Anti-trans radicalisation

Anti-trans fantasies that the law is what they might hope it to be are so prevalent that there is a name for them, “Mumsnet Law”.

Here is a sample. OTSOTA tweets, “Sex is a legally protected characteristic. Transgender ie someone who has legally been certified after assessment as a person of biological SEX LIVING AS a member of the opposite SEX for 2yrs intending such to death, is a CONDITIONAL protected characteristic Self-ID = no legality”. When someone replied with a quote from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, he said this is “fraudulent”, and saying it “ignites a witch hunt against women”. Weirdly, he claims a degree in Law. What he says is not true.

So I went to Mumsnet, where they were responding to the prisons judgment. “Legally, we need ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ to be crystal clear. We need absolutely watertight definitions that are clearly understood by everyone. They need to be applied to every relevant policy and piece of legislation.” ArabellaScott wants “single-sex spaces” to exclude every trans woman. Fortunately, she does not think that is the law now. Because they have been confronted with the actual law, on that thread they fantasise about other things- “The 97 other assualts (sic) might all have been trans women with GRC”. They have no sympathy for trans women- “These 7 assaults were avoidable”, one says, but none mention the eleven assaults on trans women in men’s prisons in one year. Some of the 97 sexual assaults recorded in women’s prisons might have been against trans women.

They are radicalising, encouraging each other to hate more.

On another thread they discuss protected characteristics in a school. TheInebriati fantasises about the law, saying schools must provide “single sex”- no trans girls!- toilets. But CharlieParley is mostly correct, saying that once a trans person decides to socially transition they are protected. They are wrong to correct “The Act protects transgender people.” They write, “Well, to be precise, the Act protects transsexual people”. The characteristic is gender reassignment, and the Act conflates sex and gender.

GrownUpBeans fantasises- “Gender identity is protected as a belief.” No, anti-trans beliefs may be protected in some cases, but gender identity (reassignment) is a protected characteristic in its own right.

StumbledIn links to the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act, without any commentary. Elsewhere, this is a basis for fantasy law.

Oldwomanwhoruns claims “gender reassignment” is not relevant, because children cannot undergo gender reassignment. This is false. Children can decide to reassign.

2fallsagain is correct- “there are still situations where a male person can be legitimately excluded from a female space”- but could mislead. Trans women are not excluded from women’s services on the grounds that we are “male”, because we are not. “Gender reassignment does not trump sex”, they say. Well. Trans women are entitled to use women’s services, but can be excluded if there is a particular reason for it. CharlieParley corrects them.

Saltyslug has confused the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act. “Gender reassignment is a formal process involving specialist consultants, gender dysphoria and usually takes two years to get the certificate”. They are wrong. We are protected under the Equality Act from the moment we decide to transition. We do not need a gender recognition certificate. After BadGherkin corrects them, they refer to the gender recognition application process.

A brief look finds Mumsnutters misstating the law. The radicalisation, which was in full flow on the prisons thread, was mitigated on the legal  thread, as two posters corrected the worst errors, but the fantasists did not listen. That tweet, so self-righteous and so wrong, indicates how deluded some people are about the law. Such delusions may lead to angry outbursts at trans people in public.

Trans widows

Often trans people marry in their assigned gender, and transition later. Women married to trans women often stay married, as a loving couple, or they may split in a reasonable, amicable manner, remaining friends, caring for children together, making sure the split is as fair as possible. Unfortunately, some women refuse to move on from the relationship, though it has ceased. They believe they have been wronged, and find online communities which affirm that. They can become the most obsessive anti-trans campaigners.

“Trans Widows Voices” is a particularly poisonous site. It encourages women to stew in their hatred, and foments the myth of autogynephilia. The self-righteous victimhood damages the relationship with the former partner, and harms both the divorcing wife and the trans woman.

“Women report feeling like their male partner has died.” In the loss of her relationship, the woman will go through a process of mourning. She has suffered a trauma. However if there is any blame, it is on the wider society, which so stigmatises trans people that we are in denial, and terrified to admit our true selves. It is not on the trans woman who has found the courage to express herself at last.

