written by: Anonymous

NOTE: This is one of many testimonies regarding institutional capture, given to me by employees, students and service users in various sectors across the UK. See this page for more examples.

The University HR team created a women’s network in response, and immediately advertised it as “including trans women and non-binary people comfortable in a female-centred community”.

At my University, off the back of International Women’s Day, it was recognised that there would be value in creating a women’s network – to enable women to talk together about the unique issues they face – such as pregnancy, the impact of taking the greater burden of caring responsibilities, under-representation of women in senior positions, menopause…

The University HR team created a women’s network in response, and immediately advertised it as “including trans women and non-binary people comfortable in a female-centred community”

Of course females were not asked if this would impact on their comfort in sharing personal female issues within the community.

I participated in the original sessions that identified the need for this network, but have not participated in any subsequent events as I wanted access to a female network where I can be totally open about my experiences as a woman. I don’t want to discuss how I had to run from a presentation I was giving due to a peri-menopausal flood in front of potentially AGP males.

I received a newsletter today from the women’s network. It opened by encouraging me to read a blog by a non-binary male – in which they present the Stonewall version of the equality act and effectively dismiss gender critical views in a patronising statement about the, ‘confected war between the trans community and so-called “gender-critical” women’.

The blog also reconfirmed the University commitment as a Stonewall Diversity Champion, saying that Stonewall have been, ‘vilified by the press and the government for supporting the vulnerable trans community’.

I feel this misrepresents the reasons for the backlash against Stonewall and adds to the sense that being openly gender critical would not be acceptable in my institution.

This blog is posted on the official University webpages and was written by a staff member. The women’s network recommending that women read it, is effectively HR recommending that women read it.

There are days when I try to be braver, to ask difficult questions and to push back a little but I am the sole breadwinner in my household and cannot afford to put my job at risk.

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