The 2019 Witch Hunts.

The Witch Hunts, which began in the 1500’s, swept across Europe in the 17th Century. Estimates of the deaths vary wildly with the most conservative estimates, of casualties, ranging around 60,000.  Feminist theories of the trials focussed on the sex of the victims. In England a staggering 90% were women. Coincidentally (not) this was inversely proportionate to the sex composition of the saintly class. Theories which contradict the feminist interpretation can’t dismiss the sex of the victims. Some theorists point to the role of the rise of the printing press in the spread of Witchcraft Trials. This modern re-enactment owes much to Twitter.  Twitter Shaming has replaced the burning.  Just when this will tip over into more serious violence, against a woman, is anyone’s guess.  The violent incidents we have already seen have been denied, dismissed and minimised. This is a dangerous climate we are creating for women.

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The focus was on a particular type of woman. Those who were not assimilated & under male control.  In the 2000’s this can extend to women with an “unseemly” critique of a male dominated society / financially independent women.  Many of the twitter hunts echo this pattern of selecting modern-day witches. Women defending  our right to name ourselves, organise as a class, and exclude males, in defined spaces, are the new witches, or, Terfs, if you will.

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Women who have been paying attention, or directly involved in the Terfwars,  are not surprised by the demonization of women.  Lately the target group has widened to include public attacks on JK Rowling and Caroline Criado-Perez. Maybe we can snatch some positives from the, increasingly vitriolic, Social Justice Warrior crusades. Maybe it will finally trigger some self- awareness in our political elite.

Caroline Criado- Perez has not, to my knowledge, entered into the fray regarding the conflict between women’s rights and trans rights.  She has, incurred the wrath of the Trans Activists for two cardinal sins.  The first is for a book which looks at the experience of women, as a sex class, in a world built around default humans, otherwise known as males.

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The book analyses the way the world has been built to accommodate males and left women, the majority, obliged to slot into a world where we are not the template human.   Some of those things relate to female biology and this is anathema to the robotic mantra chanters of  “Transwomen are women”. For example, female heart attacks are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed. One would assume that redressing this would be welcomed by feminists across the land.  Not so. The problem is that discussing female matters now triggers cries of “transphobia”.  Women centring ourselves in our own political movement is viewed as discriminatory against wannabe women.   Medically women have different bodies. Different physiology. Women don’t have prostates!

If we are not allowed to say how we are different to males  we will remain invisible.  Sex matters.  If you identify “with” women, you would understand this. The need to erase all distinctions between transwomen and women is a pathological obsession with *some* TransActivists. Logically “trans” should exist as a distinct category to capture accurate data, for example,  for medical reasons or documenting crime , both against and by the trans community. If feminists were demanding the eradication of data, specifically related to trans people, we would be accused of erasing trans identities. The demand, ironically, is coming from within the Trans community.

Criado’s second “offence” was to reject the label “Cisgender”.  This attempt to impose nomenclature on women is interesting.  Cis, for the uninitiated, is the term given to women who identify with the “gender” they were born with.  Women protest in vain. We don’t identify with a “gender”, we just are women.  Apparently, being “CisGender” affords us “privilege” over born males who identify as women.  Not only are we being “told” we identify with a set of crass, reductive, stereotypes, we are further advised we are privileged  to do so.  Let me break that down.  Members of the male (oppressor) class are colonising a female identity and then telling their, unwilling, hosts  we are  actually the oppressor of the, mainly white,  male class of colonisers.  Truth Inversion is a common feature of this discourse. Any woman with her wits about her would reject the label “CIS”.

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No Gender Apostate can be allowed to go unpunished and twitter duly obliges.  I love this one.  Any woman over forty, who has a platform, is guilty until proven innocent.  There is a common pattern in misogyny which often targets older women. Mature (Wise-women)  were similarly overrepresented in the witch trials of the 1600’s.

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JK Rowling’s has a bigger platform so the attacks are louder. The threshold for “offences” is low and seems to be limited to “likes” &  follows on twitter.  Rowling has been subject to the popular twitter past-time of offence archaeology; where whole threads are dedicated to excavating her twitter feed for outrage opportunities.  As far as I can ascertain it can basically be summed up as “Goody Rowling was seen talking to Goody Berns”.  In this case JK Rowling has followed Magdalen Berns, a Radical Feminist, and Lesbian, who was unforgivably, it would seem, prescient about where this was all heading.  In response to the witch hunt Rowling has, incredibly, stuck two fingers up at the haters and added Julie Bindel and Fionne Orlander to her follows.  Fionne (if you don’t already know) is a self-proclaimed male, battling Dysphoria, embracing gender transgression & trying to forge a path that makes a claim on male spaces, not female. (@FionneOrlander)

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Here are some examples of the abuse hurled her way.  First up the peremptory demand for an apology. Repent Ye Witch!

