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Irish “socialist” TD’s and NGO’s join forces to disenfranchise women and materialists

Grainne Mhaol

27 November 2020

In a stunning move Ireland’s NGO elites, including Amnesty International, supported by Paul Murphy TD and Thomas Pringle TD, have published an open letter in Gay Community News attacking those who would seek to “defend biology”(1), as well as attacking those who defend: the right of women to have some areas of privacy and safety away from males, such as changing rooms, shelters, and prisons; those who oppose gender self-identification laws, where anyone can get legal recognition as the opposite sex by simple self-declaration; and those who oppose the “affirmative model” of so-called transgender health care, which is not backed-up by evidence,  and includes harsh treatments which can sterilise minors and young adults, most of whom are same-sex attracted. In their letter, our self-appointed guardians of public morality, painted the people who hold these views as far-right bigots who should be denied media or political representation. In their own words:

“Let us say unequivocally that the statements of newly launched organisations that seek to defend biology or fight gender identity and expression do not represent the wider LGBTI+ community nor feminists in Ireland... together we repudiate their beliefs, and call for an end in giving airtime to their despicable brand of harassment...We call on media, and politicians to no longer provide legitimate representation for those that share bigoted beliefs." (1) [My emphasis in bold]
[It is a misrepresentation to say these women/groups are against gender expression or identity as they do above. These women are not interested in removing the right to personal expression or belief from people who identify as transgender. Their concerns are about poor law and policy, and the attempts to force us all to adhere to beliefs which conflict with material reality.]

The signatories to this extraordinary letter include: Amnesty International; the National Women’s Council of Ireland; Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (Teni, who seem to be the authors of it); Irish Network Against Racism (INAR);  Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI); Migrants and Ethnic Minorities for Reproductive Justice (MERJ Ireland);  the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT); and individuals such as: Colm O Gorman (former Progressive Democrat, and currently Executive Director of Amnesty International); Ailbhe Smyth (Chair of Women’s Aid);  and Moninne Griffith (CEO of BelongTo, and former chair of the governments Gender Recognition Act Review Group, which produced a report for the government in 2018). (1) After the letter was published a few prominent voices tweeted in support of it, such as Paul Murphy TD and Thomas Pringle TD, encouraging others to sign it as well. Astonishing that we have to defend biological science and Evolutionary Theory from an attack from the left in 2020 (see more below on the biology denial).

What seems to have provoked this letter is the forming of a few new grassroots groups which have sprung up in response to concerns over gender identity ideology and the impact of self-identification laws in Ireland. These new groups, the LGB [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual] Alliance Ireland (2), The Countess Didn’t Fight For This (3)   Women’s  Space Ireland (4),  and Radicailín (5), are all coming from a pro-science, pro-human-children-women’s rights perspective. They do not advocate abuse, discrimination, or violence against anyone, or suggest anything like stripping anyone of political representation or a voice in the media, unlike the above letter writers. (6) Many of the women in these groups, and their supporters, have a history of fighting for many causes, including women’s rights, the rights of same-sex attracted people, against racism, and in defence of freedom of conscience, speech, and assembly.

Unfortunately, due to the political degeneration on the left, and levels of conformist (possibly fear-of-funder) group-think from NGO leaders, the authors of the letter now view groups raising reasonable questions as a threat which needs to be stamped out. In one sense the authors of the letter are correct. Once people realise what is being pushed ideologically, medically, and legally, most will oppose it, in my opinion.

Another factor driving the behaviour of the signatories might be the fear of self-exposure. Some of them bear joint-responsibility for policies which have led to male sex and violent offenders being housed in women’s prisons in Ireland (because these men self-identify as women), so they may see it as in their own career and institutional interests to smother voices speaking out about these problems. If you ever wondered about how past scandals actually played out in real time, this is one to follow to get insights into how it happens, and why more people don’t speak out.

I’ll go through some of the arguments in the letter to show people some of the crass stupidity within it, not to mention atrocious politics and deceitful misrepresentations. Unfortunately, this corrupted thinking is not neatly quarantined away from every other aspect of the authors thinking or work, so it will seep into everything they are doing.

Establishment Arrogance

The letter reeks of establishment arrogance in how they speak of these grassroots groups. These are a few examples from the letter. They speak of them as “fringe groups”and “fringe internet accounts” and about them as “not organisations at all...simply Twitter accounts.” Yet they’ve organised the great and the good to line up in a joint statement against these supposedly non-existent groups? They refer to themselves as “legitimate organisations”, and their targets as “pseudo-feminists” aligned with “far right” ideologies! No evidence given, obviously.

The letter even plays the outside agitators’ card. “We know that by and large these false narratives are not native to the queer and feminist communities of Ireland. These ideas are representative of outsiders...” What are supposed socialists and internationalists doing signing and supporting this rubbish? This is a common tactic used against activists in the past and one now favoured by Transactivists here. It is appealing to a very unthinking, insular, and insecure nationalism. They seem to think Irish women should just meekly serve their men, and be kept well away from those evil British feminists with their unapproved ideas, for our own good, of course.


