Advanced search

WEP conference, questions for panel of trans rights advocating barristers?

(68 Posts)
Procrastinator1 Fri 03-Aug-18 19:07:43

As set out in a previous thread,
the WEP are going to be debating a motion which includes self ID of sex in September

Before the debate on the motion they are holding a question and answer session with two barristers who have advised the government and are thought to be very sympathetic to trans rights proponents. Twitter thread about the Q & A session

One of the barristers, Michelle Brewer, is involved with an organisation called TENLI, Trans Equality Legal Initiative, with our favourite, suspended NUS trans officer, Jess Bradley

I wonder if any WEP members who will be attending have any questions for the barristers, for instance, about the impact of self ID on natal women or how Jess has shaped the trans argument over the last few years, or whether the personal proclivities or motivations of policy shapers should be taken into account when assessing the policies they advocate for?

I'm sure lots of people would be interested in the answers.

Procrastinator1 Fri 03-Aug-18 19:10:58

Further relevant thread

Mxyzptlk Fri 03-Aug-18 19:12:12

I'd like this to be asked :
What safeguards will be put in place to prevent predatory males from taking advantage of self-id legislation to gain access to women and girls in vulnerable situations?

Procrastinator1 Fri 03-Aug-18 19:19:57

Sorry I should make it clear I'm not attending, but I am hoping someone else from here is.

vagender Fri 03-Aug-18 19:22:08

What Mxy said, and, more specifically and in light of recent events, how will male sex offenders in female prison estates be prevented from sexually assaulting other inmates? Also, how will registering crimes like that as female-on-female impact the validity of crime statistics?

Floisme Fri 03-Aug-18 19:32:54

I think I'd be tempted to go straight for the jugular and ask her directly about her association with Bradley.

I guess it might get me thrown out but that in itself would be revealing.

(I'm not going by the way or even a member, just feeling mischievious.)

VickyEadie Fri 03-Aug-18 19:37:02

How safe are women if people like Jess Bradley are allowed to self-id into women's safe spaces?

How many people like Jess Bradley - with fetishes and kinks offensive and threatening to women - does the category 'transwomen' now include?

BarrackerBarmer Fri 03-Aug-18 19:45:26

"aren't you embarrassed to be advocating for a legal lie; that male can become female?"
"Do you feel the public can continue to have confidence in our justice system when it is validating a known untruth, and punishing those who are unwilling or unable to collude with the lie?"
"What SHOULD the punishment be for actual females who do not submit to males who insist they are female?"

BigPinkBall Fri 03-Aug-18 19:47:05

What safeguards will be put in place to prevent predatory males from taking advantage of self-id legislation to gain access to women and girls in vulnerable situations?

^ This

I think that this is the only thing that concerns me and a lot of other people, so far as I’m concerned if anyone wants to present as the opposite gender what business is it of mine? Live and let live, I just don’t want vulnerable women to be affected and if that means telling someone with a male body and the superior strength and stamina that comes with that body that they can’t go into women’s spaces then so be it.

FlippinFumin Fri 03-Aug-18 19:50:36

How are they going to explain to our female athletes that they will be expected to compete against male bodied peers with all the advantages of body muscle, lung capacity and skeletal advantages.

Floisme Fri 03-Aug-18 19:57:42

And something about crime statistics: as someone in the legal profession, does it concern her to see male violence reported and recorded as a female crime?

It may not be a concern to her but hopefully those listening will take note.

vagender Fri 03-Aug-18 20:02:53

How will self ID impact medical research? And how can they ensure a trans person receives adequate sex-specific medical treatment when necessary? (Wasn't there a case of a trans man dying after being given the "male typical" form of treatment for a kidney problem or something?) Rendering biological sex meaningless is dangerous, on every level.

Macareaux Fri 03-Aug-18 20:16:37

Nowhere else in life do we take someone's word about issues that really matter. We don't pay out pensions to people simply because they claim to be sixty five. We don't let people out of jail because they claim to be innocent. We don't let doctors operate on us on their say-so that they are qualified. Why would we legislate to let people say they are the opposite sex and treat it like something that cannot be challenged or questioned?

