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What sex were you "assigned" at birth

(33 Posts)
MollyButton Tue 15-Oct-19 07:22:20

I work for a very large employer. I recently filled in our "workers opinion survey".
Most of it was fine harmless stuff.
Then there were the questions on gender.
What was my gender?
Did that differ from the gender I was assigned at birth?

Now I know that they are bending over backwards to be inclusive. But these questions are actually frightening.
Any other question where I objected to the wording - I could go on my department focum and whinge. But these ones, if I whinge publicly I risk being branded as phobic - and to be honest I could end up not passing probation. And being accepting of all is actually very much part of my job.
But I feel attacked that my sex is becoming something that was arbitrarily assigned rather than a biological fact. It feels Kafkaesque.

Is there anything I can do?

Babdoc Tue 15-Oct-19 08:26:53

Is it a yes/no tick box, or is there room to write?
I’d put “I don’t have a gender. I have a sex, which was fixed at conception and simply observed at birth”.

MollyButton Tue 15-Oct-19 09:03:34

They have massively restricted opportunities to write in comments this year. And it's online so you can't even scrawl in the margins.

TemporaryPermanent Tue 15-Oct-19 09:06:45

I would leave it blank if you can. Do they have a separate comments box for open text?

ChilledBee Tue 15-Oct-19 09:08:19

Just answer the question or don't and move on with your day. I can't imagine having so little to worry about that these sorts of trivial things kept me up at night.

You've probably shared a bathroom/changing room with many trans people, with and without penises. And at least on most of those occasions, you were none the wiser.

dragongirlx Tue 15-Oct-19 09:15:33

they tried something similar in my work. I used the any other comments section to point out by using gender they were failing in their equalities duties both in terms of the protected characteristics of sex and gender reassignment and followed it up with an email stating the same. Could you try something like that?

KatvonHostileExtremist Tue 15-Oct-19 09:20:53

I've seen this on local authority staff questionnaires.
There was no "don't want to answer" button, but you could skip (I realised by trying).

I reckon they've been stonewalled.

TheShoesa Tue 15-Oct-19 09:21:56

Don't know if this is of any use to you but I used the WHO definitions of sex and gender when I raised a sex vs gender with a HCP recently.

MollyButton Tue 15-Oct-19 09:29:31

You've probably shared a bathroom/changing room with many trans people, with and without penises. And at least on most of those occasions, you were none the wiser.

I have even stayed in a Trans persons home! But I don't think the government assigns us a sex at birth. I believe our sex is recorded.

And if we care so much about the use of words for some group in society then shouldn't we also care about the use of words for other groups - and at least have some way to record if it offends?

I would expect "Mormons" to be able to record that they belong to "The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints" OR that People born in Iran can record their national identity as "Persian".

My sex was not assigned at birth but recorded.

Aspley Tue 15-Oct-19 09:34:33

I refuse to answer these questions or take the piss. If that Credit Suisse person can change depending on the day of the week. So shall I. Play them at their own game, if Pips, Alex, Danielle and the rest can clearly take the piss why shouldn't we?
According to their nonsensical logic I am non-binary anyway so I am only being my true self.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Tue 15-Oct-19 09:42:42

That was a bit of an odd non sequitor, ChilledBee.

Rubidium Tue 15-Oct-19 10:05:56

I did some market research over the phone at the weekend. I gave my thoughts on things like my satisfaction with my local council, whether I gamble or place bets and how long I've been with my internet provider/ bank etc. They also asked about my age, income and employment status, and inevitably the sex/ gender question came up. "Do you identify as a man, a woman, other, or prefer not to say?" "I'm a WOMAN." At one point the poor guy doing the survey had to rattle through some verbose spiel about ones gender assigned at birth not being the same as lived gender identity and that some identify as transgender, genderqueer or non-binary. "Does this apply to you?"

The thing is, this just illustrates how the T does not belong with the LGB: I was not asked about my sexual orientation and in this context it would have been both inappropriate and irrelevant (unless you specifically wanted to find out whether lesbians change their electricity providers more frequently than bisexuals, of course). Yet it seems someone does want to know how happy genderqueer and non-binary people are with their local council's efforts at street sweeping.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Tue 15-Oct-19 10:14:38

ChilledBee does make an accurate point. Trans is already a protected characteristic, and trans women are already able to access the toileting facilities that they believe match their gender.

This isn't the point. The issue is with the direction current activism is taking, which in part has resulted in the increasing introduction of unisex toileting facilities. This is already resulting in unwanted consequences for women: 'up-skirting' (in these cases minus the skirt) with phones under cubicles and peeping-toms already having been reported, and with the risk of far more serious consequences. If trans women are also at risk from men, then it makes sense to tackle that particular problem rather than infiltrating women's spaces and putting women (and by their reasoning, this includes trans women) at greater risk of male abuse. Whose interests precisely does this serve?

