GENDER RECOGNITION ACT

In the summer of 2017, the UK Government announced proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act and declared there would be a public consultation in the autumn. The autumn has now come and gone with no consultation. We can but speculate as to why it has been put back to early summer 2018. Obviously this page will be updated depending on whether this consultation goes ahead and what happens as a result. In the meantime, here are links to articles I recommend:

 

A useful Factsheet by Sages

“Following the publication of the Transgender Equality Report,1 the UK government intends to consult on amending the Gender Recognition Act. This will have significant impacts on both trans people and others, especially women, children, and the lesbian and gay community. This fact sheet explains the proposed changes and some of the implications.”

 

And a very helpful and interesting two-part look at the history of transgender legislation has been published by Fair Play for Women and Girls. Here’s a link to the first part.

Transgender rights: How did we get here? Part 1 Equality Law

 

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

“I outed myself when I started to challenge postmodern thinking that suggests our sex depends not on our chromosomes, but what is in our heads; something that is not based in facts and evidence but in feelings and opinions; something that has established the mantra transwomen are women.”

 

Academic philosophy and the UK Gender Recognition Act Kathleen Stock

“Something is afoot in academic philosophy. Beyond the academy, there’s a huge and impassioned discussion going on, around the apparent conflict between women-who-are-not-transwomen’s rights and interests, and transwomen’s rights and interests. And yet nearly all academic philosophers — including, surprisingly, feminist philosophers — are ignoring it.”

 

Caution urged when Parliament debates changes to trans rights Debbie Hayton

“As a transwoman, I am delighted that Parliamentary time is being devoted to trans rights. Trans people continue to face systemic discrimination and bias, so it is timely to review the legislation. However, the more I reflect on the two specific proposals in this motion, the more anxious I become.”

 

Feminists join men-only swim in protest of proposed law to enable people to self-identify as male or female The Independent

“There are currently 91 women taking part in #ManFriday, revealed the mother-of-two, all of whom self-ID as men every Friday to access men-only spaces.

‘We don’t change anything about our appearance, or pretend to be in the process of transitioning, just state that we are men.'”

 

Gender, the GRA and Women’s Rights Leyaterra

“It should be clear too that the trauma male violence creates for the female population is both not our fault and inevitable, and that victims are the most likely to self-exclude, and indeed to suffer most from any further impact created by a policy of self ID. It’s also victims who are often accused of bigotry for being affected by male violence – which is horrific victim blaming and totally unacceptable.”

 

I lived for a short time to all intents & purposes (outwardly) as a very feminine heterosexual man – a Twitter thread by Kristina Jayne Harrison

“The truth is women, men & transsexuals are fighting together against Self ID and whilst women rightly lead
11) the contributions of transsexuals & of male allies have been important. A handful of transsexuals have done more to openly oppose the imposition of gender self identity in this proposed amendment of the GRA than the entire women’s PLP and the Women’s Equality Party combined.”

 

Is Jeremy Corbyn right that trans people should be allowed to self-identify their gender? Helen Lewis, New Statesman

“Incidentally, Miller said at the time of the report being released that the only opposition came from women “purporting to be feminists”; I am in no way surprised by this. I doubt if I stopped the average person in Britain – or even the average male MP in Westminster – they would have strong opinions on the potential drawbacks of the self-ID system. Feminists are literally the only group dedicated to interrogating whether proposed policies are bad for women. It’s not that everyone else necessarily thinks her proposal was a good idea; it’s more that they haven’t thought about it at all.”

 

Judith Green on the Gender Recognition Act and the fight for women’s sex-based rights in the UK Feminist Current

“I am confident that the trade union movement is coming to an understanding that gender self-identity could undermine UK sex discrimination law and make exemptions to protect women’s services meaningless. It’s also fair to say that there is a strand within feminism that believes being inclusive is more important than protecting women’s rights. We are winning more and more women to the banner that their rights matter. We don’t underestimate the hard work though.”

 

Sex Matters Kiri Tunks, Morning Star

The relaxing of any legal definition of what it is to be a man or a woman could render sex discrimination law meaningless and any imposition of change without winning people to it is likely to cause a counter-productive backlash.

Neither is it helpful to say that these proposed changes only affect the trans community because it fundamentally isn’t true.

The ability to define one’s own “gender” will undermine the legal characteristic of “sex” and could lead to serious implications for women and their ability to fight sex discrimination and oppression.

 

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

“The trans community is small and vulnerable. We need to maintain the widespread trust and confidence of women to defend ourselves from the anti-trans zealots. History may well judge those people, though, sadly, they couldn’t seem to care less.

We therefore ignore women’s concerns at our peril. Women who were once enthusiastic allies of trans people are now more suspicious. The group with most to lose are trans women like me.”

