Diversity training for employees (Photo by Tim Leedy)

What a load of pants

Transgender awareness seminars push sexist ideology disguised as progress

Artillery Row

Businesses are paying transgender activist Katie Neeves to run internal trans awareness seminars to educate staff on what it means to be a transgender woman. 

On the surface this appears to send a positive message to employees, demonstrating a commitment to inclusion and equality. Giving a voice to underrepresented and marginalised minorities seems to be a laudable attempt by employers at demonstrating LGBTQ allyship.  

But in reality, these “educational” sessions are pushing a homophobic and sexist ideology disguised as progress and liberalism. Misogyny is misogyny, even if the misogynist is wearing a woman’s blouse. 

Katie Neeves came out as a transgender woman at the age of 49 and three years on claims he “lives as a woman” full time. Living as a woman, according to Neeves, is wearing a short skirt and boots and having white van drivers stop to let you cross the road. 

It is difficult to think of an appropriate time to talk about knickers to a room full of strangers

Although Neeves prefers she/her pronouns, this article will refer to Neeves as he/him. This is not to be rude, disrespectful, or unkind to Neeves but to highlight that the behaviour Neeves displays when running these trans awareness seminars is typical of a middle-aged, paraphilic male. 

Pronouns can act like rohypnol. They can be used to trick women, lower women’s defences, push women’s boundaries and fool women into feeling comfortable and relaxed. Pronouns can encourage women to behave in a way they would around other women rather than to be wary and guarded as they would be around men.    

Neeves’s website states, “I offer a very personal, powerful and authentic insight into what it’s like to be transgender in the UK” and he has delivered training to many organisations including Deutche Telekom, Virgin Media and Zurich Insurance. 

Neeves recently delivered a webinar to a large, London-based corporation as part of LGBT history month. The event was billed as an informative and entertaining session lead by an “inspirational trans ambassador”. 

It is presumptuous to assume the entire transgender community is comfortable with Neeves representing them. Neeves has given himself the brand name “Cool2btrans”, which is exactly the kind of name one might expect a mediocre 52-year-old male with sexual kinks to give himself.   

Six minutes into the session and Neeves is recounting feelings of excitement, shame and humiliation after being caught wearing his sister’s underwear. He speaks of secretly wearing the clothes of family members and girlfriends well into his 20s. The male entitlement is smug and brazen, the consent of the women he violated irrelevant. 

It is difficult to think of an appropriate time to talk about knickers to a room full of strangers, particularly when they’re at work, yet Neeves gleefully manages to drop the word in at every opportunity. He speaks of wearing women’s knickers on a first date, his eyes partially shut, his lips curled with euphoria. It’s uncomfortable to watch, and Neeves’s demeanour suggests the audience’s discomfort is very much his intention. 

If a man presenting as male delivered a professional seminar where he talked salaciously about wearing his sister’s underwear without her consent then he would be branded a pervert and swiftly escorted from the building.

An extreme paraphilia characterised by an erotic interest in oneself as a woman

Neeves identifies as a woman and therefore has his audience by the balls. Neeves claims to be part of an oppressed, marginalised minority. To feel uncomfortable with Neeves giggling as he recounts the shame and humiliation of secretly wearing his sister’s clothes is to be bigoted and transphobic. To be a good ally is to support all LGBTQ people, and Neeves suggests that wearing your sister’s underwear is a transgender woman’s right of passage. But it’s not. It’s really not. It’s invasive. It’s a violation of trust. It sits uncomfortably on the border of sexual abuse. 

In Neeves’ own words: “It felt so right, yeah so right. But then those feelings of feeling right were quickly overtaken by feelings of guilt and shame and self-loathing because what I was doing was wrong. It was dirty. It was naughty.” 

It’s clear the act of wearing his sister’s underwear was exciting and arousing for Neeves. The sexual suggestion is there, without ever saying he was masturbating.

Employers have a duty of care to their female employees, many of whom will have experienced sexual violence. Expecting women to sit through a seminar where a man is recounting what comes across as illicit sexual arousal is irresponsible and inappropriate, it sends the message that female consent isn’t important or relevant. 

