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Believing in Biological Sex - a Sacking Offence

(304 Posts)
FarNorth Sun 29-Dec-19 21:10:15

It is lawful to be sacked for believing that biological sex exists.

A shocking tribunal decision against Maya Forstater, who lost her job for believing sex is immutable, has elevated the ‘gender debate’ to a new level of international scrutiny

FarNorth Sun 29-Dec-19 21:10:37

agnurse Mon 30-Dec-19 02:28:38

Absolutely disgusting. Apparently we now have such a thing as "compelled speech". Methinks the emperor has no clothes, no?

Resurgam123 Mon 30-Dec-19 05:13:33

Well it would be helpful if someone explained what they meant by biological sex.

I wonder how many of us know what the poster means. Not to explain clearly is bad manners. I certainly have not the heard these terms.

Joelsnan Mon 30-Dec-19 05:42:03

Rather than unnecessarily citing bad manners, why not ‘look it up’ just as the majority would do when challenged with a new topic.

However Biological sex (or gender) refers to the reproductive organs humans are born with.

CanadianGran Mon 30-Dec-19 06:25:54

Perhaps your leading statement is not accurate. I read into this that she was not fired for believing in biological sex, but rather her contract was not extended for the way she treated others at her work environment, and it did not follow company values for accepting more liberal views on gender identity.

Part of the judges decision; "she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity..."

Not the type of person I would want to keep on staff.

GagaJo Mon 30-Dec-19 07:53:07

Exactly what I took from it CanadianGran.

Ginny42 Mon 30-Dec-19 08:07:39

The article clearly states:

Her case emphatically didn’t relate to any employees working with her at the think tank.

This is the beginning of a very long debate on very complex issues.

petunia Mon 30-Dec-19 08:39:40

This case exposes the danger of blindly accepting the ideology of identity politics. If the judiciary can blur sex and gender so easily, what is the public supposed to do? I believe that we are sleep walking into a disaster as far as the trans situation is concerned. Because both sides get increasingly hysterical and start hurling insults at each other, there is no space for a calm, rational discussion about what the reform of the GRA means for women and in particular children.

I will be upfront here, an individual cannot change sex. Every cell in body carries the XX or XY chromosome and is impossible to change. Gender is something quite different and is whatever an individual thinks it is and can be expressed accordingly.

I believe that mostly we are a tolerant nation. I also believe that on an individual basis, most of us would be accepting and compassionate if a work colleague or friend announced that they wished to change their gender. It is the kind thing to do. And so I would imagine most of us would say that we are relaxed about others expressing their gender in anyway they choose.

However, that relaxed attitude is brought to a grinding shuddering halt when that expression of gender clashes with the rights and expectations of biological women. Examples are when trans women compete in women's sport, when transwomen in prison demand to be transferred to women's prisons, when transwomen demand access to female only spaces such as women's wards, toilets, changing rooms etc. Suddenly the reality of the reform of the GRA becomes clear. There will be no boundaries that keep women safe. We will have to accept the individuals word for it that they are in fact female. It will be impossible to challenge the individual who encroaches in to these spaces as the boundaries will no longer be there

I stated early on about children. This is a massive area of concern. Children are being put on the conveyor belt of medication and surgery that will change their bodies forever. Their overall health will be poorer but they will never achieve the change of sex they appear to desire. Children who aren't allowed to drive, marry, vote, work are somehow able to decide that they wish to undertake a lifelong round of pain and medication because they think they are born into the wrong body. Many of these children have underlying mental health issues that are not resolved by mutilating surgery. We are letting these children down by not speaking freely. It can almost be seen as child abuse.

I'm all for people expressing themselves how they wish, it make like more interesting and diverse, but I do worry that we will soon loose protections that will be impossible to reinstate just because open debate is shut down.

Lilypops Mon 30-Dec-19 08:59:12

Well said Petunia,, I fully understand that by the time a child reaches puberty it will have doubts about their gender and feel that they want to change , but a child at 4/ 8 years cannot surely decide what gender they want to be , can it be following the trend ? I knew of a boy at primary school who thought he wanted to be female so he decided to tell his mum he wanted to wear a dress to school his mum agreed though she felt upset, but felt it was a "phase. It went on for a couple of years, When high school was approaching , he realised he could have a hard time , that's if he was accepted in to the school , However , he decided he didn't want to dress as a girl anymore and is now a boy again, and happy with it, the point I am making that if he had gone down the medication and surgery road , he could have been one messed up individual ,
It clearly was a phase and his mum was correct in handling it the way she did which must have been hard for her at the time ,

