Feminists Say They’re Being ‘Bullied and Blackmailed’ Over Opposition to Canada’s Transgender Rights Bill

Feminist activists in Canada say they’re being “bullied and blackmailed” by a powerful union group because they’ve raised concerns about how a proposed  transgender rights bill could destroy exclusively “female-born” women’s spaces like rape crisis centers.The transgender rights bill, titled C-16, would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the protections outlined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code. The House of Commons, which voted in favor of the bill, sent the proposed law changes to the Senate last November.Hilla KernerBut “there is no social consensus on what these terms mean,” said Hilla Kerner, a spokeswoman for the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter.She recently testified to the Red Chamber committee studying the bill, saying this change could interfere with women’s ability to organize, fight for women’s rights, and raise consciousness about issues affecting women. Women’s groups must have “the right to decide who they will serve and who their members are,” she told us.Kerner’s organization also told the committee that her organization blocked a post-operation transgender woman from volunteering as a rape counselor because, according to her, she didn’t have sufficient “life experience” to relate to women who are escaping abusive relationships.Earlier this year British Columbia Federation of Labour, an umbrella organization representing many union groups, unanimously passed a resolution calling on all their affiliates to avoid donating to “trans* exclusionary organizations,” specifically mentioning the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

Source: Feminists Say They’re Being ‘Bullied and Blackmailed’ Over Opposition to Canada’s Transgender Rights Bill

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