Via Women Uniting
Artillery Row

Beware of feminists bearing leaflets

If you’re heading-out into the streets ahead of the local elections beware, you are at risk of being offered a leaflet about women’s rights. Worse still, you might come across a stall staffed by women who will try to brainwash you into believing that people can’t change sex. There’s even a chance that the candidate you vote for might believe that single-sex services are worth protecting.

This has been in part due to the work of Respect My Sex — a campaign launched by a broad coalition of women’s rights groups with support from across the political spectrum — it seeks to put sex on the political agenda. No longer will a pledge about bin collections and a zero-tolerance approach to dog fouling secure a vote; today’s local politicians need to appeal to women who vote with their vulvas.

The prospect of answering pissed-off, well-informed women has sent many candidates into a flap

For some political hopefuls this has been a shock. Last week, “non-binary” Liberal Democrat candidate Charley Hasted was left “shaking with anger” after an encounter with women’s rights campaigners. Hasted was heading into a hustings at the Baptist Chapel in Herne Hill when she was offered a leaflet by one of a group of women standing outside the venue. The “Respect My Sex” leaflet called for the protection of single-sex spaces; an idea which is deeply offensive to those who believe that feelings about gender identity must be centred at all times. 

An eyewitness with the group said Hasted responded by calling the woman proffering the leaflet a “transphobe” and asking “do you know you’ve been giving leaflets to trans people?” Hasted then took her seat on the panel of candidates. 

Women’s rights campaigner Helen Staniland was one of those handing out leaflets before the hustings. She recalls the group “had no idea who the candidates were” adding “it shouldn’t matter anyway- it’s a massive problem that people have tied their identity to politics; they feel that they can complain about a personal attack whenever they see anything that they can spin as anti-trans”.

And certainly, Hasted took the political difference personally — the prospective politician tweeted after the encounter:

“There are Terfs leafletting outside my hustings and I am shaking with anger. This place is my HOME. I have never felt unsafe living in Herne Hill as a trans person and they have no right to take that away from me.”

Gender identity is an elitist concept

The post went viral, prompting both mockery and sympathy. Official Liberal Democrat accounts from across the UK were quick to condemn the actions of the uppity women handing-out leaflets. Former daytime television presenter India Willoughby chimed-in to suggest the women’s rights campaigners had been “spreading poison outside the home of a young trans Liberal Democrat candidate who is bravely standing in the local elections” — apparently misunderstanding that the event was at a church.

It seems the prospect of answering pissed-off, well-informed women has sent many candidates into a flap. Tales of attempts to shut down women voters, and indeed candidates, are emerging across the country as the impact of the Respect My Sex campaign begins to bite. 

On Saturday in Newport women’s rights activists set-up a stall with Respect My Sex leaflets. After chatting to members of the public and explaining their case, four PCSOs arrived to investigate, explaining that there had been a report about the group to the control room. But there was nothing a reasonable person could find offensive, so after reading the leaflets and having the campaign explained to them, the PCSOs toddled off. 

Some supporters of the Respect My Sex message who are standing in local elections have been hounded and monstered in local press coverage. A recent Wales online headline described Cllr Sue Lent as making “anti-trans” comments after she questioned the concept of gender identity on social media. Similarly, Deputy Mayor Cllr Ruby Cox has been barred from attending her local Pride march because she refused to agree with organisers “that trans men are men and trans women are women, and should be treated as such”.

A petty band of gender-addled grievance mongers have been allowed to control the narrative for too long. They have weaponised the urge to be kind towards those seen as vulnerable minorities. But there’s been no spate of stabbings committed by feminists handing out leaflets or standing on stalls. The only threat to people like Hasted is that people might see through their spurious claims of victimhood and take their votes, and sympathy, elsewhere. 

Respect My Sex is forcing local politicians to grapple with questions that have long tripped-up their bigger siblings in Westminster. A practised parliamentary politician might well be able to ramble on about a “toxic debate” until an interviewer gets bored, but if a prospective councillor fails to say “a woman is an adult human female” at a local hustings the audience will simply assume they’re on crack.

By its nature, gender identity is an elitist concept — dazzled by rainbows and doublethink, organisations and institutions wanting to seem progressive have enthusiastically, and unthinkingly, adopted its tenets. Across the country groups, often in receipt of funding, have quickly established themselves as “experts”, branding those who ask questions as backward and bigoted. But local politics is not about high concepts, it’s about communities. For this reason the upcoming elections are the perfect space to expose the deranged demands of trans activists, and to pull-down their façade of fragility.

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