International Women’s Day Statement of Solidarity with Joanna Cherry (by Men Supporting Women’s Rights)

Men Supporting women’s rights

International Women’s Day Statement of Solidarity
with Joanna Cherry (and other women abused for speaking out).

Men Supporting Women’s Rights was set up in 2019 to challenge the new expressions of misogyny that have emerged in recent years. We are men from a wide range of backgrounds, sexualities and political opinions drawn together by a shared concern at the very negative implications that extremist ‘gender identity’ ideology has for women and girls. This ideology has, under the guise of ‘progressiveness’ captured powerful institutions across society with alarming speed and with almost no public discussion. The lack of public discussion is a product of fear. Anyone who openly challenges the new orthodoxy is likely to be subjected to a campaign of lies, vilification and threats of violence. As men we see it as important that we stand up and be counted by standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the many courageous women who have defied the bullies and continued to speak the truth.

The most high-profile example in recent times has been the continual harassment, abuse and threats of sexual violence, including death threats, aimed at Joanna Cherry MP. These threats have come from numerous gender ideologues, shockingly some of them fellow members of the SNP. One recent threat from a party member has lead to a criminal investigation and an arrest. This campaign of misogynist bullying targeted at a Lesbian feminist politician has now been going on for years. It is calculated to send a clear message to all women: “Shut up and accept our dictatorial worldview or we will destroy you”.

One of the most appalling aspects of this has been the utter absence of any condemnation of these sickening threats from the leadership of the SNP. Ms. Cherry has received no support, solidarity or offers of protection from her party bosses. Indeed Nicola Sturgeon, who appears willing to stake her reputation on allowing any man to legally self-identify as a woman simply by making a declaration, has made her own thinly-veiled attack on Ms Cherry in a video in which she accused her own party of “transphobia”. And last month’s proposed amendments to the controversial Hate Crime Bill that might have afforded some protection to gender-critical women like Ms Cherry from prosecution for “stirring up hatred” were suddenly abandoned by the Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, after more threats from gender fanatics.

We conclude from all this that in effect the most powerful people in Scotland are, through their silence and through their actions, giving support to misogynist thugs who have no respect for women, no respect for free speech and no respect for laws against threatening, violent and abusive behaviour. Men Supporting Women’s Rights believe that this will go down in history as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the SNP and of Scottish political life.

To mark International Women’s Day the members of Men Supporting Women’s Rights want to make it clear that we are standing in solidarity with Joanna Cherry over this issue. We condemn the behaviour of many so called ‘trans-activists’ in abusing and threatening women. We condemn the cowardice and complicity of her party bosses in failing to stand up for truth and decency. We stand in solidarity with all the women who have suffered abuse for bravely speaking out against the new misogyny that is expressed through an ideology that redefines women’s very existence whilst attempting to deny them even a right of reply. We call on all men to do what they can to stand up for women’s right to maintain long established sex-based legal protections, and to offer their support to women in defining their own existence without being vilified and threatened.

MSWR

PRIVACY POLICY

Manifesto for Women’s Rights in Scotland to be launched

Women Speak Scotland is publishing a ‘Manifesto for Women’s Rights in Scotland’ on International Women’s Day (8 March) ahead of the Holyrood election on 6 May. The Manifesto demands the protection and implementation of women’s human and legal rights. WSS will invite all parliamentary candidates to support it.

The Manifesto affirms women’s sex-based human rights, which are enshrined in international treaties and national legislation. It includes rights related to:

  • Safety and Privacy
  • Health and Bodily Autonomy
  • Freedom of Speech and Association
  • Fairness in Sport
  • Accurate Data
  • Freedom from Male Violence and Exploitation
  • Young Women and Girls

WSS says the Scottish Government must make a commitment to uphold women’s rights, regardless of which party/parties form the next administration. WSS believes the Manifesto is necessary because recent years have seen the gradual erosion of women’s rights. A spokeswoman for the group said “Women have been fighting for our rights for over 100 years but now we are facing a serious backlash. We are seeing the advances we’ve made being watered down or removed one by one. Public bodies and organisations too often dismiss women’s concerns. Many organisations now routinely confuse ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ which has the effect of reducing or removing women’s rights.

“The Scottish Government appears to be mounting an attack on women’s rights. For example, it has recently redefined the term ‘women’ to include men in relation to the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act. The Act was intended to address the historical under-representation of women on these boards, but is seriously undermined by allowing males to take places designated for women.

