Helen Staniland, Software Engineer.

My name is Helen Staniland and I’m a software engineer for an investment bank.

When I first came across the word TERF, I thought to myself that I wasn’t one, and didn’t need to get involved in any of these arguments. As time went on, I read more and more sensible, articulate arguments about the nature of women’s oppression being rooted in biology, from very smart feminists. I felt it was incumbent on me to say something, to add my voice to these women’s who were being publicly vilified. Once I was in, the full weight of the misogyny became apparent. I’m absolutely stunned with the ease that men feel they can tell women to move up; to cede our boundaries, to be nice. I’m amazed that women questioning this stance are called TERFS, transphobes and bigots. I’m utterly horrified at the casual violent threats that are hurled at women who question the current trans ideology. I’m disgusted at how adults are championing giving off label drugs to children – drugs that will sterilise them and quite likely leave them having no adult sexual function – ever. 

The proposal to make sex a matter of self identification has brought this to a head. Women are being ridden roughshod over. Our needs, protections, our wants are being ignored. Not only being ignored, but being called wrong and exclusive. I’m speaking up because I want women to hear. I want them to understand how our sex based protections are under threat. I want them to consider the generation of women coming after us, who are being groomed to accept a violation of their boundaries; their bodily integrity. As far smarter women than me have said – if we can’t discuss sex being the root of women’s oppression in a patriarchal society then we can’t discuss sexism. And the only people this benefits are men.

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