Ann Henderson triggers controversy over ‘transphobic’ Twitter support

Content Warning: Transphobia

Ann Henderson, Rector of the University of Edinburgh, has been seen affirmatively responding to tweets by allegedly transphobic organisations.

Henderson’s official Twitter account retweeted about a drop-in session meeting titled “How will changes to the Gender Recognition Act [GRA] affect women’s rights?” The event is supported by the organisations Fair Play For Women, Transgender Trend and Woman’s Place, all of which promote allegedly transphobic rhetoric.

Edinburgh Labour Students Chair, Andrew Wilson, spoke to The Student: “Ann retweeting this seems completely contrary to the work EUSA [Edinburgh University Students’ Association] is doing on the GRA consultation. This could also be seen as her endorsing these transphobic organisations which are in complete conflict to all of… [the Students’ Association’s] policy/safe space policy. Edinburgh Labour Students wishes to reiterate that as long as Ann continues to sideline the legitimate concerns of minority groups, we do not support her holding office in the Labour Party, or our own university.”

There are allegations that one of the groups Henderson has shown support for via her retweet is the body responsible for transphobic stickers seen in bathrooms inside Students’ Association buildings recently.

The Sabbatical Team at the Students’ Association has issued a joint statement as follows: “The organisations responsible for the tweet and its content are explicitly transphobic groups, and are referenced in the recent wave of transphobic materials distributed in the university and Students’ Association’s buildings.

“After raising the issue of these materials and organisations with the Rector in a recent meeting, and hearing her recent speech purporting to support LGBT+ students at the university, we are shocked that the Rector continues to support these organisations on Twitter.

“The university needs to be a place where transgender students feel supported and respected, and as a representative for staff and students, the Rector’s actions are unacceptable. The Sabbatical Officers have contacted the MPs representing the university area, Ian Murray and Tommy Sheppard, to urge they not attend the event referred to in the tweet, and to instead support the advancement of trans rights in the Gender Recognition Act (England and Wales) consultation.”

A spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh said: “The Rector posted these links/made these comments in a personal capacity. The university’s position is one of zero tolerance towards harassment, bullying, discrimination and victimisation of any kind – this includes zero tolerance towards transphobia.”

Edinburgh’s PrideSoc has responded to Henderson on Twitter: “Concerning your recent retweet of FairPlayForWomen, are you aware of the transphobic nature of this event? The GRA has not and will not affect women’s rights. Anyone claiming otherwise is pushing an anti-trans agenda under the guise of feminism.”

The university’s network for LGBT+ staff, Staff Pride Network, also tweeted: “We hope that this was retweeted in error as we do not consider these orgs friends of LGBT+ folks. But we are also very happy to chat with you offline rector about our perspective on GRA reform.”

 

A previous version of this article omitted the word ‘allegedly’ in the first and second paragraphs. Updated: 20:13, 12 October 2018.

The statement of the Sabbatical Team at the Students’ Association was amended at their request following the publication of the article to reflect their change of opinion. Updated: 11:50, 14 October 2018.

Image: Peter Dibdin

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103 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. Dr.B.Reay
    Oct 11, 2018 - 09:55 PM

    None of those organisations are “transphobic”. They have genuine concerns re safeguarding for women and girls if self ID allows adult males into women’s changing rooms, sports, refuges, toilets and prisons.
    We have already seen the conviction of a transgender male rapist for sexually assaulting 4 women in a female prison.
    Stop labelling us phobic to try and silence women. You need an open debate, not bullying us.

    Reply
    • Lindsay Ann
      Oct 12, 2018 - 07:26 AM

      Well said!

      Reply
    • Jane Harris
      Oct 12, 2018 - 12:02 PM

      Exactly.

      Reply
    • Donna Bullock
      Oct 12, 2018 - 01:06 PM

      Thank you

      Reply
    • Rebecca smith
      Oct 12, 2018 - 01:19 PM

      Absolutly, disgusting that these claims are printed time and again without any evidence being given or in fact sought. PRO Women doenst mean anti trans

      Reply
    • Bfbv
      Oct 12, 2018 - 08:38 PM

      I agree

      Reply
    • radfemisphere
      Oct 16, 2018 - 01:26 PM

      This is nothing short of a new kind of male sex domination over born women. Gender iF does not cause a change of sex. Woman = adult human female. ThAt the Oxford English Dictionary definition I’ll use.

      Transgender should compete in their own gender identity category. Born males raised as .ale have physical advantages over females. Duh.

      My rights as a female human being are being abridged by this man’s exceptional claimsclaims. Woman s not a feeling or identity, it’s a biological fact.

      Reply
  2. Lady Mondegreen
    Oct 11, 2018 - 10:20 PM

    Stop demonising everyone who disagrees with transgender dogma and stop labeling people with honest questions, “transphobes.”

