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Gender Identity Bill - putting together a written response to the Women and Equalities Committee Transgender Equality report

(14 Posts)
WoodPigeonInFlight Tue 21-Mar-17 11:47:41

My understanding is that the Gender Identity Bill, being a Private Member's Bill, will make no further progress in this parliamentary session.

The purpose of PM's bills is to put issues on the agenda. The issues put on the agenda by Maria Miller's GIB are 1) self-identification of gender and 2) removing the legal right to have single sex services and spaces. So we know this is on the agenda, and if we don't want it to happen we need to get involved in the parliamentary process.

Maria Miller is on the Women and Equalities Committee. The rest of the membership is here

The report of this cttee on Trangender Rights is here

This report shows what the current accepted thinking amongst MPs on the Womens and Equalities Cttee on women's rights is. It's scary. It is all about gender, not sex, self-identification and follows the transactivists' agenda almost completely. There is a lot in the report which is, I believe, questionable, or lacking in facts or different perspectives. (One example is frequent references to a transwoman being put in a men's prison. There is no mention that this tw (if they are referring to Tara Hudson) has an intact penis. I think this is relevant.)

So I want to put together a written response to the report, arguing against fallacious arguments (one of which, from one of their witnesses argued that the law which says you can exclude a transwoman from a service, if there is a reasonable reason to do so, needs to be changed because there is no way of knowing if someone is trans without submitting them to an inspection of their genitals or look on Twitter in some cases .) So some some very poor logic. This needs to be challenged.

The report is very long. There is also the legal evidence to the ctte

and the government's response to the report

There is a lot of work to do this, but I think it is important to get a written alternative point of view over to the W&E Cttee, arguing the points, calmly and rationally, one by one. Some information gathering is needed, eg to query and if necessary challenge the suicide stats in the report.

Is there anyone who would like to help me with this? We could divide up the report and tackle different sections. I am happy to collate. I don't feel there is any great rush to do this - and I think it's better to do it well than rushed.

If you want to help with this, please reply on the thread or PM me. Or if you want to, just take a section of the report which you disagree with and post it and an argued, factual response on the thread.

The MPs on Women's and Equalities Committee are some of the most influential people in the country in terms of womens' and girls' rights. At this stage, I don't believe lobbying them will help - we need to persuade them that women's and girl's rights must not be lost in the wish to support transgender people.

jellyfrizz Tue 21-Mar-17 16:43:21

Great idea WoodPigeon, I'll attempt to help.

It is all about gender, not sex I think this has to be the main point.

The report shows that a distinction between gender and sex is understood:

2. Each of us is at birth assigned a sex (male or female), based on our physical characteristics. Most people’s gender identity (the gender with which they associate themselves) and gender presentation (how they outwardly show their gender) will not differ from that typically associated with their assigned sex. Trans people, however, have a
gender identity which differs from that of their (assigned) birth sex. Trans identities take a wide diversity of forms.2*

As sex and gender are two distinct states the law needs to recognise this rather than conflate the two. For instance the current GRA (2004) talks about gender on birth certificates however gender is not recorded on birth certificates, only sex is.

Male and female are states that remain constant however fluid gender may be; legal paperwork and law should be consistent with this.

Italiangreyhound Tue 21-Mar-17 16:47:40

I'd be really interested to see how you do and wonder if there is a sort of combined effort against this madness of self identification, which I am told by trans women that it will not be helpful to them either!

I even wonder if the reason they are doing it is so that they do not need to face all the kids coming through the NHS needing counselling etc. If they can say this is all normal then they have no obligation to these very vulnerable children.

dangermouseisace Tue 21-Mar-17 17:34:35

I might be able to help (my situation is a bit up and down at present though). I'm keen to do some research though and put to use those pointless academic qualifications

WoodPigeonInFlight Tue 21-Mar-17 21:45:12

smile Thanks so much for replying jellyfizz, Italian greyhound and dangermouse Great that you are interested in working on this jelly and dangermouse or at least seeing how it goes greyhound.

It will be so much better to work together on this as the issues are so complex and also there is so much in the report to respond to.

I will post tomorrow with the report section headings and a format for keeping track and then we can perhaps select some headings each to start with. We could also keep a list of overarching themes and points, so from posts so far:

1. gender v sex and confusion between the two
2. self-identification

I agree gender v sex is absolutely the key issue, with self-identification (which is really about what transgender is) close behind. Also

3. different 'groups' of trans women

I hope some other posters will join us, the more ideas and thoughts the better.

Will post again tomorrow.

sooperdooper Tue 21-Mar-17 21:50:18

I think this sounds like a fantastic idea, I haven't read all the links above fully but I'll make a start and would like to try and help formulate a response smile

WoodPigeonInFlight Wed 22-Mar-17 12:47:45

Great sooperdooper smile

Italiangreyhound Wed 22-Mar-17 13:59:03

Is there another thread on here doing something similar.

