“There are a lot of women left completely without access to rape crisis services. What is to become of them?”
You would read that with concern. On the face of it, it is horrifying. But I knew the woman who wrote that is an extremist anti-trans campaigner, and a very little digging showed that she meant this:
“Some women claim that any rape crisis centre which serves trans women is ‘mixed sex’, and they refuse to use it. Rape Crisis centres should exclude trans women, at least some of the time. If they do not, anti-trans campaigners will use people’s sympathy for rape victims to campaign against trans rights.”
But she also wrote, “I’ve been seeing this play out on social media. A working class, survivor-led organisation [anti-trans campaign group] …” They are trying to find rape survivors to claim that they will not use rape crisis Scotland because there might be a trans woman there. They are trying to recruit rape survivors to forego their confidentiality not to speak up about the trauma of rape, rape culture and patriarchy, but to campaign against trans inclusion.
So, I did some digging. Rape Crisis centres in Scotland accept trans women. Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis “welcomes self-identifying women”. Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre says “Trans women will be provided with the same quality of individual and group support as other women.” Rape Crisis Scotland says their member services support women: “This includes those who self-identify as women”, following RCS’s national standards.
In May, Mridul Wadhwa was appointed chief executive of Edinburgh Rape Crisis. Rape Crisis Scotland said they were “Proud to have her as a colleague”. Sandy Brindley, its chief executive, objected to the “targeted harassment” against Mridul. Unfortunately, because she is trans, the hate groups started objecting and seeking publicity. The Times had an article seeking to stir things up, quoting various haters objecting, and a claim that she was not legally entitled to be considered a woman, a claim that is completely without foundation.
And today, tiny hate group Four Women Scotland is making further claims, and quoting a podcast interview of Mridul. The hate group’s site is too insignificant for the Internet Archive to have archived it: I had to ask them to do so. This is their inane ramblings, archived for posterity.
What did Mridul say?
She called rape victims who would not tolerate being in a group with, or being counselled by, trans women, “bigoted people”. Cue howls of outrage by the anti-trans fanatics. I got the transcript from the hate group. It appears incomplete. But it quotes her as saying survivors might have fear of trans people, and “it is okay to hold those things… we will work with you”.
That is, no rape survivor will be excluded, even if they are prejudiced. The brilliant Deborah Frances-White, comedian and podcast host of Guilty Feminist, was entirely in agreement with her.
I hope the haters will be unable to recruit rape survivors to speak about their rape, in order to campaign against trans women. Unfortunately, as many anti-trans campaigners have been raped, perhaps some will use their rape experience to campaign against trans women. That would cheapen and diminish their recovery, to use it against other people in that way.
For now, though, I hope it is just a social media storm. It arises, a few twitter addicts get incredibly worked up, and then it passes as if it had never been. They move on, to be triggered about something else.