On 13th September, The New Yorker published an article by Amia Srinivasan ‘Who lost the sex wars?’ which contained inaccuracies about Woman’s Place UK.
On 14th September, Woman’s Place UK wrote to the New Yorker Magazine to request a correction and right of reply in their next edition. We have had no response.
We are astonished that a journal with a reputation for accuracy should publish such an article and ignore a request for correction.
We are therefore publishing our letter here.
Amia Srinivasan’s piece, ‘Who lost the sex wars?’ which was published in the September 13th edition of the New Yorker, contains highly misleading information about Woman’s Place UK. The New Yorker is celebrated for its fact checking and accuracy and this article fell far short of your usual standards.
We request that you provide a correction and apology in your next edition.
Woman’s Place UK is a grassroots feminist organisation which does not advocate for ‘the exclusion of trans women from women’s spaces’. We campaign for organisations to uphold existing UK equality law as it relates to protected characteristics which exist to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly and to guard against discrimination. These characteristics include sex, as well as gender reassignment:
The claim that ‘other speakers threatened a boycott’ in protest at Selina Todd, a distinguished historian, being scheduled to speak at an event to commemorate 50 years since the first National Women’s Liberation Conference, needs qualification. Some speakers supported her right to speak.
The consultancy fee of £20,000 which was paid to Woman’s Place UK was for a specific project, not general running costs, as insinuated by Srinivasan’s use of quote marks around the phrase ‘consultancy fee’.
The peer-reviewed project generated and communicated research on the importance of natal sex in data collection and law-making. Woman’s Place UK contributed by framing and disseminating the research. This included supporting the writing and publication of The Political Erasure of Sex, which highlighted why it is vital to collect population census data on males and females.
The report has since been vindicated by the Judgment in a legal challenge to the ONS (Office for National Statistics) which was brought by Fair Play for Women, a UK women’s rights organisation. The High Court ordered ONS to compel respondents to give their legally recognised sex in the 2021 Census and the British government has conceded defeat.
We look forward to hearing from you by return.
Woman’s Place Mythbusters
You can read some other WPUK rebuttals here
We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.