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Debunking some myths

(155 Posts)
pallas81 Wed 21-Mar-18 12:18:38

I know I will be crucified for this but I aim to reach out to those who consider themselves open minded on the issue of reform to the Gender Recognition Act.
There is a great deal of talk about the dangers of male predators in female only spaces. It needs to be pointed out that this has nothing to do with the 2004 Gender Recognition Act or its possible reform. As the law currently stands, transgender women are perfectly entitled to use female toilets, changing rooms and facilities such as shelters and rape crisis centres. A Gender Recognition Certificate is NOT required. In fact, in law, it is illegal to demand such a certificate.
Transgender people are protected under the 2010 Equality Act. For those who are vehemently opposed to trans people having certain rights, you should be campaigning against the Equality Act instead of occupying yourselves with self identification.
However, I should point out that in the countries that have already adopted self identification as law there is no evidence that male predators have used it to prey on vulnerable women.
I'm afraid that much of the anger around this issue looks like paranoid fantasy when one knows the facts. Despite the best efforts of squalid sites like Transcrime, the rates of criminal behaviour among self-identified trans people is much much lower than the societal average and there is ZERO respectable evidence that self identified transgender females represent any threat to non-transgender females of any age.
If you wish to comment, please try to be courteous. Thank you.

MaryXYX Tue 17-Apr-18 13:38:09

I found the recent swimming pool protest quite amusing. It was reported (may actually have happened) that two women went into a "men only" swimming session. The supposed purpose was to claim that people would be able to go into single sex sessions if it was easier to get a Gender Recognition Certificate. The implication of course is that they showed their GRCs first ...

pallas81 Tue 17-Apr-18 14:14:19

The law around GRCs is clear: no-one has a right to demand it in any circumstances. Therefore the swimming pool "protest" makes no sense.

SianRunner Tue 17-Apr-18 14:19:19

Croft v Royal Mail, appeal court ruling 2003.

The court ruled that a relatively newly transitioning man-to-transwoman could legally be denied access by Royal Mail to the women's bogs.

Has that been forgotten? The judgement mentioned self-identification - and basically said that doesn't trump biology.

Hotchox Tue 17-Apr-18 14:39:42

However, I should point out that in the countries that have already adopted self identification as law there is no evidence that male predators have used it to prey on vulnerable women.

I'm not sure how there can be evidence on this. In countries where self-id is law, surely any crimes would be recorded as FEMALE predators in changing rooms, because, regardless of biology, the accused is able to say "I'm female"....? Or does self-id not bother itself with that aspect of law?

Bibijayne Mon 14-May-18 15:20:53

@SianRunner that case predates the Equality Act 2010 by a number of years.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Mon 14-May-18 15:29:10

From everything I have read on here I don’t believe your assertion is correct. Single Sex exemption can override even a GRC can’t it? Ie even with a GRC, I didn’t believe a trans woman had the absolute right to use a single sex facility covered by the Equality Act?

Bowlofbabelfish Mon 14-May-18 15:39:02

Your assertions are incorrect in several points I think.

1. As the law currently stands then single sex spaces like toilets and refuges CAN exclude people on the basis of sex. So that’s incorrect.

2. Self ID IS a threat to this - for toilets it would remove the right to challenge someone in a female toilet.

3. Transgender people are protected under the 2010 act. What other rights would you like them to have may I ask? Self ID as a right is a threat to safeguarding, and to women and children. So no, I do not support that.

4. There have been several incidents in Canada where TRA groups have used self ID to actively damage women or facilities used by women. Vexatious lawsuits against women’s refuges for example. A lawsuit against a water who did not want to do a male leg (or do you believe a woman’s right to say no to ANY physical contact she disagrees with is invalid?) In the USA, voyeurism crimes have doubled in Target’s unisex changing rooms.

5. Transwoman retain Male criminality patterns.

So actually, all your assertions appear to be incorrect. MN is not anti trans, it is pro women as a rule. Self ID is a serious threat to the safety of women and girls and children of both sexes and all gender identifications. I cannot accept it.

PencilsInSpace Tue 15-May-18 00:01:13

We can get a fair idea from Theresa May's pronouncements and from the Scottish consultation documents what the proposed new GRA might look like.

The proposals are to remove all the requirements for evidence. Applicants will no longer have to show they have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or that they have 'lived in' the new gender for 2 years (in practice a few official docs in the new name - passport, drivers licence, DWP, HMRC letters, payslips, household bills etc.)

