Duemmer Wrigley and the prize everyone is, unexpectedly, fighting for. 

A solicitor has been sued after stating that only women can get periods.

Elspeth Duemmer Wrigley is a civil service lawyer who works closely with the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

She is also gender critical and chairs the civil service branch of SEEN (Sex Equality and Equity Network), which represents colleagues who hold similar views.

By allowing SEEN to exist, alleges the unidentified claimant, the government has created “an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and/or offensive environment” for them.

The individual, who is an employee of another body affiliated with the civil service, is suing Duemmer Wrigley for harassment due to her views, as well as DEFRA.

On Duemmer Wrigley’s crowdfunder for legal fees, the lawyer says the claimant named her as a defendant on the basis of comments and posts she made in the workplace.

She said her alleged offences included stating during a seminar on Women and Autism that “only women menstruate”, which contradicts the understanding among people who believe in gender identity that females can become men or non-binary. 

Other alleged infractions included posting a list of the protected characteristics from the Equality Act which highlighted that gender expression, gender identity and gender were not included, recommending the children’s book My Body is Me by Rachel Rooney, and linking to a SEEN interview with a civil servant who detransitioned (i.e. stopped identifying as a member of the opposite sex).

The claimant has also allegedly cited a post about being gender critical which Duemmer Wrigley published on the internal civil service network. In it the lawyer stated that “Some people believe that we all have a gender (sometimes ‘gender identity’) separate from our biological sex; that sex is a spectrum, and that biological sex is an idea that first emerged with white European colonisation”, whereas “Other people, such as myself, hold that sex is binary (male and female), fundamentally biological and an important category to recognise in language, laws, sport and [the] workplace”.

In October 2023, Duemmer Wrigley further inflamed internal oppostion when she wrote to the cabinet secretary warning that civil servants with gender-critical views were being “openly and unlawfully bullied and harassed”, and claimed that a “small number of active gender ideologues” were threatening the civil service's impartiality.

Commenting on the case, Duemmer Wrigley said, “Can you really be sued for saying things like this? It appears you can”. 

Maya Forstater, executive director of Sex Matters, a human-rights organisation that campaigns for clarity on sex in law, policy and language, told RollOnFriday, “This is a shocking case, which follows revelations by civil servant whistle-blowers about a ‘culture of fear’ among gender-critical civil servants across Whitehall. It is not reasonable to view the existence of a network of gender critical colleagues as ‘harassment’”.

A:gender, a civil service network dedicated to those on the other side of the gender debate to SEEN, declined to comment. A DEFRA spokesperson told RollOnFriday, “We are unable to comment on ongoing legal proceedings”. But what about you? Poll time!


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Tip Off ROF


Sumoking 22 March 24 08:42

You don't need a poll Rof, you just need to look at the message board to see if men get periods a quick glance at the threads by i.e. Dalek or Marshall Hall and you could easily draw your own conclusion about male menstruation (or possibly menopause) 

Spotty Lizard 22 March 24 08:54

Any of us can express any number of dotty opinions without fear of being sued. I could go onto LinkedIn right now and express the view that the moon landings were faked, or that the Earth is flat, or that the Royal Family are all shape-changing lizards, or that it's the West's fault that Putin invaded Ukraine or whatever, and the worst that will happen is that I lose clients and maybe get pushed out of my firm.

This woman has stated a basic and verifiable biological fact, and she gets sued for it, and we're all tip-toeing around trying not to infuriate a very small number of (at best) highly deluded individuals trying to coerce us all into their game of make-believe. 

If someone wants to pretend they're something they're not, they can go ahead and do so. They don't get to force themselves rest of us into pretending with them, or to co-opt the legal system into enforcing their lack of entitlement to do so. This is a blatant piece of Doublethink and, by doing anything other than calling it what it is, we are all tacitly enabling it. 

Come on, RoF, take a stand. The tone of the article suggests that you agree that this is rot, and from your poll results the overwhelming majority of your readership do too. 

Dysphoria 22 March 24 09:07

I am constantly taken-aback that any one believes the right approach to dealing with someone suffering from gender dysphoria is to share and encourage their delusion that they are what they manifestly are not. It's like giving a drunk a bottle of vodka.

Sigh 22 March 24 09:29

Can't wait for this comments section to fill right up with fetid transphobes, as they always do.


Look: if you worked somewhere, and someone else wouldn't bloody stop banging on - publicly - about what essentially boils down to a personal view that you and those like you aren't legitimate people who ought to be afforded the same rights and respect as others, you'd probably be a bit upset, too. That would likely be worse if you belonged to a minority that a) is far more poorly understood than any other minority; b) has seen its quality of life in wider society fall dramatically over the last 5-10 years; and c) is being overtly weaponised by the press - which, funnily enough, is controlled by ultra-rich barons - as a distraction tool so that idiots, pearl-clutchers and sour self-obsessed pieces of work are too busy bellowing about it they're too busy to notice almost every single person in this country's quality of life being merrily diminished so an even tinier minority can get richer than you or me could possibly ever imagine.

Anonymous 22 March 24 09:43

Mostly enjoy RoF apart from these periodic anti-trans pile ons. Such a shame. The article in hand seems to be a bunfight between two bad faith straw men; lose-lose. 

Spotty Lizard 22 March 24 09:44

@sigh Leaving aside the many other errors in your post (not the least of which is the assertion that the 'trans community is seeking 'the same rights and respect as others'), exactly what part of your post discloses a legitimate cause of action against this woman?

