Sinnott, Forstater and Olympics — Oh My!

Rebecca Gellman
9 min readAug 14, 2021

A long time ago, twitter self-confessed “hated by gobsh*tes” Joss Prior started a tweet poll contest to see who the Most Useful TERF™ is. That is to say, which one of the transphobic Gender Criticals had done the most for transgender rights by being a complete prat and exposing the Gender Critical movement for what it truly is.

It feels like 2021 has been that contest acted out in real life. For all of the blustering and blathering from the Gender Critical movement, so many of the arguments from Gender Critical have been shut down, and not just “Well, it kinda looks this way to me”; No, we’re talking proper “what the hell are you smoking to bring this legal challenge with a serious face” territory.

No Judicial Review For You

Firstly, Ann Sinnott and her laughably named “Authentic Equity Alliance” tried to have trans rights unilaterally thrown out, by trying to get a court to argue that you need a GRC to be treated as your gender, and even then your rights are restricted. The attempt failed hilariously, with a judge stating the following wonderful three phrases:

“The claimant’s argument is an obvious absurdity”

“No grounds to show that the guidance has placed women and girls at a disadvantage”

“The claimant’s interpretation of the Equality Act is wrong in law”

These three phrases quite clearly established that the Gender Critical view of the Equality Act is skewed beyond belief. So much so that the judge wouldn’t even grant Sinnott a Judicial Review to hear particulars; he just said “naff off” (only more professionally, of course).

This ruling confirms you’re still not as bad as Nazis

Possibly the most hilarious of self-gaslighting non-wins this year has been Maya Forstater, who celebrated that a judge:

  • confirmed that Gender Critical is a belief-based religion
  • confirmed that Gender Critical “does not get anywhere near to approaching Naziism” (see next point)
  • confirmed that Gender Critical is probably offensive to a lot of people
  • confirmed that you probably shouldn’t be fired for it.

She even went as far as getting it printed on a T-Shirt:

Maya Forstater, sitting obnoxiously under a “Courage calls to courage everywhere” slogan from the Suffragettes, wearing a T-Shirt that falsely proclaims that her views are “worthy of respect in a democratic society”.

Many other writers have covered Maya’s gaslighting elsewhere, so I shall just summarise it here. Basically, back when Maya worked for the Europe branch of the Centre for Global Development (an equality org), she stated publicly on twitter that she was gender critical and would misgender trans people at will. Since Equality is a big part of CGDE’s mission, they decided not to renew her contract when it expired.

Maya feels that she is entitled to make her trans-rights-supporting colleagues feel uncomfortable AND retain her job. So she took to a tribunal, where it was ruled her approach (of misgendering at will) was “unworthy of respect in a democratic society”.

Not happy with having been shot down twice, she took it to an appeal, that ruled that “actually, her views aren’t as bad as Naziism, but she still has to behave”. On the basis of that first point, she is scheduled for a re-run of the original tribunal on March 7th, 2022.

None of this of course has stopped her claiming some kind of victory. I’m not sure I would view “you can have a re-run because you’re not as bad as the Nazis” is a victory.

The takeaway here is that once again, Gender Critical failed to make a dent in Equality Law in the UK.

Trans Women Are Still Failing To Dominate Women’s Sport

There was a minor sporting event that occurred this year, the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 (Delayed by one year due to CoViD, but this didn’t stop one Gender Critical from asserting the last Olympics was held in 2017).

If you remember from my previous article, I talked about how Gender Criticals hold up Laurel Hubbard as the prime example of why trans women shouldn’t be allowed in women’s sports.

Laurel Hubbard is officially the first trans woman to compete in an Olympic Games. The way Gender Criticals have been blathering on about her, you’d think she’d only been allowed this year. But no, transgender athletes have been permitted to compete as their gender since 2003. And in 2015, the rules were relaxed (rule changes occur in non-olympic years, hence the apparent disparity).

We were told Hubbard would have an unfair advantage. We were told she would win easily while all the cis women were trying really hard. We were told it was ultimate display of unfairness in women’s sports.

She didn’t even place.

Laurel Hubbard following her defeat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, making a heart symbol with her hands.

Now, I feel a little bad here, because Hubbard has worked very hard to get to the Olympics, and representing your country is a big responsibility. To not even place is going to be heart-wrenching. But pretty much everyone in the trans community saw this coming: as I stated in my previous article, actually, her stats are not fantastic. Good for the Asia-Pacific region perhaps, but on a world stage, we knew she was not set to win.

When Your Narrative Is Broken, Lie A New One

The Gender Criticals of course immediately responded to apologise for the problems they’ve caused over this, and admitted they’d got it wrong.

Actually, no. They did nothing of the sort. Instead, Gender Criticals have taken one of two paths — or sometimes both.

On the one hand, they’ve decided to apply ageism: “She’s a 43 year old competing alongside 25 year olds! How can that be equal?!?!”

Well, it can be equal because age is not an indicator of fitness. I myself and 41, and I can be outrun by some pensioners in their 90s. As a subdivision of this ageism, they like to point at the age division between adults and children. But the point of this is that this division is not actually age-based, but purely an adult/child division, for several reasons. Maturity is one of them — adults (typically) handle losses better than children. Physical size is another — young children are especially disadvantaged. This doesn’t play through however, because one of the Team GB medal winners was 13 years old, and she competed alongside adults.

We don’t segregate athletes by age for a good reason: it’s meaningless. Instead, where it is due, we segregate by class, and has been repeatedly pointed out (and ignored) by Gender Criticals, Hubbards stats were average for someone in her class.