The proposals don't just change an administrative procedure for those who would have applied for a GRC anyway, they expand eligibility to anyone with £140 and a biro (fee waiver for anyone on a low income). It's true you'll also have to pay a solicitor's fee to notarise the stat dec. A quick google shows the going rate for this service is £5.

Aside from prisons, the GRA makes little practical difference these days and the EA exceptions can be used to keep spaces and services female only even where a tw has a GRC. What the self-ID proposals do - have already done before any legal changes, is change the culture around what and who women are expected to put up with in our spaces (in the widest sense).

Shelters and rape crisis centres are perfectly entitled to use the single sex exceptions in the EA and exclude tw, both with and without a GRC, in order to keep them female only. They're just increasingly less likely to use them because of the cultural change outlined above, and because of pressure from transactivist shits. This is bad for women and girls.

Campaign for your own spaces. If you hurry up you might be in time to get support from women before we've all completely run out of good will.

The other thing to consider is how the GRA interacts with other legislation. It may seem like it makes no difference to allow people to self-ID to get an obsolete document, but if another law is then amended to allow further rights to people with a GRC we could be in deep shit. For example the trans equality report also recommends changing the equality act so that sex based exceptions would not apply where someone has a GRC. The current government have said they won't change the EA but governments only last a handful of years, after that all bets are off.

the rates of criminal behaviour among self-identified trans people is much much lower than the societal average

Citation please. This is a ludicrous assertion because 'self-identified trans people' is literally anyone who says the magic words.

and there is ZERO respectable evidence that self identified transgender females represent any threat to non-transgender females of any age.

Well, I saw first hand a woman get punched repeatedly in the head by a self-ID'd tw so ...

Bibijayne Tue 15-May-18 06:56:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Onemorning Tue 15-May-18 07:04:33

In what way are transwomen women, Bibijayne?

EmpressOfSpartacus Tue 15-May-18 07:18:13

And given the all-encompassing nature of the Stonewall definition, at what point can someone with XY chromosomes be defined as a woman? Should someone like Pips Bunce be given full access to our spaces when wearing a dress & excluded when in a suit?

Moonkissedlegs Tue 15-May-18 07:21:23

Most women I know have no problem with transwomen in women's space... Because they're women.

Could you please expand on this?

SeahorsesAREhorses Tue 15-May-18 07:41:07

Please explain how transwomen are adult human females of the sex that bears young and produces eggs?

The law can make exceptions, but it doesn't make exceptions, and we are increasingly seeing female facilities being lost. Abuse against girls in schools is on the rise but their safe spaces are being made gender neutral, how do we measure their unease and discomfort, the effect on their mental health.

Disphoria is being uncoupled from trans and being a woman is being reduced to a sexist trope, this is deeply misogynistic and harmful.

In countries where they have adopted these policies we are seeing prisoners forced to shower with males, Muslim women harassed when they refuse to wax someones male genitals.

There is no room for gender conforming youth, none whatsoever, girls either girl properly or are assumed to be boys, the same goes for feminine boys. This is deeply sexist and can only be excused if you are sexist.

SeahorsesAREhorses Tue 15-May-18 07:44:31

Girls attending university may request a female to share with, and end up sharing with a male. females matter, their sports, their safe spaces, their right to awards, their voices, their right to access accurate stats, their right to have safe medical trials aimed at and tested on female bodies, their right to use their language to describe their experience.

Please spare a thought for women and girls when you are handing over their sex based rights and protections.

FermatsTheorem Tue 15-May-18 07:49:08

Well leaving aside what I think of as a quasi-religious issue (you believe transwomen are wonen, I do not), let's focus on entirely practical issues.

How do we ensure that male bodied sex offenders, regardless of how they "identity", are kept out of women's prisons? How do we word legislation?

How do we ensure that a group of like-minded women can get together to set up a rape crisis centre free from male-bodied individuals (both as service users and service providers) free from the threat of being sued into bankruptcy (as has happened in Canada)?

How do we ensure a women's rugby league can be formed without women having to be tackled/scrum down against male-bodied individuals (thread recently in AIBU where several women players talked with first hand experience of how much higher the risk of injury was playing against male-bodied individuals)?

How do we ensure women can ask for a female-bodied HCP to carry out intimate exams without the risk of being struck off her GP's list for showing "prejudice" towards trans HCPs' protected characteristics?

How do we make provision in old fashioned swimming pools with communal, open plan, single sex changing rooms (there are at least three of these near where I live) for women who don't want to get naked in front of male bodied individuals?

It is quite clear to anyone following these debates that there's a core of transactivists for whom the answer to all these questions appears to be "you shouldn't be able to request these things". And these high-profile transactivists seem to have the ear of people in power.