Welshwife Mon 30-Dec-19 09:08:09

Thank you for that very illuminating post Petunia. You answered some of the questions I had been thinking about

QuaintIrene Mon 30-Dec-19 09:15:10

Lilypops my great nephew went through a phase.
I myself was a real tomboy. Had nothing to do with dolls, no hair ribbons just not girly in the slightest. I wore jeans or shorts all the time. But girls can without eyebrows being raised or teasing. Unlike boys.
What’s worrying is that if I was asked if I wanted to be a boy, actually become one I would have said a resounding yes. Boys had more freedom, fewer rules about looks and behaviour. Changing my body would have given me the opportunity to validate the way I felt about myself. I would have fitted in absolutely, to my 8 year old mind.
Frightening that. The truth as I see it now is that the abuse I was suffering was because I was a girl. No girl = no abuse.
Not making myself clear.

oldgimmer1 Mon 30-Dec-19 09:41:46

I think that's perfectly clear, quaint. smile.

Trouble is, behaving like a boy, taking testosterone and undergoing extreme and mutilating surgery still wouldn't have made you a boy!

You could've identified how you liked but you couldn't have changed your biological sex. So you'd still BE a girl.

QuaintIrene Mon 30-Dec-19 09:50:22

oldgimmer1Yes, true.
I have just been reading around this, Gransnet is expanding my mind for sure.
Altering the body might make someone feel better, but I can’t see anything changing actual biology .
The surgery looks horribly painful as well.

Starblaze Mon 30-Dec-19 10:03:41

People forget that Tolerance and Respect are also rights in this country. No one has the right to impose their views on others, especially in the work place where people spend a great deal of their time.

agnurse Mon 30-Dec-19 10:15:35

Depends on how you define "impose".

My child has a trans friend she sees on occasion (don't attend the same school or live in the same community). I call the friend by the preferred name, but I don't use any pronouns. I'm not comfortable calling the friend something that isn't a true statement, so I simply avoid any pronouns. (Again, my kid's friend. If I'm speaking to both I use "Kids" or "You two".)

I also don't announce my pronouns to others. I have a distinctly feminine name and appearance (long hair and I wear only dresses or skirts) so I don't think it's necessary. (I am a biological female, XX to the best of my knowledge.)

Starblaze Mon 30-Dec-19 10:23:52

They has always been a pronoun used in English to mean one or many. As has Them, so it's not really reasonable. As in example "what did they say when you refused to be tolerant or respectful of their preferred pronoun?"

trisher Mon 30-Dec-19 10:36:15

I think refusing to use a person's preferred pronoun is just as intolerant as refusing to recognise their race or religion. Is it really feminist to insist you are right and others choices are unimportant? I don't think so. Feminism has always been about finding other ways to do things that are not patriachal. And refusing to recognise other people's differences is always what the patriachy has done.

Galaxy Mon 30-Dec-19 10:43:07

Maya did not express her views in the workplace. It was an exchange on twitter. About gregor Murray. A councillor sho was suspended for the abuse Murray directed at women. Including using the word cunt. She accidentally misgendered murray. The other tweets quoted were discussion about transwomen in sport . This is where we are.

Galaxy Mon 30-Dec-19 10:45:37

There cant be feminism if we can't talk about sex. Other peoples choices that impact on women need to be discussed in feminism.

trisher Mon 30-Dec-19 10:48:06

The judge said that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Judges tend to err on the side of caution when passing judgement because not to do so increases the chances of an appeal succeeding. No one whatever their gender, male or female or binary should be allowed to dismiss other people's choices.

trisher Mon 30-Dec-19 10:49:44

Galaxy they can be, but in doing so you must accord the person you are tallking to some respect.

Galaxy Mon 30-Dec-19 10:50:41

So if I was to say I was black, (I am white) I should be able to be referred to as black. After all it's my choice.

Starblaze Mon 30-Dec-19 10:50:49

She wasn't sacked, she didn't have her contract renewed. I also take offence that she believes all feminists would agree, I don't. She also feels this somehow attacks my rights as a woman, I don't feel attacked. Tran people have ever harmed me in any way... Apart from being prettier than me oftentimes lol

trisher Mon 30-Dec-19 10:56:14

Galaxy If you were to claim to be black what reason would I have for doubting you? The colour of your skin? But there are instances of black families producing a white skinned child and vice versa. That child would be free to choose how they identify, as are you. Whether I would believe you are black is entirely another question, but if you wanted me to consider you as such when I was talking to you, of course I would.
Starblaze great post!