The other tack they’ve tried is to go for the full transphobia: “Even if Hubbard didn’t have an advantage, she still stole a place from a real[sic] woman!”

I previously covered the topic of sex and whether trans women are women. To say that Hubbard doesn’t qualify because she was born with Y chromosomes is the core of transphobia, even if Gender Criticals don’t think it is.

Hubbard’s loss was an ass-handing-on-a-silver-platter moment for the Gender Criticals. In truth, they would have preferred if she’d won, so they could gloat harder (Gender Critical was never about protecting women, remember. It’s about appropriating women’s equality struggles to attack trans women). But she didn’t and so that narrative is worldwide publicly broken — and it’s not like there’s the perceived horde of trans women looking to take her place.

Gender Critical: No New Ideas, No Old Ideas….. No Point.

Then there’s the Keira Bell appeal. A lot of good evidence has been presented at the appeal that shows the Keira Bell case was an attempt to remove Gillick Competency, and the original judgement had no business being made. At time of writing, the court is still considering the case, but indications so far look positive.

Also ongoing is the tribunal of Helen Webberley (a favourite target of hate for Gender Criticals, because she supports trans kids outside of the NHS bureaucracy), who is facing proceedings from the UK’s General Medical Council for …… doing the NHS’s job for them, basically. Unfortunately this one looks set to go on for months, so it’ll be some time before we know the outcome.

There was also an attempt to have the DoJ forced to put trans women prisoners in men’s prisons, but that got shot down too. Something about the arguments having no substance.


Gender Criticals have run out of steam this year. They’ve had so many of their arguments overturned by the legal system, or the case of Hubbard, unarguable plain empirical evidence, that even Gender Criticals can’t argue with when they’re on global TV for all to see.

The mood of the Gender Critical movement seems to be to go mask off. Various corners of the movement have just decided that if they can’t win on perceived moral grounds, they might just as well be obviously transphobic and be done with it. This came in this week from the LGB Alliance

“Adding the + to LGB gives the green light to paraphilias like bestiality — &more — to all be part of one big happy ‘rainbow family’. Wake up policy makers. LGB people refuse to be used in your artificial & dangerous argument that we must all be lumped together. #NoToHomophobia” — A tweet from LGB Alliance, now deleted due to violating twitter rules.

This is the same LGB Alliance that promised to stop attacking trans people in exchange for receiving charity status from the Charity Commission.

The tweet above lumps asexuals, pansexuals, trans people and intersex people (among others) with sheep shaggers, and calls anyone who objects to such a disgusting comparison be labelled a homophobe.

There’s still a few legal fires raging: ForWomenScotland is determined to transphobe by legally challenging the Scottish Government’s giving equality to trans people. They reckon “treating trans women as women” means “trans women are men” has good legal standing. We shall see on that one.

Maya still has her tribunal re-run to do, and CDGE have pledged to fight her transphobia.

What now for the gender criticals? Pretty much every argument they’ve given has been shot down one way or another.

Gender Critical was an interesting ride, but it’s time for it to retire.

The Forstater Update:

So Maya herself has got a hold of this article, and as expected hasn’t actually responded to any of the substantive points here. But in the interests of fairness, I should like to respond to the 5 points she raised as “factual errors”

  1. “CGDE is not an equality org”

Well, Maya. They actually say they are:

Screenshot from Google of CGD’s website summary.

Now, I realise that this is technically talking about economic equality. But what part of improving economic equality is best served by unequal rights among minorities?

Equality kinda comes with the territory on this one.

2. “I didn’t say I would misgender people at will”

Please, Maya. You spend almost every day saying trans women aren’t women, and such. It’s the basis of Gender Critical. That is misgendering.

3. “I didn’t work with trans people”

Now this is a bit subjective. Personally, I have recollection of Maya’s last tactic on this being “well I did work with trans people but I never misgendered them.” But since I have no intention to trawl through 1 year of Maya’s tweets to find something that may not exist, I will give her the benefit of the doubt on this one, but with the following proviso:

How do you know, Maya? There may have been trans people there who were not out yet.

4. “The judge didn’t say my views weren’t quite as bad as Naziism”

The point of contention here mainly being the word “quite”. Fair’s fair, he didn’t actually say “quite”. The exact words used were “does not get anywhere near to approaching Nazism”.

The problem with this criticism, is it’s not really addressing the problem: the judge in this case stated that her views were “profoundly offensive to many people”. If you want to argue whether your views are merely “bad” or “incredibly bad” I think you need to re-evalulate your priorities.

5. “It won’t be a re-run of the original tribunal”

Oh wow, did this cause some contention. I mean of all the things…

Let’s get a few points straight here. The outcome of the appeal does not in itself negate the original tribunal. If it did, Maya wouldn’t be going back in 2022. The appeal stated that a test had, in the judge’s opinion, been incorrectly applied in the original tribunal, and thus as a consequence its original conclusions were in question.

This means, in summary, that the original tribunal (in whatever stage it was in) needs to be re-visited, with the note that a judge has an opinion that the original conclusion could be questionable on the basis of the test used to reach it.

This does not mean that her views are suddenly worthy of respect. It does not mean that they won’t be ruled unworthy of respect again. It simply means that there is additional weight to the idea of rejecting the test that was applied.

And yes, a great many steps may well be skipped having already been argued, meaning that it is more of a continuation than a re-run. But since I was summarising, this really isn’t a point that should be an entire twitter thread of discussion.



Rebecca Gellman

A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: