In memory of Magdalen Berns

The brilliant and brave feminist has gone too soon.

Posie Parker


She was a daughter, a sister, a partner and a friend. But to many across the world, she was also a trailblazer with a sharp sense of humour and a keen grasp of feminism. She was unequivocal in her focus on lesbian rights and brave in her criticism of the transgender movement and its ideology.

That was Magdalen Berns, YouTube star and principled feminist, who died on 13 September aged just 36.

Magdalen graduated in physics from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. During her time there, she created a women-only boxing club. The boxing community in Edinburgh expressed their sadness following her death. ‘Magdalen was a pioneer for both women’s boxing and university boxing in Scotland, and she was a member of Scotland’s first female boxing squad in 2011’, said Boxing Scotland in a statement.

Magdalen represented the University of Edinburgh in boxing. Later, she became the first Scottish boxer to compete in, and win, the Haringey Boxing Cup in 2010 and the Golden Girl Championship in 2011. In 2011 she also won the British Universities Boxing Championships and boxed in the finals of the Scottish university championships.

Magdalen became a controversial figure as a result of some people’s overreaction to her critical commentary and her YouTube videos. She was repeatedly banned from supposed LGBT groups and women’s groups for daring to speak up about the inclusion of drag acts in Pride and the erasure of lesbianism by the trans ideology that said men can be lesbians too.

On 10 April 2016, Magdalen published the first of her YouTube videos that she would become famous for. The first, in her typical style, was titled: ‘There Is No Such Thing as a Lesbian With a Penis!’ In it, she skewered a well-known lesbian activist in the US with her deadpan delivery and comedic skill.

Her videos on women’s rights, lesbian rights and the serious problems with transgenderism have been shared around the world, hundreds of thousands of times. She made 64 videos, mostly commentary on trans propagandists and their ideology. She gained 30,000 subscribers. Tiny in stature, this fiercely honest woman, with her linguistic dexterity and dry humour, pulled many people back through the looking glass and back to reality – back to a world in which it was okay to criticise the transgender ideology and its unreasonable, misogynistic claims.

‘It’s a difficult thing to be told that you’ve got something that can’t be cured, but I’m not going to let it define me’, Magdalen said when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma. It didn’t define her. Instead she continued to be defined by her courage in the face of constant censorship and attacks.

She wasn’t only courageous in her battle with brain cancer – she was also courageous in her use of clarity, intelligence and exceptional wit to confront today’s insidious attack on women’s rights by the movement known as transgenderism. Her arguments are well documented on her YouTube channel, and everyone should visit it. Here are some of her own words:

‘To identify womanhood as femininity is about as sexist as you can get. Woman is defined as an adult human female. Female is defined by her reproductive sex organs. If you accept the mantra “transwomen are women”, lesbianism doesn’t exist. If you’re born with a penis and balls, you’re male – you don’t get assigned reproductive organs. Males are defined by their biological sex organs; likewise, homosexuals are attracted to individuals of the same sex. Lesbians don’t have penises.’

‘The important thing to recognise is that [the transgender problem] is a women’s rights issue, but it is also a child-protection issue, a free-speech issue and, ultimately, a human-rights issue.’

‘People are so afraid of criticising trans ideology that they won’t even challenge or question when the trans activists advocate the transitioning of children… We don’t need to tell children that they are born in the wrong body. The people to scrutinise are the medical profession who are misleading parents, and the media, of course, who are selling this as if it’s acceptable to transition kids as young as four years old.’

‘We’ve actually got justification for being afraid of men. It’s not irrational. It’s not right-wing. And it’s not a joke.’

Anyone who wants or needs a dose of sanity and liberty and humour should peruse Magdalen’s archive on YouTube. Her arguments will live on. And she will be deeply missed by her friends and family and all those who found comfort in her humour and her wisdom.

Magdalen Berns, 1983 – 2019

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Paul Donaldson

27th May 2020 at 11:06 am

just watched a sample of you tube blogs, sounds like an intelligent person and a boxer to boot, cool!

Geoff Cox

26th September 2019 at 1:59 pm

Of course, Magdalen Berns had a very good reason to be worried about trans m to f athletes. Sh*t is going down in her sport as m to f start competing. The results are not pretty. But for the non-squeamish go to youtube and search for “Transgender Breaks Woman’s Skull! MMA Fighter Fallon Fox”.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 3:24 pm

Yes, it’s crazy. A birth-male will retain most of the musculo-skeletal male advantage, because it is not reversed by later hormone changes as in ‘gender reassignment [sic], so a ‘trans-woman’ (M>F ‘trans’) will have male upper-body strength, that applied to female relative body-frame weakness results in serious injury. The upshot is that feminists should quit their nonsense about the sexes being the same and a matter of ‘social construction’ of ‘gender’ [sic]. The sexes are binary and biological; there is no such thing as ‘gender fluidity’. They should also acknowledge that there is such as thing as ‘trans-sexuality’ (misnomer though it is): a minuscule proportion of people really do feel they are in the wrong body, likely through in-embryo malfunction of ‘brain mapping’. Put these together and sense can prevail and we won’t have the incongruity of a male breaking a female skull in a sport.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 8:40 am

See? You haven’t got a clue. You mix up the 3 waves of feminism, you then mix up the different strands of feminism.
Just throw it in the pot and mash it all up and run around society feeding them this confused hatred based on ignorance.