    If your point of view were as self-evidently correct as you’d like the world to believe you wouldn’t be so afraid of honest, open discussion.

    Of course allowing males to self-identify as women will affect women’s rights and protections. Of course defining “woman” as a “gender” (a complex of social signals) rather than people who belong to the sex “female” (the sex that produces ova) is going to be controversial among feminists.

    Stop playing at Stasi and start thinking.

    Reply
    • Jane Harris
      Oct 12, 2018 - 12:02 PM

      Hear hear.

      Reply
  3. F. Doff
    Oct 11, 2018 - 10:30 PM

    This is utterly ridiculous. Stop trying to bully and coerce women into believing that our sex-based rights are not at risk. The radical trans-movement can’t even define what they think a ‘woman’ IS except ‘someone who feels like a woman’, which is utterly nonsensical. ‘Transphobia’ isn’t even a *thing*. Who is actually *phobic* of trans people, for God’s sake? Being pro-women’s rights is NOT anti-trans. Gender Self ID is bad news for women and girls though. And if trans-‘gender’ women *truly* identified with women they’d realise that too, and actually CARE that predators are already abusing the ‘trans’ label to gain easy access to at-risk females in prisons and women’s shelters. But they apparently don’t. Because men’s kinks are more important than the safety of women. As always.

    Reply
    • A Friend of Fernando Poo
      Oct 12, 2018 - 03:07 PM

      F.Doff: Do keep up. “Phobic” used to be a suffix meaning “has a fear of”. It has now been carelessly redefined it as a suffix meaning “disagrees on something with a Leftie”.

      Reply
      • radfemisphere
        Oct 16, 2018 - 01:29 PM

        There are many born males who get womanly feelings that are conservative. Caitlyn Jenner a rich, shot Republican who until recently opposed gay marriage equality. No political boundaries with male paraphilias.

        Reply
  4. Abolissimo
    Oct 11, 2018 - 10:34 PM

    I especially hate the smarmy hypocritical rhetoric use to depict a woman being “seen as (insert unsubstantiated slur)”.
    Some student journalists apparently need a crash course on McCarthyism.

    Reply
    • Antipope
      Oct 12, 2018 - 10:05 AM

      I honestly believe that they wouldn’t care. I’m aware that journalism courses teach a module on ethics, but how many of these “journalists” are studying journalism? Ethics, impartiality and (frankly) decent writing seem to be lost skills to Mei Futunaka.
      As for (yes, bad writing, I know!) the Student Association’s officers, it’s all very well jumping on what seems like the unstoppable bandwagon of Trans activism, but their responses show only that they’re trotting out a rote line, with very little sign of analysis regarding the arguments pro and con Trans rights possibly affecting women’s rights. Quite worrying, when EU is supposed to produce fine graduates. I note that of the many Student bodies decrying Henderson, only one – a male – is named. One wonders how many of the spokespersons making these statements, were female?

      Reply
  5. Charlie
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:15 PM

    What has happened to your paper? Way back when I worked at the Student, we believed in the democratic process and in encouraging all parties affected by policy or law changes to raise their voices and we especially encouraged female voices that have always had to struggle to be heard over the clamour of the male ones.

    We believed in freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. For all, not just those we agreed with.

    None of these organisations are transphobic, unless, of course the Student’s editorial line is now that women’s rights are transphobic. This would be such a serious breach of journalistic standards and such a grave betrayal of the many human rights campaigns the Student has led on in its honourable history, that it would be utterly incomprehensible.

    If any of you wish to have a career in journalism, please educate yourselves. Do not close your mind to opposing voices. Seek them out. Engage with their arguments. These groups support equal rights for all, they support trans rights. They oppose one specific law change that would give trans people a special right that no one else has. A special right that supersedes the human rights of female people.

    Women’s rights are sex-based and if sex self-identification is enshrined in law, it directly undermines these sex-based rights and effectively abolishes them.

    Go talk to your law professors, get their considered legal opinion on this. Ask them to look at the conflicting rights issue, at the interplay between the GRA and the EA and how the exemptions currently work in practice. Ask them why half the councils in Scotland have already removed the protected characteristic of sex (upon which all women’s rights are based) from their Equality Policies if sex self-id is a mere lifting of an administrative burden. But offer them anonymity when you do so, because it’s dangerous for academics to now speak the truth about this issue.

    Or better still, talk to the organisations you are libelling with this article. As an aside, in fair warning, human rights lawyers are now offering their services pro-bono to the groups you’ve mentioned precisely because they are being discriminated against and libelled by those like your paper, your student union and by all these others who call them transphobic for opposing sex self-id.

    And for your information, this law reform is supported by a mere 18% of the population. Do you honestly think all of the rest are transphobic? Especially those who campaigned for gay rights and women’s rights long before you were born?

