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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Want to know why women are livid? (trans thread)

204 replies

Datun · 22/02/2018 17:01

Want to know why so many posts start with 'Trans people should have full rights...but'...?

Because the equality act is being manipulated to elevate the rights of one protected characteristic over another.

Being mis-used. Being breached, in fact. It smells wrong, it feels wrong, it is wrong.

Because the equality act is designed to be fair. All protected groups have equal value.
It's got the word in the damn title.


But the one thing this doesn't feel like, is equal.

Equality decisions must fairly balance the needs of everyone affected. This does not mean treating everyone the same. Because sometimes treating people differently is the least discriminatory outcome overall.

So when a business wants to implement a new policy they must take into account how it will impact on all the protected characteristics and then work out the fairest and least discriminatory way to do it. Life doesn't happen in a vacuum. A rule for one will impact others too and the Equality Act has been designed to reflect this reality. It is perfectly legal to discriminate against someone if overall it's the fairest thing to do for all concerned. The key phrase here is 'a proportionate means to a legitimate aim'.

And in no-one's book does fairness mean boys' sleeping in girls' accommodation, beating them at sport, making girls uncomfortable or working in a rape refuge.

It is not transphobic to raise this at work, in school, in leisure activities.

The gaslighting has to stop.

What we have been witnessing is no longer about fairness and inclusivity, it's about a cohort of men actively campaigning to hoodwink or coerce the public into validating NOT their identity, but their authority.

Can a refuge for women employ only women staff? Yes, of course they can. We all accept this because despite it being unfair to men it is overall the fairest thing to do for everyone involved. And for exactly the same reasons, it is lawful to exclude people who have reassigned their sex/gender, from that job role. In this instance, the internal gender feelings of the employee is not as important as the impact of their perceived maleness. The needs and impact on vulnerable women seeking refuge are greater than the needs and impact on a transgender person seeking employment. In this instance the balance falls squarely favour of women.

A transactivist will want everyone to draw everyone's attention solely to the impact and unfairness of that situation on the transgender people and claim DISCRIMINATION!. But that's just not how it works. It's written down in law – Occupational Requirements Schedule 9 Part 1.

There a lots of these legal exemptions written into Equality Law. They have been put there to be used and to protect women. We have to start insisting that they get applied. All of us. Now.

Here are some more examples that this time apply to services (Schedule 3, Part 7 Sections 26-28).

Can a woman ask for a female-born HCP? Yes, she can. It's not transphobic to say no to a transwoman in that context. She's not saying no because they are transgender – it's because they were born male and as someone born female she prefers the same.

It's written in law (Schedule 3, Part 7, Sections 26-28) and examples are set out in the Equality Act: “If a service is used by one or more people or involves physical contact between a user and someone else and that other person may reasonably object if the user is of the opposite sex”.

What about changing rooms? If a TIM wants to use a female changing room with individual lockable cubicles and no-one minds, then fine. The overall balance is fair. But if people do object, and for reasons of privacy, dignity and safety when they in a state of undress, and they don't feel able to use the changing rooms with just a flimsy curtain that doesn't close properly, then the balance of fairness changes.

The equality act does not say oh well, too bad. The retailer must take into account the impact on other people too (women). If there are reasonable options available to the retailer that makes it fairer for all then they must consider them.

Insisting all transgender people must use the facility of their natal sex would be unfair to them, but this doesn't mean the only fair option is to allow them into the facility for the opposite sex or to make the whole thing uni-sex and to hell with how the women feel. It could be enough to provide them with an alternative, just for them. This is a fair balance that considers everyone.

But a retailer doesn't know the impact on us unless tell we tell them. Women are socialised to not object. Which is part of the problem. Let's stop doing that. Let's hold our retailers to account to uphold the equality act by telling them we object, and why. They must take that into account.

Don't wait for it to actually happen. Get them to formalise their policies and insist they take women seriously from the start.

What about fairness in sport?

The equality act is quite clear. It's written into Equality law Schedule 16 Part 1. It's is entirely lawful to restrict participation of transgender people if this is necessary to uphold fair or safe competition.

“A gender-affected activity is a sport, game or other activity of a competitive nature in circumstances in which the physical strength, stamina or physique of average persons of one sex would put them at a disadvantage compared to average persons of the other sex as competitors in events involving the activity.