Science bad, no good, no bad

One part of the letter attacks those who “defend biology” (and wants them disenfranchised and de-platformed) but further down it complains about “Anyone that continues to use inaccurate science”, but then claims that “Sex and gender are both spectrums”.

Gender is just another word for sexist-stereotypes, but sex is a biological category. There are only two reproductive sexes in mammals, male and female, who produce small and large gametes (sperm and eggs). You need sperm from a male and an egg from a female to reproduce. There is no in-between, or third, gamete involved in reproduction, so no spectrum.

The letter also mentions fighting for surrogacy “rights”. I will hazard a guess that they know what sex is when they want to exploit women’s reproductive capacity. It is worrying that migrant rights groups signed this letter. I wonder if they are being worked on in the long run to facilitate the legal exploitation of migrant women via commercial surrogacy? One to keep an eye on.

I think the most accurate interpretation of the mindset of the letter signatories is that they see “science” as subservient to ideology, but this is an anti-science, and frankly dangerous, approach.

Lies and hypocrisy

There are some comically hypocritical parts to the letter. After calling for political representation to be removed from people who “defend biology” they have the brass neck to say: “We know equality means justice and inclusion for all” and “Ireland is better when it is diverse and equal.” As for this clanger: “Never have transgender people sought to diminish the rights, or acceptance of others.” Did they not read their own letter? (7)

And finally, the last misrepresentation I will deal with here is the claim that: “the road to Gender Recognition was long and public”

This is not an accurate reflection of how our current self-id law was snuck in (via the Gender Recognition Act 2015).

A report published by and for Transactivists last year has explained the secretive approach they took to getting legal changes made in Ireland (one of the letter signatories, BelongTo, contributed to this report). These are direct quotes from their own report, Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for youth:

“In Ireland, Denmark and Norway, changes to the law on legal gender recognition were put through at the same time as other more popular reforms such as marriage equality legislation. This provided a veil of protection, particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for…”
The most important lesson from the Irish experience is arguably that trans advocates can possibly be much more strategic by trying to pass legislation “under the radar” by latching trans rights legislation onto more popular legal reforms (e.g. marriage equality), rather than taking more combative, public facing, approaches”
In Ireland, activists have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum”(8) [My emphasis in bold]
Reactions to the letter

After this letter was published online feminists started to push-back. Colm O Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, doubled down on twitter, mostly ignoring women, not engaging with the arguments, and then dismissing them out of hand as being from Britain. A risky and damaging move, considering they are meant to be Amnesty International, and they often get citizens in one country to campaign for the human rights of citizens in another. (9)

The group The Countess Didn’t Fight for This posted an article in response to the insidious letter (10) and started the hashtag #WeWillBeHeard which started trending in Ireland, and then in Britain, as British feminists (and others from around the globe) started to post their support of Ireland’s women. (11)

One woman speaks out #WeWillBeHeard


Amnesty International Ireland doubled down and put out a follow-up tweet that was effectively an up-yours to women stating  “we stand over the letter” and claiming women had misread and misrepresented it (12) (well, you know, with our weak lady-brains we can’t be trusted).

Amnesty’s inconsistency criticised

What now?

We are at a watershed moment for the Irish left/social justice scene. The left really needs to get its act together and defend free speech, and advocate for a logical, reality-based, scientific, approach to issues, as otherwise we are finished.

The general public is becoming more aware of this issue the more it impacts them and their children in concrete ways. If what people see is the Left (or most of the organised left) continually aligning themselves with anti-women, reality-denying, and anti-science ideas, it will push them to look elsewhere for reasonable sounding arguments and solutions (though all the parties supported the Gender Recognition Act). The poor politics of most of the so-called left on this issue (though most of them are idealist-liberal in approach and not socialist) will push people more generally to the Right.

Would most people trust a group, or politician, who insisted that men can be women? Or who supports the male right to be in female prisons, changing rooms, or sports? No they would not.

Time for the Left to get back to some basics, like recognising the importance of material reality, supporting the fight against women’s oppression, and defend critical thinking, before they lose all credibility with the public.


 Archived link, in case they try to bury the evidence! Some of these people signed it after it was published in GCN and tweeted their support.

(2) On twitter @Ire_LGBAlliance

(3) On twitter @TCDFFT Website:

(4) On twitter @WomensSpaceIre  Website:

(5)On Twitter @radicailin Website:

(6) As Amnesty is playing the you’re misinterpreting our clear words/we didn’t mean what we wrote game, it is interesting to note that the letter writers dismiss these groups thus: “In addressing these accounts it is simple enough to refute them by stating they are not radical, they are not inclusive, and they are not feminists.” The reference to radical here is clearly a reference to radical feminist, which some of the above groups identify as, or are heavily influence by. So we know that they are referring to the groups I have mentioned above and not any actual far-right groups.

(7) In fairness it was not just people who identify as transgender who signed it, and some trangender people, I would guess, would not support it.

(8) Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for youth

(9) The replies and quote tweets to his thread are worth a look And this exchange was gold and showed Colm at his patronising but politically inept best

(10) This is well worth a read

(11) The original #WeWillBeHeard thread Examples of Solidarity from Britain and US


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