Worse and worse and worse

Joan McAlpine at Holyrood:

Evidence from the employment tribunal involving Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre stirred some distressing memories. A service designed to help traumatised women appears to have forgotten its core purpose.

In a constructive dismissal case, Roz Adams, a counsellor, said she was told that revealing the biological sex of support workers was transphobic – even if it was done to reassure a rape survivor that she’d be talking to another female. 

Transphobic how? I suppose because doing so reminds people that there is such a thing as biological sex and that women often need to know which is which for our own safety.

But so does Mridul Wadhwa really expect the entire world to pretend there’s no such thing as biological sex? Is he hoping that from his little corner of the rape crisis world this new rule will spread until it embraces the entire planet? So women will have no refuge at all anywhere ever?

For many sexually abused women, a male presence can cause distress. The Equality Act uses rape counselling as an example of a service where it is proportionate to “discriminate”, for example by restricting counselling jobs to women. 

Oh does it. So that’s why Wadhwa decided to take over and destroy Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre! He wants to make that bit of the “Equality” act null and void.

Rape Crisis Scotland last week took the unusual step of issuing a statement about the Edinburgh tribunal before evidence concluded. The umbrella group seemed to distance itself from the Edinburgh centre, saying services should be “survivor-centred” and “protect dedicated women-only spaces”. The effrontery of this defies belief.  

The leadership of Rape Crisis Scotland has been a cheerleader for the removal of women’s sex-based rights. It fully supported the Gender Recognition Reform Act and the notion of self-ID, and failed to endorse former Labour MSP Johann Lamont’s successful amendment to the Forensic Services Bill, designed to ensure victims of sexual assault could choose the sex of their medical examiner.

So Rape Crisis Scotland should change its name to Rape Promotion Scotland.

But wait, it gets worse. The whole article is jaw-dropping.

When I was an MSP, I was approached by several women who needed to access rape crisis support, but wanted the assurance of a female-only service. They were concerned about statements by Mridul Wadhwa,  a trans-identified male, who then ran Forth Valley Rape Crisis and had a senior role training volunteers in the service across Scotland. 

Why??? What kind of malevolent asshole decides to put a usurping man in that job?

Wadhwa publicly criticised the part of the Equality Act that allowed jobs in the violence against women sector to be reserved for females.

At which point he should have been told to get out of the rape crisis field immediately and never come back. The man is a fucking monster.

I contacted the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy Brindley, to request a meeting. It was a sensitive undertaking. These were distressed women [the rape survivors, that is]. Most had not met each other in person. We gathered in the offices of Edinburgh Rape Crisis, which were welcoming and comfortable. Myself, Sandy Brindley, and the representative of Edinburgh Rape Crisis gave our full names and job titles. The women used first names only and shared their stories.

One introduced herself simply as “Sharon”. It was assumed she was one of the survivors. However, Sharon soon became quite vocal, asserting that it was against the law to insist your rape counsellor was biologically female (something other experts on the Equality Act dispute). She was, it turned out, Sharon Cowan, a professor of Feminist and Queer Legal Studies, a high-profile trans-rights campaigner who has submitted evidence to both the UK and Scottish parliaments on reform of the gender recognition act advocating for gender self-ID.

For fuck’s sake. Why the hell would you bring a quisling woman-hating academic to that meeting? What is wrong with people?

Bringing a third-party campaigner to a meeting of such vulnerable women without asking their permission, or even offering an introduction, was and remains astounding to me. And, indeed, Brindley later apologised for this oversight in an email.

I’m astounded myself, and I think an after the fact “apology” via email is insultingly worthless.

Rape Crisis Scotland and the network it serves receives large amounts of public money (some of which in Edinburgh’s case is paying the services of a KC to fight this case).


I did not know that.

Like other government funded “official” women’s organisations in Scotland, Rape Crisis say sex self-ID causes no problems. But what I can’t forget is that I was in the room when its CEO heard those women, saw their distress, and knew they were self-excluding from a service they needed.

And did not give one tiny flying fuck.

One Response to “Worse and worse and worse”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting