FiLiA stands in support of our spokeswoman Heather Brunskell Evans. We were surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Women's Equality Party to remove her as spokeswoman for WEP.
The trigger for this was Heather's participation in the Moral Maze, on an episode entitled "Defining Gender." It was, as one would expect on Radio 4, gentle, considered and thought-provoking. The whole thing can be heard here.
During that programme Heather expressed the view that while adults could define their gender in whichever way they see fit, more caution should be exercised when it comes to children.
We are astonished that such moderate views attracted a complaint to WEP. This is an issue where there is frequent disagreement, between politicians, between medics, between sociologists, between scientists, as well as within the trans and feminist communities. Removing a moderate voice from these discussions simply because others disagree with it is dangerous.
Heather's own statement can be found on her website here.
It is deeply worrying that across political parties, universities and media outlets, traditionally the homes of unafraid opinion, there is complicity with a culture of thought-orthodoxy. Yet we all know that nobody has ever changed their viewpoint by being told what to think. Persuasion has always come through reasoned argument, the foundations of which are free speech and free thought. FiLiA will continue our established principle of encouraging all three.