37 questions to prove that systemic misandry doesn’t exist anywhere in the world

29th August 2021

Written by Dr Jessica Taylor

Social media connects billions of people around the world based on their ideas, commonalities and shared interests. This has meant that people have been able to discuss and debate topics that have previously been ignored or dismissed.

One of the topics that seems to be being discussed more recently, is misandry. Whilst misandry is loosely defined as the hatred and oppression of males, it has been compared to the power of misogyny (the hatred and oppression of females).

I am writing this blog as a go-to list of questions for those people who claim that the world is misandrist, and that women are in power, or that women have more rights than men.

Further, I write this to challenge men who believe that systemic misandry exists on the same scale, or worse than misogyny.

The reason for these questions is two fold:

1. You probably cannot give real, evidence based examples for all, or most, or any of these because misandry doesn’t, and never has existed in a patriarchy where men rule the world

2. If you did find one example, all you have done is found an exception which proves the rule. If all you can find is one example in the history of the entire world, whilst thousands or millions of girls and women are subjected to that example on a daily basis, again, you’ve proven that misandry does not and cannot exist on a systemic level.

Here are the misandry questions, all based on current global legislation, statistics and research from UN, WHO and world governments:

1. Can you name 1 instance of an all-female terrorist regime that has committed acts of mass rape and murder towards boys and men who they deem inferior?

2. Can you name 1 instance where a group of female terrorists abducted hundreds of little boys from their school, to traffic them for sex?

3. Can you name 1 female led country in the world where it is illegal for men to drive a car or have a driving licence because they are perceived as too stupid?

5. Can you name 1 female led country in the world where men are not allowed to leave their houses without a female chaperone?

6. Can you name 1 country in the world where females in power have legally dictated that men should cover their entire bodies at all times, not show their hair or faces, and punish men and boys who do show their skin?

7. Can you name 1 female led country or community in the world that has legally banned boys from getting an education or attending school?

8. Can you name 1 company which is currently abducting and exploiting men and boys to impregnate, carry and birth babies for rich white people whilst being locked in facilities for 9 months?

9. Can you name 1 female led country where the child marriage of boys as young as 6 years old to adult women is widely encouraged or legally allowed?

10. Can you name 1 country where men are not allowed to take part in sports at all?

11. Can you name 1 country where 1 in 3 men will be raped or sexually assaulted by women?

12. Can you name 1 country where the entire government is female?

13. Can you name 1 country where all CEOs of top performing companies are female?

14. Can you name 1 country where men who become fathers are expected not to work or study?

15. Can you name 1 country where men are made to live in small huts once per month due to their hormonal cycle as they are perceived to be unclean and unworthy of being in bed with a woman?

16. Can you name 1 country where teenage and unmarried fathers were sent away to asylums and institutions to live there and look after their babies on their own?

17. Can you name 1 country where the majority of all murders of men are committed by women?

18. Can you name 1 female-led major world religion which suggests or describes men as inferior to women?

19. Can you name 1 country where males must get permission and supervision of females to travel, marry or seek healthcare?

20. Can you name 1 country where large groups of women publicly stone men to death for showing their skin?

21. Can you name 1 country where large groups of women kill men for having sex before marriage?

22. Can you name 1 country where large groups of women publicly flog and beat men as a form of punishment for being seen out alone without a female chaperone?

23. Can you name 1 country where men have been forbidden from using any form of contraception?

24. Can you name 1 country where a man has never been in power or leadership in government?

25. Can you name 1 country where men are not allowed to apply for a passport without the express permission of a woman?

26. Can you name 1 country in the world where women kill more than 3 men per week?

27. Can you name 1 country in the world that states that male prisoners can only leave prison if they transferred into the guardianship of a woman who will then control them?

28. Can you name 1 country in the world where a man is not recognised as ‘a whole person before the court’ and therefore cannot give evidence in a trial unless it is backed up by a woman who is deemed as a ‘whole person’?

29. Can you name 1 country in the world where men do not have the right to vote, but women do?

30. Can you name 1 country in the world where a woman has a legal right to stop her husband from working in occupations she doesn’t like or want him to do?

31. Can you name 1 country where female-led governments have stated that men are not legally allowed to drive trains, tractors or pilot ships?

32. Can you name 1 country where men were not allowed to watch sporting events?

33. Can you name 1 country where men are not allowed to serve in the military?

34. Can you name 1 country in the world where universities restrict their male university population to 10-15% to ensure more women than men get into higher education because they are deemed more important than men?

35. Can you name 1 country where a man can be given up to 100 lashes for wearing trousers?

36. Can you name 1 country or community where it is illegal for men to own or use a mobile phone?

37. Can you name 1 country where men and boys were routinely sectioned and had their reproductive organs removed because female doctors believed it was causing them to become insane?

The reality is, that no matter how much some men want to pretend they are oppressed, and discriminated against by ‘misandry’, there is no global evidence of female-led systems which oppress, murder, rape and abuse men and boys. It isn’t happening anywhere in the world.

Is it possible for women to hate men? Yes.

Is it possible that there are entire global power systems that seek to oppress and control men and boys, whilst removing their human rights to healthcare, justice and education, on the same level as misogyny? Nope.

The pitiful cries of misandry are nothing more than whataboutery and distractions from mainly privileged white men, desperate to position themselves as the real victims of a systemic oppression that simply doesn’t exist in a patriarchy.

It’s time we ditched this fantasy oppression of men and concentrated on achieving equity for the sexes by making global systemic and structural changes so that none of the questions in this article are ever relevant to women and girls (or men and boys).

Written by Dr Jessica Taylor

Woman blaming: How radical feminists are blamed for male violence

Dr Jessica Taylor

20/07/21

I open my social media apps to yet another onslaught of abuse, harassment and threads about how violent, evil and dangerous I am as a radical feminist in the world.

Only the day before, I watched as a famous woman was sent hundreds of abusive comments and death threats for holding radical feminist views.

The day before that, an artist was sent threats and abuse for her radical feminist perspective.

The week before that. The month before that. The year before that.

And yet, despite all this violence levelled at radical feminists for so much as writing their thoughts down, or creating artwork; I have noticed the persuasive shift towards arguing that radical feminists are the cause of male violence.

Most recently, I have noticed radical feminists being blamed for men committing homicide, femicide, rape and acts of misogyny.

In this post, I want to explore why this is happening, and how the only feminists who are able to name male violence, are now being held responsible for male violence. Specifically, I want to talk about radical feminists being blamed for:

1. Men murdering trans women

2. Men raping and murdering sex workers and prostituted women

3. Men sending death and rape threats to women online

4. Men hating women and girls (especially MRA/incels)

Before I get into these points, I will take the opportunity to clarify what we mean when we say we are ‘radical feminists’. Whilst many people think that the word ‘radical’ must mean ‘extreme’, this is not the way the word is used in activism of any kind. Radical thinkers and activists are termed ‘radical’ because they seek considerable systemic change to deal with the root of an issue. Radical feminists (like me) believe that we need a complete overhaul and reordering of the systems around us (locally and globally) in order for women and girls to stop being oppressed. This means addressing everything from subtle attitudes and stereotypes through to overt violence and persecution.

In doing so, radical feminists often point out the obvious male violence around us:

Men make up 99% of all violent offenders in the world each year

Men make up 97% of all sex offenders in the world each year

Men make up 99% of all murderers each year

Men make up over 99% of all terrorists and suicide bombers

Men make up over 99% of all school shooters

(FBI, 2020; MOJ; 2020)

But men are still more likely to be world leaders, business owners, senior leaders, financial controllers, CEOs of banks, criminal judges, lawyers, police officers, crime commissioners, politicians and heads of families (this is where the word ‘patriarch’ comes from).