    They are not. They merely hold that females should have the right – in language and in law – to define themselves in a category of their own, separately from males. Current law gives us that right. And we seek to uphold it.

    Reply
    • Frankie
      Oct 12, 2018 - 10:53 AM

      Thank you!

      Reply
    • Jane Harris
      Oct 12, 2018 - 12:04 PM

      I do hope the student ‘journalists’ pay attention to the above.

      Reply
  6. Margarine ThatchedCottage
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:17 PM

    How does making the word “woman” meaningless as a sex-class descriptor not affect women’s rights?

    Reply
  7. Maggie Mellon
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:30 PM

    Thank goodness students elected a rector who believes in free speech and for women’s right to meet and discuss the impact of the eradication of hard fought for rights and protections for girls and women. Your article criticising anyone who wants open discussion and no intimidation only serves to make challenge even more necessary. Open your pages up to honest open and respectful discussion or hand over editorial control to those who believe in democracy. If you truly believed in your own rhetoric you would not be so keen to shut down discussion

    Reply
  8. Ms Pankhurst
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:34 PM

    Describing a group that is primarily concerned about safe guarding women is not anti trans, or transphobic. For the longest time women (including feminists) have been allies to Transexuals. Self ID, stonewalls ever expanding trans umbrella, and the removal of Women as a seperate class, the conflation of sex and gender along with the ‘no debate’/‘transphobic’/‘bigot’, threatening jobs, doxing and actual physical attacks have turned many of us – including me – away from that stance. And it continues.

    We were kind. We had a code of honor with Trans Women using our bathrooms. We accepted transwomen into our groups. This has been thrown back at us.

    Reply
    • Antipope
      Oct 12, 2018 - 10:13 AM

      In my experience, transexuals – males who have had surgical and/or hormonal modification because of severe dysphoria – have little good to say about the transgender movement, because only a minority are severely dysphoric, and many of the remainder are what we used to call transvestites – men who get a thrill out of dressing up and acting like their “ideal type” of womanhood.
      They’re not drag queens, and many are not full-time “women”. What they very obviously are, is narcissistic, by which I mean they manifest a degree of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as opposed to merely enjoying looking at themselves in mirrors. The selfishness and self-centred nature of the way they address their gender politics (“if you don’t do as I say, I’ll kill myself!”) illustrates this, as does the thoughtless attack on women’s rights generally.

      Reply
  9. Syzygy
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:38 PM

    People who protect women’s rights are not “transphobic”. What realityphobic reporting.

    Reply
  10. Sadhbh
    Oct 11, 2018 - 11:47 PM

    It’s very concerning that The Student would assert that the organisations concerned are transphobic without presenting any evidence to support the claim, or giving the organisations an opportunity to respond and articulate their position. For a clear, well-argued account of the concerns that many women and trans people have about the proposed changes to the GRA you should look at Prof Kathleen Stock’s speech delivered at the House of Lords on Wednesday – full text available on Medium.

    Reply
    • inger borten
      Oct 13, 2018 - 11:35 AM

      @SADHBH -very well said. The one sided reporting in this article, the lack of balance and the hyperbole, misinformation and verbal attacks on women’s rights groups is deeply concerning. Orwell would recognise all this for what it is, propaganda and oppression, associated throughout history as the default position for every brutal dictatorship and regime. Students that fought this kind of oppression in the past look at the current generation in horror. Freedom of speech is precarious and even applies to those with whom we disagree and the unashamed attacks on it by the trans lobby/Stonewall etc. should be raising alarm bells. Students should be able to think critically, not parrot ideology by rote. Female students especially need to think how this will affect them. Just look at the number of men trying and succeeding to replace us in many areas of society and all they have to do is wear a dress or say they ‘feel’ like a woman.
      The definition of ‘Trans’ is so loose now that it can include part time cross dressers. men who tell us they ‘feel like’ or ‘are’ women and girls who play football. Oh and the hate/transphobic stickers and leaflets, I assume these the are ones saying’ women don’t have a penis’? Biological fact. Empirical truth is not beaten by feelings. Someone’s beliefs are fine and I will respect them, I will not, however, allow my rights to be removed because of them, without putting up a fight. Finally, anyone who tells you there is ‘No Debate’, is a liar, anyone who tells you ‘you are not allowed to debate’ is a liar.

      Reply
  11. mattosborne222
    Oct 12, 2018 - 01:48 AM

    I for one am very happy that I can finally “identify” my way into lesbian spaces. Those ladies were being very selfish denying my penis entry into their hot, hot girl-on-girl scenes! Now I just put on a dress and lipstick and they HAVE to include my penis or be denounced as bigots.

    Reply
    • Jane Harris
      Oct 12, 2018 - 12:05 PM

      Here’s an example of exactly WHY we need to put a stop to the notion of Self ID and men having access to our safe spaces.

