Dear Green Party Member/Officer/Representative,

An open letter from Womens Voices Matter

 

In February this year I wrote the text below, and then the nasty “TERF BLOCKER” list that the Green Party LGBTIQA+ twitter account compiled and tweeted was subsequently turned into a private access only link.  So I chose not to send the following email.

 

I subsequently came across the ‘Equal Opportunities’ manifesto article, authored by Aimee Challenor in an official capacity as the Green Parties Equalities Spokesperson. It is dangerously misogynistic and erases women, especially lesbians and bi-sexual women.

 

I would like you to know, that current media attention relating to allegations of wrongdoing by Aimee Challenors father have absolutely no relation to this email, which was authored months prior to extremely distressing allegations being revealed by mainstream media coverage of David Challenors imprisonment for child sexual abuse over the last few days.  

Women's Voices Matter would like the Green Party to respond to the allegations, questions and suggestions which follow.

 

At the Green Gathering Hustings a few weeks ago I asked the following question as an individual, not as a member of the Women's Voices Collective:

 

  • Who is the Green Parties' Women’s officer?
  • What specific women’s sex equality policies do the green party have?
  • Why does the GP LGBTIQA+ policy doc ignore lesbian & bisexual women?  
  • Why was Green Party Policy breached in the case of Olivia Palmer?

To suspend a former Green Party Parliamentary candidate on the whim of a Labour activist tweet is unacceptable.  Olivia Palmer learnt about her suspension from the Green Party  when she read the Independent instead of being spoken too first in line with Green Party Policy.

 

The green Party's LGBTIQA+ officer Aimee Challenor authored a manifesto policy document that exhibits demonstrable misogyny. It totally ignores lesbians and bi-sexual women. It centres men's needs and trans needs.

 

Word searching the doc for occurences of the following words reveals the following:

 

  • Woman 0
  • Women 3   -  none of which were references to natal women, only transwoman and non-binary ‘women’
  • Lesbian 3  -  only in relation to LGBTIQA+  ie. Men - Women are not mentioned except in relation to men in your Equal Opportunities Policy. Totally ignoring distinct lesbian & bisexual women’s needs/issues and perpetuating inequality
  • Trans 19
  • Gay Men are, of course, mentioned specifically…

https://lgbtiqa.greenparty.org.uk/resources/lgbtiqagreens/downloads/LGBTIQAManifesto2017.pdf

The green Party's LGBTIQA+ twitter account, was, until earlier this year, actively promoting a list of 28,503 blocked twitter accounts, silencing voices which are mostly women.

 

Aimee Challenor assembling, maintaining and tweeting a list of twitter accounts to block and including use of the offensive, demeaning and inaccurate term 'TERF' to describe the millions of women and children who are adversely impacted by gender self- identification is brutally offensive and misogynistic.

This list gives potential employers, hate groups, and others with dangerous intentions a one stop shop to perpetuate violence and discrimination against women.  It has now been taken away from public viewing and operates under a “login” system. A review of the GP LGBTIQA+ twitter account demonstrates its former ‘free to all’ availability. Now it’s only available to people who can prove to Aimee Challenor they are misogynists.

https://blocktogether.org/show-blocks/O_XWuPOdJeK5ySwWhaGKDnrHoPvO58Ns3DaSCZfc

When men say they wish to identify as women and are entitled to participate in all women shortlists, competitive sport, single sex spaces, and women’s refuges simply because they say they are women perpetuates inequality. Men can 'self-identify' as women and are supported and encouraged by Green Party policy.  Green left leaning women have no political home, no one to vote for.

 

Men who have grown up seeing female bodies – unlike theirs – treated like sex toys and objectified suddenly decide they’ve experienced exactly the same misogyny and sexism as the women who actually have those bodies?

 

What's that about? When socialisation and lived female experience mean nothing?  When every single article AC has authored for the Huff Post ignores lesbian and bisexual women and instead, centres transwomen, who are factually and biologically men, not women.  

 

Sian Berry ignoring the specifics of my question to the Green Gathering hustings panel and clearly saying - “I believe transwomen are women and I will believe that until the day I die.” makes an utter nonsense of the reality of women’s struggles.   Female inequality and oppression is related to female bodies, female reproductive systems.  That’s why women and girls are trafficked, used, abused, denigrated, tortured and violated in porn, bought and sold as commodities and brutally raped as weapons of war.

Current green party behaviour and attitudes clearly defy this statement on your website:

 

Social Justice

The promotion of dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all.

 

Your Equalities Spokesperson does not work towards providing justice or evolution in policy making for women and girls.

 

A proper recognition of the constant erosive forces of sexism, misogyny and homophobia might contribute to bringing down some of the transactivist dogma and be of protective help to trans identifying individuals.  It is really important to differentiate between the nastiness of Transactivism and ‘your nice friend who is trans’ who suffers from dysphoria and is seeking gender reassignment.

Genuine transpeople are very, very different in attitude and behaviour to the majority of transactivists.

