Labour still doesn’t know what women want

Jul 9, 2024 by

by Sarah Ditum, UnHerd:

The party disregards gender at its peril.

Just before the election, Keir Starmer finally found the third way on trans issues and women’s rights. First, he was damned by J.K. Rowling, who wrote in The Times that she would “struggle to support” Labour and suggested she might vote for an “independent candidate… campaigning to clarify the Equality Act”. Then, he was condemned by Attitude Magazine, which appended a lofty editorial to an open letter from the Labour leader. Starmer, it said, had been “equivocal” about trans issues.

Yet after all this noise, you would be hard pressed to find evidence that gender recognition reform and trans rights were ever an election issue. Kelly-Jay Keen’s Party of Women — the terf-ultras running on a platform of repealing the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and removing “gender reassignment” as a protected characteristic from the Equality Act — not only failed to elect a single candidate (to be expected for a small, new party); it lost its deposit in all 16 seats it contested.

Transactivists, however, have equal reason for disappointment. Yes, the Liberal Democrats saw a huge surge with a pro-GRA reform manifesto; but the SNP, who actually attempted to put that reform into practice, suffered an equally remarkable collapse. Meanwhile, Reform only won five seats but took a larger vote share than the Lib Dems: their “contract” with the electorate promised to “ban transgender ideology” in schools.

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