Saturday 16th November - Sexuality Is Transphobic
Andrew Sullivan wrote about "The Intersectional Left's Political Endgame" in New York Magazine.
In the article Sullivan describes how biological sex, once universally recognised and defined by chromosomes and sexual reproductive organs, is being merged into "gender identity", an indeterminate and ethereal state based on little more than cultural stereotypes and wholly subjective feelings.
This, he points out, is having a huge impact on those who are same-sex attracted. Lesbians eschewing penis and gay men rejecting vaginas are increasingly judged to be transphobic and bigoted. Their sexuality is now deemed a 'genital preference' and that 'preference' is being vilified and attacked.
"Suddenly we’re not just being told homosexuality is “problematic” by the religious right, we’re being told it by the woke left. That’s the price of merging gender with sex. It’s time the rest of us woke up and defended our homosexuality."
Also Today - Meet the Detransitioners
Joani Walsh wrote in The Telegraph about the growing number of women who are abandoning their previous transgender identities.
Charlie Evans was convinced she was in the wrong body in childhood and identified as male, changing her name and pronouns, from her teens. Earlier this year, after embarking on therapy, Charlie came to realise that her feelings of dysphoria stemmed from a period of trauma in her childhood which made her despise her female body. She no longer identifies as a man.
After speaking publicly about her experience, Charlie was contacted by hundreds of other young women who've been through very similar ordeals. In most cases, there were other factors - childhood trauma, mental health issues, autism, eating disorders, sexual abuse - which may have given rise to their gender dysphoria. Many of these detransitioners are lesbians and had possibly absorbed and internalised the homophobia they experienced.
A number of the women had embarked on hormone treatment and some, even those as young as 19 or 20, had undergone surgery. Decisions they now regret. Charlie Evans explains that she and women like her are encouraged to believe that medical treatment will solve their problems. But she has met women who've fully transitioned and says, "Their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved. They don’t feel better for it”.
Joani Walsh makes the point that there is no support for, research into or data on people who've changed their minds about gender reassignment. Worse still, it seems that research into detransition is actively prevented. Psychotherapist, James Caspian, wanted to research the reversal of gender reassignment treatment when studying for an MA at Bath Spa University. He believes that his proposal was rejected because the university feared the backlash from trans activists.
Charlie herself has been attacked and insulted for speaking out about her experiences. In this example, journalist, James Fell, tells her to "Fuck off TERF".
She was also insulted and harassed by trans activist, Joss Prior.
And, of course, self-appointed Twitter Witchfinder General, Adrian Harrop, just had to get involved in the pile-on of a young detransitioned woman.
Charlie Evans has launched a new charity, the Detransition Advocacy Network. It provides help and support to those who have been abandoned by the clinicians and lobby groups now they've changed their mind about transition.
Sunday 17th November - A Letter To The Editor From Former Tavistock Governor
Psychoanalyst Marcus Evans is the former deputy clinical director in adolescent and adult clinical services at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. He wrote an open letter to The Sunday Times about his erstwhile employer.
He explains that he resigned from the Tavistock in the wake of the damning report published by Dr David Bell. This report documented the concerns of clinic staff that vulnerable children are being fast-tracked into experimental medical treatment. Evans felt that the Tavistock had tried to bury these concerns and to discredit both Dr Bell and the staff to whom he'd spoken.
"The treatment of gender- dysphoric children has become highly politicised and, in many ways, operates outside good medical practice. There is pressure to view patients as consumers who have a choice over their gender, rather than people with underlying conflicts about themselves and their relationship with society."
Evans points out that there is little research into the long-term outcomes of the medical treatment of dysphoric children. Consequently, services like the Tavistock often quote a Dutch study which did find some positive results for transition in minors. However, that study is flawed due to the small size of the test group used. There are ten other studies which show that 80%-90% of children treated for gender dysphoria no longer wish to transition after being given psychological support.
Turning to the sudden rise in late-onset gender dysphoria in girls, Evans explains that gender services do not understand the reason for this phenomenon and show little interest in the potential damage of the treatment the girls are receiving.
He ends his letter:
"When I was governor, the Tavistock was not following up children it had seen, and yet we are carrying on as if we know what we are doing. The mental health services will look back at this episode as another dark chapter in the treatment of people with psychological difficulties."
Monday 18th November - University Union States That Race & Disability Are Matters Of Self-Identity
The University and College Union (UCU), which represents more than 100,000 university lecturers and staff, has stated its position that sex, race and disability are things one can 'self-identify' into.
