“Please, please make it stop.”

Maya Forstater and other campaigners hand in their letter to 10 Downing Street

On 9th November we delivered a letter to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, calling on him to act to defend gender-critical women from threats, violence and police harassment. The letter was signed by nearly 15,000 people.

More than 3,000 of them also added a personal comment to the letter, and we printed those out and delivered them all to 10 Downing Street. The comments alone covered 246 pages. You can read the letter and all the comments here:

The comments were so obviously heartfelt, written by people who recognise what a dangerous situation is being created. They conveyed anger, disgust and outrage at transactivist violence and the police’s failure to deal with it. Many people expressed indignation at the judge who accepted Baker’s claim that his incitement to violence was no more than a joke, and many wondered what would have happened to someone who had stood up and incited a crowd to punch a gay person, or a police officer, or a transwoman.

Many asked whether the violence would go on being allowed until transactivists kill someone. 

This ideology enables male violence against women & children. Once women were called witches, then bitches, now terfs - it’s just another way to hate women.
Women & girls are not safe in modern Britain

There was sheer disbelief in many comments at how bad things had got and how quickly, and what little action was being taken to protect women. Commenters insisted again and again that urgent action is needed. The comments express disenchantment both with the police and with politicians – many commenters said that they would be single-issue voters in the next election. 

There was also a great deal of fear. Many women said that they could no longer go where they wanted to go or do things that they wanted to do because of the fear of violence. Many had harrowing first-hand stories of facing violence at events. 

I have never felt more afraid of being a woman than I do now.
We are asking you to defend women & girls, our spaces, our words, our safety.
 Please, please don’t let us down.

We had comments from men and women of all ages, and from trans-identifying people offering support. Many commenters expressed support for people identifying as trans alongside their horror at the violence and bullying. Some parents with trans-identifying children spoke of their fears, and many who signed mentioned fears for their own daughters and grandaughters, and asked Sunak if he is not concerned for his own daughters’ safety. There were also many supportive messages for the work that Sex Matters is doing – thank you so much for those.

Many people pointed out the implications of not being able to sign with their real names, and many noted the wider effects of transactivism on women’s rights: so much of the ground we thought we had gained – which many of those responding had fought for in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s – was now lost.

Women are being treated shamefully and I don’t see your government doing a blind thing about it.
Extremist transactivism is a form of terrorism and poses a real threat to women and girls. Please protect us...

Many of the women who commented recounting personal experiences of men invading women’s single-sex spaces; of violence, harassment, intimidation. Many women’s lives are being badly affected by transactivism. This is not a niche issue.

We will be writing to James Cleverley, the new Home Secretary, about this as well as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.