“This site uses correct sex pronouns.” That is, it denies the trans woman’s experience and the reality that trans people exist, and transition in the most awful circumstances. “We also support women having the language to accurately describe their own experiences and to represent their reality.”

“Shalyn’s story” is pitiable. They may have married too young: she graduated from university after marriage. The couple should never have married, and the wife appears to have been in denial throughout. “I thought we had a great relationship,” she writes, after writing of things she found a turnoff: the trans woman’s shaving her legs and acting submissive in the bedroom. Some men are submissive. Some women are assertive.

The trans woman did not handle it well. When her wife repeatedly confronted her, each time she would promise not to cross-dress again. The wife says the woman insisted they start a family, and eventually have three children, though she complains of the lack of sex in their marriage.

Mary Joan says it was a lie when her trans woman husband said “My wife always knew I was transgender”. She knew the woman liked to wear women’s clothes during sex. She calls this “autogynephilia”, spreading misunderstanding. “Even now, I still grieve for my lost husband and I think I shall always do so.” Oh, the poor woman! You have to be able to move on. Ending a marriage is always traumatic. Wallowing like this, “many years later”, is deeply unhealthy for you and your children.

She admits her ex-spouse pays maintenance for the children, so her account of the trans woman’s chaotic lifestyle may be exaggerated. I would not trust her to give a clear understanding of transition, because she projects all the blame on her former partner.

The FAQs encourage a complete inability to deal with the situation in a healthy way. They say a woman whose husband cross dresses is a trans widow. It’s as if cross dressing is such a betrayal that the husband disappears.

“Isn’t the term offensive? Many actual widows understand that the analogy is appropriate.” “What about the women who are happy with their trans woman husbands? We are here if and when their situation changes.” They are modelling a complete denial of the trans experience. Nothing can be admitted which might show that the cis woman was at all at fault- except, perhaps, for initially going along with the trans woman’s transition. The trans woman is called a man, a pervert, a betrayer.

Who runs the site? TinselAngel, a trans widow, who supports trans widows on Mumsnet, Twitter, and other channels. That is, an obsessive, who seeks validation of her obsession by drawing others in.

“Why didn’t you leave sooner? We understand how difficult it can be for a woman to leave a marriage.” So do I.

“Are you transphobic? No. We believe that our reality is as valid as that of our ex-husbands.” Er, um. In each of these stories, a blameless woman has been fooled into marriage and deceived throughout. When marriages end, the story is always more complex. Even when one person is wholly a victim, unable to do any better, the other is rarely entirely a wrongdoer. They can’t see this as transphobia, because they think they are entirely good, and transphobia sounds like a bad thing.

Challenged that “Autogynephilia doesn’t exist” she merely states “We don’t believe that we are propagating a myth.” If she cited various articles, as she could, claiming it exists, I would have more respect for her. “We are merely reporting our own experiences,” she says, as if only her perspective matters. That is the way to stew in grievance forever, and actively to prevent moving on.

“We will provide an evidence base,” she says. She only provides evidence of her own failure to move on, or to understand from another’s point of view.

It seems this TinselAngel is the main campaigner demanding that women stew in victimhood and rage rather than seek a healthy relationship with their ex-spouse or a way to move on. She tweets as Trans Widows’ voices, and writes articles for other groups. There is not enough demand, even on Ovarit, to have other specialist “trans widow” groups.

Uncommon Ground’s mission statement denies it simply attacks the Left, and says “The solutions for the world’s problems are to be found in compassion tempered by reason,” but Tinsel Angel’s article is in starkly Us and Them terms: she complains of feminist groups accepting trans women, and says she needs help. “Who is more important to the Womens’ Liberation movement: me or my ex-husband?” Ideally, both. However, she goes on to criticise WPUK for not being transphobic enough.

The trans widows site has twelve personal stories, of women raging against their trans ex-husbands. Any woman who can’t bear her husband’s cross dressing, or wish to transition, should avoid it like the plague.

