Women who question transgender ideology branded with ‘FARTS’ acronym in Scottish civil service training

People attending the "trans 101 course" were told anyone opposing trans inclusivity members were part of a hate group

Published

A trans workshop run for civil servants in Nicola Sturgeon's Government has branded women who question transgender ideology "FARTS".

The acronym, which stands for “feminism appropriating ridiculous transphobe”, was introduced in a "trans 101 course".

Attendees of the course were urged to ask for person's pronouns in regular conversations as it is impossible to know a person's gender by looking at them.

The taxpayer-funded training session also said women questioning trans ideology were part of a hate group.

Staff attending "trans 101", which was organised by the civil service's internal LGBTI+ internal network were also warned of "TERFs", standing for trans exclusionary radical feminists.

St Andrew's House, Edinburgh
St Andrew's House, Edinburgh
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

A slide shown in the presentation reads: "While they hate all trans people, they attack trans women especially aggressively as trans women challenge TERF's view of biological essentialism around the identity and experience of womanhood.

"They also have an unhealthy fascination with trans kids and work especially hard to make the lives of trans kids miserable, usually under the guise of protecting cisgender kids."

Other slides shown in the presentation, and shared by the Telegraph, describe biological sex as a medical term used to reinforce white supremacy and gender oppression.

Female and male bodied are also outdated terms which negatively reinforce gender.

Lia Thomas was at the centre of a row over trans athletes in women's sport
Lia Thomas was at the centre of a row over trans athletes in women's sport
Former Olympic athletes Sharron Davies and Mara Yamauchi speak about the importance of maintaining female sporting categories
Former Olympic athletes Sharron Davies and Mara Yamauchi speak about the importance of maintaining female sporting categories

Transgender women in sport have become a disputed issue, with cycling and swimming banning trans women from competing in female categories.

But civil servants attending the course were told research shows there is "virtually no difference" between the performance of transgender women and biological women.

For Women Scotland campaign group director Susan Smith was shocked to see what she has described as discriminatory.

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."

She also told the Telegraph: “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.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government told the paper the course was an informal event and participation was voluntary.

It added: "This was not an official Scottish Government training event and is not part of the SG Diversity and Inclusion curriculum."