@WITSIreland / WITS (Women in Technology & Science) is an all-women organisation established to promote women in technology and science. In June 2020 it issued an apology for choosing Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez as its Book Club’s book for discussion. In its statement, it described the book as “deeply problematic” because of its binary approach to gender to the detriment of trans and non-binary identified people. WITS decided to discuss the book as planned. However, rather than discuss the subject of the book, it would instead centre the discussion “in the context of inclusion of our trans and non-binary peers, including the irony of discussing ‘invisible women’ while ignoring trans and non-binary people.”
The remainder of the apology was a classic pick-me-apology and stern warning against exclusionary-feminism.
Ireland is a hub for tech and at one point it was making strides towards meaningful engagement with women in the tech sector but quickly every public or company-specific Women in Tech type group is being rebranded as an LGBTQ+ group.
Irish feminists have imported capitalist, hyperconsumer, liberal feminism from the US and as a result there is a very poor understanding of feminism in an Irish context. Any attempt to speak against the orthodoxy is described as British astroturfing. It’s embarrassing to watch unfold.
Thankfully primary and secondary education, health and politics are largely unaffected compared to the US, UK and Aus but cracks are showing. Irish equality law is finely balanced apart from self-ID which was introduced covertly. Our equivalent of the Equality Act has broad exemptions while “gender” is defined as man, woman or transsexual which ensures a distinction despite being used in lieu of “sex” although we have little by way of case law in this area. It’s just a matter of time before a growing group of activists emboldened by queer theory start demanding more.