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Information sharing to drag in other Terfs is another familiar theme from Witch Hunts.  The Woke Stasi trawling for gender apostates.  We’re going on a Terf Hunt!

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Next come the book burnings!  How on earth did Enid Blyton survive the Author pogroms?  (Oh. Wait. She is forgiven because we can, retrospectively,  “Trans” George)

B66C76C5-C550-4E0F-B21D-E4ABB08C3D40And, naturally, it would not be complete without casting aspersions on her personal attractiveness.  Inconvenient women are totally unfamiliar with this tactic. Women deemed “unfuckable” have no other purpose but as a receptacle for male rage.

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For anyone puzzling about the women are joining in the attacks on their “sisters” you need only look at the work of Christina Larner and Ann Bastow , on the original Witchcraft trials.

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An interesting feature of this “debate” has been the attacks on trans allies for deviating from the every more complex and changing script.  The trans equivalent of “witch” is “Truscum” or , latterly “Transmedicalists”.  The latter term is imposed on Transexuals (another verboten description) who have actually made some meaningful attempt to escape their masculine bodies. They are an affront to the #LadyPenis proponents. Particular opprobrium is reserved for those who accept their biology and eschew single sex spaces in alliance with women.  This is a necessary part of any alliance with women.

Some of these women allying against the “Terfs” have not learnt the lessons of the past.  The fate of one of the accusers, in the 1600’s, illustrates, how wh the hunts widened, and former collaborators were swept up. The law to allow younger children to testify was specifically modified to lower the prosecution bar for the witch women.  Jennet was persuaded to testify against her family and lo she was implicated and executed in the next round up. First they came for my mum…..

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Watching this unfold it is ought to be clear, by now, that no amount of compromise will be enough. Women are required to completely capitulate and allow males to mandate us, as a class, out of existence. Heaven forfend that women define ourselves, meet to discuss our rights, and fight to keep same sex spaces.  Handing women’s rights over to anyone, who self-defines as a woman, renders our rights obsolete and unenforceable.

Maybe this latest Terf-Hunt will end the silence and generate some self-reflection on how widespread the “witch-hunting” has become, across the political spectrum.  Male Feminists (short for Maleficent, in my mind ) are amongst the worst offenders.

In this modern re-enactment of the Witchcraft  Trials there are some common themes with the trials of yesteryear.   In Scotland the Witch finders acquired a delicious nickname.   The wannabe Mathew Hopkins If 2019 well deserve an updated, abbreviated, modern version. I will think on it. 👇

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Get ready! Women are waking up to this. We are saying #EnoughIsEnough.

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Gender Identity: Redefining Women

Feminism has taken a strange, and frankly baffling,  turn whilst I was distracted.  The brand of Feminism I knew regarded gender as a social construct. Simone De Beauvoir, said “women are born not made” she did not mean that women can be male born. She meant that women were inculcated into the “right” way to be a woman in a Patriarchal society. Similarly “Intersectional Feminism” doesn’t mean women have to centre males in our feminism. (See Kimberle Crenshaw). Female socialisation is not homogenous across different cultures, and times, and needs a different lens to see the layers of oppression when sex intersects with, for example, your race or class. Women are still a sex class but our experience of being “women” intersects with, race or class.  Once again,  “intersectional feminism” does not mean the category of woman has to be inclusive of males, any more than Rachel Dolezal has to be included in “black”

Fast forward to the age of Woko Haram.  The new feminism regards “intersectional feminism” as meaning we include biological males, socialised as men, as literal women.  Suddenly gender is real and a basis for legislation and public policy. It is argued that “Gender Identity”  is innate and that this “subjective sense of self” trumps biological reality because, wait for it….. now biology is the social construct! Being a woman is performative we are told,  so males who perform gender are now able to identify into a biological sex class which, in the UK at least, is a legally protected characteristic.

I didn’t always see it this way.  Like many women I barely raised an eyebrow at the Gender Recognition Act.  Here is a summary of my trajectory.

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My concern at the implications, for women, only surfaced when I saw the more extreme manifestations of trans ideology.  I could scarcely believe how swiftly this was taken up by mainstream political parties. It seemed to have cognitively captured a diverse array of organisations.

