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Can I ask a question about the gender identity bill?

(22 Posts)
SentimentalLentil Mon 16-Oct-17 14:57:50

Ok so I was talking to someone about self identification and they were like, it's been like that in Ireland for ages now and they don't have any problems. I tried to see if that was true but couldn't find anything more about it.

QuarksandLeptons Mon 16-Oct-17 15:37:27

From what I gather, the Irish bill was passed pretty recently (in the last year) and actually hasn’t come into legal effect yet.

That said, on Twitter the other day there was an Irish man located in Dublin I think, who now identifies as a woman, who was boasting about how he happily uses the female bathrooms at his office and about how no one minds. He didn’t pass at all as female. Didn’t seem feminine in any way. He didn’t look like he’d made any changes to himself at all apart from having slightly longish hair. He was very much a big, normal looking bloke. I can imagine his female colleagues feeling uncomfortable to have to share their space with him but not feeling any ability to share their feelings because of the bill. Working in an office, often the only place of respite to have a quiet moment of privacy is in the ladies loo and this man has taken that away from his fellow workers.

Also, I think the other reason that there is nothing about it in the media (I’ve been searching too, for the same reason as you) is that in day to day life especially for middle class people (ie most journalists) the changes don’t impact people.

Despite the numbers of trans identifying people getting bigger, they are still a tiny percentage of the overall population and generally mostly located in big cities. So, it is still very rare to encounter a trans person in Ireland.

The people who will be affected first will be the female prison population and the women in prison tend not to have a voice in the media. Men who decide to switch to being a woman will be able to be housed in female prisons and violate the woman there if they wish. Because those women are from the most disadvantaged section of society, no politician or media outlet really cares.

I think it will take years to see the effects. Women’s prisons, women’s rape shelters, girls schools, women and girls scholarships and awards and the effect on young children bring coerced into trying to change sex will all be impacted in time by this bill.

Ireland has only very recently started tackling its highly patriarchal society and I think this bill reflects that patriarchy has just found a more subtle way to silence women again.

As an aside, a recent abortion rally in Northern Ireland had young men (who identify as women) complaining at it that the chants included the word woman because it was trans exclusionary. An Abortion rally. Really. You couldn’t make it up.

BastardBernie Mon 16-Oct-17 15:42:54

m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv81zIIeHw0&feature=youtu.be

morningrunner Mon 16-Oct-17 15:48:32

How do they know its not a problem? Feeling like shit because you have to share a changing room with a male colleague is hardly going to be headline news.

I have no doubt that any women daring to complain about having to share facilities would be shouted down as a transphobe.

In any event Ireland is hardly a leading light when it comes to protecting women's rights now is it? FFS contraception was illegal until the 1980s.

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Mon 16-Oct-17 15:49:17

The bottom line is that self ID legislation removes the language that describes biological women as a category and therefore removes legislation which protects us and defends our civil rights.

TBH I don't know WTF is going on in Ireland. 20 odd years ago, when a gay person was on holiday there, the whole fucking county knew about it. And talked about it for another year. And besides the most powerful people in Ireland have worn dresses for ever

morningrunner Mon 16-Oct-17 15:56:35

the bill was passed into law in 2015 As at May 2017 230 people had used the new procedure to legally "change" sex.

SentimentalLentil Mon 16-Oct-17 15:57:20

I'm not saying it's not a problem I just realised I had no come back when this person was like 'well you can self identify in Ireland and it hasn't caused any problems there'.
So was wondering if anyone had any experience of it

morningrunner Mon 16-Oct-17 16:06:40

Hi Lentil I wasn't saying that you were!

The point is that women's concerns are never taken seriously in Ireland and they are frequently the ones to be sacrificed in order for Irish society as a whole to feel virtuous. Whether it was by imprisoning 'fallen women' in Magdalene Laundries (there were still women being kept in these institutions up until the 1990s!) banning contraception introducing a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion in any circumstances, or now by wanting to be seen to be 'progressive'. I am afraid that Irish society is rather "hard of thinking" when it comes to its treatment of women, and I say that as an Irish person.