LemonJello Fri 03-Aug-18 20:25:21

I would ask Michelle:

Jess Bradley, a transwoman and your colleague, has been engaging in voyeuristic behaviour. He has also been lobbying government for a law change that would help facilitate voyeuristic behaviour.

He has used mainstream media platforms to belittle womens concerns and has told them that they have nothing to worry about because this sort of thing won’t happen, while he has been participating in that very thing.

Which facilities do you think Jess Bradley should use Michelle? Male, female or unisex?

UpstartCrow Fri 03-Aug-18 20:27:34

What advice do the panel give to women from conservative, religious or abusive backgrounds, who are not permitted to share spaces with male bodied people?

AskATerf Fri 03-Aug-18 20:33:04

What is a woman?

What is a man?

Marilla27 Fri 03-Aug-18 20:39:48

I would like to know how many women post pictures of their dicks on the internet?

But seriously, at what point does a man 'become a woman'?

I'd feel safer if it was after they'd been castrated. I am thinking of all those male prisoners who can now decide that they are 'women'. What happens when they leave prison?

womanspeaking Fri 03-Aug-18 21:31:10

I recall reading about a previous WEP conference and if I recall correctly they only allowed pre-moderated questions. It was then that I realised that as a political entity they were useless. Can you imagine in a serious political party only allowing pre checked questions?
I couldn't decide whether it was the usual silencing to ensure that no one had to define the word woman or whether the party decided that women are so fragile that we aren't able to speak without a script.
I suspect it was the former. sad

These brilliant questions will never be heard and instead the room will chant TWAW at regular intervals like a Mormon convention. grin

R0wantrees Fri 03-Aug-18 22:33:53

In what capacity is appearing at this event?

Has she disclosed her interests?

Is Michelle Brewer aware of the 9 protected characteristics of the Equalities Act 2010?

Is she aware of any deliberate attempts by her co-founders or current team to misquote or misapply this legislation?

Why does she think LAs and other statutory services and organisations have had Diversity & Equality policies incorrectly quoting and potentially misapplying this legislation?

Has TELI advocated / lobbied for the removal of sex as a protected characteristic?

What status is TELI- as it has some prominant and powerful charities, organisations and individuals involved, should its funding, , aims and objectives be transparent? Is it a lobbying group, if so to whom is it accountable?

qumquat Fri 03-Aug-18 23:13:19

This is a great idea but is anyone here actually going?

Hackedoffwoman Fri 03-Aug-18 23:32:17

I doubt critical questions would be given the floor space. I'd rather see a gender critical lawyer on the panel given time to rebut. Now that I would turn up for!

Wanderabout Fri 03-Aug-18 23:58:46

What Rowantrees said

Procrastinator1 Sat 04-Aug-18 00:03:15

If no one is going from here and even if they were, questions are likely to be moderated, we should send an open letter to Sophie and Michelle.

CoCoCoconut Sat 04-Aug-18 00:11:18

Does their version of intersectional feminism recognise having a female reproductive system as an axis of oppression?

If people who have female reproductive systems do experience particular forms of oppression on that basis, what should we call that group so that we can identify and fight their oppression?

If 'woman' includes both women with female reproductive systems and transwomen with male reproductive systems, why is being both 'woman' and male (trans) framed as being doubly oppressed, whereas being both 'woman' and female is framed as cis privilege? Surely even if the TWAW premise is accepted, natal women are oppressed both for being part of the oppressed 'woman' category, and for having female reproductive systems? Why doesn't the libfem (mis)understanding of intersectionality recognise that intersection and vindicate the rights of those within such a doubly oppressed group to name themselves, organise, and have safe space?

Marilla27 Sat 04-Aug-18 00:28:35

There's quite a lot of talk on twitter about this. Somebody said that a WEP insider was saying that on the whole women were too afraid to speak out for fear of intimidation, smear and harassment.

Interesting message from Heather in response, "Who can blame women for being afraid of expressing gender critical views? Why would Sophie Walker suddenly mitigate smearing and harassment when her party has already enacted this on its Spokeswoman?"

