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Census 2021 and self ID

(60 Posts)
chattykathy Fri 12-Feb-21 11:15:47

I've looked on here to see if anyone has started a thread already but can't see one.
Have you seen the news that the ONS have reversed their decision to only ask for the the sex that is recorded on your birth certificate? They are saying people can use what it says on your passport or driving licence whre you can self identify. If this nonsense goes ahead then the data will be totally skewed and will affect women's services for years to come. All this is to pander to a tiny but very vocal trans community, never mind 51% of the population who are biologically female. I am fuming about this. Please write to your MP and ask them to oppose this move. There is more information on We really need to stand up to this otherwise we'll be ignored even more.

Galaxy Sat 13-Feb-21 14:55:42

They are mostly fighting through the legal system, and have completely altered the debate. A couple of years ago these discussions would just not have taken place in the public sphere, because 'no debate' women have fought to make this a mainstream debate and succeeded. Fairplay for women have also done an enormous amount of work on sex segregated places. It was feminists who stood with Keira Bell, who challenged the teaching that was occurring in schools with regard to gender/sex stereotypes. I think Julie Bindel, Kathleen Stock, Janice Turner have done some amazing work to name but a few.

PECS Sat 13-Feb-21 15:34:13

Well if we think there are more than about 3.5 million trans people in the UK it might make a statistical difference but usually anything less than 5% is not going to impact significantly on decisions.

PECS Sat 13-Feb-21 15:35:58

At the moment Stonewall suggests 1% /600,000 people.

growstuff Sat 13-Feb-21 15:50:52

People in public institutions (hospitals, workhouses, prisons, etc.) were included in censuses at the address they were residing on the date of the census.

growstuff Sat 13-Feb-21 15:52:24


If the trans community is so "tiny" then the fact that they can self ID in the census will make zero difference to the data as it pertains to women's services in years to come.

Or is there some fear here that all of a sudden a massive chunk of the population will self identify as trans and all the nice, privileged, cosy opinions of the NIMBYs will be challenged?

If this ravening horde of self identifiers put themselves down as female, they might swell the ranks of the 51%, overthrow the patriarchy and gold plate women's services for years to come. Now, there would be a thing...

I agree. In practice, I can't see it will make much difference.

NellG Sat 13-Feb-21 16:38:43


Is GN allowed to publish statements about other organisations like that.

Feel free to report me.

Galaxy Sat 13-Feb-21 16:59:02

No I dont report if I can help it, I prefer to let things stand and been seen.

FarNorth Wed 17-Feb-21 22:18:55

Fair Play for Women is taking forward a Judicial Review to try to prevent the ONS from advising that the question on sex can be answered using self-identified sex.

They have a Crowdfunder, as they need to raise money quickly for this. The link gives a lot of information on the background and the reasons for challenging the ONS.

trisher Thu 18-Feb-21 10:24:50

It's very much a non-issue though isn't it. It's based on two unlikely and scarcely credible assumptions. The first is that there are so many trans people the numbers could skew the figures, the second is that all those trans people would choose to state their chosen gender as their birth sex. Firstly the number is so small it will have little effect and secondly only a small number of trans people will not disclose their birth sex. But it's keeping the legal profession in the money!!

trisher Thu 18-Feb-21 10:27:04

Had it been a real human rights issue there are a number of women human rights lawyers who would probably have acted for nothing.

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 10:28:20

Why on earth would you want a gathering of information to be inaccurate by design. There is also advice on a coordinated response on MN.

growstuff Thu 18-Feb-21 10:35:03

I agree with you trisher. As far as I know, there are two parts to the question: firstly, asking about gender at birth and, secondly, asking about any change. To be honest, people could lie if they wanted to, but why would they? Some people fill in stupid things on the census anyway.

There really are more important issues to get in a sweat about.

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 10:36:31

That's ok we can worry about a whole range of issues all at once.

AmberSpyglass Thu 18-Feb-21 10:41:19

I’m very, very pleased about the decision and would wholeheartedly oppose as pseudo-feminist backlash.

trisher Thu 18-Feb-21 10:45:40

Galaxyit will be no more inaccurate than a number of other questions on the census that rely on people answering truthfully and sensibly. One example being the question on religion which caused all sorts of upsets and amusement when people were urged to enter "Jedi" . A lot of people know very little about the census, the inaccuracies and mistakes which have always happened. It's really a non-issue.

NellG Thu 18-Feb-21 10:50:52

It wont be inaccurate, it will gather a realistic picture of how people are living in the UK in 2021.

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 10:57:22

Its funny though trisher you ask whether women are organising and then complain when they do.

NellG Thu 18-Feb-21 11:02:20

Are you having a bad day Galaxy?

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 11:06:52

No Nell G are you?

trisher Thu 18-Feb-21 11:16:04

I suppose it depends if you think a few upper class women expressing their prejudices and ignorance by taking unnecessary and costly legal action is women organising. I prefer a grassroots organisation of ordinary women acting to protect and change the real issues which are affecting their lives. Women like the ones who resurrected the Reclaim the Streets march, campaigned about Period poverty and formed Preganant Then Screwed. Why not begin funding those women who cannot afford and do not have the time or energy to challenge their dismissal because they are heavily pregnant when it happens? Much more important then a tiny minority of a tiny minority.

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 11:21:50

Upper class women, right wing women, etc etc. We have heard all these stereotypes before. These women have been involved in issues relating to male violence for example for years. It reminds me of when someone asked what Julie Bindel had ever done before for women in prison.

NellG Thu 18-Feb-21 11:29:53

No, I'm fine, it's just that you're name dropping again and it always seems to point to you getting a bit fighty. Just wanted to check and see if we could maybe have a conversation without the 'also rans'.

grannysyb Thu 18-Feb-21 12:20:12

"Upper class" women? Lots of women who have disagreed with being called " cis women" etcetera come from all classes, I'm not trans phobic, but I sometimes feel that I'm being overlooked, no doubt I will get shouted at.

trisher Thu 18-Feb-21 13:24:24

OK I've looked at the Women's Place thing and listened to them. What disturbs me most about them is their misrepresentation of the facts. They talk about changing rooms being open to transwomen without acknowledging that this has been happenng for a long time and is actually a legal requirement of transition. They talk about self ID as if it will be a completely unregulated process when what most tranpeople want is a legal process that removes the medical intervention.So whatever class or political stance they have they undermine their own arguments for me.

Galaxy Thu 18-Feb-21 13:35:07

Trisher, I do appreciate that you look at fairplay for women etc, I dont think you were ever going to agree with their stance and I dont think there is much mileage in us going over the changing room debate again but as I say I appreciate you looking. I regularly read jolyon maughan and Owen Jones who hold very different views to me on this. I do try and hear what they are saying.