Delete women to improve your score

Walk grabbed; back to Lucy Bannerman’s article.

More than 500 organisations, including councils, police forces, fire and ambulance services, NHS Trust and universities across the UK, applied to the 2020 Index last year. The 31-page application form vets organisations across a wide range of topics, from their HR policies and procurement processes to their social media activity.

How did more than 500 serious important grown-up organizations become convinced that they needed Stonewall’s approval so desperately that they would fill out a 31 page application???

And let’s not forget that Stonewall makes money from all this. Quite a racket, in the literal sense.

Here’s some of the explanation:

“Employers want to be one of the good guys,” an equality officer and former Stonewall volunteer told The Times who considered signing his organisation up.

I think there’s a word either missing or too many in that sentence, but I think I get it.

He knew that winning a spot on Stonewall’s Top 100 employers would bring bragging rights. If it won a place, his public sector employer would be celebrated and could woo the top talent with its stamp of approval as a discrimination-free workplace.

Useful as far as it goes but really it just pushes the question back a step. Why are those particular bragging rights so important? Why has there never ever ever been such a yearning for bragging rights about being a feminist workplace? Or an anti-racism workplace?

So the guy had a meeting with the goons representatives.

“There was a very manipulative tone. I remember being told, ‘well, you don’t have to apply, but if you don’t, do you really feel you have the expertise to deal with this in-house?’ It felt like emotional blackmail. The tone of the meeting felt quite high-pressured,” he said, “with a ‘We can sign you up today’ vibe — a little like a time-share presentation.”

Or even a lot like a time-share presentation.

It wasn’t the £2,500 Diversity Champion membership fee you had to pay, before being eligible to apply, that put him off; it was the “sheer volume” of work the application demanded. He had heard of another organisation that spent three months working on a submission of hundreds of pages. He declined, but plenty [of] others did not.

Organisations that wouldn’t spend half an hour on such an application for a feminist membership, I betcha.

Naomi Cunningham, barrister and chairwoman of Sex Matters said: “Stonewall sells its Workplace Equality Index as a scheme to help organisations comply with equality law. But what it offers is lobbying — it presents its own highly contentious understanding of what the law should be presented as ‘training’ on what the law is.

“It tells organisations to treat anyone who identifies as the opposite sex as if they have changed sex, and are therefore automatically entitled to use spaces such as toilets, changing rooms and showers that others rely on for privacy. That’s not the law. But Stonewall presents it as if it is and encourages organisations to treat any objections as a disciplinary matter.”

In other words Stonewall lies about the law and tells organisations to punish disobedient employees even though that’s not the law.

This paragraph made my head snap back in that “whaaaaaaat” way:

In its annual applications over the past four years, the Scottish government offered up screenshots of elected ministers’ social media activity for Stonewall’s approval, details of every Pride event attended by Nicola Sturgeon, and examples of “LGBT champions” silencing dissenting colleagues on internal forums as proof of its commitment to “equality”.

The government! Screenshots! Elected ministers’ social media activity! For Stonewall’s approval! It’s astounding. It’s like high school, only stupider.

When Stonewall asked for more, the Scottish government said it was hoping to make self-declaration the law.

Stonewall has lobbied for people to have access to single-sex spaces, on the basis of their self-declared “gender identity” instead of biological sex. The controversial proposal is opposed by many women, who fear it would open up spaces such as changing rooms, prisons, refuges and women-only shortlists to any biological male who says they are a woman.

For the simple and convincing reason that it would inevitably do exactly that, because that’s what the proposal means.

In an effort to win points, the government also described how it was “consulting on the detail of what should be included in a new hate crime bill”. The legislation, passed this year, created a new offence of “stirring up hatred” on grounds such as transgender identity, but attracted criticism for excluding women as a protected group.

Fabulous isn’t it? Women can be punished for not agreeing that men are women but everybody can stir up hatred against women with impunity.

Stonewall was thrilled.

“The sponsorship and support Scottish government provides to a diversity of LGBT groups is highly valuable and impactful…”

Of course they call it “impactful.” Stupidest word coined in the last 50 years.

The Scottish government did well one year but then slipped down the rankings the next. Oh dear. What to do?

Stonewall had advice.

“We have identified the following areas as priorities for the year ahead” came the Feedback. “Removing remaining gendered terms such as ‘mother’ from your maternity policy, and replacing these with gender neutral equivalents. Please refer to Stonewall’s Inclusive Policy Toolkit for further information.”

It erases women or it gets the hose.

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