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New to GC and disabled, have a question

(18 Posts)
ExploringReality Wed 10-Jun-20 20:56:19

I’m lifelong disabled, in my 30s. I grew up in an era when men weren’t allowed to do personal care for women. Even now I know that legally I can request only female carers. That’s covered by the Equality Act.

But everything I’m reading about trans rights seems to suggest that whilst I still have that right, a trans woman would be allowed to come into my home and do intimate tasks (tasks which the govt say you’re automatically considered vulnerable if you need it, regardless of circumstances). And I’d be discriminating if I tried to enforce the EA legislation?

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Wed 10-Jun-20 21:06:00

You need to check with the provider of your care if they understand exemptions under the Equality Act or if they take the stance that transwomen are women, in which case, if you request a woman they would include a man in that list.

I don't want you to panic, I imagine on the whole most people know the difference and the reason why you're asking but I have heard anecdotal evidence of this being an issue with an elderly mother receiving care in her own home.

Someone will be along soon with more.

Are you receiving care that you're happy with at the moment?

ExploringReality Wed 10-Jun-20 21:43:26

I am receiving care I’m happy with. I just had a new agency start and before I had a chance to request women the coordinator said “all the carers are women”.

But at the same time just before lockdown I met a transwoman who was very much of the “I’m going to do X and you’re at fault if you don’t like it.” - we were in a hobby group in a coffee shop and she went into graphic detail about her sex life which some of us objected to as there were kids around. We were in the wrong.

And it (along with the JKR crap on twitter) made me wonder, and think I should do some preemptive research on the care issue.

OP’s posts: |
DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong Wed 10-Jun-20 22:05:37

If any disabled woman is put in the position where she cannot refuse intimate care from a male I will personally be willing to run and promote her legal fees crowd funder because that shit needs to go to court.

Theoretically, in law, refusal is permitted.

However, as has been widely discussed many private companies and public service providers act as if it isn’t permitted and many women feel too vulnerable to make a fuss.

Aesopfable Wed 10-Jun-20 22:17:53

If you are in Scotland you would need to be careful as the Scottish Government is planning on passing a Hate Crimes Law which has the potential to land you in court if you object to someone on the basis of their sex if they are transgender.

Blackdoggotmytonguestill Wed 10-Jun-20 22:30:41

There was a report last year that a woman attending a smear test had requested a female HCP and the attending nurse was trans. I would ask your provider for clarification. The sad thing is that technically anyone with a GRC would be considered a woman legally. And if self-ID is legislated (as opposed to just implemented, which it already has been by many organizations) then there are no barriers to anyone being considered female. (This is how convicted rapists have ended up in women’s prisons, with access to incarcerated women.) I fully support your rights to have a same sex carer. In your position I would be reaching out to any national bodies that support and lobby for disability rights, and get them to intervene in the legislative process on your behalf.

ScrimpshawTheSecond Wed 10-Jun-20 22:45:03

I had the understanding that anyone had the right to refuse treatment from a HCP without giving any reason - would this also apply to carers?

I found this on the RCN site:

'Patients may refuse treatment. A patient has the right to personal consideration and respect, however a patient cannot select who provides care for them on the grounds of prejudice.

If the patient insists on refusing your care, where possible talk to the patient about their concerns and discuss the situation with your manager.

A patient may request a nurse or midwife of the same or different gender to carry out certain procedures. There is no legal right to this, however best practice would be to make reasonable efforts to support the patient's request. Special consideration should also be given to young people and those with mental capacity concerns.'

I'm a bit shock at this, I thought one could ask for a female HCP and that was a legal right!

'you can ask to see a male or female gp'

Sorry, OP, that doesnt' direclty answer your question. Hopefully someone else will be able to. Unless your care is provided by NHS nurses, I guess.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 10-Jun-20 22:50:36

Please contact your MP and ask them this. You are quite right, that it is something to be concerned about, unbelievable, but here we are.

ExploringReality Wed 10-Jun-20 22:53:28

I’m not in Scotland.

I’ve definitely been the one whose too worried to speak up about care problems. Being frequently shut down by providers did that. But now I usually speak up. Not always, that fear is still there.

Normally when you have care (and you have a good provider) you can just say “I’d rather not have X come” and they will ask why but that should be it. But

OP’s posts: |
Gncq Wed 10-Jun-20 22:53:42

Basically yes, you do have the right to refuse any male no matter how they identify, eg if they identify as a woman, but the equality act is constantly misunderstood/ misrepresented/ misinterpreted by service providers, who will say you can't.

This thread is useful

ExploringReality Wed 10-Jun-20 22:55:40

Pressed send too soon.

But I worry that refusing whatever the reason would be seen as transphobic.

OP’s posts: |
Gncq Wed 10-Jun-20 22:57:29

Everything is transphobic.

Twizbe Wed 10-Jun-20 23:00:17

I had an internal ultrasound performed by a man. Never again am I having anyone without a vagina perform an internal examination again. He was getting frustrated that the baby was in a bad position and was prodding around in there and it was getting painful. I think I did tell him to stop at one point but the memory is hazy.

I don't care how they identify, but they have to own or have owned a vagina.

OhHolyJesus Wed 10-Jun-20 23:02:18

Yep everything is transphobic.

I'm so sorry you're coming to this in the position you're in, reliant on outside care and needing to trust someone in your home to deliver that care.

I hope you never have to be put in this position but please, please don't ever feel you can't say no, I want a woman. Not a transwoman. A woman.

It's always ok to say that.

Aesopfable Wed 10-Jun-20 23:03:51


Pressed send too soon.

But I worry that refusing whatever the reason would be seen as transphobic.

Given even recognising sex is considered transphobic you are are on a hiding to nothing trying to avoid that.

Thelnebriati Wed 10-Jun-20 23:12:58

A trans person without a GRC is treated as a man.
A trans person with a GRC is usually treated as a woman, but not always, there are permitted exceptions, for example sports, or a breastfeeding room.

A GRC can be obtained with no expectation of surgery so its ridiculous to say it allows someone who was a man to access a women only space or service. It can't possibly be legally defensible.
Single sex exceptions were originally allowed to permit women to participate in society; if they are removed, we are discriminated against.

''if the services are of a type that you would object to someone of the opposite sex being there - for example, separate changing rooms or a service involving personal hygiene, then you can expect them to be single sex.''

The law is a mess of contradictions, and its going to take some legal action to sort it out, as politicians lack the will to protect women.

BadgertheBodger Wed 10-Jun-20 23:18:16

If it helps at all there are hundreds of women on here who would back you fully with any challenge you wanted to make, whether that’s emails you your provider, help with constructing an email to your GP or funding legal fees. I promise we have your back on this, nobody should be in a position where they are forced to accept care from the opposite sex against their wishes.

DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong Thu 11-Jun-20 11:15:39

Yep. You have many, many women willing to fight your corner.

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