      Reply
  12. Sarah Mccann
    Oct 12, 2018 - 05:24 AM

    Such lazy reporting, why is there no evidence of transphobic hate from these groups? It’s a public consultation therefore the public is more than entitled to discuss it. Grow up and stop having a tantrum because people disagree with you.

    Reply
  13. Aimee Challenor
    Oct 12, 2018 - 05:36 AM

    I’m all for doxxing and bullying older women cos of something they tweeted on the same day that women became womxn and Karen White was jailed for life, but I found this article too upsetting. The trigger warning at the start isn’t enough and you should be sacked for your transphobia

    Reply
    • XX
      Oct 12, 2018 - 06:38 AM

      What a narcissistic piece of self indulgence this propaganda piece is. By labeling everyone who does not follow your ideology as “phobic” you a) lie and b) make the term useless.

      The more nonsense you done up with the more women will fight back.

      Reply
    • AdultHumanFemaleXX
      Oct 12, 2018 - 07:55 AM

      are you suggesting that Karen White shouldn’t be jailed for life? He is a rapist and child abuser who, thanks to the rhetoric woman-haters like you espouse, assaulted 4 more women in a female prison, where HE had no right to be. Shame on you. You should be banned from every political party you try to infiltrate for life.

      Reply
    • Flabuless
      Oct 12, 2018 - 04:13 PM

      Who should be sacked, Aimee Challenor? Just for clarification. I can’t make sense of your comment (sorry). And why do you need a trigger warning to read words? Just asking.

      Reply
      • Gender Hereticky (@T00ticky)
        Oct 13, 2018 - 10:11 AM

        This was satire, but I don’t think it’s helpful using the name of someone like this. They will just turn it against women, again.

        Reply
  14. Adam
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:01 AM

    Ann Henderson did nothing wrong. EUSA are just melts.

    Reply
  15. Sarah
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:15 AM

    Embarrassed to call myself a graduate of this once great university if this is what the student body has become. Ann Henderson has spent most of her adult life campaigning on social justice issues, including fighting for the rights of women on issues like abortion. The author flames her for retweeting the link to an event at which there is to be discussion about the potential impact of a proposed law change on women. A change in the law already enacted by some organisations which has already harmed women. That is her crime? How utterly pathetic. Get a grip. Write some real news.

    Reply
  16. Pips
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:21 AM

    These bullies will find they are on the wrong side of history. Fantastic women like Ann Henderson and the thousands like her, who believe in free speech and listening to women, will never be silenced.

    Reply
  17. Biologynotfeelings
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:22 AM

    So happy to see the comments are 100% in favour of free speech and women’s rights. The writer should d take note.

    Reply
  18. Sadhbh
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:28 AM

    Why not commission an article in which you allow Fair Play for Women, A Woman’s Place, and Transgender Trend to explain their positions? Allow your readers to make up their own minds. Invite women’s rights activists to speak at a public meeting – allow their ideas to be heard. It’s time to end this closed shop of ideas – ‘no debate’ is not something that should ever be said in a university setting.

    Reply
  19. Zebra
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:55 AM

    Mei Futonaka, you should be ashamed of yourself for writing such biased, ignorant rubbish. Fair Play For Women, Transgender Trend and Woman’s Place promote women’s rights. You’re a woman, aren’t you? You’ve benefited from all the rights that suffragettes and other women have fought for, haven’t you?

    Women’s rights are sex-based. These organisations have genuine concerns re safeguarding for women and girls if self ID allows adult males into women’s places. Karen White has just been imprisoned for sexually assaulting women in a female prison. White should never have been there in the first place. This will happen again if self ID continues.

    You should be open to debate and critical thinking, not trying to shut people up by telling us we’re transphobic.

    Reply
  20. Hoi Polloi
    Oct 12, 2018 - 08:01 AM

    What a libellous article. It’s a sad day when students have no regard for truth, respect, discussion, etc. Edunburgh University Student Union sounds like a bunch of fools. Weren’t their “pronoun” badges condemned by well over 80% of the students? This “transphobia” garbage is every bit as bad as the fake righteousness of early 20th century racism. Make up nonsense about people (black men are dangerous/women are transphobic) then demonise anyone who says that you are misconstruing the group.

    The creepiest thing of all is that these students who think they are being so progressive are fueling an agenda paid for by the most wealthy white, male, pharma investing regressives in the world.

    Reply
    • A Friend of Fernando Poo
      Oct 12, 2018 - 03:15 PM

      Hoi Polloi: Glad to hear you say this in a comments thread in which the subtext is “Any man who self-identifies as a woman is dangerous to women”. Bigotry much?

