Before I started to live full time, I went for dinner after work with colleagues, expressing myself female- testing the water- and after dinner we went to the meat market, aka the Eighties disco. Divorcees on the pull were bopping away, and I sat in a corner with a drink. A man came to talk to me on the subject of how liberal, enlightened and tolerant he was. He was so liberal, he could even tolerate people like me. Back then, I was lacking in confidence and in need of having my consciousness raised, but even then I thought this was a bit off.
I told my vicar I could no longer worship God disguised as a man, and he said that he would try to stop me being driven out of the congregation. He did not realise that it was his own discomfort with me he was projecting onto other people. When I returned to the church for a wedding a couple of years later, I was welcomed by the congregation.
Since starting to live full time, I have come across a couple of people who have explained to me how liberal, mature, tolerant, accepting etc etc they are, but how not every woman is as tolerant and enlightened as they, and how they need to protect these less enlightened women from me. So, no, I cannot join this women’s group (or whatever).
If you read further on this subject here, you will see that English law permits discrimination, but this permission is limited. So, if you feel the need to protect Other People from me, do your worst, but I will not condone or collaborate with such action. And ask them if they think I am less than other human beings, and therefore I should be treated differently. They might be insulted by your “protection”. As for me, I do not want to be tolerated, I do not even want to be accepted, I want my acceptance to be as taken for granted as it is for any other woman.