What’s Current: Women’s refuges in the UK consider hiring trans-identified male staff

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Women’s Aid, England’s largest group of women-only refuges for rape and abuse victims, is re-evaluating their policy against allowing trans-identified males to work with female clients. Women’s anti-violence advocate Karen Ingala-Smith and trans-identified male India Willoughby discuss this on Good Morning Britain.
  • The talent manager who helped make Halle Berry and Taraji Henson famous is accused of using his position as a gatekeeper for women of colour in Hollywood to sexually harass multiple aspiring actresses.
  • Emily Doe, as Brock Turner’s victim is known publicly, has refused to continue working with Stanford University in setting up a memorial plaque quoting her words, after the university insisted on using the quote, “I’m OK, everything’s OK.”
  • Actress Nazanin Boniadi calls on supporters of the Women’s March to stand in solidarity with the women of Iran as they demonstrate against the compulsory hijab. More than 20 women have been arrested so far.

“Dozens of women throughout Iran — old and young, veiled and unveiled — to engage in the same act of civil disobedience, standing bareheaded in public as they silently wave their scarves from the ends of sticks.

To be clear, this Iranian movement did not happen overnight, and the plight of the Iranian woman runs far deeper than challenging compulsory clothing regulations. However, for many women in Iran, the hijab has become a constant reminder of their inequality and oppression in a social, political, legal and religious climate that favors men.”

Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • thebewilderness

    Trans-identified male India Willoughby helped hundreds of people reach peak trans when Willoughby expressed the 10th rule of misogyny: The worst thing about male violence is that it makes men look bad.

  • Jani

    So, Vincent Cirrincione writes off a series of sexual assaults and attempts at coercion as “affairs” that were “consensual”. The double-speak in the rest of his PR statement is the same old bland BS cliches that are popping up right and left whenever these sexual predators are exposed. It’s about time we pull their BS apart word for word. Because it’s all garbage. So, he takes full responsibility? For pulling his dick out and jerking off in front of a woman who didn’t want that? Oh yeah, like we consent to that shit during a business meeting. Hmm. I don’t think so.

  • Po21

    So… TMI were crying not so long ago that they were the most vulnerable and they needed to have access to shelters. It didnt work so now they want to work there? Like, seriously, if they are all at risk of being raped and murdered because they dont have “cis privilege” why dont they make their own shelters with those qualified volunteers so they can focus on their own needs? I guess crashing women space is more important than transpeople safety. I’m always amazed by their priorities…

    • Americus91

      I was told by a trans woman I was debating with online “We have a lot of money and power behind us!” – Funny they wouldn’t think to build shelters and centers to protect their own with all that money and power.

      • Amy

        ‘A lot of money and power’, i agree 100%, they have a lot of $ and power because they have male benefits and privledge. They are allowed to be outspoken bc they are actually men. Real women who speak out are considered bitches. MtT claim they want to be women, but they don’t. Real women are oppressed, they want all the male power they’ve always had, plus get to play the victim. Have your cake and eat it too. Not any different than a white person ‘identifying’ as an oppressed ethnicity….y can’t people see thru this? It’s like there’s no such thing as common sense

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    On that Good Morning Britain segment: Just like your typical domineering man Willoughby just talked right over Ingala-Smith who couldn’t get a word in edgewise. He needs to work a bit more on his “Woman-Feeling” because he hasn’t got it quite right yet. Like you want this person “helping” you when you’ve entered a women’s refuge for domestic abuse. Really this would be laughable if they weren’t seriously considering this.

    And Stanford U’s plaque, “I’m OK, What he did is OKAY; Everybody Thinks So Too.” “Well, we moved the dumpster and planted some Petunia’s; what’s wrong with you now just get over it!” A SpokesMAN said.

    • lk

      India: The implication is that “transgender women are somehow a threat to women”…”Your site has a list of crimes that are committed by men…I feel bad for men because there is a real demonization.”

      Well, they are men…so, yes they are a threat to women!!!

      Lol, stating facts about the crimes committed by men is not “demonizing” and of course, you feel bad for men…..who cares about the safety of vulnerable women who have been the victims of abuse?!

      • Anon

        “Demonizing men” What an idiot. Men demonise themselves. When will these brainless idiots realise that all the backlash towards men from women is DESERVED. We aren’t complaining for no reason.

      • Cassandra

        “Lol, stating facts about the crimes committed by men is not “demonizing” …”

        Yup. This is the entire reaction to feminism from the beginning of time. Facts = “hate.”

  • Midori

    Why, Women’s Aid, why? There are definitely enough women (as in female people), who are willing to help, WHY do you need to consider to allow male-bodied people to work with female victims of rape?
    I really want that somebody finally answers this question: W H Y does every single thing, that was made for female people by female people now needs to allow and – in some case even – center transwomen? Why?
    Just yesterday I saw a post on tumblr about somebody, who created a rape center for male people and this person said that NOBODY has every asked them or any other space that serves male victims of violence to open their doors for women, who id as men. W H Y is it always women’s space, who get invaded?

  • lk

    “Mary Mason, the board’s interim co-chairwoman, said: “We have agreed to start a review of our whole transgender policy, including the possibility of employment for self-declared transgender women without a gender recognition certificate. Describing it as “an extraordinarily difficult discussion,” Mason said the review, by Women’s Aid’s director of services, Nicki Norman, would take three to four months.”

    No, this is not an extraordinarily difficult decision..this is an incredibly EASY decision: No, the women’s refuges should remain by women for women.

    Women who are seeking safety/shelter and healing from rape and abuse should not have to deal with men..even if those men have “declared” they are women.

    Honestly, when is all this craziness going to stop? Why do we continue to put the wants of some delusional men above the safety of women?

  • Omzig Online

    A transgender-identified male imposing his will on a shelter full of rape and abuse victims in order to “validate” his gender identity is inherently abusive behavior. How is this not obvious to Women’s Aid? Demanding that battered women submit to the male ego is incredibly predatory.

    Battered women seek shelter at Women’s Aid facilities to feel safe. Helping them to feel safe again should be their ONLY priority at Women’s Aid, not pacifying the demands of trans activists.

  • Lavender

    Women can’t be expected to feel safe in a space where they’ve turned to to escape male violence, knowing that males are present. It’s a form of abuse to force women to pretend that a male is a woman simply because he says so. They’ve already tried this in B.C. and it got squashed because the court recognized that females are a distinct class of people who require and deserve protections. This is a critical juncture in feminism and if we don’t push back hard now, we’re done.

  • Melanie

    And just like a dude to completely dismiss the violence committed against women by men and make it all about the men. India pretty much proved the point on national television that transwomen should not be counseling women who’ve been assaulted or raped. They can’t move beyond their male socialization and their own desire for validation. And they simply have no understanding of the issue and what women go through. I would be mortified and traumatized all over again if I was counseled by a man, regardless of how he identified. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that transwomen should have the sense to know that it’s not their place to do that. I don’t think anyone with any empathy would hold it against a woman if she refused to be seen by a transwoman in that setting. What I don’t understand is that there’s an obvious need out there for transgender rape crisis services and shelters, so why aren’t they doing something about it? It’s the same problem with their focus on pronouns and ‘misgendering’ as opposed to addressing the actual cause of their suffering – male violence. They just seem unduly fixated on women and entering our services and facilities, when they should be setting up their own.