Why women are right to defend their Terf
The invitation was mysteriously vague: would I be interested in attending an event that may or may not be happening, but would certainly include food? They had me at food, so I asked for more details. It'd be something like the event JK Rowling organised recently in London, came the reply. No need then for further explanation of the cloak-and-dagger tactics, and I was definitely in.
Since she queried the use of the term “people who menstruate” in preference to “women”, the Harry Potter author has been deemed transphobic - literally meaning a form of mental illness causing an irrational fear or hatred of trans people. She has also been subjected to abuse, death threats and attempts to erase her from the franchise she created.
Rowling recently hosted a lunch in London for a group of likeminded women, including some who had been “cancelled” and lost employment for their views. Women who believe that biological sex is immutable, and that being a woman is more than a costume to be donned or a feeling in a man’s head, are now called Terfs, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. I was essentially being invited to a Terf event.
The location was kept secret until the last minute, and I won’t identify it for fear of a backlash against the very nice restaurant which took a chance on hosting 60 or more Terfs last Saturday week. When a woman carrying a placard stating “Woman = Adult Human Female” turned up at that sad National Women’s (People’s?) Council rally at the Dail last March, she was verbally abused by a group, including a large number of men, and asked to leave. You don’t want to draw those guys on a blameless restaurant, or indeed a group of women having lunch, so everyone respected the vow of omerta.
The guest of honour at the lunch was Helen Joyce, an editor at The Economist and author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. In her brief speech she compared the trans ideology to Japanese knotweed: it has infiltrated every part of our lives when we weren’t looking.