To the wives of trans women, who want to leave them: you should not be pressured into supporting your husband if you don’t want to. Sex is usually an integral part of marriage, and you don’t have to stay if it changes. In Britain, your husband’s cross dressing or wish to transition would count as “unreasonable behaviour”, entitling you to a divorce. But try to maintain an amicable relationship, for the sake of any children and for your own sake. You are entitled to define your boundaries, but please do not get trapped in this profitless hatred.

Keir Starmer and the trans-obsessives

Now Keir Starmer is leader of the Labour Party, he has promised to root out antisemitism, but unfortunately not transphobia. There’s a grilling by obsessive trans-haters on Mumsnet, which helps understand where Labour is on trans rights. Content: I quote the haters, and that includes transphobia, obsessive hate, and misgendering.

Mumsnet is filled with trans-obsessives. Some have chosen nicknames which refer to their obsession, often in arcane ways: “RetainTheSpousalExitClause” refers to the interim gender recognition certificate. Eight of the first ten comments were about trans rights, couched as “women’s rights”- “gender issues and the conflict with the rights of women and children”- though trans inclusion has little effect on most feminist issues. They are not even radical feminists: I counted fourteen questions related to trans, but of 175 posts on the thread only three mentioned porn and none mentioned sex work. “GeordieTerf” indicated the level of obsession, saying “The Labour candidates in my area made it very clear that they didn’t want my vote. I tried to debate my views, but the people who knocked on my door refused.” No, they would not agree with your hatred of trans people as the price of your vote. If you demand they agree with repulsive hate, of course they will not.

Mumsnet asked them to stop asking about trans- “We don’t want this to become a single-issue webchat”- and they wouldn’t. They dog-whistled: “Clearly the identity politics vote hasn’t been enough to make up for the lost votes”. I don’t know if they would object to gay or lesbian “identity politics”, but it is surely OK to talk about institutional racism- only trans rights are bad “identity politics”. Two asked what a “woman” is, as if they were spraying hate on Twitter. They don’t want a “respectful dialogue that doesn’t pit one set of concerns against others” as Starmer put it, they want to hate and persecute trans women.

What is a woman? It depends why you ask. Trans people are in all cultures over millennia, and for most social purposes trans women are women. Satisfied? A more detailed explanation is here.

Keir Starmer answered thirty questions. Five were from people whose monikers indicated trans-obsession, such as “CisMyFatArse”, though there were also questions about the last Labour Manifesto, Brexit, the NHS, Irish reunification, Scottish independence, the armed forces, Jeremy Corbyn, climate change, social care for the elderly, euthanasia, water bills, housing, special educational needs, transport and legal aid.

On antisemitism, he was clear, and I wish he would say the same about transphobia:

If you’re antisemitic, you shouldn’t be in our Party – or anywhere near it.

I would make this my personal responsibility. On day one, I would demand an update on ongoing antisemitism cases and ask for a clear timetable for their resolution. I would ask the Jewish Labour Movement and others to submit the list of cases they believe are still outstanding. And to leave no stone unturned I would also ensure an independent process and work with social media platforms to take hate off the internet.

And my test for our party will be this; do those who have left the Party because of antisemitism feel comfortable to return. Only when they do, will I be satisfied that we have made progress. At the next election I don’t want a single Labour member or activist to knock a door and be told that people who previously voted Labour won’t do so because of antisemitism.

I am not sure the terfs recognised the rebukes. One asked, “If you become Labour leader, how will you tackle sexism within the party? As a female, I am on the verge of leaving Labour over sexism I’m experiencing, both online and locally.” He replied, “…But the Party needs to be friendlier, more open and more respectful of each other. I’ve led a large organisation before and I know you can change culture through leadership, if you lead by example, if you put in place training, and if you argue for the culture that you want to see. That’s what I would do if I am elected leader.”

