Tag Archives: London

Girl fight for the lady pond: Feminists protest over decision to let transgender women use ladies-only pool

popcorn-time-gif

From Daily Mail: A group of feminists have urged a ban on self-identifying trans women from using a female-only pond on Hampstead Heath in London.

Members of the Mayday 4 Women group picketed a meeting of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association who held a closed meeting to discuss the situation. It is understood, 100 of the 400 members of the KLPA met after concerns were raised about self-identifying trans women from using the female-only facility.

One insider told The Guardian: ‘It’s an important issue. There are different views about trans women using the pond and some of us are concerned about the fact that it has always been the only all-women swimming place in Britain.

Famous names such as Helena Bonham Carter, comedian Rhona Cameron and author Esther Freud are regular users of the pond.

The City of London Corporation who are responsible for the facility said self-identifying trans women were now welcome to use the pond and the female changing rooms. 

In a statement, the Corporation said: ‘Over the last year all lifeguards and managers at Hampstead Heath ponds have taken transgender awareness training courses, which have been offered to, and taken by, the ponds’ swimming associations as well. We are working with the LGBTQ community to ensure our facilities are fit to serve the needs of everyone who enjoys them, and will continue to do so in the future.’

But Mayday 4 Women have been campaigning against the change and have produced flyers to ‘keep the Hampstead Heath ladies’ pond a sanctuary for women’. 

According to the group: ‘Males already have access to two ponds: the men’s pond and the mixed pond. Why should they have access to three ponds when they already have access to two?’

KLPA told The Guardian: ‘Although it is tempting to assume someone’s gender simply by their appearance, it’s important to try to avoid doing so and to be aware of the needs of genuinely transgender women.’

In December, feminist writer Julie Bindell who has swam at the pond for more than 30 years told the Mail on Sunday: ‘It is totally unacceptable to allow men who identify as women, but who are otherwise male bodied and socialised as men, to be in a women-only space. I have seen mothers bring their young daughters who are self-conscious about their bodies but want to feel good about swimming and exposing their skin to the sun. The last thing they want is to look behind them and see a male-bodied person pretending to be a woman in order to gawp at them.’

h/t Moonbattery

DCG

Advertisements

US schools to pick up on the UK trend to ban the term “best friends?”

inclusivity

From Daily Mail: Schools around the world are banning the term ‘best friends,’ stopping children from naming their favorite buddy in a bid to ensure classmates don’t feel left out. A New York psychologist says the trend that started in London is now spreading across the US.

‘The idea of banning the phrase “best friends” is a very intriguing social experiment,’ clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg tells CBS in New York.

‘Let’s face it, you can’t ban somebody from having a close relationship, and you can’t really ban somebody from having a best friend but what the schools are trying to do is foster the idea of kids having more than a single friend,’ Greenberg says.

The movement, which is believed to have started in Prince George‘s school in South London, isn’t intended to discourage intimate friendships, but rather encourage more inclusivity, Greenberg says.

The idea is to increase the number of interactions a student may have with different members of his or her peer group.

It’s now garnered support from educators in America, Greenberg says, who is licensed to practice psychology in both Connecticut and New York, and personally believes the rationale behind the notion is strong.

‘I see kids come in all week long who are feeling dreadful because they are excluded and because they are either nobody’s best friend or their best friend has moved on,’ Greenberg says.

Jay Jacobs, who operates Timber Lake Camp in New York, stresses the downside of not fostering multiple relationships at a young age, for exactly that reason. ‘I think that there are pitfalls in just having one friend,’ Jacobs says. ‘Remember as you grow up, interests change, children go in different directions.’

Jacobs adds that counselors at Timber Lake, which alternates in location between Glen Cove in Winter and Shandake in Summer, have made it a point to promote a more inclusive environment for years.

His philosophy is that children will be better set up for success later in life if they get used to having a wider friend group at a young age.  ‘You can’t be on the soccer field and just be dealing with one child, they’re going to be interacting with a team,’ Jacobs says.

‘It’s about promoting kindness, looking to children to be kind to one another and to be aware of what it looks like when you’re not.’