The fact that there has not been any reported upsurge of women being raped or assaulted in what were heretofore single sex spaces is not the issue.

morningrunner Mon 16-Oct-17 16:10:27

The appropriate come back might be "How do you know that there have been no problems with gender self ID? How can you tell if this is causing a problem for Irish women or not or that it wont in the future? The fact that the world continues to turn is not proof that it was not a bad idea".

SentimentalLentil Mon 16-Oct-17 16:10:36

No I just wanted the clarify my position, just in case wink

QuarksandLeptons Mon 16-Oct-17 16:23:16

And besides the most powerful people in Ireland have worn dresses for ever

True! grin Would also add

And besides the most powerful men in Ireland have worn dresses for ever

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Mon 16-Oct-17 18:05:40

I live in Malta, which has self-id, but it's a very different place to the UK. It's smaller so there can't be very many trans people at all, let alone a community, it's very much more traditional (ie. you'd have to be bloody determined to want to trans, because I doubt you're going to be treated well - and in my experience the people that are this determined are the people with full on dysphoria trying to cope, and they just aren't obnoxious like the auto-gynephiles).

I wonder if it's similar in Ireland - they're both Catholic countries, with a smaller population, so things just work a bit differently.

HornyTortoise Mon 16-Oct-17 18:38:31

I would say the problems with self-ID will not be publicized until the mainstream press stop being scared of the trans-lobby, tbh. Stories of assaults in loos/changing rooms will be either hushed up, or written about as if it was a female attacking another female. So the problem would not be widely known about.

I am positive there will be problems, as the only males who would benefit from this legislation are those who should never be in female areas to begin with, in any shape or form.

ludog Mon 16-Oct-17 18:41:53

I'm Irish and I would agree that we're quite like Malta in general. TBH there doesn't seem to be as much virtue signalling here, when I've spoken to people IRL they're incredulous at the idea that someone like Danielle Muscato is taken seriously. Now, that's all anecdotal obviously and there may well be women badly affected by the bill but it's not as widely reported as elsewhere.

Rumandraisin1 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:36:55

Most of the everyday problems that women face because of it won't be 'news'. Just on here recently I've seen:

- a woman who wanted to access a local rape support service but found out that the service ascribes to self-identification so her rape counsellor could be a biological man - She decided not to access the service
- a woman whose male colleague announced he was now living as a woman and switched from using the male showers to the female showers (despite having had no hormones or surgery ie looking 100% like any other naked man). The female workers understandably no longer feel comfortable using the showers so there are effectively no shower facilities for women at their work.
- I used to access lesbian groups/services at an LGBT centre - These now have lots of lesbian-identified biological males in with some, shall we say, odd behaviour. I no longer access lesbian-only services/groups because these effectively no longer exist.

That's just a few minor examples of how services and spaces that women have fought for a being whittled away. I don't live in Ireland but a lot of services/organisations etc are already 'ahead' of the law on this kind of thing anyway. You don't necessarily need the law to reinforce this kind of thing when organisations either a) have bought into the ideology or b) fear the backlash of not complying.

This video shows are small selection of the most serious issues presented by this legislation. This kind of stuff will be reported in the media but will be reported as female-on-female sexual and violent assaults.

youtu.be/uzwMJAFWLtQ

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 16-Oct-17 20:43:36

The issue is that the 'problem' also precludes talking about the problem.

So I know a transwomen, who is biologically obviously male who accesses female homeless services. If the women, or I, talk about it, that's a hate crime. So we don't, and magically there is 'no problem'. The homeless women are vulnerable but no one cared about them before. And people like me don't want to lose our jobs and be questioned by the police. Silence is golden.

