A shocking attack on a 60-year-old woman by pro-transsexual activists has been widely denounced in the media.
The Times’ columnist Janice Turner witnessed Maria MacLachlan being punched and kicked as she met with others to discuss Government plans to allow people to legally self-identify their gender.
Turner said the attack reveals the lengths to which activists will go to shut down debate.
MacLachlan had been filming at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, when she was attacked by a “tall, male-bodied, hooded figure wearing make-up”.
Trans activists were attempting to stop the event from taking place and had threatened to cause havoc at any venue willing to host the discussion.
MacLachlan and those attending the meeting hold the view that men who say they are women are still male, and believe allowing men who identify as female to enter female-only spaces puts women at risk.
This has seen them labelled so-called ‘Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists’ (TERFs).
Turner highlighted hateful propaganda directed at ‘TERFs’ online, with strong incitements to violence.
Turner commented: “Changes to the very definition of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are being proposed, yet it is almost impossible to hold a public meeting to discuss them.”
She added: “TERFs, according to trans activists, are evil.” She said a simple online search would unveil “a cauldron of violent vitriol” and “crowing approval of what happened to Maria”.
Journalists Christina Patterson and Matthew Syed spoke to Sky News about the issue, both of them raising concerns at Maria Miller’s proposal to allow people to ‘self-identify’ their gender.
Patterson said that “there are rapists who identify as female even though they still have male genitals in women’s prisons, who have attacked women prisoners sexually”.
She added that women are very uncomfortable about this, “but that is something you can’t say any more”.
Integrity of sport
And Syed raised concerns about maintaining the integrity of sporting events.
He said: “If it’s merely a case of identifying as the other gender without having to do anything else, then what about men who decide to run in the athletics women’s events at the Olympic Games?”
In July, Justine Greening MP said the Government should make it easier for people to ‘change sex’, announcing that the Gender Recognition Act will be reviewed.
Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have spoken out in favour of such changes. A consultation is expected in the autumn.