The IOC have issued guidelines that rely on testosterone being the determining factor and deciding that reducing it will eliminate the advantage TIMs have. But when men are routinely beating women, it's quite clear that this is not an adequate determinate.

Sporting bodies, Swim UK, etc, should be able to provide evidence of a level playing field. Otherwise it is neither fair or safe for women and this is in breach of equality law.

What about communal accommodation - Girl Guides, school trips, dorms?

Again there is a exemption in the equality Act to deal with this (Schedule 23). It explicitly states that transgender people can be excluded from communal accommodation for use by one sex if that is that's the fairness thing to do overall. In other words, the least discriminatory option. The needs of all pupils must be considered. The protection of the dignity and privacy of girls, is a legitimate aim. Furthermore, requiring pupils to share accommodation with the opposite sex raises specific issues around menstruation, risk of pregnancy, etc. Any institution which fails to acknowledge and accommodate these issues when formulating policy will risk breaching the EA.

The EA does need tightening up. Not ripping up. TIMs are already assuming they have a whole bowl of fruit and making everyone else assume it, when, in actual fact, they only have a couple of plums.

It's now no surprise that the favoured narrative is that trans people are oppressed, abused, murdered, at risk. Because it is that description that has somehow elevated the protected characteristic of 'gender reassignment' above 'sex' in people's mind. It's completely wrong.

They have equal value As does sexual orientation. Claiming lesbians are transphobic for not sleeping with natal males, is NOT upholding the equality law. And I realise it's only individuals who are mainly saying this, but Stonewall have refused to clarify that homosexuality means same sex attraction.

We have to change the narrative here.

We can change it. We have the right to change it.

We just need to do it.

OP posts:

Feelingoktoday · 16/02/2022 11:36

This is an advert for a qualified accountant. Traditionally a very male environment but in the public sector is slowly changing. Look at the advert, ultimately it is discriminating against women. The protected characteristics of the equality act are messed up. It’s a disgrace

“At Westminster City Council, we are passionate about our aim to be an inclusive workplace for all that reflects the communities we serve, and we believe everyone is valued. We particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented backgrounds, including B.A.M.E (Black, Asian and Multiple Ethnic background), LGBTQ+ and those with hidden or visible disabilities. We’re committed to ensuring all our staff – regardless of gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or disability – can succeed. We value diversity and appreciate that people work in different ways. So, as a Timewise employer we work to provide flexible working arrangements and an empowering environment that enables you to be your best, that is the Westminster Way.”


Goatsaregreat · 16/02/2022 11:37


Am I missing why this (excellent) thread with posts from some much missed former posters has been bumped?

Maybe because of the influx of new posters repeatedly misrepresenting the law (and facts and science and ethics) and determined to lecture and scold women for refusing to erode our boundaries or the safeguarding of children??

YouCantTourniquetTheTaint · 16/02/2022 11:38

Ooh, what's happening now?

I didn't see this post first time round, buts it's a brilliant summation of the issues at play.


Jaxhog · 16/02/2022 11:38

The Equality Act's single-sex exemptions are the best-kept secret that trans activists don't want women to know about.

And what appalls me about this, is when sex gets replaced by gender, as I've seen so often in 'official' guides. I have no problem with people wanting to be known as the other gender, but sex is immutable and not the same thing at all.


TyrannosaurusRegina · 16/02/2022 11:39

I'm almost 4 years too late - but bravo @Datun


OutsideVoice · 16/02/2022 11:41

Looks like this thread has been periodically bumped over the last few years.

I managed to miss it until now, so I’m pleased it’s back in active convos.

Thanks @Datun, excellent thread!


Mummyoflittledragon · 16/02/2022 11:56

This is a brilliant thread. Thank you to Datun and for bumping.

Have you complained about the ad?


TonyThreePies · 16/02/2022 11:57

Perfectly said Datun. How frustrating that 4 years on this still seems to be the narrative.


macj1 · 16/02/2022 12:07

Million thanks, Datun. One protest at a time, one letter at a time, we can let each organisation that has fallen to this ideology to see sense. Thanks for this information - have stopped using M&S very regretfully - now I can include a quote from your upload + Fair Play for Women when I return my cancelled credit card & explain to them why their 'inclusive' changing room policy means I can't buy their bras - or anything from them - any more.


