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Free speech, women's rights and the transgender offensive

Free Speech, women’s rights and the transgender offensive

The last 5 years has seen a rising offensive, of an increasingly hysterical nature, targettting feminists and lesbians as well as artists, authors and academics who defend women’s rights. The immediate source of this onslaught is a relatively small layer of people active in the trans or transgender movement. The hysterical pitch and tone of their anger has manifest itself in physical attacks on feminists, vitriolic abuse, intimidation of people attending feminist events and a sustained campaign of denunciation of women (and others) as transphobic, TERFs, (trans exclusionary radical feminists), cissexist and so on.

Such has been the scope of this that lesbian and womens’ rights organisations have been driven into partial clandestinity where their identities and the timing and whereabouts of their meetings are kept secret. In those cases where the host venues have not cancelled their gathering, - which are too numerous to list - special security arrangements have been made to defend them against attacks and disruptive behaviour by trans activists. One of the principal targets of this aggression is the organisation Woman’s Place UK who have documented these attacks on their website

The reason for the this aggression? The women’s rights advocates in question assert a simple biological fact: women are adult females who constitute half of humanity with a long history of oppression as a sex, a condition that is not and can not be replicated by so-called gender re-assignment. It is this argument – this idea – which has prompted a frenzied campaign of abuse and intimidation by a relatively tiny movement of transgender activists

The latter’s attempt to suppress and silence women’s rights advocates is in itself considerable cause for concern. That is not the end of the story, however. Far from it.

This may be a tiny movement but boy does it have a lot of muscle. From within the heights of the British legal and political establishment through to big capitalist corporations and labour movement organisations, transgender activists and their gagging campaign enjoy unqualified institutional support.

Tory government backing

This is reflected in the Reform of the Gender Recognition Act – Government Consultation paper published in 2018 by Theresa May’s Tory Government. Building upon the 2004 Act’s recognition of trans people through a medically certified process, the new proposals included gender self-identification, effectively allowing applicants to change their legal sex by simply declaring their intention “to live in their preferred gender” for the rest of their life. They would no longer have to provide medical reports attesting to gender dysphoria, or evidence that they had lived in the target gender.

Under these amendments, which have yet to be ratifiied, a man can simply declare himself to be a woman and thereby participate in women’s sports, use women’s toilets and changing rooms, attend women’s meetings and represent women in different business, social and political environments. In one broad stroke, the rights of the female sex and recognition of the barriers they face would be brushed aside in law by a simple act of self-identification.

This is already occurring in practice and those who challenge it are being accused of hate speech.

Under the new proposas if a man so wishes, without the slightest chemical, surgical or any other alteration, he can self-identify as a woman. Even Clark Kent never had it that easy.

This miraculous transformation is sustained by a transgender ideology which asserts that some children are born into the wrong body or “assigned” the wrong gender at birth. Accordingly, a young boy who starts to play with dolls, likes to wear pink or displays extra sensitivity, is merely demonstrating that he is in fact a girl who was wrongly given a penis and testicles. Under current guidelines and practice, such a boy can already be presented and accepted as trans and begin a process of “transitioning”. The same might apply to a girl who doesn’t like to wear pink or play with dolls.

The miraculous inception

A four year old child’s confusion is understandable. What is inexcusable is that this confusion is codified into a legal and ideological structure built upon an unscientific, quasi-religious notion of an innate gender identity that drives our character and personality. In short we are told there is such a thing as a male or female brain born into the wrong body.

Apart from the creator of Frankenstein, and other fantasists who believe in cerebral transplantion, cryogenical rehabilitation or digitisation of the human brain, the entire corpus of scientific endeavour demonstrates that the brain is not and cannot be an independent organ. The brain is part of the human body, it lives as part of it, develops with it and dies inside it. To suggest otherwise is simply a perverse form of creationism according to which there is a god-given, pre-existing male or female soul or brain which somehow – and like all creationists nobody can explain this mircacle – ends up in the wrong body and in confliict with it.