Someone else has posted "Something i’ve observed: every time women challenge the WEP, a pro-WEP sock account pops up to chastise the dissenters."

LeiaTheSlaya Sat 04-Aug-18 00:35:09

a pro-WEP sock account pops up to chastise the dissenters.

I noticed that - the person who said the were a WEP member on that thread only had tweets from that thread. I'll be keeping an eye out for this in future.

LeiaTheSlaya Sat 04-Aug-18 00:35:47

a pro-WEP sock account pops up to chastise the dissenters.

I noticed that - the person who said the were a WEP member on that thread only had tweets from that thread. I'll be keeping an eye out for this in future.

LeiaTheSlaya Sat 04-Aug-18 00:36:03

Sorry 😐

Marilla27 Sat 04-Aug-18 00:49:40

This one is really sad.

"I’m a WEP member but my perception is that the GRA debate is a done deal. I’m no shrinking violet after 25 years in military but would rather go on ops than raise my concerns at the conference, given the hostility shown to anyone expressing any views counter to self id."

Polynerd Sat 04-Aug-18 01:09:37

If a convicted child rapist and murderer states that they are female, should they be immediately moved to the women's estate?

R0wantrees Sat 04-Aug-18 09:25:38

Would Michelle Brewer repond to the following comments about some convicted sex offenders who are male born people now identifying as trans women and the potential dangers that they present to vulnerable female prisoners and children as well as the concerns for effective criminal justice management, policing and safeguarding measures?

(with respect the housing within female prison estate & recent case of alleged sexual assaults on four women in New Hall Wakefield)

Francis Crook executive director of the Howard League for Penal Reform "said that she was worried that ‘some men with a history of extreme violence and sexual violence against women have found a new way of exercising aggression towards women’.

‘These men are not transitioning because they like women and want to be a woman, but in order to exert a new kind of control and dominance over women, a sort of infiltration."


Claude Knights (safeguarding expert recently retired after 15 years as head of Kidscape)
on sex offenders who transition and are afforded the opportunity to change their name and hide their history as a consequence & recent case of "Christopher Noble, 32, transitioned to Christyl Knight while behind bars for keeping a stash of over 4,000 vile pictures and videos of kids as young as six months old"

“Allowing these individuals to hide a secret past is a dangerous practice.”
“Anyone who’s fuelled the vile trade in indecent images of children and therefore contributed to their sexual abuse should not be allowed to change their name.”


Does Michelle recognise that vulnerable women and children would benefit from a well funded legal organisation such as TELI who could advocate for the protection of their rights?

BettyDuMonde Sat 04-Aug-18 12:00:35

I’d like to know why Bradley’s status as founder has been removed from the TELI website before the investigation into Bradley’s sexual misconduct by the NUS is complete?

Does Brewer not believe that people are ‘innocent until proven guilty’? Or does Brewer have enough knowledge to accept Bradley’s guilt before said investigation has conconcluded?

R0wantrees Sat 04-Aug-18 12:01:37

Is the legal panel aware of the current situation in Canada & in what way can they assure women that in the event of the England & Wales adopting gender self-id, similar situations would not arise in the future?

DonkeySkin Sat 04-Aug-18 12:06:17

What you need to do is to force them to explicitly own the misogyny of the position they are advocating. This is for the benefit of WEP members in the room: they need to see Brewer and co say out loud that they believe women and girls have no right to safety and privacy from men.

So questions like 'What about predatory men taking advantage of this law?' won't cut it. That hasn't got us far in this debate, because it just gets hand-waved away with, 'No evidence of this happening, no reason to exclude 'trans women' because of what 'cis men' might do' (as if there is any difference between 'trans women' and 'cis men' except self-declaration of a feeling-state).

Instead, ask a question that forces them to be upfront about what they are advocating. I like what @Materialist said in another thread. She said she asks people 'simple, clarifying' questions like:

Do teenage girls have the right not to be naked in front of male eyes? The right not to shower next to a penis?

Yes or no answers only.

