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(57 Posts)
AnyOldPrion Sat 18-Jul-20 09:55:25

It appears that Scotland are likely to run with a census that centres gender ideology instead of sex, but does so in a way that remains under the radar.

The attached image contains the NRS response, on behalf of the Scottish government, to Murray, Blackburn, Mackenzie.

Twitter thread here:

This approach is devious. The main question will appear wholly straightforward and will ask for what most will assume to be sex in a simple, binary question.

Only those who consult the guidance notes will realise that the question does not refer to sex, but instead to “gender identity”.

This would appear to be yet another means of introducing gender ideology into the mainstream by stealth. In a few years (indeed it has already happened) it will be stated that the question has been asked that way for years without problem. Reversing it will be near to impossible. The reality is, of course, that any problems with this approach would take years to surface. They are almost impossible to identify, especially when the meaning of words such as “woman” have been changed to include men.

I think it may be prudent to campaign against this, and demonstrate the obvious problems with this approach by direct action. Inspired by ManFriday, and discussion in the linked twitter thread, I suggest that a movement should be created where women in Scotland should consider identifying as men on the day the census is taken.


Civil disobedience has a long history within Women’s Liberation. If anyone has any ideas or comments, please do join in with the discussion.

OP’s posts: |
jingleyjo Sat 18-Jul-20 10:05:29

Yes, I will be feeling very manly that day.

DickKerrLadies Sat 18-Jul-20 10:14:48

Why stick at just self-identified gender? If we've decided that that actually, gathering accurate data isn't all that important after all we can just write whatever we want to on the census, right?

Now, where would I like to identify as being born?

CasuallyMasculine Sat 18-Jul-20 10:24:35

For some reason I opted to complete a survey after I’d placed an online order with M&S (yes, I know, It was a while back and I don’t shop there any more).

The first question was “With which gender do you associate?” - the options were Male, Female, Other and Prefer Not to Say. There was no “None” option, and the question wasn’t optional.

So I typed a robust challenge to this question in the box at the end about the question assuming that all their customers have bought into gender ideology, and that as the question is about individual belief, it should have been optional.

Obviously, I didn’t get a reply.

GoshHashana Sat 18-Jul-20 10:29:43

From now on, if there is an option to self define, I will define as male even though I'm a woman. If they're going to fuck with things like censuses, I'm going to fuck with them right back.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 18-Jul-20 11:23:03

Yes, I'll be doing this. And identifying as a man any time I perceive a benefit to doing so, since why the hell not. And since no one can define what a man is and its all only internal feelings, what difference does it make anyway?

Why should anyone bother filling a census out accurately if they're wasting vast amounts of taxpayer money and resources collecting fictional information as a validation tool as opposed to a means of responsible national population planning? If it's all about playing lovely games then fine, let's play.

Signalbox Sat 18-Jul-20 18:24:36

I've been thinking about this lately OP.

I think that a campaign to man up for the census is a brilliant idea smile

I fill in a lot of surveys (yougov, populus, prolific, iSay) and I never tick female anymore unless they ask a straight forward question: what is your sex? with a simple M/F answer available. If they ask my gender I tick other. If they ask "how do you think of yourself" I tick other. It they give a free text box I say that my biological sex is female and that I do not identify as anything.

This is a really interesting report about the potential impact on data reliability.

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sat 18-Jul-20 18:39:21

The last census was administered by Lockheed Martin, many refused to fill it in on principle.

Bananabixfloof Sat 18-Jul-20 18:39:38

I have previously said something similar, the Id as a man on the census thing.
But there are some downsides. If the data is used as it normally is, iding as male will skew the data and mean men stuff gets more funding/help/whatever.
So can you Id as some "other" group and get them more funding/help/whatever?
Or can everyone else in your household id as the opposite sex to even things up.
Or some as yet unthought of idea.

happydappy2 Sat 18-Jul-20 19:22:22

Although I can see the attraction as ticking the M box, it's just going to skew the figures which could be detrimental to women. Perhaps tick the W box but write to MPs highlighting the problem with inaccurate data collection. Flag it up as problematic but let them gather correct information. If it appears there are more women then there might be more funding allocated to womens services, but if it appears there are more men, women may be worse off.

contactusdeletus Sat 18-Jul-20 19:27:54

This annoys me, but I'm one of those people who think the Census is important. It needs to be accurate, and I'm not sure the ManUp movement - as well-intentioned as it undoubtedly is - would reach far enough to do more than skew the data in favour of men.

