Gransnet forums


AIBU to ask if you are aware of the petition on gender identity and women's rights?

(116 Posts)
NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 19:10:57

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:

Iam64 Thu 15-Mar-18 19:19:08

Thanks - good to see you over here, signed.

NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 19:26:12

Thank you, Iam. Tell your friends if you think they will also be interested to hear of it.

I am concerned that there is so little discussion around this subject that people either a) don't know about it at all or b) know but believe no one else is concerned so they'd look intolerant for speaking up and don't want to be outliers or c) are frightened off by the debate as it seems so extreme.

I am not anti-trans. I am fully supportive of people to live as they wish, and be addressed as they prefer. But I cannot agree that biological sex is unimportant as it is the basis of women's oppression and to deny biology is to go against science.

maryeliza54 Thu 15-Mar-18 19:32:26

Thanks for putting it on this forum

Jalima1108 Thu 15-Mar-18 19:39:14

Thank you NoSquirrels

I think many people are unaware of this and it needs to be brought to a wider audience.

Bathsheba Thu 15-Mar-18 19:40:09

Thanks NoSquirrels - I seem to remember some discussion on GN about this, but I didn’t know about the petition. I have signed and will put the word out about it to my friends and family. It is very worrying and I find the government’s stance on this astonishingly naive.

NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 19:51:01

Thank you all.

There is a huge generational split on this issue.

I have young DDs. I am so concerned that the emphasis on "gender" is massively counter-productive. Gender norms oppress women. But the trans movement is steeped in gender as a "feeling".

Women feel like women because of the biological realities of our sex. We bleed, we bear children, we lactate, we suffer from "women's conditions" that are mostly underfunded by medical research. We suffer hormone-related issues throughout our lives, from PMT to the menopause and beyond.

It's not a feeling "in our heads", it's borne of biology.

Jalima1108 Thu 15-Mar-18 19:52:45

I think the proposals are open to misuse.

Blinko Thu 15-Mar-18 20:01:42

Signed. Thanks, NoSquirrels. I have reservations about this proposal and believe that representations on minority interests are receiving disproportionate support by MPs, who do not seem to take account of mainstream views.

Oopsadaisy12 Thu 15-Mar-18 20:05:01


Jalima1108 Thu 15-Mar-18 20:09:13

I have signed.
I have no issue with current regulations btw

SmorfOrTerf Thu 15-Mar-18 20:15:35

I'm pleased you've posted this over here.
I am a gran, but I have never popped over here before.

This petition is for our DD's and GD's


The petition is very nearly and 5,000

I never knew you had cupcake

SmorfOrTerf Thu 15-Mar-18 20:16:27

25 signatures needed to hit 5,000

Jalima1108 Thu 15-Mar-18 20:17:48

Lots and lots of cupcake!

Actually, I wonder how many women's groups are aware of this petition? The WI and the TWG?

Jalima1108 Thu 15-Mar-18 20:19:11

Perhaps it would be a good idea to alert their National Executives or National Federation?

Lentilweaver Thu 15-Mar-18 20:27:30

yes, please everyone spread this to mainstream women's groups! But be aware to begin with many people will be where I was a few years ago, assuming that giving more rights to trans people was a natural progression of giving more rights to lesbians, gay men and bi sexual people. It's very far from that, in fact transactivism is positively homophobic- they think gay people should accept trans people as sexual partners (I know it's confusing! But they think a lesbian should be happy to have sex with a man who calls himself a woman, even if he still has a penis)
So if your first reaction is 'but surely we should be kind to these people' pop over to Mumsnet and read some of the threads there will be amazed.

NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 20:45:53

If any of you are a member and would alert the WI and the TWG it would be brilliant.

Their stance at present is that trans women are welcome members as they are women (which I actually agree with and have no issues with - I think as a social organisation they should be inclusive and represent all women) but I am not sure if they have expressed an opinion on self ID.

The WI and TWG won't face some of the issues that are so crucial in this debate e.g. single sex-segregated accommodation like Girl Guiding, which has just released guidance to leaders that male-to-female trans children/teens should be allowed to sleep in single-sex accommodation with the biological girls, and their parents have no right to know about this in order to consent ... hormonal teenagers, who may or may not have a penis, in a single-sex sleeping environment. This will lead to discrimination against e.g. Muslim girls, who will no longer be allowed to attend.

(I am a bit jealous of the roastchicken)

SmorfOrTerf Thu 15-Mar-18 21:05:37

5,000 flowers

NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 21:14:18

Thank you for signing, everyone.

I am willing this petition to come alive in the minds of the general public.

In particular what I would like to see is intergenerational take-up, someone that the generation younger than me will listen to and take notice of, and the generation older than me too (hint, Gransnet grin).

M0nica Thu 15-Mar-18 21:21:38


NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 21:39:41

Thank you, M0nica

Mentioned over on MN was that it would only take each signatory to get one more person to sign and we would quickly have a grass-roots movement impossible to ignore. If you feel you can, tell a friend - there's a petition to ask for women's voices to be heard in a debate on how a woman is defined, are they interested in signing?

Fairydoll2030 Thu 15-Mar-18 21:52:05


This is very worrying indeed and the new legislation is insane. God knows where it will lead to in future generations.

Being women is in our DNA and whilst I have tremendous sympathy for a minority of men who feel they are in the wrong body, they can look, act and feel like women but they are not. They still have male DNA. That’s irrefutable, isn’t it? They do not menstruate, give birth, breast feed or go through the menopause . With the advance of science I guess it will become commonplace. What a strange future our grandchildren face..

Bridgeit Thu 15-Mar-18 21:55:26


NoSquirrels Thu 15-Mar-18 22:03:45

whilst I have tremendous sympathy for a minority of men who feel they are in the wrong body, they can look, act and feel like women but they are not. They still have male DNA. That’s irrefutable, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, Fairy, not any more. Nothing is irrefutable.

Plaid Cymru MP Leanne Wood (one of the last political parties NOT to put women's rights below trans rights, until today - Labour has already elected a trans Women's Officer and allowed transwomen onto all-women shortlists and awards) has released a statement to say:

I want to see an inclusive feminism [...] that understands that gender is a complex and deeply personal thing, and is about so much more than outdated ideas of biology

Biology is outdated now...

BlackeyedSusan Thu 15-Mar-18 22:08:57

Erm, was it not Wales that did not do so well in the education statistics?

Just because someone says it does not make it true.