what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:56 am

Various apologies and payouts could be on the way from people who jumped to the conclusion that JK Rowling's tweets were objectionable simply because extreme activists told everyone they were objectionable. I suspect lawyer letters only went out to publications rather than the individuals who libelled her.

The Day
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We accept that our article implied that what JK Rowling had tweeted was objectionable and that she had attacked and harmed trans people. The article was critical of JK Rowling personally and suggested that our readers should boycott her work and shame her into changing her behaviour. Our intention was to provoke debate on a complex topic. We did not intend to suggest that JK Rowling was transphobic or that she should be boycotted... We unreservedly apologise to JK Rowling for the offence caused, are happy to retract these false allegations and to set the record straight. We shall be making a financial contribution to a charity of JK Rowling’s choice.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by touchingcloth » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:20 am

Was what happened to Rowling par for the course on twitter? It seems to me like the word TERF lost any meaning in this brouhaha, as being familiar with Rowling's work I wouldn't - and still don't - consider her a radical feminist, the post she made wasn't exclusionary to trans people and the follow up blog post was overtly inclusionary. f.cking internet.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:30 am

YouGov survey on British attitudes to trans people:
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/ar ... ce=twitter

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:13 pm

The more time I've spent with this issue, the more I'm realising that 'gender' is being used in place of 'sex' in an attempt to undermine women's sex-based rights.

I'd also previously, for years, been happy to retreat to 'female' as an identifier rather than 'woman' (as is evident in my earlier post on this very thread), but now that's not enough. So whatever, I'm going back to using 'woman'.

Inclusivity should not come at the expense of women's sex-based rights, but that's exactly what women are being expected to give up.

I'm not even on the radical side of feminism and the TRAs are managing to alienate me. The more I read from them, the more I see MRA and incel language.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by bjn » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:09 pm

Which rights that are extended exclusively to genetically female humans should be withheld from trans women?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:11 pm

The right to play rugby in women's teams?

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... y-concerns
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Gfamily » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:25 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:11 pm
The right to play rugby in women's teams?

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... y-concerns
Specifically, women's teams for contact sports.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:28 pm

Sex-segregated spaces are the big one, along with sports, awards, scholarships, etc. intended for females/women. They exist for women because we are historically and/or physically at a disadvantage and are frequently discriminated against. Opening them up to trans women, who are male by definition, defeats the entire point.

Women who are comfortable with sharing the above don't get to give up the rights of other women. I acknowledged earlier in the thread that I'm not uncomfortable, for example, with shared spaces, but I don't get to give up the sex-based right of other women just because I'm fine with changing things.

Some places have even started referring to 'gender' in their equality statements when they should be referring to sex.

The Home Office: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisat ... -diversity

Four 'gender' references, zero 'sex' references.

We will not discriminate on grounds of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender, gender identity, marriage and civil partnerships, part-time working, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work.

(Emphasis mine.)

No references to not discriminating based on sex.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:45 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:09 pm
Which rights that are extended exclusively to genetically female humans should be withheld from trans women?
Rowling's original tweets that spawned this thread were actually about trans men. She doesn't think they should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't).
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:57 pm

Why not 'women and trans men' then? Or 'females'?
That said, if charities, feminine hygiene companies and media outlets want to risk their income by potentially losing women over this issue, that's their call.

Ben Beaumont-Thomas's Twitter was a sight to behold only the other day:
https://mobile.twitter.com/ben_bt/statu ... 4717782016

And then he somehow made it worse:
https://mobile.twitter.com/ben_bt/statu ... 3977223169

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by touchingcloth » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:33 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:45 pm
bjn wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:09 pm
Which rights that are extended exclusively to genetically female humans should be withheld from trans women?
Rowling's original tweets that spawned this thread were actually about trans men. She doesn't think they should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't).
It was weird when Redmayne and Radcliffe came out publicly against her that they both chose the phrase “trans women are women”, because in the specific context of menstruation they’re not and Rowling had said nothing about trans men at that point. More than anything it feels like an opportunity for a half decent pun about how trans men menstruate was missed.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by warumich » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:35 pm

Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:28 pm
Sex-segregated spaces are the big one, along with sports, awards, scholarships, etc. intended for females/women. They exist for women because we are historically and/or physically at a disadvantage and are frequently discriminated against. Opening them up to trans women, who are male by definition, defeats the entire point.
But this is where I feel I get confused. Trans* people also get routinely discriminated against, that's the whole reason they are so upset.
But maybe lets say that's not the case. Since women are being discriminated against, any person presenting themselves (convincingly) as female will face the same discrimination as any other woman. The only way in which I can make sense of an argument to exclude transwomen is if we assume that women are indeed inferior in some way to people assigned male at birth and therefore need the handicap, which goes against absolutely everything I believe, morally and empirically. But then what other advantages would a transwoman have that puts her at an unfair position with respect to other women, if nobody can tell she is a transwoman? Serious question, I may have overlooked something.

But stating "they're male by definition" is confusing your argument, because we haven't settled on a definition of male/female yet, hence the whole screaming match we're having. Whichever definition of male is right, mine, your's or someone else's, we can't use that as a justification for the arguments we are making as part of the whole enterprise of trying to sort out this definition. It's begging the question.


[Sports and other areas where physical advantage is at play I concede may be a separate issue, though as far as I know hormone treatments are quite effective at leveling things out]
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm

Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:57 pm
Why not 'women and trans men' then?
Indeed. Why not that.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:40 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm
Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:57 pm
Why not 'women and trans men' then?
Indeed. Why not that.
Well, because not all women and trans men menstruate. "People who menstruate" is the most concise and accurate way to refer to all the women and trans men who menstruate.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:43 pm

touchingcloth wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:33 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:45 pm
bjn wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:09 pm
Which rights that are extended exclusively to genetically female humans should be withheld from trans women?
Rowling's original tweets that spawned this thread were actually about trans men. She doesn't think they should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't).
It was weird when Redmayne and Radcliffe came out publicly against her that they both chose the phrase “trans women are women”, because in the specific context of menstruation they’re not and Rowling had said nothing about trans men at that point. More than anything it feels like an opportunity for a half decent pun about how trans men menstruate was missed.
Yes, that was weird. So much of the debate is focused around trans women, and trans men sometimes get left out both by trans activists and by people who want to refer to everyone who menstruates as women.

It would be a lot easier if we had one set of words that was widely agreed to refer specifically to biological sex and another for gender identity, but I don't think we're there yet.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:44 pm

Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:28 pm
Sex-segregated spaces are the big one, along with sports, awards, scholarships, etc. intended for females/women. They exist for women because we are historically and/or physically at a disadvantage and are frequently discriminated against. Opening them up to trans women, who are male by definition, defeats the entire point.
Going by your definition above, this chap - the same one cited by purplehaze earlier in this thread - is female. (As warumich points out, I'm not bought into that definition, but let's go with it).

Image

Also according to your definition above, he would have, as a female*, every right to access those shared spaces - toilets, refuges, etc.

The idea that he would be welcomed with open arms into those spaces by the same women who object to transwomen being there is ludicrous.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:46 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:40 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm
Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:57 pm
Why not 'women and trans men' then?
Indeed. Why not that.
Well, because not all women and trans men menstruate. "People who menstruate" is the most concise and accurate way to refer to all the women and trans men who menstruate.
True. My point was that Rowling objected to inclusive language by being as deliberately exclusive as possible. Opening up the inclusiveness again defeats what she was getting at.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:52 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:46 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:40 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm
Indeed. Why not that.
Well, because not all women and trans men menstruate. "People who menstruate" is the most concise and accurate way to refer to all the women and trans men who menstruate.
True. My point was that Rowling objected to inclusive language by being as deliberately exclusive as possible. Opening up the inclusiveness again sort of defeats the point of what she was getting at.
Yes, true. If Rowling had tweeted
‘People who menstruate.’ I'm sure there used to be words for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben and trans wumben? Wimpund and trans wimpund? Woomud and trans woomuud?
Then I don't think she'd have received so much of a backlash.