Not all transgender people believe in this hocus pocus. In fact, there are several instances where trans women have openly declared that they are still men. However, even these men who are openly transgender and living a transgender lifestyle have been villified as transphobic. This was the case with Debbie Hayton, for example, a transgender trades union activist who was pilloried for wearing a T-shirt declaring Trans Women Are Men: Get Over It.

As bizarre as this may seem it flows logically from the definition of trans hatred as “misgendering” someone; that is, talking of their sex in a way which conflicts with their gender identity. Being accused of this so-called hatred has consequences, as Maya Forstater found out to her cost in 2019 when she was sacked from her job as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development.

The case of Maya Forstater

Forstater had not abused any individual. She did not shout at or call someone names. She did not discriminate against anyone or deny their rights to a job or education. She did not refuse to work with or support any of her colleagues. On the contrary, Forstater supported the rights of transgender people to live their lifestyle freely and without persecution. As one of her offending tweets clearly states:

“People of either sex should not be constrained (or discriminated against) if they don’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes.”

Her only offense was to tweet her opinion that nobody can change their sex .

Yes, I think that male people are not women. I don’t think that being a woman/female is a matter of identity or womanly feelings. It is biology.”

In upholding her sacking, the tribunal judge James Taylor asserted that Fortater’s views were "not worthy of respect in a democratic society."

Remarkably, Forstater’s tweets did not even focus on a transgender woman. Instead they were responding to the case of Phillip Bunce, who spends part of his week dressed as a woman and using the forename Pips or the more royal Pippa. What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well, leaving aside the somewhat stereotypical misrepresentation of what it means to dress as a woman at work, Storstater had no issue whatsoever with his gender fluid lifestyle. So, what did she have to say that was so offensive?

The façade of diversity versus rights of women

Phillip Bunce (aka Pippa Bunce) is no ordinary punter. He is a high powered corporate executive at Credit Suisse banking office in London and has the luxury of doing whatever takes his fancy, whether that be yachting holidays in the Caribbean or Bhuddist retreats in the Himalayas. After all, he is a very successful and wealthy businessman. But he is a business man, happily married in a nuclear family with a wife and 2 children.

Yet, it was this man who was nominated for and who accepted the award of the Financial Times Her-oes and Champion of Women in Business for his work in Credit Suisse. In addition to his role as Director and head of Global Markets Core Engineering Strategic Programs, Bunce also boasts membership of the bank’s EMEA Women’s Network, it’s IT Women’s Council and its BAME network. You would think that a white man standing in for women and blacks would create universal criticism, all the more so in the case of Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse is a Swiss based multinational corporation enjoying huge profits from global investment, particularly in Asia. For the first half of 2020 alone the corporation posted a 6-monthly profit of $2.73 billion. On its website it swears by diversity and equallity reality, the only sign of any real diversity is in its portfolio of global investments.

In response to the award, Bunce said: ‘I am truly honoured and humbled by this award and am proud of the progress we are making towards all forms of gender diversity and equality.’

The “we” in this case refers to business in general as well as Credit Suisse in particular.

However, just by looking at Credit Suisse itself, we see that not only is there not one black person on their current board of directors, but of their 13 members only 3 are women.In addition, it’s all-white executive board, responsible for company’s day-to-day management, is similarly distorted with only 3 women out of 11 board members. This reflects the patriarchal structure and reality of the corporate world in general where women - and women of colour especially - are kept down by the infamous glass ceiling.

According to a recent report by Cranfield School of Management, the percentage of women who held executive positions on the boards of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies was 9.7% and 6.4% respectively as at June 2018. This institutional sexism is accompanied by an even greater racial bias in which the absolute predominance of caucasian males is mirrored by a paltry representation of black women.

Phillip Bunce, the celebrated white male champion of women in business and the LGBT+ hero of diversity is not just silent in face of this gross inequality but declares himself to be “proud” of it.

