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AIBU to ask if you think it's not worth signing this petition

(27 Posts)
FarNorth Sun 17-Jun-18 17:46:51

If you do think it's not worth signing this, I'd be really interested in your reasons.

Text of petition :

Consult with women on proposals to enshrine 'gender identity' in law
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.

We call for:
-Respectful and evidence-based discussion about the impact of proposed changes and for women's voices to be heard.

-The government to consult with women’s organisations on how self-declaration would impact on women-only services and spaces, data-gathering, and monitoring of sex-based discrimination.

- The principle of single-sex spaces to be upheld – and where necessary extended.

- The Sex and Gender Ethics Society
- A Woman's Place UK
- Fair Play for Women
- #ManFriday

FarNorth Sun 17-Jun-18 17:47:27

Bridgeit Sun 17-Jun-18 17:57:35

I think it is reasonable to have these concerns addressed & understood

SueDonim Sun 17-Jun-18 18:44:06

I signed it when it first came out. It needs more people to sign it, though I fear many are ignorant of what these changes could mean for women.

Iam64 Sun 17-Jun-18 18:48:33

Signed in the early days. Shared on FB - yes it should be debated, I expect the MP for Christchurch will try and block it grin

Peep Sun 17-Jun-18 21:37:08


nanaK54 Sun 17-Jun-18 21:44:20


FarNorth Thu 21-Jun-18 21:01:18

"In Britain in 2018, women trying to hold public meetings to talk about politics and the law are being subjected to intimidation and threats. The police are investigating a bomb threat against one of those meetings. Yet politicians and large sections of the media are silent. Would that be the case if any other group or community were subject to such threats and intimidation? Why aren’t politicians, of all parties, shouting from the rooftops about this?"

FarNorth Fri 20-Jul-18 01:41:12

Here's a feature from Sky News :

Azie09 Fri 20-Jul-18 08:13:03

I signed when it first came around. It worries me, I think this is an issue being pushed by a minority but with huge implications for us all.

Blinko Fri 20-Jul-18 08:30:21

I signed when it first came round too. I also wrote to my MP. That simply got a 'party line' response. He's a labour MP. Unless a topic is close to his remit (I think he's shadow for business affairs or something like that), he usually just gives a stock response as in this case. Not sure what else to do.

FarNorth Fri 20-Jul-18 09:02:22

If we're concerned, I guess we really need to talk to people about it, as I think a lot of people just don't realise what's involved as they think it doesn't affect them.
Let them know about the petition.

Tweedle24 Fri 20-Jul-18 09:29:14

I have just signed it but, there needs to be many more signatures. Currently, fewer than 13,000 have signed. We need to spread the word.

lemongrove Fri 20-Jul-18 09:31:57

Of course it’s worth signing, but I agree that online petitions probably have very little effect FarNorth.

FarNorth Fri 20-Jul-18 16:13:53

lemon grove, you are mistaken in thinking I don't believe it will have much effect.

It has already had the effect of eliciting a statement from the government, which can be read from a link on the petition itself.

The statement is quite lengthy and begins -
"The Government has not yet decided whether or not to introduce a self-declaration model, and will not change the Equality Act 2010 provisions which support organisations to run single sex services."

You are right, Tweedle24, people need to be made aware of what is being proposed.

FarNorth Sun 22-Jul-18 20:44:57

Here is a very good (in my opinion) article about the dangers for children of the promotion of trans ideology which is already happening.

SueDonim Sun 22-Jul-18 22:01:30

I can only see the first paragraph. sad

Luckylegs9 Mon 23-Jul-18 08:23:07

I am getting tired of having this subject bought up at each and every opportunity, we are being told how we must think now, on everything, regardless of how we really think,I feel a bit bullied by it so I now stay away from this subject.

Azie09 Mon 23-Jul-18 10:48:07

Not a simple issue.

Pippa000 Mon 23-Jul-18 14:48:49

Signed and posted the link on my face book page

FarNorth Mon 23-Jul-18 22:47:05

Luckylegs9, I hope you don't feel bullied on this thread. This is a very important subject and you should feel free to express your views on it.

FarNorth Mon 23-Jul-18 22:48:25

SueDonim, here's the full article. It is a bit long.

In recent weeks and months there has been much talk about the rights and wrongs of policies promoted by such bodies as education authorities to meet the needs of children who identify as “transgender”.

One example is recent policy guidance from government which advocates allowing boys who believe they are girls to use the single-sex changing and toilet facilities, and also allowing these boys to compete as girls in sports. Many have voiced concerns about the rights and needs of girls in these circumstances.

However, I believe that there should be concern about such guidance, not just for girls or women but for all children. What are children being taught? Why has the transgender case been so readily accepted without any assessment of the impact on all children and on their mental and physical health and welfare?

I am also concerned that children who are unhappy about their bodies and their gender are being identified as the problem. In the example above, it is not the boys, it is the adults who are letting children down in their promotion of this unthinking guidance.

All children are being failed in the rush to accept explanations and prescriptions promoted to respond to the discomfort and distress that some children feel about their bodies and the expectations of them. The explanations about gender and sex which have been promoted in relation to children have huge holes in them. Nevertheless the trans lobbyists’ dictum that children should be encouraged to understand their distress as being evidence that they should “transition” has been accepted by state funded organisations right up to the highest levels of government in Scotland.

