I apologise if this is in the wrong place, or already being discussed here - I have come on over from Mumsnet as I want to make sure we're spreading the word on an important petition on consulting women on changes to the law that could impact on single-sex spaces and organisations.
From the petition wording:
The government proposes to amend the law to allow people to self-identify as men or women, and to stop allowing organisations in sensitive situations to exclude people of the opposite birth sex. We call for women to be consulted on how to protect women and girls' rights, safety, privacy and dignity.
Currently, in order to be recognised legally as the opposite gender from your birth sex (e.g. a man transitioning to live as a woman, or vice versa), trans people can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) once they have lived as that gender for 2 years or longer, and have 2 medical opinions in their favour.
The proposals that are being discussed will allow people to "self-certify", so that the only requirement to obtain a GRC will be to fill in a form.
The lobby to allow this centres on it being a demeaning process for trans people, and medicalising their condition. Allowing someone to self-certify their own gender would alleviate distress for the small percentage of the population affected, they argue.
Women's groups feel they are being silenced for even discussing the issues that this could lead to in the future, such as elimination of safe spaces for women in all their forms. There is a vocal minority of trans-activists who are insisting on #nodebate and calling anyone who discusses it transphobic and bigoted. Yet it directly affects women's rights as it removes biological sex from the equation.
The media and politicians are both shy of discussing this issue. For instance, when Jenni Murray of Woman's Hour suggested that whilst trans people should be respected in their chosen genders they ought not to call themselves "real" women/men there was a huge backlash against her:
This is a great article that explains the issues dispassionately:
If once you've had a read of the current position you felt inclined to sign the petition asking for a respectful debate on gender and women's rights, the petition link is:
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