Julie Bindel

Most-read 2021: The Green party’s woman problem

Most-read 2021: The Green party’s woman problem
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We're closing 2021 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here's No. 10: Julie Bindel's piece from March on the Green party's muddle over trans rights:

At the Green party spring conference this weekend, a motion which sought to introduce a party policy on women’s sex-based rights was defeated. A whopping 289 delegates (out of 521) voted to not include biological females in the party’s list of oppressed groups.

All the motion aimed to do was simply add a paragraph to the Green party’s ‘Our Rights and Responsibilities Policy’. The motion reads:

This is to include the protected characteristic of sex as currently our Record of Policy statements supports the other eight characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, maternity, religion/belief, marriage/civil partnership) but not that of sex discrimination – aimed primarily at women…

The motion was opposed because, in essence, it is considered ‘transphobic’ to recognise that women are targeted by male oppression precisely because of their female sex.

The Green party leader Sian Berry, who has declared that she wishes London to be the most ‘trans inclusive’ city in the world, seemed to see this as a victory. In a series of tweets following the vote, Berry stated: ‘Motion E01 was defeated. My party voted for inclusive women’s rights and someone is having a big old cry. Thank you Greens!’ Berry signed off with, ‘Vote for inclusion and kindness!’

But by voting against the motion, the Green party has effectively contradicted the 2010 Equalities Act, which includes sex as a protected characteristic. In their rush to be ‘inclusive’ the Greens have ended up excluding 51 per cent of the population.

Other anti-women motions passed at the conference include the support for self-identification, which would enable trans people to declare themselves as the opposite sex without the need for any medical intervention, and for trans parents to be recognised on their child’s birth certificate as father, mother or parent, such as in the case of Freddy McConnell, a trans man who wishes to be the legal ‘father’ of the baby he gave birth to.

The Green’s record on women’s rights is a disgraceful one. In 2019 its Regional Council (GPRC) announced the appointment of the two new co-chairs, describing them as ‘Self identifying Non-Male Co-Chair: (female)’ and ‘Self identifying Non-Female Co-Chair: (male)’.

The party explained that, ‘to specify that the chairs must be a “man” and a “woman” would exclude people who have non-binary or other identities, and we want the roles to be open to everyone.’ I asked if, to ensure that lesbians were not excluded, they would also advertise for ‘non-male non-heterosexuals’ but did not receive a response.

The Green party leadership has long capitulated to the trans Taliban. Take Caroline Lucas, the former Greens leader. Prior to 2016 Lucas steadfastly supported the feminist campaign to criminalise paying for sex as a way to deter men from creating the demand for prostitution. She told me back in 2008 that she wanted to see an end to the sex trade because she understood it to be exploitative of women and a barrier to equality. But in 2016, having been told off by trans activist Paris Lees (who is of the view that feminists that campaign to end prostitution are posh, white prudes) Lucas did an about turn, offered to meet up with Lees, and has since supported the campaign to decriminalise pimps, brothel owners and punters.

I spoke to a serving member of the Green party executive (who asked not to be named) minutes after EO1 was defeated. She tells me that, ‘Women are set to leave the Green party in droves. For a significant number, this is the final straw.’

‘The planet is burning,’ another senior party member tells me, ‘but you would think they would pay more attention to that than bloody pronouns.’

Another senior official thanked me for covering the story but told me that even ‘liking a tweet by you would get me excommunicated’.

The Green party is destroying itself in an effort to capitulate to bullies. The likes of Sian Berry refuse to recognise that extreme transgender ideology is simply misogyny thinly disguised as progressive politics. Last year, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman resigned from the party following threats to expel him after he had the nerve to attend a public meeting on women’s rights at which I spoke. Wightman accused the party of being ‘very censorious of any deviation from an agreed line.’

The formidable feminist author and journalist Bea Campbell, a former Green party candidate, resigned from the party last year after being disciplined, in part for refusing to keep quiet about the shocking and disturbing Aimee Challenor case.

Having put up with crazy, anti-women transgender ideology for years, a significant number of other women are set to leave the party. The only question that remains is why they have stayed so long.