A quick perusal of the articles here at WOMAN Means Something should evidence that we believe there are larger things at play than washrooms and change rooms in Bill C-16; the very group identity of women is under attack. However, we do believe that the protections of females is a very important part of the larger discussion.
In considering the possible danger, or not, of opening up women’s safe spaces to “women” who are biologic males, the question arises as to what kind of evidence will be admitted. I have put together a list of twenty incidents that I think are relevant to the discussion and should cause supporters of Bill C-16 to think twice about the dangers the bill poses to female women. However, I do understand that the relevance of various incidents are somewhat subjective. One person may find some incidents on the list do not quite meet their standard for relevance. Another may claim that there are dozens more incidents that would be relevant and that would swell the list.
So there are a number of questions that arise around evidence and relevance. What is the threshold for relevance? And once we determine that, what is the numerical threshold for safe-space incidents that would cause us to re-consider a Bill like C-16? In this article I explore different levels of relevance. I hope this is helpful, regardless of your personal threshold for relevance. As can be expected, the higher up the list of relevance one goes, the more specific and less numerous the examples are. Examples under “1” and “2” are exceptionally numerous. At the end I will offer a conclusion why I have chosen to draw exclusively from categories 4 and 5 exclusively in my list of twenty incidents, and yet why I believe relevance categories 1-3 still have a place in the discussion.
1: Male Violence and Criminality, especially Sexual
No direct relevance. Indirect relevance for gender-mixed spaces.
Males/Men have historically had elevated levels of criminality and violence, especially of a sexual nature. The report Gender Differences in Police-reported Violent Crime in Canada, 2008 (Published 2010) says, “Men were considered the accused in 81% of cases of violent victimization against women, and in 79% of cases of violent victimization against males…These findings are supported by results from other studies in the United States, where the majority of perpetrators that came to the attention of the criminal justice system were men (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006; Heimer and Lauritsen, 2008; U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).” The same study goes on to say that the police-reported sexual assaults against females “was more than 10 times the rate for males.” While there is, perhaps, no direct relevance to the safe-space/gender debate, there is some indirect relevance. To open up a washroom or a change room to both genders is to open up the potentiality for violence and sexual violence (and I am including voyeurism and exposure), perhaps exponentially so, because of the increased presence of men in women’s spaces. In regard to transgendered women, the relevance of male-pattern violence (a virtually indisputable fact) is completely dependent on whether one views transgendered women as having any connection to this male pattern of violence or not (see “2a”).
2a: Male-Pattern Violence and Criminality, especially Sexual, by Male (Transgendered) Women
No direct relevance. Some indirect relevance.
Examples of violence against females by male (transgendered) women in general is of very questionable relevance for many. Some would say that using these kinds of example are inflammatory. However, these anecdotal incidents do connect to some measure of proof in the medical literature. Dhejne (2011), in one of the largest and best studies ever done on post-operative transsexuals, says, “regarding any crime, male-to-females had a significantly increased risk for crime compared to female controls (aHR 6.6; 95% CI 4.1–10.8) but not compared to males (aHR 0.8; 95% CI 0.5–1.2). This indicates that they retained a male pattern regarding criminality.” This is significant because, arguably, the “women” of this study, being fully transitioned, are the least likely of the much broader transgendered woman population to retain male patterns. And yet, according to this study, they do.
The incidents in this category, then, give experiential support to a claim like that of Dhejne et al. At most this proves that male (transgendered) women as a group are as violent as other men, not that male (transgendered) women are violent per se. [And as mentioned in another article, our view is not that Dhejne’s findings are conclusive, but that they are significant, and must be taken into account.]
Example 1: Dana Rivers, (previously known as David Warfield),is charged with triple-murder, including a lesbian couple and their son (Oakland, 2016).
Example 2: Dana McCallum (previously Dana Contreras), notable trans activist, pleads guilty to “domestic violence with corporal injury to spouse” and “false imprisonment” (San Francisco, 2014).
Example 3: Sean Gossman, claiming to be transgendered, guilty of child pornography (Michigan, 2014).
2b: Male-Pattern Violence and Criminality, especially Sexual by, Cross-Dressing Men
No direct relevance. Some indirect relevance.
Another group of incidents that would parallel “2a” would be violent and/or sexual incidents by cross-dressing men in general. When considering women’s safe spaces, one must remember that under Bill C-16 the only criteria for being a woman or accessing women’s rights or spaces is a “sense” or “presentation”. As will be clear in the examples under “3”, there is no consistent or clear way to keep cross-dressing men out of these spaces.
Example 1: Cross-dresser gropes 14-year old girl at library (Ohio, 2016).
Example 2: Cross-dresser exposes himself to children. (Ventura, 2012).
Example 3: Philip John Ortega exposes himself (Oklahoma, 2009).
2c: Male-Pattern Sexuality among Male (Transgendered) Women
No direct relevance. Some indirect relevance.
