Dave Ward's brilliant letter to the Fawcett Society
A Labour Councillor steps up for women
I know only two things about Dave. He’s a Labour Councillor, and he wrote this scathing letter to the Fawcett Society. Read it and pass it on.
CC All Trustees of the Fawcett Society.
Firstly, some history on my membership of the Fawcett Society. My late wife, Rachel was a member of the Society at least since we met in 2007 when she was aged 30. I don’t know, but it is possible that she had been a member for a decade before that, right back to her teens and university days.
I did not feel the need to be a member myself, firstly as, between us, we had one membership for the household, and secondly because I am generally reticent, as a man, in joining and having a voice in women’s organisations, even those like Fawcett which allow men to be members.
After Rachel’s death in the summer of 2019, I needed to close her bank accounts and deal with the direct debits. These included the monthly subscription to the Fawcett Society which I, then, did not want to cancel. So the DD was transferred to my bank account and I became a member in my own name.
So, after at least 15 years, possibly up to 25, it is with sadness that I cannot continue to support your organisation financially or otherwise. I have now cancelled my direct debit, and would ask you to cancel my membership for the following reasons.
The debate over trans people’s rights and women’s rights, and where those two come into conflict has been continuing for many years now. While recognising the struggles of people with gender dysphoria and their needs, many women have raised serious concerns over the political aims of those who repeat the mantra that ‘trans women are women’ in every respect.
I expected the Fawcett Society to recognise the threats that this movement poses to women’s rights to single sex spaces, health care, services for those recovering from male violence against women and the right to have and defend women only organisational and political spaces.
The society has for years now buried its head in the sand seemingly hoping that the debate would go away, and you would not have to jump on one side or the other in this polarised debate. In itself a cowardly position which ignores the long history of your organisation in campaigning for women.
Recently, with your appointment as interim CEO, the society has begun to take its head out of the sand and move off the fence, but in the wrong direction.
Honest and polite enquiries about your stance on these issues have been met with accusations of transphobia and bigotry, anyone (myself included) who has questioned your stance on Twitter has been blocked.
You have aligned yourselves with individuals and groups which use this inflammatory language, and worse in pursuit of an agenda which would be deeply damaging to women and their sex-based rights.
I do not believe that it is bigoted or transphobic to say and believe that transitioning children, performing mastectomies on healthy young girls is wrong.
That erasing the same-sex attraction of lesbians, labelling them bigots if they will not date men who define as lesbians, is wrong.
That women must have the right to accommodation in single sex spaces in hospitals, prisons and refuges, and that requesting this, or complaining when men are housed with them, is not bigotry or transphobia. Victimising women for demanding their sex-based rights, is wrong.
Recording crimes, particularly sex crimes, committed by men, as being committed by women if they self-identify as such, is wrong.
Requiring a woman who has been raped or sexually assaulted, to describe their male attacker as ‘she’ if he requests it, is wrong. And has the potential to be extremely damaging to women who are already traumatised.
I cannot believe that, as a Society, you cannot see, and take campaigning action in defence of women against these obvious wrongs.
As a supposedly feminist organisation, you seem to be getting everything wrong.
So, I have concluded that it would be equally wrong for me to continue to give you any help in your endeavours, financial or otherwise. There are many other organisations, some of long standing, some new organisations which have been created in response to this threat to women’s rights. They will now receive my support where it is requested, needed and wanted.
I am sure that there are many other members of the Fawcett Society who also recognise the wrong in your stance and will also give up on the hope that you will come round in the end. It now seems clear that you will not. I urge them all to rescind their memberships, cancel their direct debits and find a better way to use their time, energy and money.