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Beginners Central - Transgender and feminism

(32 Posts)
soupforbrains Thu 08-Feb-18 19:53:54

Hi all,

Thank you all for being so lovely on my other thread.

I am aware that I may be leaping into the shark tank here and so I'm really really hoping that you'll all be gentle.

I find the trans debate on here interesting but also terrifying. I'm hoping some of you experts will kindly and gently lay out the basic roots of the arguments.

I have always been very supportive of LGBTQ rights, and am avidly against homophobia, transphobia etc.

BUT I do understand that a pre-transition transgender person cannot be considered to be wholly the sex which they identify as. I also understand that in certain situations (such as women's refuges, changing rooms etc. ) giving pre-transition MtoFs equal rights and access to women's only areas diminishes the rights of women AND creates the potential for greater danger and threat.

But, I don't understand why there is such debate, in the sense that I can't see any solution which gives all groups the rights they deserve without impinging on the rights of another group. Has anyone come up with a solution?

Or does all the debate centre around preventing the encroach upon women's spaces and rights? And how best to stop that?

UpstartCrow Thu 08-Feb-18 20:08:46

The solution is simple, provide 3 spaces or services; men, women and all gender inclusive.

Theres no such thing as 'pre transition', because there is no requirement for men to make any physical, surgical or medical changes to be given the same rights as women.
There never was any such requirement. All they have to do is do what they were going to do anyway, which is live as a member of the opposite sex for 2 years.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_Recognition_Act_2004

The majority of men who have surgery retain their penis and just have breast implants.

The GRA - Gender Recognition Act - will allow any man to declare himself a woman by downloading a form and signing a legal declaration.
It is not possible for that to be done fraudulently as many people claim, as there is no legal standard for 'woman' when a biological man can declare himself to be one.
Gender - a feeling or set of expectations placed on you by society - will replace biological sex in law.
This has already happened in women's sports.

Gender fluid people can say they are male one day and female the next.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/23/fluid-gender-policeman/

The proposal for the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) removes all sex based protection for women and undermines The Equality Act.

The Equality Act is the last peice of human rights legislation in the UK. It matters because as the Tories removed us from the EU they also removed all the human rights legislation, promising that our rights were protected by The Equality Act.

thebewilderness Thu 08-Feb-18 20:17:09

I have always been very supportive of LGBTQ rights, and am avidly against homophobia, transphobia etc.
You need to be explicit regarding the rights you think Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people are entitled to that they do not already have by law. Also please define transphobia.

Spidermama Thu 08-Feb-18 20:38:09

"Define transphobia"? That's a tough call in the current climate. It seems to mean different things to different people. The heated discussions bear testament that we're feeling our way into uncharted waters at the moment.
Upstart Crow that's very interesting. Is this an area of expertise for you in a professional capacity or are you just interested in the debate?
For my part I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to try to understand these flashpoint in gender politics. Lots of questions but not many solutions emerging at the moment.

thebewilderness Thu 08-Feb-18 20:44:58

Can you mandate belief?
Can you codify into law the idea that some people can mind over matter themselves out of material reality and into the opposite sex and must be treated accordingly?
It is like transubstantiation. A belief that no one actually believes.
Will you allow people to drug and mutilate children based on this belief that no one believes?

LangCleg Thu 08-Feb-18 20:48:00

The main debate is self-ID and the protection of single sex services where they serve a proportionate aim.

So, to balance the rights of women AND trans, there should be some gatekeeping (both medical and proof of commitment from trans person) before they can change their gender legally (which also changes legal sex). But people should be allowed to change gender. That way, the needs of both are served.

And even when someone does have a GRC and legal change of gender, there are still some areas where single sex provision is appropriate - eg right to request a same sex HCP to perform a smear test; no males in DV refuges; no males in women's prisons and certainly not if they have been convicted of sexual offences

LangCleg Thu 08-Feb-18 20:50:27

In terms of social climate and atmosphere rather than legal changes: the coercion of lesbians via the cotton ceiling rhetoric must stop; institutions should stop promoting gender identity dogma to young people still in periods of identity formation; transactivists should stop threatening, silencing and no-platforming women who see gender as an external imposition not an individual inner identity.

Melamin Thu 08-Feb-18 20:50:58

Pre transition and post transition are old hat now

Now it is Self ID. No transition necessary.

rowdywoman1 Thu 08-Feb-18 20:51:24

Soupforbrains
I'd suggest that much of the debate should centre around children.
Trans pressure groups have overreached themselves moving from offering legitimate advice / training about anti bullying to schools into 'enforcing' social change in schools - removing single sex toilets, changing language, gaslighting children into believing that they can change sex, eroding both boy's and girl's rights to establish boundaries. They are peddling fake statistics about suicide and promoting children taking body changing drugs while under the age of consent. Actively promoting social contagion and eroding safeguarding practice - without any challenge.

Parents and teachers need to speak up. We don't allow adults into schools to groom children in this way for any other reason - why have trans activist groups been given a free pass?

Ikabod Thu 08-Feb-18 20:53:58

OP thanks for asking these questions. I too have been reading the threads on the Feminism board with great interest but get s bit lost sometimes with the arguments and terminology. It's been very eye opening for me - I was quite naive about the ramifications of some of the changes to legislation.

Spidermama Thu 08-Feb-18 21:02:20

What Ikabod says. I'm very drawn to this emerging battleground but dismayed at the tone of it.

GuardianLions Thu 08-Feb-18 21:16:14

The battleground has the wounded and weary staggering all over it from a number of years fighting from all sides. Its not 'emerging' - just news of it has been suppressed.

Hence the tone.

thebewilderness Thu 08-Feb-18 21:30:55

I have been saying no to trans identified males on this issue for 13 years and the response has been rape and death threats for 13 years.
As usual the men have overreached and the general public are discovering what Feminists have been saying no to for all these years.

Debbie6666 Fri 09-Feb-18 02:42:33

The GRA - Gender Recognition Act - will allow any man to declare himself a woman by downloading a form and signing a legal declaration.
It is not possible for that to be done fraudulently as many people claim, as there is no legal standard for 'woman' when a biological man can declare himself to be one.

Of course that can. The GRA panel can today, and a court could in the future. For a start the process as described in the Scottish consultation is far more involved than "download a form to sign". it involves solicitor ID checks, statutory declarations which carry 2 year false statement punishments and at the end of it all you have is a GRC (which is not a form of ID) and new birth certificate, without changing your passport, driving licence, bank details electoral roll, council tax utilities, the list goes on, your not going to get far proving your GRC is not fraudulent.

The majority of men who have surgery retain their penis

A bold statement, care to back that up with impartial data which is relevant to the UK. It may be the case in the USA where medical costs are out of reach of many trans people, but that is not the case in the UK, which is relevant when discussing UK law amendments honestly.

thebewilderness Fri 09-Feb-18 02:48:51

www.bournemouth.gov.uk/councildemocratic/Statistics/Documents/JSNA/GenderReassignment.pdf

Debbie6666 Fri 09-Feb-18 03:01:28

10 year old data from the daily telegraph that at best self describes as estimates and the figures are based on the estimated population of trans people not the number who are transitioning or seeking access to single sex facilities. Its an estimate of those who might seek transition in the future not those who have transitioned and retained their penis.

PS previous post should read.

statutory declarations which carry punishments of up to 2 years in prison for false statements

thebewilderness Fri 09-Feb-18 04:11:13

Well debbie downer I suggest you get off your ass and do your own google search if you don't like what is on offer here.

Groinyo Fri 09-Feb-18 05:53:52

The solution is simple, provide 3 spaces or services; men, women and all gender inclusive.

Hmm, not sure it's even necessary to that extent actually. It would be difficult to change in a lot of small business as well.

To me the obvious answer would be "Women" and "non women"

This is where the universities and the green party have got it all wrong. They've taken the only place dedicated to be a "safe space" and made it for everyone and left the men who don't have any security issues (just embarrassment) to their own space.

While I appreciate it can be embarrassing for men, it's not going to hurt them and it is something they would eventually get over culturally. Women have the only legitimate need for single sex only options.

Groinyo Fri 09-Feb-18 05:59:13

A bold statement, care to back that up with impartial data which is relevant to the UK. It may be the case in the USA where medical costs are out of reach of many trans people, but that is not the case in the UK, which is relevant when discussing UK law amendments honestly.

Even trans rights advocates don't dispute that Debbie! That's the whole point of the change in language around "transexual" and transgender.

You don't need dysphoria, many men don't even shave their beards. You think they're having their dicks lobbed off?

okMaybeIAmATERF Fri 09-Feb-18 06:18:49

I have changed my mind about what I think the solution is, over the years. I now think (despite having known several perfectly nice trans people in real life) that we've already gone down a wrong path with the GRC, and going no further, ie rejecting self-id, is not going to solve the problem. I don't expect many to agree with me, but I think we should take the distinction between sex and gender seriously, and say:

- gender is bunk, and should not be given legal reality

- but you can't change sex. At all. Ever.

