"A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves."
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you called Let a Woman Speak?
A: Our name was suggested to us by the wonderful Jean Hatchet, who, or a representative for her brand was, a speaker at our Truro event. The came about in response to the withdrawal of an invitation for Posie Parker to speak.
Where are you based?
A: In the south west of the U.K.
What is your site really about?
A: We are a group of feminists who are gender critical and currently promoting issues surrounding the government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. Namely the introduction of self-ID. We also support work around reproductive rights and oppose pornography, prostitution, and the exploitation of women.
What are some of the issues surrounding the proposed changes to the GRA?
A: Firstly, the loss of sex-segregated spaces. Women have fought long and hard for their own spaces where they can feel safe without the presence of a male. Think refuges, rape crisis centres, women-only shortlists etc. If self-identification is introduced into legislation it means that any male can gain access to these women’s spaces simply by declaring themselves a woman.
But aren’t sex-segregated spaces protected by the Equalities Act, where sex is a protected characteristic alongside things like gender reassignment?
A: In theory. Unfortunately, as with many things, that’s not happening in practice simply because a) many organisations aren’t up to speed with the EA or how to use the legislation, and b) many organisations are being targeted by trans rights activists who are accusing them of transphobia if they do not include them in their spaces. Out of fear, organisations are reacting ahead of any legislative changes and creating policy allowing, for example, transwomen within women-only spaces.
I see. But aren’t transwomen women?
A: Gender critical feminists state that you can’t change your biology. Transwomen are biological men.
But what harm are they doing by being in women’s spaces? They want to be women, don’t they? They say they feel like women. Isn’t it transphobic to keep them out of women’s-spaces?
A: It’s not transphobic to protect women’s only spaces. As with any human being, we want transpeople to feel safe and protected. However, this should not come at the expense of women feeling safe and protected.
Are you saying it is the transpeople making women feel unsafe?
A: That’s a loaded question. For the most part, no, though there have been instances of transwomen (self-identifying or not) who have committed crimes against women.
Women’s biggest concern is that men with a desire to access women-only spaces in order to prey on women will use the ability to self-ID to access those spaces, put women in danger and cause harm. This has already happened in prisons where men who are identifying as transwomen are being transferred to women-only prisons and committing crimes there. See our resources page for more.
Does this mean you are a TERF?
A: TERF is a slur. It’s a derogatory term used to silence women. We don’t accept it being used against us.
What about cis?
A: Cis is a term many trans people use to differentiate between transsexuals and non-transsexuals. As transpeople already have the qualifier "trans", and people who are not transsexual are in a far greater number, there is no need to add a qualifier to our sex.
I would also argue that cis denotes a gender identity, and gender critical feminists do not agree with the concept of gender. We believe it is a social construct based on stereotypes attributed to sex.
Besides, if transwomen don’t want to be called men, why do they insist on calling us cis? It’s not a term we identify with!
What about the children?
A: There is significant concern regarding the prescription of puberty blockers to prevent the normal biological development of children. There have been worries about long term health problems associated with the puberty blockers, and also the lack of development of healthy reproductive systems, leading to infertility. See our resources page for more.
My head is swimming! Where can I find out more information about all of these different aspects?
Are you radical feminists?
A: Some of us are. Some are liberal feminists, some just use the word feminist - others don’t describe themselves as anything at all. The thing that ties us together is the concern over self-ID, and the rights of women.
Will you be working on other women’s rights issues?
A: We consider the most pressing issue of our time to be self-ID. It has the potential to erase the word woman altogether - because if men can also be women, what defines our biology? What protects it? Identifying your oppression is the first step in overcoming it.
We (the site organisers) are concerned about other issues impacting women: prostitution and pornography for a start, and maybe we will be able to focus on those too in time. In the future I plan to do a general resources page to link to all sorts of women’s rights issues.
How can I help?
A: You can help in a number of ways:
Promoting us - share our posts and our website. Retweet us on Twitter.
Interact - Join our forum and post. (Coming soon!)
Volunteer - we are always after volunteers. Perhaps you’d like to write blog posts or guest articles? Maybe you know a feminist you’d like to interview? Do you want to come along to one of our events and lend a hand meeting and greeting, or setting up chairs? Can you offer a car share to an event?
Donate - I know, I know, it comes back to money. But it’s true, it costs money to book venues, hire PA systems and security, run websites, help with travel expenses and more. We don’t run on air alone, and every bit you can donate will help us. You can donate via the button below.
Visit our sisters - check out our wonderful resources and links and read about the amazing women putting themselves on the line to fight for women’s rights. Just like us, many run on the generosity and support from people like you!