Globally, the world is an unequal place where women make up 51% of the population but in some cases of senior boards, government leadership and financial institutions – we make up less than 2% of these roles.

Men are over-represented in violent offending, abuse and power – at all levels of society.

Radical feminism seeks to restructure this inequality and to change society at every level possible, in order for women and girls to seek equity.

Now the basics are out of the way; let’s look at how women who adopt radical feminist principles are now being blamed for the violence and abuse committed by men.

1. Men murdering trans women

Almost every day now, I see a social media post or meme claiming that radical feminist theory, arguments or activism cause the murder of transwomen around the world, despite the fact that transwomen are almost always killed by men.

In the UK, we have had one murder of a transwoman, Naomi Hersei, who was murdered by a 25 year old man. They had met on a sex swingers website. He had brutally murdered Naomi by stabbing in a hotel room in 2018.

However, in other countries (especially in South America), the murder of transwomen is commonplace, and increasing. According to TransRespect, the majority of the murders occurred in Brazil (152), Mexico (57), and the United States (28), adding up to a total of 3664 reported cases in 75 countries and territories worldwide between 1 January 2008 and 30 September 2020. 98% of those murdered globally were transwomen. 82% of all the murders registered happened in Central and South America; 43% in Brazil.

Of all murders of transwomen, 62% were being exploited or were described as working in ‘sex work’ at the time they were murdered by a man (or groups of men).

In most reported cases, transwomen are killed by the men who rape them, sexually exploit them or buy them for sex, and then kill them. Further, other transwomen have been murdered by male members of their families, such as brothers, uncles and Dads – and men in their communities. This is usually as a result of transphobia and homophobia (and/or a combination of the two, with other intersecting factors such as racism).

What is clear, is that in every single one of these cases, men made active choices to murder a transwoman. There have been no cases of radical feminists harming or killing transwomen. In all cases, transwomen have been stalked, harassed, raped, beaten and/or murdered by men.

This is male violence. Just as men are most likely to kill men, and women, and children, they are also most likely to kill transwomen.

There are two main arguments I have seen around this topic which need to be challenged. The first is that radical feminist views on gender and sex are the reason violent men kill trans people. I think it’s fairly clear from each case that the men who committed these homicides have zero interest in feminist theoretical discussions of the origins of gender and sex. Instead their murders have been based in their own motivations, violence and power dynamics (as are all acts of male violence).

We also mustn’t ignore the fact that many of the transwomen who have been murdered have been in sex work or sexual exploitation, being oppressed by men – and that the men who buy their bodies for sex are already dangerous, violent people who choose to exploit and use vulnerable minorities for sex on tap.

None of this is about radical feminist thinking or theory. It is purely down to the man who commits the crime.

It puzzles me that most of the time, radical feminists such as myself are framed as fringe extremists with nothing useful or impactful to say, and that no one should listen to us harp on about the abuse of women and girls – but that people seem to think we are powerful enough to influence thousands of homicidal men to go out and kill transwomen.

We can’t be both shrivelled up, shrieking nobodies who have no influence over men and also causing worldwide murder by influencing men.

The second is that radical feminists views on why we need to be able to label males and females (especially in crime reporting) are bigoted and harmful.

Yet here, we have a vital reason why we need to be able to record the correct sex of the criminal – males are killing transwomen which is part of a millennia of male pattern offending and male violence. Men are the majority murderers of everyone else – so it makes sense that they would also be the murderers of transwomen.

It is vital that we are able to talk about male violence (and female violence, when it does occur, and it does) correctly and accurately for everyone. We cannot tackle male violence against transwomen if you cannot name the perpetrator as a man – or as a trend in male violence.

It strikes me as the ultimate form of victim blaming and woman blaming, to excuse and shift the blame of male murderers on to women and feminists. Women and girls are being killed in their thousands every single day by men. They are not the ones causing or influencing male violence towards themselves, or towards transwomen.

It appears to me that we have become the scapegoat.

Such a self-proclaimed progressive movement, and yet, they have made the age-old error of pointing the finger at women, instead of men who commit violence. Again.

2. Men raping and murdering sex workers and prostituted women

The second example I seem to see a lot, and have been subjected to myself, has been radical feminists accused of causing the rape and murder of female sex workers and prostituted women around the world.

I have often been sent abusive messages accusing me of contributing to, or causing these crimes against women in sex work, by my own views on sex work. Despite the fact that my views on sex work come from lived experience, my views are clear: women in sex work should never be criminalised, we should campaign to have all of their convictions removed, and we should help every woman exit sex work – whilst criminalising the buyers, exploiters, owners and punters.

I (and many other radical feminists) believe that no man should be able to purchase consent, and that women in sex work are predominantly exploited, raped, harmed, beaten, threatened, injured, oppressed, criminalised, pathologised and discriminated against – all so a man can get his kicks.

Nowhere in radical feminist views do we support any discrimination or harm of women in sex work or prostitution. In fact, renowned radical feminists have been instrumental in helping prostituted women to remove their criminal convictions which were unjustly subjected to.

Again, what we have here is the positioning of women and radical feminists as the cause and the solution to male violence. Despite the fact that the majority of all sex buyers and exploiters and traffickers are men, women are still blamed, held responsible and held accountable for male violence.

Similarly, I find it odd that anybody would argue that radical feminists (who are a relatively small group of women) would have any power over violent men who buy sex and consent from women and girls around the world. These men certainly don’t listen to radical feminists when we talk about the harm and the trauma caused by sex work and prostitution, so why on earth would they listen to any of our theoretical arguments about decriminalisation or criminalisation?

It seems a lazy and misogynistic excuse to simply blame women for the actions of men, yet again. I just can’t understand how everybody can see that men (and the patriarchy in general) are not remotely listening to radical feminists, and instead silence them, shut them down, threaten them, harass them, mock them, and humiliate them – but simultaneously attempt to argue that radical feminist theory and thinkers are the reason men go out and commit such devastating crimes against women in sex work and prostitution.

It’s as if they have never considered that men going out into the community and buying sex with women and girls, would suggest that those men are already violent criminals that are more likely to kill women and girls.

The other point that it completely ignores by blaming radical feminists for men murdering and raping sex workers and women who have been prostituted, is that a large proportion of radical feminists are survivors of the sex trade, sexual exploitation and prostitution. Therefore, the radical feminist position is often informed by thousands of women who have survived male violence and prostitution. They weren’t listen to or respected by men then, and they’re not listened to or respected by men now. I just cannot see how you could robustly argue that radical feminism is the cause of male violence.

Aren’t men making their own decisions here? Why can’t we hold them accountable for their views and actions the way people seem to be able to do to radical feminist women?

Men are killing sex workers and women and girls in global prostitution because they dehumanise them, and they hate them. They use them for sex, and then they kill them. Radical feminists on the other hand, are arguing against the sex trade because of these things. Because of the fact that violent men dehumanise women and girls, and hate them, rape them and kill them. These are not two sides of the same coin. These are not related positions. These are opposing positions.

3. Men sending death and rape threats to women online

As some of you will have seen this week, J. K. Rowling has been subjected to yet more death threats because of her opinions on sex and gender. Her position is broadly radical feminist, and this has resulted in thousands of messages of harassment, abuse, and threats of being bombed or killed.

There are two levels to the victim blaming and woman blaming that has happened in the last couple of days. The first is the indirect and direct blaming of J. K. Rowling for the death threats sent to her. It has been suggested several times that the death threats are justified, and that she deserves them. Secondly the victim blaming is focused on radical feminism, again.

