Advanced search

Interesting article in The Times law section, written by Clare Fielding, a trans woman.

(81 Posts)
happydappy2 Thu 19-Nov-20 08:06:31

Quite refreshingly they acknowledge that their experience of life is different to that of someone born a girl, and they don’t mind if they are referred to as a trans woman, or a woman. Hopefully someone can share a link to it? Clare is responding to comments under the article.

OP’s posts: |
Igneococcus Thu 19-Nov-20 08:20:06


highame Thu 19-Nov-20 08:27:53

Just written a comment. Wouldn't it be great if the early transitioners were in charge of this debate for the trans community. It would have been sorted by now

happydappy2 Thu 19-Nov-20 08:34:00

Thank you for the link Igneococcus. Yes I agree Highame, we need more sensible level headed voices to be heard, who have transitioned but accept reality.

OP’s posts: |
Lightsontbut Thu 19-Nov-20 08:41:48

At last, some sense! She is a trans woman, not a woman. I'm glad this worked for her and she sounds content in life. But trans women are transwomen not women and when we take that position people can then actually move forwards with tacking the prejudice different groups experience for different reasons.

Aesopfable Thu 19-Nov-20 09:08:21


Just written a comment. Wouldn't it be great if the early transitioners were in charge of this debate for the trans community. It would have been sorted by now

Some of them are the architects of this mess.

happydappy2 Thu 19-Nov-20 09:09:16

I think its the Drs recommending transition that are at fault!

OP’s posts: |
Aesopfable Thu 19-Nov-20 09:12:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsWooster Thu 19-Nov-20 09:19:27

I don’t think it’s useful to lump voices like Clare’s in with TRAs. Clare acknowledges the existence of an entity called transwoman and acknowledges that tw are born male, do NOT experience the same world as women. If this thinking was the dominant narrative, I believe that most of us would be perfectly ok with preferred pronouns and the vicious attacks on women’s rights would have remained in the realms of dystopian fiction.

Beamur Thu 19-Nov-20 09:21:46

A very reasonable voice. I think Claire is exactly the sort of person who many people imagine when they think of a transwoman. I'm not surprised she's been accepted and successful. Good for her.

Aesopfable Thu 19-Nov-20 09:24:27

Does Clare use the men’s toilets?

IrenetheQuaint Thu 19-Nov-20 09:27:54

She sounds really nice and level-headed and is exactly the sort of person who led many people (including me) to broadly support the original Gender Recognition Act. How things have changed!!

gardenbird48 Thu 19-Nov-20 09:29:42

there do seem to be a number of self described transsexuals that get it. There is one whose username on twitter is The Lonely Transsexual and they are rightly upset at the moment because their employer (a college) is trying to force her to sign up to a code of conduct that requires her to support Self-id.

She doesn't support Self-id (and isn't sure how she is supposed to 'celebrate' people being different - another requirement) and feels that her job is at risk if she refuses to sign up to this code of conduct.

I think Highame is right, if people like this were listened to, we wouldn't be in this mess now. Another transwoman I follow on Twitter is very clear that they neither want or need access to women's spaces. They use the men's toilets and are quite vociferous in supporting women's rights to single sex spaces.

Aesopfable Thu 19-Nov-20 09:34:59

I think Highame is right, if people like this were listened to, we wouldn't be in this mess now.

Who do you think came up with the GRA?

Winesalot Thu 19-Nov-20 09:39:38

I hope more and more voices of reason will start coming through. Like Maya in this video. However, I have lately seen some male posters on this board tell us just how little voices like this are listened to. Because they are the wrong kind of transwomen apparently.

Imagine if our regular women scolding male posters were as logical? Instead of their focus being scolding and berating women. By denigrating these other voices, they prove they are no better than those activists who abuse other transpeople who have a different opinion.

In saying that, I know we have a few transwomen posters who are more realistic about their lives and their experiences. although they rarely post, but when they do I do take the time to read them.

MrsWooster Thu 19-Nov-20 10:12:03


Does Clare use the men’s toilets?

I bet they do, because in the olden days, tw did, with tacit approval combined with lack of awareness. The scales have been forcibly removed from eyes now and hopefully voices like Clare will empathise with women and be the rational voices campaigning for unisex third spaces.

CharlieParley Thu 19-Nov-20 11:18:51

The exhortation to be kind reminds me of the myth busting event on GRA reform that I attended just before lockdown. After four male people explained to us why all of the criticism of GRA reform was unfounded, a number of men in the audience raised concerns about women's safety. After an off-duty police-officer (!) in the audience (who identified himself as such) hand waved these all away, saying no evidence of any problems, several women in the audience shared horrific experiences with male violence and explained why they needed female-only spaces to remain so. To which a venerable transsexual member of the panel, who bestowed upon us all a benign smile throughout, implored us all, in response to these stories, to be kind. And that all of our problems would be solved if only we remembered to be kind to each other.

It was jarring to be told to be kind. It is repulsive to be told to be kind when you have just explained that based on your experiences with male violence you oppose allowing more males into spaces that are needed to be female-only for all of our safety, dignity and privacy. It is offensive to be told to be kind when we were the ones receiving unkindness and no word could be spared to acknowledge our pain, let alone remedy it.