Simply saying:
"‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? "
is very obviously objecting to the inclusion of transpeople.

While the arguments around shared spaces and sports etc. are important, the article Rowling was complaining about was mostly talking about things like plumbing, soap, sanitary products and informational resources about menstruation, which unless I'm much mistaken can generally be used by women and trans men alike.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Sciolus » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:53 pm

Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:57 pm
Why not 'women and trans men' then? Or 'females'?
Because about 50% of females don't menstruate, 40% of women and trans men don't menstruate, 15% of people who menstruate aren't women or trans men, and some people consider that some people who menstruate aren't female. Whereas 100% of people who menstruate menstruate, and 100% of people who menstruate are people who menstruate.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by touchingcloth » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:58 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:43 pm
touchingcloth wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:33 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:45 pm


Rowling's original tweets that spawned this thread were actually about trans men. She doesn't think they should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't).
It was weird when Redmayne and Radcliffe came out publicly against her that they both chose the phrase “trans women are women”, because in the specific context of menstruation they’re not and Rowling had said nothing about trans men at that point. More than anything it feels like an opportunity for a half decent pun about how trans men menstruate was missed.
Yes, that was weird. So much of the debate is focused around trans women, and trans men sometimes get left out both by trans activists and by people who want to refer to everyone who menstruates as women.

It would be a lot easier if we had one set of words that was widely agreed to refer specifically to biological sex and another for gender identity, but I don't think we're there yet.
Aye, the two things get horribly conflated and I’m never sure if that’s because people don’t know the difference or just don’t care about it. I’ve come across people saying that gender is innate and rooted in biology at one end, and people saying that sex is a spectrum at the other.

It feels like better language might detoxify the debate, as it seems to me that most people could probably agree that some people need protections in law based on their genders, others need protections based on their sex, with all of those things sitting on a Venn diagram with some areas which overlap and others which do not. Do the general public care nothing for set theory?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:39 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:45 pm
Rowling's original tweets that spawned this thread were actually about trans men. She doesn't think they should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't).
It's really really really really really unhelpful that people keep making up stuff, or reinterpreting stuff, or turning ambiguous words into manifestos. Rowling never said "I don't think they [trans men] should be included in discussions of resources safe menstruation (unless they are ok with being referred to as 'women', which many of them aren't)."

Please stop doing this.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:11 pm

That is, entirely obviously, the effect of insisting on referring to all people who menstruate as women.

It excludes people who menstruate but don't identify as women.

For example, trans men, and also non-binary people.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:30 pm

On menstruation:

Yes, I am aware that not all women menstruate. But those women aren’t complaining about the use of the word ‘woman’ when referring to menstruation, and a hell of a lot of women who do menstruate (I’d imagine the vast majority but I don’t have numbers) object to being called menstruators.

So no, not all females menstruate. But only females menstruate. And it’s nowhere near as dehumanising as ‘menstruator’.

Since when did we assume all products were for all members of the targeted demographic? Not all men shave, but the ones who don’t probably don’t care about razors ‘for men’. There are plenty of products ‘for women’ that I have zero use for, and I’m not remotely upset about it. I don’t want kids, but I’m hardly crying out for ovulation kits to be marketed exclusively to ‘baby wanters’.
warumich wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:35 pm
Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:28 pm
Sex-segregated spaces are the big one, along with sports, awards, scholarships, etc. intended for females/women. They exist for women because we are historically and/or physically at a disadvantage and are frequently discriminated against. Opening them up to trans women, who are male by definition, defeats the entire point.
But this is where I feel I get confused. Trans* people also get routinely discriminated against, that's the whole reason they are so upset.
But maybe lets say that's not the case. Since women are being discriminated against, any person presenting themselves (convincingly) as female will face the same discrimination as any other woman. The only way in which I can make sense of an argument to exclude transwomen is if we assume that women are indeed inferior in some way to people assigned male at birth and therefore need the handicap, which goes against absolutely everything I believe, morally and empirically. But then what other advantages would a transwoman have that puts her at an unfair position with respect to other women, if nobody can tell she is a transwoman? Serious question, I may have overlooked something.

