Many people will know by now that Mumsnet was hit by a data breach today in which a former intern published screenshots including Mumsnetters’ personal data. The intern, Emma Healey, described the screenshots as proof of the transphobia she felt was rampant among Mumsnetters and Mumsnet staff. As an intern at Mumsnet, Healey had access to users’ full data, including real names, email addresses, dates of birth, IP addresses, location and sometimes even home addresses. During her internship, she stole an unknown amount of this data and has now used it in Twitter posts calling Mumsnetters ‘transphobic scum’ and criticising the site’s policy of allowing open discussion of gender-critical views.
On #ManFriday the 6th, we look back at the week that was.
We have now brought the issue of self-identification to the rails! The Caledonian Sleeper’s transgender policy allows male passengers who identify as women to use female-only compartments, which means that a woman who chooses to share her cabin may end up sharing it with a male passenger, albeit one who identifies as a woman. Rupert Soames, CEO, claims that Caledonian’s travellers “were not deceitful”. Maybe. But which woman wants to take that chance?
#ManFriday the 5th falls on Good Friday, and as we want to stay on this rather nice moral high ground, we will be celebrating our 5th week of #randomactsofmanliness by sharing peace and love with all mankind.
We will be taking to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Mumsnet, Instagram, whatever your platform of choice) to share our admiration for women and girls who have stood for the #ManFriday tagline: Protecting women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity.
Using the hashtag #ManFriday, share a story, picture or quote about a woman or girl you know, or one you don’t.
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
- 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.
Swim England are now reviewing their guidance on engaging trans people in swimming.
Please take part! Email Swim England and ask to be included in the consultation. Every voice counts.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama, 2008.
Picture by Sandy Draws Badly
Let’s start with this statement: I am not going to justify women having their own spaces. Thousands of women, some I know, most I don’t, fought the fight for women’s spaces before I was born so that I, and other women in the UK today, don’t have to. Thanks to them, women’s rights, protections, spaces, and services exist to facilitate women’s participation in social life by upholding and protecting our safety, privacy and dignity. Programs and offices reserved for women seek to redress systemic discrimination against women that puts us at a disadvantage compared to our male peers.
I joined ManFriday after watching Amy’s Mumsnet thread in real time, being really impressed by her imagination and bravery. I loved the concept of highlighting the nonsense of self-ID by shining a light on how easy it was to abuse. My initial activism was a little lame – I joined the Facebook group and donated to the crowdfunder for the badges and I watched. I considered joining Amy for her first swim but the weather and an innate laziness kept me at home that day.
You probably think I’m a little bit absurd, self-identifying as a man to make a point, going into men’s single sex spaces to make them feel uncomfortable, let me tell you the story of how I became a radical feminist activist.
The first time I was sexually assaulted I was 12.