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An Open Letter to Canada’s Senators

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Bill C-16 Means the End of Women’s Rights
An Open Letter to Canada’s Senators

Bill C-16 has now been passed by the House of Commons and now only you, the Senate, stand in the way of this disastrous bill becoming law. On the face of it, it seems innocent enough, adding “gender identity and expression” to the Human Rights Act. But the ugly and unseen truth is that this is a shocking and sweeping piece of legislation that means the end of women’s rights.

The Department of Justice defines gender identity as “each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.” In relationship to women and their rights, what this means is that “woman” has no meaning. Somehow it has escaped the notice of intelligent and articulate elected officials that when you say a given thing means anything, it thereby means nothing. If a thing is undefinable, it cannot be recognized, let alone supported, protected, or have rights.

Others foresee the catastrophic results for women. In a recent article in National Observer, Meghan Murphy, editor of Feminist Current, said, “In our desire to be open-minded and inclusive, we have failed to consider how this move poses a risk to sex-based protections for women and girls. Women’s spaces — including homeless shelters, transition houses, washrooms, and change rooms — exist to offer women protection from men. It isn’t men who fear that women might enter their locker rooms and flash, harass, assault, abuse, photograph, or kill them. This reality is often left unaddressed in conversations around gender identity.”

What is a woman? As a conservative on the political right, I may perhaps have a different answer than a left-wing feminist. But the shocking truth is that somehow those in the muddled middle, some 248 Members of our Parliament, think that “nothing” is the answer! You can’t protect women if you can’t define women. You can’t support women if you can’t define women. You can’t advocate for women if you can’t define women. Bill C-16 not only removes women’s rights, it erases their very identity as a group, doing this at the highest possible level of law. And the great irony is this; the greatest setback to women’s rights, protections, and identity in Canadian history will take place under a man who calls himself a feminist. I am not a feminist, nor do I call “conspiracy” everything they call conspiracy. But when I see something like this taking place, I can understand the feminist anger at male-dominated power structures.

Is there a way to further protect the rights of transgendered persons without doing damage to women’s rights? I don’t know. But Bill C-16 isn’t the way to do it. Sir John A. Macdonald spoke of the Senate as the place of “sober second thought.” Senators, women and those who care about them are now counting on you for that. Reject Bill C16 as a piece of anti-woman legislation.

Paul Dirks and his wife Rachel have five children and reside in New Westminster BC where he is a Pastor and actively involved in his community.

 

Photo Attribution: By Andrijko Z. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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