One of the arguments I’ve seen is the belief or position that radical feminists holding contentious or contested beliefs about the concepts of gender, stereotypes, gender identity, and sex means that they are causing men to abuse them, harass them, and threaten them online. This often goes further and moves towards a suggestion of justification or desert. The belief seems to be that if women speak out or even privately discuss their views about sex and gender, they are bringing the violence of men upon themselves. Many radical feminist women (especially in the last 5 to 10 years) have been subjected to increasing security threats, rape threats, death threats, doxxing, stalking, and other forms of male violence in the name of activism and feminism.

What is most interesting is that women are paying the price for a view that is actually held by many men as well. I’ve noticed that when men speak out about their views about sex and gender they are criticised, but they are not subjected to death threats, rape threats, doxxing and harassment in the same way.

The suggestion that radical feminists are bringing male violence upon themselves by merely holding views about gender and sex, is very similar to the position held by men’s rights activists and incel groups which often argue that radical feminists deserve, and bring male violence upon themselves, by their so-called ‘misandry’.

4. Men hating women and girls (especially MRA/incels)

It’s no secret to most of us that MRAs and incels hate radical feminism and radical feminists. For them, we are the ultimate opposition. For most of us, we are gender nonconforming women, we are lesbians, we are activists, we are educated, we are independent – and for a lot of us we have no interest in living with, or cooperating with men, or the broader global patriarchy.

On the many occasions that I have been targeted by MRAs and incels, I have been advised that my views on feminism and women’s rights are ‘provoking the reaction’ and abuse that I receive. Police even told me to shut down my social media, or stop talking about women’s rights to solve the problem. I know that this isn’t uncommon – because other women have been told the same thing.

With broad similarities to the other points that I have already made, nobody seems to be holding MRAs or incels responsible for their violence online and in person. No one seems to be talking about the mass online groups which share memes, posts, and videos about violent porn, pro-rape culture, anti-feminist and anti-women’s rights propaganda, and articles which suggest that male violence and female oppression is a feminist conspiracy theory.

When questioned, people tend to argue that the MRA movement and the Incel movement are simply reactions or backlash to radical feminism which again position radical feminists as the cause and solution of male violence.

Blame the perpetrator – I mean, really, it’s not hard

I know this might seem a simple conclusion to a complex article, but the solution truly is to blame the man for male violence. Blame the perpetrators of the crime. If a radical feminist actually commits a murder, rape or sexual assault, then fine. It would be their fault. And they would be to blame. No issues there.

But in cases where men have trafficked, threatened, raped, assaulted, stalked, and murdered someone – blame the perpetrator. Hold him fully accountable. Make him take responsibility for his actions.

Where masses of men are committing these crimes, talk about male violence as a system problem – don’t pass the buck to feminists and tell that they are the ones causing men to kill, rape, threaten and abuse.

I’m watching this all very carefully at the moment, and truly believe that we are seeing the meeting of minds between several groups of activists who have decided to pin the blame for many different forms of oppression on radical feminists.

Whilst terrifying, maybe the most interesting thing about this, is that it was inevitable. What I mean by that, is that we are a relatively tiny group of ambitious, educated, intelligent, gender non-conforming, often gay and marginalised women who have decided to stand up for women around the world, network and stand up in the face of great challenge, threat and adversity.

They were never going to let this go easily.

Men have never allowed radical feminists to have an unfiltered voice. We have always been positioned as crazy, evil, nasty, dangerous and abusive. We’ve always been locked up, arrested, abused and threatened. We’ve always been blamed for women’s changing roles in society.

What I can’t understand is how other women who call themselves feminists could look at the murder of anyone, committed by a man, and then turn around and blame a radical feminist, instead of being able to see that male violence is common and systemic – and that radical feminism is the only form of feminism willing to consistently call it out.

The scapegoating of radical feminists for the acts of male violence has to end.

Dr Jessica Taylor

20/07/2021

The real reasons that women are oppressed by patriarchy

Dr Jessica Taylor

I’m starting to realise that women are oppressed because they are more powerful than men.

I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but consider that all oppression has a reason or a motivation. It all starts somewhere. Oppressors would not seek to control, denigrate and silence people who had no power in the first place, would they?

Men don’t oppress women because they think they are stupid, incompetent, weak or incapable – they oppress women because they know that we aren’t any of those things. They know that given the chance, we will change the world in several ways which will permanently dismantle male supremacy. And they don’t want that.

I am writing this blog post deliberately to spark conversation and thought about the systemic oppression of women and girls – and how this is only required because of the potential power of women and girls.

Women make up 51% of the population and yet, are disproportionately oppressed, abused, killed, trafficked, mutilated and raped by men in every country of the world. As scholars have pointed out before me, there are no rape-free societies. There are no areas of the world where women are not being raped by men. There are no areas of the world where women are not being abused and controlled by male partners. There are no areas of the world where girls and women are better off than men and boys, and in proportionate control of their lives, finances, education and governments.

We must consider why this is. Misogynists try to convince us that it is because we are weak, incapable, poor leaders, stupid or emotional.

I am here to argue that women have more potential and power than men in several important areas of human life, and that the patriarchy seeks to oppress and control us because rather than actually believing that we are weak, they recognise that we are strong.

Further, they are aware how much stronger we would be if we understood and utilised our power, so much of society is designed to keep women and girls from ever realising their own skill, knowledge or power.

The control of female sexuality

The patriarchy seeks to control female sexuality, sexual preferences, sexual acts and sexual consent for several reasons. In a majority heterosexual society (and one which forces compulsory heterosexuality on even those who are gay or bi) women are sought out for men’s sexual desires, sexual exploitation and sexual pleasure. This means that women and girls are required to conform to male-accepted beauty standards, submit to sex when requested, enjoy sex acts which harm or abuse them and believe that their sexual prowess is their most important quality.

Patriarchal control has achieved this by ensuring that women and girls self-sexualise from 7 years old (according to APA, 2007), that women and girls believe and employ rape myths towards themselves and other women, blame themselves (and blame other women and girls) for the sexual and domestic violence of men (Taylor, 2020).

Further, patriarchal norms mean that globally, millions of women are expected to give (or abstain from) sex, whenever men tell them to. This could be their fathers, brothers, husbands or men in their wider support networks. Millions of women and girls are subjected to FGM to remove parts of their sexual organs, including the clitoris, so that men can control their sexual activity, and so that female sexual pleasure is never experienced.

Women’s sexuality is powerful not because we are walking sex objects, but because it is something intensely private, personal and intimate to us all. We own our sexuality. We choose how to use our sexuality, if at all. We should have total control over who we are intimate with, when and why. Our pleasure and our sexual organs belong to us. If we really had full control of our sexuality, and were not manipulated to believe that being ‘sexy’ is important to our role in the world, men would not have control over our bodies, images, laws, lives, relationships and our sexual pleasure.

It should be so telling that female sexuality is directed, shaped and twisted to fit whatever men want from us at that time. Smaller waist? Thicker waist? No ass? Round ass? Big boobs? Small boobs? Showing your skin? Not showing your skin? Lots of make-up? The ‘natural’ look? We are simply tricked into believing that we have power over our sexuality and our appearance. It’s a facade.

It is important that the patriarchy continues to control women’s sexuality, in order for women and girls to never understand the power they have in a world where men desire control of their sexuality. It is equally important to patriarchy that the manipulation of women and girls continues, to hypersexualise them further and further, so they believe that being a sex object is empowering and glamourous – which plays right into men’s hands.

No one has to work very hard to control or manipulate women and girls who already view themselves as sex objects to be used, abused, controlled or enjoyed by men.

