5 Rather Educational Weeks

Tomorrow marks #ManFriday the 5th, and what a hectic 5 weeks it’s been. We’ve been variously:

  • Steeling our brovaries for #randomactsofmanliness
  • Lobbying our MPs and MSPs
  • Writing to public organisations
  • Swimming
  • Testing out the perve-proofedness of the changing rooms in Marks & Spencer, Primark and Topman (clue: they’re really not ready for their self-ID policies)
  • Appearing in local, national and even international newspapers, on the radio and on TV
  • Engaging in debate online and in person
  • Handing out leaflets
  • Encouraging over 8000 people to sign our petition
  • Wearing our #ManFriday badges with pride

Has it been a success? Yes, it has.

In 5 weeks we have:

  • Blown apart the #nodebate hashtag that previously dominated the discussion around self-ID;
  • Successfully pushed Swim England to withdraw their deeply flawed Guide to Engaging Trans People in Swimming, which, among other things, told centres that women who complained about men in their changing rooms, toilets, showers and female swimming lessons needed to be re-educated and gas-lighted into accepting that men are really women. Swim England have now opened a public consultation before they publish new guidance. You can bet we’re engaging!
  • Prompted swimming and leisure centres across the country to put into place policies that are trans-friendly as well as protecting women and girls’ legal and lawful right to single-sex facilities; and
  • Proven that self-ID policies are open abuse, leaving women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity at risk.

In that time, we have sent pro-self-ID campaigners, eager to replace the objective term ‘sex’ with a misogynistic, lesbo-phobic definition of ‘gender identity’, into something of a tailspin.  We’ve been threatened, we’ve been accused of transphobia and we’ve even been accused (falsely and without the slightest basis) of being partially to blame for the murder of a transwoman by a man in a hotel room. These threats and slurs have been accompanied by shocking misogyny, with women being blamed for ‘provoking’ men into murdering them and such murders being dismissed as ‘boring, pedestrian, even accidental’, the result of ‘too much alcohol’, ‘domestic violence “gone wrong”, or women just having thin skulls.

Let’s be clear here: women are never to blame for male violence. It is never a woman’s fault when a man hits her, rapes her or murders her.

Let’s be clear again: pointing out the obvious pitfalls of policies and laws that allow men to self-identify as women and then be given access to single-sex rights, services, spaces, posts, protections and programmes is not transphobic. Neither is calling for a free and fair debate around such laws and policies. Neither is demanding that women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity are upheld.

We thank our supporters and the organisations who have engaged with us. If you agree with our aims, please do sign the petition at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/214118

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