      Reply
      • R
        Oct 13, 2018 - 05:27 AM

        Nobody ever implied that “any man” who self identifies as a woman or otherwise is dangerous to women. There’s a reason sex segregated spaces for women are considered a universal human right, and you know exactly what it is: the overwhelming majority of violence against women is committed by biological males. You don’t really think I’m a “bigot” for saying that. (You don’t think the United Nations is transphobic do you?) You just stubbornly want to deny the inconvenient fact that some dangerous biological males can and do identify as trans. Many transwomen are well-intentioned allies of women, who face a lot of hardship in life. And some transwomen do not fit that description at all. That’s just reality. If you want to completely dismantle the human rights of women as a sex-based class of people, you’ll need to do better than just sentimental, magical thinking, pretending all people under the trans umbrella are wholesome and infallible. Not all transwomen belong in women’s spaces. They’re still male after all. Simple fact.

        Reply
        • Hillary
          Oct 13, 2018 - 05:56 AM

          I agree totally, R. I would also say that if name-calling other people is what constitutes A Friend’s argument, they haven’t got one. We aren’t four years old. The world isn’t goodies and baddies. So, A Friend- Bring your arguments and ideas and dialogue critically, with evidence and take your name-calling back to preschool where it belongs.

          Reply
        • A Friend of Fernando Poo
          Oct 13, 2018 - 01:51 PM

          R taking points in order. Yes, the subtext of this entire thread is that men who identify as women are dangerous to women if invited into “women’s spaces”. I don’t believe that the reason that there are sex-segregated spaces is violent males. I don’t think you’re a bigot for saying that, but merely someone who’s wrong. I’m sure that some dangerous people identify as trans just as I’m sure that some dangerous people drink tea and eat crumpets.I don’t want to dismantle the rights off anyone, but I am sure that if rights are a good thing, then its also a good thing to extend them to more people.

          Reply
          • R
            Oct 13, 2018 - 10:06 PM

            You don’t believe sex-segregated spaces are to protect women from violence and assault from biological males? Well there’s your problem right there: you’re ignorant, and arguably a tad misogynist. Move along.

            Reply
  21. ooj (@SkidRowRadio_YT)
    Oct 12, 2018 - 10:10 AM

    You should probably alter this article because it comes off as severely uninformed, bias and quite inflammatory.
    You need to substitute every time youve used the word ‘transphobic’ with ‘supporting women’s rights’.
    WPUK are not transphobic. Even the slightest bit of research will show you that their meetings are regularly attended by ACTUAL TRANS PEOPLE ffs.

    Reply
  22. Ann Sharples
    Oct 12, 2018 - 10:23 AM

    The article says the student bodies wrote to MPs to tell them not to go. They really have no faith in their own arguments … ‘please don’t go and listen to people arguing to keep the law as it is now. We are worried that if you hear their sensible points you will realise that we are very wrong and they are very right ….’

    Reply
    • Frankie
      Oct 12, 2018 - 10:50 AM

      Exactly. If it’s so wrong they should be able to present a compelling argument. What is sex? What is gender? What is gender identity? How are men different from women, and if it’s identity – how is that measured and in what terms is it understood? Fact is, none of these students even know how to describe ‘gender identity’ without referencing gender roles. They have no structured debate.

      Reply
  23. Frankie
    Oct 12, 2018 - 10:48 AM

    Bloody hell, this is a bizarre thought-policing article. Since when is it appropriate to bring the whole weight of a university down on a woman who retweets an inoffensive comment some disagree with? Andrew Wilson is demonstrating extremely controlling and punishing behaviour. This should be a red flag to others in his life.

    Interesting that so many others who tell off Ann Henderson manage to be anonymous. Edinburgh University LGBT society has a reputation for misogyny so much of this comes as no surprise. You’d think academics would understand the importance of allowing everyone to participate in democracy. FairPlayForWomen is a good website to check out if you are new to this issue

    Reply
    • A Friend of Fernando Poo
      Oct 12, 2018 - 03:22 PM

      Frankie: It’s not “the whole weight of a university” but rather the whole weight of EUSA, who are about as heavy as the Mexican hats they banned students from wearing.

      Reply
  24. Rachel Reed
    Oct 12, 2018 - 10:59 AM

    What a disgrace to females you are Mei Futonaka. What are you – the Twitter police? How dare you be so disrespectful and bullying toward this woman. You need to take a long hard look at yourself and how you think it’s ok to bully a woman who retweeted something you don’t agree with. Utterly disgraceful beyond words.

    Reply
  25. Kelsey
    Oct 12, 2018 - 11:11 AM

    You’re supposed to be the future generation? If this is the kind of bile you’re peddling out to shut women up, to facilitate a harmful, activist movement, god help us all. Your mothers must be so proud. Stop handwringing and stand up for democracy on this important debate.

