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81 - An Unlikely Court Case w/ Maya Forstater
Episode 815th August 2022 • Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast • Stella O'Malley & Sasha Ayad
00:00:00 01:10:51

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Maya Forstater is a researcher, writer, and advisor working on business and sustainable development. She is one of the founders of Sex Matters, the UK-based, not-for-profit organization that seeks to re-establish that sex matters in rules, laws, policies, language, and culture.

In 2019, she lost her job after tweeting and writing about sex and gender. She had begun talking and tweeting about news articles that she felt espoused bizarre new beliefs about gender and what the implications may be. For example, while building a campaign to combat overly-sex-segregated toys for children, called Let Toys be Toys, Maya observed that society had shifted from fighting sex stereotypes to claiming that some children were neither girls nor boys. It was fascinating to learn that even when researching tax policy, Maya found herself calling out unrealistic, utopian ideas and ruffling feathers among her liberal peers. In this conversation, Maya also reflects on her unlikely position in her landmark court case which established that gender-critical views are protected as a belief under the equality act. Despite her reluctance to jump into a complex and messy legal process, she felt a strong conviction to take this on.


  • Wider Lens Renewal Retreat — Arizona 2022:

  • Sex Matters:

  • Let Toys Be Toys:

  • More of Maya’s Writing:

Extended Notes

  • In 2017, Maya took notice of the gender wars and started the “Let Toys Be Toys” campaign.
  • Maya believes women are women and women have rights.
  • It is widely spread that Maya is a Tax Accountant but her role in social justice is much more than that.
  • Maya challenges people to engage in issues on Twitter and in her workplace.
  • An employer told Maya that because she retweeted Kathleen Stock she was a bigot.
  • Maya retained her job after explaining her plight on a blog and Twitter.
  • Her father’s legal experience influenced Maya about whether or not to sue others.
  • There is a legal time limit on discrimination cases.
  • At the moment Maya was prepared to launch a public campaign, a major social justice law firm dropped her case.
  • Maya has public support from those unable to raise their voice at work.
  • The first hearing, that Maya lost, was about sex being real and a protected philosophical belief.
  • In the first trial, a judge called Maya an Absolutist.
  • A tweet from JK Rowling catapulted Maya’s campaign into the international spotlight.
  • In 2021, Maya finally won a case that created a precedent that gender-critical people have the same rights as religious people.
  • Sex Matters is an organization Maya founded to educate people about their rights.

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