You can't prevent these questions being asked by simply trying to shout #nodebate.

Bibijayne Tue 15-May-18 08:05:02

Personally think the questions are ludicrous and hyperbolic.

How do you stoo cis-women sex offenders entering women's only spaces?

And are infertile women not women? What a silly argument.

I think many, many people seem to fail to understand the difference between gender and sex. And then get hysterical about very unlikely circumstances.

Alltheprettyseahorses Tue 15-May-18 08:41:52

We understand perfectly the difference between sex and gender as every reply has shown. Do you? Sex exists. Gender and its expression are a transient geographical and societal trend.

Women who are sex offenders are vanishingly rare (no need for 'cis' btw - we are not an example of geometric isomerism). In fact, there are more male sex offenders in prison than the whole female prison population and we all know how hard it is to secure a conviction. Half of the prison population of TIMs are in for sex-related offences.

How ridiculous to compare an infertile woman to a man who may have fathered children with his male gametes. Women are members of the sex class which bear children. As there can be problems with every single body part and function, it doesn't mean she will be able to. The reproductive system is not immune from variance. Those variances do not include the possession of a penis.

FermatsTheorem Tue 15-May-18 08:46:31

What's hyperbolic about my questions? We have male-bodied sex offenders already being transferred to the female estate, so that one's not hyperbolic, it's happening. There are well documented cases of transwomen wanting to play contact sports (rugby, Aussie rules football, MMA fighting). So again, not hyperbolic - already happening.

And in any case, 98% of sex offenders in prison are male. Female sex offenders are very rare indeed, and because of the similarities in our physiques, I'd stand a chance of fighting off a female sex offender. I wouldn't stand a chance against a determined man.

Who's said infertile women aren't women? That's the sort of fatuous and entirely spurious comparison I've only ever seen transactivists make. Just because my reproductive system doesn't work doesn't stop me being female. Having a male reproductive system on the other hand, does rather clearly make you male.

Oh, and for the record, I consider myself misgendered by being described as a "cis" woman, because it implies that I identify with and am happy about my oppression, which I can assure you I bloody well am not. So don't use it.

WorkingItOutAsIGo Tue 15-May-18 08:53:20

I think it would be worth trying on this thread not to go into the whole debate about are trans women women, but instead to focus on those ‘myths’ the OP is trying to debunk. I frequently see these assertions being made regarding the law in this area, and believe them to be wrong. So does the OP know they are wrong? Are they trying to create a new reality by spreading these fake ‘truths’? How do we countermand these and show the real truth?

Because I see organisations and people believing these lies, and that’s dangerous.

Bowlofbabelfish Tue 15-May-18 08:54:33

Most women I know have no problem with transwomen in women's space... Because they're women.

bibijayne do you believe that humans can change sex?

Bowlofbabelfish Tue 15-May-18 08:58:01

How do you stoo cis-women sex offenders entering women's only spaces?

Firstly cis is grossly offensive. Secondly someone born a woman who is a sex offender (and they are a tiny minority) doesn’t possess a penis. So they can’t rape female prisoners for example.

Would you prefer to be in a cell with a male bodied transwoman rapist, or a born female sex offender? Be honest. It’s like saying all dogs are capable of damage - yeah they are but you’d probably prefer to be locked in a lift with an aggressive pug than an aggressive Doberman, no?

EmpressOfSpartacus Tue 15-May-18 09:01:03

Link to the study done by Dr Nicola Williams of Fair Play for Women on the number of trans sex offenders currently in UK prisons. Incidentally, it turned out that Nic had slightly underestimated the figures.

picklemepopcorn Tue 15-May-18 09:19:56

Leaving toilets and assault aside for a moment....

Think about AWS. If transwomen are so marginalised that they need special treatment, then surely a policy like 'guaranteeing to interview all transwomen who apply' would be appropriate. That is a policy used to ensure people with disabilities are fully considered, and surely a more appropriate strategy than taking the space of another under represented group.

What would happen to interview processes, if trans applicants were guaranteed an interview I wonder?

Bibijayne Tue 15-May-18 09:23:34

How is cis grossly offensive? It's an academic and scientific descriptor which is relevant to this debate? Also gender is not a 'fashion' - there are numerous studies which highlight that @Alltheprettyseahorses

I'm not comparing infertile women to trans-women. You did that by asserting that a woman is defined by her ability to have babies.

As a percentage of the population transmen and transwomen are actually very small - and already incredibly marginalised. They're also more likely to be victims of crime that perpetrators.

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