Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeReaders CommentsReader's comment: Maria MacLachlan - simply an old school feminist

Reader’s comment: Maria MacLachlan – simply an old school feminist


In response to Kathy Gyngell: Judge nails wig to the transgender mast, Maria_MacLachlan wrote:

Thank you for this. Please allow me to correct some misapprehensions.

Firstly, I have never called myself a ‘radical feminist’. This is a label that has been applied to me by the media without consultation. Similarly a lot of the media at the time stated that I described myself as a ‘gender-critical feminist’. Again, this was a fabrication on their part. After what happened to me, I don’t particularly object to these labels but at the time of my assault I was simply a woman – an old-school feminist if you like – who was concerned about what I’d been reading about proposed changes to legislation and wanted to go to a meeting to hear more. My assailants made assumptions about my views because I was there. I had not spoken to any of them about what I believed so it’s not true to say that I’d ‘insisted . . . that men (whatever they do to or have done to themselves) can’t become female’ even though I hold this to be true. At the time of the assault my beliefs were more tentative. As a result of it and the aftermath, they have become more entrenched.

Secondly, as I pointed out early in the court proceedings, the term ‘TERF’ is also not chosen but imposed on us against our will. It is a derogatory label used to dismiss anyone who disagrees with core tenets of trans ideology. It is used against trans people themselves who sympathise with us, as many do. It is even used against the likes of the Welsh Tory MP, David Davies, because he shares our opposition to the proposed changes to legislation. In spite of my objections, the defence counsel used the term repeatedly. I have included a page on my new website explaining the use of the term in more detail.

Finally, although I find it impossible to think of my assailants as anything other than male, during examination I was told I could just refer to him as ‘the defendant’, which I tried very hard to do. But using nouns instead of pronouns is a very unnatural way of speaking and having to relive the ordeal in court and answer questions while watching it on video, l kept forgetting. It was at this point that the judge interrupted my recounting of my assault by three violent males and told me that as a ‘matter of courtesy’ I should refer to the one in the dock as ‘she’. You have correctly reported the response I made. It is not actually the one I would have liked to have made.

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