UK: “Renders men legally indestinguishable from women”

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Posted at Transgender Trend, this Submission to Women And Equalities Committee Inquiry Into Implementation Of SDG5 highlights a number of important arguments for sex-based rights from a feminist perspective. Among some of the best points that are rarely considered in the mass-media:

Legal issues: “renders men legally indistinguishable from women and extinguishes the independent legal existence of women and girls. The protected category “sex” under the Equality Act 2010 has effectively been erased.”

Minority issues: “many women rely on women-only sports and swimming sessions where they can participate away from the “male gaze,” in particular Muslim, disabled and older women and those who have suffered sexual abuse.”

Criminality issues: “Voyeurism and indecent exposure cease to exist as criminal acts”

Here are some excerpts, but as always, please do read the whole thing. There is much worthwhile that I have not copied here:

It is well-documented that physical and sexual violence against women and girls is on the rise globally, including here in the UK; it has been referred to as “a global health crisis of epidemic proportions.” [2] Protection of women and girls must be prioritised in any Government legislation.

Legislation which prioritises gender identity over sex in classifications of persons as male or female takes away women’s hard fought sex-based rights and protections under the Equality Act 2010:

 The threat to current sex-based rights and protections which keep males and females segregated in public places where women and girls might be physically vulnerable. These include single-sex facilities and services such as toilets, changing-rooms, rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, hospital wards and prisons.

 The meaning of the word “woman” itself is changed from “adult human female” to an “identity” which any man may adopt. Redefining “sex” (a biological reality) to mean “gender identity” (a self-defined subjective feeling) renders men legally indistinguishable from women and extinguishes the independent legal existence of women and girls. The protected category “sex” under the Equality Act 2010 has effectively been erased.

 The Government’s definition of “transgender” is so wide as to be meaningless; including cross-dressers, those who define themselves as “non-binary” and “anyone else who may not conform to traditional gender roles.” [3] As well as the implicit redefinition of women as a group which does conform to gender roles, the Government posits personality characteristics as new legal definitions of men and women. It also fails to recognise autogynephilia [4] as a reason for the transition of a significant number of heterosexual males.

Concerning women’s safety, and issue that we have repeatedly emphasized with our recent voyeurism article and the publication of our violence database, they say

2. Females have a right to be safe from male violence and therefore a right to single-sex facilities and services which exclude males, no matter how they identify. Men who transition have been shown to retain male-pattern criminality, including for violent crime. [5] An increasing number of male prisoners convicted of sex crimes are seeking transition. [6] We see more stories of “transgender women” who are previous sex offenders. [7] Any man may “identify as a woman” in order to access the private spaces of women and girls. Voyeurism and indecent exposure cease to exist as criminal acts, but a girl in a public female changing room may be liable to the charge of a transphobic hate crime if she names a person exposing
his penis as male.

In schools, girls are already expected to accept teenage males into their toilets and changing rooms and must comply in re-defining a male classmate as a “girl.” [8] This contempt for girls’ boundaries is rape culture: “consent” cannot meaningfully be taught in schools if girls are not allowed to set their boundaries; if they are coerced into accepting males into their private spaces. The word for this is “grooming.”

We already hear examples in news stories [9] of men accessing women’s toilets or changing rooms; predators will go to any lengths to access women and girls’ private spaces and this legislation makes it much easier for them to do so. The Government Guidelines for service providers gives them all the protection they need, and takes all protections away from women and girls.

It is crucial to maintain established women-only social spaces if women are to participate fully in public life: for example, many women rely on women-only sports and swimming sessions where they can participate away from the “male gaze,” in particular Muslim, disabled and older women and those who have suffered sexual abuse.

Submission to Women And Equalities Committee Inquiry Into Implementation Of SDG5

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