Sigh 22 March 24 09:56

@Spotty Lizard - if you read my post again, you'll see that I actually didn't say that at all. I suppose it's insightful that your views on this issue are accompanied by an inability to read things accurately. I've no idea whether or not there's a sound cause of action because I don't specialise in this kind of work. My point is that it seems plain as day that any reasonable person in the position of the person bringing the action would feel aggrieved.

papercuts 22 March 24 09:56

I still have no idea what a "trans" actually is.

Even Stonewall is unable to enlighten me.

Here is their, er, "definition":


Q on Stonewall site:

"How does a person know they are trans?"


A on Stonewall site:

"Many people know they’re trans from a young age. Some trans people
might not have the language or understanding of what it means to be
trans until later in life. Other trans people do not know until they
are teenagers or adults. There is no right or wrong way to be trans,
but what is clear is that it’s not something that’s a fad or a
'lifestyle choice' and that all trans people deserve to be treated
with dignity and respect. If you aren’t recognised as being the gender
you know you are, it’s extremely damaging."


Clear as mud.


Now try adapting that question for straights and gays - see how clear
and simple the answers are:


Q: How does a woman knows she's straight?

A: She's sexually attracted to men.


Q: How does a woman know she's gay?

A: She's sexually attracted to women.


Q: How does a woman know she's bisexual?

A: She's sexually attracted to men and women.


When something actually exists, it’s easy to define.


I defy anyone to read the stonewall “definition” of what a trans
person is and tell me what it means.

Sigh 22 March 24 09:59

I will make two corrections on my original post at 09.29, though: The neurodivergent community is also abysmally poorly understood by others and I didn't intend to overlook that when I said the trans community is the "most poorly misunderstood", and I apologise for the ghastly mistake of "they're too busy", which clearly shouldn't be there when "are too busy" is present earlier in the same sentence. I shall head into the weekend with my head hung in shame.

Together123 22 March 24 10:00

We are all amazing individual human beings no matter what colour, sex, race, gender, adolescent, menopausal, andropause, age or stage in life we find ourselves.  Respect, empathy, understanding as adults we could all do well to practice daily in our lives and embrace and celebrate our unique individuality for the true gift it is.

Together123 22 March 24 10:01

We are all amazing individual human beings no matter what colour, sex, race, gender, adolescent, menopausal, andropause, age or stage in life we find ourselves.  Respect, empathy, understanding as adults we could all do well to practice daily in our lives and embrace and celebrate our unique individuality for the true gift it is.

double sigh 22 March 24 10:06

Damn it, I have to do a line-by-line of your tomfoolery, Sigh.

'Can't wait for this comments section to fill right up with fetid transphobes, as they always do.'

[By 'fetid transphobes', you mean people who believe that there are two sexes, and who also believe that it is important for women and girls to have same sex spaces and categories to be safe, and to compete, and to have dignity and privacy. You're using thought-terminating insults to close down reasonable people.]

'Look: if you worked somewhere, and someone else wouldn't bloody stop banging on - publicly '

[Yeah, those awful women banging on - publicly! - about how they want spaces away from males.  The cheek! It has clearly escaped you that SEEN is one group versus all the LGBTQ+ groups that take the opposing view, and 'bang on' about their views with the full weight of corproates behind them. But that's fine for you, isn't it Sigh, whereas one voice on the other side is too much for you.]

'about what essentially boils down to a personal view that you and those like you aren't legitimate people who ought to be afforded the same rights and respect as others, you'd probably be a bit upset, too'

[No-one is saying that trans people shouldn't have the same rights as anyone else. We are saying that trans people should have exactly that, the same rights, and not additional rights, eg to enter opposite sex spaces.] 

'That would likely be worse if you belonged to a minority... being overtly weaponised by the press - which, funnily enough, is controlled by ultra-rich barons - as a distraction tool so that idiots, pearl-clutchers and sour self-obsessed pieces of work are too busy bellowing about it they're too busy to notice almost every single person in this country's quality of life being merrily diminished.'

[You think that this is a silly topic that Tory press barons are using to distract silly, easily-fooled women from the real issues? Do you have any idea how insulting, patronising and misogynist that is? It may stun you, but no, we actually consider this an important issue, for realsies. It should interest you to learn that the only reason the Tory press barons are covering it is because it is an open goal and the leftwing press are too craven to do so - even though many gender critical people are, gasp, on the left.]


Arachnae 22 March 24 10:09

Just had momentary conniptions thinking I had posted the above under my own name and that this would, ridiculously, end my career. IT SHOULDNT BE LIKE THIS!

Anonymous 22 March 24 10:12

"if you worked somewhere, and someone else wouldn't bloody stop banging on - publicly - about what essentially boils down to a personal view" - that they were actually a lady despite having a dick? 

Yes, I imagine that would be pretty tedious. But you think I can sue them for that inconvenience to my feelings, is that right?

FFS 22 March 24 10:24

Kill me now. I’ve had enough of this crap already this year. Men do not have periods. If he does, he is not a man. 

Anonymous 22 March 24 10:39

I quite like the absurdity of the "give us everything we demand and stop asking questions, saying that men can't actually turn into women is a wicked Tory distraction trick to entrench inequality!" Er, no dude, we just think that what you are asking for is bonkers.

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 10:41

If anyone is still in any doubt about who is creating a hostile environment for whom, this case should help you work it out.

The SEEN network was created because civil servants who believe in the importance, immutability and binary nature of biological sex (a protected belief under the Equality Act, per the Forstater judgment) felt that they were at serious risk of discrimination in the civil service, which is Stonewalled up to its eyeballs.

It is not enough for the LGBTQ "community" (in inverted commas because not all individuals supposedly in this group are in agreement on these issues) to have their own support and representation. They feel the need to ensure that those with whom they disagree are unsupported and unrepresented.

