A London woman who lost her job over tweets that questioned whether or not the government should acknowledge an individual’s “self-identified gender” was defeated in an Employment Tribunal this week.
Chillingly, a judge ruled that her views were “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
The woman, Maya Forstater is a lifelong leftist and staunch feminist. Last year, however, she seems to have learned that leftism is an intersectional caste system in which the most “oppressed” vie for power and social influence. Right now, transgender people sit atop the pyramid, something Forstater was previously accepting of.
“After careful consideration, research, digging into the issue, and spending a lifetime advocating for women’s causes, fairness, inclusion, and compassion,” The Post Millennial’s Libby Emmons writes, “Forstater could no longer stand behind the idea that men who transition gender, either socially or surgically, are actually women.
In a treatise written on Medium, Forstater describes her about-face on the issue of transgender inclusivity, stating that she “…started by viewing the issue as a straightforward matter of compassion, inclusion and social progress. People should be free to live their life without discrimination or harassment. Vulnerable minorities should be protected.”
However, she continues, “I have never believed that women are people who share a common innate sense of ‘gender identity’. Women are people born with female bodies. Womanhood does not depend on dressing, acting or thinking in a feminine way.”
As a feminist, Forstater has sought to influence, for example, toy manufacturers to open up educational and STEM toys to girls. She proudly marched in the first women’s march in London the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. She recalls, however, being “surprised to hear later that some people found these displays ‘transphobic’ because they showed women as people having a vulva, uterus and ovaries. This didn’t seem right.”
“I started to pay more attention to the idea of gender identity, and what it requires of us,” she continues:
The thing that made me really pay attention was the attack on Maria MacLachlan in September 2017. As video footage showed, a women in her 60’s was kicked and punched by a group of what looked like young men in the midst of a small demonstration.
This attack was celebrated by ‘trans rights activists’ on social media, and by organisations such as Action for Trans Health, who argued that beating up this woman was a legitimate part of their struggle because she was a ‘TERF’.
For another year, Forstater researched the issue, heard thoughts from folks all over the ideological spectrum, and eventually arrived at the conclusion that the unfettered acceptance of transgender “women” as real women is not only illogical, but dangerous.
That’s when she began getting quite vocal on Twitter. One tweet in particular ultimately led to the loss of her job at the Center for Global Development, a highly influential think tank where she worked as a tax expert:
I've got a Q for my male twitter friends who have pledged not to appear on all male panels – if u were invited on a panel w Pip Bunce – one of FT's top 100 female champions of women in biz & another guy would u say yes or call the organisers & say sorry i don't do #manels? pic.twitter.com/MUVq0lZ7Ov
— Maya Forstater (@MForstater) September 25, 2018
This tweet was just one of several longer, more thought-out expressions Forstater made on the issue of transgenderism, but it was certainly the one that gained the most attention.
Over the course of a week, Forstater defended her question, saying, according to her Medium post:
Women are adult human females. It is not about gender identity, or gender expression or medical treatment.
I don’t know what the ‘feeling of being a woman’ is. If ‘woman’ is defined as someone who has this feeling I don’t fit the criteria!
I have a definition of woman — adult human female. It does not come with any expectations or requirements for gendered behaviour. It is clear, well understood & critical for women rights including the right to spaces without male bodies. Why ditch this for something undefinable?
When men wear make-up, heels, dresses they don’t become women. But the norm seems to be that we should pretend they do to avoid hurt feelings.
Why does it matter? Because women are discriminated against because of their sex. So we need to be able to name that. Because women need reproductive rights. So we need to be able to name that. Because words spell boundaries for privacy & body autonomy. Because risk assessment.
I honestly don’t see the difference between Rachel Dolezal’s internal feeling that she is black and a man’s internal feeling that he is a woman (ie adult human female). Neither has basis in material reality.Yes people should of course be able to define their identity any way they like. But other people are not compelled to accept it as relating to any material reality.
I am perfectly happy to use preferred pronouns and accept everyone’s humanity and right to free expression. Transwomen are transwomen. That’s great. But enforcing the dogma that transwomen are women is totalitarian.
If we define recognising that men are men as transphobic then we undermine safety of women & girls. Being honest does not mean we cannot respect & protect trans people.
Although she complied with her employer’s requests to add a disclaimer on Twitter that her tweets do not reflect CGD’s beliefs on any matter, Forstater’s employment contract at the think tank was not renewed “as a result of [her] belief.”
Forstater sued CGD in the UK’s Employment Tribunal court, but Employment Judge James Tayler ruled on Wednesday that she was “not entitled to ignore” the right of a transgender “woman” to be legally recognized as such, or the “enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering.”
“It is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment,” Tayler said in his 26-page ruling. Forstater’s “absolutist” view that transgender people are not truly whatever gender or sex they claim to be, Tayler added, directly contradicts the UK’s Gender Recognition Act and “is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
So, just like that, a woman can be fired for stating the simple fact that men are not women, and the government can simply tell her, “tough luck, bigot.” This is the world we live in, folks.
While we would wholeheartedly stand opposed to Forstater on whether or not women should have the “right” to murder their own innocent, unborn children—an issue we should not sweep under the rug—we can give a hearty “amen” to even our worst opponents when they state that throwing on makeup and high heels does not make a man into a woman.
“I spoke up because I believe we all have a responsibility to use our voice in whatever way we can. We all pick our battles, but sometimes they pick us,” Forstater concluded in her Medium post.
“I am fighting on because I don’t want my story to be a cautionary tale about the high personal cost to women of having the courage to speak up, but instead to try to make it a win for freedom of thought, belief and expression, and for the heart and soul of the institutions that underpin an open society.”
Amen!! The truth will never be silenced, nor erased!
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