First, they came for the Christians and I complained a bit, then they came for the lesbians and I was relieved, then they came for the bad feminists and I let out a little chuckle. Then I listen to the bad feminists and I realised, with horror, that I was one of them. Last week, in Scotland, one of the bad feminists was charged — and we need all need to take notice.
By “bad” feminists, I mean of course “gender critical” feminists. We are the ones who believe that sex is biological, and gender is the word we use to describe the cultural meanings we place on sex. We are a broad range of women, some are from a radical feminist traditional, others like me, come from a more centre-left or classic liberal perspective. Despite the rap, we are not “anti-trans” or transphobic, we just believe that women have biological boundaries, and we need to protect these boundaries in law and culture.
I am ashamed now that I didn’t listen sooner, especially to what the gender-critical lesbians were saying. Lesbians are saying that they are being subject to sexual coercion, marginalisation and medicated conversion into “trans”. They are being cancelled off social media, dating sites and thrown out of gay advocacy groups for raising these issues. I also, unfortunately, learned about the “cotton ceiling”, a way some trans-identified males try to argue their way into lesbians’ beds. A form of socially verified (woke) sexual coercion.
I must stress that I didn’t want to learn about these things in my middle age. I don’t want to have trans activists sending me pictures of their lady dicks and death threats. I want to go to prayer meetings and church social events and write about middle-aged Christian women things, like Jesus and having emotional breakdowns.
I am a middle-aged gender critical feminist and I am the new enemy of the progressive state. Women like me, all over the world are organising themselves again for our safety and the safety of our children. One such woman, Marion Millar, was charged this week in Scotland for “malicious communication with hate crime aggravator”, allegedly and almost unbelievably, in connection with a suffragette ribbon. If she is found guilty, she could face up to two years in prison.
Marion Millar reported on Twitter on the 28th of April that she had received a call from the Scottish police requesting an interview in relation to “homophobic and transphobic tweets under the malicious communications act”. It has been a terrifying few months for Marion, who is the mother of six, including twin autistic boys. In her first conversation with police, Marion told them that her small children had high needs and she would need to make arrangements for them in order to attend an interview. The police threatened to arrive at her house with child welfare authorities.
I have followed Marion Millar on Twitter for a while, and I have never seen her tweet anything hateful. She is an accountant with her own accounting firm. So along with work and family, her political advocacy fits into a limited time slot. Her most controversial view is that, while Marion believes that transgender people deserve respect and compassion, she does not believe that tras-women are in fact “real” women. She believes, like most people, that trans-identified males are males and should not automatically have access to female spaces like women’s shelters, change rooms, sports and prisons, just because they adopt a feminine social presentation or claim a female soul. Millar has also been involved in activism involving tweeting and the placing of suffragette ribbons in public places.
If we imagine Marion is a member of a dangerous UK gang of ribbon wielding trouble makers, her group of thugs would include people like Sarah Phillimore, Maya Forstater, Kellie Jay-Keen and Hellen Staniland. If we listen to LGBTIQ advocates, these terrifying monsters have defied their professional, left-leaning past to engage in unbridled hate crimes against the most vulnerable people on the planet. Hellen Staniland was banned from Twitter for asking what has become known as the Staniland question: “Do you believe that male-bodied people with a penis should have the right to undress in front of women and young girls?”
Sarah Phillimore is a lawyer who advocates, among other things, against the recording of a “non-crime hate incident” (NCHI) on an individual’s record without trial. The NCHI system is not dissimilar to the Chinese social credit system. Phillimore was banned from Twitter, and only reinstated after raising thousands of pounds for legal bills. A prominent opponent of Phillimore on Twitter was the Scottish actor, David Paisley.
I took Paisley to task on Twitter in relation to his attacks on Phillimore in January. I suggested that hate crime laws would involve wasting police time with the harassment of middle-aged women over their tweets. He said that hate crime was “terrifying and real”, and that he “was spat at for holding hands and yes it was a middle-aged, middle-class woman.” Such anecdotal stories are all we have to substantiate the wave of middle-aged women turning to what is being referred to as “aggravated” political violence, now apparently with haberdashery.
We are unsure about the exact tweets at the centre of the arrest of Ms Millar, but a tweet has been implicated with a picture of a suffragette ribbon and a “hashtag” #DavidPaisleyHatesWomen. There are suggestions that the ribbon in the picture is in the shape of a noose. It may sound unfair to suggest that Mr Paisley hates women, but apparently hating women is not a crime in Scotland.
And here we get to the root of the problem with the controversial spate of ideological speech related legislation being enacted in Scotland. Marion Millar, like most of the problematic middle-aged women, is politically active in a way that is not approved. Millar was a member of the ruling SNP party but she has become critical of the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon, especially after the sacking of Joanna Cherry from the SNP front bench. Cherry was allegedly sacked for her “behaviour”, claims that have not been substantiated. It has been broadly accepted that Cherry, who is a lesbian, was sacked because she doesn’t believe women can have penises.
Cherry opposed the change to the gender recognition act that would allow males to legally become women with a statutory declaration. Once a male is legally a woman in Scotland “her” transgender identity is protected with a raft of hate crime laws that have been enthusiastically enacted by Minister for Justice Hamza Yousef.
Yousaf’s hate crime legislation passed the Scottish Parliament in March. Under the legislation, crimes can be considered “aggravated” if it involves discriminatory language on the basis of age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sex characteristics. Controversially “transgender” can include men who “crossdress”, but sex discrimination is not something that can make a crime “aggravated”. Can someone tell me if violence against women has been solved in Scotland? Is femicide in rapid decline? Why does this legislation value women’s life and safety as less important? What message is this sending to young Scottish women?
The proposed Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill was amended in late January at the urging of feminists, to protect the “discussion or criticism of transgender identity” or stating that “sex is an immutable biological characteristic” or “stating that there are only two sexes”. Yes, these protections had to be written into the act to protect the belief that women exist in a different reality from a crossdresser. The hateful placement of ribbons was not included in the protections.
Scottish women are facing a reality where a man who has taken no measures to “transition”, can “crossdress” and have more legal protections when entering a female space than a woman or a girl does. In fact, the expression of the wrong kind of objection by a woman or girl to a male in a female space, could lead to her arrest. For women and girls, this could mean the return of the “urinary leash” for Scottish women, particularly if they have a menstrual or bowel condition that requires the kind of privacy and dignity that is unique to single-sex public spaces. All mothers will know that women are very vulnerable in public facilities post-partum, especially if they have too many children to bring in the stall with them. Any person that ignores women begging for dignity with these age-old vulnerabilities, should be ashamed of themselves.
While Ms Millar was being charged, women were posting in support of her with a hashtag #womenwontweesht (women won’s shut up). In response, a trans activist posted a picture of an assault weapon with the words “Making a list of terfs tweeting #womenwontwheesht because she needs the target practice”. The person was a student at Brunel University London. When the University were notified, they tweeted in defence of the person saying “Trans rights are human rights”. To their credit, when they realised that the mass murder of women, was in fact not a human right of trans-identified males, they took more appropriate action by terminating the student’s enrolment.
Marion Millar has posted bail and will appear in court on July 20. The women’s rights organisation For Women Scotland have spoken for Marion saying “the past few weeks have been a nightmare for Marion and her family, and it seems there is no end in sight. Sadly, in Scotland, it seems both free speech and women’s rights are under attack”. I would say that is an understatement.
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