Not one more
My speech in Dublin today
I was proud as punch to be invited to speak at the #SaveOurSpaces protest today alongside Ceri Black, Rachel Moran and Laoise Uí Aodha de Brún. Here is the text of my speech. Thanks to the protester who gave me her ‘Careful Now’ sign for this photo.
Sometimes this fight seems hopeless. So much has already been taken away. The privacy, safety and dignity that came with single-sex spaces, are gone, even to the most vulnerable women. Women in prison, or in rape crisis centres, or shelters, can no longer be certain they are safe. The thrill of competing, the level playing field, of women's sports, gone, with cheating men in women's categories, stealing their medals, their records, their careers. Worst of all is the threat to our children. Dangerous, experimental treatments, that leave them infertile, depressed and in need of constant, painful correction. All happening in plain sight, with our politicians terrified of challenging the faithful.
Sound familiar? Ireland is once again offering up its women and children to a religion, a religion cooked up, not in the Vatican, the source of so much historic injustice, but in the halls of American universities and the endless show trials that pass for online discourse. The Magdalen Laundries may be gone, but the priests who ran them, and the nuns who collaborated, are still with us, using the familiar weapons of faith and shame.
So today I want to encourage you to do a single, simple thing. Take the anger you feel at all that has been done in secret so far, and use it, channel it, let it give you the hope and energy you need to fight this. Get angry. Get angry at the politician who allowed Self ID to pass in the dark, get angry at the schoolteacher grooming your child into this ideology, get angry at the press, looking the other way.
Angry women are terrifying. Ask any married man. I know because I used to be one. You possibly don't realise how much power is in that anger. But that's why there's not more men here. They're scared of you, because you're angry. That's why the media don't dare put a gender-critical feminist onscreen, because their anger would make every television in the country explode. You want to see fireworks? Have Colm O'Gorman tell Helen Joyce that transwomen are women, that Eddie Izzard is the same sex as her. Have him say it to her face. They wouldn't dare. They know he wouldn't leave the studio in one piece.
Now, some of you may be frightened of your anger. I understand, mine has got me into a lot of trouble. And the new priests can be pretty frightening, and their demands that you feel shame for standing up for your humanity can be convincing, echoed as they are by the faithful all over social media.
So if you ever find it faltering, or fading, in the face of opposition, you just have to ask yourself a few questions.
How many more women should be raped in prison? Not one more.
How many young girls should cut off their healthy breasts, or take drugs that destroy their sexual pleasure? Not one more.
How many women should be driven offline, have their livelihoods threatened by young misogynistic men with purple highlights in their hair? Not one more.
How many more bomb threats delivered to JK Rowling will we stand for? Not one more.
How many more women should lose a place on a podium, or an awards shortlist, taken by a crossdressing autogynophile? Not one more.
Don't give an inch. Don't give them an inch. Don't give up a single right, that was fought for a hundred years ago. It's not enough to resist every new outrage, we have to undo the outrages that have already been committed against you. If you see a unisex changing room, complain. If someone calls you cis, tell them "I find that word offensive". And if you see a man in a space that's meant for women, speak up, summon the furies, get that look in your eye that turns every man's blood turn to ice.
Because finally, it's your anger, that will win this fight. I get angry all the time, and it does nothing, because everyone just thinks I'm mad. But if every woman here gets angry, and encourages every woman they know to get angry too, then this absurd, incoherent, irrational, misogynistic, homophobic fad will wither and die, and not a moment too soon. Thank you.