So when Forstater tweeted her annoyance at this, you might expect all partisans of equality and diversity to join with her. Not so. Amongst the trans women activists there are few if any who stand up for women’s rights. They mostly celebrate Bunce’s award and villify Forstater for questioning it. Some trans women who have suffererd years of surgical reconstruction and hormone therapy, did express their anger that a guy could get the award just for weaing a wig, false boobs, high heels and a pink dress. In general though, the LGBTQ + and trans activiists welcomed it and supported Forstater’s sacking.

Sound the horns, let the hunt begin

One woman who did stand by Forstater was the author J K Rowling. For doing so she too has fallen foul of the trans establishment. Like Forstater herself, Rowling defends trans people’s lifestyles, rights and choices but believes that does not negate the existence of two distinct sexes and the recognition of specifically women’s rights. She also believes in the right of free speech. For this she has been savagely mauled in the most abusive and misogynist fashion by a pack of speech-hate hounds baying for her blood and that of anyone who is associated with her. But it’s not just the hounds who are giving chase.

Under existing legislation a hate incident is defined by the Crown Prosecution Sevice in accordance with people’s perceptions, not neutral evidence. If someone perceives someone else as having committed hate speech or some other hate crime, and reports it to the police, it has to be flagged in the system as such. And it will stay there permanently even if no evidence is ever found to establish any kind of crime. As a result it will show up in any police check carried out as part of an employment application and would be held against you.

The legal basis for this was established by the 1986 Public Order Act which establishes a series of offences under the headings of racial and religious hatred and others classified as causing harassment, alarm or distress. In all such cases offences can arise as a result of:

· use of words or behaviour or display of written material (section 18),

· publishing or distributing written material (section 19),

· public performance of a play (section 20),

· distributing, showing or playing a recording (section 21),

· broadcasting (section 22). or

· possession of racially inflammatory material (section 23)

Just as this law was passed in response the civil unrest registered by the Brixton rebellion of 1981 and the Miners Strike of 1984-85, it was following the London riots of 2011 that the Tory government of David Cameron attempted to limit access to social media to persons it deemed to be “troublemakers”.

The various attempts to trample on people’s right to say, write, read or watch what they want has yet to develop into a full stampede. But it is constant and in some instances includes blanket surveillance and repression. Such is the case with the Counter- terrorism and Security Act of 2015 which enforces a system of observation, reporting and possible prosecution in the public sector against anyone from aged 5 upwards suspected of encouraging or being influenced by extremism. This has already created several cases of school and university students being reported to the police for something they have said, read or written as part of their school , college or university studies.

Cops assess students written work

In an article which appeared in the September 11, 2020 issue of the Independent newspaper it was reported that 3 students at De Montefort University in Leicester had their essays given to the police for assessment while another student at Wolverhampton University was hauled in for questioning in response to a piece of written work. In the same vein, the University of Reading flagged as “sensitive” an essay by a prominent left-wing academic, because its discussion of the ethics of socialist revolution.

This policing of thought and literature within an education environment was rightly condemned by both academics and student representatives. Fope Olaleye, a black students’ officer at the National Union of Students (NUS), said:

“The level of surveillance being experienced by students, especially vulnerable students, is already having a censorious and chilling effect on who can engage in educational spaces.”

He went on to say:

“There is no doubt that the relationship between lecturers and students has changed, from one of partners in learning to that of suspects and informants, and this must change.

Universities and colleges should be spaces of critical thinking, not sites of surveillance.”

The transgender establishment together with the proponents of political correctness and the British state are as one when it comes to free speech. In place of a free and civil exchange of ideas, they strive to police our thought and speech and to persecute and criminalise those who challenge or even question their entrenched position.

Amidst this atmosphere of fear and hostility, it is imperative that we not only stand up for the rights of women to speak openly and freely, but we oppose all efforts to gag and censor dissenting viewpoints. If the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter movement teaches us anything at all, it is that we cannot rely upon the state to fight inequality, discrimination and oppression. However much they may say they are defending diversity, the reality is they are its deadly enemies. To paraphrase Karl Marx, the emancipation of the oppressed is the task of the oppressed alone, a struggle that cannot advance unless we defend and facilitate the freeest and fullest exchange of ideas.

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Mar 14
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