Just like it is not enough for LGBTQ people to have their own rape crisis support; it is necessary to ensure that female rape survivors cannot have their own single sex support from which biologically male people are excluded.

And it is not enough for LGBTQ people to have toilets and changing rooms they can safely use; it is necessary to ensure that women cannot have single sex facilities from which biologically male people are excluded no matter how legitimate their reasons for wanting this.

And it is not enough for LGBTQ people to have - at last count - over 300 charities and lobby groups representing them (in the UK alone). LGB people must not be allowed to have even one charity representing only people who are same sex attracted. (Mermaids v Charity Commission and LGB Alliance.)

Can you see it yet?

Dearie 22 March 24 10:44

Bit by bit women are being marginalised and told what to accept and what to think by some privileged men; and worse they are threatened when they speak out about it.

Sigh 22 March 24 10:47

@double sigh - While on the one hand it's constructive of you to have taken the time to set out your position in some detail (thank you for that), it's equally unconstructive to immediately accuse me of tomfoolery, especially on a matter where it seems that a central thread of your frustration (which I accept appears to be legitimate) is a belief that people with views akin to mine are unable to tolerate opposing views. Surely, if that proposition was accepted (and I don't accept it - one side of this argument has always appeared to me to be doing an awful lot more shouting than the other, and it's not mine), it must cut both ways? If you want to dismiss my remarks out of hand as tomfoolery then that's up to you, but it's oxymoronic to do that and then criticise those who support trans people for (allegedly) the same thing. It will perhaps surprise you to know that the enormous majority of people who want this relentless barrage of unlivable hatred against trans people to cease also want all of the things you say you want for women and girls. Many of us passionately so. The idea that the two goals are mutually exclusive is completely disingenous. It is possibly instructive that you have used the word "compete" - I presume that this relates to the preposterous and never-ending furore about the spectre of trans women coming to take over and dominate women's sport (it may not - if you are using "compete" in a professional sense then I'll happily stand corrected and indeed I completely agree that our ongoing gender pay gaps are embarrassing and that it's vital we eliminate them, albeit I'm not sure trans people are a relevant consideration on that front given that they, too, tend to be massively held back in the workplace). Of course, we know that examples of this actually happening are vanishingly rare. In any event, I suppose where you fall on that issue depends on your opinion on what matters more - the prospect of someone winning at their chosen sport, or the prospect of someone living an authentic and unencumbered life, with ordinary prospects, an ordinary capacity to go outside without being afraid of what might happen to them, and ordinary life expectancy. One seems clearly more important than the other, to my mind. Moving on to your criticism of the term "bang on", well that's an interesting argument in the context of a workplace. Remember: these posts were made on a forum in a workplace. I'm assuming the person who is raising this action has access to that forum. This workplace may include trans women or, as I think it probably more particularly the case in this complaint, trans men. To what end does one opine that "only women menstruate" in that environment? To what end does one post a list of protected characteristics that highlights the exclusion of gender expression and identity from protected characteristics under the Equality Act? It's one thing to post that list, but to expressly post a version that might as well say "look, transes, you don't count!" seems like it's got one objective and one objective only. You do raise the very legitimate point about women needing access to safe spaces away from men. A frightening proportion of women are victims of violence, harassment and abuse from men at some point of their lives. It's sickening. It's not lost on me that many women who are concerned about this issue are survivors of these crimes. That's a serious matter and I didn't intend to appear flippant about it, and if that's how it came across then I apologise for it. More needs to be done to protect women from these horrors, and to change our culture so that men stop behaving in this way. Much needs to be done. But it seems to me that trans women are overwhelmingly also the subject of abuse by men. They are a vulnerable community seeking the same protections that cis women also need. Anyway, I haven't articulated this as well as I'd like, but what I'm trying to get across is that even though I don't agree with you, I think your concerns are serious and valid and it wasn't my intention to say they aren't. In short, I think there's probably a lot more that we are broadly in sync about than one might first assume, but I find it really difficult to see through a lens that frames cis women and trans women as enemies when, as usual, the root of both parties' problems seems quite clearly to be cis men, as it usually is.

Anonymous 22 March 24 10:48

spotty lizard, the fact rof's run the story at all and included the poll to give people a voice is, sadly, equivalent to taking a stand, such is the febrile rage which greets any attempt to air this issue from the gentle #bekind lobby.

Not Admiral Ackbar 22 March 24 11:06

I am not answering your poll. It's a TRAP!!!!!

insert appropriate star wars meme here

Office Drone 22 March 24 11:25

Biological sex matters - I find it bizarre that some people want to argue it doesn't.

Yes, the concept of "gender" is a social construct and yes, a biological woman may feel that adopting a male gender identity is better aligned with who she feels she is (and vice versa). No issue with that, go ahead. Same with the non-binary crowd - some people refuse to adopt a personal identity that fits neatly certain gender expectations and they prefer to keep it fluid - fine by me. Transidentities are as old as humanity itself - the outrage around it is cynically manufactured and nonsensical.

But even if you take all the hormone pills and have the surgeries to get you as close to your chosen sex as you like, your DNA and fundamental physical make-up remains the sex you were born with. That also impacts various medical treatments and surgeries you may need - your doctors will need to know your biological sex to treat adequately. From the way your organs are positioned, your hormonal make-up or your bone density to the way certain drugs may work or not work on you, your biological sex is critical here. 

So as a transperson you can become, thanks to modern medicine, a close approximation of the sex you identify with. But you cannot argue away that you were born another sex and that's never going to change. 

Anonymous 22 March 24 11:33

@Office Drone - but that's not enough for me. I don't just want to be allowed to live exactly as I please, I also want everyone else to play along and indulge me by pretending my personal fantasy is real. It's my Human Right!