But stating "they're male by definition" is confusing your argument, because we haven't settled on a definition of male/female yet, hence the whole screaming match we're having. Whichever definition of male is right, mine, your's or someone else's, we can't use that as a justification for the arguments we are making as part of the whole enterprise of trying to sort out this definition. It's begging the question.


[Sports and other areas where physical advantage is at play I concede may be a separate issue, though as far as I know hormone treatments are quite effective at leveling things out]
If trans women don’t feel safe with men, they can campaign for a third space. It’s not on women to make room and give up their rights.

And in what world do we not have a definition for male and female? Those are the biological terms used in science to describe the different categories of sex across species. A trans woman is a male by definition because a trans woman is not female. Otherwise they wouldn’t be trans.
touchingcloth wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:58 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:43 pm
touchingcloth wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:33 pm


It was weird when Redmayne and Radcliffe came out publicly against her that they both chose the phrase “trans women are women”, because in the specific context of menstruation they’re not and Rowling had said nothing about trans men at that point. More than anything it feels like an opportunity for a half decent pun about how trans men menstruate was missed.
Yes, that was weird. So much of the debate is focused around trans women, and trans men sometimes get left out both by trans activists and by people who want to refer to everyone who menstruates as women.

It would be a lot easier if we had one set of words that was widely agreed to refer specifically to biological sex and another for gender identity, but I don't think we're there yet.
Aye, the two things get horribly conflated and I’m never sure if that’s because people don’t know the difference or just don’t care about it. I’ve come across people saying that gender is innate and rooted in biology at one end, and people saying that sex is a spectrum at the other.

It feels like better language might detoxify the debate, as it seems to me that most people could probably agree that some people need protections in law based on their genders, others need protections based on their sex, with all of those things sitting on a Venn diagram with some areas which overlap and others which do not. Do the general public care nothing for set theory?
But we do have the language.

Male/female = sex
Man/woman/trans woman/ trans man/etc. = gender

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:41 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:44 pm
Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:28 pm
Sex-segregated spaces are the big one, along with sports, awards, scholarships, etc. intended for females/women. They exist for women because we are historically and/or physically at a disadvantage and are frequently discriminated against. Opening them up to trans women, who are male by definition, defeats the entire point.
Going by your definition above, this chap - the same one cited by purplehaze earlier in this thread - is female. (As warumich points out, I'm not bought into that definition, but let's go with it).

Image

Also according to your definition above, he would have, as a female*, every right to access those shared spaces - toilets, refuges, etc.

The idea that he would be welcomed with open arms into those spaces by the same women who object to transwomen being there is ludicrous.
Buck Angel.

I don’t know what the answer for trans men like Buck is. Third spaces? If men aren’t happy with trans men like Buck in their space, that’s their issue to solve.

It is not the obligation of women to make way for everyone feeling oppressed. We’ve got problems of our own over here.

Third spaces is probably the answer. Possibly third and fourth.


And you don’t know what a female is? This forum, which sprung from the Bad Science forums, doesn’t know what a female organism is?

(For the record, I believe Buck Angel has made it quite clear that they are a female trans sexual, so you’d be disagreeing with them too.)

Is it not enough that women are expected to concede the word ‘woman’ to males? We must now give up the word ‘female’ as well? How, pray tell, are we to define ourselves in the future? By a series of bodily functions?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:33 pm

Purely on this bit:
Piggy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:30 pm
On menstruation:

Yes, I am aware that not all women menstruate. But those women aren’t complaining about the use of the word ‘woman’ when referring to menstruation, and a hell of a lot of women who do menstruate (I’d imagine the vast majority but I don’t have numbers) object to being called menstruators.
The article didn't refer to 'menstruators'. It referred to 'people who menstruate', in much the same way that you refer to 'women who do menstruate'.

So the 'who menstruate' part doesn't actually seem to be what people are objecting to. AFAICT the objection is to using 'people' instead of 'women'. Is that fair?
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