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Reconciling competing rights

(318 Posts)
GaspingShark Thu 19-Apr-18 20:26:51

Let me start by saying I do know what it's like to have my experience disbelieved, invalidated and gaslighted on an large scale, though not as a trans person or a victim of sexual assault. I don't have PTSD but I do know what it's like to have triggerable sources of distress, again, not as a trans person or a victim of sexual assault.

For me, equal rights must include the right to define your own experience, without gatekeepers, and to be very hesitant to consider people delusional.

So I am unsure about this. I would be ashamed of trans friends seeing me saying stuff such as "I err on the side of including them as much as possible", because I don't think that kind of recognition is mine to confer.

OTOH, I don't know if therefore that means I'm not recognising sexual assault survivors distressed by the fear of male people in women-only contexts.

Is this reconcilable, or does it mean one side just has to grin and bear it? I'll read this thread carefully but due to my bad management of a health condition I can't promise to tend it beyond the OP atm.

HopScotchy Thu 19-Apr-18 20:35:39

People can't change sex. There is no good reason I can see for opening up sex segregated spaces to the other sex whatever 'gender' ID they have. Gender is not sex. Third spaces remove any issue. Not 'trans' spaces just seperate unisex spaces alongside. 'Validation' of a legal fiction of changing sex by removing women's rights to privacy from the opposite sex is not OK. It's not an equivalence of 'rights'

FloraFox Thu 19-Apr-18 20:41:41

Also not yours to confer: that women will acquiesce in the belief that some men are women.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Thu 19-Apr-18 20:59:49

I do have PTSD, it's written all over my medical notes in huge letters and it's the reason why the NHS offer me woman health care providers especially for gynecological and obstetric procedures (and even try in emergencies).

The blurring of whether those women healthcare providers are women or trans women is an issue for me. Not because I don't believe people should be able to live their lives however they want, I've supported trans women service users before (in cases when my colleagues were refusing to) but because I still get a knee jerk panic reaction to a certain aspect of anatomy (obviously not penises), flashbacks, racing heart, a desire to run or to fight for my life.

I've had various treatments, I still see a clinical psychologist and psychiatrist on the NHS but so far nothing has worked. I've done fairly serious damage to dh in the past when he tried to wake me up from a nightmare and I didn't realise where I was/who he was.

Day to day I survive by avoiding looking at the specific area of the body of anyone who looks male and being in a constant state of hyper awareness. That's why single sex areas to retreat to when I get triggered and knowing that the NHS and I are talking about the same thing when they promise a woman healthcare provider is hugely important to me because the alternatives are pretty bleak.

I also know I'm not alone. I've worked with young girls who have been sexually abused and they couldn't cope with being in the same room as fully dressed male policemen, social workers and doctors... having to share changing facilities at school/toilets/tents with anyone with a male body would be traumatic and problematic to them.

They like me aren't afraid of men because of urban myths, because of stories our Mothers told us but because of what was done to us. My bruises, cuts and tears healed a long time ago but the wound inside is as raw as it was when it was inflicted.

Havoc Thu 19-Apr-18 21:54:48

Do you think it's right that women and girls have female only facilities? Do you think that woman and girls have the right to request and set up spaces that are for woman only, based purely on their needs and wants?

Do you believe that a man can change sex and be female? Do you think that a transexual man/tranwoman/TIM has the same biology, the same socialisation, the same experiences and is treated the same as women?

When you say does one side just have to grin and bear it, which side do you think will be?

UpstartCrow Thu 19-Apr-18 22:00:38

Why is it so easy for society to give trans people what they demand? And at the same time women are apparently still second class citizens.
We need single sex spaces and services. You cant identify your way out of prostate or cervical cancer. Or violence.

The third neutral space option is fair to everyone except narcissists who demand validation and acquiescence.

FloraFox Thu 19-Apr-18 22:19:00

Why is it so easy for society to give trans people what they demand?

Male privilege. Trans rights are men's rights.

ReluctantCamper Thu 19-Apr-18 22:21:31

Single sex provision is not just to preserve safety, but also to preserve privacy and dignity.

I have never been subject to sexual assault, but I still don't want a male HCP putting a speculum inside me. It happened once, I hated it and promised myself it would never happen again. And I don't have to give any more reason that than. Don't want it, female HCP please.

And that's the way it should be.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 19-Apr-18 22:39:40

I think we've got ourselves into a pickle by confusing the right to hold a belief with the right to enforce your belief on others.

Go ahead and choose to believe you actually are the opposite sex / that the earth is flat / that too much wanking makes you go blind / that you will go to hell if you don't pray to god in the right way.

It is not ok to turn that into making it a criminal offence to not pray to god in a certain way / to require opticians to prescribing stopping wanking instead of glasses / to require NASA to make satellite orbit calculations based on flat earth theories / to let a person with XY chromosomes into women's sports, women's prisons, women's refuges because he believes he's a woman.

0phelia Thu 19-Apr-18 22:49:02

For me, equal rights must include the right to define your own experience

For me, equal rights must include the right to identify someone else as male or female without being forced to deny it, and the right to define my own experience as female without someone else telling me I am wrong about my definition of female.