But it goes further. The slow creep of trans activism will take a mile every time it's given an inch. Currently, it seems hellbent on erasing the category of 'woman' altogether, to the extent that a policy of self-identification would be disastrous for women. Aside from the serious question of the trans cause being misappropriated - some trans people believe that this crusade is actively harmful to them personally - this is an open-door policy for opportunist male abusers to access their quarry more easily. As for appropriating the few spaces set aside for victims of rape and domestic violence - victims who are overwhelmingly natal females - the sense of entitlement on this score is utterly breathtaking. I speak as a one-time victim of gang-rape, who in the aftermath of that situation would have worn the badge 'phallophobic' with pride.

TRAs claim that trans women are not a threat to women, and to say otherwise is bigotry and blames a whole group for the actions of individuals. Yet a) they're happy to throw other trans people under the bus who simply want to live quietly as their assumed gender and b) they're delighted to throw women under the bus along with them, opening the whole lot of them (and presumably also themselves) to the male abuse they claim to want to protect themselves from in the first place.

This kind of pervading ideology is misogynistic. It's homophobic. And as to its current problems with the 'cotton ceiling', it's disgustingly entitled and coercive, and seeks out women as its main target (thereby also misogynistic). How come these people are not castigating MEN for not wanting to sleep with the anatomical impossibility that is 'women who have penises?'

Oh, wait ...

BuzzShitbagBobbly Tue 15-Oct-19 10:25:27

* I can't imagine having so little to worry about that these sorts of trivial things kept me up at night.*

Fuck off with the minimising bullshit.

Aspley Tue 15-Oct-19 10:29:55

Nothing exposes what is wrong here more than the concept of the cotton ceiling (i note TRA rarely use the phrase, with good reason, it is disgusting)
It is so extremely homophobic and (along with the transing of, what appears to be primarily lesbian girls) will be what puts an end to this nonsense, just as soon as people become aware.
Everyone knows lesbians don't do penises, and everyone knows anyone trying to tell lesbians to try it is an entitled, homophobic fuxk - apart from Stonewall who evidently have done nothing but encourage it...

AndromacheHelena Wed 16-Oct-19 02:26:16

I'm totally with you there. As a gay woman and a recovering rape victim, I would be absolutely terrified if the woman I thought I was dating suddenly produced a penis. The idea that by exercising the choices that my orientation dictates I am denying trans women their rights is obscene. No one has the "right" to have sex with me. It's my choice, no discussion, no negotiation.

Soon2BeMumof3 Wed 16-Oct-19 03:13:07

🤷‍♀️ just answer the question.

RadicalStitch Wed 16-Oct-19 04:23:59

@MarieIVanArkleStinks trans is not a protected characteristic. Gender reassignment is.

OP despite my very strong opinions on this, if I was in your position, I would be tempted to a answer the question without drawing attention to yourself. Could you raise some sort of anonymous complaint? .

PaleBlueMoonlight Wed 16-Oct-19 22:25:00

I didn’t think at all that it was settled law that trans individuals could use the toilets of their assumed sex. Where does this come from? I thought there was just one first instance case where a judge decided a transwoman could use the ladies in a pub. Such a case does not set a legal precedent. Have I missed something?

VickyEadieofThigh Wed 16-Oct-19 23:21:49

I can't imagine having so little to worry about that these sorts of trivial things kept me up at night.

Try imagining how women who've been sexually assaulted and raped feel now that they might find themselves in toilets, gym changing rooms, hostels - with men. Men of all kinds - the ones who identify as women as well as ones who don't, but know that they don't even have to pretend to look like women (because - you may not know this - but any man can 'identify' as a woman and make no changes to his appearance at all).

Now then - imagine how they might just be kept awake at night worrying about it.

You give up your own rights - not every other woman's.

SittingAround1 Wed 16-Oct-19 23:33:53

I think I'd write an email to management informing them that sex is not assigned at birth but merely observed.

SittingAround1 Wed 16-Oct-19 23:34:43

(it can be a polite email)

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Thu 17-Oct-19 05:08:38

If only this baby girl could have told them she was actually assigned male at birth, she might not have been buried in a pot, to die alone in a graveyard.

Maxie1234 Thu 17-Oct-19 13:00:55

Mine had no comments box at all and no question about Sex Only asked what Gender identity I identified with and you couldn't leave the question unanswerd. Also asked what I was assigned at birth. I mentioned it to my manager and said I don't have a gender identity just a Sex that was observed and she said to use prefer not to say. So will be interesting to see if this proportion spikes. I am not discriminated against due to a gender identity but my Sex so how they intend to use this info is a mystery. Was completely different last year.

HeadLikeAFuckinOrange Thu 17-Oct-19 19:48:58

You've probably shared a bathroom/changing room with many trans people, with and without penises. And at least on most of those occasions, you were none the wiser.

That doesn't make it okay. You may as well just say "Never mind - what a woman doesn't know won't hurt her".
Apply that logic to date rape, or a husband who has sex with (rapes) his sleeping wife.
The women aren't really aware of what's happening, so it's not that bad?
Or an abused infant/toddler. They won't remember the abuse, so it's acceptable? hmm

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