(Throughout this post, for the purposes of brevity, I will be replacing the phrase "not making this up" with 'NMTU')
Ok, sometimes I like to try to join the dots for people because I feel my friendship with so many figures on the gender critical side of the current discussion around women's rights--specifically, the questions of how much they have and whether some of them should be taken away--gives me a privileged overview of the situation that is perhaps useful to people who know what to do with it.
My Twitter feed is very odd. At the moment it’s unevenly divided between smart gender-critical women like Kathleen Stock and Jane Clare Jones, and celebrity friends who are desperately hoping that I don’t bring the subject up with their Twitter username attached.
Every day, because of my interest in this discussion and my outrage at the way women trying to enter it have been treated, I receive in my replies about three or four insane stories about where this ideology is leading us. I'm not a newsroom, so I don't have the resources to check on a story like Jean Hatchet's latest. But if it's true, it's a huge scoop.
It can become exhausting.
But one of the benefits of the situation is that I have this, as I say, overview. And so I’m hoping that someone who knows and trusts me can get this message in front of Emily Maitlis, who has been the only broadcast journalist handling this issue with the gravity it deserves.
As I said to Emily today on Twitter (although I don’t know whether she reads her replies) she may never get to host important figures in this discussion like Jane Clare Jones, or Miranda Yardley, if Newsnight continues to use the he said/she said format, because trans activists will never allow their ideas to be challenged by someone who knows what they’re talking about.
By not showing up to these discussions, they are gaming the current news ecology to escape scrutiny.
So please, Emily, do get Jane Clare Jones on to discuss these complicated, fraught matters with or without a guest. By all means, ask a proponent of gender ideology to come on and challenge her analysis of the issue, but if they don't turn up, empty chair them.
Ruth Hunt might be the one to ask. Because this confusion, this incoherence, is the mess she left behind at Stonewall and she should be able to defend her positions against an opponent who knows the territory. Jane Clare Jones not only knows the territory but explains it in very clear terms, which is why I don’t think Hunt would dare agree to this proposal.
Please spend some time with this story from respected legal blog Roll On Friday. It concerns Dentons, a top legal firm, and the advice it was giving out to trans rights activists who were campaigning for the right of children (NMTU) to change their legal gender without the involvement of medical professionals or parents. Not only that, says Dentons, (NMTU) but the state should take “action” against parents who attempt to intervene.
James Kirkup from the Spectator picked up on the story.
"...here’s another tip from the document: ‘Tie your campaign to more popular reform.’ For example: ‘In Ireland, Denmark and Norway, changes to the law on legal gender recognition were put through at the same time as other more popular reforms such as marriage equality legislation. This provided a/veil of protection , particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for.
I will never forget attending a Repeal The Eighth protest in Dublin and hearing someone yell through a loudspeaker about the urgent need for not only abortions to be funded by the state, but also transition surgeries. I frowned at my wife and said "What the hell do transition surgeries have to do with abortion rights?"
Now I know.
Another recommendation is even more revealing: ‘Avoid excessive press coverage and exposure.’
According to the report, the countries that have moved most quickly to advance trans rights and remove parental consent have been those where the groups lobbying for those changes have succeeded in stopping the wider public learning about their proposals. Conversely, in places like Britain, the more ‘exposure’ this agenda has had, the less successful the lobbying has been.
He quotes from from the document:
Another technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure.
In certain countries, like the UK, information on legal gender recognition reforms has been misinterpreted in the mainstream media, and opposition has arisen as a result. ….Against this background, many believe that public campaigning has been detrimental to progress, as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise.
In Ireland, activists have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum in order to avoid this issue.
Stonewall put this principle in simpler terms: NO DEBATE.
This is something so radical that it has to advance in the darkness: a night assault on women’s privacy, dignity and safety. The destruction of women's sports is just the most visible aspect of the humiliating lesson that must be administered to women worldwide, which is why there is such a prohibitive taboo around sharing photos of (NMTU) hulking men in their forties playing basketball on a team of college girls.
And the cherry on this awful cake, a dismantling of safeguarding principles that should be unimaginable after the lessons of Rotheram and Saville. Which reminds me, do you know who got Miranda Yardley kicked off Twitter?
There is no grand plan to all of this or a mastermind behind it. This is capitalism gone a bit mad combined with humanity not being ready for the internet and who knows how many other things. Unfortunately there are also many well-meaning people who have convinced themselves, or have been convinced, that by harassing women attending a feminist meeting, they are defending a vulnerable minority.
But even they are not the real problem. It’s those who have the most to lose from exposure—the grifters, the incels and the misogynists—who maintain this debate’s high temperature, and encourage those well-meaning people to do terrible things. Internet outrage has been weaponised, keeping the costs for entering this conversation extremely high.
It needs dragging into the light. Please continue to investigate this issue, but don’t let them use your format against you. This is a very important discussion and it's not taking place, and that is by design. Thank you for listening.
Also: big fan!