It was certainly an interesting meeting! we had our first ‘disrupters’ who played us some music, told us that ‘female violence’ was the root of all the problems and wrote ‘LOLOLOLOLOL’ in the chat group. I have decided that this is a tribute to GRARG’s increasing profile and effectiveness; mainly due to the excellent #AskYourPCC campaign, fronted by Artless, Jessica Evans and Katie Sok and supported by many volunteers. We will need to consider more carefully levels of security going forward now that we have identified projects with real potential to make a change. Probably the number of public meetings will decrease while important project work is carried out away from potential disruption.
We have identified three main areas to focus on and one ‘side project’
The work is only just beginning. We have got some very useful data, made some very useful contacts and certainly raised awareness. We were able to find volunteers to cover every PCC area, although sadly not everyone replied. However 8 of our recommended candidates (who knew the difference between sex and gender) were elected, which is not bad going. Now the elections are over we are asking volunteers to contact the PCC in post to make sure that they are aware of our concerns and will tell us what they plan to do to reassure us that the conflation of sex and gender will not have a negative impact on women when it comes to policing issues. For more information and suggestions for letters, see this post from Artless who will remain the co-ordinator for this project. Contact her as @MsGiveZeroFox on Twitter.
Single Sex spaces and the NHS
There have been some very worrying reports about how the NHS is treating single sex spaces so we thought this would be a good next project; issues around mix sexed wards and women’s power to object are where the rubber hits the road on the sex/gender conflation. As with prisons, women tend not to have much choice about ending up on a hospital ward and are often more vulnerable/immobile. We will seek to identify where NHS policy/practice operates to cause particular harm to the safety or dignity of women and girls and examine what we can do to challenge this. Jessica Evans will be the co-ordinator for this project and we will start in June. Contact her as @Cultswat on Twitter.
The Female Law Project/Women’s Law
There has been a lot of talk on social media about the need for a formal group that would operate to provide help and advice to women who wish to challenge law/policy around issues of the sex/gender conflation. We agree that this would be a really helpful project with the potential for significant impact and want to give our full support to any bigger and better placed group who is willing to take it on. We envisage it would require a Director on a salary which could be funded by membership subscriptions. It would enable a speedy and co-ordinated response to any potential unlawful or discriminatory activity and could provide support and signposting. For cases which are serious enough to require an application for court, the project could assist with fund raising via a dedicated crowd funding platform.
If no other group is interested in taking this further, then we will meet again in June and decide what steps we can take to make this a reality. Any comments or proposals, please contact me @SVPhillimore
Challenging EDI surveys that conflate sex and gender
I had a recent success in persuading my regulator the Bar Standards Board, that it ought to change its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion questions relating to sex to simply ‘male, female or prefer not to say’ as their earlier version included ‘I prefer another term’. I considered that in light of the ONS concession to the Fair Play for Women JR in March, that it should not have permitted self identification of sex for census purposes, that the BSB could not justify treating the protected characteristic in this way. Happily they agreed. However, its clear that many organisations continue to conflate sex and gender, ignore sex altogether or attempt to collect data about ‘gender identity’. I am going to draft a template letter for people to send to their organisations if they wish to challenge this kind of data gathering.