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Writing to my MP

(13 Posts)
Badgerthebodger Wed 29-Nov-17 16:02:12

So I've just written to my MP, I've done it once before on the subject but he sent a very non-committal response back. When he comes back to me this time I intend to reply outlining my concerns about giving children puberty blockers but my knowledge falls down a bit there - can anyone point me in the direction of some very easy to understand stats please? Trying to keep the letters fairly concise so not shoving everything in to one email.

What do you think:

I am very concerned about the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act due to be debated in the New Year, particularly bringing in the right for people to self identify their sex. Biologically, humans can be male or female and it is not possible to turn into the opposite sex - something I am sure you are fully aware of so please do accept my apologies if I am stating the obvious, I do just hope to be clear.

I do not believe that the current government have thought their way through the potential pitfalls of self-ID. I completely understand that most people are not prejudiced and do not want to come across as bigoted, however this is severely restricting any open debate which should be had around this piece of legislation (indeed, around all potential changes to legislation).

I do not think it is a good thing that under the proposed changes it would be possible for a man to self identify as a woman. He would not need to undergo any surgery, hormonal treatment, or present as a woman; he could simply wake up in the morning, decide his name was Carol and carry on going about his business. So far, so innocuous. My issue with this is that he would then be entitled to full access to women's only spaces including rape crisis centres, domestic violence refuges, women's prisons and changing rooms. He would, as a fully grown, fully intact male, be able to compete in women's sport and apply for women-only jobs. My elderly Aunt B would no longer be able to specify her preference for a female carer - my friend's disabled daughter would lose the right to her privacy and dignity in being cared for by someone of the same sex. Nobody would be able to challenge him - indeed it would be a violation of the Act to deny him access or question his right to be in any of those situations.

Mr MP, how can this be right? I absolutely realise that not all men would seek to abuse the changes to the Act, however the fact remains that 98% of violent crime is committed by men, much of it against women. Women-only spaces exist precisely because of the need to protect women from male violence, and in other cases (jobs, sports) from male privilege. I also absolutely understand that trans-women may be in need of their own protections but this should not be at the expense of women's rights which are already in place. If there is a need for trans-women to be protected then I suggest a third space be created for them, or perhaps they could fundraise and support their own sports, refuges and trans-exclusive jobs as women have had to do for many years.

In a month where I have seen a 19 year old trans-woman (who has had no hormones, surgery or lived as a woman, never mind the life experience required for such a post) become Women's Officer in Rochester and Strood CLP I cannot continue to pretend that there will be no impact on women if this legislation is allowed to pass through. I wholeheartedly support anyone to identify however they like, it just cannot and should not be done by asking women to budge up and allow their rights to be eroded in the name of "equality".

I am very interested to hear your comments and would be grateful of a reply.

DoopityDo Wed 29-Nov-17 16:15:45

Is this the previous email you sent and got a noncommittal reply to, or the one which you want to send now?

Badgerthebodger Wed 29-Nov-17 16:19:43

No, this is the one I’m sending now. Last one was sent a few months ago and probably wasn’t as coherent as it could have been.

lostintranslocation Wed 29-Nov-17 16:33:06

Badger, please can I borrow parts of your letter to write my own to my MP? I've been wanting to for quite some time, but I'm horrifically ineloquent, and struggle to get the general order of thoughts right!

Badgerthebodger Wed 29-Nov-17 16:40:23

Lost of course, if you think it would be helpful then please do

DoopityDo Wed 29-Nov-17 18:41:55

It’s a really good letter. I’d only suggest a couple of changes, as below:

“I am very concerned about the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act due to be debated in the New Year, particularly bringing in the right for people to self identify their (I would add legal) sex. Biologically, humans can be male or female and it is not possible to turn into the opposite sex, but the implications of being able to change your birth certificate by self-declaration are worrying.

I do not believe that the current government have thought their way through the potential pitfalls of self-ID. I completely understand that most people are not prejudiced and do not want to come across as bigoted, but there has already been an assault on a woman intending to attend a talk on the proposed changes (link to Speaker’s Corner news article possibly). (If he hasn’t heard of it, now seems a good time to mention it!)

