Behold a cauldron of violent vitriol

Janice Turner was there when Maria Maclachlan was attacked by “activists.”

When is it OK to punch a woman? I’ve pondered this question since Wednesday evening when I watched a 60-year-old in specs and sensible shoes called Maria being smacked in the face. Yet I learn from her assailant’s defenders that it’s fine. Punch harder next time, guys! Because “acts of physical violence against those who are systemically violent are self-defence”.

I was at Speakers’ Corner waiting, along with about 80 others, to learn the secret location of a meeting entitled, “What is gender? The Gender Recognition Act [GRA] and beyond”. It was all very cloak and dagger because the original venue, a south London community centre, had cancelled the previous day on health and safety grounds. Which is one way of saying “trans rights activists harangued our staff and threatened, via various Facebook groups, to cause havoc if it went ahead”. Then, hearing of the Hyde Park rendezvous, they rang every conceivable venue within a mile radius to promise mayhem. Having failed to find it, about 15 of them arrived at Speakers’ Corner with placards saying “TERFs not welcome.”

Presumptuous, isn’t it. It’s not up to them who gets to gather at Speakers’ Corner. Granted, I might wave a placard like that if “TERFs” were replaced by “Fascists” and fascists were actually gathering, but this wasn’t that. We’ve been energetically coached to think a “TERF” is a very terrible person in some manner, but it’s applied to women who simply define “gender” in a way that some trans activists dislike. That’s really not a good reason to bully people, to prevent them from speaking, or to punch them in the face and steal their cameras and memory cards.

TERFs, according to trans activists, are evil. TERF is the new witch. Search on Twitter for “TERFs must die” or “burn in a fire, TERF” and behold a cauldron of violent vitriol. Before the meeting, a trans-woman posted: “Any idea where this is happening? I want to f*** some TERFs up, they are no better than fash [fascists].” Search “punch a TERF” and you will find crowing approval of what happened to Maria.

There’s still a strong delusion that this crap is somehow left-wing and progressive and good, but it’s not. It’s a mindless, venomous attack on women in general, cheered on by “allies” and thus making it clear yet again that women are always required to go to the back of the line.

So at Speakers’ Corner trans activists and feminists were chanting and taunting each other. Maria was taking photographs when an opponent grappled with her, snatched her camera and smashed it on the ground. Then a tall, male-bodied, hooded figure wearing make-up rushed over, hit her several times and as police arrived, ran away. I asked a young activist if she was OK with men smacking women: “It’s not a guy, you’re a piece of s*** and I’m happy they hit her”, came the reply.

Yes that’s the important thing – not “misgendering” the guy who hit a woman in the face because she thinks of gender in a way he dislikes.

I wouldn’t trouble Times readers, no doubt weary of reading daily about gender-fluidity and schoolboys in frocks, with this affair if it didn’t reveal such serious issues. Changes to the very definition of “man” and “woman” are being proposed, yet it is almost impossible to hold a public meeting to discuss them. Wednesday’s speakers were a lesbian academic and a trans woman. Two members of the LGBT group Stonewall initially agreed to take part in what was to be a debate, but dropped out. Winning arguments is far harder for the trans lobby than shutting them down.

Shutting them down and lying about them – Twitter is full of “activists” lying about the assault on Maria.


Maria held on to her camera when someone grabbed it – that’s the “violence” she perpetrated.

Miranda Yardley posted video of the assault:

“Intersectional” enough?

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