Conflated of Amersham 22 March 24 12:35

Legislation and policy cannot of themselves make something so.

Various commentators, Parliamentarians, professionals and people on the street are critical of the Conservative Party's legislation which states Rwanda as a safe third country. It palpably is not.

Whilst most seem to have no issue with self identification or the process(es) around it, the issue clearly is that this identity of self is one which everyone is being compelled to acquiesce. Now whether this is an evolutionary manifestation, a mental health issue, a lifestyle choice or a fetish, so long as no-one is using this as a stick with which to beat the self identifier, why should there be a compulsion on society at large to recognise this as fact? 

I have heard it posited that if a person is utterly convinced that they are the reincarnation of Cleopatra, how many people need to be convinced of their past identities for that to become a protected characteristic?

For my part I don't have answers but it strikes me as premature to have firm views until we know much more behind the science of the matter. And am with Professor Winston having found his recent contribution in the HoL rather compelling.

Anonymous 22 March 24 13:20

Biological sex is a fact; gender is a social construct. Wear what u want, sleep with who u like (over the age of consent of course,) but if u have a willy u ain't a filly, and vice versa. I grew up in the 1970s/80s. We had plenty of gender b(l)ender popstars like Bowie, Boy George, etc. They never denied their biologiical sex. 

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 13:35

@Sigh, re your 10:47. You are right about one thing. Respect for the rights of trans people and respect for the rights of women and girls are not mutually exclusive. Or at least, they should not be mutually exclusive. Do you really think that people such as JK Rowling, for example, (famously leftie, feminist, always on the side of the underdog) would be opposing the rights sought for trans people if granting them did not take anything away from other groups? As a card-carrying "TERF", if trans rights organisations were campaigning for additional spaces and services for trans people to allow them to use the toilet, get changed or access rape crisis support in safety and dignity, I would wholeheartedly support them. But I am not aware of any such campaign. Indeed, if you search for discussions about this issue on Twitter, you will find many trans people saying that if such spaces existed, they would not use them and would continue to use spaces and services for the opposite sex, because that is what they want. The rights and needs of the members of the opposite sex in those spaces and services are not important. A women's changing room without any women in it is just an empty room, at the end of the day. But when having a space provided for you to get changed in is not enough unless other people are forced to occupy that space with you (or else self exclude from these spaces altogether), I can only conclude that it is not actually about safety or dignity at all, but validation. It is not enough for the rest of society to accommodate your beliefs; they must be required to actively participate in them. The issue of single sex spaces is only one aspect of what everyone now understands is a hugely complex problem. Women's needs and trans people's needs can and should both be met. But sometimes, they cannot both be met in the same space, and it is time the trans community and their allies accepted that. At its heart, gender critical feminism is about the belief that women - by which I mean adult human females - should have the same rights that society has accepted trans people should have. The right to safety, dignity, privacy and equal opportunity. The right to identify themselves however they wish, even if they feel that their own identity does not include trans people of the opposite sex. And the right to say these things out loud, including at work, without fear of persecution.

Anonymous 22 March 24 13:42

But outside everyone's opinions on gender, the reality is that trans men do get periods, so really what the poll is asking is "Do you think trans men are really men"?"

Which to be honest is a bit of a rum thing to be canvassing opinion for on (ostensibly) a lighthearted news website for professionals.

Anonymous 22 March 24 13:45

@Paul - obviously the question of whether unicorns exist or not is a complex and nuanced one. Nobody on my side of the debate is trying to cancel unicorn deniers. All we're asking for is that you respect our diversity by never ever mentioning the fact that you don't think they exist (especially by 'banging on' in the workplace) and that you play along and pretend they do whenever we want. Also you have to clap and cheer on International Unicorn Day Of Visibility. Don't be a unicornophobe!

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 13:59

@Anonymous 13:42 I agree the question is a bit goady and unnecessary. 

"Do you think people should be allowed to say that only women menstruate?" would be a better question. 

Anonymous 22 March 24 14:00

Um, 13:42...everyone gets the question. We don't think transmen are 'really men'. That's precisely what gender critical people should (and do) have the right to say. 

You seem to think that the idea that females can become men and males can become women, which strikes many of us as ludicrous, is now a sacred text, not to be blasphemed against.

This must all be terribly distressing for you.



Andrew 22 March 24 14:05

Interested to hear where for example intersex people sit within this so-called fundamentally biological binary categorisation.  

Basic biology is messy and complicated not simple and binary.  

And that is without considering the complicated social and cultural aspects of gender identity and gender expression.

Perhaps we can just respect each other as human beings just trying to live our lives, rather than taking  undue offence and shouting past each other all the time.  War is over, if you want it. 

Compromise position 22 March 24 14:07

Is it ok to think that it’s a bit weird joining a group whose whole purpose seems to be to tells trans women they’re not women and that piping up with the line “only women menstruate” at a conference seems unlikely to have context that wouldn’t make that a weird thing to bring up WHILE AT THE SAME TIME thinking that suing people with views you don’t like (at least it’s better than making threats or turning up at people’s houses) is bullying tactics and less about gaining acceptance and understanding than it is about cowing people into silence?

Anonymous 22 March 24 14:11

Respectfully disagree, orange bandana. It's comparing oranges and lemons. Your poll seeks to reveal people's attitude to freedom of speech on the topic, whereas the existing poll seeks to reveal people's underlying belief about sex/gender. Both valid questions, though.

Anonymous 22 March 24 14:16

'War' is over if we surrender to men, is what you mean, Andrew. The reason we can't all just get along is because males are coming into our loos, our prisons, our rape crisis centres, our sports, our same-sex spaces. But of course none of that adversely affects you so hey, what's the big deal, girls? God, your wilful ignorance makes me furious! How can you still be so ignorant?

