When the Nottingham Women’s Corner event was announced by Kellie-Jay Keen (KJK), I started planning my speech. I wanted to talk about my life’s experience, and to state uncompromisingly, why I was in this fight against the erosion of women’s rights and why I stand up for the protection of children against the dangerous ideology of gender identity.
Once I’d finished writing the speech, I backtracked and decided that certain aspects of what I wanted to say about the divisions within feminism were so incendiary that they risked causing greater divides, rather than calling out existing divides in order to try to fix them. I’d gone off on a tangent and I was dissatisfied with myself. I was guilty of ranting.
On the morning of the event I woke up and decided that it was entirely likely that I might ad lib a speech if the attendance seemed low due to the forecasted bad weather. I mean, what sane person would travel to an event to stand out in the terrible torrential rain that was being predicted? Thankfully, I have never claimed sanity, so I was going anyway!
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m rarely short of things to say, and this particular subject matter can get my vocal chords chirping quicker than any other subject matter ever has. What’s more is that my passion for the subject matter, i.e., the protection of women and children, means that I don’t really struggle with getting fired up and vocal.
So, having driven an hour south to Nottingham in the wind and the rain and then navigating my way through an unknown city, I suddenly saw ahead of me a sea of pink Adult Human Female umbrellas. Women had made the trip. The day was on. I was delighted and marched toward the scene excitedly.
As I got closer to the gathering of women, one of my Northern RadFem Network (NRFN) sisters spotted me and I headed straight toward her. It turned out that the part of the gathering that held my NRFN sister, also held some of my Derbyshire Radical Feminists (DRF) sisters too. After lots of hugs and hellos I was advised that the Brian Clough statue was surrounded by TRA’s (trans rights activists). I looked over and saw some more of my DRF sisters holding the line between the gathered women and the TRA’s, and then spotted that Brian Clough was sporting a trans flag.
Immediately I knew where I needed to be.
Without so much as a ‘hold my pint’ to my friends I was front and centre of our defences and my body became a shield to all the women gathered around waiting to hear women speak and voice their concerns about the insidious creep of gender ideology in to our spaces, sports and language.
That was it. I was well in the thick of it all. I could not have predicted how the day would go from there.
It wasn’t long after I got up on that plinth of Brian Clough that the abuse of me started. A young man that I’d stood in front of decided to advise me that Margaret Thatcher had stolen my pension, and that as a grandma, I should go home and cry about it. Having already vocalised his vile misogyny for all to hear, I advised him that his move on to vocalising his ageism was not a good look and would not aide the cause that he was allegedly here to promote. He told me to f*ck off. I stayed firmly put.
Every time women attempted to speak the TRA’s started chanting ‘Trans rights are human rights’.
Every time the TRA’s started chanting their empty mantra the women responded loudly with ‘Let women speak’.
The scene continued like this for a time, and due to the activities of a couple of TRA’s at ground level, I chose to jump down off the plinth in order to stand directly between them and Kellie-Jay and whomever had bravely put themselves forward to speak.
I jumped two footed from the plinth, only for my feet to immediately slide out from under me and I hit the ground hard. The brunt of the fall was taken by my lower back, my core stiffening to protect me and resulting in only a forceful impact to my head, rather than a full on head injury. My strong neck and core had saved me.
The young male TRA that had advised me to go home and cry about my lost pension was apparently hugely amused by my fall and hoped I had suffered some catastrophic injury. The rest of the crowd stopped what they were doing immediately to enquire as to my condition and make sure I was ok, not at risk of concussion or serious brain injury.
Kellie-Jay asked me if I wanted to make a speech after ascertaining that I was ok following my fall, and I decided that I did. I had probably already decided that I did want to speak, but the fall and the TRA reactions to it made me even surer I was going to say my piece. I didn’t want to talk just yet, but I would indeed talk. I returned to my protective duties and got myself in front of the TRA’s and looked after the women gathered and listening to the brave speakers.
