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Hundreds of feminists write to The Guardian rejecting argument that trans rights threaten women

Vic Parsons March 5, 2020
The Guardian called out by more than 200 feminists for anti-trans editorial

A group of lesbian campaigners show solidarity with the trans community at 2019's Pride in London march. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty)

More than 200 feminists have written to British newspaper The Guardian rejecting the argument that transgender rights are a threat to women.

The letter was organised in response to Monday’s column by The Guardian writer Suzanne Moore: “Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced.”

A handful of Guardian staffers are among the letter’s signatories, the list of which is published below in full.

Nim Ralph, a community activist who signed the pro-trans letter, said: “The Guardian keep giving space to these ‘thought’ pieces amplifying a small subsection of the feminist movement who want to pit trans people against cis women, as an outside ‘other’ subhuman category.

“It needs to do better, it needs to recognise – as Suzanne Moore pointed out – that trans people (women, men and non-binary folks) are in the same fight for our lives with cis women against gender-based violence and the patriarchal construct that our bodies’ reproductive functions are what determines our social position.

“It would be great if there were more columns dedicated to talking about how we are fighting effectively on issues ranging from domestic violence to HIV to racial justice as represented in the signatories of this letter, instead of feeding the long fuelled fire of divide and rule.

“The world needs us shoulder to shoulder more than ever right now, I wish The Guardian would stop it’s campaign of dividing us. It’s boring and exhausting.”

British politicians including Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party; Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson; and Labour MPs Zarah Sultana and Nadia Whitome have all signed the letter.

Moore’s column does not represent the views of the public, nor is it representative of the views of most women,” the letter says.

It is signed by leading women and non-binary people from a cross-section of British public life, including musician Beth Ditto; author Reni Eddo-Lodge; UK Black Pride founder Lady Phyll; editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Claire Hodgson; Jo Grady, the general secretary of the UCU; and Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK.

Letter to The Guardian.

“We reject the argument put forward in a column by Suzanne Moore for the G2 (03.03.2020) in which she implies that advocating for trans rights poses a threat to cisgender women. The British Social Attitudes Survey (2017) found that a majority of the British public were supportive of transgender people, with women more likely to be in favour of trans rights than men. Moore’s column does not represent the views of the public, nor is it representative of the views of most women.

“Both trans people and cisgender women are discriminated against because of their gender. This is why both groups experience harassment in the street, sexual violence, domestic abuse, and poverty at much higher rates than cisgender men. Trans people experience more difficulties accessing healthcare, higher rates of suicide, more frequent mental health issues, and are more likely to be victims of hate crimes. 

“We stand together in opposition to such abuse and inequality. As believers in human rights and justice, it is our duty to support all marginalised communities as they fight for respect and equality. And as feminists, we believe that we need to keep fighting for gender-based services and resources together.”

Signatories.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, founder of UK Black Pride 

Beth Ditto, musician

Carrie Lyell, editor-in-chief, DIVA magazine 

Zing Tsjeng, Vice UK executive editor 

Reni Eddo-Lodge, author 

Zarah Sultana, MP 

Nadia Whitome, MP 

Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party 

Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson

Claire Hodgson, editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan

Tai Shani, Turner Prize co-winner 2019 

Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty

Alison Camps, co-chair of Pride in London 

Faiza Shaheen, director CLASS 

Rachel Watters, NUS Women’s Officer 

Nim Ralph, QTIPOC London cofounder and anti-oppression consultant 

Ash Sarkar, Novara Media 

Jo Grady, General Secretary of the UCU

Travis Alabanza, performer and writer 

Journalists and people working in the media

Amanda Holpuch, national correspondent at Guardian US 

Mona Chalabi, data editor at Guardian US

Hannah J Davies, editorial at The Guardian 

Simran Hans, writer and film critic at The Observer 

Nosheen Iqbal, reporter at The Observer

Emily Mackay, subeditor at The Guardian‘s Observer New Review 

Kathryn Bromwich, acting deputy editor at The Guardian‘s The Guide 

Laura Snapes, deputy music editor at The Guardian

Vic Parsons, gender and identities reporter at PinkNews

Lily Wakefield, news reporter at PinkNews

Emma Powys Maurice, news reporter at PinkNews

Amy Ashenden, senior production editor at PinkNews

Matilda Davies, brand partnerships manager at PinkNews

Scarlet Pestell, junior producer at PinkNews

Abi McIntosh, producer at PinkNews

Alex Goldsmith, junior producer at PinkNews

Ana Nanu, programme executive at PinkNews

Nina Lecourt, senior producer at PinkNews

Molly Tinneny, operations and events assistant at PinkNews

Sarah Watson, director of commerce at PinkNews

Georgina Baker, junior designer at PinkNews

Harriet Williamson, journalist

Jordan Erica Webber, writer and presenter

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, head of editorial at gal-dem

