This Is An All-Out Political War: The Gender Recognition Act and Beyond

This is from the ‘What is the meaning of gender? The GRA and beyond’ talk given by Julia Long and myself in central London on 13 September 2017. The presentation I gave followed the talk Julia gave on the power of naming. Our time was cut short because the venue was concerned about the noisy protest outside. Earlier activists had physically assaulted a woman at the event assembled point. The first part of my presentation would have covered the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the government’s proposed changes, particularly the move to self-identification which a lot of transsexuals of all political persuasion are unhappy with. I pick up talking about the Pink News coverage of double-rapist Martin Ponting. 

On Friday 8 September Pink News published a piece titled:

  • ‘The Mail’s coverage of a transgender rapist is predictably horrifying’

What was horrifying? Here’s the Mail’s coverage in a nutshell:

  • Transgender rapist who was moved to women-only jail despite still having a penis is segregated after ‘making unwanted sexual advances on female inmates’
  • Martin Ponting, 50, a father-of-three, became Jessica Winfield in jail after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995.
  • She was moved in March this year from male-only HMP Whitemoor, in Cambridgeshire, to HMP Bronzefield in Surrey – Europe’s largest female prison
  • It emerged she was segregated over reports of unwanted advances on inmates

Pink News criticised The Mail’s coverage because:

  • What the Mail Online did was mention her deadname, call her “a father,” and implied that her actions were down to the fact she has a penis.

It explains:

  • Trans activists raised issues with the piece, suggesting it was attempting to link the convicted prisoner’s crimes to their gender identity;
  • having a penis isn’t what makes people attempt sexual assault.
  • In an example of doublethink that surely makes George Orwell spin in his grave, the piece continues:
  • It is prison authorities’ job to prevent convicts from repeating their crimes inside the prison, so it’s good they are apparently taking steps to do so.
  • The Mail called Winfield by her deadname, writing: “Martin Ponting, 50, a father-of-three, became Jessica Winfield in jail”.
  • Mermaids UK, a transgender support charity, states that “discrimination still occurs in many forms, such as … refusing to stop using a person’s birth name (also known as deadnaming).”
  • There is no reason for the Mail to use Winfield’s deadname;.
  • Once more for emphasis: Winfield is a convicted rapist.
  • Her being trans has nothing to do with that.

It should be clear to everyone that Pink News is siding with a double rapist over women. 
Attributed to George Orwell is the quote:

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history”

which is based on the argument in ‘1984’. During the Second World War Orwell was charged with simplifying the English language, this lead him to the realisation that robbing people of language robs them of the ability to describe their lives.
In his 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’, he wrote political language:

“is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

This ‘newspeak’ is exactly what Pink News are doing and what the government is mandating.

We are being prevented from identifying this man as a man, and as the man he is.

The ideological ‘hate crimes’ of ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming’ are elevated above

  • concern for the women raped by this man
  • the women forced to share a prison with him, and
  • above any right we may have to be able to tell the truth.

Where does this leave us, when we as individuals are compelled by an act of parliament to set aside reality by legal threat? Are we, as subjects in a democratic nation, obliged to submit to legislation that compels us to think in a particular way? How is this not a violation of our most basic of freedom to be able to think for ourselves? Does this not mandate political dissent out of existence?

It is now a revolutionary act of political disobedience to refer to a transgender male as anything other than ‘she’ or ‘her’. 

These views are the mainstream, and represent a staggering failure of the left to prioritise material reality over the personal feelings of a small group of individuals.

Language is being changed so that:

  • Chestfeeding is used instead of breastfeeding;
  • Fathers give birth to children; and
  • Use of the term ‘feminine hygiene products’ is discriminatory and exclusionary.

Ideas of female homosexuality are being obliterated by what will make today’s culture the laughing stock of the cultures that succeed us: the ridiculous notion of the ‘lesbian with a female penis’.

The political right is capitalising on this; not only have the Conservative government scored points over the left by introducing equal marriage, which widens the reach of one of the most conservative social institutions, the ‘Transgender Equality Report’ has delivered what I called:

“…the reinforcement of politically conservative ideas under the disguise of socially progressive modernisation… reducing what it means to be a woman to a collection of limiting stereotypes, and failing entirely to interrogate the limiting stereotypes of manhood. This… report represents antiquated and reactionary conservatism disguised in the emperor’s new clothes of fairness and equality.”

This failure within the left has been allowed to happen out of compassion for what we have been told is a vulnerable minority. We have sleep-walked into the situation where the idea of what it means to be either female or homosexual are subjected to an all-out ideological assault.

And they are coming for our children. 

On 26 October 2016 the Family Division of the High Court published the ruling by Mr Justice Hayden in the case of re: J, a boy who from the account of the judgement was being forced by his mother against his wishes to ‘live as a girl’. The mother sought support from children’s charity Mermaids Gender, who were subjected to a court order banning contact with either the mother or child.

On Sunday 10 September, Mermaids Gender tweeted a graphic that stated:

“Reminding everyone on #worldsuicidepreventionday that 45% of trans kids attempt to take their own life”


The statistic of 45% was attributed to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Nowhere in this document is this claim supported, although a similar claim is made in the ‘Stonewall School Report 2017’ which claimed 45% of young transgender persons who answered an online questionnaire had attempted suicide. This statistic is unreliable: the participants were self-selected through a website, with no controls to prevent individuals completing this survey more than once.

Later the same day Mermaids Gender responded to a favourable LBC talk segment thanking James O’Brien for:

“being the voice of compassion and sanity when others would rather see our trans children erased or dead!”