The holes in the case are becoming more and more evident. Firstly there is the assertion that children may be born into the “wrong body” and that they can “know” whether they are boys or girls regardless of their actual material biology. The assertion is made consistently that gender is merely “assigned” at birth on the basis of the misleading evidence of biological sex. In this explanation, children who are unhappy about the biological fact of their male or female bodies are in fact discovering their “real” identity. They can then be reassured that any unhappiness that they feel about expectations of them as boys or as girls is because they are not boys but girls, or vice versa.

It is all too easy to understand why children should be unhappy about the expectations placed on them about their behaviour, feelings, identity, and futures. Like other women I talk to about this, we firmly believe these expectations and some children’s unhappiness are based on sexism. Rigid gender policing not some quackery notion of being born in the wrong body is at the root of these children’s distress. Offering them an explanation that it is something wrong with them that can be put right by magical thinking is not an answer.

Many women I have spoken to recall the same horror of realising that we were destined to grow into women, with women’s bodies, breasts, periods, hair. This horror may be shared by boys when they realise that they are destined to grow into equally alien hairy muscly men with penises and testicles. I vividly remember lying awake mentally designing a device for preventing breasts, and imagining ways that I could pee standing up like my brothers. I also remember being given a toy ironing board for Christmas while my brother got a chemistry set. I was humiliated having to stand and pretend to iron clothes for the aunts and uncles while he was encouraged to perform scientific experiments. If anyone had told me that there was such a thing as being a boy trapped in a girl’s body I would have leapt at the opportunity.

Being offered no such explanation for my misery, I instead discovered feminism. It was not me that was wrong, it was society. I read de Beauvoir, Fanon, Greer, Millet, Friedan, Spare Rib. I was not only reconciled with my biology but went on to appreciate the enormous privilege that it is to be a woman, despite the daily insults to our intelligence and worth.

Sexism means that there are huge downsides to being a man – expectations about their behaviour and feelings that can make boys feel as miserable as girls at being trapped by their bodies. But it is not their bodies that are wrong. How can a healthy body need to be changed, stunted, denied? Why should fertility be suppressed?

It is wrong to claim that challenging transgender explanations and rights is the same as challenging homosexual rights. It is the exact opposite. The celebration of physical love and desire for persons of the same sex is not a denial of the facts or of their minds or bodies, but an acceptance of this. No hormone treatment, no surgery, no change of pronouns, or of birth certificates or legal names is required to accept homosexuality entirely and without reservation.

Feminists and others who have attempted to discuss or challenge what to us is sexism that is putting children – boys and girls – at risk have been shouted down, labelled “transphobic” and accused of bigotry and even “hate crime”. Feminists including Germaine Greer, Jenny Murray, Julie Bindel, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have been “no platformed” and vilified for questioning the claim that anyone can be the opposite gender to their biological sex.

A woman who was punched by a trans activist was actually rebuked by the judge in the court case for not referring to the aggressive young man who had attacked her as “she”. Many people have and are keeping silent in the face of the threat to their personal safety, their reputations and the sheer illogic and irrationality that seems to have triumphed. The fact that agencies like the Children’s Commissioner not only accept the arguments put forward but actually espouse them is frightening. It puts all children at risk. It seems that no-one in authority is prepared to challenge any of the claims made on behalf of transgender ideology so that irrationality has rapidly become an orthodoxy.

Proposals that are being – rather quietly – consulted upon by the Scottish Government at the moment give cause for even greater concern. These proposals are that anyone who declares themselves to be of the opposite gender to their biological sex should have that gender accepted and that they should be treated as women or as men legally, socially, and in private and sexual lives. The Children’s Commissioner has responded by saying that he believes children as young or even younger than 12 should be understood to have capacity to make this decision with or without parental consent. Edinburgh City Council has suggested that if parents withhold their consent, the “named person” for the child should be able to intervene in favour, and to ensure the child is able to “transition” and to have “treatment” by way of hormone blockers, breast binders and perhaps even surgery.

I think that the Children’s Commissioner has forgotten that children have the right to be protected from making wrong decisions or being exploited. That is why children cannot marry, or legally consent to sexual activity under the age of 16 years. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child holds that children should not be understood to have adult criminal capacity until they are 18. But both the Children’s Commissioner and at least one local authority have declared that they believe it is a child’s right to make an irrevocable and life-changing decision at the age of 12. This is not protecting children’s rights.

If the ideas that have apparently taken hold among politicians and policy makers were to be openly debated and discussed without suppression by the threat of vilification and even physical harm that currently pertains, we would very quickly become a discussion about sexism, about unfair and stupid expectations of how girls and boys should act, and how they should feel. This would be much better promotion of children’s rights and children’s welfare than adopting badly thought out guidance that will help no children at all.

*Maggie Mellon is a journalist and mother

FarNorth Mon 23-Jul-18 23:01:37

Azie09, that's a very interesting article. The issue is not at all simple.

Sparklefizz Tue 24-Jul-18 10:13:23

I've posted the link to the petition on my Facebook page. It really does need many more signatures and I'm astonished it hasn't had them.

SueDonim Wed 25-Jul-18 12:33:02

Farnorth, thank you, that is an excellent article, which articulates all my concerns about the trans issue. It should be required reading for everyone jumping aboard this latest bandwagon!