I think that’s what he is trying to do with trans rights. We should debate in a friendly and respectful manner. It won’t work with these obsessives. It might work with other people. It means rebuking the way the obsessives communicate, rather than their hateful beliefs. The transphobe Jo Stevens is in the shadow cabinet.

“StealthPolarBear” asked,

More than 200 of us are worried about gender issues and the conflict with the rights of women and children.

These are issues that affect the fundamental rights of half the population. They are across every conceivable layer of public policy, and affect us from cradle to grave. The issues are varied, ranging from men on women’s sport, the impact of self ID on women’s safety, the spousal exit clause and the emphasis on transition of children, including puberty blockers.

Are you concerned about any or all of these issues? How do you plan to ensure the rights of natal women and children?

He replied,

Thank you for this question – I know it’s a really important topic on Mumsnet and for parents.

Trans rights are human rights. I have met with members of the trans community and I know this is a group of people who have been subjected to incredible abuse and discrimination for a very long time.

But this conversation has become incredibly heightened, and I do understand the points being made on all sides. But if we just treat this as a political football, we are not being fair to anyone. I do believe we need to update the Gender Recognition Act. But what we need right now is a respectful dialogue that doesn’t pit one set of concerns against others. If elected leader, that’s a dialogue I would want to help facilitate.

Answering a trans-obsessive hater, he says, “Trans rights are human rights” and “we need to update the Gender Recognition Act”. These statements are unequivocal. He is on our side. “A respectful dialogue that doesn’t pit one set of concerns against others” takes away most of the arguments transphobes make, because trans-inclusion really does not prejudice women’s sport, women’s safety or the rights of children.

“rogdmum” asked,

My 14 year old daughter recently announced that she identifies as a boy. She falls under the loose description of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) where adolescents who did not show any signs of gender identity issues as children, develop gender confusion as adolescents. Many of these adolescents are autistic or have suffered from trauma or have serious mental health issues.

Referrals to the Tavistock clinic have skyrocketed from around 100 a decade ago to 2600 last year. The Government agreed to carry out an investigation into the sudden rise, but it appears to have vanished into some hole somewhere.

What will you do to raise awareness of this issue and ensure a proper investigation is carried out?

He replied,

Thanks rogdmum for this question and for sharing your family’s experience. I’m acutely aware of the anxiety and distress that this causes to individuals and families. This has to be seen as a human rights issue and we need to ensure that this debate is conducted respectfully and calmly, and with the best interests of children at heart.

“Best interests of the children”. That’s at the heart of Scots and English law on children, including social care, divorce and other matters. That means trusting doctors treating them over the prejudices of parents. It doesn’t mean transitioning every girl who ever climbed a tree into a boy, it means rejecting doctrinaire transphobia like this mother’s. I fear for the child. If they are not trans, perhaps they will transition in rebellion against the parent’s controlling tendencies, lack of trust, fear and hate. If they are trans, they may transition in their forties having had a blighted life.

“GCAcademic” asked,

What will you do to protect academic freedom and open debate in universities when so many institutions are failing to meet their legal obligations in this regard? To be clear, I am not talking about Tommy Robinson-style extremists being welcomed onto campuses, but professional people, including academics, lawyers, prison reformers, artists, etc, being prevented from contributing to events on matters of public policy, or such events being cancelled altogether due to pressure from lobby groups. There have also been numerous physical threats to speakers and academics, resulting in speakers being assaulted at two universities and a female academic currently requiring protection from two security guards at all her lectures at a third institution. The silencing of people who have the expertise and experience to contribute meaningfully to public debate on difficult issues is extremely concerning to many of us in academia, and is not a situation which is consistent with liberal democracy.

Starmer replied,

Thank you – I’m becoming increasingly concern by the shutting down of political discussion, whether in meetings or on social media by abuse and intimidation. It must be possible to have a political discussion where people profoundly disagree in a constructive and respectful way. I have long been a champion of free speech and always adopted the approach set out in international human rights instruments (which I spent my time as a lawyer promoting), which treat freedom of speech as a right and not a freedom, and sets out the limited circumstances in which free speech can be curtailed, which is where it’s lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.