To understand why the focus has moved onto children, look to the YouTube discussion between TransYouth Family Allies executive director Kim Pearson and transgender activist Autumn Sandeen, who states:

“I’ve always said there are two groups that are going to make change in transgender legislation and the “gender identity and expression” related language in legislation. It’s going to be trans youth because … they demystify it and take the sex right out of the trans experience.”

Pearson responds with:

“Right. And it’s hard to say no to kids, and the needs of kids and “keeping kids safe”. And you know, “being respected in schools” and things like that. It’s really hard for people to say no to that.”

Our children are being instrumentalized through threats of self-harm and suicide; activists and supposed children’s welfare charities like Mermaids Gender are telling us that our children need to be protected from their parents.

We can see also how political disagreement is characterised as hate. Original venue New Cross Learning were subjected to a harassment campaign and cancelled. We were accused by transgender activists of:

  • Running a ‘hate rally’;
  • Having speakers with a ‘well documented record of harassing trans women’; and
  • ‘Dressing up bigotry and violence as an opportunity for “education”’.

I was compared to Rose West and Ronnie Kray.

Sisters Uncut, a ‘feminist group taking direct action for domestic violence services’ distributed a statement which:

  • Accused Julia of having a ‘history of protesting and taunting trans women speaking at lesbian events.
  • Stated I am a self-described ‘gender critical’ trans woman who regularly writes about how trans women are men invading women’s spaces.

Think about this: we have a women’s domestic violence organisation prioritising a male in space that belongs to female homosexuals, and speaking against female-only spaces.

You could not make this up.

We are not going to change the minds of activists and their allies, they are not going to give up the ground they have taken. The minds we need to change are the fence-sitters, those who have waived through cultural changes that are damaging to women, homosexuals and children.

We are being told it is unacceptable to describe males as males, because this causes offence. How can it be offensive to state facts? Facts are facts, they don’t care about feelings.

The ideology we are being fed has no basis in science, equity or morality. Any hope of compromise goes out of the window when there is not a single glimpse of daylight between what we are told is a ‘trans woman’ and what we understand to be ‘female’. Our rights to freedom of speech, expression and thought are taken away.

This is happening at a legislative level: bill C16 in Canada and SB-219 in the State of California have the effect of criminalising ‘misgendering’, which until now had been a crime only within the cultural mire of social media. In August last year, a Tory councillor Zoe Kirk Robinson complained to the police of ‘hate speech’ when a Labour councillor used male pronouns during a council meeting.

Conservative American commentator Andrew Brietbart was right when he said ‘politics is downstream from culture’; the capital cultural crimes of social media are being turned into real world legislation.

Let me be clear: this is not an inconsequential fight over niche or trivial ideas. We have gone way beyond the point where we are obliged to be compassionate to what we are being told is a ‘vulnerable minority’, a minority who refuse to openly and honestly account for their claims and their actions, and who respond to dissent with threats, bullying and censorship.

We are having our language, sexual autonomy and fundamental rights to freedom of thought, speech and expression taken away from us.

This is an all-out political war.

7 Replies to “This Is An All-Out Political War: The Gender Recognition Act and Beyond”

  1. Fucking hell. Ruling class always likes it when they can get the subordinates to do it to themselves. Majority of young feminists seem to actively oppose the legal wording of women defined as a female class of people. If women are not a female class of people then sex-based legal protections are null and void, for instance, women’s homeless shelters are now also men’s homeless shelters if they choose to identify as a woman.

    But what I fear most is the inevitable backlash against gays, lesbians, trans people and feminists as male rapists claiming femalehood and medical experimentation of children become the new public face of “LGBT” and “feminism”. Ugh. Always a terrible idea to give political enemies a reasonable argument to use against you. Fighting for the right of any and all males, even convicted rapists, to self-identify into female-only spaces, such as prisons is not reasonable, it’s insane and should be opposed but know damn well that those who also oppose civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, and trans people are going to use the excess of trans politics to attack all rights not just overly broad gender protection acts. In the US anti-gay, lesbian and trans nutters are referring to civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, and trans as “SOGI” bills, sexual orientation and gender identity bills. It’s all so fucked up. Sorry for the rant, thanks for all your work on this utterly insane divide and conquer politics that if it’s not some psy-ops it should be bullshit.

    1. It’s already happening. Most right-wing people can’t/won’t distinguish between trans people and gay people (check the pingbacks on this post!) and think all feminists adhere to a single platform and attribute any apparent contradictions between different feminist groups to hypocrisy. I suspect even “apolitical” people just think that transwomen are just extra-effeminate, extra-gay, effeminate gay men, which isn’t 100% wrong, but very oversimplified and I don’t think that’s the crowd that this pomo gender stuff is primarily coming from. LGB and feminism are definitely going to take a hit from this, and probably other legitimate rights groups like race and intersex since they’ve wormed their way into those too. I’ve heard arguments that the cotton ceiling is directly equivalent to Eurocentric beauty standards, that the idea that transwomen aren’t really women comes from the same place as the idea that black women aren’t really women. And of course there are many people out there claiming that trans is some kind of intersex condition. The more of these little tentacles they snake out to misappropriate legitimate struggles for their own selfish ends, the more they will ultimately put these other struggles at risk. It’s narcissistic as hell and my only hope for a positive outcome is that the left will develop a strong long-term immunity to these kinds of misappropriative tactics in the future. Then again, I had also thought western society had developed a strong long-term immunity to Nazism and it’s been less than a century now and they’re having a fashionable comeback, so ugh!!!

  2. I hope you will continue standing up for transsexuals, and making the public aware of transsexuals and transgender. You are like a voice in the wilderness and more than a few of my friends agree with your views.

  3. Just to send some support your way after Speakers Corner – these people have officially shown how low they are willing to go, and the only upside of that is how many women I now see are getting fed up with this and finding courage to speak up about it.

    Keep doing what you are doing!

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