Rosie Duffield insisted “only women have a cervix” on Twitter. (Nicola Tree/Getty Images)
Labour’s Rosie Duffield has slammed accusations that she’s “transphobic” as a “tedious Communist pile on” amid a heated online row about who can get cervical cancer.
The controversy began late last night, when Duffield – who last week in parliament suggested a ban on laughing gas or “hippy crack”, which she said youth are “buying off the internet for pennies” – liked a Piers Morgan tweet.
Morgan had commented “Do you mean women?” in response to a CNN tweet about new American Cancer Society guidelines that state: “Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with HPV testing every five years.”
Duffield then added: “I’m a ‘transphobe’ for knowing that only women have a cervix….?!”
She continued by saying that the allegations of transphobia being levelled against her are “just this week’s tedious ‘Communist’ pile on…”
Add to the list of reasons Rosie Duffield needs booting, she’s a transphobe too pic.twitter.com/Ju7Iyhiv3f
— Sarah 🤝 (@Sarah_Cundy) July 31, 2020
I’ve just submitted a complaint to the Labour party about Rosie Duffield’s transphobic twitter content, and you can too here – https://t.co/NfPvqWbh4h pic.twitter.com/ZjDIBJwVmQ
— Caoimhe Hale (@CaoimheHaleLab) August 1, 2020
When one Twitter user told Duffield she was “wrong” and linked to NHS guidance stating that “trans men with a cervix should have cervical screening to help prevent cervical cancer”, Duffield responded: “Of course this applies to some people, they’ll know who they are and this advice is great.”
Duffield added: “But the implication that one cannot describe oneself as a woman without inviting a pile-on is beyond ridiculous now. Almost 52 per cent of the UK population are women.”
Rosie Duffield: Only women have cervixes.
People in replies: This is not true trans men do too.
Rosie Duffield: WHY WONT YOU LET ME CALL MYSELF A WOMAN pic.twitter.com/KMXC0NIGhU
— Jack (@J_Holliss) August 1, 2020
Duffield, the Canterbury MP who quit as party whip and resigned from the shadow front bench in May after it emerged she’d broken lockdown rules to spend time with her lover, a married father-of-three, has now locked her Twitter account.
Rosie Duffield tweets follow campaign by anti-trans activists insisting ‘only females get cervical cancer’.
A Twitter campaign insisting “only females get cervical cancer” has led to increasingly toxic discussion over the past month, with anti-trans activists accused of “weaponising” cervical cancer to attack transgender people.
Leading UK charities Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and The Eve Appeal have both stood by their trans-inclusive advice that everyone with a cervix should have access to support and information about cervical cancer and smear tests.
A spokesperson for The Eve Appeal told PinkNews that “the problem with the hashtag ‘Only Females Get Cervical Cancer’ is the word ‘only’”.
“There are already so many barriers to gynaecological healthcare that are difficult to talk about, because of stigmas and taboos – we want to break those barriers down, not create more of them,” The Eve Appeal added.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust tweeted on July 12: “We’re aware a hashtag is trending that raises the issue of gender identity and cervical health.
“At Jo’s we want to ensure everyone with a cervix has access to the information and support they need to attend #CervicalScreening, regardless of their gender identity.”
Some Labour members said they have reported Rosie Duffield’s “transphobic Twitter content”.
PinkNews has contacted Rosie Duffield for comment.