”.
In response to the replies he received to this tweet, Broderick described the women disagreeing with his perspective as “radicalised mumsnet users”.
Emma Garland, the Associate Editor of/Vice UK/used her Twitter account to support Ryan Broderick’s comments on Helen Lewis’/New Statesman/article. She posted screenshots of the article and of the replies to Broderick from journalists, Victoria Peckham and Hadley Freeman, together with a picture of a milkshake on a pavement. The implication being that a collection of left-wing feminists were somehow on a moral par with nationalists on the Far Right.
An article in/The Lancashire Telegraph/reported on a man who had filmed 22 women and girls , one as young as 15, in the changing rooms at Darwen Leisure Centre. Police told Blackburn Magistrates that they had inspected the mobile phone of 30-year-old William David Smith and discovered the ‘under the cubicle footage’ he’d taken. He pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism.
The changing area at Darwen Leisure Centre is described as “mixed”.
An extraordinary job advert for a ‘Highly Specialist Clinical or Counselling Psychologist’ appears in the British Psychological Society’s official paper, The Psychologist .
The advert shows how far down the rabbit hole the troubled Tavistock Centre has fallen. With whistleblowers talking of homophobic parents ‘transing’ their children because of their alarm at gender non-conforming behaviour, and ex-employees talking of nightmares as a result of working there, little in the advertisement offers hope that the culture at the centre has changed.
It begins pleasantly enough. “The field of gender diversity is a very exciting field to work in largely because of its heterogeneity — it involves psychology naturally, but also endocrinology, surgery, law, community engagement, and is helped by a reasonable working knowledge of sociology, history, and politics. These things are combined into endlessly interesting and rewarding work which has the possibility of genuinely affecting people’s lives for the better.”
But presently it takes on, shall we say, something of an edge?
“Consequently, we are looking for people with an interest in the field and an open mind. The details of Gender Diversity can be learned, but an open and inquiring mind cannot. Bigots and exploitative theoreticians need not apply!”
This is ajob advert.What on earth does ‘bigots’ mean in this context? Does it mean people who don’t agree with the practice of early affirmation?
From another Times exposé :
“So many potentially gay children were being sent down the pathway to change gender, two of the clinicians said there was a dark joke among staff that “there would be no gay people left”.
“It feels like conversion therapy for gay children,” one male clinician said. “I frequently had cases where people started identifying as trans after months of horrendous bullying for being gay,” he told The Times.
“Young lesbians considered at the bottom of the heap suddenly found they were really popular when they said they were trans.”
Another female clinician said: “We heard a lot of homophobia which we felt nobody was challenging. A lot of the girls would come in and say, ‘I’m not a lesbian. I fell in love with my best girl friend but then I went online and realised I’m not a lesbian, I’m a boy. Phew.’”
Judging by this bizarre advert, we haven’t heard the last of stories like these.
(first published May 25)