Given that the Census is used to determine government funding and resources allocated to marginalized groups, and to help set policy, I want women represented fully. We need to stand up and be counted as ourselves.

I do, however, think we should call for sex to be registered, and for gender identity to be an optional extra. I'm tired of seeing the two conflated.

Michelleoftheresistance Sat 18-Jul-20 21:09:51

Unfortunately though, this is the point that needs making.

This WILL stuff up any ability to use the census information for serious purposes in population planning. It will be fictional data.

Expecting the rest of the population to be good and jump through the hoops in order to enable the bit of the population who want to give their preferred answers is unfair, discriminatory and nothing more than hopeful anyway, since no one will know or be able to calculate the margin of error in the resulting data. It will be useless.

Why will it be useless? Because the Scots government lack the backbone to have a boundary and insist that sex and gender must be recorded accurately as two separate things, and to stand behind what used to be the law that you must record the census accurately. See: otherwise what's the fucking point of bothering?

This way madness lies. It's ridiculous. The quickest way to expose the utter and irresponsible folly of spending however many taxpayer millions to gather useless, inaccurate data, with an unprecedented financial depression descending fast and God only knows what poverty and need for population planning ahead, is to make it clear how utterly useless the information is when collated like this, and what happens when you lose the respect and trust of the populace.

stumbledin Sat 18-Jul-20 21:31:01

This is what the Census for England will also do.

There was a thread about it. I took part in the trial and didn't bother (being lazy) to read the attached notes. It was only after that I thought i better check and it clearly (will) state that you can opt to answer the question based on "identity".

Apileofballyhoo Sat 18-Jul-20 23:04:13

How the fuck are governments going to plan for medical needs and pensions and prison places and maternity services and I don't know what else, if they can't even count how many men and women they have in a country? Numpties. It's the height of stupidity.

TressiliansStone Sat 18-Jul-20 23:09:49

Ooh, as someone who has enjoyed the creative answers by suffragettes on the 1911 census, I might be up for this.

As contactusdeletus says, need to think through the ramifications.

TressiliansStone Sat 18-Jul-20 23:12:24

And indeed as many PP said, not just contactusdeletus.

vesuvia Sat 18-Jul-20 23:32:22

If a census asks about gender (which nowadays is increasingly being used as a short synonym for gender identity) instead of asking about biological sex, it will be detrimental to women because it will contribute to the sidelining of women's biological needs in government policies based on flawed census data.

Asking about gender identity, disguised as the word gender, is a validation exercise for transgender people.

If a census asks a single question such as "do you identify as a woman, a man or neither?" it will fail to discover how many transgender people live in the country (because I think that transgender is not a gender identity in itself, assigned-male-at-birth-but-now-feel-like-a-woman is also not a gender identity in itself, the gender identity of such a person is woman). It seems that the only people who will be interpreted from such a question as transgender will be non-binary people, a subset of the transgender community. Perhaps it will end up as a pyrrhic victory for transgender people because it will not give useful data about transgender people. Government policies based on rubbish data usually end up being rubbish policies.

I would prefer a census to ask multiple questions about gender identity and sex because a single question such as "what is your gender?" is far too broad, vague, and biased if it is deliberately misrepresenting gender identity as gender (gender being a word which most people now understand to be a synonym of biological sex but not yet a synonym for gender identity, despite the best efforts of the transgenderism supporters to change the meaning of gender to their meaning - gender identity).

I would prefer census questions that address various groups of people separately. Each person could ignore the questions that don't apply to her or him - along the lines of:

(a) if you accept that a person is only female or male for their entire lifespan, are you female or male?
(b) if you believe that a person can change sex, which sex do you believe you were wrongly assigned at birth?
(c) if you believe that you are neither a woman nor a man, which sex do you believe you were forced to identify as before you self-identified as non-binary?

I think this multiple question approach would at least give us more useful data than a single "what is your gender?" question.

CharlieParley Sat 18-Jul-20 23:59:16

We met with the NRS and told them that making sex a matter of self-identification could have a detrimental impact on data about small population groups, such as lesbians in Scotland for instance. Complete with figures, we demonstrated to them how even a small number of men identifying into that group could skew the figures. They listened intently, apparently understood the issues and then did what they wanted anyway.

