What’s Current: Labour party allows man to stand as women’s officer as he ‘identifies as a woman on Wednesdays’

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

David Lewis is on the list as a candidate women’s officer for his Constituency Labour Party in Basingstoke
  • The local Labour Party in Basingstoke, UK, have allowed a man to run for a woman’s officer position. David Lewis, a Labour activist, told the Spectator he identifies as a woman “on Wednesdays, between 6:50AM when my alarm goes off and around midnight when I go to bed.”
  • Judges in Baghdad dealing with captured ISIS members and their families have sentenced over 40 foreign-born women to death over their association with the retreating terrorist organization, often after trials lasting no more than 10 minutes.
  • The US has deported an Albanian asylum seeker with three US-born children, without giving her a chance to say goodby to her family. Cile Precetaj told officials that she’d been threatened with kidnapping and forced prostitution in her home country.
  • A survey of women working in Japanese media revealed that dozens have been harassed by colleagues, government officials, police, and sometimes interview subjects.
  • A quarter of women surveyed in Sydney, Australia, live in a “climate of fear and vigilance,” due to street harassment.
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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  • M. Zoidberg

    I wonder if the epidemic of street harassment has anything to do with Australia’s legalisation of the rape industry? (i.e. “sex work”). I’ve heard stories from women in other places where it’s legal, and the consensus seems to be a culture where men treat all women as though they’re potentially for sale.

    • お茶

      This is definitely the case in Japan. Sex work is legal there and women are treated like second class citizens. I often had men coming up to me trying to buy sex or refusing to leave me alone when I was just walking down the street. Men looking up my skirt (it’s not uncommon for women to hold their skirts while walking upstairs there).

      A lot of men just couldn’t seem to understand the difference between a woman letting you do things to her sexually because you are paying her and a woman genuinely enjoying what you are doing. Men’s egos swell to after they visit sex workers. Not as in a “feeling better about myself” way that the media wishes to portray sex work, but in a “I can do no wrong to women” way, no matter how she protests or squirms away. In Japan men think that a woman saying no is just “try again” more forcefully.

      Sex work makes women into objects. All women. Sex workers protest that only they should be listened to but sex work affects all women, whether they participate in (or are forced into) the sex industry or not. All women deserve a voice in the matter of prostitution.

      • Zoë Lafantaisie

        You honestly could be describing any country though. I lived in Japan for 2 years and they are definitely porn CRAZY! Women are not safe anywhere. But it was pretty similar in Italy – there the word NO means keep trying until you wear her out and down. I walk almost everywhere and it has always seemed to me that when men (anywhere in the world) see a woman alone, they just assume she’s prey for them in whatever capacity.

        • お茶

          Good point. I had the same issues in Italy as well.

          A little off topic, but I wonder if having fewer other counties that speak the same language as they do means that these countries are slower to adopt societal changes. A lot of their cultural points of reference must be made internally (by male controlled media), reinforcing stale ideas.

          • Tobysgirl

            We could rate countries by the intensity of their penis worship. My understanding is that Italy is really high on this scale (have no desire to go to Italy).

          • お茶

            You are correct. I stayed with an Italian family in the countryside for several months. From what I saw, Italian men live up to the stereotypes, flattering and unflattering (I’m sure there are exceptions of course).

      • Revanchiste

        Prostitution is illegal in Japan since 1956.

  • Wren

    OMG everything in the world is so crazy that I wasn’t sure if the male labour activist was sincere or if it was a stunt. I’m relieved. But still, my reaction freaked me out!! I mean, some people probably actually believe he’s a woman on Wednesdays. Sigh.

    • Melanie

      Hey, transwomen on Wednesdays are transwomen on Wednesdays!

    • Zoë Lafantaisie

      But only between 5pm and midnight though – LOL – that was a nice touch. And only on some Wednesdays!

  • Zoë Lafantaisie

    I posted the David Lewis story on my fb page and someone said that he’d been “let go” because of what he’s doing. So sad. Sure makes me think we should all be doing the same thing though. If we just refuse to be called women (or men) wherever we go it might help.

  • lk

    I really had to laugh at this story because it highlights just how ridiculous the idea that you can just self-identify as a sex.

    According to TRA’s being a woman is just a matter of saying you are and gender is fluid….so why cant he identify as man on Monday and a woman on Wednesday? And according to TRA’s disagreeing with anyone’s self identification is transphobic, disrespectful, causes suicide and murder of trans people and etc….

    Why arent trans-activist coming out to support this woman who has been unfairly suspended because of his transexistence on Wednesdays?!

    I would love to see a bunch of men do the same thing this guy did…just to force the labour party to admit that being a woman is not just a matter of selfidentifaction.

  • Melanie

    Noooò. Please don’t take away my cookies!

  • お茶

    Thanks for pointing this out, I hadn’t thought about it before.