Sir, As transsexual people we are dismayed by the escalation in harassment, threats and abuse directed at women and women’s groups in the name of “transgender rights activism” (“Trans lobby sent me death threats, claims professor”, Dec 6). In the past few years violent rhetoric on social media has spilt over into real life too often. After the harassment of Julie Bindel and the Working Class Movement Library, the physical assault on Maria Maclachlan and the recent use of “masked-up” tactics at a feminist meeting in Bristol, we are horrified by the intimidation and abuse directed at the human rights expert Rosa Freedman.
We seek to find common cause with women against male violence and we condemn the threats, harassment and intimidation of women who argue that sex-based protections are vital in a society still punctuated by sexism. Women are oppressed because of their sex, not some metaphysical gender identity. We are concerned that women are being dehumanised as “TERFs” (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) in order for abusive males to unleash misogynistic rhetoric and violent abuse with impunity.
We call for respectful discussion and debate, and for transgender rights activists to distance themselves from physical violence and attacks on free speech carried out in their name.
Debbie Hayton; Miranda Yardley; Danielle Elizabeth; Kristina Harrison; Emma Haywood; Seven Hex; Ashlee Kelly; Jennifer Kenyon; Kay Meddings; Leanne Mills; Carol Nixon; Fionne Orlander; Jenny Randles; Gillian Simpson; Melissa Symes; Jay Walmsley