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Women who question transgender ideology have been branded “farts” as part of equalities training offered to civil servants in Nicola Sturgeon’s Government, it has emerged.
Workers who attended a workplace “trans 101” course were told the term was an acronym for “feminism appropriating ridiculous transphobe” and that women who oppose inclusivity measures were part of a “trans hate group”.
Staff who attended the training session, run by the Scottish Government’s taxpayer-funded LGBTI+ internal staff network, were also urged to study claims that biological sex is a “falsehood” invented by the medical profession to “reinforce white supremacy and gender oppression”.
A grassroots feminist movement has become prominent in Scotland and is vocal in opposition to SNP plans to allow Scots to change their legal sex simply by signing a declaration.
Civil servants were directed to claims that so-called “gender critical” women or “terfs” (trans exclusionary radical feminists) “hate all trans people” and have “an unhealthy fascination with trans kids”.
The email including a link to a dictionary of terms called a “trans language primer” was sent to staff by a senior official from the Scottish Digital Academy, a Scottish Government body which delivers training across the public sector.
The staff member has responsibility for “course development” and “quality assurance” at the organisation.
‘Highly political and discriminatory material’
Susan Smith, a director at the For Women Scotland campaign group, said it was “shocking” to see a member of the organisation “promoting highly political and discriminatory material which flies in the face of UK law”.
She added: “How are women to believe that civil servants, potentially including those drafting legislation like gender recognition reform, have any care for our rights when they are being trained to call us offensive names and told we are hate groups?
“On top of this, the material manages to be highly offensive and inaccurate about gay people, transsexuals and those with DSDs [differences in sexual development].
“Perhaps the Scottish Government think they are above the Equality Act and other laws on discrimination in the workplace - they are not.
“An apology and a review are urgently needed, although we imagine that many women’s rights activists will be hard pressed to ever trust this Government.”
Other claims set out in the document are that “all research” shows there is “virtually no difference” between sporting performance of transgender women and natural women, which is inaccurate.
It goes on to state the idea that men and women have “inherent, unique and natural” distinct attributes based in biology is an “outdated understanding of sex”.
It calls on non-trans people to acknowledge their “cisgender privilege”, asserts that trans people’s biology and genetics match their gender identity, and says people should ask for a person’s pronouns in “everyday conversations” as it is “impossible to know a person’s gender just by looking at them”.
Insiders claim training run by ‘informal’ staff network
Scottish Government insiders attempted to distance the devolved administration from the document, claiming the training had not been compulsory and was run by an “informal” staff network.
However, the network is heavily promoted to civil servants on Scottish Government platforms and Leslie Evans, who was previously Ms Sturgeon’s chief mandarin, has boasted that it had helped shape internal policies and enjoys “active support from our most senior leaders”.
The Scottish Government has faced repeated accusations that it is unduly influenced by radical transgender ideology, and is currently pushing legislation through Holyrood which would allow Scots to self-declare their own legal sex.
The UK Government has ruled out a similar system for England and Wales and ministers are understood to be considering refusing to recognise Scottish gender recognition certificates issued under the new SNP approach.
The email directing staff members to the trans language dictionary was leaked to an online Scottish nationalist blog which was once supportive of the SNP, but is now hostile to the party under Ms Sturgeon’s leadership.
Other claims in the dictionary are that it is possible to be “polygender”, meaning a person can have multiple gender identities at once, and that colonialism has “erased or destroyed” the “indigenous understandings of gender and attraction”.
It is stated that “gender non-conforming people”, especially children, can be described as “gender gifted” to reflect “how amazing it can be to have a unique and/or non-normative gender”.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "This was an informal awareness raising event, held during Pride Month and within working hours, run by LGBTI+ network community members which colleagues can voluntarily choose to attend.
"This was not an official Scottish Government training event and is not part of the SG Diversity and Inclusion curriculum."