A feminist was banned from a bar she regularly frequented for three years because she wore an allegedly "transphobic" t-shirt. The t-shirt merely said the dictionary definition of the word "woman": "adult human female."
Five Clouds Tap and Bottle, a bar located in Macclesfield, England, has confirmed that Rebekah Wershbale was banned over the t-shirt, reports the Daily Mail.
Wershbale, 34, said she was stunned when she was informed by a female bartender that she was no longer welcome at the establishment because a complaint was made about her apparently offensive t-shirt.
"She told me that the T-shirt I was wearing was upsetting people because it was transphobic and not inclusive so I was barred," Wershbale explained. "What she meant was that I was somehow offending men who say they are women because my T-shirt did not include them in the definition of a woman. There aren’t even any transgender staff or patrons at the pub. It's crackers."
The feminist said a gay man named Mika Johnson, whom she tried to speak to before she was banned, complained about the shirt.
"I sat down next to him and asked him how he was," she recalled. "He said, 'I don't want to talk to you to be honest – please leave me alone.' So I said 'OK' and left it."
A half hour after the brief interaction, Wershbale was told by an employee named Heather that she was barred from the establishment.
"Heather said I'd been upsetting people and Mika was crying," said Wershbale.
"She told me that the way I talk about radical feminism was a problem and said: 'The T-shirt you're wearing is upsetting and not inclusive.' I replied that it simply said the dictionary definition of being a woman – how can it be offensive?" she asked. Heather "mumbled a bit about it being transphobic and that I had been transphobic previously," Wershbale continued. "She then said I was barred and that she had been nominated by the other bar staff to come to tell me that."
Wershbale said she asked the female employee "if she thought it was troubling that I was being removed from my own local because I was wearing a feminist T-shirt that had upset a gay man." But Heather "just repeated I wasn’t being inclusive," she recalled.
Johnson apparently posted about his disconnect over the incident to social media, branding Wershbale a "TERF" (trans exclusionary radical feminist).
"When you’re trying to relax in your fave pub and there is a TERF wearing an anti-trans T-shirt… it’s disgusting and I’m so upset by it," he wrote to Twitter, reports the Daily Mail.
Tom Lewis, manager of Five Clouds, confirmed the incident concerning Wershbale's removal from the establishment, though he claims Wershbale has discussed her views on men identifying as women to staffers and customers before.
Wershbale claims she has never been "transphobic," as is accused, but admitted to promoting the feminist Fair Play For Women campaign at the bar.
Wershbale can potentially undo her ban if she has "a discussion with staff so she understands the situation," said Lewis.