Micha Frazer-Caroll, first person and opinions editor at gal-dem

Leah Cowen, political editor at gal-dem

Tara Joshi, music editor at gal-dem 

Mariel Richards, head of strategy and brand partnerships at gal-dem 

Anna Cafolla, deputy editor at Dazed digital 

Emily Wilson, editor of New Scientist 

Aimee Meade, deputy online comment editor at the i

Dawn Foster, staff writer at Jacobin 

Felicity Martin, editor of DummyMag 

Lola Okolosie, writer and teacher 

Sharan Dhaliwal, editor-in-chief of Burnt Roti Magazine

Mollie Goodfellow, writer 

Rosy Edwards, Metro

Paisley Gilmour, sex and relationships editor at Cosmopolitan

Moya Lothian-McLean, acting politics editor gal-dem 

Lauren O’Neill, Vice UK 

Elena Cresci, journalist 

Anna Gross, markets reporter at Financial Times 

Alix Fox, writer, broadcaster and sex educator 

Eve Hartley, journalist and filmmaker

Emma Garland, features editor at Vice UK

Catriona Innes, features director at Cosmopolitan 

Rhalou Allerhand, editor at Netdoctor 

Maya Goodfellow, author and writer 

Josie Long, comedian 

Ellie Mae O’Hagan, journalist 

Aimee Cliff, journalist

Ellen E Jones, journalist

Josie Sparrow, editor at New Socialist 

Hayley Minn, celebrity features editor for TI Media 

Elle Hunt, journalist 

Nicola Bitton, freelance broadcast TV editor 

Stephanie Soh, journalist and editor

Juliet Jacques, writer, filmmaker and former Guardian contributor 

Jasmine Andersson, staff writer at the i

Jess Austin, deputy communities editor at Metro 

Ione Gamble, founding editor-in-chief of Polyester 

Sophie Hemery, journalist and feminist activist 

Nabeelah Shabbir, journalist 

Erica Buist, journalist and author 

Caitlin Benedict, presenter 

Freya Watson, producer and director 

Rose Stokes, freelance journalist 

Alice Caldwell-Kelly, podcaster 

Teju Adeleye, journalist 

Sadhbh O’Sullivan, writer at Refinery29

Hannah Ewens, journalist at Vice

Political figures

Shaista Aziz, councillor and equalities campaigner 

Sue Lukes, Labour councillor for Highbury East

Linda Woodings, councillor for Nottingham City Council 

Osh Gantly, councillor for Highbury East 

Anwen Muston, councillor

Women’s and LGBT+ groups

Pari Dhillon, UK Black Pride director 

Leila Zadeh, UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group 

Naima Khan, programmes manager at Inclusive Mosque Initiative

Halima Gosai Hussain, programmes manager at Inclusive Mosque Initiative 

Hareem Ghani, member of the Khidr Collective and former NUS Women’s Officer

Lisa Power, lesbian feminist activist 

Laura Hurley, programme advisor at Safe Abortion Action Fund

Anne McVicker, director at Women’s Resource and Development Agency 

Rachel Powell, women’s sector lobbyist at Women’s Resource and Development Agency 

Elaine Crory, good relations worker at Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Naomi Connor and Emma Campbell, co-convenors on behalf of Alliance for Choice Belfast

Alexa Moore, director of TransgenderNI 

Lucia Blayke, director of London Trans+ Pride

Ashley Stephen, founder of Disabled Survivors Unite 

Guppi Bola, co-founder of Working on our Power

Calu Lema, founder of Queer Newham 

Hera Hussain, founder of CHAYN 

Jane Brown, North London Sisters Uncut

Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, co-director of My Genderation

Fox Fisher, co-director of My Genderation

Cara English, head of public engagement at Gendered Intelligence  

Miss Sahhara, content producer at TransValid

Tabitha Benjamin, Butch Please  

Campaigners and community groups

Clotilde Heinrich, ACRAN, feminist collective of the ENS Paris, who took part in the Césars action against Roman Polanski

Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Silvia Petretti, CEO of Positively UK

Kristina Johansson, managing director of Solberga Foundation 

Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money 

Nathalie McDermott, founder of On Road Media

Kerry Moscogiuri, director of supporter campaigning and communications of Amnesty International UK 