I want to write to my local MP but he doesn't seem to like me much!

WoodPigeonInFlight Wed 22-Mar-17 20:45:22


There is this one with people posting letters to their MPs.

WoodPigeonInFlight Wed 22-Mar-17 21:27:27

I am having a bit of cut & pasting trouble on my phone, so will post the contents list tomorrow from laptop. I have had a pm too so there are a few of us to start work on this which is great.

WoodPigeonInFlight Thu 23-Mar-17 17:59:04

House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee:
Transgender Equality Report 2015-16

i Introduction
Our inquiry

ii Cross-government strategy

iii Gender Recognition Act 2004
iii.1 Providing proof
iii.2 Spousal consent
iii.3 Age limit
iii.4 Data protection
iii.4 a Inappropriate requests to produce a Gender Recognition Certificate
iii.4 b Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act

iv Equality Act 2010
iv.1 Gender reassignment as a protected characteristic
iv.2 Exemptions in respect of trans people
iv.2 a Separate-sex and single-sex services
iv.2 b Genuine occupational requirement
iv.2 c Separate-gender sport

v NHS services
v.1 General NHS services
v.2 General Practitioners’ attitudes towards trans patients
v.3 Education and training of doctors
v.4 Professional regulation of doctors
v.5 Gender Identity Clinics (adults)
v.6 Treatment protocols
v.7 Capacity and quality of services
v.8 The Tavistock Clinic (children and adolescents)

vi Tackling everyday transphobia
vi.1 Hate crime
vi.2 Reporting of hate crime
vi.3 Hate-crime prosecutions and convictions
vi.4 Action to deal with hate crime
vi.5 Hate crime legislation
vi.6 Recording names and gender identities
vi.7 Passports
vi.8 National Insurance, tax and benefit records
vi.9 Non-gendering
vi.10 Prison and Probation Services
vi.11 Media
vi.12 Online services
vi.13 Schools
vi.14 Post-school education
vi.15 Social care for young people

Conclusions and recommendations
Annex: Terms of reference
Formal Minutes
Published written evidence

IrenetheQuaint Thu 23-Mar-17 18:14:43

I understand your concerns, but what exactly are you trying to achieve by drawing together this response? Given that the report was published a while ago there will be no formal mechanism for taking responses into account. You will probably just receive a polite acknowledgement from an underling responsible for the committee's secretariat. It's unlikely that the committee will see what you put together (unless anyone who has worked on a select committee thinks otherwise?).

If the aim is to gather a strong body of evidence for a time in the future when a bill like this gets introduced again then yes that sounds really valuable.

WoodPigeonInFlight Thu 23-Mar-17 18:18:34

Sorry for the delay.

I have posted the report headings above. Another poster has pm'd me - I think she is interested in doing some background on sex and gender, which will tie in with the "Terminology" section in the Intro, and also possibly iii Gender Recognition Act 2004 and iv Equality Act 2010.

Shall we each choose one section from the following, or part of a chapter if preferred, particularly NHS Service and Tackling everyday transphobia which are longer?

ii Gender Recognition Act 2004 pages 11-22
iv Equality Act 2010 pages 23-34
v NHS services pages 35-54
vi Tackling everyday transphobia pages 55-78

Perhaps we could each post to say which section we will be working on. I don't mind which section so will wait to see what is left.

Does this sound a sensible way to start? If you have any different ideas do say.

If there is anyone else who wants to join us in working on this, please post or pm me.

WoodPigeonInFlight Fri 31-Mar-17 11:49:58

Sorry Irene I missed your comment as I x-posted.

I see what you are saying , but I believe this report is actually the key driver of much government and other policy and needs to be challenged now, before things get any worse, and now is a good time to try to raise the issues before attempts are made to change the law.

In fact this just came on to my Twitter (sorry can't do snipping)

Women&EqualitiesCtte‏Verified account @Commonswomequ

It's #TransDayOfVisibility and today we are revisiting some of the recommendations we made in #transinquiry

So the W&E Cttee are still actively considering and promoting the report. I must say I was shocked at the very poor quality of the report - with inclusion of irrational and illogical arguments from witnesses, acceptance of poor logic and appeals to emotion and a completely one sided ignoring of any possible negative effects on womens' rights. I think these should be pointed out.

My thought was that a response to the report could be circulated to the individual MPs on the W&E cttee, as well as the cttee itself, and to other MPs so that they can be made aware of, and encouraged to start to question the trans agenda at this stage.

Anyway, there doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for working on this jointly at the moment, so I'll just get on with my own response.

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