Submit or get out

Pandemic or no pandemic, Labour is still busy getting rid of all these pesky women who don’t agree that men become women by saying some words.

Earlier this week, the Labour party – you remember, the party of fairness and kindness and compassion and equality – decided that it has no place for a woman who has worked tirelessly to protect women from abuse and to remind the world about murdered women who are so often ignored.

Let’s start with murdered women. There are quite a lot of them: 241 women were killed in England and Wales last year. Most of them are killed by men – men they know. Often this is taken as mundane, just one of those unremarkable facts of life (and death) that doesn’t make much news. Man kills woman is dog bites man, if you will.

Some people do think this is worth making noise about. You might know that every year, the Labour MP Jess Phillips reads out a roll-call of the dead, naming the women killed by men in the past year. Whether or not you share Phillips’ politics or think this issue is deserving of parliamentary time, you must concede that this simple act has both emotional power and political impact. It has helped push the often-neglected issue of domestic violence a little further up the agenda.

Which means it damn well is deserving of parliamentary time, if you ask me.

What you might not know is the name of the woman who collects those names. She is Karen Ingala-Smith and she runs the Counting Dead Women project, which does exactly that.

When Ingala-Smith isn’t counting and naming dead women, she runs a charity that provides refuge for women who have suffered physical and sexual abuse. In that capacity, she has given evidence to parliamentary inquiries, briefed politicians and worked with major corporate sponsors on issues around the murder of women. She’s won prizes from such sources as the National Diversity Awards and is doing a PhD in sociology in her spare time.

She was a Labour member for a long time but left the party in 2018 because of Jeremy Corbyn. Now that Corbyn has moved on she applied to rejoin.

And guess what the Labour party said to Karen Ingala-Smith? No. There is no place in the party for you.

Why? Why would Labour reject the membership of a woman who has devoted more than 25 years to protecting women from abuse and violence, and fighting for officials to focus on the abuse and murder of women?

We know why. It’s because men who say they are women are far more important than mere women who campaign to end violence against women.

In a letter dated March 24th, the Governance and Legal Unit at Labour HQ informed Ingala-Smith that she was not welcome in the party:

‘The information brought to our attention is that you have engaged in conduct online that may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility based on gender identity.

Your application for membership of the Labour party has therefore been rejected.’

There you have it. It could hardly be any more stark. Men who claim to be women matter, and women who work to end violence against women do not matter. Pretend-women are everything and real women have to either bend the knee to them or be shunned.

It’s disgusting.

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