“Men are afraid that women…

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A Twitter thread by @radicalhag

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood.

Women live in fear of male violence every day of our lives. Many of us have experienced domestic violence, rape, or sexual assault, and few women have not experienced harassment, cat-calling or threats of violence.

Women who have worked in the DV field, in refuges or on hotlines, know how traumatised the victims are and how terrified of males. Women who have experienced safe women’s spaces know how immensely healing they are.


I used to counsel on a crisis line. One night I was on duty with a friend, a man. He took a call from a rape victim. When she heard a male voice, she managed to get a few words out and then she slammed the phone down.

He was distraught. We tried to wangle it so that I would take new calls and hand off to him if they weren’t her, but it was busy, and as far as we know she didn’t phone back. We don’t know if she ever got any help.

Women can tell males from a mile off, because we are hypervigilant. We have to be. Traumatised, raped and battered women with PTSD are even more vigilant.

@womensaid are now considering allowing transwomen to work as refuge staff, because identity politics trumps women’s rights and needs, as usual. I think it is time to be brutally blunt.

We want transwomen to be fully accepted, not discriminated against, treated with courtesy and respect, provided with healthcare and whatever support services they need. We will help fight for this.

But we know they are not women. Every woman knows, no matter how politically correct she may, no matter how much she loves her trans friends (and I’ve made some great ones while being involved in gender-critical activism).

The women in refuges, the battered, the raped, the extremely vulnerable, will know that they are not women. And they will be triggered and afraid, and they will stop using the services. And even more women will be battered, raped and killed as a result.

They also know, and anyone who has worked in the field will know, that men will do anything to find out where refuges are and to get in. They will jump through hoops. Pretending to be a woman is minor – why wouldn’t they?


This is too high a price to pay for the validation of trans identities. It’s time to stop pretending, to stop playing post-modern games with language, to define our terms, and to sit down and discuss the competing rights issues honestly and openly.

Sex-segregated facilities are vital for women. What makes them safe is precisely the exclusion of males. The principle of ‘run by women for women’ should not be compromised because of identity politics. #sexnotgender