The control of female fertility

The patriarchy has long sought to control the reproductive power of women. They understand that they are not capable of the reproductive process without female bodies, hence why there is more and more experimental medical research exploring how to create wombs to gestate human babies in. And more and more fetishisation of female reproductive systems, periods, pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

Before men ever achieved scientific and ideological advances such as this, they were controlling the fertility of women in other ways. Rape has long been used to impregnate women and girls, and features in thousands of years of history, art and literature. Some evolutionary theorists even suggest that rape is the act of ensuring men’s genes continue (although this is highly contested, and I do not personally agree with that theory, as it ignores social and cultural reasons for rape).

Fast forward centuries as we have both forced pregnancies and forced abortions, men putting holes in condoms on purpose, patriarchal organisations protesting birth control and constant arguments about women’s right to choose what they do with their own fertility.

Women frequently tell stories of doctors refusing to sterilise them ‘in case their husband wants more children in the future’.

Further, society seems obsessed with women’s ability to create life and give birth – leading not only to the fascination and fetishisation of women’s bodies but also to hatred towards women who make a choice not to have children, and slurs towards menopausal women and women who cannot have children which mock them for being ‘barren’ and ‘dried up’. Lesbians will have heard these slurs too when they are mocked for not wanting or being able to have children via heterosexual sexual intercourse.

If that wasn’t enough, we have an entire industry of surrogacy which literally sells access to wombs for wealthy people – in which the majority of surrogates are women in less economically developed countries, being exploited for very little in poor conditions, to have babies for someone else who cannot or does not want to. Women’s fertility is not only controlled, but it has been commodified to the point that women are being used as paid-for containers, gestators and womb-havers.

The patriarchy seeks to control women’s fertility and reproduction because it is so powerful for the continuation of life. Oppressors are not interested in whether that is in the best interests of the babies or women, but will go to great lengths to debate and control fertility at every step. Whether it is men arguing whether women should be allowed to abort a foetus, or whether it is men arguing whether we should be allowed to sell wombs for surrogacy – notice again, that it is women’s unique power that they seek to exploit and oppress here. They cannot do these things for themselves, so they must control the power of women, instead.

Imagine how many industries, narratives and structures would collapse if women were able to take full control over their fertility without the pressure, obligation, expectation or oppression of patriarchy.

The control of women in government

Globally, women are not well represented in government or leadership. No matter how many men say that we have reached equality because of women like Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Clinton and Nicola Sturgeon being in senior leadership of governments and parties – these exceptions only prove the rule. The fact that men can name a handful of female leaders means that they are rare enough exceptions to be noticed in the first place. They are abnormal. They are different to the default setting: wealthy man.

In general, women are not in control of the world at any significant level, despite making up 51% of the global population. At least, we should expect to be half of all world power. The reality is much less equal. Women make up 8% of national leaders, and within that, 2% of world presidents. Women only make up around 4% of the Fortune 500 CEOs. In the UK in 2020, women make up 5% of the FTSE 100. That’s 5 female CEOs.

Depressingly, the country with the most female CEOs in the world only has 30% female CEOs (according to global stats, 30% of CEOs in Thailand are female, the highest representation in the world). That’s not even a third.

Often, when we discuss why this trend continues into 2020, we will be met with comments about women being poor leaders, not being interested in power and being busy with motherhood and childcare (another thing you could add to the previous section). Some people also suggest that female led countries and companies would be chaos, or incompetent. This is despite significant academic research which shows that there is less corruption and bribery in female led governments, as women are less likely to take bribes and allow corruption within their governments and institutions (Swamy et al. 2003).

During COVID-19, it has been repeatedly pointed out by academics and journalists that the countries responding to and recovering from the pandemic in the safest, most ethical and most effective ways are all ran by women. Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel, Sanna Marin and Tsai Ing Wen have all led their countries through COVID-19 with much lower infection and death rates than countries led by men. Some have pointed out that men were often seen to create narratives around COVID that positioned the virus as ‘the enemy’ and the pandemic as a ‘war’ or ‘battle’ to ‘win’ or ‘defeat’. In contrast, female leaders have been shown to take scientific evidence and medical advice, explore responses from other countries (including South Korea) and tried to reassure and support their populations.

This only presents more questions. If women are so competent, why don’t they feature in leadership more often? Why are they so discriminated against in the workplace? Why are there so many myths and stereotypes that women are hysterical, emotional wrecks who cannot lead a company or country?

Well, having thought about this more and more, I think it’s because women hold much more power, potential and capability than they realise. Interestingly, rather than the patriarchy believing women to be weak, stupid and incapable – the opposite must be true. They know that women are smart, honest, capable and strong leaders. And so, it is of vital importance to a patriarchy to continue to reframe women as poor thinkers and leaders, to keep them away from power.

The stereotypes and myths about female leaders are not there because the patriarchy believe them to be true, but because they need everyone else to believe them to be true, so they can maintain total power. They also need women and girls to believe that they would be poor leaders, and induce imposter syndrome as early as possible – so they never attempt to buck the trend and fight for power.

The control of women in justice and justice for women

In addition to the lack of women in government, we have a similar issue in justice. Whether that is criminal or civil law, legislation, investigations or independent inquiries – women are not equally represented and in some cases, are actively oppressed.

In a world in which 97% of crime is committed by men (according to international statistics collected by the FBI in 2017), it seems odd that men also make up the majority of lawmakers, judges, police chiefs, police commissioners, legislators and senators.

Women are hugely underrepresented in crime. Women make up just over half of the world population but commit 3% of the crime. When women are imprisoned, it is largely due to non-violent offences such as possession of drugs, non-payment of council tax and financial fraud.

However, more and more data is showing that crimes committed against women are going unpunished. We know that the current conviction rate of rape is just 0.2% in the UK, leading to the current inquiries lobbied for by the Centre for Women’s Justice. We know that the femicide rate is increasing. Women killed by males has increased significantly in 2020  (33%) but murders in which males kill other males have been dropping year on year.

In power, women make up 29% of court judges. Out of 41 police and crime commissioners, 6 are female. In law firms in the UK, only 17% of them have female partners.

So why the disparity here? What would happen if women were more in control of the justice systems? The pattern should be becoming clear by now, that keeping women out of power and influence is important for the upkeep of the patriarchy. Women are significantly underrepresented in the control of justice, despite being excellent when appointed to powerful roles. Female led prisons are some of the safest and well kept facilities in the UK, for example. This year, Pia Sinha was appointed to ‘Britain’s worst prison’ and has already transformed it, hitting national headlines for her work.

As part of the mission for sex equality and female liberation from patriarchy, women should be equal in all matters of governance, justice, politics and society. Women play such a small role in justice, and certainly don’t receive justice when they require it, either. Only 13% of women even bother reporting crimes to the UK police anymore (CSEW, 2017), and when research explores why that it, it is usually because women are scared of how they will be treated or the ways in which they will be blamed (Taylor, 2020).

What would happen if women were given half of the control of the justice systems? Maybe our approaches and procedures would change? Maybe women would get more justice? Maybe less women would die after calling the police 17 times and being ignored? Maybe girls would stop being blamed by judges, lawyers and police officers when they are being sexually abused and trafficked? There is a reason that women are being kept from positions of power in the justice systems, and it is not because the patriarchy deem us to be weak or incapable.

It is because they know that more women in the system would change that system. And why would the patriarchy want that? At present, men have a 0.2% conviction rate for rape and a 8% conviction rate for domestic violence (ONS, 2019). For perpetrators of male violence, those are pretty good odds, wouldn’t you say?

The control of women’s language and spaces

For anyone keeping their eye on the current issues engulfing the mission for women’s rights and female liberation, it will have become clear that the flavour of the month in misogyny is to control the language and spaces of women. This is nothing new. Dale Spender wrote about it in the 1980s in her book ‘Man Made Language’.

