Birds Eye breaks deal with Mumsnet for anti-trans posts

a black and white photo of two women standing closely next to each other

While shopping for chicken nuggets for her trans daughter, a British mom spotted something that shocked her.

Dr Jan Birley spotted the popular Birds Eye brand chicken nuggets. But she soon felt repulsed when she spotted the ‘Mumsnet rated’ badge on the packet. Birds Eye is the UK’s leading frozen food brand

‘I will not support any product or company that has any association with transphobia (or, indeed, any kind of discrimination),’ Birley told Gay Star News.

What is Mumsnet?

Mumsnet is a popular parenting forum in the UK. It has recently become notorious for anti-trans posts and endorsing transphobic views.

Birley, a published author under the pseudonym, Josie King, decided to do something about it.

‘My views on this are so strong, that I wrote to the complaints department of Birds Eye to express my views that I felt it unacceptable that they used, visibly in their packaging, the name of a forum that is known to actively allow transphobic threads,’ she said.

‘The reply I, initially, received from one of the marketing representatives at Birds Eye was wholly unacceptable, so I wrote to the CEO.’

Birley decided to act because she believed the Mumsnet badge on the packaging sent a clear message. That message according to Birley was ‘not only do they not support trans people but, in fact, they support the anti-trans lobby that is trying so hard to deprive them of the support and care that they actually need’.

a woman sitting on a couch with a teenage girl lying on her lap with two small dogs

Jan Birley and her daughter | Photo: Amanda Searle from the ‘Transparent Love’ series

‘No company should associate itself with an organisation, brand or online forum that promotes and allows any kind of marginalisation of a minority group of our society,’ Birley said.

‘Trans kids and adults have a huge mountain of a challenge to face when, in fact, they only want to live their life in peace, with the support they need.’

A win for the trans community

After reaching out to Birds Eye’s CEO, Birley received a reply saying the commercial arrangement with Mumsnet had ended. Birds Eye would also start working to remove Mumsnet references from their packaging.

‘I was delighted to receive the response on behalf of the CEO. It showed that he took my concerns seriously,’ Birley said.

‘The decision to remove the association with Mumsnet had clearly been decided months before I wrote my letter of complaint, that wasn’t widely known, so this response has allowed me to share that widely with people in my network.’

Birley said her role as mom of a trans daughter is to ‘support her in every way I can’.

‘I am the proud mum of three beautiful children. My youngest daughter, who is 19, is transgender. I love all 3 of my children unconditionally,’ she said.

Gay Star News reached out to Birds Eye for comment but did not receive a response.

Author: Shannon Power

The post Birds Eye breaks deal with Mumsnet for anti-trans posts appeared first on Gay Star News.

Trans activist victorious against Mumsnet but battle is not over yet

Trans woman Stephanie Hayden took Mumsnet to the High Court to take legal action against a transphobic troll

Parenting website Mumsnet were ‘compliant’ in a court order to identify a user who allegedly verbally abused a trans woman on its forum.

Stephanie Hayden won a High Court order on Monday (8 April) stating the website must provide the personal details of the user named ‘ALittleHelp18’.

She said the comments were defamatory, and obtaining the user’s details would allow her to pursue legal action.

As a result, the High Court ordered the website to disclose the necessary details; they were ‘compliant’ as of today (11 April).

What happened?

Hayden said she first reached out to Mumsnet on November 2018 over comments made from a user. She said the user made defamatory comments of criminality towards her.

The 45-year-old, from Liverpool, UK, issued a complaint. However, Mumsnet did not take the comments down.

The 2013 Defamation Act states that a user who wants a post to remain visible on a user-generated content site following a complaint must provide the website operator with a set of personal details.

These can include the complained user’s full legal name, date of birth, and email.

If potentially libellous comments are made, the law demands the website operator must judge the degree such identifiable details could be false.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said details were provided and a judgement taken that they were genuine, according to the BBC.

Did Mumsnet disclose the details?

Hayden said the court gave the website until 4pm to disclose the details, but allegedly failed to do so at first.

However, the website insisted they contacted Hayden at 3:50pm.

Mumsnet told the MailOnline: ‘We told the author of the complained-about post that we would be open to contesting the court order if they wanted us to, but we did not hear back from them within the necessary time frame.

‘We sent to Ms Hayden the personal details supplied privately to us by the user – which were not the same as the details shared publicly by the user in a subsequent post on Mumsnet – before the court order’s deadline.’

Gay Star News reached out for comment from Mumsnet.

Mumsnet may have breached the order

But Hayden tweeted: ‘As of 17:37 BST on 11 April 2019 Mumsnet are now in compliance with the Order and I am reviewing the information supplied in order to consider my further legal options.’

