One of our teacher supporters, Vicky Miller, posts frequently on Twitter about her concerns for girls’ and women’s sex-based rights. Recently, she received an email from her branch secretary telling her that her comments “read as transphobic” and asking if she would like “talk about it”.

With her permission, we have posted her response here as we believe it is important to amplify the voices of teachers who speak out for safeguarding. Our teacher supporters feel shut down by the unions that should be supporting them. Teachers are charged with safeguarding our children while they are in their care: they should be encouraged to raise concerns over any belief system which they believe threatens children’s well-being and safety.

No, I wouldn’t like to talk about it.

I have not said one thing that is transphobic (which has become a meaningless word as it is used so often). I proudly stand for the rights of women and the single-sex exemptions that are enshrined in equality law, and if that is considered transphobic then the problem is with the definition not with my stance.

I believe in biological reality and do not subscribe to the notion of gender identity especially when it damages women and girls – the oppression of women is based on biology not gender identity and this movement is seeking to remove not only every protection women and girls have but redefine what it means to be female. The left is eating itself with identity politics and it pains me to witness it. 

Centuries of oppression and fighting to even be recognised as deserving of equality have been eroded in just a few years. Ask yourself this question, is it OK for me to identify as black because I feel black and I listen to Bob Marley?Would it be fine for me to then claim to be more oppressed than those who don’t get to choose the colour of their skin? Is it OK for a person to claim to be disabled because they “feel disabled” and claim all the protections and systems put in place to allow disabled people to be equal within society? 

If the answer to those questions is no (rightly so) then why is it OK for a man to claim womanhood based on how he feels and what he wears? Women and girls cannot identify out of their oppression in the same way that black and disabled people cannot identify out of theirs. 

I would never and will never discriminate against anyone nor would I treat anyone any differently based on their identity, in fact I have campaigned for LGBT rights and will continue to do so. 

I have been a left wing trade unionist and feminist my whole life and I will not apologise for my belief that a person who is born male cannot magically change sex and become more oppressed than females. 

I don’t think you or any man (no disrespect) can understand how upsetting it is to see so many left-wing men, who have spent the past 5 years telling women like myself, to shut up, sit down, don’t talk, and calling them bigots, transphobes and TERFs for standing for their rights, suddenly “standing in solidarity with women and girls” because it is the latest cause celebre. The hypocrisy is mind blowing and the intellectual disconnect involved in this is staggering. 

I am not and never have been transphobic but I am also not a menstruator, chest feeder, vagina-haver, I am a woman and all of the violence and sexual harassment I have faced at the hands of men has been because I was born female, not because I have a gender identity. 

The LGB movement has been side-lined for trans rights & queer theory (2 motions from NEU LGBTQ+ conference both about trans issues) says it all – what about young girls struggling to come to terms with being lesbian as well as being sexualised by society, who speaks for them now?

Who is protecting them from the harm that being called a bigot for not wanting to have a relationship with a pre-op trans-identifying male is causing them? 

Who is standing for young homosexual boys as they struggle in a world of toxic masculinity to come to terms with their sexuality when they are being told that if they like ‘girl’ things then they are “born in the wrong body” and must really be a woman? 

We talked last night about free speech. I am guessing that only applies in certain situations. How come every other group gets to define what is “…….phobic” but women and girls must be told what misogyny and sexism is? 

If these views are problematic then do what you need to do but I will not apologise for standing for women.

Vicky Miller, teacher and trade unionist

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