SpartacusAutisticus Thu 19-Apr-18 22:57:38

A quick google suggests that Facebook (for example) lists 71 genders (other gender lists are available). If we ignore sex-based provision how do we provide gender-based provision in a way that respects each and every gender identity?

Except of course this isn't about gender at all, it's about silencing women and taking over women's spaces. If it was really about gender they wouldn't be arguing for access to female space and provision, they'd be arguing for gender-based provisions. If they genuinely didn't believe there's a binary they wouldn't be upholding it by demanding access to provision based on that binary. They're really not as subversive as they think.

MsBeaujangles Thu 19-Apr-18 23:01:37

Gasping.
Some people have a gender identity, some people don't. There are infinite gender identities that people can have, and why shouldn't they? For some people, their gender identity is linked to their sexed bodies, this might be in harmony or conflict with what is widely considered to be gender conforming or gender non conforming. For some, their gender identity conflicts with their sexed body to the extent that they experience gender dysphoria and struggle to cope with their sexed bodies. For others, their gender identity has no relationship with their sexed bodies.
Some transwomen undergo physical treatment (hormones and/or surgery), others live in peace with, and are are content with, their male-sexed bodies; others are transwomen on days they feel like transwomen, and men on other days. We could go on and on and I see no problem at all with people having and expressing whatever gender identities they have. People are just people and everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.
Trans people, quite rightly have protections under the Equality Act to help guard against discrimination and to help afford them dignity, privacy and safety - these rights can be compromised as a result of being trans. For example, expecting a transwomen to have to use facilities designated for people with male-sexed bodies is likely to deny them dignity, privacy and possible safety. Having said that, if they want to use provision designated for people with male-sexed bodies (such as their own), they should be afforded protections through the protected characteristic of sex, to enable them to do do safely.
Similarly, women -people with female sexed bodies - should be afforded dignity and respect through the provision of some same-sexed provision whereby access is determined by sexed-bodies. People with female-sexed bodies should feel able to get undressed, rest assured that someone with a male-sexed body is not about to enter. The gender identity of someone standing naked in front of an undressed woman is likely to have little or no consequence.
The problem arises when transwomen (male bodied people) want to access facilities for people with female sexed bodies, despite the entire premise for the provision being about denying access to male bodied people. Whilst allowing transwomen access may afford them dignity through being treated as the gender they identify as, it denies women dignity afforded through being able to undress away from male-bodied people.
Similarly, many females want to make sure that outcomes for females are effectively monitored in order to try and achieve equality of opportunity. To achieve this, a distinct category for natal females/female bodied people is needed. The same could be said for transwomen. How many females are involved in STEM, how many transwomen? How many women are the victim of crime? How many transwomen are?
There are positive reasons and motives for distinguishing between transwomen and women. There are clear differences between the groups and some conflicts of interest. I say this without any malice or ill intent towards transwomen. I am committed to supporting transwomen and do not have anything against them, or their rights to hold and express the gender identity they hold.

BarrackerBarmer Thu 19-Apr-18 23:17:22

I legally own my home (ignore the mortgage for a second)
Someone, let's call him Jonathon, really likes my home and wants to live there.
We don't have competing rights to live in my home.
I have a right to live here, and he does not.
He DOES however have a right to A home.
Just not mine.
Society can make sure he isn't homeless, that no-one should be homeless.
We can fight for Jonathon's right to have a home 'like I do'
Just not my home. That isn't his right.
Perhaps Jonathon claims I don't have to move out, and he wants to share with me.
That seems reasonable to him.
It isn't reasonable.
He may have lived in a succession of homes that he fancied, because their occupants were willing to share with him. Some more than others.
Jonathon feels this has set a precedent.
It hasn't.
He even got a few home-owners to put him on their deeds..
I do not have to.
My home, is, under the law, specific to me.
I am a person distinct from Jonathon under the law.
That is how the law distinguishes between us and establishes who owns my home.
Even if Jonathon changes his name to mine, the law will still distinguish between us so that it can establish that my home, is mine and not his.

We both have the right to a home, but not to each other's home.
And it is critical that the law can differentiate between us to ensure that we don't accidentally end up with one person claiming two homes and the other with nowhere to live.

Competing rights?
No.
We have the same human rights.

The mistake is thinking we have the right to 'define ourselves AND OTHERS into a joint category' to which both parties cannot actually belong.
Or thinking that we can define ourselves AS OTHERS by redefining those others to our agenda.
We don't have the right to claim entry into a category in which we don't meet the criteria.

Start here: There are 3.7 billion females alive today.
They exist, and they are distinct from the males.
They have rights, and they need more.
They are an objective, recognisable, biological group.
The single largest most oppressed group throughout history.
Collectively oppressed precisely because from birth - they are immediately recognisable as female.
We have to name and draw a boundary around this group, and give them rights specific to this group and that will exclude males.

If the only way to recognise the 3.7 billion oppressed females is by scrubbing their obvious, truthful, biological reality OUT of existence in our laws so that we can fictitiously rewrite them back IN as an 'invisible internal identity that matches some males'?