Transactivism silences, insults and threatens violence to women.  Women are fortunate to have a growing number of transwomen on side, those who recognise the dangers of transactivism to women and transpeople are courageously speaking out in support of women's rights and safety and actively opposing virulent  misogyny from the transactivist movement.

 

 

What can the Green Party do?

 

Publicly endorse the five very reasonable demands of Womans Place UK - and ignore the scandalous and toxic nonsense about WPUK that is perpetuated online in order to further oppress and silence women.

https://womansplaceuk.org/our-5-demands/

 

Change your policies and public communications so they conform to the 2010 Equalities Act.  Sex is a protected characteristic. Gender is not. Gender Reassignment is.

 

This Green Party webpage needs amending to include sex as a protected characteristic and to conform to the EA 2010.  Lesbians are not “attracted to the same gender” - they are same sex attracted.

 

Let Womens Voices Matter know how Green Party members can participate in discussions about green party policy discussions.  Especially how the GP can engage those living in poverty, or who have caring responsibilities which make conference attendance unviable. Teleconferencing perhaps? Online polling?  A review of how participation can be extended?

 

If the Green Party hierarchy are discussing women's rights, sexual orientation, definitions of sex and gender, then female members reasonably deserve to be actively invited and supported to participate at conference and in policy making. Irrespective of their social status, bank balance or access to caregivers for their children or other family members.

 

Especially in discussions which relate to the struggles of women, in initiating and supporting policies which support lesbians.  Lesbians are now hidden from view, and  girls who are same sex attracted have no lesbian role models to help them understand themselves and mature safely.  The current trend for girls who choose to 'identify' out of being girls, the UK’s 300% increase in girls referring to gender identity clinics may in part be due to a lack of visible role models.

 

Or perhaps it’s the 80,000 reported rapes (of women by men) a year with a 6% conviction rate?  Even though that figure doesn’t include girls aged 16 and under. Girls in towns across Britain, including thousands of girls living in Telford, Newcastle, Peterborough, Sheffield, Rotherham, Oxford, Bristol.  Drugged, raped, exploited sold for the profit of men normalising paedophilia. No wonder girls want to be boys.

Please can the Green Party have a Children’s charter? Can Green Party members living in areas where children are being bought, sold and abused feed into policy making?  

Is Senior lawyer Nazir Afzalm, the Rochdale and Telford prosecutor, correct when he told the UK government, “Grooming rings are the biggest recruiter for the far right”

What is it about social justice for women and girls that the Green Party just don't get?  There are appearances of women’s issues being taken seriously; having women in leadership roles for example.  However, if ideals are not backed up by policy and the Green Party actively promote and support gender self-identification, doesn’t speak out against the sexual assault of women and children, issues which predominantly affect women and girls cannot be represented clearly and women will be further erased and unable to oppose collective oppression, much of which centres around reproductive justice, power inequality, lack of political representation, and sexual violence.  This report offers statistics and facts.  Use the data.  Your Equalities spokesperson does not represent or advocate for women.

 

It is time for the Green Party to have a Women’s Officer - to author policies specifically for women and girls, to centre reproductive health justice, work to actively oppose the porn industry, condemn sexual assault and female oppression.  

In order to do so, the party may need to provide free childcare and travel subsidies so unemployed women, often single mothers, women with caring responsibilities, can attend conference and participate in policy making,

 

If you really want to do away with patriarchy, start acting like you mean it and grow some feminist principles, or you could end up being as despised as the labour party.  

 

We would like you to become the solution, not part of the problem, to "be the quote you want to see on your wall” - Joshua Virasami Black Lives Matter

 

In anticipation of positive egalitarian change,

 

Louise, Rebecca & Hannah

 

On behalf of the Womens Voices Matter Collective

Please note - this email address is not being regularly monitored for replies over the next few days.

 

FFI:

“Some basic questions about sex and gender for progressives”

 

https://rebeccarc.com/2018/01/14/some-basic-questions-about-sex-and-gender-for-progressives/

 

“Researchers identify 6,500 genes that are expressed differently in men and women

Genes that are mostly active in one sex or the other may play a crucial role in our evolution, health”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170504104342.htm

 

And if all of those links weren’t enough, here is some more reading material, not just about about female erasure, oppression and silencing.  The Economist articles  - a selection of the Economist’s fortnight on trans identities in their Open Future Series are in this doc.  Not all of the articles are included.

 

And for those who read this email and are still saying, ‘What About Men’, I refer you to the words of Jessica Eaton, who founded the Eaton Foundation,  a charity which supports adult men. Jessica has nailed whataboutery.  

 

If you have less time to spare, thinking, learning about or acting on women’s issues, here is an easier to digest version of #NotAllMen written by feminist blogger Kirsty S.

Those who believe transwomen are women may wish to discover how women are treated online by transactivists - not for the fainthearted, these websites are truly shocking.

https://terfisaslur.com/

http://anti-female-receipts.tumblr.com/

You are invited to visit the Women's Voices Matter social media spaces

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www.facebook.com/pg/womensvoicesmatter/notes/

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Twitter  @Womens_Voices_