However, more and more women are noticing the way governments, institutions, law enforcement and media are changing, redefining and seeking to control the free speech of women, in particular. Whether it’s the pressure to redefine women, misspell it entirely – or erase ‘woman’ completely from professional and public discourse

One of the most effective ways of stopping women and girls from taking control of their lives is to limit their language and spaces to do so. If women cannot talk about female oppression anymore, they cannot challenge it or protest. If women cannot define themselves as class of humans that need rights, support and protection, then they will not be able to secure these things. This movement is deliberate. If the word ‘woman’ begins to mean nothing (anyone can define themselves into and out of it) then the laws, legislation and policies pertaining to the advancement and equality of women will mean nothing.

Oppression intersects. We understand this fairly well. But what we don’t seem to grasp is that oppressions all tend to work and and impact in fairly similar ways. Methods of control tend to be similar (dehumanisation, dementalisation, abuse, pathologisation, criminalisation, isolation, and stigmatisation).

How is it then, that we can see this happen to one oppressed group and totally understand that they need their own movements, their own language, their own leaders and their own spaces away from and separate from the oppressor – but we cannot apply this to females as a protected group as a sex? It’s as if we do not believe this applies to women.

How come we understand and are outraged when an oppressor attempts to co-opt or exploit the oppression of one group, but cannot or will not see it when it is happening to women and girls?

Controlling women’s language and the ways in which they can meet, organise and discuss issues which affect them should be seen as a serious red flag. I mean this in two ways. The first is that this is a red flag for an extremely misogynistic and patriarchal society that does not want women and girls to be able to organise alone.

But to return to the theme of female power, the second way this is a red flag is that it should signal to us about how powerful our organisation is.

If women meeting, organising and forming groups was so powerless, futile and pathetic – why is it an issue if we choose to do so? If the oppressor does not believe that those who he oppressed have any power at all, why would it matter if lots of them joined together to relate with each other and be in each other’s company? 

The only real answer here, is that the act of women and girls meeting, teaching, debating, learning, supporting and organising in female only spaces is considered dangerous – and you are only considered dangerous if you have power. Removing our language and spaces is an attack on women everywhere, but also a sure sign that they know how powerful we are when we work together and form alliances with other women.

Final thoughts

Take this writing and think about it. We are much more powerful than we think. As women and girls, we have had a lifetime of messages telling us that we are not clever enough, strong enough, big enough, capable enough, logical enough, rational enough… And it’s all been deliberate. It’s all been bullshit.

The entire time, women have always been smart, strong, capable, competent and influential – but we have been systematically and carefully oppressed, controlled, abused, distracted, sexualised, objectified, infantilised, silenced, threatened and mocked.

The only reason this is happening is because we hold so much power and we threaten patriarchal control.

Written by Dr Jessica Taylor

14/08/20

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Let’s talk about sex… and gender ideology

Dr Jessica Taylor

23 Feb 2020

I have been meaning to write about this for months. There is no doubt that it has become dangerous for women to write or speak about their views of gender, but that wasn’t what delayed this post.

What delayed this post was the sheer amount of information I would need to convey in this article to do the topic justice.

I am going to try to cover some main points relating to my stance on gender ideology. As a psychologist, an academic researcher, a lesbian and a woman who has worked in sexual and domestic violence with women and girls for over a decade, I have many perspectives and interests in this conversation.

Before I start, I would like to take the opportunity to state that I do not support any groups who mock, abuse or humiliate trans people. I refuse to support ‘feminists’ who are very clearly transphobic in its real sense, and use the guise of feminism to mock trans people and gender theory. However, I am certainly gender critical (in its real sense).

My main points will be:

1. The concept of gender is being wrongly discussed and defined which has confused millions of people

2. Telling children and adults that they are born in the wrong body is abusive and biologically impossible

3. You can’t challenge the gender role binary by upholding the gender role binary

4. Biological sex is real, important and remains a protected characteristic in law

5. Gender ideology has some repressive and homophobic ideas within it

6. Issues around gender present serious dilemmas for safeguarding

7. Gender ideology, like any other ideology, does not have to be accepted or supported by anyone else

The concept of gender is being wrongly discussed and defined which has confused millions of people

The word ‘sex’ has been used since the 15th century to mean the binary biological categories of mammals based on genetics and sex characteristics.

The WHO (2020) defines gender as ‘Gender refers to the roles, behaviours, activities, attributes and opportunities that any society considers appropriate for girls and boys, and women and men. Gender interacts with, but is different from, the binary categories of biological sex.’

My view is that there is no such thing as ‘gender’. I don’t believe gender is innate or biologically predisposed. I don’t believe it exists at all. As a radical feminist, I believe that the only way for all adults and children to be free from gender roles and gender is to eliminate it completely.

The word ‘gender’ has Latin and french origins. It meant ‘type’ or ‘kind’.

The term gender role was first used 1955 to mean ‘all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself or herself as having the status of boy or man, girl or woman.’

Stereotypes, basically.

In the 1960s and 1970s, second wave feminists such as Betty Friedan wrote about women’s gender roles being used to keep them in the kitchen and as slaves to men at home. Her book ‘The Feminine Mystique’ about the feminine gender role stereotypes was an extremely influential book for women who felt oppressed in the gender role expected of them.

During the 1970s, academic journals started to use ‘learned sex roles’ interchangeably with ‘innate gender roles’. However, by the 1980s the academic consensus was that sex was innate but gender roles were learned. From then onwards, gender (or gender roles) have been known to be socially constructed norms based on notions of masculinity and femininity.

The concept of ‘gender’ as we know it now actually comes from the phrase/concept ‘gender role stereotypes’ which was first written about and criticised in the 60s by second wave feminists. Gender role stereotypes were originally defined as a set of behaviours and characteristics that were socially constructed to relate to the roles of men and women. Women were described with and defined by a set of these ‘rules’ and so were men.

Women were feminine, quiet, pretty, submissive, content, polite, domesticated, kind, natural caregivers with no need for a career, education, opinion or ambition. They wore dresses and skirts, they wore make up, had long hair, wore high heels and existed to be looked at and adored by men. The gender role stereotype prescribed that women were heterosexual and wanted to be wives and mothers.

Men were masculine, strong, loud, dominant, aggressive, stoic, firm, goal-oriented with job roles, responsibilities, educations, opinions, the right to vote and the opportunities to progress. They wore trousers and suits, grew facial hair, never wore make up and existed to make money and protect their family. The gender role stereotype prescribed that men were heterosexual and wanted lots of sex with lots of women before eventually finding a wife and becoming a father to children (usually sons were desired) to continue their heir line.

These are gender role stereotypes. Anyone falling outside of those gender roles would be seen as weird, ill, mad or even possessed by demons – for a very long time. Women were routinely sectioned and tortured for being lesbian. Women who didn’t want to marry could be sent to asylums. Gay men could be tortured and killed. Women who didn’t conform to gender role stereotypes could be burned at the stake or sent for psychiatric treatment to make her more feminine and submissive to match the gender role she was pigeon-holed into.

The point of the critical discussion around gender roles was to argue that males and females could look, present, experience and explore life in many different ways without it being a disorder or an abnormality or a condition or a problem. For example, a girl could be masculine presenting, interested in things that society had constructed as ‘male’ or ‘masculine’ and it still doesn’t mean she’s a man or a boy – she’s a girl who loves stuff and wants stuff and experiences stuff that the world had told her is ‘man/boy’ stuff.

More recently, we have conflated biological sex with these gender roles. In academia, this started to happen in the 90s and 00s in certain disciplines. Instead of talking about gender roles and gender stereotypes, we are led to believe that gender is actually an expression of an innate identity or biological/neurochemical reality.

It’s as if no one can see how ultimately damaging this will be to society at large. Gender roles (now just shortened to ‘gender’ or extended to ‘gender identity’) are a set of sexist, misogynistic, homophobic social norms that are placed on humans to make them ‘fit’ into pre-agreed binary categories.

