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Girl Guides Complaint Reply

(35 Posts)
KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 16:06:17

Sorry, I can't seem to find the girlguiding thread. As they are a voluntary organisation, I'm hesitant to reply using up more of their time but how can they talk about challenging gender stereotypes when they say transgendered children (i.e. those born boys who identify as girls because they like playing with dolls etc) will be allowed. And how am I meant to know if my daughter's uncomfortable re: accommodiation as their policy is for noone to know until she's away from me at camp!

Thank you for contacting us following the media interest in the past few days about Girlguiding’s policy on equality and diversity. We recently published a statement on the recent coverage which you can view on our website here.
To clarify, Girlguiding has always been a single gender organisation and is committed to ensuring that girls and young women are given a space to challenge gender stereotypes. The guidelines that have recently been mentioned are not new, but have been on our site since 2015 and were recently updated in January 2017.
Our guidelines comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 which makes clear that organisations providing single-sex services such as Girlguiding should treat people according to their acquired gender. As such, and in line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman. We are for all girls, from all walks of life and we will continue to open our doors to anyone based on that principle.
There may be occasions when girls and young women share accommodation. If any young person doesn’t feel comfortable doing that, for whatever reason, I would encourage you to speak to your daughter’s leader about alternative accommodation and facilities. More private areas for changing can also be made available to any young member who requests it. In terms of safeguarding our young members, all of our adult volunteers, of any gender, are DBS checked and our volunteers attend safeguarding training.
I hope that this answers you query and thank you again for contacting us.
Best wishes,
Anna Jönsson
Information, Enquiries & Complaints Manager

KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 16:09:03

Is it correct that a transgirl cannot legally be a girl as no GRC is issued under-18? Thanks.

KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 16:10:11

Oh and isn't the reply also transphobic as they say "acquired gender" and haven't people had their gender all along? Sorry for all the replies. I'm a bit wound up!

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 30-Nov-17 16:10:50

There's constant mixing up of gender and sex as seems typical of these policies that are published these days. Girl Guides has always been a single sex organisation, not a single gender identity organisation.

I wonder what they'd do about a trans boy wanting to join, or a non-binary/agender child who was biologically female?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 30-Nov-17 16:14:48

I think what causes confusion is that the gender identity part of the act applies from the moment someone makes their gender identity known. This link explains it quite well:

morningrunner Thu 30-Nov-17 16:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 30-Nov-17 16:26:24

I think you could argue that they could be perceived by others to be of a different gender to their sex due to how they present. The act covers that as well as the situation where it is known that someone is undergoing or proposing some form of gender change.

morningrunner Thu 30-Nov-17 16:47:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 30-Nov-17 16:54:14

I don't think there has to be a medical process, just a process of transition. It says in the document that I linked to that it isn't a medical process, but a personal one that doesn't need to include any medical treatment.

BahHumbygge Thu 30-Nov-17 17:04:05

I remember specifically from looking at their website when the story broke in January-ish, they said they were a single sex organisation.

It all feels a bit like "we have always been at war with East Asia" hmm

namechangedasimaguider Thu 30-Nov-17 17:04:56

When I have questioned this, I have been told that GGuiding is complying with the law and is a single gender organisation, rather than "single sex".

Incidentally, the guidance for transgender adults and children in the scouts association in the same.
Surprisingly, they are allowed to have mixed gender sleeping arrangements although I think a lot of local areas don't.

namechangedasimaguider Thu 30-Nov-17 17:09:47

Following recent newspaper articles, there has, unsurprisingly, been some comments about this issue on guide leader FB groups. Comments range from "they are all girls just the same" and "only stupid bigots would disagree that girls can have a penis" to outright horror that it should be happening at all. Most threads are swiftly closed and discussion stopped, we are referred to the website guidelines.

BahHumbygge Thu 30-Nov-17 17:10:34

Just found the screen shot I took at the time smile

namechangedasimaguider Thu 30-Nov-17 17:13:13

Kitty if you contact gg hq in London, it will be an employee, not a volunteer. The more people who contact them with concerns about this the better as I think most parents (and guiders!) will not be in favour of their daughters sleeping in the same tents as boys who are transitioning.

stealtheatingtunnocks Thu 30-Nov-17 17:17:07

This is why I let my daughter leave the Guides.

