Out in the bitter cold

Green Party Women did a public post on April 4:

Green Party Women, as a whole, are happy with terms such as ‘non-men’ to be used to describe women, including transgender women, and non-binary people as a collective term. This is to avoid further marginalising certain groups of women, particularly those who have been excluded from women’s movements for far too long.

That’s incoherent. Women are women. People who aren’t women aren’t women. It’s incoherent (or so self-evident as to be meaningless) to say people who aren’t women are being excluded from women’s movements. Non-binary people say they are neither women nor men. It’s not women (or men) who exclude them, they exclude themselves.

Be that as it may – three hours ago Green Party Women (i.e. someone speaking for them) left a follow-up comment, probably in response to Caroline’s tweets yesterday and the Indy article:

This morning I have been out in the bitter cold supporting a pro choice demo blockading a catholic church that planned a picket of a local clinic. I was there as a greenpartywomen and with women and men. The demo was organised and led by (people who presented as) women. Possibly there were people who are trans or gender fluid or identified differently in some other way there, they were invisible (to me). We were on the side of the less powerful against the more powerful and we were successful there. I support “avoiding further marginalising certain groups of women, particularly those who have been excluded from women’s movements for far too long.”

There are many many many furious comments. So many. A sample:

  • You can support who and what you like. Just do it under your own name, not under the name of “green party women”. I am a green party woman (not a non-man) and you do NOT speak for me.
  • By defining women as anything other than ‘women’ you are contributing to the oppression and marginalisation of women. You are removing power from women and handing it over gladly to whoever finds it useful to deny us our voice.
  • Can you please advise why a women’s group (that’s your name) should feel obliged to include people who are not women. Thanks.
  • Everyone agrees with avoiding marginalising women. What we disagree with is that that can be in any way achieved by calling women “non-men”.
  • I am sorry you were out in the cold this morning, but you had better get used to it, as calling women ‘non men’, is going to result in the Green Party staying there for good.
  • There’s trying to be understanding and aware, and avoiding offensive terminology, and there’s being a numpty.
    This kind of thing could make the Greens a laughing stock. Makes me wonder if you’re an agent provocateur.
    Yrs, a ‘non-cat, dog, or indeed budgerigar’
  • I don’t give a toss what you were doing this morning. I do, as a GP member care that you are misrepresenting our views to the general public. You are doing something dangerous. You will lose us votes. You are losing us members. And you are doing this with no mandate. So wind your neck in, issue an apology. Explain this is your own personal gibberish and quit trying to destroy the reputation of the party.
  • Many of us have worked hard for years to help turn the Party into an electable organization. This vapid, ill-conceived crap is dragging us backwards. Please, I implore you. Take this post down and issue an explanation that you do NOT speak for Green Women and absolutely no – ‘most’ women do not think they are ‘non men’.
  • You shouldn’t be happy. Women are not “non-men” and it makes no sense to describe us as such. Is this Green Party Non-Men? Women are not “non-men” and it’s hugely damaging to define us by what we are not. This sort of nonsense is precisely why male is the default, and you are absolutely making it worse.
  • Why would anyone who does not believe themselves to be a woman think they ought to be included in the women’s movement, anyway? The clue is in the name. It’s a movement for the liberation of women. If you’re not a woman, why would you think it appropriate to demand that that movement include you and centre your interests?
  • Not to state the bleedin’ obvious, but what business does anyone describing themselves as non-binary, or even the ridiculous “non-man”, have in a Women’s party?! It makes as much sense as complaining that a vegetarian society isn’t inclusive of meat eaters.
  • This is genuinely the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a while from a ‘progressive’ group. If you want to be inclusive of gender identity there is a handy word called ‘people’ that would suffice. Otherwise, ‘woman’ is a perfectly good word for anyone who identifies as one. Whoever has done this should apologise to all the women you just offended by defining their existence in relation to men.
  • I would be quite interested to meet the 2 or even 3 green party women who are happy to be defined as “not default human”. This is a ridiculous state of affairs, it makes the greens sound regressive and frankly ridiculous. I am not “non-male” I am a woman, and, despite a lifetime of assumptions being made about me because of my biology, I am proud to be one. Greens obviously don’t want women like me as part of their voter base. I shall, as a well socialised woman, obey.
  • So votes for women SHOULD have said votes for non-men? I can’t WAIT to read the race policy …..anyone on here non-white?#Iamawomannotanonman
  • I’m a green party member and I am not at all happy about this. By calling us non-men you are marginalising all women. I’ll be cancelling my membership and you have also lost my vote.

That will do for now, but I may post more later. They’re valuable comments – angry but reasoned.

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