The Danger of Self ID Policies in Women’s Combat Sport

The following blog post was contributed by an anonymous writer.

I have been involved in boxing for a long time, and it is a brutal, violent and dangerous sport. In a boxing match, there are two trained fighters in an enclosed space trying to hurt one another. The object is to score points, but let’s be realistic, in competition boxers try to hurt their opponent, break hearts, noses and ribs, to make the referee step in and stop the fight. Blood, broken bones and nasty injuries are a frequent occurrence. Serious injury is not uncommon, debilitating injuries are not infrequent, and death in the ring is not unheard of.

Over the years, efforts have been made to make boxing safer. There are weight categories and experience categories in competitions. You will not see an experienced boxer competing against a novice, and you will not see a heavyweight pitted against a flyweight. Boxers also undergo strict and consistent medical evaluation, but despite all of these measures boxing remains a dangerous sport.

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Lesbian Strength March

Blog post by: Shereen Benjamin

Photo credit: @claireOT

Yesterday I had the honour and the privilege of taking a beautiful banner, on loan from Magdalen Berns, down to the Lesbian Strength march in Leeds. I’d seen pictures of the banner previously, but it wasn’t until I saw it for real, up close, that I saw the love, the joy, the defiance, the humour, and the determination that’s been embroidered into its fabric. One of my highlights of the day was getting to meet the wonderful woman who made it as a gift for Magdalen. The banner pretty much sums up the feeling of the day for me – it was a day of lesbians coming together in friendship and sisterhood to say (and sing) out loud and proud that we intend to defend lesbian rights, and have some fun while we’re doing it.

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Reply to Garavelli

It is not ‘nasty’ to stand up for women’s rights
by Laura Rimmer

It didn’t bode well. From the off – the very first sentence, no less – Dani Garavelli’s piece in the Scotsman, ‘Time to call a ceasefire as gender debate gets nasty’, draws a parallel between ‘the rights of two historically oppressed groups in society – cis (non trans) women and trans women.’

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Scottish Education – In transition or intransigent?

Whenever I go away for some training, or to meet other teachers, in corners and when chatting over cups of tea, we are all asking each other…do you have any yet? What is your Council policy? Is this right?

Well, I found out the policy of my local authority very recently when a pupil declared themselves to be trans to a colleague of mine.

I will say ‘they’, not because of any non-binary status – this pupil very definitely wants to embrace one side of the binary – but because I want to protect this pupil and my own job in one of Scotland’s largest councils.

So, what happened next?

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The Taboo of Sexual Fetishism

The following was contributed by one of our members, Evie Hill.

John is in his mid-fifties and is a middle-class, white professional. He enjoys frequenting women’s shops in order to satisfy his fetish for wearing women’s underwear. This is a true account of what he has told me.

John has found one particular women’s lingerie shop that allows him in early, and shuts its doors to other customers whilst staff attend to him.

He has spent a lot of money in this shop over a three year period, maybe longer.  They will do made-to-measure underwear, which he requires as he has the body of a man.  It is a specialist women’s lingerie shop run by women who are all expert dressmakers. Continue reading

Is Hate Speech the New Blasphemy?

This is the full transcript of a speech given by Nicole Jones at Camden Town Hall for the We Need to Talk event. 

https://medium.com/@coleyejones/is-hate-speech-the-new-blasphemy-3bc9194ad509

In 1697, 20 year old Edinburgh student Thomas Aikenhead was the last person to be executed for blasphemy in the U.K. Now, “blasphemy” is so passé. Institutions have adopted the handy euphemism “violent and disorderly conduct” or “hate speech” to cover their tracks when persecuting and reprimanding speech they believe to be unholy. To illustrate my point, I have taken a passage from Aikenhead’s 1696 indictment, and modernised it by replacing the “prisoner” with “TERF” and “the scriptures” with “transgender ideology”. Continue reading