It wasn’t long before the trans identified male (TIM – also known as a trans woman by some) that I had elected to stand in front of showed himself to be a born male and I responded appropriately. A woman was trying to talk her truth and he decided this was the perfect moment to tell us how ‘trans rights are human rights’. I simply advised him that his willingness to talk over a woman trying to speak her personal truth was the clearest indication that he was indeed male.
This TIM then decided to tell me all about how I don’t know what it’s been like for him to be bullied every day of his life. To that, I simply responded by asking him if he’d looked at me at all? Was there any part of how I appeared to him that made it look like I had ever conformed to gender stereotypes? His lack of answer was deafening. I went on to advise that as a gender non-conforming woman I had been beaten up many times, actually physically beaten. Not misgendered or ridiculed, but kicked all the way from the door of a restaurant in to the middle of a dual carriageway. Why? Because I didn’t conform to my attackers ideas of what a woman should look like.
It’s safe to say that there was no response from the TIM. He just looked at me in a way that conveyed the fact that he had nowhere to go with his argument in this discussion that would do him any favours. I will also point out that just prior to my giving my speech, he and his friend decided to leave the scene. It was perhaps the most decent thing that any of the TRA’s did that day.
After the described discussion with the TIM I let Kellie-Jay know that I was ready to speak. I was plugged in so that my words could be recorded and the women awaited the speech I was about to give.
I talked to the women listening about my coming to Nottingham to NOT try to take away the rights of others as the TRA’s were trying to suggest, but about my coming to reclaim my rights as a woman. I won’t go in to the details here of my speech, but it talked of the abuse I experienced as a child and as an adult victim of rape. That how I identified had nothing to do with the actions of others. They knew I was female and enacted these crimes against me as a result of my sexed human condition, not what I believed of myself.
I’m not concentrating on my speech here. It’s available on Twitter and YouTube (link to YouTube provided below). What I will say was that it was very well received by the women gathered at speaker’s corner and there was lots of clapping and cheering at my words and my willingness to speak them.
After my speech was done I immediately resumed my protective duties and just felt pleased that I had said the small amount I had said.
It was really not that long before I was advised that the person that had advised me of my need to go home and cry about my lost pension was now accusing me of ‘playing the victim’ by talking about my child sexual abuse and adult rapes. Without any real thought process, I rudely interrupted Kellie-Jay and told her what I was being accused of.
The gathering of women on hearing his comments at me immediately began to chant ‘shame’ and such things at him and he has since had his face put all over Twitter and Facebook. I’m not all about doxxing people at all. I don’t agree with doxxing, but if you chose to be an arsehole knowing full well that the event is being filmed, you kind of deserve what you get.
From the point of my own feelings, I just wanted him called out publicly. I’m sick and tired of being told that daring to speak of the trauma inflicted on me by men is a form of weaponising my trauma. So very sick of being told to ‘get over it’, that I should be ‘grateful any man wanted to f*ck me’, and that it probably explains why I’m same-sex attracted.
I went to Nottingham to support ALL women and children. I had abandoned my ideas of speaking so as not to cause controversy. I chose to speak only really due to the TRA presence at the event that had arrived to try to convey to the public that the women speaking were hateful and transphobic. In going, in placing myself in the thick of the action, in standing my ground in the face of such hostility to me, I undid any advantage the TRA’s felt they would gain by turning up.
The headache I had, combined with the remaining back and hip pain, are all a result of my fall, but the impact of all that happened that day to me personally has been discussed across the internet. The calling out of a TRA/MRA (men’s rights activist) to ridiculing my age, my accident and my trauma, has peaked more people in day, than anything I have done at any point previously in this fight.
That young man that spoke out so vehemently against me and the other women there is likely an incel (involuntary celibate) with a deep hatred of women. His non-trans presence at the speaker’s corner event really did highlight how gender ideology is an easy thing to support if you hate women. Women’s rights are the only rights being eroded. If you hate women, why would you not support the cause when it gives you the opportunity to display your hatred and be cheered on for such public displays of your hatred?
All in all, despite the aches and pains and the personal exposure of my trauma, how can I not see this as a good day at the office?
Would I do it again? F*ck yeah.