Dear Keir Starmer,
I have just been out into the countryside to try to get calm. It is a place that makes me calm usually. But I'm not calm. I ran 4 miles in white hot fury thinking about your words this morning when asked by Andrew Marr,
"Is it transphobic to say only women have a cervix?"
"It is something that shouldn't be said. It's not right."
But it is right Keir. It's absolutely a fact. Female people (women) have a cervix. Only female people (women) have a cervix. Biology is right. Science is accurate. The word woman cannot be co-opted to mean whatever people demand it means, as it is far too important to women's life in society that "woman" has meaning. That women matter.
What did you do today do you think? Because you did it knowingly. You are not a stupid man. What did you gain do you imagine? Your party is teetering on war over the woman issue. You have tried to skirt around the perimeter of it like a man afraid to play a game but watching it play out and hoping you are on the side that wins. Women will not have that. You have tried to talk of other things that don't mention the word "woman". Women will not have that. You have ignored the plight of Rosie Duffield; the abuse she has been subjected to, and her safety for months. Women will not have that. Women will talk about our own bodies in language that makes sense to us. We will not stop saying the word "woman" when we refer to ourselves and we won't say other words dictated to us by men.
Today you said, in effect, that "woman" no longer exists to the Labour Party. You have finally made yourself clear. You did finally "pick a side". You are not on the side of women. We heard it loud and clear. We are all white hot furious right now and we will stay so. Don't expect anything else.
Today, women working in the women's sector to save women up and down the UK, heard what you said and knew what that meant for them. You were their hope. You were the chance they had to know that they would be able to operate services by and for women, that would keep women alive. Would help them recover effectively, patch them up and allow them to breath again in the world free of a man's violence. Some women will die because they will not access services which include men who identify as women. These women are already self-excluding. This includes minority ethnic women who cannot access services which include and/or house men alongside them. They will stay away and they will die.
Today, in my opinion, you were the man who was violent towards women. You were the man hurting women on national television and I've heard their pain all day. You were the equivalent of a gaslighting, woman-hating, abuser. Yes that is how we felt. That strongly. You were telling women that what we know to be true, is not true. That we are not allowed to say certain things. That we don't have a voice, even about our own bodies. I've been abused. I recognise all of those things.
Sitting opposite Marr with your smart suit and your sleek hair, you opened your hands to him and washed your hands of women. Women saw it. They will not forgive.
At your last Labour Party Conference, angry men banged on the doors of a women's meeting. For hours. Drowning out those women discussing and debating the rights of women. Preventing them from being heard and hearing each other. This year a Labour Women's Declaration meeting is having to keep its venue secret until the last minute as there are serious concerns about the safety of those women from trans activists. They wish to speak about being women and women's needs and rights. Your MP Rosie Duffield is sufficiently concerned about her own safety, and women agree with her, to have had to self-exclude from this year's conference. She spoke about women and their bodies. Trans activists, misogynists, target her with abuse relentlessly in an attempt to prevent her from speaking for and about women.
You have said nothing.
You have watched and said nothing. Today you said, in front of the nation that she must not speak a truth she knows. You silenced her and all of us. You are the equivalent of the men banging on the door determined women shall not be heard.
Your MP John McDonnell has said on LBC today that discussing Biology is only appropriate in some contexts when referring to female people. Can you men hear yourselves? Can you hear the feedback? Can you see the incredulous look on the interviewer's face? Women can. Women aren't incredulous, we are a volcano about to erupt.
This is misogyny. This is violence. Keeping women silent about their rights and bodies is political violence against women, when it comes from the leader of a political party which represents women.
You also said that,
"the trans community are the most marginalised and abused of many many communities"
I ask, how dare you say this in the light of the murder of Sabina Nessa? How dare you say it in the aftermath of the woman killed in Killamarsh alongside her own children and another child on a sleepover? The arrested man is her partner. How dare you? Not a single trans person has been killed in the UK this year.
When I pointed out today that there have been at least 108 women murdered by men this year and that zero men who identify as women have been murdered I was met with this horrific assertion. Not once, but twice. That those murdered women might have been "misgendered". That they might in fact have been transwomen.
This is the most disgraceful and offensive thing I have seen in response to your words. Karen Ingala Smith counts those women. She makes sure we know their names. We know about them and their lives because of her. And when I say we know about their lives, we also know about their deaths at the hands of men who hated them because they were women. We hear about the pain of their families struggling to piece their lives back together in the absence of the woman they loved. We hear about children scarred forever after watching their mother die in front of them. To pretend some of those women were men who identified as women is a disgusting act. This is what you opened up today.
So when you men stand forward as Sadiq Khan did the other night, and talk about men's violence against women and and what you are going to do about it. When you use "MVAWG" in your speeches. They are just letters to you. "Woman" is just a bunch of letters. When you make hollow pledges about what you will do for women, take the word of "woman" out of your filthy mouths. You don't know what that word means. You don't deserve to speak it.
Women will never forgive you.