Lecturing everyone else

Jawad Iqbal asks an important question.

Why is the BBC, which takes pride in lecturing everyone else on its commitment to impartiality, determined to keep working with Stonewall, the LGBT charity that’s pushing an agenda on trans issues that is anything but impartial? Other public sector bodies, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Cabinet Office, have withdrawn from Stonewall’s diversity programme. But not the BBC, which thinks it knows better.

I have another question to go along with that one. Is there any feminist charity that has that kind of hold on the BBC and the police and other public bodies? In other words is there any feminist equivalent of Stonewall? Is there any anti-racist equivalent? You could say the Muslim Council of Britain has in the past been the Stonewall equivalent for whatever you take the MCB’s mission to be – promotion of Islam, promotion of tolerance for Muslims, promotion of a particularly theocratic and conservative Islam, anti-xenophobia. Are there Stonewall-equivalents for all the categories of persecuted or neglected people?

Stonewall has wrapped its tentacles around so many of Britain’s workplaces despite being at the centre of an increasingly vicious and intolerant debate about trans rights. The Stonewall scheme has been signed up to by about 850 organisations, including many public bodies, which pay the charity to accredit their diversity policies. Stonewall advises on equalities law, even though it has faced accusations of misinterpreting or misrepresenting the legislation — something it denies.

Do all these public bodies have a whole list of charities that do (or claim to do) that kind of advising? One for women, one for disabled people, one for people with no money, one for immigrants, one for BME people, one for Jews, one for Muslims, one for Sikhs, one for Catholics?

Stonewall believes people should be able to self-identify with the gender they choose and has been frequently accused of labelling anyone who disagrees with this position — for example, people concerned about allowing trans women to use women-only facilities — as transphobic.

We can skip the “has been frequently accused” bit. Of course that’s what they do – they do it all the time, as a matter of firm, indeed absolute, policy. Men are women if they say they are and women are cunts if they don’t agree.

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