We have stopped talking about this definition of gender and instead been forced to accept a new definition of gender. A definition that many of us do not subscribe to.

Telling children and adults that they are born in the wrong body is abusive and biologically impossible

As someone who has worked with children and adults for over a decade, this narrative deeply worries me.

I don’t believe anyone can be ‘born into the wrong body’ and there is no scientific basis for this assertion. I note that no one has answered the question of where the ‘right’ body went during the gestation process or where the ‘wrong’ brain went as the baby developed inside of the female body. It is biologically impossible for a human female body to construct foetuses which contain ‘the wrong brain’ or ‘the wrong body’.

There is no such thing as a ‘wrong’ body or brain. We can definitely feel dysphoric, we can disassociate, we can become disconnected from our bodies – but we are never physically made out of the wrong body parts or brain parts. We are whole. We might not fit into the binary – but we are all whole people. Our bodies are not wrong, society is wrong.

What I do believe is that humans exist on a massive spectrum and society tries to fit them into feminine girls or masculine boys – most of us actually sit somewhere inbetween.

Until I was around 11 years old, I lived ‘like a boy’ and looked ‘like a boy’. I had short hair, I played on the boys football team, I only had boy mates, I refused anything pink, feminine, girly or maternal. I loved my brothers toys. I never wanted to be a mum. I was mistaken for a boy for years. People used to think my mum had two sons.

People used to say to her, in front of me: ‘oh boys will be boys!’ When me and my brother argued or play fought. My little sister was the most feminine, maternal, girly and cute little girl I knew. There was no mistaking that we were very different. She used to love playing with dolls and babies. I just didn’t get it. I’d much prefer playing with my brother’s cool toy that shot darts across the room.

I realised I was attracted to girls by 12 years old but thought it was a bit weird, ignored it and never told anyone. I had boyfriends and I think I did fancy them but not in the way I fancied the girls.

I hated my body and I hated my breasts. I used to slick all my hair back after a shower and wonder if it would be better if I was just born a boy. I used to wonder what my name could be if I was a boy. I never ever told anyone about this. By 13 I was well into puberty and had 30F breasts I could do nothing about. I hated dresses and skirts. I didn’t wear makeup and I didn’t care about learning to do hair or nails or anything (still don’t).

However, I definitely remember being sucked into ‘performing femininity’ because of comments from boys and men in my life. I definitely remember starting to self-sexualise and see myself as some sort of object/entertainment for men and boys.

I found feminism at 21 and learned that it was completely okay for me not to conform to notions of femininity. It was the first time that I realised it was normal to be a woman but not to conform. I loved learning about the way gender role norms expect women to speak, look, act, walk, exist in a certain way and suddenly lots of things started making sense to me. I realised that lots of the ways I felt about my body and myself were being pushed on to me by societal gender roles. This information was so liberating for me.

It wasn’t until I was 27 that I started to question if I was gay. I realised I was married to a man but I wasn’t attracted to him and I really just didn’t want to be around or with men. I started to dress more like how I wanted. Stopped trying to fit in. Stopped trying to conform. Found radfem and lesbian networks. Most of my friends are lesbian women, butch women and gender non conforming women. I hadn’t ever realised that I seemed to click much more with these women – they say you attract your clan. It seemed I did.

Last year I left my marriage to my husband and told my best friend I was in love with her. I have been openly lesbian for only about 9 months. In reality, it was much longer. Decades longer.

I often think that if I was born a decade later, I would be one of those girls being told I might be trans and I could live as a boy and bind my breasts and take hormones and so on.

I disagree with the entire concept of telling children or adults that just because they don’t conform to masculinity or femininity, or that they are gay or lesbian or gender non-conforming – they must be trans. They must be ‘born in the wrong body’.

Why can’t they just be male or female but with their own personality and look and style and ideas and beliefs?

You can’t challenge the gender role binary by upholding the gender role binary

One of the parts of this debate that makes the least sense is the concept of challenging binary notions of gender roles… by transing between two notions of gender roles.

Surely, the way to challenge the way society forces us into oppressive gender role stereotypes is to not conform to any of them.

Be the femme gay guy. Be the butch lesbian. Be the bisexual person who is completely ambiguous. Be femme one day and butch the next. Be whoever and whatever you feel. Present how you like when you like. Be a het guy who likes make up and dressing up. Be a het woman who hates all things feminine.

These are the ways to break the gender binary. Transcend it. Make gender irrelevant – that’s the thesis of radical feminism. Smash the patriarchy. Dismantle gender.

These aren’t just t-shirt slogans – they are fundamental aims of radical feminism.

However, we still have a gender binary. Even where people claim it is a spectrum, it really isn’t being talked about or perceived as a spectrum.

Why does a boy who doesn’t conform to masculine ideals need to trans to a girl? Why does a girl who hates femininity and feels more comfortable with masculine gender roles need to trans to be a boy?

Doesn’t that just support the binary? Doesn’t that just support the notion that you can either be masculine or feminine – but you can’t exist in between these categories?

‘If you don’t fit in one, you must be the other’ is literally a binary.

Society created gender roles of masculinity and femininity. And we force them on humans from birth. Not conforming to them doesn’t make us trans, it makes us human.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with girls or boys who don’t feel their ‘gender’ – I think the world is wrong. I think they should be allowed to be who they are without us telling them they must be a boy in a girls body or a girl in a boys body. Why should we medicate and mutilate them for not conforming to gender norms we have been trying to dismantle for decades?

Biological sex is real, important and remains a protected characteristic in law

It’s a very strange experience to watch the world of academia, wider society and the press try to perform the most incredible mental and linguistic gymnastics to pretend that sex is socially constructed the way gender roles are.

‘Sex observed at birth’?

‘Assigned male at birth?’

‘Cissexist’?

‘Cisgender’?

All these new words and phrases that are completely meaningless. Biological sex exists. If it didn’t, why do people even need hormone replacement therapies and hormone blockers?

If biological sex didn’t exist, why do all trans women start out as men before they identify as women? Why do they seek the same surgeries and the same medications? Why aren’t there any women who trans to become trans women? Sex has to exist for the transition to make sense.

Why do trans men need to bind female breast tissue but trans women seek breast augmentation? Why do trans women seek female hormones? Why do some trans people seek to have their biological genitals removed or changed? If sex was socially constructed, none of these things would need to happen for someone to transition to their identified gender. They could just do it. No surgery or hormones would be required if sex was socially constructed.

If biological sex is socially constructed, why do trans men need to take testosterone (male hormone) to cause changes to the body, whilst trans women need to take oestrogen (female hormone) to cause changes to the body?

Surely this demonstrates a biological basis of sex? If the correct sex hormones for each of the two biological sexes are used in transition processes, then surely this shows that biological sex exists and is not a social construct based in language and observations?

The reality is, sex is a biological, genetic, immutable fact. Gender roles are socially, historically and culturally specific. They are slightly different depending on time period, where you are in the world and what community you are in. Gender roles even change with social class. They are therefore not innate or biological in nature.

Whilst we are told ‘gender’ is a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010, this is not actually quite right. Sex is the protected characteristic in EA2010. The other protected characteristic is ‘gender reassignment’ or ‘transsexual people’. Both of which are considered by some to be outdated language.

However, this is important because it differentiates biological sex and gender reassignment. The law rightly protects trans people from being discriminated against by employers, institutions, education settings, businesses etc.

However, the same is true on the basis of biological sex. The EA2010 sets out the rights for males and females to have single sex spaces such as wards, toilets, prisons, hospitals, refuges, mental health provisions, education settings etc.

It is important to understand that biological sex is a real, factual, objective category for mammals. There are significant differences between human males and human females that must not be ignored.

