Letter to Sir Keir Starmer on behalf of one of our members – Ms Rebekah Wershbale

We have written to Sir Keir Starmer asking him to intervene after a member of ours discovered she is being used in a Labour Party training course as an example of a ‘transphobe’. Two years ago, Rebeka Wershbale was banned from a pub in Macclesfield for wearing a t-shirt that said: ‘Woman: adult human female.’ This is how the Oxford Dictionary of English defines “woman”, but it is now thought to be ‘trans exclusionary’ by woke activists since it implies that only biological females are women. A picture of Rebekah wearing the t-shirt appears on a slide in a Labour Party training course on how to avoid ‘casual transphobia’.

Toby Young, the FSU’s General Secretary, said: “I was genuinely shocked to discover one of our members is being publicly shamed as a ‘transphobe’ in official Labour Party training materials simply for wearing a t-shirt saying, ‘Woman: adult human female.’ That’s the Oxford Dictionary of English‘s definition and, I imagine, the same definition that the vast majority of Labour Party members use.

“Not only is this a grotesque attack on Rebekah Wershbale, it is discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010, which was passed by the last Labour Government. That Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of their protected characteristics, which include their philosophical beliefs. And we know from a recent ruling in the Employment Appeals Tribunal that the beliefs of gender critical feminists like Ms Wershbale are protected by law.

“We have written to Keir Starmer asking him to make sure these training materials aren’t used again, investigate how Ms Wershbale’s name and photograph came to be used in this way and apologise to her. We’ve also asked him to clarify what the Labour Party’s attitude is to gender critical beliefs. The Party’s members need to know whether this demonisation of Ms Wershbale for defining a woman as an adult human female is a regrettable error or official Party policy.”

Rebekah Wershbale said: “When the seriousness of the situation dawned on me I was horrified. To be singled-out as an example of a transphobic bully by someone I’d never even met or even interacted with was very disturbing, especially given that they used my name and photo. We know very well what happens to women in those crosshairs. We receive actual, real threats of violence and threats to our livelihood. Not just the vague threats of potential ‘misgendering’ or dogwhistling we’re accused of. How many people have gone through this course and seen my name and photo as an example of ‘transphobia’?

“My question is, who is being bullied here? I had no idea my name and image were being used in this way. Accusations of ‘transphobia’ have turned women’s lives upside down. I’m alarmed that this has been greenlit by the Labour Party, knowing what the potential backlash is for women in my position who refuse to play the game of pretend, and who stand up for women’s rights and biological reality.”

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