They’re mothers not expectant people’: Downing Street fires back in its latest ‘war on woke’ skirmish and overturns bid to make new laws gender-neutral
The row blew up over the Ministerial And Other Maternity Allowances Bill, designed to make provision for Ministers on maternity leave, after No 10 saw that it made reference to ‘expectant people’ rather than women.
However, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that before it received Royal Assent, the Bill was amended to replace gender-neutral nouns with gendered ones such as ‘mother’ – and the Government has now issued new guidance to ensure such language is not repeated in future Bills.
Legislation that relates to the different needs of men and women – such as the requirement for separate toilet facilities in schools for boys and girls – will be scrutinised to ensure that gendered language is used. No 10 has come under increasing pressure from within the Tory Party to resist moves by pro-trans campaigners to impose gender-neutral rules.
Critics such as Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling – who has mocked gender-neutral phrases such as ‘people who menstruate’ – have been subjected to militant attacks for their stance.
Downing Street has won the latest skirmish in its ‘war on woke’ by overturning an attempt to make legislation gender neutral over Ministerial And Other Maternity Allowances Bill row. Critics such as Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling (pictured) who has mocked gender-neutral phrases such as ‘people who menstruate’ have been subjected to militant attacks for their stance
A senior source said: ‘The Government will be ensuring that sex-specific language continues to be used in the drafting of legislation where appropriate.
‘This is crucial to ensure the experiences of women are not erased, and reflects Ministers’ concerns that militant guidance has crept into the Civil Service as part of a political agenda to erase women and the concept of biological sex.’
Peers raised their concerns about the Ministerial And Other Maternity Allowances Bill in debates, with Tory Baroness Noakes condemning ‘an increasing use of language that eliminates women. People who challenge this in public are often labelled transphobic’.
She added: ‘There is no malice in wishing to maintain the biological facts of womanhood and the lived experience of women, which includes menstruation, childbirth and menopause.
‘That view happily co-exists with respect and concern for transgender people. I am proud of my own record on LGBT issues, both in your Lordships’ House and in the organisations with which I have been involved, but I am not prepared to be erased as a woman.’
Labour’s Baroness Gale agreed, saying: ‘Considering that only women can get pregnant and give birth, I cannot see any reason why “woman” cannot be used.
Peers raised their concerns about the Ministerial And Other Maternity Allowances Bill in debates, with Tory Baroness Noakes (pictured) condemning ‘an increasing use of language that eliminates women. People who challenge this in public are often labelled transphobic’
‘I believe in using gender-neutral language where appropriate, but I do not believe it is appropriate in this Bill.’
Cross-bencher Baroness Hayman said: ‘The price of so-called gender neutrality in this Bill is an awkward and ugly distortion of the English language and an affront to common sense.
‘Far from encouraging respect for language and the recognition of diversity, to which I am fully committed, it risks bemusing and alienating the public and damaging the very causes that passionate advocates of such language espouse.’
A Government source said: ‘We want to see tolerance and respect for everyone, but women should not be erased or cancelled from public discourse – including Parliament’s own laws.
‘While the Government supports the desire to avoid stereotypes on positions of authority, gender-neutral language undermines women. Ministers are determined to push back on militant wokery which insults and degrades women.’
Sainsbury’s trans T-shirt for children aged three
By Jake Ryan and Max Aitchison
Sainsbury’s is selling T-shirts emblazoned with a trans love heart for children as young as three.
The supermarket has brought out a ‘Pride clothing range’ which includes a top, above, sporting the caption ‘you are you’ under an LGBT+ rainbow and a heart in the colours of the trans flag.
Critics last night questioned the suitability of the range, targeted at three to 14-year-olds, with one Twitter user saying: ‘Children should not be used as billboards for their parents’ activism. Let them just have fun-coloured dinosaurs, cars or butterflies on their clothing.’
Sainsbury’s is selling T-shirts emblazoned with a trans love heart for children as young as three
Kate Barker, managing director of the LGB Alliance which defends the rights of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, said the range ‘promotes a damaging and misogynistic political ideology that neither the supermarket nor the children understand’.
But Sainsbury’s, which is a member of Stonewall’s controversial Diversity Champions scheme, said it was a popular range and profits from its sales were donated to Pride charities.
A spokesman added: ‘We are an inclusive retailer and our Pride clothing range is designed to celebrate and support the LGBT+ communities that we serve.
‘One of our designs this year features the trans flag colours in support of the trans community and Sparkle, our trans charity this year.’