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Horrifying campaign to purge transgender women from Labour Party shortlists raises thousands

Josh Jackman January 14, 2018

(Getty and GoFundMe)

A campaign to eliminate transgender women from all-women Labour Party shortlists has raised more than £8,500 in two days.

The online fundraiser, entitled “Keep All-Women Shortlists Female!”, was started by nine Labour members who say they “want to ensure all-women shortlists stay reserved for females”.

Trans women are, of course, also women, but that is not what this campaign – which has received donations from nearly 500 people so far – thinks.

(GoFundMe)

“We believe that the election of transwomen as women’s officers and their inclusion on all-women shortlists is reducing and undermining female representation in the Labour party,” the group writes.

The UK’s Labour Party uses women-only shortlists in a number of constituencies in a bid to boost the number of female MPs in Parliament.

There are currently zero openly transgender MPs in Parliament, though several ran for election in 2017, and many serve as local councillors.

The transphobic campaign began as Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, was receiving abuse for backing trans women who stand under the system.

Butler’s comments have led to a barrage of abuse from anti-transgender campaigners on social media, with messages branding her a “rat” and calling for her deselection.

The women who started this fundraising campaign have claimed that that they are “absolutely committed to trans people, as a marginalised group”.

But, in the very same paragraph, they say that “trans representation must not happen at the expense of female candidates”.

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

The Labour members add: “The party has recently allowed males to be elected as women’s officers and males to be selected over females in all-woman MP candidate selections.”

By “males,” the group is referring to trans women, who are female – but not in the eyes of these members, who refuse to understand that gender self-identification is valid.

The language used in the campaign description is commonly used by Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) – transphobes who believe that trans women have fewer rights than cisgender women.

(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)
(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

The fundraiser also feeds into a growing wave of transphobic sentiment that was displayed today by The Sunday Times.

The publication printed a story which depicted a trans woman as a potentially violent monster.

It exhibited many similarities to this campaign, as it was another attempt by TERFs to drive trans women out of female spaces.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 19: A participant holds a sign saying "Trans and Proud" during the Glasgow Pride march on August 19, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. The largest festival of LGBTI celebration in Scotland has been held every year in Glasgow since 1996. (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Despite receiving hundreds of contributions, the campaign has also attracted a number of dissenting voices, with a significant number of the comments rejecting the transphobic page.

One, Meg Lonergan, wrote: “SHAME ON YOU! Your trans exclusionary politics are deeply unradical and anti-liberation”.

(GoFundMe)

Another to speak out in opposition was Jenni Matthews, who said: “You should be ashamed of yourselves.

“You aren’t feminists. You’re part of the problem.”

And Trish Campbell said, simply: “I will not support this…it is disgraceful.”

(GoFundMe)

Labour MP Stella Creasy was also barraged with abuse last week when she spoke out in favour of transgender equality.

Not all Labour MPs are united on the issue, however.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Stella Creasy MP speaks to delegates on the last day of the Labour party conference on September 28, 2016 in Liverpool, England. On the last day of the annual Labour party conference leader Jeremy Corbyn will deliver his keynote speech to delegates and rally members with a call for unity in preparation for a possible snap election next year. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Caroline Flint has claimed that allowing transgender women into women-only spaces puts other women at risk.

Last year, Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt said that Britain was an “unsafe, unwelcoming and frightening place for trans people”.

More: Dawn Butler, gender, Labour party, Politics, Trans, Transgender, UK, Women

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