Moreover, the allegations against Mumsnet have piled. Hayden added: ‘[Mumsnet] were in breach of the Order as it was not complied with by 16:00.

‘The [sic] complied once both the Mail and me had contacted #Mumsnet and basically asked “What’s going on”?’

She has since issued the following statement: ‘Mumsnet Limited failed to comply with the order.

‘Mumsnet Limited have once again demonstrated a complete absence of corporate social responsibility. Not only does the Mumsnet forum permit the regular harassment, abuse, and defamation of transgender people.

‘Today Mumsnet have demonstrated their contempt for the law of England and Wales.

‘The identification details are now being reviewed with a view to assessing the next legal steps.’

See also

How I’m fighting the feminists who are crowdfunding money for transphobia

Teacher bans author’s books because she retweeted a trans support group

NSPCC cancel Mumsnet child abuse live chat after flood of transphobia

 

Author: Josh Milton

The post Trans activist victorious against Mumsnet but battle is not over yet appeared first on Gay Star News.

Teacher bans author’s books because she retweeted a trans support group

a close up shot of Robin Stevens, she has a bob haircut and is wearing rectangle glasses

A children’s author has had her books removed from a school because she once retweeted Mermaids.

Mermaids is a UK charity that supports young trans and gender diverse people.

A post on the notoriously transphobic parenting forum, Mumsnet, began with a mother expressing her annoyance that her teen daughter’s school wanted to support her transition. But her mother did not want her transitioning at that age.

Somehow the thread turned to fiction books for young people when a Mumsnet user, silentcrow, singled out author, Robin Stevens.

Silentcrow began by recommending Stevens’ mystery books, but their recommendation came with a warning.

‘Be aware the author retweets Mermaids – most notably when the recent investigation over lottery funding was happening,’ silentcrow wrote.

‘The most recent book has the main character, at 15, come out as lesbian (obviously not wrong in and of itself but I am automatically suspicious of uncritical support of Mermaids).

‘We have taken the decision not to stock any more of this series in our primary school as the characters are facing challenges more appropriate for older children. It’s sad because I genuinely like the books up to this point but we won’t endorse thoughtless wokery.’

#ThoughtlessWokery

Stevens found out about the post from a friend. Even though not officially affiliated with Mermaids, Stevens has donated money to them. Stevens said ‘I’m very supportive of the great work they do with transgender and gender diverse children and their families’.

‘The thing I found upsetting was not that they disagreed with me, but that they were using the disagreement as a reason to ban my books in their school,’ Stevens told Gay Star News.

‘My support for Mermaids has nothing to do with the books I write, and the fact that one of my main characters comes out in my latest book does not make my series any less appropriate for primary-school aged children.’

People came out in support of Stevens, buying her books and letting her know they loved her work.

‘I’ve been overwhelmed by positive responses from young queer readers (and young allies) about Daisy’s coming out – it was a plot point that felt important to me to write, but it clearly means even more to them,’ she said.

‘Seeing a character who they can relate to in a popular children’s book series has given them a lot of joy and confidence, and it’s deeply saddening that both straight and queer kids at this teacher’s school won’t have the chance to read the book.’

Thinking again of the children, Stevens hoped the children had the access to support they need ‘whatever their identity’,

‘My generation lost so much because LGBTQ+ identities weren’t discussed with us – I don’t want that mistake to be repeated with this generation, and that’s a big part of why I write the books I do,’ Stevens said.

Death in the Spotlight

One of the books singled out on the Mumsnet post was Stevens’ Death in the Spotlight. The story features Daisy Wells, a 15-year-old detective who comes out as queer in the book.

Stevens understood why it was so important to feature queer characters in books.

‘It matters desperately to me that Daisy, like many of my favourite people and some of my most loyal readers, is queer, and I wanted to make sure that I got the announcement of that fact right,’ she said.

‘Queer readers of all ages are suddenly able to see themselves in Daisy in a way they never expected, and I’ve been overwhelmed to realize, once again, how much representation matters.’

Let’s get creative

Stevens and her husband, David Stevens, decided to get creative and use the backlash to raise critical funds for Mermaids.

They’re now selling ‘thoughtful wokery’ t-shirts. Their plan is to turn ‘the hateful slogan into something positive’ and will give all of the proceeds to Mermaids.

‘We hope that we can give the charity money as well as our support, and we hope that we’ve turned this unpleasant story into some good news,’ Stevens said.

Author: Shannon Power

The post Teacher bans author’s books because she retweeted a trans support group appeared first on Gay Star News.