JK Rowling shares support for feminist friend ‘sabotaged’ by trans activists
Twitter has today been hauled into a free speech row after locking a feminist entrepreneur out of her account over a Tweet which she claims ‘quotes UK law’.
Angela Wild says she is no longer allowed to use her business account after Tweeting: ‘All men should be banned from women-only spaces – and they are’.
She says the comment is a quote of UK equality law – which allows single sex services to be provided in certain circumstances.
However she claims the social media giant has suspended her profile until she agrees to delete the Tweet, which moderators say breaches the site’s ‘hate speech’ rules.
The 44-year-old businesswoman, who uses the Twitter account to promote her company’s feminist art and clothing, says she has pleaded her case with the social media firm in a bid to get her account back.
However she claims moderators have told her she will not be able to wrestle back full control of account – which has more than 11,000 followers – until she deletes the Tweet.
Feminist groups claim Twitter has given in to pressure by trans activists by locking Ms Wild’s account and have attempted to rally around the entrepreneur.
And today Harry Potter author JK Rowling – who has become a leading feminist voice on social media – shared her support, by retweeting a post from Ms Wild’s friend about her situation.
Speaking about her experience to MailOnline, Ms Wild said: ‘I’m outraged at the thought that moderators on Twitter are making decision like this and taking action against a Tweet about something that is legal in the UK.
Ms Wild, 44, who lives in Wales, started her own business in September 2017 designing slogan-printed t-shirts and badges, which campaign for women’s sex-based rights
The message was retweeted by JK Rowling, who has become a prominent voice in campaigning for women’s sex-based rights and who was once pictured with Ms Wild at a campaign meeting
Friends say Ms Wild has been locked out of ‘several’ social media accounts and that people are now ‘actively sabotaging’ her business
Angela Wild says the social media giant has suspended her account until she agrees to delete the Tweet, which moderators claim breaches the site’s ‘hate speech’ rules
The 44-year-old businesswoman, who uses the Twitter account to promote her company’s feminist art and clothing, says she has pleaded her case with the social media giant in a bid to get her account back
‘This is not just about respecting freedom of speech it’s about democracy and having the right to state the law. And all of that is being taken away.’
It comes as JK Rowling today backed Ms Wild in her battle with the social media giant, by retweeting a post claiming she was being ‘sabotaged’ by trans activists.
The world-famous writer, 56, took to Twitter to retweet a message of support for the entrepreneur – who started her own business in September 2017 designing slogan-printed t-shirts and badges, which campaign for women’s sex-based rights.
So what does UK law say about sex-based rights?
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.
The main body of the act makes it illegal to discriminate based on someone’s sex.
But it does make exceptions to the general prohibition of sex discrimination – to allow the provision of separate services for men and women.
Under the act, a service provider can deliver separate services for men and women where providing a combined service would not be as effective.
And it lists the instances where single sex services are permitted where, including those where only people of that sex require it – or where there is joint provision for both sexes but that is not sufficient on its own.
Sex based services can also be utilised when a service is by more than one person and a woman might object to the presence of a man (or vice versa).
The act also gives an example, saying it would not be unlawful for a charity to set up separate hostels, one for homeless men and one for homeless women, where the hostels provide the same level of service to men and women because the level of need is the same but a unisex hostel would not be as effective.
But i each case, the separate provision has to be ‘objectively justified’.
This was backed up earlier this year when the UK’s human rights watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, issued new guidance.
It said that services such as bathrooms and domestic abuse refuges can be single sex in certain circumstances.
It did however add that such services should be open to trans people wherever possible.
Exceptions are only acceptable if there are ‘proportionate and justified reasons’, the EHRC said in its guidance.
Ms Rowling once famously wore one of Ms Wild’s ‘This Witch Doesn’t Burn’ t-shirts – sparking fury from trans activists who have branded the author and others like her as ‘transphobic’ for their gender- critical views.