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 14:25

@Andrew People with differences of sexual development (apparently they generally prefer this descriptor to "intersex people") are male or female. Klinefelter Syndrome, for example, only affects males, whereas Turner Syndrome and MRKH Syndrome only affect females. Even among people with a difference of sexual development, having ambiguous genitalia is vanishingly rare. A baby being erroneously identified as being the opposite sex at birth is even more rare, particularly in developed countries with high quality medical care. Caster Semenya, for example, was erroneously identified as female at birth, which became obvious at puberty. Many people with DSDs have repeatedly been asked not to be dragged into the debate about trans people, which has nothing to do with them. I think it is disrespectful to use people's distressing medical conditions without their consent to support your weak argument that sex isn't binary. 

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 14:27

@Compromise Position You seem to be confused about the purpose of the SEEN network. Perhaps this will help.

Rof getting tedious 22 March 24 14:49

I, like the 99.995% of the population that does not have gender dysphoria, should really have no stake in this issue except to say let people live their lives. Honestly anyone who builds their personality or politics around gender criticality is in desperate need of a hobby. How about if someone is trans just congratulate them on realising their wishes and leave them be.

It's exhausting that Rof keeps stoking this fringe issue every couple of weeks to score points with the pitchfork-wielding subset of its readership.

Anonymous 22 March 24 15:01

14:49, By my count ROF news last covered gender eight months ago, in July 2023, and only then obliquely: 

But perhaps you can correct me. 

Orange Bandanna 22 March 24 15:05

@Rof getting tedious - so how are the women who need single sex spaces and services supposed to just live their own lives now that all these things have been made mixed sex? Your comment reeks of unexamined penis privilege.

Anonymous 22 March 24 15:07

Spot the activist who’d rather no-one covered this extraordinary case! (Btw, 14:49, as you should well know, this doesn’t just affect those with gender dysphoria, it affects everyone who has to make way for them - and the many others who aren’t dysphoric, who generally present the more pressing issue)

Anonymous 13:42 22 March 24 15:13

Just to be clear, I don't particularly give a monkeys what the result of the poll are (and certainly don't think anything is a 'sacred text' or distressing or whatever) - I just thought it was a bit of an odd thing to be polling for when looking at ROF on a Friday afternoon.

And not for nothing, but I would probably think it even more offputting if I were trans or had close family that were trans.

Anonymous 22 March 24 15:37

Righty-ho, 15:13, so what you’re saying is that the media shouldn’t allow people to express the view that men don’t get periods in case it upsets a reader who has a transgender relation. 

You’re right that’s very reasonable and you’re definitely a neutral interlocutor. 

Trans Activist 22 March 24 15:49

Why oh why can't we all just calm down, stop arguing, Be Kind, respect each others diversity, and give me everything that I demand without further discussion? 

Lifer 22 March 24 16:24

There is sadly not much debate to be had on this issue. It is factually correct that there are only 2 biological sexes. If you cannot assert that objective fact then you can’t have a debate about the broader issues of respecting people’s subjective views. I personally wish anyone well in adopting whatever identity they choose. However, where this infringes upon the fact based rights of others the objective trumps the subjective.

Anonplease 22 March 24 17:16

I think the link to the 'controversial question of the week' has been hijacked by many, many men with periods... the number of voters is going up by the second, and all in one very messy direction... 

Lifer 22 March 24 18:58

@fond of cheese

A vanishingly small number of males with a disorder. Therefore, men can’t have periods. My mate has 6 toes but we don’t say humans have 6 toes

Absurd 22 March 24 19:34

Why is it that yet again men / trans women (i.e. men) are always  forcing their views on women  !

Anonymous 22 March 24 20:37

I do find it fascinating how trans advocates switch so easily from a position of asserting that everyone should have the right to say whatever novel quirky ideas they come up with about gender without anyone judging or contradicting them, and they must certainly be free to bring their authentic self to work... but then snap quickly into a position of saying that of course it's fine for people to think that men can't turn into women but it's unacceptable to say so out loud, especially in the workplace, for fear that saying so might cause anyone else to feel disagreed with. A real vintage case of free speech hypocrisy.

Anonymous 22 March 24 20:40

Also, a huge lol at the TRA's frantically scrabbling around for rare genetic disorders to pretend they know the first thing about, as if that had anything to do with men who dress up as women and then demand everyone else play along.

Dubious 1 22 March 24 23:13

I certainly cant get my head around the fact that men who have become woman where I work, or at least dress like women still manage to piss over the toilet seats.

Bonkers 22 March 24 23:59

As of midnight, 56.9% of responses believe men do get periods.

Seeing as that is absolutely bonkers, it’s fair to say the poll has been manipulated to reach a certain conclusion. That the trans movement feels the need to do that just says it all really. 