 

Standing up for transsexual rights Letter in the Guardian

“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.”

 

The Gender Identity Debate Explored Morning Star

“Four activists discuss the pros and cons of the Tories’ proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow self-identification of gender and abolish the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before transition.”

 

The Gender Recognition Act is controversial – can a path to common ground be found? Gaby Hinsliffe

“They came in a steady stream, picking their way across a garden in central Oxford to the Quaker meeting room beyond. A crowd of largely middle-aged women, the sort you would find at any literary festival or school open evening; friends exchanging kisses, a baby squawking in a pushchair. Only the chanting protesters outside gave the game away. For this was a meeting called by the feminist organisation Woman’s Place to discuss potential changes in the law on gender recognition, and that meant tension in the air.”

 

The Orwellian nightmare of transgender politics Brendan O’Neill

“The government wants to scrap the current requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before you can switch gender and allow for ‘self-identification’. So any bloke could self-identify as a woman, apply for the legal right to be recognised as a woman, and – boom – he’s a woman. Sorry, she’s a woman.

It’s madness. And most people know it’s madness. Ask any normal, decent member of the public if Dave, 32, born a boy, still in possession of a penis, and a five o’clock shadow on a rough weekend, is a man or a woman, and I bet you they will say: ‘Man.’ Not because they are prejudiced or ‘transphobic’ – the latest phobia slur designed to pathologise dissent – but because they understand reality. And truth. And biology and experience.”

 

Transgenderism Is A Fake Legal Construct Daniel Moody

“Consider too the glaring mismatch between New York City and Britain. In New York City we can now be fined $125,000 for “mis-pronouning” somebody. The British government instead intends to scrub gender markers from passports and other documents. Gender identity appears not to know what gender identity is: Is it something so sacred that a wrong word can cost us our livelihood? Or is it something that is of such little importance it does not even deserve a place on a job application form?”

 

We transgender women cannot self identify our sex Debbie Hayton, The Times

“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.

The public must wonder what has been going on. A lot, it seems. The Labour councillor who was a referee on Ms Madigan’s application said the party had decided that “transgender women are women”, and he fundamentally believed that Lily is a woman.

People fundamentally believe lots of things but that does not necessarily make them true. We don’t legislate on the basis of astrology or homeopathy, for example, yet the government is considering reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that may allow people to self-identify their legal sex based on their fundamental beliefs.”

 

When Women’s Rights Are #NotaDebate Helen Saxby

“The new meaning of trans is currently being cemented into public consciousness by some very simple ideas used in a rather emotionally manipulative way. These ideas have been promoted so widely as to have reached the status of ‘self-evident’:

  • Trans people are ‘Born in the Wrong Body’
  • Gender is innate
  • Around half of trans people will attempt suicide
  • Trans people suffer abuse more than any other group
  • Only trans people can talk about trans issues
  • There is no evidence for any of this, and plenty of evidence against.”

 

Why is a A Male Rapist In a Woman’s Prison? Helen Saxby

“I duly read through the NHS Scotland Gender Reassignment Protocols. The treatment pathway for trans-identifying prisoners certainly takes considerable time (a whole year on hormones before assessment for surgery for example). But that’s ok: that is the one thing that the most serious of offenders have got in spades isn’t it…? Time…?
Diagnostically though, there is nothing rigorous or testing about it: it relies totally on the say-so of the presenting prisoner. Counselling or therapy are provided on the basis that the prisoner is telling the truth about his feelings, just as it is for non-prisoners. In fact, to do otherwise is now on the verge of being officially identified as conversion therapy.”

 

Why self-identification shouldn’t be the only thing that defines our gender Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

“A legal redefinition of our existing gender categories so that they reflect gender identity, instead of biological sex, would have the consequence of overriding existing legal protections against discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex. While people of both sexes may identify as transgender, the implications of this are particularly noteworthy for women, who continue to face discrimination on the basis of their sex, and who are in need of protection from male violence and harassment. ”

 

Why This Tranny Is Against The Change In The Gender Recognition Act! Smashing Gender Change blog

“As a person on the trans spectrum living in the UK very publicly it isn’t the act that needs to be changed. What needs to be changed is how the 2004 act is policed. I know there’s an issue with employment for example. Yet the Government are doing very little to ensure this act is adhered to by employers. That needs to change. Let’s face it everyone should be entitled to make a living / carve a career for themselves without the fear of discrimination and that should include the trans community in there.”

 

Finally, one of the most moving talks I ever had the privilege to attend.

Video Longtime activist Helen Steel speaks out about impact of Gender Recognition Act on sexual assault survivors

 

Oh, and another fine cartoon from the amazing Feminist Heretic.

 

 

Updated 24.05.18