DCG

John “I served in Vietnam” Kerry: “I might challenge Trump in 2020”

Kerry & Hanoi Jane

Go for it, Lurch.

From NY Post: Ex-Secretary of State John Kerry has confided that he may make a second bid for the White House — as he urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to resist President Trump, according to a report.

“[Abbas] should stay strong in his spirit and play for time — that he should not break down and not capitulate to Trump’s demands,” Kerry told an Abbas confidant, according to the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv.

Kerry also suggested during his London confab with Hussein Agha, the Palestinian Authority president’s close associate, that the PA formulate its own peace proposal.

“Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” he said, adding that Abbas should show Trump that he will “not break and will not yield” to his demands.

Kerry promised to use all his contacts and abilities to build support for a plan pitched by the Palestinians.

He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump, who Kerry said was directly responsible for the stalled peace process.

In the report about the conversation, Agha said Kerry appears to be “crazy about things,” very energetic and eager to help realize the dream of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Kerry said that even fellow Republicans do not know what to do with the erratic Trump — and that patience was needed to get through this turbulent period. According to the report, Kerry also used derogatory terms when referring to Trump.

The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has continued to meet with Agha, who served as an intermediary for Kerry and Abbas during Kerry’s four years as top diplomat.

Kerry also told the Lebanese scholar that Trump – whose administration is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia — will likely not be in the White House much longer.

If Trump survives his first term, the Massachusetts Democrat suggested he may seek to unseat him in 2020.

Last September, Kerry refused to rule out the possibility of running in 2020, telling MSNBC that he did not “have any plans right now” to run for president.

If elected, Kerry would be 77 on inauguration day in 2021 – making him the oldest president in US history. The current record is held by Trump, who was 70 when he was sworn in last year.

Agha is a senior associate member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and co-author of “A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine.”

He maintains an extensive network of contacts with many influential Israelis. Agha declined to respond to the report. The Israeli paper could not reach Kerry for comment.

DCG

NHS care: Woman requests female doctor, met by pre-op transgender medic with stubble & a beard

male nurse

From Daily Mail: A woman who asked to be seen by a female nurse when she went for a smear test was ’embarrassed’ when she was allocated a person with ‘stubble and a beard’.

Upon being called in for the procedure (pap smear), the patient said she was ‘distressed’ to discover that the nurse was biologically male. When she pointed out the mistake, the nurse responded that their gender was not male and that they were transsexual. 

In the end, the patient decided not to go ahead with the intimate procedure and complained to the NHS

She told The Sunday Times that it was ‘weird where somebody says to you “my gender is not male” and you think: “well, what does that even mean? You’re clearly a man!”‘

The patient described the nurse as having an ‘obviously male appearance…close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble.’

The woman received an apology from the NHS following the incident at a clinic in North West London NHS Foundation on September 16 last year.

In her letter of complaint she wrote that, when booking the appointment, she had requested a female nurse or practitioner. She added: ‘People who are not comfortable about this are presented as bigots and this is kind of how I was made to feel about it.’

The patient emphasised that her complaint was not in relation to the nurse’s appearance or gender status.

It comes as equalities minister and education secretary Justine Greening said she was considering proposals that would allow people to legally change their gender without being diagnosed by a doctor.  

Ms. Greening was last week said to be getting cold feet about self-certification after a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act was delayed.

James Caspian, a psychotherapist who works specialises in working with transgender people, said scenarios similar to that the patient who went for a smear test experienced would become more common is self-certification went ahead. He argued that politicians had not thought through the implications of such a move. 

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We apologised to this patient for the recording error and because the staff member accepted they didn’t manage the situation appropriately or professionally; the patient needed to feel listened to.

‘Trust policy for all services is to consider seriously all requests for clinicians of a particular gender; it allows patients to feel more supported; we will deny a request if we believe it to be sexually motivated or where there might be a risk to a member of staff, but we will always explain ourselves.’

NHS guidelines say its transgender employees receive equal treatment and protection from discrimination at work but does not go into specifics about procedures.

The national census will ask every home in England and Wales if a transgender person lives there.  The question, likely to be in the 2021 census, will be the first official attempt to count people who say they were born in the wrong sex.