    Reply
  26. Peyton Frost
    Oct 12, 2018 - 11:38 AM

    Wow look at this a TERF hive you should all be ashamed of yourselves. Not wasting time here, I’m off to do proper feminism which is inclusive of ALL WOMEN. Penis can be female!

    Reply
    • Reider O'Doom
      Oct 12, 2018 - 12:37 PM

      So now we’ve even somehow moved on from ‘penis can be woman’ to ‘penis can be female’? I hope all you biology students out there now realise what a waste of time the degree you’re studying for is.

      Reply
    • Jacinta Brooks
      Oct 12, 2018 - 02:31 PM

      This was exactly my argument too

      Reply
    • TriptychTwins
      Oct 12, 2018 - 03:59 PM

      ‘Proper’ feminism is for actual biological females, not for males who believe that being a woman is just a feeling in someone’s head. Being a female has real physical, social and biological consequences. If you don’t realise that, you’re a waste of an education. Get back in your virtual signalling box. You’re an embarrassment.

      Reply
      • R
        Oct 13, 2018 - 11:20 PM

        Hear hear.

        Reply
    • R
      Oct 13, 2018 - 11:18 PM

      I once heard someone put it excellently: the dispute is between people who think feminism is about “femininity” and those who think feminism is about female-bodied people. You’re clearly in the first camp: you don’t believe the Patriarchy and systemic misogyny are about controlling and subjugating female-bodied people; you think they’re about… I don’t know, really? Controlling “effeminacy”? Pink vs. Blue; dresses vs. trousers; that kind of thing? I mean, one only has to scratch the surface to see how silly your camp’s underlying ideas really are. You lot have been so busy sloganeering and bullying you haven’t done a whit of introspection on the soundness of your own principles.

      Female-bodied people deserve special protections as a class. I’m open to the suggestion that there can be some cases where some male-bodied people can be welcomed into women’s spaces, but these are on women’s terms — biological females’ terms. I don’t know how you can even call yourself a feminist when you are literally campaigning to hand over the terms of who counts as a woman exclusively to biological males. You literally want to deny women the right to define womanhood, and hand that privilege in its entirety over to biological males. This is the ridiculous place we end up at when our “feminism” is centered on “femininity” instead of female people.

      Reply
    • radfemisphere
      Oct 16, 2018 - 02:00 PM

      Terra are born out of our free speech did using our hE’dearned and fought for SEX-BASED protections. A woman is an adult female human being.

      No, #NotAllTrans and yes, I know transsexuals IRL. They don’t agree with intact adult males who are heterosexual and expecting all females to cosp!at their male paraphilia in public in female-only public facilities ?

      There’s a new hea!th epidemic in youth with Rapid Onset Gender Dyspborias increase of 4000% in recentyears, possibly linked to social media contzvion, like a mass psychosis

      It’s criminal that Aimed Challenor appointed his father to a committee advising decisions on Girl Guiding when Indonesia father was charged with several rape torture sex crimes of ten year old girl in their family home? Why does a sex criminal now convicted who wears diapers in his torture of young girl get anywhere nearkids? I hope there’s investigations and criminal charges titular for having a known sex offender in position of authority at all.

      Reply
      • radfemisphere
        Oct 16, 2018 - 02:03 PM

        Edit: TERFS are created…….(newcomers browse TERF is a slur dot com)

        Reply
  27. forwomen.scot
    Oct 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

    There are some excellent replies here regarding your article which is light on proof or right of reply from the accused parties, and heavy on damning women who seek discussion.

    The proposed changes to the GRA will most certainly affect women’s rights. How can they not? It will become impossible to retain the protected characteristic of sex based exclusion, under equalities legislation, if adult human males can choose to be accorded legal status as women.

    Liking a tweet referring to a discussion in the House of Commons is hardly an act of transphobia, and only serves to further dilute any possible definition of the word. The policing of this ideology is beyond ridiculous.

    Reply
  28. Margarine ThatchedCottage
    Oct 12, 2018 - 12:36 PM

    Big shout to Magdalen Berns, graduate of Edinburgh University and debunker of transgender activist bunk!

    Reply
    • againstvaw
      Oct 12, 2018 - 01:39 PM

      Seconded. She stood up to transgender bullies and defended lesbian rights during her time at Edinburgh. Anyone with her guts now?

      Reply
      • radfemisphere
        Oct 16, 2018 - 02:05 PM

        Magdalene has a Patreon account you can support and enjoy. Lisa Muggeridge doing yeowomanswork, too, view on YouTubes.

        Reply
  29. Mhairi
    Oct 12, 2018 - 01:39 PM

    Everyone here is accusing this article of ‘policing’, but god forbid an article such as this exists! What a load of hypocrites in the comments. Honestly the woman probably didn’t mean to come across as anything but feminist, but christ the TERFS are out tonight!

    Reply
    • Pam I.
      Oct 12, 2018 - 02:41 PM

      Can you point me to the feminist part of the article please.