The free speech argument is hardly worth repeating. Right to free speech does not mean right to a platform. Academically worthless transphobia should have no place in universities, however exalted the transphobe. As a lawyer Starmer states the law, including that free speech can be curtailed, and again calls for “constructive and respectful” debate.

Reading the thread is depressing. These obsessives have no sense of proportion, often no apparent understanding that any issue other than trans inclusion has any importance. Perhaps capital punishment for transition would satisfy them.

Keir Starmer does not respond to their clear hatred of trans people as he responds to antisemitism. Yet he rejects their positions and supports our rights. Keir Starmer is not a transphobe. Possibly he fears he does not have the strength to counter them more strongly. I am pleased he signed LGBT Labour’s ten pledges, including this: “I will campaign to reform the Gender Recognition Act to introduce a self-declaration process and for the introduction of legal recognition for non-binary gender identities. I believe that trans women are women, that trans men are men, and that non-binary gender identities are valid and should be respected.

I saw a tweet shared on facebook: “I’ll show him exactly as much loyalty as he showed the trans community when he went on mumsnet and sympathised with a parent whose son caught ‘the social contagion’ of transness.” Like Sir Keir, I trained as a lawyer and want lawyerly precision here: “rogdmum” did not call trans a “social contagion”, and Starmer did not sympathise: he thanked her, and said he is aware of the anxiety and distress. I can be aware of her distress and utterly disagree about her child. Mentioning “human rights” and “the best interests of the children” is his lawyerly way of disagreeing. I wish he were more explicit, but he might just then get into social media storms. He pushes back against the trans-excluders.

29 June: today he gave almost nothing away, despite transphobic questioning.

26 September 2021: On the Andrew Marr show, Starmer called for “a mature, respectful debate” on trans rights. The topic starts at 45.00. He says the trans community are “amongst the most marginalised and abused communities”; that it is “not right” to say that only women have a cervix; and that “we need to make progress on the Gender Recognition Act”.

Phantom Fears

Looking at the transphobes, you would think trans women outnumbered cis women. There’s now a Women’s Human Rights Campaign seeking the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls that result from the replacement of the category of sex with that of ‘gender identity’, and from ‘surrogate’ motherhood and related practices. It’s now sharing worldwide- three British transphobes are off to New York to speak on the matter, and try to increase the hatred of trans women in other countries. Perhaps the Koch brothers are paying, again.

0.1% is my estimate of the proportion of people who transition. This is a lot less than the 1%-odd that Stonewall estimates. How long does it take to see a thousand people? Consider the poor transphobe. Walking down a city centre shopping street at noon, she might pass a thousand people in a few minutes. Her eyes are drawn to the trans person, because she is overly sensitive to trans people and her brain always picks them out. But, they’re walking in the opposite direction, they don’t notice her, and probably their existence has not ruined her life, or even her day, unless their mere existence provokes her to dwell on how much she hates trans women.

I clock other trans women occasionally, but not that often.

In loos, it must be very rare. You are in a queue with five ahead of you, and when you get to the front there are three behind and two washing their hands. It’s a one in a hundred chance that one of them is trans. Most loos are not that crowded.

So women’s rights are not particularly affected by trans rights. The obsession some transphobes exhibit is completely disproportionate to their actual experience of trans women. The experiences which make them think about us is almost entirely moaning on-line about us, and reading others’ moans. For example:

I had no idea what was going on with the proposed changes to the GRA, etc in my own country. Well, of course not. It does not matter to anyone but that 0.1%.

Eventually looked into [trans issues] and shit my pants! I’ve been peaking daily ever since. But it’s what she reads, and the message-boards she goes on, that “Peak Trans” her, not real life experiences.