In a paper entitled "UCU Position on Trans Inclusion", it stated: "The UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify, whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT or women."
The word MEN seems to missing from that list.
Also Today - Celebrated Author Accused Of Abusing Former Wife
Anna Slatz wrote in the Post Millennial about best-selling author, Meredith Russo, who has been accused of abusing their former wife.
The author and columnist made a series of comments on Twitter expressing disgust for men who abuse their female partners. This caused a number of social media users to draw attention to the fact that Meredith Russo has been accused of doing exactly the same thing in the past.
Meredith's former wife, Jennifer Marie Russo (who also uses the pen-name Juniper Russo) sought a protection order against her estranged husband, then called Travis Lee Stroud. In a petition filed in July 2015 Ms. Russo alleged that Stroud had repeatedly sexually, physically and emotionally abused her. She also alleged that Stroud had been verbally and psychologically abusive to her young daughter from a previous relationship.
Whilst Stroud never faced any criminal charges related to these allegations of abuse and sexual assault, Stroud was arrested in November 2014 on a charge of “interference with emergency calls. Fearing for her safety, Ms Russo phoned the emergency services. Stroud took the phone from her and could be heard preventing her from requesting help. The marriage ended in divorce in 2015.
Following the revelations on Twitter, Ms Russo spoke to The Post Millennial about her relationship with her former husband and provided various court documents and screenshots to substantiate her claims. She told Anna Slatz that Stroud has publicly defamed her and has failed to pay her any child support. "I think it’s dangerous for anyone to look up to Meredith as a role model.”
Tuesday 19th November - Punishing Women With Opinions
Oxford Brookes University cancelled a talk by feminist artist, Rachel Ara, just hours before the event was due to start following allegations of transphobia against her.
The university's LGBTQ+ society sent a letter to pro-vice chancellor, Anne-Marie Kilday, to complain about Ms Ara being invited to speak. It described Ms Ara as a trans exclusionary radical feminist and claimed that she posted 'transphobic discourse' on social media and that she openly supported the newly formed LGB Alliance which, it claims, is an anti-trans organisation.
Rachel Ara spoke to Rosemary Bennett in The Times. She told her:
"I was going to be talking about feminism and art, and the difficulties that exist for women trying to break through. It was nothing to do with trans issues. I’m not transphobic. I have been openly gay for 35 years. I think this movement is misogynistic — they are only targeting other women.”
Sadly, Ms Ara is not the only woman whom the Campus Wokerati have sought to silence and no-platform this week.
Olly Thorn, who describes himself as a "Renegade philosopher" (he uploads videos to YouTube), tried to have Kathleen Stock, Professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex who has published on aesthetics, fiction, imagination, and sexual objectification, from speaking at the Royal Institute of Philosophy's Annual Debate.
However, it turns out that Olly Thorn's motives may not have been quite as altruistic as he claimed.
Selina Todd also fell foul of the varsity woke crowd. She is the Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford and president of the Socialist Educational Association. Her research focuses on the history of the working-class, women and feminism in modern Britain. After her participation in the recent WPUK meeting in Oxford, she faced a barrage of accusations and calls for her to be sacked.
Wednesday 20th November - Fair Cop Judicial Review
This week saw a landmark judicial review involving the College of Policing.
Harry Miller is a former police officer and co-founder of an organisation called Fair Cop. He is taking legal action against the College of Policing, the professional body which provides guidance and training for all police officers in England and Wales. He is challenging their Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG) which states that a comment reported as hateful by a victim must be recorded “Irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element”.
Miller was contacted by Humberside Police in January following a complaint over a limerick he'd retweeted on social media. The complainant alleged that the tweet was transphobic because it challenged the rhetoric that trans women are women. Despite having not committed any crime, Miller was told that his post was being recorded as a 'hate incident' and that he would be listed as a 'suspect' on police documentation.
Having become concerned about proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, Miller had started to engage in discussion around the issue on social media. Humberside Police sought to "Dissuade him from expressing himself on such issues in the future". Even though doing so isn't a crime and doesn't breach any law.
Miller believes that the HCOG guidelines breach his human rights to freedom of expression. He told The Telegraph:
"The idea that a law-abiding citizen can have their name recorded against a hate incident on a crime report when there was neither hate nor crime undermines principles of justice, free expression, democracy and common sense."
