Scottish women’s organisations gaslight 16-year-old girls

@pansypotterin on how gender identity policies ensure there are no spaces where teenagers and young women can meet without men

Imagine being a 16-year-old girl in Scotland today. It would be hard, wouldn’t it?

What with school being interrupted with covid-19 and feeling your whole life was on hold. Missing out on all the hysterical laughter messing about with your mates. Dealing with what’s out there on the internet. The demand for physical perfection, flawless skin and a boy that has to be “sexy”. Your worth measured in “likes” on social media.

Have you already been sent a “dick” pic? Have boys at school been taking “upskirting” images? Is your boyfriend controlling who you see or demanding you do things you don’t want to? Hard, really hard.

Good to know that in this landscape, Scottish Women’s Aid and YWCA (the Young Women’s Movement) are managing a project examining how to tackle unhealthy relationships. To which end they are recruiting an advisory panel of eight to meet digitally six times between April and December and paid £10 an hour for their time.

No safe space

No doubt this is a very serious issue, and it is vital that young women are able to discuss such serious concerns, to talk of their experiences and to research the issue. This is in the light of the We Can’t Consent To This campaign against the extremely worrying growth in men murdering women, then claiming the death was a result of consensual “rough sex”; the increase in stalking (1 in 5 women likely to be victims as opposed to men (1 in 10); and the omnipresence of violent porn in the lives of young people.

It is excellent news that this advisory group “will be a safe space for young women to come together to make a difference on this important issue”.

However, it seems this actually won’t be the case. It won’t be a safe space as it’s not actually for young women. No, rather the board is to consist of those aged 16-25 who “identify” as women, including “cis, trans, non-binary and gender fluid”.

In plain English – men.

A 16-year-old girl can end up on an advisory board examining the issue of unhealthy relationships with 25-year-old men who say they identify as women.

Erasing female material reality

Think about when you were 16 or think about the 16-year-old girls in your family or friendship groups. Think about wanting to get involved in this project because you want to make a difference, you want better relationships for girls and young women.

You apply in good faith to two publicly funded women’s organisations and discover you’ll be in meetings with a 25-year-old man. Who the organisations say is a woman and will be treated as though he’s had the same experiences of female socialisation as you have had, has experienced the sexism and misogyny that you have had in your short life. No misgendering now!

To be clear, we have two women’s organisations – self-identified women’s organisations, to be accurate – who want to investigate the topic of unhealthy relationships, and they are choosing to do this while erasing the material reality of women’s and girls’ lives. In the context of discussing unhealthy relationships, these organisations are telling girls and young women to deny reality, to mistrust their instincts, to embrace discomfort and, of course, to BE KIND.

We have to ask ourselves what responsibility do these publicly funded organisations take in creating unhealthy relationships when they gaslight young women in this way? If a young woman complains that her boyfriend has announced he is now a woman, will these organisations expect her to embrace her new-found “lesbianism”. Is this the healthy relationships they want to see? If a lesbian refuses to entertain the thought of a transwoman as a sexual partner, will she be shunned as transphobic?

These organisations are in receipt of a lot of public funding. They occupy a privileged position within Scottish society, are consulted by government, their staff sit on a range of government committees and working groups.

Luxury beliefs a consumer choice

We are not weird gendered souls in meat suits. We are our bodies. And female bodies have a bearing on our lives from before we are born until our death. Those who abase themselves in front of their gender gods do so whilst sex-based abortions are carried out, FGM undertaken on the bodies of little girls, lesbians endure corrective rape, women die in childbirth and are left in penury when old.

It is worth noting that out of all the voices they want to hear, including men, they never mention poverty. They don’t want to hear from poor women.

The luxury beliefs of identity politics appeal to the well-heeled, the resource rich, the meddling middle classes.

For them, it is no stretch to imagine they can literally be whatever they want to be and can have whatever they wish. The highest pinnacle of human achievement is the ability to express your individualism through ever-expanding consumer decisions.

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