What about this one? My next experience was with a lecturer at the University who transitioned from mtf. They were very sweet and gentle and their joy at transitioning was quite touching. Never made any move to colonize women’s spaces, didn’t get stampy about accidental misgendering. No problems. So, the actual trans person she knows, she likes. It’s all the others she reads about that are so awful. Several of them say that Caitlyn Jenner being some magazine’s “Woman of the Year” was the thing that made them obsessive (sorry, they say “Peak transed” them): 32 out of 500 mention Caitlyn in one thread. Most of them don’t mention personal experience, it’s always just something they’ve read.

It is a right pain when they say they met a trans woman they didn’t like. Oh, brilliant. So now they judge us all, because every trans woman obviously has every bad characteristic any trans woman has ever been accused of. How any of us are outside prison I don’t know.

Of course, the same applies to us. We read about transphobia all the time, but encounter it a great deal less. Let us shed our phantom fears. We meet transphobia in real life very rarely.

Mumsnet

There was a suggestion that trans activists had urged advertisers to boycott Mumsnet, the parents’ forum which is an increasing centre for hatefests against trans folk. I doubt anyone pro-trans has any power to begin to make Mumsnet edit out the hatred and vitriol, but someone said there had been a few tweets. So I went back to Mumsnet, to see what it was like.

There’s a thread on boycotting the Guardian, because they don’t find it transphobic enough. I’m looking for an alternative news source and for the first time in my life I’m actually considering the Times or the Telegraph, neither of which have been allowed over my threshold till now, said the original poster. I’d support [The Times] for Janice Turner’s stance alone, said another. Poster after poster echoes this, often proclaiming how left-wing they think they are, even how they do not like money going to Murdoch, and because The Times is relentlessly transphobic and The Guardian isn’t, they change their newspaper.

They see themselves as victims. So there really is no alternative leftish news source that hasn’t turned on feminists? Well, Hadley Freeman is transphobic, but the pro-trans articles put them off.

On girl guides, one claims “a close trans friend” told her she is lesbian, trans girls can share tents with other girls despite perhaps being attracted to girls, then writes And the girls are not allowed to say anything. Please tell me this is wrong. Well, only if it is wrong for lesbians to share tents with straight girls. If any trans girl does anything wrong, deal with the problem then, as you would with any other girl. This miasma of fear of what might happen with trans girls is literally transphobic. If you’re not afraid of driving despite the statistical likelihood of accidents, don’t spread fear of what trans folk might do. One denies being phobic: That’s what I keep saying in response to the people who squawk with outrage and say “are you saying all transgirls are predators?” My answer is, no of course they’re not. But all you need is mixed accommodation and normal levels of teenage hormonally driven randiness and consensual experimentation and… et voila, teenage pregnancies. All must suffer, because of her fears.

One thread demands an email pile-on. Sue Lent, chair of governors at Roath Park primary school, held a “Woman’s Place” hatefest against trans folk. She now faces an extraordinary Governors’ meeting concerning their Equality statement: Roath Park Primary School is committed to working towards equality regardless of …gender reassignment, and to the creation of an inclusive culture. Women’s Place UK isn’t. I found a transcript on Medium. It starts with the deliberate lie, any man- for whatever reason he chooses- will be able to fill out a form and declare himself legally a woman. Not according to the Scottish consultation, and highly unlikely if England ever consults. It then fearmongers: an aggressive, ideological assault on the sex based exemptions… the aggressive shut down of any dialogue… effectively obliterate all the rights and protections women spent centuries fighting for. This out of proportion reaction- Trans rights are the Death of Feminism!- justifies any hate they spew in their eyes.

India Willoughby was on talk radio to talk about Mumsnet. There’s a thread on that. Transgender identified males have been trying to roll back women’s rights for 14 years. She means since the Gender Recognition Act, but we have been transitioning for millennia.

It does seem to be the same people, over and over again, though one says I wouldn’t have questioned trans ideology without Mumsnet anyway. When someone challenges them, “I smell MRA” says someone, and another responds I smell something. Someone open a window. They can’t bear being challenged.

Another thread is plotting pretending to be men, as if self-ID were anything like that. They want to swim topless. I live in Northern Ireland but I’d travel to London for an organised Hampstead Heath swim-in protest, says someone. They are obsessive. The longer the government delays the consultation, the louder the hatred gets.