Fed up Felicity 23 March 24 04:49

Stonewall and other groups like Mermaids have been steadily pushing their own agenda on Government departments for years which has trickled down into common parlance. The terms sex, rather than gender, and any terms relating to women and their biological differences have become taboo despite being a protected characteristic. Yet sex based terms are important in research and statistics to show sex related health needs and so on. Gender became more popular as a term to avoid saying sex, but this was then taken over by the trans agenda. A very successful propaganda campaign used people’s inherent desire to be nice to others to get them to use pronouns and agree with a separation between sex from gender. Let’s get this straight, no surgery or hormone interventions will change someone’s chromosomes. You can have all the surgery you want, although most people indentifying as something other their sex registered at birth don’t have surgery, your chromosomes, and therefore your biological sex can not be changed. So what harm does the pressure to accept men as women and women as men actually equate to? Obvious examples include men competing as women in sports, thrashing records hard earnt by otherwise very skilled women, and seeing entire men locked up in women’s prisons despite some of them having committed sex crimes against women, but i conflating sex and gender also skews sex based statistics and creates irreversible damage to vulnerable adults and children. Rather than going through puberty and getting support by friends or groups for being LGB, young people are often under pressure or encouraged to see themselves as a different gender to the sex they were born as. Lesbians are pressured/ shamed to sleep with entire men (with girl dicks) claiming to be women, kids at school are supported in changing their pronouns and some schools supposedly have been giving BDSM lessons. Girls take male hormones and have their breasts hacked off, boys wanting to look the part get their faces softened and penises inverted. This is mutilation to be something you’re not. There’s a health cost to all of these treatments with many soon regretting their choices. LGB people should not be under pressure to be anything other than LGB. To be encouraged to see themselves as the opposite sex is in a sense homophonic and helps erase LGB identity. Women’s wards and women’s prisons should be free of men (except for guards),  and we shouldn’t be pressured into massaging someone’s delusion that they can change sex. Sex is a protected characteristic yet the pressure and policies to make sex based terms gender neutral are ever present. As a result women, woman, breastfeeding, mother, etc are being replaced left right and centre with terms such as chest feeder and people experiencing menopause, stripping away what biologically defines women and what is part of their sex based protected characteristics. The term woman has been taken, it's not up for grabs, so men need to accept that while they may not confirm to male stereotypes they can never be biological women!!

TERFy visitor 23 March 24 05:55

@fond of cheese. That article does not say that some men have periods. It says that some men have parts of the internal structures that women have alongside male internal structures and - I assume -  male chromosomes. Interestingly some transwomen (males who are taking cross sex hormones to become more womanly) claim that they are having periods because they are taking hormones which create some of the symptoms that women are used to. No bleeding though. There are some transwomen who also claim to have experienced the menopause. 

Yes, some transmen could have periods, their sex is still female (XY chromosomes don't disappear) even if their gender identity is male. Same for non-binary identifying women. 

Some women don't have periods (this is not considered normal for women). We could talk about exceptions forever. (But let's not talk about clownfish please). 

Orange Bandanna 23 March 24 09:42

@Bonkers - when I viewed the poll results it was 92% "men can't have periods" and 8% "men can have periods". Astonishing to think that someone is so upset about this poll that they've put time and effort into voting hundreds of times to manipulate the results.

Anonymous 23 March 24 12:23

everyone posting here is a moron, including me, the amount of time people have spent to say the obvious "men don't menstruate tho" is ridiculous. the fact anyone has bothered to simply to anything more than roll their eyes but instead then comment to this daft story, shows we have absolutely nothing going on in our pathetic little lives.

Anonymous 23 March 24 21:46

Alright, let’s get something straight: when people say that men can’t menstruate, they’re not just wrong; they’re ignoring a mountain of reality about gender and biology. So, why do they get it so WRONG?

First off, the idea hinges on a very narrow, outdated view of gender as strictly binary—male or female, with nothing in between or beyond. But gender isn’t just what’s between your legs; it’s about identity, about how you understand yourself and how you fit into the world. Transgender men and non-binary individuals who were assigned female at birth can, and do, menstruate. To argue otherwise is to erase their existence and deny their lived experiences.

It’s not rocket science. Trans men are men. Non-binary people exist outside the traditional male/female divide. These are facts. When someone transitions, their gender changes. Their biology, in terms of chromosomes or reproductive organs, might not. So yes, some men do menstruate, and acknowledging this doesn’t unravel the fabric of society—it just means accepting reality as it is, not as some wish it to be.

And let’s talk about why some push back so hard against this. It’s not about science or biology; it’s about control. It’s about forcing everyone into tiny, suffocating boxes that align with a worldview that’s as narrow as it is archaic. It’s about saying, “I understand the world this way, and I refuse to acknowledge complexity, nuance, or the simple dignity of recognising people as they are.”

To those who cling to these outdated notions, here’s a wake-up call: your discomfort does not trump another person’s identity. Your refusal to understand or accept does not negate the realities others live with every day. And frankly, it’s not about you. It’s about human dignity, respect, and the basic decency of acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, individuals know themselves better than you do.

So, for those who get all riled up at the idea that men can menstruate, it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The world is vast, diverse, and infinitely varied. Human experiences are rich and complex. Reducing everything to black-and-white, ignoring the spectrum of gender identity and expression, doesn’t make you right—it just makes you willfully ignorant.

Bottom line: Men can menstruate. Non-binary people menstruate. Your approval isn’t required. The only thing you need to do is respect people’s identities and experiences. It’s that simple. And if that’s too much for you, then maybe it’s time to ask yourself why you’re so invested in denying the complex reality of human existence.


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Finally sense! 24 March 24 08:29

@Fed up Felicity 23 March 24 04:49

Finally some common sense being used on this debate.. 

Never understood how the wider public and politicians have gone along with this nonsense about gender as a spectrum. Your behaviour as a male or female doesn’t have to conform with the stereotyped male or female - so in that sense there is a spectrum of how close to the stereotype one is, but it’s either male or female (barring the exceptional medical cases - but exceptions are by no means the standard) - so whether you’re an alpha male or a male more in touch with your feminine side, you’re still male. And the same is true of females. 

Those who believe otherwise need mental health support, not being by misled into believing they are right and that the world doesn’t understand, but help in understanding why they feel the way they do, and that it’s ok to feel that way but it doesn’t change them from male to female or the other way round. The trolls, activists and select core of politicians need to stop peddling this Bs to the public. 