The feminists you probably hate the most, the Radical Feminists, agree with everything you say is wrong with men competing against women in sport. But you’d have to actually know something other than what your colon looks like at any given point in a day.
But you then go on to make a hash of the position they take on gender. They believe in biological sex. Gender is the thing that tells you that you are then required to act a certain way to compound/validate/prove that sex. You aren’t a man unless you chop wood and drive a car very fast and very well, and can hunt bear and build a cabin with only rocks for tools. Anything less, well… a bit girly, really.
I know, it devilishly complex. You’d perhaps understand it better if you could shelve your hatred of women and anything to do with their liberation from 2nd class citizenry for 5 minutes.d (Most women-hating men at least concede on women getting the vote. Not you.)
Liberal feminists and intersectional feminists are the ones who love trans and believe in gender fluidity. Not the radical feminists. See? You’re just blindly swinging about without a clue.

Your opinion of the causation of transsexuality (which only exists post op, it doesn’t exist until its chop chop) is not proven. At present, the genuine cases for transsexualism is the presence of gender identity disorder. The only solution to attain a normal, ordered life is to undergo surgery, hormones, etc. They obviously are now a facsimile of the opposite sex and that helps an average percentage. 40% commit suicide, post op.
Don’t confuse gay men choosing to become transsexuals, either. They are feminine, which ranks them lowly in the lonely hearts adverts. Becoming women opens up more chances for… love, because they are now appealing to heterosexual men.

Auto-gyne-philia, do dah, do dah……………………………………….. (Genuinely born in the wrong body as a scientific fact. Snigger snigger.)

A Game

28th September 2019 at 8:41 am

Damn, tripped by the moderator. Obviously its looking for Moxonophobia.

A Game

26th September 2019 at 5:48 am

This is a majestic tribute to her. Not sentimental, not sickly, but strong and complimentary and acknowledging everything true about her.
I only discovered her videos just over a year ago. I’ve watched every single one (including PP’s thug life vid in the garden), and only towards the end, her “Lady Brain update”. You then search the type of cancer she had… I was overwhelmed with the bitter unfairness that such a wonderful woman was fighting a losing battle for her life.
I saw that it had been announced that she’d died and I cried, the sadness of it, the sadness.
I’m glad to hear she had many people in her life that loved her.

She was a warrior for her cause. She took it straight up to the media stars willfully, recklessly promoting something that was destroying so many, purely for self interest. They wanted to live in fantasy land and society was going to indulge it. She used their own stylings and language against them so well… And enraged them so.
She was completely correct about lesbian erasure. Young woman are being railroaded by the Queerists into being trans instead of lesbians, because there is no longer an open, apparent, lesbian presence in society, on campuses, etc.

I do hope anyone reading this page, who has teenagers in their house shares a link to her videos. Its a much needed anecdote to the mainstream poison infecting our youth.

I didn’t know her, I wish I had and thank you for sharing your thoughts about her, with us.
She does live on through her work.
To Magdalen Berns.

steve moxon

25th September 2019 at 8:58 pm

Feminism is malicious baloney. Not one tenet of feminism withstands scrutiny. It is the core of the hate-mongering Left backlash of ‘identity politics’; a nasty obscenity set to implode.

A Game

26th September 2019 at 5:28 am

Yeah, yeah, we all know you’ve been seething since 1990: When it became illegal to rape your wife.
Evil feminists. Stevie’s had nothing but burnt dinners and backchat since. Rage.

But hey, if you disagree with Magdalen’s message… you can always get a Trans wife. Its just like the real thing.

Tainting a memorial, a salute to a fine, fine woman with your tedious bile.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 7:09 am

Ad hominem bilge doesn’t work any more. Feminism is malicious baloney. Not one tenet of feminism withstands scrutiny. It is the core of the hate-mongering Left backlash of ‘identity politics’; a nasty obscenity set to implode. You’d better get used to it.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 8:22 am

Oh, you mistook me. I wasn’t campaigning for the cause. I wasn’t trying to win friends or converts. I was having a very direct swing at you. Personally. Because your entire take on women, womanhood, feminism is tainted with the ugliest of hatreds, the worst kind of hatreds: you think you’re being objective.
I’ve read plenty of your rants. And there it is, over and over, citing stats, and theories (aka OPINIONS) and desperately trying to show this hatred that burns inside of you is justified.
You are not objective, you are not scientific.

And you know what occurred to me just after I logged off?
A reasonable person on most topics, such a hot mess re women/feminism. Why would that be?

Auto-gyne-philia, do dah, do dah, auto-gyne-philia, do, do dah day.
Your mail order lingerie pinching, Steve?

Alex Cameron

25th September 2019 at 8:25 pm

Ruth good choice … Stonewall, ‘you are absolute, treacherous, money taking bastards.’ brilliant!

Jane 70

25th September 2019 at 5:38 pm

What a very brave woman and what a sad loss. I’ll confess that I’d never heard of her before reading Spiked’s tribute, but a subsequent online search revealed her many achievements , her intellect and her courage, both in accepting a devastating diagnosis and the persecution of the trans lobby.

Debbie Taylor-Osborne

25th September 2019 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for this Posie. I may not always have agreed with you, and there was a conversation I had with Mags about the use of the word TERF, but I’ve always appreciated those with the guts to go where angels fear to tread so-to-speak. She’s left one hell of a legacy and how many of us will be able to claim that. Ps. I’ve used my real name…..

Ruth OHare

25th September 2019 at 4:51 pm

If you only try out one of her videos I recommend “What Kind Of Fools Do Transgender UK and Stonewall Take Us For?” it’s an absolute belter! Magalen on top form!

A Game

26th September 2019 at 5:30 am

Is that the “mind is so open your brain is falling out?” Alex Drummond, forcing women to find their inner lesbian when in his presence? What a ghastly man.

steve moxon

26th September 2019 at 7:11 am

Not as ghastly as feminism … and you, evidently.

A Game

28th September 2019 at 8:17 am

You got that right. I am ghastly. I am your kind’s worst nightmare. I’m consistent. I have a moral compass. It doesn’t shift or wobble depending on what my biased, self serving interest in something is.

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