Very few people will argue that a girl does not have that right, but if they do well, at that point I’d know exactly what they were.

Brewer and co, of course, will argue that a girl does not have that right. In fact that's the entire point of what they are working towards: they are working to ensure that no woman or girl, anywhere, no matter how vulnerable a state she is in (in prison, in a refuge, in the shower), has the right to be free from the presence of males.

But others in the room will not have grasped that that is actually what they are advocating for. Because it's all couched in the language of 'oppressed trans people, inclusion, etc'. They will be shocked to hear it said out loud:

'So, just to clarify, you believe that girls in public change rooms should be forced to undress in the presence of males, and to be exposed to penises in public facilities?'

And it will wake them up as to what all this fuzzy talk about 'inclusion' really means.

R0wantrees Sat 04-Aug-18 12:20:48

April 2018 Posie Parker asked this question in her speech given at the 'We Need to talk about sex' event at The Jam Jar Bristol:

"Does my 11 year old daughter have the right to go to the female changing rooms and not see an adult male penis?"

video of protesters blocking stairs:

DonkeySkin Sat 04-Aug-18 12:30:42

Something else I really want someone to ask Brewer:

Can you clarify that you believe that men have the right to rape and murder women, and then have those crimes attributed to women on their say-so?

And that you further believe that men who rape and murder women have the right to be transferred to female prisons if they say they 'feel like' women?

The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners* gives incarcerated women the right to be housed separately from males. Why are you working to take away the human rights of female prisoners? Why are you working to ensure that statistics around male violence and male-pattern crime are useless?

*As an aside, in the course of looking that up, I discovered that Thailand houses transgender male prisoners in a separate wing in the men's estate. They are kept apart from other men except for the purposes of some recreational activities. This seems like the obvious solution to safety concerns for trans-identified male prisoners - why is no one advocating for this?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 04-Aug-18 12:38:17

I'm a member of WEP. I'm going to the conference. I'm not afraid of asking any questions.

I don't believe TWAW. I am very worried about safeguarding for women and girls. I'm very worried about women being pushed out of public life and sport by TW. I'm very worried about initiatives such as female only scholarships and prizes being taken over by TW. I'm very worried about children and vulnerable young people being groomed by trans activists or abused by predators.

I'm not confident WEP will listen to people like me or even let me speak. sad

Ereshkigal Sat 04-Aug-18 14:10:56

Brewer and co, of course, will argue that a girl does not have that right. In fact that's the entire point of what they are working towards: they are working to ensure that no woman or girl, anywhere, no matter how vulnerable a state she is in (in prison, in a refuge, in the shower), has the right to be free from the presence of males.

You're right. This is exactly the way to do it.

vagender Sat 04-Aug-18 15:11:33

Brewer and co, of course, will argue that a girl does not have that right.

Getting them to admit that on the record would probably wake up a lot of people, and the way to achieve that is probably to avoid using the word "woman" as much as possible so they don't play the TWAW card to derail the argument.
They can't say TWAW if you refer to penis, and I'd hope that the sheer absurdity of the statement "A girl doesn't have that right if it's a lady penis" in front of members of a feminist party would cause the motion to fail pretty much by default.

LeiaTheSlaya Sat 04-Aug-18 15:32:19

Blunt question - in what circumstances does a 12 year old girl have the right to privacy, dignity & safety away from an exposed penis, irrespective of how the owner of that penis identifies?

Floisme Sat 04-Aug-18 19:11:04

A question, not for the barristers but for Chris Paouros who has seconded the GRA motion:
You joined the FA Inclusion Advisory Board last year and tweet about your passion for women's sport. What is your view on trans women competing against women? Do you regard it as fair or safe?

BirthCanal Sat 04-Aug-18 19:29:09

Can't you get your question premeditated then ask a different one?

BirthCanal Sat 04-Aug-18 19:29:45

Or even premoderatedsmile

heresyandwitchcraft Sun 05-Aug-18 16:52:00

So one thing I've noted is that both Claire McCann and Michelle Brewer represented a trans woman with a GRC in a case against the Department of Work and Pensions regarding data collection/access. It reached the supreme court, where the case eventually dismissed.