Because we didn't say all men. We didn't say all males who identify as trans. We talked of specific incidents with specific (albeit unnamed) individuals.

There is only one way that I now interpret a "be kind" request in response to women talking about male violence.

That the unkindness we are committing is raising the issue of male violence in the presence of males, especially in the presence of males who identify as trans. That the unkindness we are committing is prioritising our own need for safety over the wants of males. That the unkindness we are committing is insisting that we have rights, and that we are not willing to give them up.

And because of that, after a lifetime of being kind no matter what, even forgiving the men who attacked me, I now say

Fuck kind


Fuck everyone who tells me to be kind despite all the evidence that being kind to men in the situations we're discussing means being unkind to women and girls.

No matter how reasonable you may sound, if you tell me to be kind given what is at stake for women and girls, I consider you part of the problem.

CharlieParley Thu 19-Nov-20 11:28:01


Just written a comment. Wouldn't it be great if the early transitioners were in charge of this debate for the trans community. It would have been sorted by now

Early transitioners were the ones who pushed for the original GRA, who denied any impact on women, who influenced the EHRC in writing guidance that ignores women's rights.

Like any other group in society on any given subject, people who identify as trans are a diverse group. Who disagree with each other on GRA reform. Both early transitioners as well as late transitioners have diverging opinions on this, with outspoken critics and ardent proponents in both these groups.

Shedbuilder Thu 19-Nov-20 11:29:14

Clare has said something in the comments under the article that suggests she does use the women's loos.

The elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is passing. I'm aware of transwomen who have passed so well that they've been admitted into lesbian and women's groups without a moment's suspicion. They've only been revealed as trans once they start a sexual relationship with a woman who finds that things aren't what they seem.

My experience of the last decade is that there are far more transgender individuals who don't pass and aren't concerned about passing. There's an older man who uses the local chip shop and wears laddered black stockings and suspenders and a mini skirt and high-heeled boots. He's balding and always has several days of stubble when I've seen him, so not trying to pass.

My neighbour's teenage daughter has been heard to wonder if, should he be assaulted or attacked, he'd be blamed for dressing provocatively — as a woman who was similarly dressed would be. A woman in those clothes would be asking for it. Whereas Chip Shop Man is a bold individualist who must be permitted to wear what he likes. One rule for women, another for the men.

nauticant Thu 19-Nov-20 11:39:25

"Passing" initially looks straightforward but it's a can of worms. It's a driver for all kinds of medical interventions, many of them irreversible. It is used as a lever that because there's a genetic lottery component and it would be unfair to discriminate on such a basis, we must accept Alex Drummond types in women's single sex spaces. It is used as a cosh to force people to acknowledge "passing" when they know this isn't the case and thus works as a coercive validation tool.

ArabellaScott Thu 19-Nov-20 11:44:04

Someone might 'pass' but that doesn't make it morally (or in some cases legally) correct for them to impinge on the single sex spaces women have fought for.

In days gone by I would have said fine, Claire seems reasonable, Claire can use the toilets and I won't mind. The trouble is that Claire has been used as a battering ram to allow Karen White to access incarcerated women and all the rest of it.

Passing is irrelevant, really. We're interested in the law and policy. If someone passes and knowingly accesses a space that is legally not for them, they are breaking the law. Whether or not we can or will be able to hold them to account is another matter - as the TRA argument goes, some people are always going to break the law, doesn't mean you just scrap the law altogether.

Shedbuilder Thu 19-Nov-20 11:48:36

I'm aware that passing is a can of worms. I'm saying that it's easy for people who pass to do the 'no problem here, just be kind' number as Clare has. People will look at her, read the article and wonder what the problem is.

Goosefoot Thu 19-Nov-20 12:51:05

In general I think it's a good thing anytime it is made clear that identity groups don't all think identically.

A heck of a lot of bs is accepted because of this idea that there is one correct view about issues related to gender, sex, race, sexuality, etc, and anyone with a different view is a bigot.

Just breaking down that initial assumption about voting blocks mean that no one can claim to be representing the united view of that community.

DisappearingGirl Thu 19-Nov-20 13:51:36

I think it's great that Clare is engaging really thoughtfully in the comments to that article. I might not agree with everything she says but I really admire anyone engaging thoughtfully and respectfully in the discussion, from either "side".

Also I think it's worth bearing in mind, she is just describing her own life experience; she's not necessarily an expert in all the recent debates and politics around this topic. In fact it sounds like she doesn't engage with it that much. Therefore we shouldn't necessarily expect her to have an immediate clear answer to all the questions she's asked.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 19-Nov-20 15:44:12

It's good she's repsnding but it just shows how far many women have been pushed!

3ish years ago I would have agreed with her, thought she was particuarly insightful and would have wished her well.

Now I just thing she is yet another transwoman not acknowledging that her very presence in female spaces does cause issues, for women. And that she really hasn't understood women's problems with males in female spaces.

But I still wish her well*, wouldn't try to suggest she is invalid, doesn't exist or whatever the latest TRA stupidity is!

* Hence referring to her as her/she. I don't have to emulate the self interested blindeness/deafness to the feelings of others!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in