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

(117 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:

NoSquirrels Sun 15-Apr-18 23:27:13

Hello all, I'm so glad to see this thread still here. flowers

I got a bit worried about being an invader and too single-issue so I went back to MN for a bit. And then the Feminism boards got "muted" and it all looked a bit bleak...

Happily, I feel much encouraged today by the 10,000 signatories, Justine standing up to say free speech is essential to MN, and the tone of the comments on the Times article.

I don't know if you've also seen the Girl Guiding letter in the Times today too?

I do hope this all starts to bring the idea mainstream that it is not transphobic to talk about women's and girl's rights and how they interplay with trans people's rights.

Activist pressure groups have been successfully pushing the idea into schools, businesses and organisations that to do anything apart from relax all sex-segregation laws is bigoted and 'phobic'. But the legal reality is different. We can't afford to be silent on that.

Whilst the absolute numbers of trans people are small, and the "activists" even smaller, it's the fact that their message is being heard and acted upon even before a law has been changed. And businesses are really sensitive to image, and being on the wrong side of the message. The trans activists have been telling companies, schools etc that it is vile discrimination and transphobic and bullying to continue to segregate on sex/allow people to talk about sex not gender etc. And that has been being believed rather unquestioningly - probably because it's a compelling emotional argument.

After all, who amongst us doesn't want to make transgender people's lives easier? Most compassionate people agree it is the kind thing to do.

But not when all the unintended consequences of law change have not been thoroughly considered.

That's why I believe the petition is so crucial.

steps off soapbox
More flowers for GN.

FarNorth Mon 16-Apr-18 00:49:22

From a previous post by NoSquirrels -

"If any Gransnetters are members of women’s groups - Mother’s Union, WI, Townswomen’s Guilds, book groups etc - then it would be wonderful if it became a discussion point."

absent Mon 16-Apr-18 07:25:51

I have a couple of transgender (male to female) friends who have been through the entire, lengthy and demanding process of hormones and surgery and wish them well. So far as I know, they are living happier and more satisfying lives than they were before.

I do have a question that I feel has not really been answered by men who do not want to go through the whole process when they say, "I feel that I am a woman". Clearly, in that situation, they do not feel that they are comfortable identifying as men, but do they have any idea what it is like to feel like a women? Not man does not mean you are female. Do I, a female born and now 67 years old, know how women other than me feel? Probably not in every way, although we certainly have stuff in common. I think this is a massively complex issue and I do not want any human being to live as a lesser person. At the same time, I am concerned that women – I absolutely refuse to the use the absurd term cis-women – may end up being sidelined in some parts of their lives.

NoSquirrels Mon 16-Apr-18 17:41:42

I just wantedto make you aware, this issue is being “discussed in Parliament” ... but not from the point of view of women’s rights.

Stonewall, Maria Millar MP & PinkNews (who are rather rabidly biased at the moment, imo) are hosting an “event” in May, as detailed on the thread below:

Bear in mind, when A Women’s Place held an event in Parliament (after Millwall FC pulled out if hosting it in their grounds), facilitated by David Davies MP, his office was subjected to a barrage of abuse and complaint. And he’s no stranger to controversy.

Stonewall are absolutely free to lobby on their position, of course - but better all round would be if a debate of both sides could be held.

I’ll be writing to my MP again.

SueDonim Mon 16-Apr-18 18:01:39

Hi, NoSquirrels. Is there a template letter anywhere that I could use? I fear I'm not articulate enough to write a decent letter to my MP.

minesaprosecco Mon 16-Apr-18 20:28:24

I wrote to my MP. Unlike other occasions when I've written to him, he hasn't replied. Wonder why?

BlackeyedSusan Tue 24-Apr-18 10:43:09

template letters available over there

Falmer Fri 01-Jun-18 19:41:24

I've written twice to my MP but received no reply.

Falmer Fri 01-Jun-18 19:57:27

The petition is now at 11,477. If anyone else would like to sign, the link is further upthread 15/04/18 at 23.27. smile flowers

Falmer Fri 01-Jun-18 22:05:04

I'm late to this thread, but thanks NoSquirrels

MaudLillian Thu 07-Jun-18 08:22:01

I have a transgender son who has gone through all the 'living as the preferred gender' period, been put on testosterone and had chest surgery. He, of course, still has his womb, ovaries and vagina - I have no idea at this stage if he is considering having the genital restructuring. This is my youngest child, the only one born a girl and brought up as a girl, and who began transition at the age of 19. He is now 27. He is not gay, and does not find male bodies sexually attractive, so, of course, before realising he was trans, his sexuality was a minefield for him. Having to use female toilets when he was still looking female but openly living as a male was horrible for him. He has been quite active in the trans movement until recently (he's currently living abroad on a temporary teaching assignment) and written many blogs on the topic. Here is a link to one if anyone would like to read it:

I will sign this petition, because it is worrying. If anyone can certify themselves as the opposite gender to the one their body says they are, surely this could open the way to predatory fraudsters? Admittedly, these would be sick, unhinged individuals, but I fully understand that this could open a door that is currently not available. I am glad my son had to go through a lengthy trial period in his preferred gender before being taken seriously and given his certificate. It meant that the Gender Identity Clinic knew he was serious and sincere about his transition.

Kitty74 Mon 11-Jun-18 13:35:44

Just signed

winterwhite Mon 11-Jun-18 15:07:13

Signed the first time this was posted. Understand that you want to keep it in view, but maybe you could alter your opening para a bit - at present it gives the impression that you’ve forgotten having already asked us.

PamelaJ1 Mon 11-Jun-18 16:47:06

I hope I’ve done this correctly and you can see a photo of the e-mail I have received

PamelaJ1 Mon 11-Jun-18 16:49:03

Ok so it worked, that’s a first,it’s not the whole thing but have any of you had this?

SueDonim Mon 11-Jun-18 19:38:25

I can't actually read that, Pamela, but if it's a response from the govt, then yes, I have also received it.

Winterwhite, there is no edit facility on Gransnet so the opening para cannot be changed, unfortunately.