For example:

The leading cause of death in males under 35 is suicide. This is not the same for females. Males are more likely to die by suicide than females. This is actually more likely to be linked to the way we socialise males into the masculine gender role which can be quite harmful to their own mental health and general well-being.

1 in 3 females will be raped or attempted to be raped by males in their lifespan. This is not the same for males. The statistic for men is around 1 in 20. This is not based on reporting to the police or convictions – it is based on anonymous self-reporting and therefore cannot be simply explained by saying that males report less.

The most common cancer in females is breast cancer, but the most common cancer in males is lung cancer (Cancer Research, 2020). This is not socially constructed. This is a sex difference. Breast cancer does occur in males, but it is extremely rare in contrast to female breast cancer.

The leading cause of death in males is heart disease whilst the leading cause of death of females in dementia (Public Health England, 2017). This is a recent sex difference finding – as the leading cause of death in both males and females used to be heart disease. However, heart disease in females has fallen whilst dementia in females has risen. This is not socially constructed, this is a sex difference.

Females are at risk from female genital mutilation in many different countries in the world. Males are not at risk from FGM. This should not really be a contentious point but I know a number of incredible activists working in FGM who have been called transphobic for saying that FGM is only done to females.

Males commit 97-99% of all global crime according to FBI global crime statistics (2017). Females are hugely underrepresented in crime, except for fraud and financial crimes in which they tend to commit around the same amount of crimes as males.

Males are the most incarcerated sex in the world, making up over 98% of the prison population. Offender management and offender rehabilitation research and interventions have therefore been based on male offending and male socialisation. This is important because we are now beginning to find that interventions that have been developed and tested with males in prison do not work with females. Conversely, we know that interventions and therapies that work with females have little to no effect with males. This one is more complicated, because it is likely to be due to the interplay between biological sex differences and gender role stereotype and socialisation differences.

Both historically and presently, females are the only sex to get pregnant or ever give birth. This is important because blood changes when females become pregnant and carry babies. Lots of medical research has found that males cannot receive a blood transfusion from females who have had a baby, because blood from females who have been pregnant have a different immune system response to males. Research from a 10 year study showed that males who received blood from ever-pregnant females were 1.5 times more likely to die from the transfusion (Middleburg, 2017).

Biological sex is real. Reproductive sex is real. Everyone knows which sex to go to when they want a surrogate mother for a baby. There are currently zero surrogacy agencies exploiting male bodies. There’s a reason for that. No one is going to pay for a male in a developing country to carry their baby.

Even in our own privileged countries, trans people and pro-trans activists who want to have babies after transition still know which process to follow to have that baby. They know that they either need to preserve their ovum, keep their uterus, have IVF or commission a surrogate. These are all exclusively female issues. Trans men who want to have a baby may still be able to do so because they have a uterus and ovaries. Trans women who want to have a baby would need a female partner or a female surrogate mother. Biological sex is inescapable when it comes to reproduction. It is interesting to see that even people who claim biological sex is a spectrum or that biological sex is actually just socially constructed or ‘observed’ – still know how to make a baby.

These are just a few examples of sex differences off the top of my head.

Sex differences are apparent in literally every medical, psychological, criminological, sociological, developmental and neurological discipline.

Therefore, sex differences remain extremely important.

What happens when a transwoman is in a serious accident and needs a blood transfusion but has had all of their medical records changed to say they are female? What if the transfusion kills them?

What happens when a transman needs an urgent X-ray or operation and their documents all say they are ‘male’ – so no one checks to see if they could be pregnant before the procedure?

In my view, it is absolutely acceptable to talk about people wanting to present as feminine or masculine without claiming that biological sex doesn’t exist. People feel dysphoric when their sex doesn’t ‘match’ their gender roles – but that doesn’t mean their sex is wrong, it means our socially constructed notions of gender are too restrictive and oppressive to be useful anymore.

Gender ideology has some repressive and homophobic ideas within it

One of the concerns that is often raised about believing that gender role stereotypes are actually innate feelings of ‘gender’ – and that biological sex is offensive and irrelevant, is what this means for gay males and lesbian females.

If sex means nothing and should be deconstructed, what does the word ‘homosexual’ even mean?

If children who are gay, lesbian or gender non-conforming are being told they are actually the opposite sex but trapped in the wrong body and are actually straight – what does this mean for gay rights and the perception of gay people?

Well, I can tell you what it means. It means homophobia can get a huge second wind under the guise of gender progression. Almost like palatable, socially acceptable, modern homophobia all dressed up as something kind and positive.

Case in point: Iran

Iran has the second highest numbers of transwomen in the whole world. Unlikely finding in a conservative Muslim country? Not really.

Iran has adopted the belief that being trans is better than being a gay guy. Instead of being a gay man, he can trans to be a het woman. Problem solved. Gay is an ‘illness’ that needs to be cured by transition in Iran.

Being gay in Iran is still punishable by death – whereas transsexuality was made legal in 1987. This means that Iranian activists such as Shadi Amen are now starting to speak out about the way the government is encouraging men to trans to women in order to ‘cure them’.

Whilst this direct approach is not yet being taken in the UK, the underlying ideology does exist. We know that many children who express gender dysphoria will go on to be gay or lesbian adults. The danger here is that we are essentially seeing a new wave of conversion therapy of gay and non-conforming kids.

To me, this does not look progressive. This does not look like a step forward for humans.

The second part of homophobia within the gender ideology is the argument that lesbian same-sex attracted females should date males who identify as transwomen.

I am being deliberately specific in my language here because I am not seeing the same pressure on gay males to have sex with transmen. And I sure as hell can’t see the pressure on het males to have sex with transwomen.

The pressure sits solely with females, mainly lesbians but also het females who are being coerced into accepting their male partners who come out as trans. This is misogyny in action.

A pressure on same-sex attracted people to have sex with someone of the opposite sex who says they identify as a man or woman – is homophobic. It’s not only homophobic, but it really does challenge our notions of informed consent.

No one is entitled to sex with anyone else, no one has a right to sex.

So therefore, everyone has a right to be HUGELY picky about who they have consensual sex with. You literally have no right to sex with anyone who doesn’t want sex with you. It doesn’t matter even if they say something absolutely ridiculous like ‘I’m not attracted to people with blonde hair’ or ‘I would never date a guy who voted republican’ or even ‘I am just not attracted to short men’.

It doesn’t matter, because it’s their right to choose who they have sex with and when they have sex and how they have sex.

This right is extended to lesbians. Lesbians do not have to accept or date or have sex with males who identify as transwomen. Just like lesbians do not have to have sex with other lesbians they don’t fancy – but they certainly do not have to have sex with males. Even males who have transitioned. No one can ever make them do that and it would be homophobic to infer otherwise.

This is why there are entire activist groups and movements about lesbian erasure and the way lesbians are being silenced and removed from conversations and events. Groups like ‘Get the L Out’ are considered ‘hate groups’ for talking about the way lesbians are being erased.

They are considered to be lying or exaggerating – or accused of being plain old hateful.

But in fact, they are raising extremely important points in radical feminism, in lesbian rights and in human rights.

If biological sex is ignored, gender roles become enshrined in law as ‘real’ and ‘innate’ and lesbians are seen as hateful bigots for not having sex with males who say they are women – lesbianism ceases to exist linguistically and politically. Whilst actual lesbianism (females who are same sex attracted) will continue forever, it is homophobic and dangerous to keep suggesting that lesbian women should give over more and more space to males.

By definition, males cannot be lesbians. To suggest they can is homophobia.

There are other groups who support het women whose husbands of many years identify as transwomen and are then expected to support that process or even stay in a relationship with the father of their children whilst he rejects decades of his own life (and her life, and their kids lives) and instead begins to call himself by a new name, dresses in feminine clothing and seeks surgery.