SafferUpNorth · 16/02/2022 12:22

Gosh.... is this post 4 years old?? It's more relevant now than ever!


User1isnotavailable · 16/02/2022 12:24



User1isnotavailable · 16/02/2022 12:26

It needs bumping for the ones who don't get it to have a read and try.


SamphiretheStickerist · 16/02/2022 12:50

Wonderful to see LangCleg's name again.

Depressing that it is all still just as true, as necessary to say, now as it was FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO!


DomesticatedZombie · 16/02/2022 13:01


Wonderful to see LangCleg's name again.

Depressing that it is all still just as true, as necessary to say, now as it was FOUR FUCKING YEARS AGO!

Yes, to all of that. Although I am nursing a glimmer of hope that the EHRC are starting to wake up to the truth of the need to protect ALL of the characteristics listed in the EA.

Great post, Datun, if I didn't say so at the time!

Feelingoktoday · 16/02/2022 13:04


This is a brilliant thread. Thank you to Datun and for bumping.

Have you complained about the ad?

Not yet. I have to be careful as I’m in that field. I would have applied but I can’t face working in that discriminatory environment so that’s one less woman they need to worry about. I will complain though.

unwashedanddazed · 16/02/2022 13:06

I bloody love Datun Blush always able to cut through the bullshit, straight to the heart of the matter. Brilliant opening post. So frustrating that four years on it's as relevant as ever.

And how lovely to see Langcleg's name again.


CanYouHearMeGroundControl · 16/02/2022 13:18

Oh my God YES. Mainstream media makes me feel I am alone in this. Thank you for articulating so clearly. Why does nobody see the inherent maleness in the aggressive way the trans activists are putting forth their dangerous (to vulnerable children and same sex attracted women) propaganda?


Datun · 16/02/2022 13:52


I'd like to comment on the law and guidance:

The Equality Act is the legal document that sets out the principle of the law. It is up to the courts to rule on whether someone is in breach or not.

Guidance comes in many forms. It has been written to help people interpret the law but it is not legally binding and does not limit what a court can rule. Some guidance however carries more weight than others and this is crucial to understand.

1) When the Act was approved by parliament so was a set of explanatory notes. These notes are highly influential and the first port of call for reference.

2) There is also guidance produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This is a non-departmental public body and works independently to government. One of it's roles is to advise on and to enforce the Equality Act. It is not a court - but it can take institution to court to address a significant breach. It has produced:
a) Statutory Code. This is parliamentary approved guidance and a court will look to see if this has been followed. There would have to be a very good reason why not.
b) Technical guidance. This is not parliamentary approved but should still be considered important because it has been written by the EHRC.

I have written a summary document setting out Equality Law and all the relevant explanatory notes and EHRC guidance in one place.

3) Then there is guidance produced by the Government Equalities Office. This is a government department. It is not independent. You'll notice that it's transgender guidance is written with (by!) transgender lobby groups like Gendered Intelligence. You'll also notice is it heavily focused on transgender people. It is biased. Courts will look to see if organisations have followed this so it will have influence. Haru has kindly quoted some of this guidance up thread.

So yes we have a mountain to climb. The translobby have been influencing policy makers for years. They have been involved in dictating the guidance that's out there. It's unfair and unbalanced.

We either roll over and let them take womanhood or we start to speak up. It's all we can do and mumsnet is uniquely placed to do this. I can help with advice but I'm a lone voice on my own. I can meet with the government to raise concerns (which I've done) but I can be dismissed as fringe and unrepresentative. The only way things have any hope of changing is when the numbers of women speaking up significantly increases.

Equality Law is based on fairness for all - its about being proportionate and reasonable. All this is subjective and based on public opinion. Society dictates what what's reasonable. The pendulum has swung too far and we need to pull it back so women and biological sex is given the weight it (we) deserve.

Well, isn't it interesting that what we knew then, we still know now. Nothing has changed, except the desire to remove women's rights has heated up to boiling point.

I distinctly remember a poster predicting that this is exactly what would happen once women began to push back. That it was going to turn much uglier. And it has.

