A poster that featured the dictionary definition of “woman” has been taken down after a man claimed the poster could make “transgender people feel unsafe.”
Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a feminist blogger, told the BBC that she raised £700 to have “woman, wʊmən, noun, adult human female” – the Google definition of “adult human female”put up in Liverpool to coincide with the Labour Party conference.
The poster remained up for one week before Twitter activist and NHS doctor Adrian Harrop claimed online that the definition amounts to an attack on transgender citizens that could endanger their safety.
Harrop contacted the senior directors and chief executive of the billboard company, and Primesight CEO Naren Patel, via Twitter, claiming they were complicit “in the spread of transphobic hate speech.”
“Are you aware that ‘Human Females’ – aka ‘Standing For Women’ – is a transphobic hate group, disguising itself in an adulterated version of feminism in order to spread its propaganda & hate speech w/ impunity?,” he wrote in another tweet to Primesight
The firm quickly responded, insisting it should never have been put up and promised to have the poster censored.
Primesight issued a statement online in response to Harrop’s tweet: “Please find response attached. As an update to the statement, we can now confirm that the posters will be removed this evening.”
“At first glance, this copy did not raise a red flag the way it should have done. Hands up, we have been misled by this campaign’s messaging.
“Thanks to you, this campaign has been halted and the posters will be removed from our billboards as soon as possible.
“As you pointed out, we are proud to support the LGBT+ community and remain fully committed to equality for all.”
Please find response attached. As an update to the statement, we can now confirm that the posters will be removed this evening. pic.twitter.com/kjZ9qyB7KP
— Primesight Direct (@Direct_PS) September 24, 2018
Harrop replied: “Thank you Primesight. This is the right decision, and I thank you personally for your rapid response so our concerns. You are truly a fantastic ally and supporter of the
#LGBTQ+ community, and this will not be forgotten. #TransWomenAreWomen ”
Thank you Primesight.
This is the right decision, and I thank you personally for your rapid response so our concerns.
— Dr Adrian Harrop (@DrAdrianHarrop) September 24, 2018
Mrs. Keen-Minshull, 44, who blogs under the pen name Posie Parker called the decision to remove the poster as “absurd” and “Orwellian” accusing Primesight of breaching their contract with her.
“We’re in a new realm of misogyny when the word ‘woman’ becomes hate speech,” she told The Times.
“I wanted it to be a conversation starter but this is a new level of absurd.”
The feminist group behind the poster, Standing for Women, have since released a statement on their website about the incident, writing: “As you may have read the billboard has been deemed transphobic and is being removed in an act of grotesque misogynistic rage, we are seeking legal advice and will make a full statement in due course.”
Twitter has suspended the group’s account.
A recent report from Parliament’s Women’s and Equalities committee that is aimed at appeasing the transgender lobby –demanding anyone be able to legally be considered a woman by simply saying they are – is expected to be ignored by the government.
If it is indeed adopted, the policy would mean that biological men would be allowed to enter women’s rape crisis centers and changing rooms, which has worried many women’s right campaigners and feminists.
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