      Reply
      • Sadhbh
        Oct 12, 2018 - 02:49 PM

        Nobody has suggested that this article shouldn’t exist; simply that it should provide balance to its reporting of a contentious issue, support the claims it makes with evidence, and refrain from making damaging insinuations.

        Reply
      • Mhairi
        Oct 12, 2018 - 03:45 PM

        By the woman, I meant Ann Henderson. This is what I’m talking about, everyone in these comment threads are so quick to get volatile, you’re all so offended, I wonder why?

        Reply
        • A Friend of Fernando Poo
          Oct 12, 2018 - 03:59 PM

          Being offended is all the ,heh, rage.

          Reply
    • Frankie
      Oct 12, 2018 - 03:06 PM

      This article is a load of people punishing a woman for *retweeting* something they don’t like.

      That’s a clear example of policing someones behaviour. Why do you think supporting women like Ann is wrong?

      P.S. Most women become ‘terfs’ after googling the acronym and looking deeper into radical feminist theory. The more you randomly accuse women of being ‘terfs’ the more of us become radical feminists. Look at any #PeakTrans thread – it’s true.

      Reply
      • A Friend of Fernando Poo
        Oct 12, 2018 - 03:25 PM

        If you self-identify as a terf, do you get a free pronoun badge?

        Reply
      • Mhairi
        Oct 12, 2018 - 03:48 PM

        I don’t know anything about Ann, I personally think she thought she was retweeting a feminist thing as I said if you actually read my comment. However when reading these comments, it is clear a lot of people have out of date and rather hateful views of transgender people. Plus it shite feminism if your excluding women from the movement hun. Just saying 😉

        Reply
        • Pam I.
          Oct 12, 2018 - 04:04 PM

          The out of date views in many people are about what they thought were transsexual people; this has now been hugely extended. The original GRA, which is still law, was written for people who have real dysphoria and intend to live all their lives as their new preferred sex. Transgender means something very different – if you look up the Stonewall definition, it includes eg part-time cross-dressers. The majority do not have surgery. So offering all these people Self-ID is inviting tens of thousands of men to have access to women’s spaces, by filling in a form. This is why so many of us are alarmed and want a halt to the changes to the Act, at least until proper risk assessments have been done.

          ‘Many people’ also includes MPs, they don’t know what the consultation is about until they are told, which is why this drop-in session has been arranged. Stonewall and other pro-trans (or should I say anti-feminst, as ‘feminist=transphobe is the message from them?) lobby groups have already had several meetings for MPs with a lot of publicity and support.

          Reply
          • A Friend of Fernando Poo
            Oct 12, 2018 - 04:56 PM

            Surely it applies equally the other way? A “woman” could gain access to men’s rooms by self-defining as a man? If a given right is A Good Thing, then can it really be A Bad Thing to extend that right to more people?

            Reply
            • againstvaw
              Oct 12, 2018 - 05:18 PM

              Bureau of Justice Statistics in the US shows that men commit 96% of sex crimes. Womean are 90% of victims of sex crime. Men are nearly 10 times more likely to kill women than women are. So extending right of access to women undressing and sleeping is not a good thing – but it’s nice for male criminals.

              Reply
              • A Friend of Fernando Poo
                Oct 13, 2018 - 02:00 PM

                I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that attacking women should be legalised, That will remain a crime irrespective of the proposed law change.

            • Shades Of Meaning
              Oct 13, 2018 - 07:00 AM

              You tell us. You have the right to bathe your small children. Should random men have that right too?

              Reply
              • A Friend of Fernando Poo
                Oct 13, 2018 - 02:06 PM

                To bathe their own children sure. The point here though is that they’re not men but women by definition of the logic of self-identification. I have an inkling that this was the premise where the train left the rails. The rest just followed on from there modulo a sally into authoritarian censorship and name-calling by the usual Lefties. Personally I think that the problem goes deeper than that and that it originates with the whole concept of identity politics.

    • inger borten
      Oct 13, 2018 - 04:05 PM

      For TERF read ‘WITCH’ Thanks to all the bullying of women and pandering to men who ‘feel like women’, there are more people than ever who recognise TRA’s for the misogynists that they are. Run along now because the cry of ‘terf’ no longer has the power to silence women. Get over it.

      Reply
      • Helen
        Oct 16, 2018 - 03:13 PM

        No honey. You lot are the hunters, not the witches.

        Reply
      • radfemisphere
        Oct 20, 2018 - 02:51 PM

        Thanks, Inger, you can say that again. Women in UK now harassed for saying “Woman is adult humAn female'”. Biology is not bigotry.

        The gender radicals are leading a new Inquisition against females who know the majority of transgender umbrella are hetero intact men with sex arousal issues to dress in feminine stereotype. Or not, they are also demanding half-hour can claim to be female even with forwards and all.