What's really rather reassuring tho, is that the laws which were designed to protect women in the first place, are still there. Only this time, the EHRC are making sure they are being addressed.

As Nic Williams of Fair Play for Women points this out in this post I'm quoting. It's their job to make sure each protected characteristic carries equal weight.

And, judging by the recent statements they've been making, they're gonna.

So, although not legally binding, it's my understanding that if you are sued and you have totally ignored the EHRC's advice, you're very likely fucked. (Obviously a well-known legal phrase).

It's got to be a bit cringe for them, that situations which are currently happening were actually bloody used as examples of when you can exclude men from women spaces.

Sports and rape refuges were used to illustrate that discrimination on the basis of both sex and gender reassignment should absolutely be invoked in these cases, to preserve women's rights. It's not a favour. It's not a courtesy. It's designed to protect women.

That's the job of the exceptions. And the job of the EHRC is to make damn certain that every one bloody knows about it.


And none of this would have happened without all the amazing women, each and every one of them, saying no.


God bless Mumsnetters for making that a complete sentence.
OP posts:

georgarina · 16/02/2022 14:21

Brilliantly written.

The biggest issue is, I think, that these logical views have been characterised as 'fringe', 'extreme' or 'radical' when in fact most people (when they're honest) agree, and it's actually extreme to believe the opposite.


Redlake · 16/02/2022 14:46

[quote DoctorW]Excellent post - this is spot on Datun.

The Equality Act's single-sex exemptions are the best kept secret that transactivists don't want women to know about. We've been conned that transgender people have to be centred else its discrimination.

Equality Law recognises the reality that in some instances biological sex will matter. This means people can be excluded not only on the grounds of sex (male) but also on the grounds of gender reassignment. So even if a trans person has a GRC and has legally changed their birth certificate to female they can still be excluded from a woman-only space based on the grounds of gender reassignment if this is deemed to be a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim.

The problem is that most organisations are shamefully ignorant of this law. We need to start educating them.

I have a factsheet here summarising the single-sex exemptions. Print it off - hand it out to retailers - lets start challenging the status quo. Demand that women are considered in their policies.[/quote]
What about this guidance then? Also from FairPlay for Women. Policing of womens spaces stops at seeing a birth certificate:

^In a tiny number of cases (less than 5000 in the UK) a transgender person may have changed the sex classification on their birth certificate. Whilst it is lawful to exclude this person from a female-only changing room on the grounds of gender reassignment (part 7 Section 28) it is virtually impossible to implement this legal exception in practice. This is because the birth certificate of someone who has legally reassigned their sex to female is indistinguishable from the birth certificate of someone who was born female. There is nothing additional that staff can ask to see that would confirm someone was actually born the sex written on their birth certificate and thus confirm their eligibility to enter a female-only changing room.

Make sure staff know to only ask to see a birth certificate to confirm someones legal sex and never to ask to see a Gender Recognition Certificate. When someone has acquired a GRC the fact that they have legally reassigned their sex is considered ‘protected information’. This means that while it is perfectly lawful for staff to ask to see a GRC, as soon as this information is revealed to staff it then becomes a offence for that staff member to disclose this to any other person. It is best to avoid this particular litigation risk by simply never asking to see the GRC.^


Datun · 16/02/2022 15:05

Well yes, you've got two pieces of legislation where one makes it impossible to implement the other.

Exceptions are built-in to the GRA, but they can't be realised because of the GRA.

You can exclude someone with a gender recognition certificate, but you're not allowed to ask if they have one!

This is what happens when all these changes are conducted in stealth. Scrutiny doesn't happen. Particularly scrutiny from those it's going to affect the most - women.

OP posts:

Masdintle · 16/02/2022 15:21

Still loving the plums Grin


Ereshkigalangcleg · 16/02/2022 18:48

We all know these loopholes need to be addressed, Redlake, it isn't news to most of the women on this thread.


Bellablahhole · 16/02/2022 18:48


Bumping for reasons!

Thanks for bumping this Linguini, and all who bumped it previously. I've bookmarked it for reference.

Big thanks to Datun for posting this in the first place. Four years later and it is still as relevant.

Sausageandeggs · 16/02/2022 21:48

This is just as relevant when it was first posted, and I remember thinking then how dreadful the situation was. It’s only got worse. We really do need to be invoking this.

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