My question is whether we can learn anything from this ruling and apply it to women's rights? I've started a thread about this separately below:

KTheGrey Sun 05-Aug-18 21:08:17

Looking at the Peter Dunne/Tara Hewitt link in the earlier thread: he says that the 2010 EA already provides for those who are "proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process ... for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex". What attributes of biological sex are not physiological? Does it mean wearing lippie or a dress? This is poorly phrased: "proposing to undergo" is remarkably vague and I think "other attributes" might well crumble under examination. Yet this is the section cited as the clause that protects tw's access to "appropriate goods and services such as single gender hospital wards".
This suggests to me that the problems are already written into a poorly worded law and asking lawyers about new proposals may be of very little practical assistance, unless it informs challenges to current interpretation of the law as it stands.

The other interesting point is that apparently S23 provides for the exclusion of trans persons if it's "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim" so from situations such as vulnerable women's counselling where it might prevent women attending. This means that the bar is "legitimate aims". Would this include fairness in women's sports?

Badly written laws and in an era when budgets in the CPS have been cut 40% ...

R0wantrees Mon 06-Aug-18 07:14:41

comment by Claire McCann is featured in the evidence collated by James kirkup to demonstrate intended removal of sex based exemptions in Equalities Act:
"Some facts about the events that preceded the Government statement here that the coming consultation on the Gender Recognition Act will be narrowly drawn and not affect the Equality Act’s single sex exemptions.

I offer these facts because some are claiming “there was never any question of removing/amending EA exceptions.” Those claims are either mistaken or dishonest." (continues)

Jan 2016
Women & Equalities Committee says EA should be amended so that

“occupational requirements provision and / or the single-sex / separate services provision shall not apply”.

Interesting to note that the evidence referred in screenshot by Claire McCann comes from a FA statement in the context of U16 'single gender' sport.

FA links c&p from p7 onwards of thread
Edward Lords:
"In late 2012, he joined the Inclusion Advisory Group of the London Football Association, becoming its chairman in February 2013. In October 2013 he was appointed by the Football Association to chair anti-discrimination related disciplinary commissions and in December 2013 as a member of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board."

cf Delia Johnston interview about her career with FA and Olympics:

"Last night Delia Johnston, the former head of a charity campaigning for trans sportspeople to be allowed to compete in their chosen gender, condemned Ms Truss. Ms Johnston said: ‘She is giving kudos to Mumsnet who are particularly vicious on this particular front. Truss could be investigated for backing a group that is effectively advocating violence against the transgender community. She may be a terf in disguise.’

Another member of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board(since 2017) is Chris Paouros who is listed as seconder to the GRA motion at the WEP conference:

Looking at their twitter feed, Paouros appear to be very into women's sport & is a WEP Trustee :

Floisme Mon 06-Aug-18 08:40:41

There has got to be a question to Paouros about this. I don't know if she's on the panel but it seems reasonable to expect that the person seconding a motion should be available for questions. Apart from anything else, I'd be fascinated to know how she reconciles the two ideas in her own head.

R0wantrees Mon 06-Aug-18 08:52:03

Acknowledgement of role of Claire McCann (with Stephen Whittle) in the introduction to Women and Equalities Committee
Transgender Equality
First Report of Session 2015–16

R0wantrees Fri 17-Aug-18 22:11:21

Important article published on Oxford Human Rights Hub,

'Women’s Rights and the Proposed Changes to the Gender Recognition Act'

Rosa Fredman is Professor of Law Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading

Rosemary Auchmuty is a Professor at the University of Reading


Magpiesarehuge Fri 17-Aug-18 22:29:28

If they would put their name to a petition to move the latest TW sex offender to a female prison and if they’ll join my protest march to Westminster supporting said sex offending TW and retweet and share said petition.

Angryresister Sat 18-Aug-18 21:47:46

Good questions...can we have a headcount to see how many here are planning to go and try to get some of them answered?

