Given the choice, I would like the planet saved and human life on earth to continue. Like most people, I am often overcome by a sense of individual powerlessness as the ice caps melt and we see extreme weather events : droughts, floods and fires everywhere.
Climate change is surely undeniable with parts of Canada hitting 49 C . It is as if the future has already arrived. This combined with the pandemic is frightening indeed.
Extinction Rebellion gave a boost to what seemed to be a rather tepid Green movement here. Sure, there were many things wrong with it – celebs jetting in, its whiteness, its naivety but also I saw its great energy among young people. As with Black Lives Matter , the young understand the need to grab the movement away from the hands of desiccated political parties and demand change now.
So what is the Green Party doing here and is it worth voting for? Local Green Party councillors seem to be caring but what a strange raggle- taggle bunch this party now is. Its leadership is in crisis, not over impending eco- catastrophe but of all things it’s inability to be able define what a woman is in the name, of course. of “trans rights.”
Sian Berry has stepped down from co-leadership and said in her statement “There is now an inconsistency between the sincere promise to fight for trans rights and inclusion in my work and the message sent by the party’s choice of front bench representatives”. A lot of this will surely pass by the average green voter. What is going on?
Well, last March at the Spring Conference a motion that would make women’s sex-based rights part of policy was proposed. This meant including sex as a protected characteristic, alongside age, gender reassignment, sexual orientation , religion/ belief, marriage/ civil partnership. The 2010 Equalities Act does include sex as a protected characteristic but the Greens in full nutjob mode voted it down. Yes 289 out of 521 delegates voted not to include women in its list of oppressed groups. They insisted it was transphobic to say that women are oppressed by men because of their sex.
Sian Berry was ecstatic tweeting “My party voted for inclusive women’s rights and someone is having a big old cry. Thank you Greens”.
I don’t know if anyone was having a cry, more that many people were saying what is a political party that cannot define woman, that no longer accepts biology doing? Predictably Berry then said “Vote for inclusion and kindness”
We know now don’t we that in the new double think inclusion actually means exclusion and kindness is code for women giving up spaces to men?
The Greens’ record on women’s rights is terrible and many women have left the party. There was the Aimee Challener debacle.
The Green Party Regional co-chairs were announced in 2019 as “Self identifying Non-Male Co-Chair: Martha James Self identifying Non-Female Co-Chair: Adrian Spurrell” God knows what this kind of narcissism means or if anyone cares? The planet is going to hell in a handcart but we are down this rabbit hole.
Personally I cannot vote for a party that cannot tell me what a woman is and is so ridiculously anti-science.
What really concerns me here, though and there is no need to rehearse the whole gender ideology debate is a profound lack of joining the dots and a true international perspective.
Ecological change can only come about through empowering women and understanding that they are key. I have read a couple of articles in the last week, one in The Guardian and one in the New Statesman that skirt round this issue. Population control is an issue. Declining fertility rates across the world is an issue. Women have less children when they are given a choice. In rich countries housing affects women’s choice and the pandemic has added to uncertainty. Italy talks of ghost maternity wards. Japan and some Scandinavian countries try to offer incentives but women will not have children if they are unsupported. China is concerned enough to alter its 2 child policy.
Will we have globally an old population with not enough young people to support it? Will less people mean less depletion of resources? These are incredibly complex questions but you cannot seek to avert climate change without understanding that women’s reproductive choices are absolutely key. It does not matter how people choose to identify.
The other unsaid part of this is that when fertility rates drop, sex selection - the termination of female foetuses becomes prevalent – people want boys as they are perceived to be bread winners. I have reported on this.
At the other end of the scale when contraception is denied to women by state and church, cycles of poverty for women continue and the education of girls stops. I saw this on a trip to Uganda where I met women in their 30s with 10 children. They has walked miles some of them to an outreach clinic that Marie Stopes were running in the rural north which was basically a tent in which nurses gave then contraceptive implants. Many of the younger women were also HIV positive.
All I am trying to do is here join the dots. There can be no ecological revolution without a feminist one. The exploitation of female bodies is intrinsically tied to late capitalism which ravages the earth. If the Greens do not make that connection what are they for? What are they doing?
In their rush to be inclusive they seem utterly ridiculous and navel-gazing. Include people of whatever gender sure but do not pretend that there is anything remotely “green” about ignoring half the global population. Do not pretend pronouns are a priority. Do not pretend that population itself is not an issue and do not ignore those who give birth. Or decide not to.
Life is in the hands of women. So is our future. If the Green Party does not understand that, it will remain the party of clueless do-gooders concerned mainly with recycling and cycling but blind to the radical changes that are actually happening around us now.
Inclusive means including women and children. Without this, the Greens are just another compost heap of fringe concerns , virtue signalling and bad clothes.