The Daily Telegraph

How did the Tories become the only party to protect women?

- Suzanne Moore Online

Here’s a question. Threats of violence to women – good or bad? Controvers­ial, but I am going with very bad indeed. So how has this become acceptable?

Rosie Duffield, a Labour MP, won her Canterbury seat in a narrow victory in 2017; previously, it had been Conservati­ve for almost a century. In 2019, in a debate about the Domestic Abuse Bill, she reduced the Commons to silence by talking of her own experience of abuse, stalking and coercive control: “Domestic violence has many faces, and the faces of those who survive it are varied, too.”

Now, it turns out, Duffield cannot attend the Labour Party conference this month because of threats to her security. Her crime? Saying on Twitter that only women have a cervix.

She has not backed down, saying repeatedly that she is a feminist and has always supported the rights of trans people “to live freely as they chose”. But many now want her thrown out of the party.

I find it disgusting that while Luciana Berger, the former Labour MP, had to walk around conference with bodyguards because of antisemiti­sm, Duffield cannot even attend. What is Labour doing? Where is her support? Labour has alienated lifelong members and trade unionists to appease well-heeled activists.

The Green Party, meanwhile, when asked to define what a woman is, simply can’t; they like to think of women as “non-men”. Cheers, chaps! At their conference, they voted against including biological females in their list of oppressed groups. This is the new radicalism, which excludes 51 per cent of the population.

There’s a hilarious recording online of the responses made by tongue-tied Green Party candidates during last year’s council elections, when asked what a woman is. Nick Humberston­e said: “I don’t think it’s a very productive question.” Tom Pashby answered: “A cis woman who can’t give birth is not less of a woman, and you can apply that to people who identify as women.”

Cleo Lake replied: “Being a woman is an attitude.” Try telling that to the women in Afghanista­n, Cleo.

Never mind, the Greens are a tiny party about to get tinier. Unfortunat­ely, the same thing is happening with the Women’s Equality Party (WEP), which you might think would do better.

Full disclaimer: I was involved in setting up this party in 2015. Having despaired of the two-party system for years, I felt we should try at least something different. We were criticised for being too luvvie, too white, too middle-class, and some of that was true. Some wasn’t, and the rush of women to join was amazing. However, when I saw the direction the party was going in, I had nothing to do with it for some time. We were never a separatist outfit – from the outset, we were trans-inclusive, and men could join – yet the question of self-id had to be tackled. Self-id effectivel­y means that anyone who identifies as a woman is one. The implicatio­ns for single-sex spaces, prisons, refuges, sporting events and even language itself are huge. Women have become support humans for every other more important cause.

The currently fashionabl­e feminism is one that panders to males, nonbinary people and every other group except boring women, with our boring issues about childcare, pay and rape conviction­s. Having promised the members of WEP a consultati­on about all this, unsurprisi­ngly, the majority of its members wanted to keep single-sex spaces. The members were ignored, with the leader making an “I’d like to teach the world to sing” type speech.

Ignoring conflict does make it go away, as, again, women are leaving the party in droves. Where will such women find a home?

The Liberal Democrats are fully on board with the dogma that biology is not real. Former equalities minister Lynne Feathersto­ne wrote in Lib Dem Voice that anyone who wanted to exclude transwomen from womenonly spaces was not a feminist: “Your views are not welcome in the Liberal Democrats,” she said. Lovely.

The SNP is similarly bonkers. In its proposals, women cannot request female doctors when they have been raped. They are to respect their rapist’s right to identify as female. There is an attempt to push through reform of the Gender Recognitio­n Act so that someone can change their legal sex after three months, no evidence required. When asked about feminists’ concerns, Nicola Sturgeon said their views were “not valid”.

So that leaves many of us politicall­y homeless. It is not physically possible for me to vote Conservati­ve. But which party will protect our rights, enshrined in law?

We now end up with threats of male violence aimed at shutting women up, and female MPS not able to attend their own party conference­s. This, we are told, is all about inclusivit­y and progress. So isn’t it odd that it looks a lot like women being intimidate­d into silence and feelings of worthlessn­ess, the very techniques of coercive control?

Labour has now alienated lifelong members just to appease activists

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 ??  ?? Threats: Rosie Duffield can’t attend conference
Threats: Rosie Duffield can’t attend conference

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