R0wantrees Sun 19-Aug-18 10:15:43

Claire McCann's position is described here and is important reading for anyone attending the conference panel:

"The debate has focused on the question of whether trans rights (especially for those who are male to female trans) would erode hard-fought women’s rights. Some have argued that amendments to the GRA 2004 (so as to confer legal gender recognition on the basis of an administrative and de-medicalised process) would permit predatory and dangerous men access to ‘safe’ female spaces. Many in the trans community and those seeking to advance trans inclusion have sought to question whether these fears are realistic. Regrettably, the debate has often descended into toxic hostility with misunderstanding on both sides.

Properly analysed, it is questionable whether dangerous men would abuse an amended (easier) gender recognition process in order to change their legal sex (to female) for the sole purpose of accessing women’s spaces. Under the current regime, people are not in general required to produce a copy of their birth certificate to access single-sex facilities or services. Should a man wish to use deception to access such services or places with dangerous motives, he will seek to do so without needing to acquire a GRC. More importantly, there are existing protections in the criminal law to prevent such activity." (continues)

ISaySteadyOn Sun 19-Aug-18 10:46:50

I don't have anything useful to add except to agree with everything DonkeySkin said. They and all the other anti women activists need to be honest and admit they don't believe women have rights to penis free or xy male body free spaces. That women have no rights to set boundaries and that women are not people, but accessories and costumes.

R0wantrees Sun 19-Aug-18 11:46:41

Perhaps a good question would be to quote James Kirkup's concluding comments in recent Spactator article:

"A feminist group is today facing the prospect of investigation by a police force and a City mayor for saying “women don’t have penises”. and ask the panel for a legal perspective.

R0wantrees Tue 04-Sep-18 13:36:45

Does Michelle Brewer co--founder of TELI (with Tara Hewitt & Jess Bradley) stand by the Twitter comment which describes Women's Place UK as 'anti-trans'?

Does she condone the repeated attempts to smear WPUK, target venues booked by the group, attempt to censure their social media accounts etc?

theOtherPamAyres Tue 04-Sep-18 15:41:35

Does the Panel agree that there is a loophole in the Equality Act that puts sex-based rights and spaces at risk? Do you agree that there a need to review the protected characteristic of 'gender reassignment' - an imprecise term that is being used to validate and normalise the fetishes of men without gender dysphoria?

Does the panel look forward to the day when those impostors are erased from women's spaces and are no longer able to piggy-back on the causes of transexuals for whom the law was intended?

R0wantrees Wed 05-Sep-18 00:50:26

current thread:

purpleanorak Wed 05-Sep-18 01:04:26

Barristers need to be prepared to advocate for both sides and cannot cherry pick clients because of the “cab rank” rule (ie they have to represent anybody who instructs them regardless of beliefs). I wonder if there is a question that can be asked about what arguments they would put forward / the strongest arguments they have heard from the other perspective? Any barrister who is seriously interested in a particular area of law should have thought about both sides and be prepared to discuss the legal difficulties of any argument.

TimeLady Thu 06-Sep-18 08:50:16

I can't see Michelle Brewer's name on the agenda. Has she cried off? Presumably she was involved in this part of the programme:

Changes to the Gender Recognition Act

What will legal changes mean for the interaction between gender and sex based rights

Claire McCan,
Barrister at Cloisters Chambers
Catherine Casserley,
Barrister at Cloisters Chambers

Neither of those two are listed on the TELI website

Stephanie Harrison, a colleague of Brewer at Garden Court Chambers, is listed, but is speaking about immigration

Nil Points: Immigration Policy Post-Brexit

How female migrants experience and negotiate globalisation

Stephanie Harrison QC,
Garden Court Chambers

R0wantrees Thu 06-Sep-18 10:10:28

See page 2 re Claire McCan.

R0wantrees Thu 06-Sep-18 10:52:40

from thread linked above

article by Magda Devas:
"This is a crucial time for WEP. ‘Women’ is right there in the title of our party, so the meaning of the word goes to the heart of who we are. The gender Recognition Act reforms could change the meaning of the word ‘women’ to include trangender women -people who have male anatomies but who identify as women.