Also Today - "Act In Secret" Trans Activists Advised
The Law Gazette reported that UK trans activists are being advised to keep their practices secret from the media and should specifically target youth groups.
In collaboration with Trustlaw, Dentons Europe LLP and the NextLaw Referral Network, the international LGBTQI pressure group, IGLYO, has produced a survey called Only adults? Good Practices for Legal Gender Recognition for Youth.
This document offers advice to UK trans activists who are campaigning for a change in the law to allow children to legally change their gender. It warns them to avoid press coverage and media attention. It also recommends that activists seeking to change the law should target the youth groups of political parties.
Because operating in secret and grooming young people is exactly what you do when you're on The Right Side Of History.
Also Today - Donation Or Investment?
A US drugs giant has just made a donation of $4.5 million to trans groups. Guess what they're called?
Gilead is a multi-million dollar biotechnology company that researches, develops and markets medications, operating in over 35 countries worldwide. It has just pledged to donate $4.5 million to 15 different trans advocacy organisations in order to "Empower and protect this community".
Such altruism seems a little out of character for this company. Gilead has been widely criticised for inflating the price of its HIV medication and has been accused of withholding much safer versions of its drugs from the market in a patent-timing scheme to maximise its profits.
In recent years Gilead's profits have been diminishing. For the fiscal year 2017, Gilead reported earnings of $4.6 billion with an annual revenue of $26.1 billion, a decline of 14.1% over the previous fiscal cycle. In 2018, Gilead's total sales declined 15%, causing its net income to fall by 26%.
Historically Gilead has concentrated its efforts on producing antiviral products. However, it is now seeking to diversify and expand into new markets.
One wonders how many of those 15 trans advocacy groups in receipt of Gilead's donation cater specifically to trans youth?
Thursday 21st November - Human Biology Questioned in Court Of Law
Maya Forstater's employment tribunal concluded this week with some breath-taking attempts to deny the reality of biological sex from the respondent's defence counsel.
Thanks to the excellent live-tweeters who kept us informed throughout the proceedings, we heard that the respondent's barrister tried to argue (amongst other things) that a 'belief' in the existence of biological sex is 'too young' to be a protected belief. Yes, you read that right; reproductive biology is too recent a phenomenon for people to actually regard it as real.
A woman is expected to argue for the very existence of her sex in an employment tribunal in 2019. How did we get here?
Friday 22nd November - Labour Party Can't Get Their Story Straight
There was a great deal of confusion and discontent following the release of Labour's general election manifesto.
The manifesto promises that the Labour Party will “Ensure that the single-sex-based exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision.” Furthermore, Labour will abolish mixed sex wards in NHS hospitals and make misogyny and violence against women and girls hate crimes.
However, the manifesto also states that “Labour is committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to introduce self-declaration for transgender people”.
To muddy the waters even further, Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, made comments on Twitter which contradict the new manifesto. She maintains that Labour will "Remove outdated language from the Equalities Act". Furthermore, with a breathtaking ignorance of the current Equalities Act, she states, "There is no way spaces will be permitted to discriminate against trans people. That is illegal".
So what is Labour Party policy? Will gender identity be allowed to supersede biological sex? When the Labour Party talks of women, who do they mean? Until they can say specifically that sex will remain a protected characteristic and distinct from gender identity, Labour's promises are empty.
And what is the point of a promise to maintain women's sex based rights when the Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities is so obviously determined to break it?
Bonus Story - Allegations Of Racism At National Centre For Trans Equality
Here's an important story we missed from last week.
Former staff members at the National Centre for Trans Equality in the US have written an open letter to the organisation accusing it of racism and discrimination.
The letter, published in Out magazine, states that the majority of its staff have left the NCTE in recent weeks. Only a few months ago the organisation employed 23 people. Now the number of employees is seven.
The letter reveals that many former employees have been fired, pressured to leave or offered a voluntary buyout. It goes on to explain why the NCTE has been shedding staff in such an unprecedented way:
"Over the last decade, it’s been abundantly clear that members of the executive team hold an inconsistent and irreconcilable view of how to make the organisation itself a strong social justice movement — including recognition of a union and steps needed to ensure NCTE itself is an equitable place for people of colour, people with disabilities, and other marginalised members of the transgender community."
Since 2012 35 employees have joined and left the NCTE. Of these 21 were people of colour and 14 made complaints of racism within the organisation. At least four people of colour had to sign nondisclosure agreements, something no white former NCTE employees have reported being required to do.
And they don't like unions! Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.