Sleight of hand

Last night the LibDems debated a ‘business’ motion about management of its conference. Ostensibly it was about respecting trans people & their pronouns & bathroom facilities. Of course it wasn’t about that at all. It was a trap intended to render future debate about women’s sex based rights impossible & make it easy to expel feminists & their supporters from the party.

When taken together with last week’s party definition of transphobia with its accompanying discipline policy, it is now a ‘crime’ to believe that trans women are not the same as biological women & unbelievers face compulsory re education or expulsion. Monday’s otherwise uncontentious motion included the phrase, “Trans women are women . . ” which opponents were told was integral to the motion & could not be removed by a separate vote.

This sets the stage for expelling any party member who believes the words of the party’s own constitution’s preamble that state: “we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon . . . sex or sexual orientation”. It will no longer be possible to campaign within the party for women’s sex based rights under the 2010 Equality Act to be balanced & protected vis a vis trans women’s rights, because the party’s considered position is that they are the same.

Trans women are women

In other words, it is no longer possible to differentiate between people with male bodies & people with female bodies, so there can no longer be any sex based rights. Members who say otherwise will be re educated or expelled. This is a terrifying & totalitarian position for a supposedly liberal party to adopt & completely undermines its position as a woman friendly organisation.

Women are potentially under threat from trans women or men who may pose as trans women in sport, prison, changing rooms, rape shelters, etc. Currently exemption protections are provided for in the 2010 Equality Act.

Out of line with moderate trans people

Women, don’t expect the LibDems to defend your sex based rights in future. You have been thrown under a bus by the party. The party’s trans policy has been adopted to accommodate extremists & is not in line with the views of many prominent trans people, including Debbie Hayton and Buck Angel, who accept that they retain the biological sex they started out with.

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The Liberal Democrats and Liberal Party before it have a proud tradition of defending liberty and advocating for social change. Going back over a hundred years, the state pension, social security, the NHS, legal abortion, the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the creation of same sex marriage are all associated with this movement and its members.

The party with has always believed that women’s rights are human rights and as recently as this March, LibDem MP Wera Hobhouse introduced a Hate Crime Bill, intended to tackle the ever present problem of misogyny.

Then on the 19th of September, on its platform LibDem Voice, the party published its definition of transphobia. You can read it here:

Perhaps surprisingly, although it was drafted by three women, it contradicts the party’s own constitution on the subject of sexism and it is incompatible with the human rights of women.

Therefore, using it as a starting point, I drafted a definition of misogyny and submitted it to the LibDem Voice platform for publication. As a Liberal and Liberal Democrat since 1966, who has held many local party positions as well as being a LibDem councillor for over five years, I expected an acknowledgment at least, but this was not to be.

So, being denied a party platform, I am posting it here.

Liberal Democrat definition of Misogyny – a proposal

Over the last year it has become clear that the Party needed to explain how it proposes to recognise and defend the sex-based rights of women as defined in the 2010 Equality Act. 

We know that some parts of the mainstream media and online social media have been actively trying to smear the female community and have promoted scare stories designed to frighten people into rolling back women’s rights in general and removing the protections they are allowed under the Gender Recognition Act in particular. We want to support members who want to call out misogynistic behaviour and challenge it both in and outside the party. 

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