Rachel Diamond-Hunter, head of campaigns of 38 Degrees 

Alice Bell, author and campaigner 

Minnie Rahman, joint council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Zoe Gardner, joint council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Sophie Neuburg, executive director of MedAct

Zrinka Bralo, migrants’ rights campaigner 

Yva Alexandrova, migrant rights activist

Melissa Céspedes del Sur, The Edge Fund

Lucy Mason, co-director of Tripod: Training for Creative Social Action

Eleanor Lisney, co-founder of Sisters of Frida

Hannah Martin, co-founder of Green New Deal UK

Bryony Nicholson, community manager of Centre for Entrepreneurs

Minda Burgos-Lukes, social justice and change consultant

Authors and Artists

Emma Frankland, artist 

Emily Reynolds, author 

Bethany Rutter, author 

Nathalie Olah, author and writer 

Amrou Al-Kadhi, author and performer 

Rudy Loewe, artist 

Chiron Stamp, artist 

Jeanie Finlay, filmmaker 

Brydie Lee-Kennedy, BAFTA-nominated TV writer 

Kajal Odedra, author and activist 

Sophie Jung, artist 

Rachael House, artist and gallery director 

Chardine Taylor-Stone, writer, activist and educator

Amelia Abraham, author and journalist 

Christine Berry, author 

Ilona sagar, filmmaker and artist 

Del LaGrace Volcano, artist, activist and educator

Rachel Weston, artist

Academics

Dr Arabella Stanger, University of Sussex 

Dr Julia Downes, lecturer in criminology at The Open University 

Marika Rose, senior lecturer in the department of theology, religion and philosophy at the University of Winchester 

Leanne Taylor, lecturer in social work and lecturer in mental health law 

Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit, University of Sussex 

Cleo Madeleine, doctoral researcher and trans-rights activist at UEA 

Dr Tamara Tomic-Vajagic, University of Roehampton 

Professor Emejulu Akwugo, University of Warwick 

Violeta Ligraien Yañez, gender, migration and social justice at Lund University, Sweden 

Professor Vanita Sundaram 

Dr Jennifer Fraser, university director of student partnership at University of Westminster

Dr Clare Tebbutt, assistant professor in gender and women’s studies at Trinity College Dublin 

Dr Kat Gupta, lecturer in English language and linguistics at University of Roehampton

Heather McKnight, University of Sussex 

Dr Annie Goh, artist and academic

Moss Anna G Ramberg, doctoral tutor and researcher in lawat University of Sussex 

Dr Marie Thompson 

Natalia Cecire, senior lecturer at University of Sussex 

Koshka Duff, assistant professor of philosophy at University of Nottingham 

Tanya Serisier, senior lecturer in criminology at Birkbeck College 

Dr Elizabeth Reed, academic and feminist 

Rachel O’Connell, lecturerat University of Sussex 

Dr Anne-Marie Angelo, senior lecturer in history, school of history, art history, and philosophy at University of Sussex

Dr Naaz Rashid, lecturer in media and cultural studies at University of Sussex 

Dr Stephanie Davis, academic and black feminist at University of Brighton

Dr Tanya Kant, lecturer in media and cultural studies at University of Sussex 

Natalie Fenton, professor of media and communications at Goldsmiths University of London

Dr Amy De’Ath, lecturer in contemporary literature and culture at King’s College London 

Dr Grietje Baars, senior lecturer at The City Law School University of London 

Professor Sally Hines, University of Sheffield 

CN Lester, author, performer and feminist academic

Nadine El-Enany, senior lecturer in law at Birkbeck College 

Dr Humaira Saeed

Ochi Reyes, lecturer at Westminster School of Arts 

Sarah Lamble, reader in criminology at Birkbeck

Others

Charlotte Bayes, business owner 

Sarah Woolley, writer and charity fundraiser 

Dr Michal Nachmany, Grantham Research Institute, LSE

Holly Falconer, photographer 

Jessica Glass, European finance director, Pembroke Real Estate 

Sherry Elbe, artist management 

Gillian Weaver 

Roanne Bardsley, screenwriter 

Clare Reddington, CEO at Watershed

Lola Oduba-Vine, chef and food stylist professional  

Rosie Fletcher 

Robyn Elton, senior account manager at CYOA Media 

Anuka Ramischwili-Schaefer, F(r)ictions founder 

Nazmia Jamal, teacher 

Tom Rasmussen, journalist and performer 

Lucy Caldicott, founder Change Out 

Cj Smith, trans-affirmative psychotherapist

Lizzie Robinson 

Rosie Wolfenden MBE, co-founder and managing director of Tatty Devine 

Allegra Galvin

More: suzanne moore, The Guardian, transphobia

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