If Neeves was truly a woman on the inside, whatever that may mean, then wearing women’s underwear should have felt normal, routine and boring to him. Neeves’s attempts at girlish coquettishness and repeated references to underwear reveals how exciting and naughty he considers womanhood to be. 

One never hears stories of transgender men stealing the boxer shorts from their brothers and secretly wearing them. Pilfering the underwear of close family members seems to be a preoccupation with those born male, or as Neeves firmly instructs in his seminar, those “assigned male at birth.” 

Neeves’s website asserts, “I am not associated with any campaign groups and I have no hidden agenda”, yet in the session he describes the LGB Alliance, a charity set up for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people, as a “transphobic hate group”. The agenda is plain to see. 

Neeves states that sex isn’t binary, we’re all on a spectrum, and most troublingly we are all being “forced” to adhere to a system that supports regressive binary sex. In other words, women’s sex-based rights and protections should be done away with. 

Katie Neeves appears to fit the criteria of having Ray Blanchard’s transsexualism typology, autogynephilia (AGP). Blanchard proposed that many late-transitioning trans women were driven to do so by an extreme paraphilia characterised by an erotic interest in oneself as a woman. 

AGPs are typically sexually attracted to women. Neeves describes himself as a lesbian. They are more likely to transition later in life and to have been conventionally masculine in presentation up until that point. Neeves was presenting as a man called Martin until the age of 49. He has been married twice and fathered a child. 

It is important to stress that not all transgender women have AGP and there is nothing inherently perverted about being transgender. It just so happens that Katie Neeves is both transgender and boasts of the behaviour of a pervert. The two should not be confused. 

There is, of course, nothing wrong with being a pervert in the privacy of your own home as long as all involved are consenting adults.   

There is everything wrong with being a pervert and stating in a professional seminar that your perversions should take precedence over women’s sex-based rights and protections. 

How have we got here? How is it in 2022 that men with a paraphilia are lauded as an oppressed minority while women no longer have female only Rape Crisis services? That men like Neeves who boast about secretly wearing his sister’s underwear are allowed to self-identify into recovery sessions for female childhood sexual abuse survivors to feel ultimate validation as a woman? 

“Aha, you want separate but equal, you Nazi!?”, is the usual response from trans activists. It’s a compelling argument. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of history. Activists such as Neeves assert that sex segregation is as regressive as racial segregation which is a clever way to scare people into supporting self-identification and chanting “trans women are women”.  

How has this happened?  

Stonewall has a lot to answer for. Stonewall could have focussed efforts on anti-discrimination or specialist services for transgender people but instead it has painted itself into a corner by dismissing the rights and needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in favour of lobbying to obliterate women’s rights. 

Men cannot define female oppression

Linda Riley, the publisher of Diva Magazine (historically a magazine for lesbian and bisexual woman) also has a lot to answer for. Diva magazine has a column written by an AGP male who writes freely of feeling aroused wearing his sister’s used underwear. 

Katie Neeves is an active member of Diva Magazine’s online community (of course he is) and will probably have felt reassured from reading the AGP column that lesbians and bisexual women are supportive of AGPs. The online forum is monitored by trans activists and any woman who steps out of line and questions the ideology is blocked. 

Neeves claims he just wants to exist in peace. He wants to wear women’s clothes in peace. To use a public women’s loo in peace. All these needs are valid and reasonable. Businesses should support Neeves’s right to wear whatever he pleases. It would be progressive for employers to encourage their staff to wear whatever they want to work without anybody noticing or caring, though I suspect in Neeves’s case he enjoys being noticed. 

It is much harder to support Neeves’s definition of womanhood. Neeve’s claims that “gender is the sex of your brain” and biological sex does not matter or exist. Women call that bullshit. 

Just as white people cannot define racial oppression, men cannot define female oppression. Katie Neeves can steal all the underwear he likes. He can keep the clothes, the boots, the wolf whistles and the white van men. But womanhood isn’t his to take.  

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