Controversial MP’s are nothing new. Enoch Powell, Michael Foot, Michael Heseltine, to name just three of many.
But perhaps just now, one MP is making the headlines without being at the centre of politics - Rosie Duffield.
To some extent, I feel sorry for MP’s and the terf debate. Note I used terf debate, not trans debate, because the truth is most of society and, in particular, the younger generation sees gender as normal as fish n chips.
But in the “terf war” (which is a totally false war, by the way), our MP’s are pretty much forced to “pick a side”. That is not very healthy, but the toxicity of this war built on the lies and fear from the Christian right-wing extremists have succeeded in achieving this goal.
Rosie Duffield has become controversial is because she has, in essence, “changed sides” in the terf war and, more to the point, lost office staff because they considered her to be transphobic.
And to be honest, if anyone knows the truth - it indeed is the people that work or worked with her.
As a trans rights activist, I have noticed how some prominent people, such as J K Rowling, like to make statements about the terf war, but always throw in that “trans people have rights” line almost as an insurance policy to “prove” they are not transphobic.
And here again, we hit a problem.
What is the definition of Transphobia?
The Labour Party, to whom Rosie Duffield is an MP, has failed to define Transphobia, and this gives MP’s like Rosie D a free pass of sorts.
The Labour Party, my party, needs to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.
I personally use the definition of Transphobia as defined by Oxford Languages and used by Google. It is simple and precise: dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people.
Rosie Duffield's latest outburst is more than surprising in several ways.
Here is what she said:
“As a woman you particularly feel frightened, your hackles go up straight away when you’re threatened with no-platforming or being shut down. The narrative, whether it’s physical or not, is always be quiet. Stop speaking, what you’re saying is wrong.
“It reminds me of the fear that gay friends of my family lived with during the 1980s, when they were scared to express themselves, they weren’t allowed to be ‘out.’ And like gay rights, women’s rights have been hard fought for; it has taken us years to get a seat at the table. To now be told we’re not allowed to talk about our rights is chilling.
“And why is it women that we’re expected to be quiet about?
I am absolutely pro-trans rights. I think everyone I know is, but I’m also very wary of the discussions taking place about women’s rights and how those seem to be dismissed very easily at the moment.
I am really worried.”
Firstly, Rosie D ascertains that women are "being silenced".
The truth is that the vast majority of women dont give a figs ear about the terf war. And those on Twitter and within the terf organisations who do, does, in fact, get excellent coverage within the right-wing press to whom Rosie D has been happy to contribute. They get a platform, too; only a week or so ago, there was a rally in Glasgow.
Who stopped them speaking?
Where were those trans rights protestors?
Rosie then brings out the line, drawing comparisons to being gay in the 80's with being gender-critical. This is laughable because of the sheer irony is, that it is trans people who suffer from hate and violence, which is driven by the gender-critical media and press!
No one can deny womens rights have "been hard-fought" for - they have, and they need improving much further. In part that is what feminism is all about.
But Rosie D is then towing the GC line that womens rights and trans rights are in conflict, and I am afraid I disagree with that.
Overlap for sure, but damn it - patriarchy is the enemy of us all!
Rosie ends, "I am really worried."
So am I, Rosie.
Tomorrow, I will publish an investigative article about Christian extremists and what they are getting up to.
Every woman in the UK should indeed be very worried.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph