What do I say to my MP? Trans thread...(15 Posts)
I’ve asked for a meeting with my (Labour) MP re. the GRA. He’s on the Women & Equalities Select Committee and I want to know his views and discuss my concerns, particularly as Labour seems to be at the forefront of the erosion of women’s identities.
Anyone care to help me gather my thoughts on the key points?
Watching with interest as I am gradually plucking up the courage to see my msp.
sages.org.uk/publications/sages-factsheet.html seems like a pretty good start
Ask him if he intends to safeguard the Equality Act, as 'sex' means 'biological sex'. Thats fundamental.
Remind him that race, religion and sex are protected characteristics, for the protection of women who do not have a public voice. That men forcing themselves into womens spaces breach the Equality Act; that 'not being discriminated against' as a trans person cannot mean 'being treated as a woman'.
Ask him if he intends to protect single sex hospital and psychiatric wards.
Focus on specific things - data, prisons, sports etc. Things he's unlikely to have thought through.
That sages link is very useful. Thanks all for the good points.
You have to gird your loins and talk facts. Not one person I've spoken to has known before that it means that people with penises will have the right to access women's prisons DV refuges etc. And even when explained they just say, but it wouldn't happen
I was called tonight by my local party (I thought I was being expelled as I signed the Jo Cox letter) the local party member knew of the bill but hadn't understood what self identification meant.
I've also spoken to my MP, but tbh, why should she sacrifice her career? I'm certainly not encouraging my DDs to get involved.
The links above are excellent.
1. Do pull out any emotive rubbish-he may be labour but he isn't stupid. Rational arguments backed by facts.
2. Be blunt. Don't feel timid about using words like penis because that is the problem here. Women who retreat into women's only spaces for safety and their sense of safety undermined.
3. Don't make it one sided. Trans people, genuine trans people, will see an erosion of rights under their protected characteristic of just anyone can change their gender overnight by self declaring. This also raises mental health concerns. Trans people often experience mental health issues that can be identified and resolved when they seek medical advice prior to transitioning. In addition to this transitioning in itself is a difficult process and trans people should be referred to relevant health professionals, charities and, support groups so that they know where to seek support in the event that they need or want it.
I am posting to placemark as I also have an appointment to see mine.
How did your meetings with your MPs go???
Most people still think of trans women as having been vulnerable gay men, and also believe they all have had surgery or are at least on hormones. So start with the basics: 80% of trans people have not had any surgery or hormone treatment (according to GIRES - a pro-trans organisation). The majority of trans women are fully biologically male and also sexually attracted to women. Once people understand this, most instantly understand the concerns. Make it clear that you are not suggesting that most TW wish to abuse women, but TW do commit crimes at the same rate as any other group of men. So, if we think that sex segregated spaces are necessary to protect women in some circumstances, it doesn't make sense to let TW into them - they will commit crimes against women at the same rate as any other group of men.
Articĺe written by Nicola Williams about the Equality Act 2010 and how it can be used to protect women only spaces.
I honestly don't know what happened to the layout of the page.
This is from the Fair Play article Ginger posted, some practical ideas. I've bolded myself why it's so important to prevent the proposed changes to the GRA:
*EDUCATE*^ women so they know their rights. Share this article and talk to your friends and colleagues so they know that some women-only spaces and services can be protected by law. Do not let it go unchallenged when someone says it is illegal to exclude a transwomen from a woman-only space or service. Give them a copy of the summary guide below.^
*CHALLENGE*^ service providers and public bodies if you object to situations when they allow access to women-only services and spaces based on gender identity rather than biological sex. Make sure they have considered any adverse impact on women and have balanced the needs of everyone affected. Ask them to explain their decision making process and what evidence they have used to base this decision on. Print out the summary guide below and show it to members of staff. Make them take notice. Educate them! Insist they invoke these legal exemptions. Remember also that public bodies have a particular duty to promote equality for all.^
*PROTECT*^ the legal provisions women already have. Make your voice heard in the consultations about gender reform. The UK government has indicated that they do not intend to remove these legal protections so make sure they stick to that. The Scottish government has not committed to this and may push for these exemptions to no longer apply in Scotland. Scottish and non-Scottish women must object to this. The^ Scottish consultationn^^ is currently open and will close on 1st March 2018. Anyone can submit their views; it is not restricted to Scottish residents.^
R^*EJECT*^^ the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act which will allow any man to change his legal sex to female through self-declaration alone.^ *It is likely that acquisition of a gender recognition certificate could be legally interpreted to mean that a biological male could share the protected characteristic of sex with biological women. If unregulated access to the female sex class is legalised this undermines the whole concept of what the protected characteristic of sex means under equality law.* How can members of the female sex be monitored and legally protected if biological sex becomes a meaningless concept. This legal uncertainty must never be allowed to happen.
So trans identifying males would be able to claim discrimination on the grounds of "sex" not just "gender reassignment". For example this could make it much more difficult to claim sex discrimination against women of childbearing age who "might get pregnant". As "men" could too.
I like concrete examples and so I'd discuss this:
with him and ask how he'd view things if the patient was not allowed to refuse treatment on the basis that she wanted to be treated by a woman. This is a good counter to "but surely it'll all be fine".
I also like Lian Huntley as being a good example of what self identifying women in prisons could look like.
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