Let us start with the labelling of  women as  “Cis” because it raises some interesting points.  We are being told that we are Cis-Gender which means that, unlike those born male, we have the privilege of identifying with the sex we were born.  (I say born but Trans-activists describe this as the sex we were “assigned at birth“).  If , like me, you see Gender as a social construct this is to be resisted. Gender/Sex Stereotypes have been constructed around female biology but don’t necessarily arise from it. (I am not a blank slate proponent in its totality but its so hard to unpack biology from socialisation etc). Feminist thought separated out Sex & Gender to identify those “socially constructed” attributes designed to confine and limit women.  These vary over time but the obvious ones are that our Lady Brains are not suited to “hard science”, we are better suited to caring work and University would lead to ruination for the gentle sex….something about shrivelled wombs.. Now, if in fact, we are deemed to identify “with” our “gender” this means that Cis-Gender women accept that collection of sexist stereotypes as our “identity”.   No feminist in her right mind would accept that.

Another pernicious result of the “cis” label is the notion that women (actual, biological, women) have privilege over males,  who merely identify as women.  What a neat trick. Men colonise women’s spaces, roles and very being and then tell the colonised that we are in fact the oppressor class!  Thousands of years of Patriarchy and finally men have come up with a neat way to blame women for their dominant role in the sex hierarchy.

To question this, even mildly, invites opprobrium at a Testerical level. The  pejorative term “Terf” was coined. This is justified as a mere acronym for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Femnist”. It is, we are told, merely a descriptive term.  The usage belies this.  It is dished out with accompanying threats of rape and violence and often coupled with those lovely epithets “cunt” and “bitch”.  So many males, self-proclaimed feminists, and those who claim to identify as women, use threats of rape and violence to silence women. Seems like the new boss is very much like the old one.

 

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I still have sympathy for “refugees from masculinity” a term coined by Miranda Yardley, a transsexual.  I just don’t think it is the job of women to run the refugee camp.  Women’s rights are under threat and the attack has taken me by surprise, because it came from such an unexpected quarter.  I should clarify that I  have late onset misogyny  realisation , about Transactivism, but Cassandra’s like Magdalen Berns, certainly saw it coming. Magdalen’s youtube video on Men Going their own way anticipated this.  You can watch it here:  Magdalen Bern

Reifying gender and encoding “gender identity” in law ascribes  a set of “sex stereotypes” the status of naturally occurring phenomena.  Since deconstructing the notion of “gender” is a central aim of my feminism its elevation, into a basis for law and public policy is, deeply regressive.  Our aim is  unpicking the notion of a, biologically determined, set of characteristics which, we are told, are innate to women.  I may not be fully on board with blank slatist, Tabular Rasa thinking but we do need to be sceptical about why all the traits  assigned to women, at birth, are the ones used to limit and oppress us.  I am at significant odds with this ideology which attacks women as propping up biologically essentialist notions of womanhood (spoiler it doesn’t) whilst demanding that we accept the notion of a Lady Brain (which does!).

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How is it possible that this is proclaimed as a new way to “Smash the Gender Binary”? It seems rather to entrench sex stereotypes and entrench binary thinking about sex.  In a further  sleight of hand the “problem” has been outsourced for the women to sort out.  Funny how everyone knows which sex is responsible for the provision of emotional labour.  The labour is being assigned to females and not those who seek to identify as us.

Along the way the Pharma-Medico-Industrial complex stands to make a great deal of money. The way this has been embraced by anarchists, anti-capitalists and the “I am literally a communist” brigade is mind-bogglingly incomprehensible.  This is neoliberalism on cross-sex hormones.  A compassionate response, to accommodate a rare disorder,  has been monetised and is being inculcated in vulnerable youth, Many who are struggling to understand where they fit now that “gender” has been elevated over biological sex and they don’t conform to the gender stereotype that fits their biological sex.  Many of these, gender non-conforming, children would, if left alone, and, crucially, unmedicalized grow up to be gay adults and yet Stonewall is one of the biggest cheerleaders for this ideology.

We are in the grip of a regressive ideology which is all the more dangerous because it is being, incorrectly, labelled as progressive.  In the UK every political party (bar the Communist Party of Great Britain) has embraced the notion of gender identity over material reality.  It is women’s material reality that is being denied.  It is women who are being asked to give up the word “woman” and accept being labelled in reductive ways such as “Cervix Havers” or “Uterus Bearers”  Even the British Medical Association has recommended that we should refer to “Pregnant People” in order to be “inclusive” of females who identify as men.  I have seen no such reductive terminology applied to men.

In my next post I will look at the organisations who are campaigning for an end to the legally protected characteristic of sex. A campaign which is being conducted, in stealth, and has cognitively captured Local Councils, Crown Prosecution Services and the Ministry of Justice, to name a few. All are getting ahead of an anticipated legal change.   For women like me the 100 year  anniversary of the right to vote is a bitter milestone as I am now, effectively, disenfranchised.  I have nowhere to exercise that vote that does not require  me to support a party seeking to mandate me, a woman, out of existence.

