Women desert Labour over ‘men are women’ policy

Over 300 women have resigned from the Labour Party over its position on allowing men who say they are women to be on all-women shortlists.

Labour says that the shortlists are open “to all women, including trans women; and that trans women do not need a gender recognition certificate to participate”.

In a letter to The Times, women leading the large-scale exit said they were “dismayed” at Labour’s position, and told other news sources they “cannot continue to be in a party which takes women for granted”.

No debate

The women stated: “We now face a situation in which any man can simply claim to be a woman and be included on all-women shortlists.

“Sex is not a self-defined characteristic and it is disingenuous for Labour to pretend that it is.”

They also particularly objected to the Party’s decision to make the change “without any debate or consultation with women members”.

Denies reality

One of the women leaving the party, Jennifer Isaacson, said she was “horrified” by what is happening to women’s rights in Labour, but that she was pleased there were so many showing their resistance.

“Sex is not a self-defined characteristic”Letter to the Labour Party

She lamented that while all-women shortlists used to be the preserve of women: “We could now see those places go to people who have spent the majority of their lives living as men.”

She added: “We all know sex is not a self-identifying characteristic, we all know what a woman is and this is the wilful denial of reality.”

Suspensions

Earlier this year, Labour suspended two members for declaring that men who say they are women are still men.

Jennifer James began a campaign to force Labour to back down after it allowed men who self-identify as women to feature on all-women shortlists.

She was targeted by an online group calling itself Labour Against Transphobia, and subsequently received a letter informing her of her suspension from the Labour Party.

Venice Allan, another party member who backed the legal action, was also suspended in similar circumstances, with one of the reasons being that she posted a photo which read: “Trans women are men” on social media.