Heather Brunskell-Evans is a highly-respected feminist academic who has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the issue of violence against women and girls. She is a respected writer, campaigner and speaker on the harms of pornography and the sex industry. She is also editor (along with Michele Moore) and contributor to Transgender Children and Young People – Born in Your Own Body, published at the end of last year by Cambridge Scholars Press.
We are extremely disappointed in the decision by the Women’s Equality Party to dismiss Heather as a spokeswoman after expressing her views about the medical transition of children on BBC’s Moral Maze and on Twitter.
Many concerned people dare not speak out about the harms of childhood transition out of a real fear that their jobs and reputations may be put at risk through accusations of ‘transphobia’ and ‘bigotry’. The action of the Women’s Equality Party has shown that those fears are justified.
Experimental medical treatment of children is an ethical issue, a subject on which any free society should encourage open debate. The intellectual honesty and courage of Heather Brunskell-Evans deserves admiration, not censure.
In making their decision, the WEP has upheld the charge that expressing the need for caution in a treatment which is untested, unproven and has serious effects on children’s fertility and development is ‘promoting prejudice against the transgender community.’ In our view this is a disgraceful charge and an unsubstantiated slur against the integrity of a woman who speaks out to protect children.
WEP has also very clearly set the terms of debate within the party, placing it within a framework of transgender rights. As almost 70% of children referred to the Tavistock clinic are girls, rising to over 70% in the adolescent age-group, it may be framed as a feminist issue, or, given that the majority of these girls are lesbians, as a lesbian rights issue. But within the terms of the WEP decision, female, feminist and lesbian voices have been silenced and only transgender members have the right to speak, reflecting the situation in wider society.
We reject the notion that questioning the medical transition of children is ‘promoting prejudice against the transgender community’ and we view this as a divisive and harmful way to frame a debate which is about children and therefore should be free from political censure.
We stand by Heather Brunskell-Evans, we support her right to speak on this subject and we thank her for her courageous work in drawing attention to concerns which others dare not express as a result of precisely this kind of political silencing.
This Post Has 17 Comments
Beautifully stated. So sad that your statement is even necessary. The idea that expressing concern for the welfare of children undergoing treatments with no long term research to back it up, is against trans rights is frankly ridiculous. Any life changing treatment given to children with the potential long term consequences of sterility and permanent body alteration, must be debated on all sides. Heather’s concern was not transphobic or fuelled by hate; merely a reflection of concern from an adult. She has never advocated anything other than a reasonable ‘watch and wait’ position. Given that the psychological development of young people is not completed until their mid twenties, this is entirely reasonable and indeed, for most children, the only sensible position to take. I am genuinely shocked by the WEP’s position and can only assume it comes from a place of fear of the possible consequences of defending their colleague.
I have sent the following email to WEP.
Your shameful and cowardly dismissal of this lady, who fights fearlessly for the rights of women and children, is simply another confirmation of how the fascists of the transgender lobby, with their pernicious and deceitful agenda, have succeeded in silencing not merely so much opposition to their lunatic ideas but even any suggestion of a debate abut them.
Calling yourselves advocates for women’s equality is a joke. The transgender agenda threatens all real women with its self-referencing trans men, and even worse than that, it threatens our children, as more and more of them, particularly girls, are whisked off through the influence of the activists for a lifetime on drugs accompanied by largely irreversible mutilation of their bodies. For the most part these girls would grow up into happy and healthy lesbians. Yet the homophobic transgender activists deny this to them, as you do.
Why are you afraid of any opposition to this beastly procedure? Obviously because you know it is indefensible, so, like all fascist bodies, you shout it down and do your best to intimidate anyone who questions it.
Probably your situation is similar to that of the psychological bodies that recently condemned any intervention before referral to a gender clinic. There the activists taking part in the vote simply threatened and intimidated any professional, like the eminent DrJames Caspian, who wanted to question the procedure. I suspect there were some sane and decent individuals on your committee who were similarly silenced.
But women’s equality? You have made yourselves a laughing stock.
I feel as angry as you. Passionate and sane response to WEP. Well done.
Yes – except let’s not misuse the word ‘fascist’ so often. It will become meaningless.
Great piece. Thank you.
I’m glad to see the outrage in this letter and the phrase ‘a disgraceful charge’.
It is disgraceful.
How can we help her?
A letter of complaint to the WEP would be good – they need to see how many people are disgusted with their decision and letters do make a difference.
Just wanted to say how pleased myself and many others are that you’ve taken this stance. We’re sick to death of being shut down every time we try to have some intelligent debate on the subject. Keep going – we’ve got your back!
Excellent entreaty for this brave gender skeptic.
You and others must be making Trans Reich nervous, the truth is becoming known.
I was suspended from Twitter, how I found you. I was Charly the Worm, before that was i was SurvivorThriver – nine Twitter years now gone for questioning trans.
Keep up the good work. they can’t stifle the truth forever…, Charly
Twitter is suspending more and more people – especially women – for expressing opinions about ‘trans’ that don’t fit the doctrine. So sorry to hear you’re gone, let us know if they let you back in.
Beautifully fully expressed. Thank you.
Fully in support of your work and if Heather’s comments. The WEP seems intent on centring men in their politics, and as such is no longer fit for purpose. V sad.
I was at the Woman’s Place meeting in Bloomsbury on Tuesday Feb 27th and it was great that Heather B-E was there – but Sophie Walker’s excuses for the WEP stance on transactivists were really disappointing.
Keep up the good work everyone. We need to keep questioning why TRAs are so intent on hurting our children in the name of this unscientific ideology.
Cushla’s last sentence is memorable. I am going to plagiarise it!
‘We need to keep questioning why TRAs are so intent on hurting our children in the name of this unscientific ideology’
Just found this! Excellent piece! We NEED TO BE HEARD!!!!
I live in the US but still so happy to find you all. On this thread, I will say that in our search for a suitable therapist for my partner’s son (age 7), we have run into several trans therapists (one man, one woman) who have been very neutral and said that nothing is black and white and that we cannot use an adult lens when dealing with children. I think we need people/professionals like them, yes? They are out there. My partner’s son has another mother who has insisted he was a girl since age 4 (signs were there even earlier). For any of you who read the story of the boy in the UK whose father was awarded sole custody (by Justice Hayden), our story is eerily identical. We live in a so-called progressive New England College town and as you can probably well imagine, this is the fight of our lives and the fight of our times. But that story of the boy in the UK made our lawyer sit up and pay better attention. Thank you!
I believe Dr Brunskell-Evans has also been harassed in her job at Leicester University and no-platformed by students at Kings College London.
None of this surprises me as the LGBT movement is the most intolerant on earth. There are many who would love to speak out and agree with her on this – and also at the aggressive way the homosexual lifestyle is being pushed at children – but they are scared. They are intimidated. They are frightened of losing their jobs and facing nightmare of public denunciation and vilification. That is the sort of society we now live in and it is horrible. I call this oppression.
I don’t understand the reference to the ‘homosexual’ lifestyle being pushed on children. Presumably what is meant is ‘the transgender lifestyle’. Transgender activists are in fact hostile to homosexuals, as they deem anyone interested in non-stereotypical activities to be in need of their help to transition.