From time to time, we all look in the mirror.
We look at ourselves and say, “what have I done wrong – what should I change.” Usually, it is after some significant event, some crisis in our lives. But, now and again, it can be just small things that pull us up with a jolt.
That is what has precisely happened in my life in the last few days – just small things that have made me re-evaluate how I have changed and need to change.
In my bio on Twitter, I describe myself as a “feminist and trans rights activist.”
I have always been a feminist – pretty much all through my life. I always have, (even when living as a man), surrounded myself with women. And, as much as possible, lived in a womens world. My team at work (yes, I am a “boss”) has always been 100% women to the point that I have been called a misandrist more than once. A hater of men.
And to some extent, that is true – because I have always seen the injustice that women suffer in this world.
I detest it.
But my Twitter bio “feminist and trans rights activist” comes in equal measure and events that have occurred in the last few days to make me suddenly look in the mirror.
Had being a trans rights activist overtaken my feminism?
Because suddenly, on Twitter, in a matter of a couple of days, I have been called out by some of my followers.
Not once but twice.
Firstly by Sara & Sarah P – looking at the “Staniland Question.” All in the trans camp viewed the question as paranoia, and that was the view I held. Sara (privately) and Sarah P publicly called me out on this. Crazily, it is not a point I contest – I agree with the need for single-sex spaces, but either through ignorance or because I was carried along with others, I miss-interpreted the question.
Then yesterday, cock-up number two.
I tweeted about International Womens Day on March the 8th. All entirely innocent, but then a reply from H – “it is in bad taste,” she said. Her tweet was also “liked” by K another GC who I talk to.
H Direct messaged me and explained why my tweet was in poor taste. ‘It is Womens History Month’ she said ‘and you are ignoring women’. And she was right – her point being that womens history gets buried under that word again – patriarchy and men’s history – not women’s history which struggles to get a mention.
There are indeed many amazing women who despite patriarchy have made amazing contributions to society – but we dont get to hear about them at all.
I proved it for myself when I searched online for famous women born in a certain year; I was offered a list of nine men and one woman!
The issue was enhanced when watching TV last night.
Jen & I have just started watching “The Crown”, and there is a scene with Winston Churchill in the cabinet room – along, of course, an all-male cabinet. In fact, it was not until 1952 (the year that I was born) that Churchill gave Florence Horsburgh the first female role.
Recently for International Womens Day, I made a video for an LGBT+ charity. In it, I brought up the issue that Boris Johnson has twenty men in his cabinet but only six women. In my lifetime – so far of 68 years – women have progressed from one cabinet minister to six.
This means, at this rate, even if I live to be one hundred – I will never see a fair, balanced government. It means all human beings in our country will still not be equal – and that is what feminism is all about!
It means I need to think (and write) more about womens issues and slightly less about trans topics, irrespective of how valid many of the trans issues are.
Because, and in plain language, women have major issues too and I have f****** up and need to re-balance.