Once again, a woman’s rights have been stepped on because a man is offended.
Women have only enjoyed equal rights to men — i.e., the right to vote — for a century, and men are already encroaching on their space.
Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR), founded in 1973 as Canada’s oldest rape crisis center, has been stripped of its funding by the city council because the center refuses to allow trans-identified men to take advantage of its services, according to the National Post.
With the assistance of some exceptional mental gymnastics, Vancouver City Council member Christine Boyle posted a tweet earlier this month suggesting it is in some way sexist and discriminatory to bar biological men from obtaining care at a facility for at-risk women, the majority of whom have been assaulted by men.
Trans women are women and sex work is work. Trans women & sex workers deserve care & protection. I can’t support orgs who exclude them, so I won’t be supporting city funding for #Vancouver Rape Relief. I hope we can redirect funds to an inclusive provider. https://t.co/2UlZyZmSN8
— Christine Boyle (@christineeboyle) March 13, 2019
Members of the transgender community were quick to celebrate the defunding of the crisis center for women in need because they have long labeled the nonprofit a hub of bigotry.
But staff at VRR are rightly calling the city council’s actions “an attack on women.”
— VancouverRapeRelief (@VanRapeRelief) March 21, 2019
In a statement, the facility described the council members’ decision as “discriminatory.”
“Vancouver City Council’s attempt to undermine our autonomy as a women’s group — to decide who we serve, who our membership is and who we organize with — also undermines the protections the law has granted us,” the statement read. “Such conduct has no place in a democratic society.”
VRR and organizations like it have long argued it can be re-traumatizing for women who have been assaulted to share intimate space with men, even if they are presenting as females.
Unwilling to budge from its position, VRR spokesperson Hilla Kerner told The Star Vancouver, “Rape Relief is strong enough and principled enough and has enough supporters in the community, … we will say no to that kind of money.”
The grant from the city council, it should be noted, only represents $33,972 of VRR’s more than $1 million annual budget, the majority of which is provided by the Province of British Columbia. The cash from the city was used for educational outreach programs, which were “free and accessible and available to everyone,” including those in the transgender community.
Meghan Murphy, a longtime advocate of VRR and editor of the Feminist Current, wrote she will “never understand the drive to lie about and smear those who support and fight for women.”