        Reply
        • radfemisphere
          Oct 20, 2018 - 02:55 PM

          Hideous new device. I was saying some men claim to be female with full beards.

          Womanface. Humans don’t change sex.

          Women refuse to be silenced by these Male Sex Rights over women’s human rights.

          Reply
  30. Pam I.
    Oct 12, 2018 - 02:38 PM

    Dear Mei Futonaka, now you have read these comments, If I’d written that article I’d take it down, post an apology and slink away blushing.

    Reply
  31. Charles
    Oct 12, 2018 - 03:06 PM

    This article is an evidence-free attempt to bully and silence reasonable views of women. The author and editors should be ashamed of it.

    Reply
  32. TriptychTwins
    Oct 12, 2018 - 04:08 PM

    Oh dear Mei. That didn’t quite go how you were expecting did it? The Suffragettes fought for the rights of women. Were they transphobes too?

    Reply
    • Abolissimo
      Oct 12, 2018 - 06:09 PM

      Sadly, some (strategically anonymous) transactivists are actually claiming they were.

      Reply
  33. Abolissimo
    Oct 12, 2018 - 05:26 PM

    I fully agree with former Edinburgh U Rector Iain Macwhirter, who wrote on Twitter, 7 hours ago:

    “My successor as Edinburgh Rector, @ann4rector is accused of transphobia merely for retweeting an event discussing the Gender Recognition Act.

    Regrettably, @EdinburghUni has equivocated. It should defend freedom of speech on campus and disown this smear.”

    Reply
    • A Friend of Fernando Poo
      Oct 13, 2018 - 02:17 PM

      You’re kidding right? Freedom of speech here died with the Chris Brand affair if not before.

      Reply
  34. Hillary
    Oct 12, 2018 - 06:31 PM

    In a free society, we debate to come to a consensus. In a free society we listen to all sides of the debate. In a free society we do not target women for thinking freely. A free debate is NOT dichotomous, simplifying protagonists into goodies and baddies because we are adults and not four years old. A free debate grapples deeply with issues and evidence. What I read in this article is ill-considered, thought-policing, friend-policing and cultish behaviour. The stupid thinking inherent in believing in goodies and baddies drips off the page. Totalitarianism in a woke cloak.

    Reply
  35. ASW
    Oct 12, 2018 - 07:58 PM

    Fair Play for Women are not transphobic. In fact, they are bullied, harassed and intimidated Trans Activists on Twitter. Get out of you happy Liberal bubble and see what’s actually going on out there. In your own uni for example where women aren’t safe from male violence on campuses. Lots of research on that. Maybe focus on that reality as opposed to a rector liking a tweet supporting women’s sex based rights.

    Reply
    • Helen
      Oct 16, 2018 - 03:15 PM

      Anyone suggesting Fair Play for Women are not transphobic should check out Sinead Actually’s thread on Twitter. She has archived their now deleted tweets, many written *after* Dr Williams became involved.

      The tweets joke about murdering trans people, accuse all trans people of being criminals and mock a trans rape victim.

      How is any of that about ‘sex based rights’ or ‘feminism’?

      Reply
  36. Shades Of Meaning
    Oct 13, 2018 - 07:07 AM

    “3rd year International Relations student” and you’ve not yet grasped that other people are entitled to opinions too. In your studies have you encountered a US Senator Joseph McCarthy?

    Reply
    • Helen
      Oct 16, 2018 - 03:16 PM

      I mean… you’re literally railing against the author’s opinions.

      Reply
  37. radfemisphere
    Oct 16, 2018 - 02:20 PM

    We spent a week at Edinburgs Fringe Fextival, one of the best theater we’ve seen in a long time. How putrid to learn of the totalitarian viewpoints by this author.

    This masquerading some narcissistic hetero intact adult males with arousal issues to wear feminine stereotype clothing is WOMANFACE. Sex fraud.

    Drag performance in adult night clubs can be entertainment,, but forcing women and children to costume-play their sex fetish in public facilities is criminal disregard for f emale legit safe-guarding needs which exist in law for a reason.

    Reply
  38. Ashley Braman
    Oct 17, 2018 - 02:57 AM

    She is doing the right thing. Thank you for caring about real womxxn and girls

    Reply
  39. Fatima Ahmad
    Oct 17, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    The transgender movement is just misogyny in drag. Losing ground to women in so many areas, a largely male-driven movement is now trying to define women out of existence. I am not a bloody wom*n, I am a woman, and women do not have penises. End of story.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  4. Rector of Edinburgh University Smeared as ‘Transphobic’ for Retweeting Women’s Event | TrumpsMinutemen
  5. Rector of Edinburgh University Smeared as ‘Transphobic’ for Retweeting Women’s Event – Washington Insider
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