Then we have gone very, very wrong.

HopScotchy Thu 19-Apr-18 23:23:22

Excellent post @barrackerbarmer trans rights do not lie within women's rights. Their rights lie in the 'trans' not the 'woman'. To think otherwise is to deny trans rights and women's rights.

flowersonthepiano Thu 19-Apr-18 23:41:59

barrackerbarmer starstarstar

OlennasWimple Fri 20-Apr-18 00:55:47

Brilliant post Barrack

R0wantrees Fri 20-Apr-18 01:12:11

Thank you Barrack, I have saved and will quote you!

SecretsRSecrets Fri 20-Apr-18 01:15:11

Wow that was an excellent post BarrackerBarmer!wine

AskBasil Fri 20-Apr-18 13:26:35

"For me, equal rights must include the right to define your own experience"

What, like the way women get to define their experience as rape and the law backs them up in that? Oh wait...

No, equal rights clearly do not include the right to define your own experience.

And it most certainly does not include the right to force everyone else to submit to your definition of your own experience.

If it did, then we would have to admit that anorectic teenagers should be allowed to starve themselves to death, because they define themselves as disgustingly obese and they have the right to define their own experience. We would have to accept that Rachel Dolezal is black. Do you accept that she's black? I don't. Am I denying her a basic human right by believing that she's a caucasian woman with big hair? (I don't know when that got to be the definition of "black", it used to just mean it was the eighties.)

HerFemaleness Fri 20-Apr-18 13:43:51

@Barrackerbarmer nailed it.

spontaneousgiventime Fri 20-Apr-18 13:53:27

Wow, just wow! Fantastic post Barrackerbarmer

Yarnswift Fri 20-Apr-18 13:54:30

Delusional thought has a very defined medical meaning. It’s used too much as a slur to mean ‘anything I personally think is ridiculous’

It’s basically a belief that is at odds with reality (there are some slightly fudgy nuances around religion and cultural beliefs - for example animism wouldn’t be classed as delusional if you’d been brought up in that culture etc)

So to believe one has gender dysphoria and one would prefer a body as analogous to that of the opposite sex as possible is not delusional.

To believe that one IS the opposite sex would be delusional. Just as other delusional beliefs about the self - that one has too many limbs for example, or that one is fat when one is actually starving.

One can have opinions about ones own experiences yes. But you can’t expect or force others to believe them. No more than you can force someone to accept god. Or the existence of demons.

The people who believe in god believe it very sincerely indeed. That’s their right to do so and I don’t have a right to demand they don’t. But nor do they have a right to make me say I believe, or to adjust the laws of the land to disadvantage me if I don’t.

That’s why we have a secular (ish...) society. It means that no one can legally be discriminated against for belief in the gods of their choice or acting accordingly until, and this is very important - until those beliefs run up against the law and custom of the land

So if you believe in demons ok. I don’t. I’m not going to tell you you’re an idiot for going so. But if you harm a child in a five day exorcism ritual you’ve broken the law.

And if you believe you’re female when you were born Male ok. I dont agree but I’ll defend your right not to be fired for it or beaten up. But you don’t get to tell me what I believe or to remove the rights of others

RatRolyPoly Fri 20-Apr-18 13:57:48

It's a well-written analogy Barracker, and it looks good on paper, but it rather falls down in that women's toilets, women's shelters, women's changing rooms etc. are in no way analogous with privately owned property. I mean they're completely different. Women don't own "women's" spaces just because they're women!

Some women's spaces are democratically appointed; so in your example you would be sharing "your" house with a number of other people. You vote and the majority of residents want Jonathon to move in. So... that means he gets to live there, because that's the rules of the democracy that you're a part of.

Some women's spaces are owned by someone else and provided on their terms; so your house is owned by someone else who is letting you stay there for free. They decide they want to let Jonathon stay there for free too, and if you want to continue to live there too you can either appeal to the owner (who may not agree), or simply get on with it.

So in either case it - in all cases in fact - it isn't really for any of us "as women" to claim ownership over "our" spaces in this way, because ownership is a poor, poor analogy for the relationship we actually have with them, and how - if at all - we can exert control over them.

I feel it gives people a false perception and paints transpeople as the ones who are forcing their claim on "your" property - as it does in your post - where the reality is that other people are in control of these spaces. Other people feel they want to include transpeople (where that is the case), other people are the ones you should appeal to just as transpeople have done if you want them to hear you, and transpeople should not be represented as this shadowy, selfish, narcissistic "Jonathon" of your example - because I think that's pretty damaging (not to say inaccurate!) a representation, don't you?

UpstartCrow Fri 20-Apr-18 14:03:04

Who said jonathon is a trans person in the analogy? With self ID, anyone can be jonathon.

The fact the rights are described as 'competing' by someone who supports them demonstrates the problem. They are not rights, they are privilege; demands for access by people who do not have the legal right to access.

flowersonthepiano Fri 20-Apr-18 14:05:23

Rat, as usual, you make some cogent points. But the fundamental question (that I asked you on another thread, and you didn't answer) remains the same - Why do you think certain spaces are segregated by sex now?

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