T-shirt protest adorns Cilla statue

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Cilla Black statue with the temporary addition of the shirt. Pic © Simran Roy JMU Journalism

The famous Cilla Black statue in Liverpool was temporarily ‘defaced’ as part of a protest, with a radical feminist group claiming responsibility.

The Mathew Street artwork was one of several across the UK which was used to display a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Woman: An adult human female’, although it has since been removed.

This is a phrase which is perceived by some to show opposition to the rights of transgender women.

ReSisters claims it carried out a coordinated plan to use statues as a focal point for its views, including Queen Victoria and the Peace Memorial in Brighton, along with the Duke of Wellington in Manchester, among others.

A spokesperson for ReSisters told JMU Journalism: “In September 2018, one representative of Liverpool ReSisters spoke to Liverpool City Council, asking for its mayor and councillors to consult women’s groups on retaining single-sex provisions in the city. This request was denied.

“As ReSisters United, we take to the streets to create a dialogue among our citizenry. We use peaceful means of protest in order to encourage discussion and debate, so that women’s voices can be heard and our privacy, dignity and boundaries are maintained.”

YouTube: Simran Roy

The move was met with anger from some transgender people and activists within the LGBT+ community, as they believe the bid to redefine gender is ‘anti-trans’ in nature. However, ReSisters campaigners have stated they hope to redefine gender to make it easier to pass laws and policies “in the best interests of women”.

Cat Strickson, transgender representative of the LGBT+ society at LJMU, told JMU Journalism: “The defacing of public monuments, such as the Cilla Black statue, is nothing more than an attempt to shame and scare trans and gender non-conforming people out of the public eye and back in the closet.

“These are not feminists. These are not advocates for women. They are hate groups, pure and simple, and Liverpool is a city that is notorious for its resistance to hate groups. Let’s keep that notoriety alive.”