There is talk of erecting a more prominent statue to celebrate Emmeline Pankhurst and the centenary of women getting the vote (women above 30……it took another 10 years before women got parity with men).
The plan is to site it outside the Houses of Parliament, but after recent news, it might be more fitting to site it at speakers corner at Hyde Park. Her statue could then be a reminder of what a real struggle is.
According to a range of media outlets a group of radical feminist activists clashed with groups of radical transgender activists at Speakers Corner.
In brief, one set wants the right to use women’s toilets and to be able to attend female only events, the other set wants to prevent that and exclude transgender women.
One of the groups involved carries the marvellous acronym TERFs – trans-exclusionary radical feminists.
My sympathy is with the transgender women activists. Any transition in life can be fraught with difficulty, so something as basic as using the loo needs to be afforded an easy passage.
I once saw a group of women hijack the male toilets at a motorway service station. Fair play to them, as women’s toilets are woefully lacking in most social spaces (the eminently more sophisticated French have resolved this with unisex loos).
We Brits love causing ourselves unnecessary headaches. It is incumbent on all people to fight together to rectify the loo situation rather than having factions squabbling over the status quo.
We’re gathering in London
There is a big to-do
We have to fight for women’s rights
When visiting the loo
We don’t want any men in there
The loos they have suffice
(Aside from that, in general terms,
They do not poo as nice)
What we have we want for us
Meaning that in tote
We thought our loos were sacred
When we got the female vote
And so we’re clear just who is who
We feminists are sisters
And we don’t want to share our loos
With those who once were misters
We’ve travelled far from those dark days
When all of us were serfs
Our evolution is complete
Now we have formed the TERFs.
A radical idea for sure
we’re anti those who switch
From boy to girl or girl to boy
We don’t care which is which
We protest loud as is our right
We shout and raise our fists
And woe betide the sorry souls
Who call us misandrists
For it is not just men we fight
Trans-women make our list
So get it right we fight the world
As proud misanthropists
Let’s make a stand for women’s rights
Or maybe take a seat
our loos aren’t yours (at least until
your changes are complete).
Postscript……. interestingly the statue is going to be in honour of Millicent Fawcett, who united women’s Suffragist movements. Millicent represents a different style of protest, not so headline grabbing, but patient and effective. Good choice in my view.
The world would benefit more from reducing the emphasis on crediting those who are more bellicose, and giving more credit to the quieter people.