“The Hate Crime Bill proposed by the Scottish Government is in its final stage and will be debated at Holyrood on Wednesday. WSS is very concerned that the Government is refusing to offer protection to female victims who are attacked because of their sex despite widespread support for this measure. As it stands, the Bill will criminalise women advocating for our sex-based rights, including the maintenance of existing legal rights. So the WSS Manifesto demand for the protection of the right to freedom of speech is essential.

“We seem to be on a slippery slope which risks making women invisible both to the law and in national statistics. For example, there is a suggestion that the next Census in Scotland will not record the population according to our sex, even though this is crucial for planning many services, or identifying inequalities such as the sex pay gap. WSS is determined to reverse this trend and make sure the voices of the majority of women in Scotland are heard.

“Scottish Parliamentary candidates should be aware that women’s votes count – we are nearly 52% of the electorate – and we intend to make sure that women’s rights and concerns are not ignored during this election, nor by the incoming government.

“We also hope the Manifesto will empower those women who aren’t yet confident being involved in politics or activism, to feel able to engage in conversation with candidates in their constituencies, by providing information about some of the most important issues facing us at present.”

Copies of the Manifesto can be downloaded from the WSS website from 8 March onwards.


In the Media

Women’s manifesto aims to put pressure on Scottish parties to ‘reaffirm sex-based rights’
Scotsman (Gina Davidson) – Sunday, 7 March 2021

Nicola Sturgeon says she was first told of allegations about Alex Salmond in 2017. I heard the rumours in 2010
Scotsman (Susan Dalgety) – Saturday, 6 March 2021

PRIVACY POLICY

Women’s rights: Prisons

(Last Updated: 17 December 2020)

Transgender women exhibit a male-type pattern of criminality: Implications for legislators and policy makers
Fair Play For Women – 12/12/2020

Opaque and overdue: the Scottish Prison Service trans prisoner policy review
Dr Kath Murray, Lucy Hunter Blackburn and Lisa Mackenzie – 02/12/2020

We need open discussion on the welfare of women in prison
Rhona Hotchkiss – 10/12/2020

Women’s prisons should be single-sex
Kate Coleman – 17/12/2020

Prisons – Fair Play For Women

Privacy Policy

Equally Safe: Consultation on Prostitution (Scotland)

The Scottish Government held a consultation on prostitution called Equally Safe. This closed on 10 December 2020.

The Nordic Model Now! campaign group provided a simple two-step method to respond to the consultation using a template.

  • The Cross-Party Group on Commercial Sexual Exploitation provided guidance in tackling the questions related to demand.
  • Nordic Model Now! published guidance on responding to all nine questions in the consultation.
  • Women’s Support Project provided briefing notes.

Resources

Privacy Policy

Feminists at Law Journal: The Future of Legal Gender

Vol 10 No 2 (2020) of Feminists @ Law Journal was a special issue that focused on the Future of Legal Gender project, specifically on the topic of ‘decertification’.

Here is a list of all of the related papers published in that issue:

Introduction to the Special Issue on the Future of Legal Gender: Exploring the Feminist Politics of Decertification
Davina Cooper, Emily Grabham, Flora Renz

Pulling the thread of decertification: What challenges are raised by the proposal to reform legal gender status?
Davina Cooper and Robyn Emerton

Privacy Policy

There’s been an outbreak of slates…

Wonderful messages written on slates have been appearing all over Scotland, thanks to some adventurous women. Do you think you can spot some of the slates for yourselves? If you do, share your pictures on Twitter with the hashtag #WomenWontWheest.

The Edinburgh Reporter ran a brief article on the campaign – National campaign arrives in Edinburgh (22 November 2020)

You can view all the pictures on our Flickr photostream and we have also grouped many of them into albums by areas around Scotland. WSS takes no credit for the Slate Women campaign. We are simply collecting together images of the efforts of women taking action by themselves and with others.

Flickr Photostream

FLICKR ALBUMS (SLATES BY AREAS)

You can join the campaign too! Scotland is never short of slates. Find a few pieces, give them a good clean and then write messages on them using paint. It can be about women’s rights, freedom of speech, quotes from books, or your thoughts and concerns in your own words. Place the slates in locations where you think other people might come across them. If you are able to, you can drill some holes around the edges of the slates so they can be secured with plastic ties to help them stay in place.

Take pictures of your artistic accomplishment (make sure you zoom in so the written message is easy to read) and send them to us at info@womenspeakscotland.com with a rough idea of the location. We will add it to the rest of the online collection.

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