When this eventually blows over, there’s going to be years of damage to society to be repaired… 

Anonymous 24 March 24 15:12

Hi. I have a sore on my penis which is bleeding. I was searching google and found this website. It happened after I came back from Thailand. Just a fun week getaway looking at templs and such like. I met some people over there, very nice people. Am I menstruating? Does this mean I am turning into a woman? There's a LGBTQ+ Committee at work; should I inform them on Monday? 

Anonymous 24 March 24 16:48

Anyone can have a period, it doesn't matter what gender you are. It's just the release of blood when an egg is unused. Some women don't have periods. I knew a girl who didn't have periods for years. Men menstruate, it's not uncommon to blood from the penis. I've often bled from mine. Sometimes it's a few days a month, sometimes it stops. It bloody hurts. Very painful. And I think a lot of men who don't get periods just don't know what it's like for men and women who do get them. It's very painful. Takes it out of you.

Do I use a tampon? Yes, but a smaller one. Drug stores are very discriminatory; for example they don't stock tampons for men, but also I note there's a pink tax on all the female goods - the female Rogaine is more expensive at a weaker dose than the male Rogaine I use to grow out my mons pubis.

Also gender is just a social construct, in nature animals don't know gender. It's just human made up words. This is something the Tories tell you to keep you down. Too bad Labour is winning the next election and your private school fees are going to go up by 20%. That's maths. You don't get to be exempt from the law anymore.

Sechsechsplainer 25 March 24 02:24

There really are only two sechses. At the absolute and most basic level there is one sechs that can produce large gametes we call ova or eggs and one sechs that can produce small gametes that we call sperm, or spunk as is the technical term. There is no in between of other hybrid gametes that can be created, no speggs or overm. It is as binary as it gets when it comes to the key reason we're different, and that is reproduction and furtherance of the species. The fact that some people are firing blanks somewhere along the way does not negate the fact that they we re designed to do one or the other. If I am born without an arm it does not mean that humans are meant to be born with one arm, it means that something went wrong.

If we look at the actual possibilities of human beans, there are two intended options. Only two. Keep in mind the proviso about malfunctioning above. As expected we have:

XX - Female

XY - Male

If you have a Y chromosome the SRY gene within that chromosome tells your embryonic body to differentiate your sechs organs into male sechs organs which should create male gametes, ie. sperm. Without activation of that SRY gene, an embryo will continue to develop into a female with female sechs organs and will create female gametes, ie. ova/eggs. Even accounting for chromosomal abnormalities things don't change:

XXX - Female

XXXX - Female

XXY - Male (SRY gene will trigger male development)

XXYY - Male - same as above

XXXY - Ditto


XO - Female. Absence of any Y chromosome still means that female sechs organs will develop

Do intersechs people exist? Yes. But in the true sense there are a tiny tiny number of these people and it will relate to a failure of the SRY gene expression/pathway. Does it mean there is another sechs? No. It means something went wrong. If you remove the aneuploidy cases and those where there are defects in development of sechs organs rather than it being unclear what those sechs organs actually are, you're left with maybe 0.001% of people. And even then we will be able to determine their biological sechs as male or female based on their karyotyping so in conclusion, yes, sex is binary.

I am all for people doing whatever they like with their gender and I will respect the hell out of it. But in return I expect respect for sex based protections, which are founded on logic and necessity to promote equality. Please don't come at me with "not all trans people" because we know that. Just in the same way we know it's "not all men" but we still ask them to stay out of our intimate spaces because statistically, it's the biological males who have posed the risk.

Sermon over.

Orange Bandanna 25 March 24 14:23

@Anonymous 23 Your long post appears to be based on a completely false premise. When people say that men can't menstruate, it's not because they have a "narrow, outdated idea of gender as strictly binary". It's because they are defining a man as an adult human of the male biological sex, and a woman as an adult human of the female biological sex. They are simply rejecting the idea that "man" and "woman" are words for gender identities. They are disagreeing with you and other proponents of gender identity theory about what a man is, and what a woman is. Personally, I use a biology-based definition of the words "man" and "woman", not an identity based one. The reason for this is because the words "man/men" and "woman/women" have historically been used to divide the entire population into two groups: the sperm producing group and the childbearing group. (Everyone is a member of one of these two groups regardless of whether they actually can or wish to reproduce.) As you correctly point out, identity is not binary, and it is deeply personal. In fact, no two people have the same identity. Women and trans women don't share any kind of identity or have anything in common with each other that they don't have in common with all other humans, (same goes for men and trans men) so it doesn't make any sense to have a word which refers collectively to these two groups, but no words to refer to humans according to their biological sex. So if we are using a biology-based definition of the word "man", as most people do, then it is absolutely clear that men do not menstruate. HTH.

Anonymous 25 March 24 16:17

It's fascinating to me that something so obvious and widely believed has been made taboo to say. Just look at the poll, over 80% of people don't think men can menstruate. Then read the comments, almost everyone agrees that it's crackers to imagine that men can turn into women. But how many would dare say that to their colleagues? 

Somehow a tiny number of activists have manged to convince HR teams across the land that they need to police a worldview that next to nobody believes. So we all live in fear of saying out loud something that is true, that almost everyone knows to be true, and which would only be considered 'problematic' by a handful of fringe cranks. 

anon 25 March 24 20:40

god i do hope the majority of this website never has to deal with a trans client, absolute bigots

Anonymous 26 March 24 14:52

"god i do hope the majority of this website never has to deal with a trans client, absolute bigots" - Just so long as the client doesn't start the meeting by saying "Hello, I'm a lady. A real lady. Do you think I'm a lady? Say I'm a lady!" then they'll probably be fine you know.

