To the directors and trustees,
We regret that, instead of acknowledging receipt of our letter and responding to us directly, you decided to issue a public statement mischaracterising us as “bullying” the judges, and the male author on the longlist.
We completely reject that mischaracterisation. It feeds the perception—among liberal left people—that women standing up for women’s rights and interests against the deliberate confusion and upheaval of transgender ideology, and the appropriation of women’s resources by males—are in the wrong, even when we express our rational objections in carefully-written essays.
Our intention is not to bully you, nor is it to bully the male author on the longlist. This is not a personal issue. It is about women writers having resources, having hope and encouragement—the very things which lead the founder to establish the prize. We wish to safeguard this valuable cultural resource from male appropriation, so that current and future women authors are not demoralised by having to accept the offensive label “cis,” and smile when a man wins the prize which could have changed her life.
The Women’s Prize seems confused about what the law enables it to do. It seems to be shifting the goalposts, and playing with language, in a manner which suggests it has taken legal & policy advice from Stonewall, or one of its subsidiaries, or even from the EHRC which has been “captured” by Stonewall’s biased misinterpretation of equality law.
You may not have noticed that, in recent months, public institutions have been distancing themselves from Stonewall. The reasons for this have been debated in Parliament, and are set out in the report, below, which was sent to MPs in January 2021. In short, it has lobbied to remove women’s sex-based rights in law. However, it failed to do so when GRA reform was rejected. That you still adopted a gender self-ID policy speaks to the degree of confusion and misinformation deliberately caused by Stonewall. It also speaks to the influence of trans extremists whose actions really do amount to bullying and harassment.
The legal situation is actually simpler than you think. We would recommend Sex Matters to help you draft a new policy document which complies with UK equality law—not Stonewall “law,” which is no law at all. They can also give you the moral support you might need to assert the law as it stands, instead of as transgender extremists want it to be.
Unlike Stonewall, Sex Matters will not expect you to pay to participate in a diversity champion scheme which systematically undermines and erases women’s sex-based rights. And, of course, should you decide to take this route, feminists will thank you for it. Trans ideologues will complain, but how long can they credibly complain about you deciding to align your entry policy with UK equality law? It would represent the return of common sense and the rule of law.
We hope this is of some practical assistance, and that you will walk in our shoes for long enough to see why we feel it is so important that the women’s prize remains for women only.
We wish all of the women on the longlist every success with their novels.
Wild Woman Writing Club