It's so disappointing - the only world wide organisation run entirely for women, by women - with the occasional glittery penis person because we can't stand up for female only spaces.

All the girls who can't be around men for whatever reason are now denied participating in a uniformed organisation. That sucks.

KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 17:35:10

Good point namechangedasimaguider. It's so difficult to form a reply when you're arguing against someone saying it's for all girls and a boy self-identifying as a girl is neither biologically or even in the New Orwellian language a girl as he can't have a GRC.

namechangedasimaguider Thu 30-Nov-17 18:02:09

Stealtheatingtunnucks please can you also (and anyone else) contact gg hq with your concerns about this.
It was brought in with no consultation with the membership, and only now are people realising what it means.

If no one says anything, then nothing will be done.

MakeMisogynyAHateCrime Thu 30-Nov-17 18:26:24


shows that gender and sex are separate protected characteristics. Could you use something like that in your reply?

morningrunner Thu 30-Nov-17 18:31:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 18:32:16

Any comments on my reply please?

Dear Anna

No, you have not answered my query as to how having sexually mature heterosexual male-bodied teenagers or adults sharing dormitories with teenage guides is not a safeguarding issue. It is the most basic safeguarding practice to not have mixed-sex dormitories for under-18s.

The Equality Act of 2010 states that single-sex services can exclude transgendered people if it is done as "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". Teenage girls are usually very self-conscious about their bodies. Surely it is a legitimate aim to give them a single-sex residential experience where they don't have the embarrassment of showering and getting ready for bed with a boy who identifies as a girl.
I have pasted the relevant bit below which is available on Schedule 3, Part 7, Paragraph 28 at

Gender reassignment

28(1)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in relation to a matter within sub-paragraph (2) if the conduct in question is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Girls should not have to risk the accusation of transphobia by asking their leader for alternative accommodation if they feel uncomfortable. Those at the top of Girlguiding should be the ones standing up for girls. Your solution of a parent talking to a leader is no good as your policy is for parents not to be told if a transgirl or transwoman will be on the residential trip or not. And frankly, your organisation is GIRLguiding. Why should a girl miss out on a trip because she doesn't want to shower or share a dormitory with random males who identify as girls?

Please ensure that my complaint is recorded. I dearly hope that Girlguiding will reconsider its position and stand up for girls.

Thank you,

namechangedasimaguider Thu 30-Nov-17 18:36:59

Your reply looks good to me. But I must point out that no adult, be that leader, helper or member of 18 is allowed to share sleeping accommodation with under 18's.
So I would change that in your first paragraph.

KittyPerry77 Thu 30-Nov-17 18:40:16

Thanks - I was lumping all the senior section in together. I will change that. Why did you feel the need to change your username? Surely Girlguiding are just trying to be PC - or are there really lots of people in it who genuinely feel strongly about including transgirls?

SomeDyke Thu 30-Nov-17 18:42:38

I must admit, the listing from Sheffield is clear at least -- and it treats gender as different from sex.

I was wondering, given that a belief in man-made climate change was considered a belief, whether belief in 'gender identity' and innate and self-proclaimed gender identity could possibly fit under the same heading. And just as atheism is, I assume, protected, so should lack of belief in an innate gender identity. Because, for those who do believe in it, 'gender identity belief' is certainly "a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour." Hence 'gender atheism' should then be covered.

The political belief in terms of what you should or should not do as regards people of varying sexes/genders is another matter. But being a 'gender atheist' and being willing to say so, should perhaps be as protected as someone who believes in gender identity.........And people shouldn't bully you or call you a bigot is you say you don't believe in gender.............

We keep saying that it sounds like a religion, and I think the 'practising' aspect isn't the issue (although is for tax purposes and churches etc I believe?). But for individuals, it is the belief that counts, not what you then may do as a result of that belief.......

BeyondAssignation Thu 30-Nov-17 19:16:44

Great reply. I'd also include that legally a 18> year old cannot change their "gender" (yet), so their is no legal impediment to include them even if they did ignore the "proportionate aim" bit.

BeyondAssignation Thu 30-Nov-17 19:16:58

*there! Bloody a/c

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