Breathing space

I need space to survive, and being trans restricts that. I need to be able to move through the world, with a home to live in, means of transport, meaningful work, streets I can walk down without fear, places I can go for help, ways of participating in social life. As I am trans I may face hostility, prejudice and discrimination limiting me. If I am out I will need lavatories.

I do not assert a right to be in any of these spaces. It feels as if I am there on sufferance, on the toleration of other people which is never guaranteed and may be withdrawn at any time.

I did not find another way of being. I tried to make a man of myself, to fit cultural masculinity because it seemed that otherwise I would be shunned. Then I found the delight of being my true self in the gay village in Manchester, and it seemed possible to be who I am as a trans woman, as a transsexual as I called it at the time. “I am not a man,” I wept, meaning that cultural masculinity did not fit me. It never seemed possible to live openly as a pansy, or soft male. I thought soft men were gay. My father, who might have been my pansy role model, used the word as an insult. He was my role model in hiding my softness away.

I fit into the world as a “trans woman”, mostly suffered or tolerated with some mockery, misunderstanding, hostility. Even with the hostility it is better than presenting male. Society tolerates me in women’s spaces. I use women’s loos and changing rooms. If gender neutral space- clothes shops, toilets, shelters- is to be carved out, a lot more people will have to identify as gender neutral than currently identify as trans.

I am gender critical. Gender is cultural, and not somehow related to evolved sex characteristics. After the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act we see that women can work as barristers and solicitors as well as men, and increasingly we see women in STEM. Women can vote without going insane, contradicting concerns expressed before 1918. Gendered responses are strongly conditioned in our society, enforced by most people from small children up. A man in a pink shirt was told he would have to give up his “man card”. Gender is orthogonal to sex, ideally: Jung said men must discover their anima, or inner feminine, and women their animus, and was right, but it is such a struggle achieved so late in life because of that conditioning.

Mumsnet TERFs started paying attention to my blog, and I have had 186 clicks from there, hundreds more page views. More people read such threads than comment on them, but the commentary on me is hostile. They judge me. I wrote on autogynephilia to show it cannot exist, but my words were used as proof of it. I hope I might have persuaded some who read without commenting, but they are interested in trans issues and reading TERF threads so it’s not certain.

They say, It is an issue of men’s right not to be inconvenienced.
AGP actively impedes the ability to empathize with women.

The issue is that I  need space. I am excluded, and they seek to exclude me further. If I see distress or hostility, my instinct is to back away, to seek a work-around rather than to provoke. I am empathising. I am there, due to forces I cannot control.

They doubt I am gender critical: being gender critical means conceptualising gender as an external imposition, not a spiritual identity.
I don’t understand how a MiT can call themselves a gender critical feminist… Without gender surely we remain with biology – a man being male and a woman being female?

I observe that people have gender, just that it does not correlate with sex. It is part of human variation. I object to procrustean attempts to constrain gender expression, not gender expression itself.

I observe that there is a great deal of unthinking enforcement of gender, and ways to subvert it: trans and non-binary, “gender-critical feminist” as an identity, building resistance, and attempts such as Natasha Devon’s challenging of stereotypes. She was the former “mental health tsar” and spoke to the Girls Schools Association conference- she has platforms.  The comments on this thread show thoughtful support and mindless hostility. There is movement.

How can gender stereotypes be subverted from where we are now? Partly through visible trans folk, living out our radical rejection of the gender norms fitting our birth sex. When I see gender neutral space, I will go there.

One says, Not every male has a sexual motive for transition (ie, gay males wanting to sleep with straight men aka HSTS, third gender etc; straight males getting off on feminine presentation aka AGP). There are some people with catastrophic body dysmorphia and some people who are genuinely in retreat from masculinity. But these people have nothing whatsoever to do with transactivism or transactivists and the reason we don’t hear from them is not that they’re the silent majority – it’s that the population is tinier than tiny.