- we should retain some sex-segregated services, etc, and it really should mean sex, and asking for a birth certificate should be allowed in some cases (employment, for example)

- but we should, as a society, be a bit more selective than we are now about doing that, and look for other ways to make everyone safe wherever possible. Eg new buildings should have non-segregated toilets, with enough provision of cubicles with their own basins that noone is forced to eg rinse out a mooncup in a communal area. More expensive than what we do now, but cheaper and better than three spaces probably. Maybe there are more cases where mixed sport might work, segregated by height or weight instead? There may be other examples.

- everyone should be free to present how they like, do what they like to the fullest extent possible, be what they like, free from stereotyping. This mostly means rigorous application of existing equality law. Yes, it does mean that if you're male and your career ambition is to run a women's refuge you may have to pick a different career.

- probably the most controversial part: I don't think hormones and surgery should be available on the NHS to trans people, unless they are suffering from dysphoria and it is genuinely the most cost-effective way to treat the dysphoria, when the needs of the people with dysphoria compared with all the other needs of NHS patients. (In the current funding climate, I'd have the NHS do much less IVF etc too, and for the same reason. The pain of involuntary childlessness is real, as is the pain of dysphoria, but sorry, it doesn't rank highly compared with physical pain and death caused by long waiting lists for other conditions.)

soupforbrains Fri 09-Feb-18 09:25:17

Hi everyone,

Sorry, I didn't juste post and ghost, I have been reading and processing but didn't think I had anything else to add.

The majority of points which have been posted align with what I thought I had picked up and how I feel on the matters.

Just a couple of points, firstly, while I accept that it may be a tiny minority of trans people, I feel like consideration has to be made for those transgender people who HAVE undergone surgery and now in all external and genital aspects present as the gender they identify as.

I agree otherwise, with most that has been said. But personally I can't see a solution which is both fair to all groups AND easily practicable.

I have been aware of this issue for quite some time but felt it was 'too big' for me to face. So I am new to trying to work out how I feel and where I stand.

I think so far all that I have established is that no matter what steps are made towards equality for any LGBTQ group THEY MUST NOT IMPINGE, LIMIT OR ERODE THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN. Especially in terms of the right to be safe from violence but across the board really.

On a practical side what campaigning/petitioning etc is actually being done and what specifically is being campaigned for?

Is there a campaign for a review of the GRC process and/or the definition of sex and gender legally?

LangCleg Fri 09-Feb-18 09:38:41

Others may differ, Soup, but I think the best campaign group at the moment is A Woman's Place.

twitter.com/Womans_Place_UK

www.facebook.com/womansplaceuk

They have a website but it's been hacked and will be back up soon.

You seem like a thoughtful, moderate and compassionate person, OP, and I think you'll appreciate the Woman's Place position, which is deliberately pro-woman and not anti-trans and includes gender critical trans speakers at its meetings. They have a central manifesto consisting of five demands aimed at protecting women's rights that must be considered when legislating for GRA reform.

You will see a lot of hostility directed towards this group by the trans extremists. It's precisely because the Woman's Place demands are so moderate and sensible that most would agree that Woman's Place has become top of the trans extremist hit list.

soupforbrains Fri 09-Feb-18 10:03:39

Thank you @LangCleg that looks interesting I will certainly check it out.

I am still unsure about some terminology can you clarify for me what the phrase 'gender critical' means?

And also I know the meaning of 'CIS' but I don't understand where it comes from/what it stands for? Do you know?

ShotsFired Fri 09-Feb-18 10:11:24

@soupforbrains I have always been very supportive of LGBTQ rights, and am avidly against homophobia, transphobia etc

We all are! That's not a new concept and I am frigging sick of having to clarify that every time (not having a go at you, I understand you are trying to get your head round it). However women's rights are being actively eroded to facilitate a minuscule number of aggressive activists.

Unfortunately the demands of GRA/Self id are not compatible with WR - and the third space option which pretty much solves the practical issue at a stroke is not good enough - they want women's spaces.

So which group's rights do you prioritise more?

soupforbrains Fri 09-Feb-18 11:09:01

Yes I do know that, I wasn't intending it to sound like I was accusing anyone of being transphobic.

I was just trying to express where I had come from in my approach to this issue.

I've always been very liberal and very pro LGBTQ rights. It had never crossed my mind (naive I know) that I would ever reach a position in which I wouldn't support giving them all the rights they wanted. It had never dawned on me that there would be a time,situation or condition in which giving rights to the one group would contravene/diminish the Rights of another group as it is doing to women's rights.

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