Debbie Hayton Debbie Hayton

The Green party’s gender intolerance problem

(Getty images)

Is the Green party determined to make its female members feel unwelcome? After voting down women’s sex-based rights at their spring conference, the party has now suspended the co-chair of its women’s committee, Emma Bateman. The reason? According to Bateman, her decision to question whether trans women are female is to blame.

As a trans woman, who also happens to be a science teacher, I know that trans women are most definitely male. Indeed, it is only because we are male that we can be transwomen. But where gender ideology is concerned, the Greens appear to have lost touch with reality.

Bateman is no transphobe but – as with many other women – she thinks that being female is rather more than a feeling. She is also well respected in the party. In the words of writer and activist Beatrix Campbell: ‘Bateman is a calm, splendid Green activist. Many people treasure her.’

But is there a place in the party for people like Bateman? Campbell, who has herself faced Green Party discipline for apparently ‘causing distress, not just offence’, is not alone in feeling exasperated about what has happened to a party she loves:

‘Just when you imagine that it can’t get worse in Green party culture, something cruel and crazy slaps the collective face. In Stalinist Russia they’d call the use of complaints procedure against Emma Bateman ‘administrative methods’: a bureaucratic and proceduralist way of disciplining thought.’

Behind a veneer of inclusivity, the Greens have succumbed to the gender ideology that brooks no dissent

Behind a veneer of inclusivity, the Greens have succumbed to the gender ideology that brooks no dissent. Bateman cares about the rights of women; she was named on the defeated women’s rights motion that tried to add sex to the other eight protected characteristics that the Green party does support (age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, maternity, religion/belief, marriage/civil partnership). 

When that motion was defeated, Bateman’s own motion fell.

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