Anlaf Mon 16-Oct-17 22:29:22

I'm interested in this - I did some rummaging a while ago to see if there had been issues in Ireland, whether the culture of trans differed in Ireland, or if we could all relax. Data dump below.

The gender recongition process in ireland for 18+s is here, and requires ID and to be signed and witnessed by a notary/similar.
Interestingly, if you want to change name, you must demonstrate you've been living with that name for 2 years, or have a deed poll registered at the High Court, which makes your name change a matter of public record

The process for 16-17 year olds is more complex with doctors certificates required and a court petition.

In the last few months a number of Irish unis have introduced gender netural toilets on campus. I couldn't find any court reports of men accessing women's toilets/changing rooms/refuges.

On prisons:
the prison service allocated people to male and female prisons based on their genitalia or their birth certificates and according to Director of Care in the (Irish) Prison service in his eight years in the prison service, he had dealt with two transgender prisoners (there were at least 80 a couple of years ago in the UK prison service).

It did seem though that many of the trans stories featured in the Irish press are:
-"traditional" transsexuals - gay men (sometimes gay women) who transition in their early 20s or younger.
-crossdressers who cross dress in secret

Cross dressing is still allowed to be mentioned e.g www.dublinlesbianline.ie/crossdressing.html
www.thehiddenpeople.ie/

BUT there does seem to be a significant and increasing amount of press coverage of transgender children (dresses/toys etc). And late transitioners who describe cross dressing in wives clothes.

Finally - you can't have genital reassignment surgery in Ireland and you need to travel to the UK
www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/hse-forked-out-850k-for-sexchange-operations-in-britain-35461961.html

There were only 28 people in Ireland in 2016 going through medical transition on the health service and Four patients travelled abroad for the treatment in 2014, five in 2013 and 12 in 2012.

I might look further now I have google open...

Anlaf Mon 16-Oct-17 22:31:09

Sorry - on prisons, I read that to mean that you stay in the prison of your original birth certificate rather than the revised one. i.e. no mtt prisoners in women's prisons

SentimentalLentil Mon 16-Oct-17 22:31:52

Oh that's interesting.

Thanks for this!

DJBaggySmalls Mon 16-Oct-17 22:36:28

Its illegal to report that a person is trans, so you'd have no way of reporting any problems.
Thats part of the problem. there is now no way to keep any statistics, or talk in any meaningful way about women.

QuarksandLeptons Mon 16-Oct-17 22:37:26

Thanks Anlaf!

Anlaf Mon 16-Oct-17 23:46:18

Salright!

Just on the relative numbers of those referred to surgeries or surgery in progress, in 2016:

Ireland; popn 4.8m; 28
Scotland; 5.3m; 63 genital plus 90 ftt top surgery carried out
England, Wales and NI; 60.4m; UNKNOWN

There are no surgeries performed in NI or Wales - people are referred to the London clinics (or were until v recently). There are also no easy to find figures for people referred for surgery in England. It looks like Charing Cross had 244 in 2015/16, and St Peters another 200, but there are another 6 (ish) surgeons practising too.

www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/10/meet-the-gender-reassignment-surgeons-demand-is-going-through-the-roof

So could be 500+. Or, there might be 1800 surgery referrals in E/W/NI, if 4000 people were referred to GICs in a year, and 60% of mtt who are attending GICs seek surgery, and assuming 3/4 of GIC attendees are mtt and 1/4 ftt.

www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/10/transgender-clinic-waiting-times-patient-numbers-soar-gender-identity-services

Anyway, even with guessing: SRS in Ireland is significantly less frequent than in the UK (per capita) - in Scotland it's at least twice as common to be referred, and in E/W/NI I guess maybe from twice as common to five times as common.

This says nothing about people who seek self-funded treatment or who don't seek surgery, and in Ireland the vast majority of the 230 people who sought Gender Recognition Certs have likely not sought surgery (as only 50 had ever sought surgical referral)

shouldn't do numbers this close to bed, probably all bollocks-

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