We explained how and why their Equality Impact Assessments were completely inadequate and they promised to do better.

For Women Scotland and MBM did far more than that, they met with them repeatedly, doing stellar work on researching and then explaining the issue to both politicians and the NRS.

They had no counterarguments back then, they don't have any now.

What they do have instead is an ideology that they are determined to force on the rest of us. No matter what.

We thought for sure that when the data users and statisticians explained to them that they didn't want this and that it would render the data gathered on smaller population groups unreliable and make planning to meet the needs of these groups much harder, but no. Not even knowing that they are sabotaging the sole purpose of this exercise - collecting the most accurate, most up-to-date information on the population - could sway them.

And if the government and NRS don't give a fuck about the reliability of this data, as long as they can proselytise transgender ideology, why on earth should I give a fuck?

If they make the sex question a self-id one, no one in our household will be filling this in correctly. And I will absolutely encourage every other woman to sabotage it, too.

I don't know how yet, but #ManUpForTheCensus sounds like a great start.

Women across the UK did it for the 1911 census and we are no less courageous than our foremothers.

If the Scottish Government has decided that women no longer exist in material reality as a distinct sex class but that woman is a matter of feeling and identity, then I don't see how we can be counted.

I don't have a woman feeling or a woman identity, I merely am a woman and that purely on the basis of my female sex.

The suffragette battle cry back then was If we don't count, we cannot be counted.

Just as we cannot donate to Action Aid or subscribe to the Guardian, let our census battle cry be that you cannot count what doesn't exist.

stumbledin Sun 19-Jul-20 00:02:11

Domino effects: the implications of the framing the sex question in the 2021 census

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sun 19-Jul-20 07:05:16

I wonder if non binarying would be a more visible protest?

If they're asking about felt/imagined gender rather than sex it would be far more accurate for me.

Still don't see why there can't just be several questions - biological sex and then any other ideas or feelings about identity. This would surely help provide info on things like how many people need, say, trans specific healthcare, which is surely useful?

The only reason not to offer several questions is to pretend to buy into the really frankly silly idea that humans get to choose what sex they are.

AnyOldPrion Sun 19-Jul-20 08:27:16

We met with the NRS and told them that making sex a matter of self-identification could have a detrimental impact on data about small population groups, such as lesbians in Scotland for instance.

Would the chosen answer on the “sex” question limit subsequent responses? Does anybody know please?

If not, perhaps women could be encouraged to identify as male and lesbian?

I realise that there may be a risk of skewing the funding, but if we make enough noise, then there are many more males than there should be, then it will be obvious the data is messed up, which is exactly the point of the exercise.

OP’s posts: |
Beamur Sun 19-Jul-20 09:05:02

Every day is a school day! Just read up on the suffragettes approach to the census. There's a long and vibrant history of difficult women out there.
Will this one be on paper or online?
These days if I'm asked anything other than sex I answer prefer not to say. The upside of the gender questions is the open ended nature of the definition, you always get the opportunity to refuse to answer

Chiochan Sun 19-Jul-20 10:04:38

I have no Scotish ancestry and dont live in Scotland, but I did go there on holiday once and really liked kilts as a child.
I feel it would be incredibly descriminatory not to allow anyone who 'feels' Scotish on that day not to take part in their survey.

Bananabixfloof Sun 19-Jul-20 11:20:39


I have no Scotish ancestry and dont live in Scotland, but I did go there on holiday once and really liked kilts as a child.
I feel it would be incredibly descriminatory not to allow anyone who 'feels' Scotish on that day not to take part in their survey.

I like your thinking. My DP is in fact Scottish and he and by extension I feel Scottish. We too should fill out the census. In both Scotland and England.
I reckon someone far cleverer than me should figure out the ramifications of every household Iding as all Male or all female or all non binary.
I can get my adult children to do the same in their household too and probably a few friends who aren't gc but happy to fuck the system.

Michelleoftheresistance Sun 19-Jul-20 12:14:41

If we don't count, we cannot be counted.

This. Absolutely this.

The other option to just randomly ticking boxes (since what the hell, the results won't be any bloody use anyway) is a line through the whole section and a comment alongside saying 'I have no idea what any of this means'.

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