Another parallel to “2a” are incidents that confirm a male sexual pattern within male (transgendered) women. These incidents may or may not be linked to criminality or violence. A recent, and very large, Canadian study on sex behaviours within the Trans community finds male-pattern sexuality within transgendered women; “The largest behavioural contributors to HIV risk were sexual behaviours some may assume trans people do not engage in: unprotected receptive genital sex for FTMs and insertive genital sex for MTFs.” The following incidents add evidence to this claim. I think it is highly reasonable that many female women would be uncomfortable with persons in their safe spaces that have male genitalia and sexual interest in women, regardless of their gender identity. When coupled with the datum that 1 out of every 2 women experience an unwanted sexual act in their lives, these incidents perhaps increase in relevance even further.
Example 1: Aliea Rose Brown (previously known as Albert Allen Brown), a registered sex-offender, is charged with raping a girl (Montana, 2016).
Example 2: Paris Green (previously known as Peter Laing), incarcerated ” for a savage torture-killing has been moved to a different prison after claims he was having sex with female inmates” (UK, 2013).
Example 3: Transvestite Qasim Anwar (or Layla) convicted of raping drunk woman in his/her taxi (UK, 2010).
3: Sexual Exposure by Males in Safe Spaces where Gender is Unclear
Some direct relevance.
These incidents demonstrate some of the confusion and potential danger due to the lack of clear and consistent criteria for entrance into women’s safe spaces. The first example below could easily be placed under “5”, but I have included it here to give a range of incidents which fall under this category. The question that arises with these kind of incidents is: “when should a woman call security about a “man” in her safe space?” I think we would all agree that we don’t want our daughters, wives, or sisters exposed to a situation like in the first example below.
Example 1: Male (Transgender) woman with erection ogles senior woman in woman’s change room (Toronto, 2014).
Example 2: Justine/Justin Kramer questioned in woman’s locker room and sauna because she doesn’t look female (Milwaukee, 2016).
Example 3: “Male” who didn’t identify as transgendered uses women’s lock room at pool with youth swim team. He is not arrested, confusion abounds (Seattle, 2016).
4a: Incidents of Male-Pattern Violence and Criminality, especially Sexual, within Women’s safe spaces, by Men dressed as women
Considerable direct relevance.
There is no criteria to distinguish transgendered women from men dressed as women except that of self-identification, as is demonstrated above.There is nothing keeping a violent man or a sex offender from putting on a wig and entering a woman’s safe space, or making no change to their appearance at all. The distinction between a male criminal deviant and a transgendered woman is almost certainly and significantly true, but it is practically irrelevant because there is no way for a woman or a child to tell the difference when self-identification is the only accepted distinction. Incidents in this category, then, are of considerable relevance.
Example 1: Xingchen Liu, dressed as a woman, charged for voyeurism in woman’s change room (Leduc, AB 2015).
Example 2: Richard Rodriguez, dressed as a woman, arrested for filming a woman in adjacent stall in woman’s washroom (Virginia, 2015).
Example 3: Darren Cottrelle arrested for dressing as woman and using mirror to peep under adjacent stall in woman’s washroom (Toronto, 2013).
4b: Incidents of Male-Pattern Violence and Criminality, especially Sexual, within genderless or gender-neutral spaces, by Men
Considerable Direct Relevance.
This category is different than 4a, in that the perpetration is not by a male women, or a man dressed as a woman. Yet the recent creation of genderless or gender-neutral spaces have given opportunity for men to perpetrate violence against women.
Example 1: Luke Mallaband charged with six voyeurism offenses over many years, including in gender-neutral washrooms (UK, 2016).
Example 2: Two women filmed while showering in gender-neutral university washroom (Toronto, 2015).
Example 3: Jason Do arrested for videotaping women showering in gender-neutral washroom (California, 2014).
5: Incidents of Violence and Criminality by (biologically) male women against females in Women’s safe spaces
Highest and Most Direct Relevance.
Example 1: Shauna Smith (legally Sean Smith) charged for taking pictures of a woman in a gender-neutral change room (Idaho, 2016).
Example 2: Jessica or Christopher Hambrook, dangerous sex offender, jailed for incidents against women at women’s shelters (Toronto, 2014).
Example 3: Kelly Dawn Hullenaugh (or Robert Domasky) enters girls locker room and is charged for theft, stalking and other crimes (Pennsylvania, 2004).
In my list of twenty incidents, I have drawn exclusively from accounts that fit the top three relevance categories above; incidents by men in gender-neutral spaces, and incidents by cross-dressing men or transgendered women in women’s safe spaces. However, there is a measure of relevance to the other categories as well. The logic goes like this;
-males are more violent in general, and violent towards women in particular, than females.
-opening up female spaces where they are exposed or vulnerable to men will lead to more violence against females due simply to increased prevalence of a more violent (and sexually aggressive) group (males).
-there is some high-quality data that even fully transitioned transgendered women retain male patterns of criminality and violence.
-there are no objective markers to know when a woman or child is facing a potentially dangerous situation due to the deliberate ambiguity around gender in a bill like C-16.
If you still don’t find the argument persuasive, here is the question for you; why do we have gendered washrooms, or change rooms, or camp cabins, or shelters, at all?
*Photo Attribution: blogtrepreneur.com/li