I had been noticing for a while that very subtle changes were happening in just about every sector of society that amounted to the dilution of the sex based protections provided for women and girls. And yet ….. no public figures were even talking about this let alone making a fuss.
It quickly became apparent that writing about protecting the rights of women and girls was interpreted as being bigoted against trans people, which was then usually followed by an onslaught of abuse. The most outspoken women were deliberately targeted, jobs risked, kicked out of groups, assaulted or were alienated from family and friends. It was enough to make me run away scared and close down my social media accounts.
Like many other women I had to start from scratch by reinventing an anonymous online presence. This takes a lot of time and is no easy feat as being an anonymous account comes with its own problems. But, by writing as ‘Scottish Women’ my real life, my family, have been protected from the abuse and harassment I receive as it has been limited to just my online presence. I vowed I would never reveal my true identity. However, things got a little tricky when my campaigning caught the attention of a number of journalists and the name of the person behind ‘Scottish Women’ was needed, so I opted to use the pseudonym ‘Jess Stewart’.
This worked well for a while, but more recently my campaigning is increasingly blurring the line that separates my real life from my online presence, so after discussions with my family, I’ve made the decision to ditch my pseudonym and be myself. But it won’t be a particularly interesting revelation for anyone as I am of no great public importance, nor do I hold any power or influence anywhere.
I’m just an ordinary Scottish woman, a married mum with two teenage girls, trying to figure out how best to equip them with the skills they’ll need to navigate through life. I teach them to trust their gut instincts, to stand up for their deeply held beliefs and never be scared to speak up for what is right. My daughters are the reason why I do what I do so it’s only right I follow my own advice. I want them to grow into strong confident women and I hope this is just one more lesson that might help them achieve that.
“Always be true to yourself”
Thank you for all your support,