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Earl of Balfour wants daughter to transition in order to take title

(37 Posts)
Monstamio Thu 30-Nov-17 06:52:49

I'm a long term lurker, occasional poster on mumsnet.

I recently peak-transed thanks in great part to the excellent and very clear posts by people such as Datun and Pisa (thank you).

We've been waiting for an aristocrat to challenge the laws of primogeniture (as exempt from the GRA) and it looks like the Earl of Balfour has stepped into the breech. See link below. This just got a brief mention on the Today prog.

EdithWeston Thu 30-Nov-17 06:57:29

No, he doesn't.

He's a long term campaigner about primogentiture and his actual aim if for succession of other titles to be changed to match the changes made to royal succession.

He seems to have got more attention for one comment about the nature of gender than anything else that the campaigners for change have said in the last couple of decades.

Anlaf Thu 30-Nov-17 07:00:42


Clicky (for some reason OP links often don't go clicky)

The reform of the Gender Recognition Act is now likely to include a clause on an exemption for hereditary titles being dropped.

Does it now? How do they know?

IndominusRex Thu 30-Nov-17 07:01:06

That is a very good article. Shows the hypocrisy of GRA. Shows how arbitrary the whole thing is. Excellent.

IveGotBillsTheyreMultiplying Thu 30-Nov-17 07:05:13

Reminds me of this case from the 60s,11thh_Baronet

nowt Thu 30-Nov-17 07:05:47

it’s infuriating that there is an exemption for primogeniture. Just goes to show that they don’t really believe it is possible to change sex, but they only care when it adversely affects men.

Monstamio Thu 30-Nov-17 07:18:52

Does it matter what his overall aims are if the result is it exposes the hypocrisy of the GRA to a more mainstream audience, Edith? Infuriating for campaigners perhaps, but potentially helpful overall.

RJnomore1 Thu 30-Nov-17 07:30:10

I think he's wonderful.

If this stupid law does go through I fully intend to be a man at any events where there is no queues for the men's toilets but the women's is mobbed.

Then complain there's no sanitary disposal bin for my male periods.

nowt Thu 30-Nov-17 08:55:12

I don’t think he’s wonderful. He wants the law changed so that his daughter inherits instead of his brother. I imagine if he had a son he wouldn’t give a stuff.

BarbarianMum Thu 30-Nov-17 09:39:02

Well people do tend to care more about stuff that affects them. I don't think a person's stand against racism is any less worthy because they're black. And dare I say it but i think many feminists would not campaign so hard on women's issues if they were men. hmm

CocoaXx Thu 30-Nov-17 09:42:26

He had a letter in the Times yesterday, it was mainly about primogeniture - he was using changing gender identity to make a point about his daughter not being able to inherit as the law stands.

SlowlyShrinking Thu 30-Nov-17 09:49:34

It’s obviously outrageous that his daughter can’t inherit. Good for him for trying to change that, whatever his motivations, and whatever you think about the whole system anyway.

jellyfrizz Thu 30-Nov-17 09:50:35

I don’t think he’s wonderful. He wants the law changed so that his daughter inherits instead of his brother. I imagine if he had a son he wouldn’t give a stuff.

It is in his interests to help push through the proposed GRA changes. Not an ally but good that he is giving an example of how people will abuse the changes for reasons other than a deep feeling of gender identity.

nowt Thu 30-Nov-17 10:01:12

I guess my feelings are that he is using the GRA as a jolly jape to campaign against the primogeniture rule, and I doubt he would so bothered about his eldest daughter inheriting if he had a younger son.

It’s like those boys who were complaining about not being allowed to wear shorts during a heatwave, they came to school wearing skirts and everyone had a good laugh about gendered dress codes, but the boys didn’t actually want to be allowed to wear skirts, they wanted to wear shorts.

BarbarianMum Thu 30-Nov-17 10:07:57

Well you're right, i don't think he cares much about the GRA. But I'm less convinced it matters. Seems to me the laws around premogeniture are a feminist issue in their own right.

nowt Thu 30-Nov-17 10:13:14

My ‘I don’t think he’s wonderful’ probably came across wrong. I don’t think he’s terrible, and I’m quite amused by the story, just thought the ‘wonderful’ was overstating it grin

whoputthecatout Thu 30-Nov-17 10:32:01

I don't think it matters what his motives are or that it highlights an anomaly. What is important is that it publicises how ludicrous the proposed GRA changes are. If it helps to highlight the collateral damage to women by making people, who may never have thought about it until now aware of its stupidity then go for it Lord Balfour.

nauticant Thu 30-Nov-17 13:15:41

I'm all in favour of his mischief-making since it brings some of the public gaze onto a mess that Parliament are thinking of creating.

But it is right that the exemption for hereditary titles will be dropped as a result of a proposed GRA? As we know, reporting in this area is random and mostly seems to be parroting whatever they've been told by the last person they spoke to.

Anlaf Thu 30-Nov-17 13:27:18

With credit to Lord Balfour - he's managed to get himself on the World at One on R4 in a mo, and get in the telegraph and the Mail.

This all seems to have come from a letter he wrote to the Times yesterday:

Sir, As far as I can see, on the same day that I meet my maker one of my daughters could declare that there has always been a man screaming to get out of her female body. She could thus claim my hereditary title as a son. How could present law be applied to argue with that, given the way this area is developing? And should that even be necessary in this day and age? Surely the time has come when we can nominate which child we want to be our successor, regardless of their current, past or future gender.
The Earl of Balfour
Burpham, W Sussex

Regressionconfession Thu 30-Nov-17 13:42:12

He's on radio 4 NOW

nauticant Thu 30-Nov-17 13:44:11

Zero content. It's being referred to as "sexual discrimination" and talked about as a joke.

CocoaXx Thu 30-Nov-17 14:52:40

It is sexual discrimination that his DD can’t inherit. But not a joke.

I am betting those laughing were all men.

nauticant Thu 30-Nov-17 15:26:47

Sadly, no. Martha Kearney was going along with it being a jolly jape. I hope that if she were to think about the real issues feeding into this she'd be saying "hang on, there's a problem here".

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 30-Nov-17 22:44:31

He has a point. I'm sure he doesn't want the title to pass away from his direct line. If he had a son he might still want the title to go to a worthy daughter rather than a wastrel son.

CharisMama Thu 30-Nov-17 22:46:11


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