Are women people who must not be named? Or people who can be called by whatever name you want?
The internationally acclaimed author J.K. Rowling is being abused for standing up for women’s right to be called women – and this abuse is unprecedented in its scale and severity.

The abuse began after Ms. Rowling posted a tweet mocking the trend of replacing the word “women” with “people who menstruate”. Trans activists found this tweet transphobic. We on the other hand believe that insisting that women should not be called women is a form of misogyny. We, the feminists of the post-Soviet world, support J.K. Rowling and strongly oppose those who persist in this hate campaign. Moreover, we declare that discrimination against women and the use of hate speech aimed at them under the pretext of protecting transgender rights is unacceptable. Protecting the rights of underprivileged groups should not be an excuse for insulting women and disrespecting their interests, their personalities, their agenda and self-identification rights.

The campaign of online bullying against J.K. Rowling is a blatant case of abuse of women by transgender activists. It has attracted publicity as a result of her popularity as an author. It is astonishing to see people who grew up reading Ms. Rowling’s books lash out at her for a short message saying that there already exists a word for “menstruating people”, and this word is “women”. This behaviour looks a lot like that of a spoilt child who expects their mother to fulfill their every whim and throws a tantrum when she calls nappies the “wrong” name or puts the “wrong” sticker on a toy box.

This seemingly insignificant pretext has caused a hailstorm of hatred, abuse, mockery and personal threats addressed to Ms. Rowling and the women who have supported her. This shameful campaign has gained widespread media coverage which in its turn has made the abuse even more intense.
According to trans ideology, which some people think represents a progressive route towards gender equality, the word “woman” has become a stumbling block, and an excuse to accuse those who use it of transphobia. A section of the trans community insist that they must be referred to as “women” while the others are mortally offended by this. Both, however, agree that the only group who need to ask permission as to when and how to use the term – and whether to use it at all – are women themselves.

But where is the progress here? Staying silent, keeping our eyes down and staying subservient to men - isn’t this the patriarchy, all too familiar to women? We are outraged by celebrities and international corporations led by a false sense of tolerance and playing up to the most radical section of the trans community – the part that demands women be called “people who menstruate”. This demand is sexist - it means reducing women as a social group to a reproductive function. This is an attempt to cancel women as a biological sex, and to deprive them of their identity.

These actions violate women’s rights of security and protection against sexual discrimination. The global community acknowledges the fact that abuse of women by men (including physical, sexual, economic and psychological) is universal and systemic. A lot of efforts are being taken to eradicate all forms of abuse against women.
We appeal to those who consider bullying and abuse unacceptable to support our statement. Please post this letter with the following hashtags:
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