Ms Wild said she was ‘thankful’ for the support of Ms Rowling – who she once met when the author hosted some of Britain’s most prominent feminists and women’s activists to support the ‘Respect My Sex’ campaign.
She said of Ms Rowling: ‘She was very nice and very humble for someone of that celebrity status.
‘I have a huge amount of respect for her. I think many celebrities are afraid to speak up and to put their ahead above the parapet about what is going on and what they really believe. She’s very brave.’
Ms Wild also thanked Ms Rowling and other feminists who had shown support, insisting that her business remained ‘busy’ despite the loss of her main Twitter account.
‘I’ve had lots of support – because I think people are starting to realise what is happening. So I’m still busy and I have other accounts which I can use – though it took me a long time to get up to 11,000 before.’
The row started after Ms Wild posted a tweet about sex-based rights. In the post, which copied in Ms Rowling, she wrote: ‘All men should be banned from women’s spaces.’
Ms Wild said her account was later suspended following complaints by trans activists.
But despite appealing, she received a message from Twitter moderators, which said under the header ‘violating our rules against hateful conduct’, that: ‘Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision.
‘You will not be able to access Twitter through your account due to violations of the Twitter rules, specifically our rules around: In order to restore functionality, you can resolve the violations by logging into the account and completing the onscreen instructions.’
Sharing the message on another account, Ms Wild said: ‘My case has been reviewed. And just like that Twitter had determined that women-only spaces, which are legal in UK, protected in the Equality Act 2010, are ‘hateful conduct’.
‘When companies place themselves above the law are we still in a democracy?’.
One of Ms Wild’s friend, Jess DeWhals, flagged the entrepreneurs battle with Twitter.
In a post she wrote: ‘My friend Angela has been locked out of several social media accounts.
‘People are mass reporting & actively sabotaging her business. I for one will go on a lil’ shopping spree in her shop now. Need some feminist art and merch? Look no further.’
The post was retweeted by Ms Rowling, who has more than 13million followers on her Twitter account.
Ms Wild started her own business in September 2017 designing slogan-printed t-shirts and badges, which campaign for women’s sex-based rights.
She began selling her products on Etsy but many of them were banned for ‘hateful conduct’ after she was targeted by ‘cruel’ trans rights activists who sent her threatening messages and reported her items.
Despite setting up her own website last year, the mother-of-one has had three different suppliers refuse to work with her and has been forced to call the police on several occasions to report the ‘frightening’ abuse she receives online.
The single mother-of-one started her own business in September 2017 making slogan-printed products campaigning for women’s sex-based rights
She has blasted trans activists for trying to ‘intimidate’ her by sending her daily death and rape threats. Pictured: A threat she has received via Facebook
Speaking exclusively to the MailOnline, Angela said: ‘The past five years of my life have been hell.
‘I’ve been relentlessly targeted by trans rights activists and their witchhunt campaign to instil fear into anyone who doesn’t agree with their views.
‘I’ve been labeled a ‘terf’ – a trans exclusionary radical feminist – a transphobic bigot, hateful, a Nazi, over social media and had some of my personal details published online.
‘My products are based on my own views. I do not accept the idea that anyone can have a cervix. It’s simple biology that only women do. It’s ridiculous that we can’t even say that – how is biology now viewed as hate speech?
‘What I have experienced first-hand from trans activists has been intimidating and frightening – it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
‘No one should have to be subjected to the abuse I and many other women receive on a daily basis. It’s disgusting and simply not right.
‘Transgender activists are trying to stifle free speech by tearing down anyone who wants to express gender critical views – It’s unacceptable!’
The single mother-of-one (above) has been labeled a ‘terf’ – a trans exclusionary radical feminist – a transphobic bigot, hateful, a Nazi, over social media and had her personal details published online
Angela says her products are based on her own views and have been popular with customers
‘Lesbian not Queer’ is another of the store’s popular designs that have attracted attention
One of Angela’s t-shirts which references the term ‘Cis’, which describes a person whose gender identity is the same as their sex assigned at birth
Angela receives hateful messages daily from transgender activists on social media (pictured) and has been forced to contact the police several times concerned for her safety
Angela, who is originally from France, has an array of products that she sells on her website, Wild Womyn Workshop, which include badges that read ‘Trans women are men’, ‘Protect women-only spaces’ and ‘Female biology is not bigotry’ to name a few.