I do not think it is a good thing that under the proposed changes it would be possible for a man to self identify as a woman. He would not need to undergo any surgery, hormonal treatment, or present as a woman; he could simply wake up in the morning, decide his name was Carol and carry on going about his business. So far, so innocuous. My issue with this is that he would then be entitled to full access to women's only spaces including rape crisis centres, domestic violence refuges, women's prisons and changing rooms. He would, as a fully grown, fully intact male, be able to compete in women's sport and apply for women-only jobs. My elderly Aunt B would no longer be able to specify her preference for a female carer - my friend's disabled daughter would lose the right to her privacy and dignity in being cared for by someone of the same sex. Nobody would be able to challenge him - indeed it would be a violation of the Act to deny him access or question his right to be in any of those situations.

Mr MP, how can this be right? I absolutely realise that not all men would seek to abuse the changes to the Act, however the fact remains that 98% of violent crime is committed by men, much of it against women. Women-only spaces exist precisely because of the need to protect women from male violence, and in other cases (jobs, sports) from male privilege. I also absolutely understand that trans-women may be in need of their own protections but this should not be at the expense of women's rights which are already in place. If there is a need for trans-women to be protected then I suggest a third space be created for them, or perhaps they could fundraise and support their own sports, refuges and trans-exclusive jobs as women have had to do for many years.

In a month where I have seen a 19 year old trans-woman (who has had no hormones, surgery or lived as a woman, never mind the life experience required for such a post) become Women's Officer in Rochester and Strood CLP I cannot continue to pretend that there will be no impact on women if this legislation is allowed to pass through. I wholeheartedly support anyone to identify however they like, it just cannot and should not be done by asking women to budge up and allow their rights to be eroded in the name of "equality".

I am very interested to hear your comments and would be grateful of a reply.”

If I hadn’t already written to my MP, I would steal it too grin

Badgerthebodger Wed 29-Nov-17 19:37:48

Thanks Doopity much appreciated, it has been sent! Let’s see what he comes back with...I’m not hopeful

DoopityDo Wed 29-Nov-17 19:56:00

Me either but hey, we try!

When I inquired of mine why I hadn’t had a reply after three months I got a form email asking me to make sure I had followed correct email procedure. So I did. Again. Crickets since.

Still, there’s a hapless caseworker somewhere making a note of it.

I hope you get more of a response! And a better one!

Stopmakingsense Wed 29-Nov-17 20:03:39

My MP gave a good interested response, and appreciated this leaflet:

http://sages.org.uk/publications/pdfs/Quick-facts-Sex-gender-and-equal-rights-SAGES-2017.pdf

Stopmakingsense Thu 30-Nov-17 11:05:42

Justine Greening was on the Today programme this morning and at the end of the interview she was asked whether, in considering the Gender Identity Bill she was going to take on board the concerns of women. She said something along the lines of "it's all very sensitive and we will listen to everybody". I think that shows that the message is getting through (whether or not it will change her stance on "purported feminists") so well done everybody who has been writing to their MP - and raising the issue so effectively. And the BBC now gets the problem, I think.

Badgerthebodger Thu 30-Nov-17 17:51:30

That’s encouraging about the Today programme. At least they are seeming to acknowledge there that they cannot go charging in making any changes they like.

RogueBiscuit Sat 02-Dec-17 20:48:48

My mp hasn't responded to several emails. Maybe this article explains why.

www.dailystar.co.uk/news/politics/661073/mps-porn-damian-green-extreme-pornography-computer-parliament

A dating site for crossdressers and their admirers was also typed in almost 500 times, while escort site Adultwork was visited more than 100 times

badbadhusky Sat 02-Dec-17 20:57:13

Rogue - Why not go over his head and re-send your letter to the PM stating that recent coverage of Damian Green’s porn habits indicate he is not a fit, suitable or sufficiently disinterested persin to represent his female constituents in this matter and you want her to be aware of your concerns and DG’s lack of interest, please direct it to whoever is fit to deal with it. (He should be out on his ear. Those kind of viewing habits on work networks/time would be a gross disciplinary matter in my organization.)

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