Most people would agree that the woman does not need to accept, support or stay with the male who decides to transition to be a transwoman. However, lots of wives in this position have been accused of being transphobic, bigoted and hateful if they do not stay with the husband and become a faux ‘lesbian’ couple, referring to her husband as ‘she’ and pretending to the outside world that she is same-sex attracted. Either way, the het female in this situation cannot win.

Note how this part of the blog is not about the erasure of gay males or het males – because this isn’t happening (yet).

Issues around gender present serious dilemmas for safeguarding

Some of the safeguarding issues we need to consider here include some rather contentious topics. Just because they are contentious does not mean they are untouchable or not up for discussion.

The first is the link between gender dysphoria and trauma from child abuse.

Having worked in this field for over a decade now, I can tell you that questioning your sexuality and identity after rape and abuse is very common and normal. We’ve always worked with children and adults who experience this trauma response – it is nothing new to those of us doing this work.

It is fairly common for sexually abused girls to start to reject everything female and feminine about themselves, hate their breasts, hate their vulva, wish they were a boy, start harming parts of their bodies.

Equally, it is fairly common for sexually abused boys to start to question their sexuality, reject their own bodies, hate sexual arousal, wish they were a girl and start self harming.

A couple of years ago, I spoke out about the amount of UK social workers who had been contacting me and talking to me about children on their caseload who begin identifying as trans after being abused, exploited, trafficked and raped. Social workers I have spoken to are concerned that the ‘affirm, affirm, affirm’ approach to gender is stopping them from being able to work through the dysphoria with children who have been subjected to life changing abuse. It is absolutely vital that we acknowledge that gender and body dysphoria is a coping mechanism and normal trauma response to sexual abuse.

This does not mean that all trans people were sexually abused, of course.

But it does mean that children who start to hate their bodies and talk about wanting to be a boy or girl need support and compassion. We also need to check why this is happening and what it might mean. Further, this means that we cannot simply ‘affirm’ a gender identity of an abused or traumatised child who might be naturally responding to serious abuse they have been subjected to.

Children being transed by their parents is now happening at an earlier and earlier age, claiming that children fully understand the concepts of sex and gender – when most adults don’t even understand sex and gender.

Parents and practitioners argue that the child understands that their gender doesn’t match their sex and that they wish to transition, take puberty blockers and medically transition. I reject this notion completely.

Not many people have studied the concepts of gender roles or where the terms come from. Some people can’t even correctly discuss the differences between sex and gender without conflating them. I do not accept that children can do this and then make life changing medical decisions.

I believe this will eventually come full circle and we will be presented with thousands of adults who underwent medication, surgery and social transition by (sometimes) well-meaning adults – who then come back and question us about why we allowed them to do that at such a young age.

I believe we will face thousands of law suits and investigations into the medical transitioning of children and adolescents in the decades to come, where we have left those humans infertile, ill, injured and scarred.

Actually, this is already happening within the detransitioner movement.

Children should never be transed, encouraged to bind or use packers, to take medication or to have surgery – and yet more and more children are being referred for treatment in the UK under the NHS and many more are being ‘treated’ privately.

As someone who works heavily in the abuse and grooming of children, I also tried to speak out about the potential for sex offenders to groom trans kids online a couple of years ago. Instead of anyone taking that safeguarding risk seriously, I was subjected to a number of vexatious complaints. Thankfully, I wasn’t merely making these cases up as they claimed and it was easy to back up. Complaints were not upheld and I was okay.

However, the cases were real. Social workers were holding UK cases in which kids who identified as trans were going online, seeking support and being groomed by sex offenders who were sexually exploiting and abusing them. In all of the cases I was made aware of, the abusers were men who identified as transwomen.

I can’t go into too much detail because the cases are so specific, but they included the abduction of a trans child who met transwomen online in a support group. The transwomen groomed the child to believe their parents hated them and would never accept them, convinced them their parents were transphobes and then trafficked the child hundreds of miles where they raped them and kept them there for days.

Another case of a trans child who was groomed on the internet by older transwomen was being given wigs, make up and money for images and videos of sexual acts.

When I tried to talk about this, I was immediately shut down and accused of making up these real cases. The reality here is that males make up 97% of all sex offenders. Therefore, it is more likely that transwomen (males) will sexually offend against children than transmen (females) would. There is no evidence to suggest that males who identify as women offend in any different ways to males who do not identify as a different gender.

Sex offenders can be anyone, this includes trans people. This might make everyone uncomfortable but it’s true. People accused me of using the same old argument as ‘gay men are paedophiles’. However, I was talking about real cases held in the UK – and I was talking about them for a reason.

My reason was that in both of those cases, the social workers were being limited as to what they could and couldn’t say or do. This was because they were being told by authorities that there were fears about being seen as ‘transphobic’ if they spoke about or reported on cases where transwomen had been grooming trans kids online.

It reminded me very much of the way we all gingerly tip toed around Pakistani sex offenders abusing children because the police claimed they didn’t want to be seen as ‘racist’.

Just like most Pakistani men are not sex offenders, most trans people are not sex offenders. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking about these cases. In fact, the only common denominator in sex offending and domestic abuse is male offenders. Biological sex is the underpinning factor. Maleness. That’s why we call it male violence.

I know that if this blog reaches as many people as it usually does, there will be hundreds, maybe thousands of social workers, psychologists, therapists and doctors thinking about their own cases of children they are working with. I know there already many professionals in the UK who are questioning how best to support children who are exploring their identity and sexuality – without necessarily affirming anything, directing them anywhere or suggesting they are trans or born in the wrong body.

I would argue that in studies of trans adults and trans kids, there is significant trauma history and abuse history. This cannot be ignored and needs to be discussed.

Gender ideology, like any other ideology, does not have to be accepted or supported by anyone

My final point is fairly frank.

Ideologies exist, theories exist, perspectives exist.

We are not required to believe them, adopt them, accept them or conform to them.

I do not and will not respect racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic people or theories.

To an extent, we are not even required to respect them. For example, I do not and will not respect or support the perspective that paedophilia is a normal sexual orientation and that children can consent to sex. This is a common narrative in my field at the moment and it scares me to death.

Specifically, gender roles and gender identity are just theories and ideologies. We do not need to change the entire way we live, speak, write and legislate because we are being told to accept an ideology.

I think we’ve got the balance right with religions as ideologies. Religious people are protected in law, they cannot be discriminated against for their beliefs and they have rights to their own spaces. However, no one else has to believe their religion, accept their god, pray, speak about their religion, support their religion or change their language to validate their religion.

Millions of religious people live their lives knowing that millions of other religious and atheist people don’t accept or believe or validate their ideologies.

When religious ideologies attempt to force their ideologies on others through law and government, we call that oppressive totalitarianism. We actually go to war over that sort of stuff. We legislate against governments forcing ideologies on to people.

I find it interesting that we are not noticing the similarities in ideological totalitarianism here.

There are ways to protect trans people from harm, oppression, discrimination and abuse without forcing entire populations to accept gender theory and gender identity ideology.

I would never accept the persecution, oppression, abuse or harm of people with different ideologies and religions – just like I would never accept the persecution, oppression, abuse or harm of trans people (or people who believe gender ideology and gender theory).

If we can do it with multiple world religions that often conflict, we can definitely do it with gender ideology.

No one should be forced to change their language and thoughts to conform to a theorised ideology that isn’t even fully accepted in academia, let alone the vast complex world.

We can do this without oppressing and abusing trans people. We have to find a way through this raging debate that repositions gender as a theory and not as a reality that everyone else must validate.

Written by Dr Jessica Taylor