She started her business in September 2017 but was instantly met with abuse and opposition from trans activists who labelled her a ‘worthless b***h’.
She added: ‘I was in an abusive relationship with a man for a very long time. I struggled severely with my mental health and when we broke up I decided I wanted to create something I believed in that reflected my values.
‘I set up an Etsy shop in 2017 but after a few months, many of my products were being repeatedly reported. Over the years it kept happening until I was given a final warning in 2019.
‘Messages on social media from trans activists sending me abuse became the norm – but as time went on they got more severe. It started to get quite scary and I had to contact the police.
‘Fed up of having to constantly justify myself, I decided to set up my own website and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I love it!’
The single mother-of-one, who is also the co-founder of lesbian feminist activist group Get The L Out, shot to prominence when J K Rowling purchased a t-shirt with the slogan ‘This witch doesn’t burn’ under a pseudonym last year.
The author, 56, has faced accusations of transphobia after she mocked an online article in June 2020 which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
Angela shot to prominence when J K Rowling purchased a t-shirt with the slogan ‘This witch doesn’t burn’ under a pseudonym last year and tweeted about it (pictured)
Angela says: ‘I have been fortunate enough to always have consistent sales, but they went through the roof when J K Rowling posted a tweet wearing one of my t-shirts. I couldn’t believe it!
‘I support her and am a huge fan – it really was the boost I needed. I was so grateful.
‘However, it massively increased the abuse and on one occasion I received a bomb threat to my studio followed by rape and death threats in their masses.
‘Three different suppliers refused to work with me and one claimed my products were inciting hate. I’ve also had people pretend to place orders and message me to try and find out my home address – It’s crazy.
‘One person wrote to me on Facebook, ”Trans women are more of a woman than you. Looks like you burn pretty well to me.’
‘My activism and products seem to highlight the conflict of interest between women’s rights and trans rights activists. It’s baffling to me that I am a woman and my right to free speech is taken away because I want to express gender critical views.
‘My opinions aren’t hurting anyone. We live in a democracy. Yet, with trans rights activists they seek to cancel you and make you feel as if you are nothing.
Angela has said her activism and feminist products seem to highlight the ‘conflict of interest between women’s rights and trans rights activists’
‘The more we are harassed the more we will stand up and fight. Women who are critical of gender ideology are routinely accused of being on the ‘wrong side of history’ but enough is enough. There needs to be a voice heard for the lesbian community.’
Angela opened up about how trans lobby group Stonewall, which is paid millions of pounds for advising public bodies – including Government departments, police forces and universities – has branded lesbians ‘sexual racists’ for raising concerns about being pressured into having sex with transgender women.
She said: ‘We are now under huge pressure within the LGBT+ groups to accept trans women as sexual partners but there needs to be a voice for the other side. In my opinion, trans women are men. They do not have cervixes and they do not menstruate. That is simple biology. That is fact. Saying otherwise is ridiculous.
‘Lesbians are women who are sexually attracted to women exclusively. We get called by organisations such as Stonewall and the LGBT community as transphobic and hateful because we don’t conform to the ideology that we should be attracted to trans women.
‘I believe nobody can change sex – you can identify as whoever you want but it doesn’t make you that. Lesbians are being targeted. I have spoken to many who have been harassed and it’s not okay.
‘At the end of the day, we live in a democracy that prides itself on free speech. Trans activists have their voices heard and are supported by charities like Stonewall, however what about women like me who speak for the other side?
‘You cannot simply shut us up. We are entitled to our opinion and I will make sure mine is heard every day.’
You can visit the Wild Womyn Workshop here.
MailOnline has attempted to contact Twitter for a comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.