I hesitate to claim the label “Radical Feminist” only in so much as I don’t feel I have earned it. Right now we all need to aspire to it because Liberal Feminism has totally let women down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWITTER & WOMEN

A post on my (temporary) twitter ban.  For this tweet: 👇

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Is twitter tone policing women?  I routinely watch women disciplined for comments men utter with impunity. It’s almost as if this is a tale of two sexes.  We, in the UK, have the protected category of “sex” enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act. Twitter has its own list of protected groups. None specifically relate to “sex”, probably because we are expected to pretend  sex doesn’t exist any more, unless it’s meaning is bent all out of shape. 

Many of my tweets concentrate on the impact of trans ideology on women’s rights. There are real consequences of privileging  an “identity” over women’s material reality.  I also have a concern that the notion of an “innate gender essence”  may have a negative effect on, likely gay, youth.  I have reasonable grounds to raise this. Prospective gay adults  often “fail” to conform to sex stereotypical behaviour.  Many are aware  they are “different” long before they realise their sexuality.  Teaching materials which preach that “gender is a spectrum” can, and do, inculcate “Gender Dysphoria”. Failure to align with stereotypical characteristics, assigned to your sex, is a common experience. If your “gender identity” does not align to your biological sex you are in the majority.  Nobody identifies 100% with a social construct. A  belief in the concept of an innate gender essence may give rise to a feeling you are in need of medicalised interventions to “correct” this mismatch.  That is regressive and conservative. Its not liberating . We are building a new “straight” jacket!   A medically constructed closet.

The inherent danger, in gender ideology,  is that it mitigates against understanding and accepting same sex attraction, instead, gay youth come to believe they are merely “born in the wrong body”.  To contextualise this we must remember the  severe social penalties for behaving in a Gender-non- conformist way. For gay teens this may lead  to a rejection of self , regardless of  whether this is labelled “internalised homophobia”.

James Barret works at the UKs oldest Gender Identity Clinic.  He  also recognised that there are a high proportion of gay children who may adopt a “gender identity” which is at odds with their biological sex. Most resolve this if allowed to go through natural puberty. The introduction of medicalised methods to block puberty do not allow for this. Professor Ray Blanchard also highlights that, far from allowing a “pause”, as is often claimed, blocking puberty sets kids on a medicalised trajectory, a path  from which they do not step off.

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As a parent of one of those formerly “out” gay teens it is my parental responsibility to help my child navigate this path.  Premature medicalisation is not the answer.  I have discussed this with adult Transexuals who, even whilst happy with their current pathway, are concerned at the spike in referrals to Gender Identity Clinics. They  see the danger for gay children wrongly swept up in a surge of children/teens with Gender Identity confusion.  In working towards more social acceptance, and better medical care, for the Trans community we may be wreaking untold harm on a generation of , prospective,  gay adults.

It was in response to a discussion on this that I posted the tweet below. This  has led to  my account being  limited , for twelve hours, under twitter rules on “hateful conduct”.

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My options are to remove this tweet or to appeal.  I have appealed.  At present this has left me locked out of twitter and unable to change privacy settings, to protect my account. This means I have no recourse to rebut, or correct. any misunderstandings or misrepresentations. Removing this tweet will also mean that, for 14 days, there will be  a message stating my tweet has been removed for “hateful conduct“. There is no hate in this tweet. None.

I am raising a relevant concern which has also been raised by Gender Identity Professionals. This is a quote from a clinician who has departed from the UKs leading Gender Identity Clinic due to similar concerns. This quote echoes my reservations about the medicalised pathway.

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Children  are subject to relentless bullying for behaviour that may mean they would grow up to be homosexual.  Many parents have direct experience of this and it is inextricably bound up with gender non-conformity. In this context the notion you are  “born in the wrong body” is, superficially, attractive.  It is incumbent on us all to adopt a cautious approach and ensure we do not prematurely medicalise children. Most would, if left alone, desist (from a trans-identity), reconcile to biological sex, and grow up to a fulfilling life as a gay male or Lesbian.

It is not bigotry, to say this.

I love the twitter platform.  If, however, it fails to facilitate legitimate discussion it will be viewed as authoritarian and antithetical to free speech.  If this tweet fails to pass the test for legitimate debate they may find themselves on the “wrong side of history”.

Researching Gender Identity Ideology and its impact on Women and our Gay Youth. Support is always appreciated (I have no income) but I would be equally happy if you contributed to a relevant legal case, a crowdfunder for Lesbian and Gay News or Safe Schools Alliance

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