DCG

Here we go again: UK hospital applies to High Court to switch off baby Alfie’s life support

alfie evans liverpool Echo photo

Alfie Evans/Liverpool Echo photo

It’s the Charlie Gard case all over again. That’s the UK’s NHS system for you.

From Daily Mirror: The parents of Alfie Evans have spoken of their “living nightmare” after a hospital advised switching off their baby son’s life support, it is claimed.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool has applied to the High Court to switch off life support for the 18-month-old in a coma, the Liverpool Echo understands.

Alfie’s dad has spoken of their “devastation” and “disappointment” after the hospital reportedly said they had exhausted all options in trying to diagnose and treat the infant’s mystery brain condition.

It comes shortly after Alfie’s parents Thomas Evans and Kate James, both 20, said that after months of searching they had finally found a hospital abroad that was willing to take him.

But a letter to them, seen by the Liverpool Echo, shows Alder Hey are opposing the move to an Italian children’s hospital – and are stepping up the battle over Alfie’s life by taking the matter to court.

The Alder Hey letter says the hospital has asked the High Court to rule that it is legal and in Alfie’s best interest for long-term ventilation and intensive care to be withdrawn.

It says: “The trust’s position is that it does not consider the provision of continued mechanical ventilation nor the move to Italy to be in Alfie’s best interests. The application also asks the court to make a declaration that it is in Alfie’s best interests to be transferred to a hospice setting and to be treated on a palliative pathway with appropriate end of life care.

Mr. Evans from Bootle, told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s devastating – we feel so disappointed. I feel Alfie is being ignored, let down and not given a chance. “Why should we take him to a hospice when there’s a hospital happy to take him? Alder Hey were watching us work so hard to get this hospital – now we’ve got an offer and a doctor willing to come over, but they’ve refused to speak with him. “Now we are starting to go through a living nightmare. They are making it 10 times worse.”

Tens of thousands of people have formed “Alfie’s Army” over the past year to support and fundraise for the family, including many supporters of Charlie Gard’s parents in their legal fight.

Charlie died aged 11 months following his family’s court battle to send him to the US for treatment.

The reported decision by Alder Hey comes after months of fraught discussions between Alfie’s parents and the hospital over what to do to help their son.

An Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the family concerned and we continue to liaise directly with them. We are unable to comment on individual cases. Alder Hey is a specialist children’s hospital which therefore means we treat many children with often complex, life threatening conditions.

Unfortunately despite the best efforts of our clinicians, some of these children are sadly unable to recover from their illness. In such a situation, medical professionals will meet to discuss the most appropriate care plan going forward, focusing on the comfort, wellbeing and best interests of the child concerned.

The Trust will often seek advice from specialist clinicians at other trusts. The care plan is always discussed in full with the family to aim to reach agreement between clinicians and parents about the most appropriate care. We also seek input from the families concerned and this may extend to include review by experts instructed by the family.

Understandably these cases place families under great pressure. We will always seek to reach agreement with parents of the child concerned but there will be some rare situations where agreement cannot be reached and the treating team believe that continued active treatment is not in a child’s best interests. In these cases the Trust will refer a case to the Family Division of the High Court and seek a determination as to the best interests of the child. In all such cases we will also invite the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service to consider the case and provide independent representation of the child.”

DCG

Wolf whistling and sexist remarks could become hate crimes in London

Seems to be the new PC norm for Europe.

From Evening Standard: The Metropolitan Police today (Thursday, 12/7) revealed it is speaking with other UK forces to assess whether it is worth cracking down on gender-based hate crimes after a pilot scheme was launched in the East Midlands last year.

The trial, led by Nottinghamshire Police, saw sexist incidents like street harassment, verbal abuse and taking photos without consent recorded as hate crimes, carrying tougher penalties for offenders.

Police chiefs are now considering rolling out the idea elsewhere in the UK, suggesting a harsher stance on everyday sexism could stop it escalating into sexual harassment or assault. Police believe halting misogynistic remarks could go towards lowering serious sexual violence crimes overall.

