What’s Current: A Woman’s Place UK meeting about GRA cancelled by Leeds City Council; went ahead anyway at pub

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

  • An event organized by Woman’s Place UK to discuss proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act was cancelled by Leeds City Council after complaints from trans activists. The event went on anyway, at a pub.
  • Portuguese feminists protest after two men who sexually assaulted a woman in a bar bathroom were given a suspended sentence due to an environment of “mutual flirting” and “alcohol abuse.” The victim lost consciousness numerous times throughout the assault.
  • Under intense pressure, following a confrontation between two rape survivors and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Donald Trump ordered an FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. This will delay the confirmation process by a week.
  • Edmonton Police have issued a warning to the public after a convicted sex offender was released. They say Michael Rhoads “ has a history of violence towards intimate partners and strangers he has encountered on the street or in bars” and that they believe he “will commit another violent offence against someone while in the community.”
Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • unfashionable

    Canceled because “it was potentially giving a platform to transphobic views.”

    This is a government agency issuing what lawyers call a prior restraint on speech. In the US, this is considered the most egregious type of assault on our constitutional right to free speech. Hard to imagine the UK doesn’t provide similar protection to speech, especially for unpopular speech, especially in advance of the occurrence of the speech; does anyone know?

  • lk

    Re: Micheal Rhoads

    So Rhoads has a history of domestic violence, served his time and is being released, but the police believe he is likely to hurt someone else again.

    I thought jail was supposed to “rehabilitate” violent men..so that they are supposed to do their time and leave jail and become decent people who don’t abuse and harm others…if he’s served his time and still has violent tendencies, obviously the rehabilitation didn’t work…so we are basically just letting him out of jail and waiting till he hurts someone else and then he’ll serve his time, be released hurt someone else and the cycle will continue..

    How many women will be hurt during this cycle of Rhoads being in and out of jail.

    Honestly, I think when a man has repeatedly been violent towards women and children and shows no intention of stopping even after he has been in prison, received mental health counseling and or medication to curb his behavior..why do we keep letting them roam free to KEEP hurting women…I wish we could just stick him on an uninhabited island or something…

    The article doesnt say that Rhoads will have to wear an ankle monitor, so it would be pretty easy for him to violate the rules of his release and hurt someone…I couldnt help but notice his size 5’7 and 208 pounds: it wouldnt be hard for someone that large to inflict seriously bodily harm in a small amount of time. So how are they really going to keep track of him?

  • M. Zoidberg

    They call it “DEdmonton” for a reason… It’s Western Canada’s dumping-ground for degenrates.

  • Midori

    Please tell me again how “transwomen are the most oppressed”. They just need to scream TRANSPHOBIA and everybody will immediately fall to their knees and kiss their boots while literally censoring women, who will be most impacted by changes to the GRA (meaning, the sex-based protection, women before us fought for and we often still have to fight for, will be erased in favour of the feelings of men in dresses).

  • unfashionable

    I forgot to mention that the woman arrested for taking her shirt off was awarded a bunch of money by the city she sued. To deter similar misconduct by cops in future. Incremental progress.

  • TwinMamaManly

    In Australia we don’t have a protected “right of free speech” akin to U.S. Our constitution protects our right to “political communication” i.e. we can criticise government or in a political context. But we also can’t engage in hate speech as defined by the Racial and Sexual Discrimination Acts.

    • acommentator

      “But we also can’t engage in hate speech as defined by the Racial and Sexual Discrimination Acts.”

      Lots of people in the U.S. wish that “hate speech” could be regulated here. Why anyone would feel comfortable giving others the power to decide what can and cannot be said is a mystery to me. In order to shut up people they disagree with, they are happy to see legal muzzles and gags created that can just as easily be used on themselves.

  • unfashionable

    Yup, in the short run. Liberty often doesn’t come cheap. But I think pay the fine (or not), and then sue their ass. GoFundMe, pro bono if needed. People have died for liberty; Mandela spent decades in jail for liberty.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Earlier this week, I saw a woman pose an interesting question.

    She said that when males come forward as adults, and accuse priests of molesting or raping them, when they were children or teenagers, that we all talk about how brave these guys are. That they deserve justice for what males did to them years ago. And we never challenge them, or call them liars, or accuse them of trying to ruin anyone’s life.

    But when women do the very same thing, we are just making shit up, trying to screw over males because malereasons.

    I wonder why this is? Curious.

  • acommentator

    “I understand that most European countries do not grant the right to free speech that we have in the U.S. (and Canada?).”

    Comedians have been fined for jokes in Canada. The case I remember involved mocking a disabled kid. Which is a nasty thing to do, no doubt. But not something that could be the subject of a fine in the U.S.

  • acommentator

    True. They don’t have the power to regulate speech as a general matter (though you know they would love to have it). But as that article shows, there is a large segment of speech they can get at through their regulation of businesses. Thus, even in the U.S., “human rights commissions” have power to inhibit speech, and little inclination to limit their use of it.

  • Tobysgirl

    Fun but naïve. Republicans have never been interested in Jesus’ teachings, only what is termed substitutionary atonement. This mean that instead of killing a goat Jesus was killed to atone for Republicans’ sins. Most Christians have their hammers and nails at the ready if Jesus ever dares to return. I think Trump’s election shows these foul hypocrites for what they are: fully supportive of male entitlement and sexual violence, about as far from Jesus’ difficult teachings as anything can be. I had an aunt who was a “nice Christian lady” with piles of money who tried to steal money from my mother who lived on $500 a month social security.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I hadn’t thought about that.

    The reason that I thought of is that males police other males to keep sexual violence directed at women and girls. Women and girls exist for dick use, while males are actual humans and are not to be treated as fuck toilets.

    • Morag999

      Yes. There are many other answers (bitches lie, bitches are crazy, sluts are greedy for attention and money, etc.), but this is the main one: that girl victims of rape are simply not as tragic as boy victims. Raping girls isn’t nice, but at least that’s what the female body is FOR —to be penetrated, used. That’s not what boys are for, so the raping of boys is worse.

      Let’s just imagine, for instance, that Kavanaugh’s accuser had been male. Just imagine …

  • shy virago

    You’re right. It’s infuriating to hear the media, even independent radio (like Pacifica, in the U.S.) so upset about the men abused by priests. All I could think was – we women never get the same kind of concern or lament. Ever. I don’t feel sorry for them. My grief is for us.

  • Tessa Anne

    Hekate Jayne,

    You have been dropping some serious truth bombs lately. I just keep coming back to read them over and over. I’m writing an article I hope to be published on an independent news media website in Australia, and am wondering if it’s okay if I quote some of what you wrote here in the article?

  • M. Zoidberg

    Well, maybe I’m speculating a bit… but Edmonton does have one of the highest murder rates of any Canadian city, hence the “D” in front of its name.

  • Morag999

    Perhaps. But the way I imagine it would unfold, if his accuser had been male, is that Kavanaugh would be given no sympathy.