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When/How did the transgender debate start?

(146 Posts)
FunderAnna Mon 23-Apr-18 19:57:52

Can people tell me the date/s when plans to change the Gender Recognition Act and go for self ID started being discussed? When did moving to self ID become the declared policy of parties in the UK?

AncientLights Mon 23-Apr-18 20:02:02

I can't answer your questions, FunderAnna, butI have also been wondering when this popped up in the nation's toaster. I can't believe only 2 months ago I was oblivious to all this. It's all been kept so quiet, not only in the UK but in Portugal, who just passed it into law, and also Ireland and Malta. I hope the UK is the country to break this silence.

thebewilderness Mon 23-Apr-18 20:07:51

Gender Recognition Act was in 2004 and Equality Act was 2010 then the Tories M Miller did this in the summer of 2017.

thebewilderness Mon 23-Apr-18 20:12:21

The debate among Feminists started in 2005 when the trans umbrella was announced to cover all the LGBT and the women said no thank you very much.

ArcheryAnnie Mon 23-Apr-18 20:19:31

I remember raising this in person in a national meeting of an LGBT+ group more than two years ago, and even then I was pretty terrified of what would happen when I outed myself as gender-crit, as Glosswitch, Sarah Ditum et al were already long being vilified on social media for standing up for women and girls. (Hi Glossy! Hi Sarah! I am so grateful to you both.)

I think it really only kicked off as a national debate, albeit only in a limited way at first, in early 2013 after Suzanne Moore got monstered for an article in which she referred to the (theoretical) shape of a "Brazilian transsexual". She subsequently wrote this about it.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 23-Apr-18 20:21:12

Thanks. Also someone who was completely oblivious until a couple of months ago.

FunderAnna Mon 23-Apr-18 20:26:07

I think I was vaguely aware of Germaine Greer being called a TERF a while back.

I was also very puzzled when I posted some comment on an article about the menopause on a website and someone else posted that the article was prejudiced/discriminatory because it didn't once mention transwomen's experience of menopause. (In my innocence I thought this must be some deranged joke. There's a level on which I still think it's a deranged joke.)

Greymisty Mon 23-Apr-18 20:27:12

Thebewilderness...the trans umbrella extends over ALL the LBGT?? I did not know this...that makes like no sense. Apologies for my ignorance!

Lefthanddown Mon 23-Apr-18 20:31:03

I've just been looking at an old sociology book to try and get an understanding of the history of where we are currently.

Most of the references refer to writers/theories dated late 80's early 90's though debate probably goes back to Freud

RW Connell

Nancy Chodorow

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 23-Apr-18 20:34:15

I remember this being significant

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 23-Apr-18 20:35:51 The Whole Woman was 1999

Ekphrasis Mon 23-Apr-18 20:36:29

A friend told me these debates have been going on in academia focussing on sex / gender politics for years so perhaps it's been a slow burn till more recent law changes / proposals.

thebewilderness Mon 23-Apr-18 20:38:38

It was not well received on the LGBT blogs at the time so they altered the strategy. That was what alarmed a lot of Transexuals and Lesbians. The authoritarianism and homophobia of trangenderism was right out on front street.

ArcheryAnnie Mon 23-Apr-18 20:38:42

SuperLoud that's amazing.

RosenbergW Mon 23-Apr-18 20:38:49

And trans activists have been (successfully) getting venues to shut down radical feminist events in the UK which discuss gender since at least 2013:

And in the US too:

From Sam Berg at the second link:
Most transpersons go about their lives without harassing feminists, but the ones that appear to live for harassing us are all pro-pornstitution and that synergistic alliance is noteworthy.

Way before they called us SWERFs and TERFs trans activism and pro sex industry activism were two faces of the same thing.