A Scotland Yard spokesman told the Standard: “We have been speaking to other forces about their experiences of the practicalities of recording gender based hate crime and will use this, along with feedback from our partners, to inform any future changes to MPS policy.”

Earlier this week the National Police Chiefs Council’ head of hate crime told the Commons’ women and equalities committee that the current policing debate surrounds whether to take action on sexism earlier on.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton told MPs: “Issues such as on street behaviour that people feel should be accepted as part of the interaction of daily life actually has a detrimental and damaging impact.

“Sexual harassment of a woman or a girl at a bus stop by a male might be some things that some women feel they are just going to have to accept, that no one’s going to do anything about it.

“The debate in policing now is moving much more to identify those issues in the same way as we would other types of incident or crime, establishing if a crime has been committed or not.  But even if a crime hasn’t been committed the debate now is similar to hate crime incidents. 

Should we be taking action of some variety to address the behaviour before it escalates into a crime and also most importantly to try and restore some confidence to the victim and make them feel that what happened to them is being addressed somewhere.”

Dozens of women reported misogynistic crimes to Nottingham Police in the first few months of the pilot scheme, the force said. Sexist offences were reported at a similar rate to other hate crimes.

A hate crime is considered to be any incident where someone is targeted because of their identity – whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or an alternative sub-culture like being a goth.

It can take any shape and is not always illegal behaviour, officers say.

DCG

Knew for decades: Colin Firth feels “shame” for not speaking up about Harvey Weinstein

colin firth and harvey weinstein

Harvey Weinstein and Colin Firth (r). Colin’s conscience catching up with him now.

A Brit actor across the pond knew of Weinstein’s behavior from the early 1990s? Don’t tell me that those in Hollyweird “had no idea.”

From Daily Mail: Colin Firth has admitted regret after keeping mum when actress Sophie Dix opened up to him about abuse she suffered at the hands of the disgraced movie mogul decades back.

Speaking with The Guardian on Friday, the talented actor said that Dix, his co-star in 1993’s The Advocate (called The Hour of the Pig in the U.K.), had opened up to him about a horrifying run-in with the film executive, which she told the paper earlier this week occurred in 1990.

The 57-year-old actor won his only Oscar for playing King George VI in The Weinstein Company’s The King Speech. 

‘She told me she had had a distressing encounter with Harvey Weinstein,’ Firth told the newspaper. ‘I don’t think she went into all the horrific detail I’ve read in her interview. But I remember her being profoundly upset by it. To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy … I didn’t act on what she told me.’

Firth said that Dix’s revelation to him came ‘a long time ago,’ adding, ‘I don’t know if she remembers telling me, but the fact that I had that conversation has come back to haunt me in the light of these revelations,’ as Weinstein has been accused by at least 30 women in the entertainment industry of sexual abuse and harassment.

Amid ongoing speculation over who knew what around Tinseltown regarding the producer’s decades of alleged misdeeds, Firth said Dix’s story was ‘only direct account of this kind of behavior by Harvey Weinstein that’s ever been told to me.’

Dix earlier this week said that Weinstein assaulted her at a London hotel in 1990 when she was 22, pushing her on a bed and trying to take her clothes off. After she locked herself in a bathroom, she later opened it up to see Weinstein ‘standing there masturbating.’

She said the incident left her depressed and stifled a promising movie career, adding, ‘I decided if this what being an actress is like, I don’t want it.’

Dix told the paper her attempts to expose the assault was met with ‘a wall of silence.’

Firth initially told the newspaper this week that he felt nauseous as he witnessed the flood of stories about Weinstein, describing the producer as ‘a powerful and frightening man to stand up to. ‘Those of us who didn’t act on our one bit of knowledge – and especially those of us who went on to work with Weinstein – have that on our conscience.’

He lauded Dix for her courage, noting he was ‘extremely pleased that Sophie is speaking out after so many years.’

Dix told the paper on Friday in response to Firth’s initial statement: ‘I am delighted Colin has spoken and I remember him being very supportive at the time.’

As Weinstein initially admitted to unprofessional behavior that has ’caused a lot of pain,’ his rep this week said that he steadfastly denies ‘any allegations of non-consensual sex.’

DCG