Steph's Place

May 15th. It has been a funny old week.

Bullying and the gender-critical

It's been a funny old week: so many ups - so many downs. My tweet of the week read:

"Why are some people on this earth so cruel? Why do some people hate? Just why? "

Eighty-four likes and twenty-seven replies - I was in awe.

My tweet was meant to reflect two issues and one in particular - what is happening in Israel just now. This ongoing battle between a nation with incredible fighting forces, armed to the hilt and a community that sticks it out because they are utterly convinced Israel, their land is home. This nation dont have squadrons of tanks or planes - for sure homemade missiles and bricks - but not much else.

We know who is going "to win" - and many would perceive them as bullies.

Bullies - now there is a strong word.

A word that many gender critical people should perhaps mean the true meaning of - "to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce."

Two weeks ago, a Saturday evening, one certain gender-critical woman in the news of late launched an online Twitter attack on the Interim CEO of the Fawcett Society - Felicia Willow.

She was aided and abetted by numerous "followers" and one letter from Dave. In his letter, Dave was defending a view about sex and gender...fair enough. Except that it was an open online letter that helped to facilitate a Twitter pile-on to Felicia.

Now for those who do not know the Fawcett Society, their 'About Us' reads:

"The Fawcett Society is the UK's leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights at work, at home and in public life. We fight sexism and gender inequality through hard-hitting research."

Fawcett (in which I am a proud member) is a feminist charity with a very long and distinguished history - named after Millicent Fawcett, the famous suffragette, writer and politician.

The Fawcett Society are a trans-inclusive charity. Indeed they underwent a review about "sex and gender" back in 2018, and their trans policy was openly published.

Since that date, nothing has changed - nothing.

But all of a sudden, the gender criticals decided to attack.

Attack a neutral, decent FEMINIST woman because the charity she temporarily leads refuse to sing from the gender-critical hymn book.

A massive pile-on took place on Felicia's private Twitter account, and let's come back to the meaning of bully: to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce.

These people say they were expressing a view. But all at once?

Sorry - NO.

They were undoubtedly trying to intimidate and coerce, and in the end, they harmed too.

Felicia quite Twitter five days later, citing mental health, and I repeat - a neutral, decent feminist cisgender woman.

And in losing Felicia from Twitter women and feminists LOST.

We lost, on Twitter at least, a woman willing to fight for so many things - equal pay and opportunities for women - highlighting the fact that the vast majority of candidates at the local elections were MEN!  

Yes - patriarchy wins again!

So to repeat to the gender-crits - BULLIES!

But these are the downs of my week - let's end on some positives.

Many will be aware the Steph's Place website is changing. Not the original aim, which was always about visibility and trans folk being accepted in society - I have become us!

There are now four co-editors of the website, Claire, Julie & Paul, and myself, and we have plans to grow!

We need people (both trans and allies) to write guest content. We need images of trans people for the home page - if you can help, please contact us through the contact page.

And while I have reflected on the bullies in the world, please remember that decent people outnumber them.

Julie contacted me saying all the good things she has been doing this week. Helping a hospital with a trans training film - working with a health foundation - working with the police about trans hate. But in participating in all these events, she just found love & acceptance from the people she was working with.

Both Paul and Claire has been busy too - posting on the website top quality articles. 

And one final thought about that tweet that was never about me - but was lovingly misinterpreted by some that I needed support.

I am fine, honest!

I was contacted by so many people reaching out, offering to talk and even prayers - thank you!

There are indeed bullies in this world, but the conqueror of all is LOVE!

Steph xx

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Love and let live