Page 2 | 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.

OP’s posts: |
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.

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