It is always exciting to find our work, whatever form it is
taking and wherever it is happening, being recognized and applauded.
There is a prestigious science prize in England called the Maddox
Prize. Based on what they call “sense about science”, it is awarded to one or
two people each year for challenging the misrepresentation of science and
evidence in public life. This year Stephanie Davies-Arai, the founder of a
website we really like called Transgender Trend (transgendertrend.com) was nominated
for standing up for science in the face of difficulty or hostility. Davies-Arai
had this to say about her nomination.
“… I believe that children and young people deserve nothing
less than our dedication in ensuring healthcare and education policies which
are based on robust scientific evidence. Through Transgender Trend I will
continue with my commitment to disseminate clear, factual, research-based
information to support parents and educators in making fully-informed choices
regarding the children in their care, despite the continued allegations that we
are a ‘hate’ group.”
The website went on to say:
“At Transgender Trend we believe that facts can never be
transphobic, that the school curriculum must be science based and that public
debate on this issue must be facilitated without fear. The honour of being
shortlisted for this prestigious science prize we see as a validation of
everyone who is risking defamation, bullying and their very livelihoods by
speaking out to establish evidence in the face of ideology.”
Sometimes it seems we are short on allies in our push to
support and create female-born spaces and to discuss the issues raised by the
reality of people transitioning and the ones detransitioning. In this xxamazons
space, we have a firm belief that men do not become women ever, nor do women
This group in the UK (United Kingdom) is a good resource some
of us have relied on to help with our thinking on the issues. Their website subtitle
is: “Parents questioning the trans narrative.”
I wish the parents of some of the children I’ve known or
known of who have transitioned had read and paid attention to the site.
Here are a couple of statements from their welcome page. The rest are well worth reading.
“This site is for everyone who is concerned about the social and medical ‘transition’ of children, the introduction of ‘gender identity’ teaching into schools and new policies and legislation based on subjective ideas of ‘gender’ rather than the biological reality of sex…
It is for feminists and allies who are concerned about the
erosion of sex-based rights and protections for women and girls.”
This site was behind the book many of us have read either in
full or in part. The title of the book is Transgender
Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans
and Michele Moore. It is a collection of essays about the current theory and practice
of transgendering children.
Some excellent thinking is represented.
There are many wide-ranging issues about the practice of
transitioning. It is good to know that we are not alone in challenging what is
Creative actions by strong radical feminists always intrigues me! On the morning of January 29, 2019 feminist activists across the United Kingdom (Britain and Wales) and across Ireland had dressed various female statues with black t-shirts and a strong message. The t-shirts these uppity women used quoted from the dictionary: “Woman, noun, adult human female”. How simple, clear and direct.
Organizing such a coordinated action could not have been simple. Read what these determined women wrote about the action organized by ReSisters United. Here is the strong statement from the home page of their website https://resistersunited.org/ “ReSisters United was formed by women across the UK and Ireland, because we recognized the assault on our hard-won rights and freedoms that gender identity ideology could pose. Resisters United is therefore a feminist movement focused on women´s rights, centering women´s interests and experiences, and for this we make no apology.”
More than fifty cities and towns had this new chance to read the clear definition of who is a woman. Our gallery of photos was pulled from over 100 photos displayed on the ReSisters United website here: https://resistersunited.org/gallery/ One of my favorite photos showed a statue of Sappho wearing one of the ReSisters t-shirts. Sappho was a lyric poet from antiquity who wrote about love between women. Sappho lived in the Mediterranean including Lesbos during the sixth century BCE and was widely known. Her poems were performed to the accompaniment of the musical instrument called the lyre, thus she was a singer/songwriter of her day singing about love and desire between women.
Sappho is a Right-On Woman, Still! Do you know the book I am referring to here? Sappho Was A Right-On Woman: A Liberated View Of Lesbianism by Sidney Abbott and Barbara Love published in 1972 was a treasure for many of us who came out as a woman-loving woman in the early 1970s!
message from Liverpool ReSisters https://twitter.com/LiverpoolReSis1 “The temporary addition of t-shirts and banners to notable female statues around the UK – such as Cilla Black in Liverpool – was a coordinated effort with women on a national scale. The simple definition of “woman: adult human female” on the t-shirts was to show how diluted this word has become in recent times and our concerns about the impact this has on every woman’s life. If “woman” is not clearly defined, law and policies cannot be written or enforced to best serve women. In September 2018, one representative of Liverpool ReSisters spoke to Liverpool City Council, asking for its mayor and councillors to consult women’s groups on retaining single-sex provisions in the city. This request was denied. The women of Liverpool and in many other places across England, Wales and Scotland will not allow ourselves to be silenced.
As ReSisters United, we take to the streets to create a dialogue among our citizenry. We use peaceful means of protest in order to encourage discussion and debate, so that women’s voices can be heard and our privacy, dignity and boundaries are maintained.”
Negative newspapers: from Wales Online: T-shirts labelled ‘transphobic’ left hanging on statues across Wales They have been spotted in Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Pembrokeshire
(see more below)
Here’s why some trans people have said the ‘definition of a woman’ campaign is transphobic from Inews.co.uk
A group of anti-trans activists have been condemned for spreading “transphobia” in “a desperate grab for headlines” as they vandalised statues of feminist leaders with anti-trans slogans across the UK. The group, named ReSisters United, were spotted attaching t-shirts, bags and banners to feminist statues in Sheffield, London and Liverpool with the definition of the word “woman.” The items, which were draped across the likes of Cilla Black in Liverpool, Millicent Fawcett in London and Amy Johnson in Kent on Saturday featured the words ““Woman, noun. An adult human female.”
The group tweeted:
“Overnight, women all over the UK came together, organised with one
purpose – to define ourselves and our boundaries. Woman is not a
feeling.” The vast majority of the signage has since been removed
due to its offence to the transgender community. But why does the
definition evoke offence, and how have members of the transgender
‘A desperate grab
for headlines’ One transgender woman, who works as a developer and
whose name is not disclosed said the action was part of “a
desperate grab for headlines.” “This is from a group viscerally
aware of the failure of their ‘movement’,” she said. “They’re
doing this because it’s one of the only ways left for the cause to
get publicity.” Trans woman Natacha Kennedy said that the t-shirts
are a “coded threat” to the trans community. “By sticking to
the dictionary definition, these transphobes can say, ‘but it’s
only the dictionary definition!’, except we know it isn’t just
that. Context matters and in my opinion, these t-shirts are being
used as a symbol of hate. Trans women are adult human females,” she
added. Because they do not use hate speech, a lot of passersby might
dismiss what they are intended to mean, she argued. “For trans
women it’s a coded threat, designed to sound innocuous to most
people, but designed to make trans women, who routinely face abuse
for not being ‘real’ (or even human) feel intimidated,” Ms
One parent of a
trans male teenager has said that the offence of the t-shirts is all
about context. She likened the incident to one that plagued black
footballer John Barnes during his career, which saw someone from the
crowd throw a banana onto a pitch during a game at Everton in 1988 in
an act of racism. “A lot of people will say it’s only a
dictionary definition on a t-shirt, how can you get upset over a
statement of fact?” she said. “But it’s like when you say if
it’s only a banana, how can you get upset over a piece of fruit?”
“Context matters,” she added.
Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of one of a modified t-shirt. Listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood. “After the local bigots/fascists turned up and stuck a WomanStandUp t-shirt on our (kneeling) Sappho statue, some other folk seem to have nicked it and put this up instead…Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of a modified t-shirt listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities as woman, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood.(end of negative newspaper article)
As a woman proud to be a biological female, like the majority of the world, I’d like to add two more powerful images with clear messages!