The party is divided on this; from my understanding pretty much down the middle. So we want to be bringing the party together while at the same time addressing the issues of equalities." (continues)

"If we give up the old fashioned definition of ‘woman’, which is first and foremost based on biology, and allow that biologically males can be women, then we are not only giving up our identiy as women, we are giving up all the rights to the sex-based protections that women have under the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act has been shown up as being weak and women are losing these protections. I believe our concerns should be all about strengthening the Equality Act so that women have rights to women only spaces and services, and that these should be maintained under law.

If we can delicately pull apart the boundaries between women’s and transgender people’s rights, and recreate them with respect and consideration, we will be able to create alliances rather than discord with the transgender community and work in alliance to fight the discriminations that we do share."*@magdadevas*/this-is-a-crucial-time-for-wep-99216d6eaeab

Ereshkigal Thu 06-Sep-18 13:51:14

^Catherine Casserley,
Barrister at Cloisters Chambers^

A "Cat Casserley" is mentioned as one of the formal supporters of the pro trans GRA motion, so it seems she's a WEP member.

I also noticed the lack of Michelle Brewer on the website programme.

TimeLady Thu 06-Sep-18 14:04:47

Handy, isn't it, that Brewer now won't be put on the spot with awkward questions about her colleague Bradley, especially as both seemed to be particularly interested in prisons.

R0wantrees Thu 06-Sep-18 14:19:28

from previous page, Acknowledgement of role of Claire McCann (with Stephen Whittle) in the introduction to Women and Equalities Committee
Transgender Equality
First Report of Session 2015–16

Stephen Whittle has been a key figure in trans-rights legislative change.
He was a founder of Press for Change, interviewed about this in 2013 Guardian Article:
"Much of [Press for Change] campaigning remained on the quiet. The passage of the 2004 law to give trans people legal status was "remarkable," says [Christine] Burns, because "the government was able to pass an entire act in parliament without anyone throwing a fit in the press"

Provided briefings for some of those who were panelists on Ch 4's GenderQuake Debate:

Commenting on MN thread he started April 2018:

Involved with drafting of the Yogykcarta legislation:

2014 Described as a 'superhero' and featured prominantly in the CBBC 'I am Leo':

R0wantrees Sat 08-Sep-18 09:43:03

Claire McCann "Properly analysed, it is questionable whether dangerous men would abuse an amended (easier) gender recognition process in order to change their legal sex (to female) for the sole purpose of accessing women’s spaces."

Would she comment on the sexual assaults of vulnerable female prisoners in the women's prison estate, a space for women from which they cannot leave by a male-born person previously convicted of sexually assaulting women and children?

James Kirkup outlines case in recent Spectator article:
"This is the case of Karen White, a multiple rapist who was placed in a women’s prison. Karen White was born male, and was previously known as Stephen Wood and/or David Thompson. Karen White is “undergoing gender reassignment”, but has not had sex reassignment surgery, meaning Karen White has a penis.

In 2003, Karen White used that penis to commit rape. In 2016, Karen White used that penis to commit rape again. Twice. As a result, Karen White was last year remanded in prison awaiting trial for rape. It wasn’t Karen White’s first time behind bars. In 2001, Karen White was jailed for 18 months for an act of gross indecency with a child.

That sentence was served in a male prison. But last year, when Karen White was sent to jail pending trial for rape, Karen White “identified” as a woman. So the Prison Service allowed Karen White to be housed in the female prison estate. And in HMP New Hall, Karen White sexually assaulted women. Here’s a quote, via the Telegraph, from the prosecutor in the trial where Karen White admitted two indecent assaults against female prisoners:

“The defendant would stand very close to [the victim], touch her arm and wink at her. Her penis was erect and sticking out of the top of her trousers.”

Read that quote again, and consider that phrase “her penis”. It’s a linguistic consequence of the set of ideas and practices that saw English legal authorities put Karen White, a multiple rapist and paedophile, in a sealed building full of vulnerable women. For Karen White is a transwoman and to use a phrase intoned by trans rights campaigners of all sorts, “transwomen are women”. It is ultimately the ideas behind that phrase that persuaded some people in authority that Karen White, and Karen White’s penis, should be in a women’s prison." (continues)

As the title of the article asks, 'Why was a transgender rapist put in a women’s prison?'