She understands that body dysmorphia and being unManly are motivations, but divides the motivations into discrete categories, so that anyone who has ever been aroused can’t be in that “tinier than tiny” group. But no-one will transition M-F unless they feel themselves unManly. (Tell me a better word- “effeminate” really isn’t it.)

I am so sad that this has made me feel less compassion for trans people. I am sorry for them but I’m angry that their cause has been hijacked by cross dressing men… But I think I want to develop a ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists’ stance. The trouble is that we have made a zero-sum game together. If she sees the problem as men in women’s space, I am in unwilling confrontation because I have nowhere else to go. The problem is, The Patriarchy. The problem is, gender conformity and gender enforcement. These problems we could attack together, but for the zero-sum game.

I managed to peak trans them [centre-left 30 something blokes] instantly with the sports issue. That is, Hannah Mouncey using masculine size competing against other women. They are “live and let live” people, like anyone they don’t show hatred for minorities easily, but she managed to make them hostile, and exults in this. Competitive female cyclists are far faster than I am. It isn’t relevant for most trans women. Some people go to Mumsnet to radicalise themselves, then go out to radicalise others.

Snowdrops

And now, some snowdrops, seen under a tree by the roadside as I cycled home from the Quaker meeting. Unwisely, I ventured onto Mumsnet where yet another pile-on on trans rights is occurring, with allegations of threats to women and women’s rights and much offensive language, and I just can’t be bothered.

Look! Snowdrops!

First someone cited my blog as evidence of sex offenders pretending to be trans. Well, there is a suggestion of prisoners falsely claiming to be trans, but of the estimate of about eighty trans people in prison, only someone with access to their medical records and criminal records could report reliably whether they are mostly sex offenders, or what diagnoses they have of gender dysphoria, or whether they transitioned before entering prison. If an IPP (Indeterminate sentence for Public Protection) is generally problematic, it should be problematic for a trans woman. Some people in segregated units are sex offenders, but other offenders can be sent there if they are under threat in the general population, as trans women often would be. One, who committed suicide, was a rapist. Women need protected from rapists; but the arguments about whether trans women should self-ID outside prison and about where trans prisoners should be held are different. I try, here, to show the complexity of the situation, so am vulnerable to parts being taken out of context.

Then they linked to Autogynephilia, to argue I am a sex pervert, so not entitled to consideration. Women need protected from such as me. There was a long post from an androphile trans woman, and some sympathy for her being lumped in with us perverts. Well, that’s inconsistent: unless you accept the arguments of brain differences in androphiles, where feminists challenge the arguments of brain differences between the sexes, the androphile is as offensive as the gynephile. The other argument against androphiles transitioning is that the desire comes from homophobia, the thought that they must be women as they are attracted to men. I don’t know if anyone who clicked the link got the point that the autogynephilia hypothesis could not explain transition being a cure for gender dysphoria. As more people clicked than posted, possibly some did.

Then they linked to A Nurse who is Trans. A trans woman, who had not transitioned, went to give a cervical smear to a woman who had requested a female nurse to do the test. The trans woman got a cis woman to do the test, but not before blurting out that she is trans. The reason she has stubble and close cropped hair is that she has not transitioned yet.

I was angry, posting then. One mistake on a smear test appointment, quickly put right, is not news, but the Murdoch press pick on it to inflame passions against trans women. My post was used to argue autogynephiliac perverts have no empathy for the concerns of women. I have, actually. These concerns matter, though I feel Women’s Aid is quite capable of deciding whether they can employ trans women, as they are considering now, so women working full time on women’s rights for the most vulnerable don’t necessarily have the same absolutist position as some posters on Mumsnet.

I need somewhere to go. The “All-Gender toilet” in Tate Britain was formerly the disabled person’s toilet, so my choice is between risking confrontation with a carer angry at my occupying the toilet they need or a woman angry at me in hers. Fortunately the general run of society, apart from some vocal conservatives and Evangelical Christians, tolerate me in both. Even some gender critical feminists tolerate me!