Maya Forstater Picture credit: Barney Cokeliss/@BCokeliss

Maya’s day in court

The feminist fix: If you’re bullied in the workplace gather an army and fight back

Artillery Row

“Maya’s day in court” is the latest article in Julie Bindel’s online column for The Critic, “The feminist fix”, which explores feminism’s answer to today’s challenges. The previous article, on how young trans people are being pushed into prostitution, can be read here.

Since 2004, when trans activists first tried to cancel me, I have wondered what it would be like to engage with them under the normal rules of public debate. The whole LGBTQQIA2Spirit+ Rainbow Community has been drip fed no debate by Stonewall for years, making this very unlikely to happen, but still I would have fantasies about a group of us, five on each side, being locked in a building and getting so bored with the lack of Netflix or booze that we decided to go there, to have the arguments, to lay our viewpoints bare. It would be filmed of course, and subsequently leaked to the world. 

It was telling and hilarious in equal measure

This kept me going during the bleak years where barely anyone spoke out about the danger of transwomen invading single sex spaces. But now, despite the odds, my wish has come true, and no need for false imprisonment or kidnapping either. The debate, much to the chagrin of the blue fringe brigade, has been aired during a three-week employment tribunal and the Emperor is buck naked, his lady dick waving for all to see. Even the cute pink and blue trans flag can’t cover his humiliation.  

In October 2018 Maya Forstater was employed as a consultant by the US-based non-profit Centre for Global Development (CGD). Some staff in the Washington DC office raised internal concerns about a number of her tweets, which they claimed were “transphobic.” An internal investigation followed, and weeks later, her contract as a consultant at CGD was ended, and subsequently, an offer to continue as a visiting fellow was withdrawn. 

Forstater decided to sue CGD on the grounds of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, but in November 2019, the Employment Tribunal ruled against her. They held that her “absolutist” beliefs, that trans women are NOT actual, literal women, and that sex and gender identity are not the same, are “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

Forstater appealed the judgement, and in June last year the decision was published. She had won and would be able to continue with a discrimination claim. A fresh tribunal was convened which was tasked with the job of deciding whether Forstater’s behaviour in the office amount to harassment of, or discrimination against, trans people, and whether she herself was discriminated against on the grounds of her beliefs. The tribunal has now concluded and will deliberate before making a ruling. 

Watching the proceedings remotely, and following them via @tribunaltweets, I realised I was getting what I wished for since 2004. In a court of law, when witnesses swear an oath to tell the truth, it is impossible to shout “no debate,” no platform your opponent, storm out of the room or pull an empty chair stunt. 

Under the scrupulous cross-examination of Ben Cooper QC, several blue fringed, pronoun wielding senior staff from CGD were required to explain themselves and answer the questions asked of them. Evidence was put to them. They were challenged rigorously when they tried to wriggle out of answering a question. It was telling and hilarious in equal measure. 

Take the way Ben Cooper QC handled the issue of Philip or Pip Bunce, a banker (I find rhymes so handy). Bunce describes himself as a “part time cross dresser”, yet still won a “Woman of the Year” award. Outrageously, and totally unreasonably, the monstrous Forstater used male pronouns, described him using his own language, and objected to his winning an award for women. Under cross examination, these facts were pointed out to Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President (who handily adds She/Her to her Twitter handle in case we are wondering) leading to the following exchange:

Cooper: You’ve now seen how Phillip Bunce describes himself.

Glassman: Yes.

Cooper: And it’s an accurate description? 

Glassman: I don’t agree. It’s offensive to him…or her.

Unconscionably, the hell-bent ideologue Forstater had pointed out whilst in the workplace, discussing safeguarding issues, that the vast majority of sex offenders towards women and girls are male, which is one of the reasons women and girls need single sex services and spaces. 

When Chief Operating Officer Mark Plant was asked why it was so wrong of Forstater to raise this issue, he seemed to not understand the question. It was obvious that Plant assumed this meant that she had argued that 99 per cent of men commit sexual offences, as opposed to 99 per cent being committed by men. 

It was Forstater who kept CQ’s pronouns straight

If Plant and colleagues ever get to grips with the use of statistics, CGD should seek to ensure that 50 per cent all employees identify as Black and of colour, 30 per cent as LGBTQQIA2Spirit+, 50 per cent as women, and at least 100 per cent as disabled. After all, Luke Easley (think Owen Jones with an East Coast accent) Vice President of Human Resources, confirmed that CGD would recognise Rachel Dolezal as Black. 

CGD refrains from collecting statistics about which employees and consultants identify as transgender, but, according to is website, 13 percent belong to the “LGBTQ+ community”. With the alphabet soup including straight male kinksters, it could be that the rainbow is in fact made up of heterosexual blokes that get a kick out of throttling women during sex whilst wearing a gimp mask. 

And if these men can identify into women’s oppression, why can’t CGD take a faster route to achieving its core aim of eradicating poverty? Surely, they could simply notify impoverished people that they can identify as solvent. And for those in African nations at risk of famine and suffering the effects of the climate crisis, why not just become European? 

He went further. For Easley, how you identify is literally what keeps body and soul together. Under cross examination, he uttered the immortal phrase, “identity is reality — without identity there’s just a corpse.” Despite his obvious enthusiasm for, and deep belief in, his subject matter, it was Forstater who kept CQ’s pronouns straight; this exchange is worth printing in full. 

OD: a transwoman did complain didn’t she

MF: no I understand CQ is nonbinary and didn’t complain

OD: Claire works in tax policy doesn’t she?

MF: They!

Best of all, the Washington blue fringes were forced to admit that they singled out Forstater’s beliefs for special scrutiny, having not taken such action against personnel that hold other contested beliefs, such as on religion, abortion and veganism, and that they discriminated against her on that basis. 

The feminist fix to address bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace? Gather an army around you and fight back. If you are able to do it, then do. The vast majority of women are not in a position to go through the arduous and hellishly expensive process of an employment tribunal. Some women, for whatever reason, can’t face the gruelling process and public exposure. So those of us that can, must. 

CGD has been made to look idiotic, with individual senior employees exposed as hypocritical fools. But they have done us a huge favour in refusing to settle this case back in the early days of the Forstater complaint. Instead, they chose to continue the bullying and fight their corner, having been brainwashed into the cult that led them to believe that trans women are women and that feminists are bigots for pointing out material reality. 

The case being played out in public has brought clarity as the position of trans activists: it should now be obvious to all that in order to support transgender ideology, such as the campaign for gender identity to trump women’s human and legal rights, it is necessary to completely denounce feminism and discredit the arguments against male violence and for women only spaces.

Julie Bindel’s latest book, Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation, was published in September 2021.

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