R0wantrees Sat 08-Sep-18 12:03:36

Janice Turner The Times
"There is a cavalier misogyny about not protecting women from sex offenders. We saw it in magistrates repeatedly bailing the serial rapist Carl Hartley, allowing him to rape again and again. Or in the parole board’s blithe attempt to release John Worboys, the taxi-driver rapist, after he had served only ten years of an indeterminate sentence, until this was reversed following an outcry.

We see it too in liberal campaigns for violent trans criminals to live among women. I’m often lectured by left-wing men that since “trans women are women”, if Ian Huntley, as is rumoured, transitions he must be treated as female. You feminists, say the right-on bros, must expand your definition of women to include rapists. I read an Observer report comparing the prisoner Marie Dean, then on hunger strike in HMP Preston, to Bobby Sands. That’s Marie Dean aka Gary Dean Marie, described by police as “dangerous and prolific”, who committed 30 aggravated burglaries, breaking into teenage girls’ bedrooms and masturbating. Yes, welcome to lady jail!

I hope Karen White’s victims sue the prison service. Biological sex is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act but, with no impact assessment, this criteria was overridden by a rapist’s gender feelings. Yet the worst thing about this case, apart from the victims’ suffering, is the appalling effect upon decent, quiet-living trans people. Many who contact me are aghast at how an extreme activist agenda creates policy facilitating crimes like White’s and ends up tainting them.

It is time, given the growing number of transitioning male prisoners, for policy to evolve. Besides, if self-ID is introduced after the Gender Recognition Act review, it will be easier for a trans prisoner to become legally male and thus have an almost automatic right to transfer." (continues)

As this is the Women's and Equalitites Conference, is the panel prepared to recognise the urgent need to be able to discuss as well as advocate for females' needs and that this is a separate issue to the needs of people who identify as transgender?

As Magda Devas comments above, "If we can delicately pull apart the boundaries between women’s and transgender people’s rights, and recreate them with respect and consideration, we will be able to create alliances rather than discord with the transgender community and work in alliance to fight the discriminations that we do share."

OldCrone Sat 08-Sep-18 12:36:49

Claire McCann "Properly analysed, it is questionable whether dangerous men would abuse an amended (easier) gender recognition process in order to change their legal sex (to female) for the sole purpose of accessing women’s spaces."

Dr. James Barrett, President of the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists:
"...the ever-increasing tide of referrals of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the number of prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual, offences. It has been rather naïvely suggested that nobody would seek to pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact very many reasons why people might pretend this. These vary from the opportunity to have trips out of prison through to a desire for a transfer to the female estate (to the same prison as a co-defendant) through to the idea that a parole board will perceive somebody who is female as being less dangerous through to a [false] belief that hormone treatment will actually render one less dangerous through to wanting a special or protected status within the prison system"

R0wantrees Sun 09-Sep-18 08:38:09

Did Claire McCann disclose her current case to the WEP?
Given the possible implications of the precident for the safety of women and girls, one hopes that WEP are aware of this.

from the Sunday Times today, article by Andrew Gilligan:

'Trans offender seeks to wipe crimes as a man from record'
A transgender offender is seeking to delete from her record two crimes that could only have been committed by a man.

“I do not wish my gender history to be more widely known and do not wish to disclose my trans status to employers,” the woman, who asked to be identified only as Helen, said. She is to launch a judicial review to remove two convictions for “importuning as a man” when she worked at a Soho “clip joint” in the 1970s and 1980s.

A right to removal, if established, could cover rape, another crime that can legally be committed only by a person with a penis.

Trans people with a gender recognition certificate are legally entitled to keep their birth gender secret.

Helen’s barrister, Claire McCann, said disclosure of offences that revealed Helen’s birth gender in criminal record checks was “severe and discriminatory interference with Helen’s right to respect for her private life”. (continues)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »