#womenwrites

Silencing Women in the Name of Trans Activism, by Julie Bindel

It all began with a warm and friendly email from an arts producer who runs a regular London-based project called the Truth to Power Café (TTP). Founder Jeremy Goldstein had seen my writing, and figured I might be a worthy performer. …

Then, out of the blue, Goldstein emailed to say how “sorry” he was, but few tickets had been sold, so he needed to “rethink” the program. On my hasty first scan of the ambiguously worded message, I concluded that the event had simply been cancelled.

Imagine my surprise when, the next day, I saw the event advertised on Twitter with my name neatly substituted by another—that of supposed free-speech championand LGBT rights activist, Peter Tatchell, well known for having supported the legal right of a religious baker to refuse to decorate a cake with the slogan “Support gay marriage.” …

The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves, by Helen Joyce

… under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) of 2004, after a psychological evaluation and two years presenting themselves in their preferred sex role, they could change the sex on their birth certificates. Melissa, who takes female hormones and has undergone surgery to refashion her genitals into a female form, is now legally a woman. “People take me for what they see,” she says. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

The motive for such laws was largely compassion. Gender dysphoria was viewed as a rare and distressing condition that could be alleviated by accommodating sufferers as legal exceptions to the rules of biology. But a decade and a half later, a more radical notion is sweeping across the Western world, with English-speaking countries in the vanguard. The brainchild of a few sexologists, trans-activists and academics, it has spread via lobby groups and the internet, and on liberal campuses. It is now becoming consolidated in practice and codified into law, with profound consequences—not just for people who wish they had been born the opposite sex, but for everyone….

The Shapes of Stones, By Niya Shahdad  via @Harpers

The morning I left my house in Kashmir for the first time in fifty days came halfway through a cruel summer more than two years ago. It was after dawn, and I was on the road to my uncle’s grave in the hour before curfew would start, yet again, to reclaim the valley. The morning, still cold from the previous night, drooped in the absence of men and their ordinary chaos. As I drove, I passed through the absolute stillness and silence of Srinagar, cutting into it in hopes of eventually crashing into sound and life.

Driving the empty route to the graveyard felt as though I was moving on dead land. It seemed like the suggestion of inhabiting a cold, frozen corpse rather than a valley. My deceased home. And then came a waking dream. In it were the figures of two young men whom I had seen only once before, a few years earlier, at my uncle’s grave. The men were leaning idly against a short green fence when I stepped into that particular house of graves, stood in front of my uncle’s headstone, and looked at them in the brief moment before I looked down and began to cry. I did not look up again to see if they were watching me, but I could feel their detached, harmless gaze as my cries grew louder. And that was all there was to our meeting; I had cried and they had watched. Without words or movement, it was an exchange borne entirely by sight. …

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