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.

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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.

Continue reading “Self-identification will not help transgender people”

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.

Continue reading “Gender identity needs to be based on objective evidence rather than feelings”

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.

Continue reading “Standing up for transsexual rights”

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”

We transgender women cannot self identify our sex

The Gender Recognition Act does need to be slimmed down and simplified. But no act of parliament can guarantee acceptance of our identities. That comes down to us: how we live our lives as transgender women.

When Lily Madigan, a 19-year-old transgender woman, was elected as a Labour Party women’s officer and applied for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme, social media squabbles between transgender activists and women’s rights campaigners exploded into the mainstream. Continue reading “We transgender women cannot self identify our sex”

Social acceptance of trans people springs from our relationship with society – and that works both ways

The Gender Recognition Act does need to be slimmed down and streamlined, but we need to consult widely and more carefully before we proceed.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones predicted last week that history will damn anti-trans zealots as it has judged those who resisted gay rights.

I’m a trans woman, so for me this is personal. Transphobic keyboard warriors have called for me to be sacked from my job as a teacher and a supposedly respectable Christian charity misgenders me deliberately on its website. Continue reading “Social acceptance of trans people springs from our relationship with society – and that works both ways”

The Gender Recognition Act needs reform but self-identification is not the answer

The Gender Recognition Act is in desperate need of reform, but self-declaration of gender is not a progressive solution. Indeed, where sex-based protections are concerned, external verification is vital to maintain trust and confidence.

Self-declaration of legal gender is a reckless proposal that would deny trans people the opportunity to have their gender externally verified and force them to rely entirely on their own assertions. While that might work in some parts of society, it could be catastrophic for those living in hostile environments where their motives may be questioned and their claims disbelieved. Continue reading “The Gender Recognition Act needs reform but self-identification is not the answer”