Orange Bandanna 26 March 24 19:16

@anon 25 Can you be more specific? What have people said that you consider bigoted? (Of course, there is no reason why a lawyer who does not believe in gender identity theory could not act for a trans client, just as there is no reason why an atheist lawyer could not act for a Christian client.)

Bemused / curious 26 March 24 20:23

The question posed by this poll, and so these comments, have strayed pretty far from the question of whether this lady should be sued - I don’t think she should, for what it’s worth. Clear that ROF commenters are drawn from a very particular demographic. My experience (and I’ll wager that of a few younger people who may be viewing these posts but not  engaging with them - clearly they have more of a life than me) is that the trans men I know are men and may well have periods. Of course if they are having periods, that will be because they didn’t take the hormones or have the surgery that so many of you think are being forced on any young person who is gay/queer/trans/unhappy. What possible harm could it do you to include those men in discussions about the challenges that people who have periods may face?  A few people in the comments have focused on medical and sporting settings - what relevance does that have to a discussion about people that menstruate in the civil service or a law firm? By your own gender critical standards, these men should be viewed as women, why would your feminism exclude them by refusing to acknowledge, or even worse actively denying the existence of, them? 

Biologist 26 March 24 22:13

Menstruation (“periods”) is a privilege of females. 
Ask any dog owner if a male dog has periods….! The answer is no. Male dogs neither have periods nor can become pregnant. The same is true for humans. Female humans have the capacity to produce eggs and to shed the lining of their uterus or to have the egg fertilised by a sperm from a male human and become pregnant and give birth. 
I would have expected readers of this board to understand these biological facts.  

Biologist 27 March 24 10:09

Female humans (and close mammalian relatives), between the ages of around 11 and around 50) have menstrual cycles during which the uterine lining sheds (blood) outside the body once every 28 to 38 days, unless the female has become pregnant (with a sperm  from a male human, in which case the uterine lining is part of the miraculous biological process which nourishes and protects a growing embryo and fetus).  This cycle occurs periodically, it is commonly called a “period”. It is unique to females. Males do no have uteruses and therefore do not cyclically shed a uterine lining, therefore do not have what is commonly known as “periods”.

I hope this explanation is helpful for anyone who missed basic biology in school. 

Of course, females who like to think of themselves as men for whatever reason, might still have periods — but only because they are female.  

Online Debator 27 March 24 11:44

Orange Bandanna gets it.

The gendered view of the world obviously exists, but it’s odd the State has taken to re-imposing on everyone. When it passed:

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

“An Act to render unlawful certain kinds of sex discrimination and discrimination on the ground of marriage, and establish a Commission with the function of working towards the elimination of such discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity between men and women generally; and for related purposes.”

- surely the point was to free people from gender and gendered expectations ie having to look, think, emote and act a certain way (feminine) in order to be perceived as a woman?

I’d have thought the State should be supporting the view that people are unique individuals, whilst ensuring proper accommodation for sex differences (reproductive healthcare and employment rights).

Anonymous 27 March 24 12:49

Framing Sex Matters as human rights group seeking to protect the rights of women is blatantly dishonest. It's a small single issue pressure group. Helen Joyce, one if its leaders,has been very open about this. Her aim is to make transition imposssible for as many people as possible i.e. deny them access to proven therapeutic medical care in breach of their human rights.  She's said it herself.  Be very wary of believing Jamie Hamilton's pretendy journalism on this point.

Anonymous 27 March 24 15:48

Yes, I feel Orange Bandana (while quite a good debater) has rather told on themselves here:


"Personally, I use a biology-based definition of the words "man" and "woman", not an identity based one. The reason for this is because the words "man/men" and "woman/women" have historically been used to divide the entire population into two groups: the sperm producing group and the childbearing group. (Everyone is a member of one of these two groups regardless of whether they actually can or wish to reproduce.)""


Well, quite, and the main premise of feminism over the past 50-80 years is that this historical division has been horrifically damaging for society, as well as for minority groups of all kinds.


Why shouldn't men have periods, or get pregnant? Why not adapt the terms we use to include trans men in the group of 'men', and not go out of our way to point out during workplace seminars (!!) that no, they're always actually women? Why place such reliance on the 'truth' of anyone's biological sex in a workplace, or really anywhere outside a medical setting?


(I appreciate Orange Bandana may not identify as a feminist of course, which is why they phrased it that way, but there are a lot of people these days claiming to be feminists who run similar arguments about the importance of using biological sex to divide men and women without reckoning with why that formulation runs completely counter to the entire feminist movement)

Anonymous 27 March 24 18:29

So much for free speech eh? Criticise the author for suppressing facts key to understanding the agenda of poeple in the pressure group he is presenting as a "human rights" group and your comment is censored. If your case was really so strong you wouldn't need to do that.

Anonymous 28 March 24 09:03

@Orange Bandanna I’m not them, but to answer your question from a legal perspective:

You’ve asked what could be seen as bigoted here - in my opinion I think the implication made by some here that trans people are merely crazy and delusional is probably contrary to viewing them as equals, legally speaking. I think if a lawyer repeated some of what has been said here to a trans client, such as that they’re bonkers for thinking they’re a man/woman for instance, they could likely be sued on the basis of the trans person’s own protected characteristics.

Of course one hopes that most lawyers here would not express their view that trans people are crazy/delusional to an actual trans client, but I do think it can stray into bigotry. Generally viewing a whole minority as less intelligent, delusional or crazy based on their protected characteristic could run someone into hot water. The same applies to a trans lawyer saying gender-critical people are all crazy too of course.

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