Women are right to have concerns over trans reforms

Trans people have made many gains in recent years and we do not want to lose them. Society needs to tread carefully when the GRA is reformed.

As ministers consult the public over plans to simplify the legal process for changing gender, it’s important to recognise the valid concerns that many women have about their safety. Removing medical and legal barriers to people who want to identify their own gender is welcome, but it involves a lot more than wearing new clothes and changing names.

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Society needs to dismantle sexism before revising legal definitions of sex

Behind this heated and polarised debate there are real people making their way in life and often under difficult circumstances.

I am grateful to both The Economist and my fellow contributors for shedding light on such a controversial debate. The apparent clash between trans rights and women’s rights has created a storm but, in this feature, calm voices on both sides of the discussion are working towards solutions where everyone can feel secure, valued and respected for who we are. Continue reading “Society needs to dismantle sexism before revising legal definitions of sex”

Trade unionists can help bring light and understanding to transgender debate

While government prevaricates, trade unions are taking action to inform the workforce, call out injustice and change society for the better.

WHEN the government announced a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act in July last year, trans people expected that by now we might be discussing the outcome.

However, proposals to streamline and demedicalise the process to change our legal gender proved more controversial than the government perhaps anticipated. Repeated delays left a vacuum that spawned polarised and often heated discussions on social media and elsewhere. Continue reading “Trade unionists can help bring light and understanding to transgender debate”

Self-identification will not help transgender people

Men wouldn’t claim to be women purely to violate women’s rights, would they? Actually some might, and the ones that would are those who women are worried about.

When the government announced a public consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) in July last year, Justine Greening, then equalities minister, explained that her government was “committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality”.

It turned out to be rather more complicated than Ms Greening anticipated. Proposals to allow self-identification of gender sparked a bitter feud between transgender activists and feminists concerned about the impact on women’s rights. Angry exchanges on social media spilled on to the streets and, as the government dithered, women meeting to discuss the proposals have been met with intimidation and violence.

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Gender identity needs to be based on objective evidence rather than feelings

If we abandon the testimony of experts, we may find ourselves at the mercy of whoever shouts loudest.

When Tara Wolf assaulted Maria MacLachlan at Speakers’ Corner on September 13th 2017, a social-media dispute between transgender activists and radical feminists burst out onto the streets of London. Ms MacLachlan, a 60-year-old woman, was going to a feminist meeting that had been forced to move to a secret venue after protests by a group of transgender activists that included Ms Wolf, a 26-year-old trans woman.

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Standing up for transsexual rights

We are transsexual people deeply concerned about the proposed removal of safeguards from the Gender Recognition Act.

Transsexuals are worried about their rights being challenged under new legislation

We are transsexual people deeply concerned about the proposed removal of safeguards from the Gender Recognition Act. Replacing the evidenced-based process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate with an over-the-counter style self-declaration blurs the distinction between us and transgender people who remain physically intact. This is problematic when such male-bodied people, including sexual fetishists, demand the rights afforded to women as a protected sex, including access to their private spaces.

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A Plea To Trans Activists: We Can Protect Trans Rights Without Denying Biology

Laws that are effective need to be grounded in solid foundations: in science and in society; how we relate to nature and how we relate to each other. These are truths that are real and objective.

International Transgender Day of Visibility falls annually on March 31, though even the most casual observer must wonder if we still need a day to mark it. In the three years since Caitlin Jenner transitioned there has been an explosion of transgender visibility. What might be lacking is an International Day of Transgender Understanding. Western society has been keen to affirm trans people, and that is to be welcomed, but it has been slower to think critically about the wider impact of legislative change, and particularly the effect on women and their right to organise and associate as a biological sex. Continue reading “A Plea To Trans Activists: We Can Protect Trans Rights Without Denying Biology”