RosenbergW Mon 23-Apr-18 20:45:03

Kimberley Nixon made their first complaint against Vancouver Rape Relief in 1995 and you can read a bit about that here:

SomeDyke Mon 23-Apr-18 20:52:48

Feminist criticism of transsexual ideology goes back (at least) to Janice Raymond and her book 'The Transsexual Empire' (she did her thesis under Mary Daly, so hell of a track-record as regards rad fems!).

Early 80s then -- and one thing I remember from the time was strong arguments that if gender was abolished, then many of the social pressures to transition would disappear/be reduced. Back then, as I recall, centred around gender dysphoria, and those who transed out of the lesbian and gay community into the straight community not seen as a positive thing. Whilst L&G community accepting of trans folk in their spaces, along the lines of accepting gender non-conformity. Although some M2T identified as lesbians, it was certainly seen as not just socially acceptable but expected that lesbians in general would not be interested in an M2T partner. I also recall several discussions with various lesbians who had thought about transitioning, but as I recall the strongest pressures were to seek to gain social acceptance and to pass as a straight couple. We saw that for what it was at the time, as I recall. I only ever met one female who wanted to transition to become a gay man.

Male brain/female brain in 'wrong' body ideas soundly dismissed at the time.

ClopChops Mon 23-Apr-18 20:55:30

I first became aware of it via Twitter when Suzanne Moore tweeted words to the effect of she was more bothered about women than men lopping their bits off, and WW3 broke out. Prior to that, I can only recall Twitter feminists arguing about whether Rihanna’s video for Bitch Better Have my Money was feminist or misogynist...

AskBasil Mon 23-Apr-18 20:55:53

Sheila Jeffreys did a brilliant talk on the whole history of this at the 2016 Radfem conference, it's so worth sitting down with a cup of tea and watching.

Julia does the introductions and then Sheila is the first speaker.

history and background

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 23-Apr-18 20:57:27 This was the first venue refusal that affected me

RosenbergW Mon 23-Apr-18 21:12:53

And this is Jean O'Leary in 1973 speaking at a rally about how drag queens/early trans activists had attempted to get women banned from reading political statements:

Sorry that this is older history but it's relevant to the fact that allowing any male to identify as female has led to push back on women's rights, and has always been antifeminist politically.

cromeyellow0 Mon 23-Apr-18 21:20:12

A key step for legitimising this agenda in the UK was Stonewall's embrace of transgenderism in 2014, after Ruth Hunt took over. Not coincidentally, I suspect, this came when same-sex marriage threatened the organisation's raison d'être. With 100 staff and £6m annual income, the organisation needed a new mission.

Note the irony that women have been the prime movers in this movement, from Ruth Hunt to Katherine Viner to Maria Miller to Nicola Sturgeon to Theresa May ...

RosenbergW Mon 23-Apr-18 21:24:39

The gender recognition act should never have happened, it only could because lesbians and radical feminists had been so successfully marginalised as "dykes", "manhaters", "feminazis" and "bigots" that noone was prepares to hear their warnings.

That's why it pisses me off so badly to hear the newly gender critical slate the radicals as "transphobes" etc for misgendering etc. There's a lack of respect for feminist elders that means the same mistakes just get made over and over.

thebewilderness Mon 23-Apr-18 21:25:30

The transgender advocates who complained bitterly for years to too much attention was spent on marriage rights immediately stepped into the void that marriage rights laws passage created.

It is the focus on the children by "charities" like Mermaids that chills my blood because of the resemblance to the religious rights conversion therapy.

Ekphrasis Mon 23-Apr-18 21:27:00

I have no idea where to post this but I thought it interesting and relevant here as it's the future of the debate. Nipt tests had been from 10 weeks (now on the nhs in some circumstances); seemingly now 8 weeks and much easier to do.

The ethics worry me though from the POV of a finger pin prick and sex selection, but to me it rather defeats the 'assigned at birth' part of it becomes really this easy and will underline the fact that sex is biological - or indeed intersex.

And thank god they got the word sex right.

(I can't read the whole article)

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