“Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories”: Wisdom for the Youth of Today from GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society)
April 18, 2016
The following gems are excerpted from GIRES’ submission to the proposed new NHS Service Specification (“treatment guidelines” to you and me) for the UK Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents (GIDS). The ‘fitting-youth-into-social-sex-categories-development-service’ in question operates out of the Tavistock and Portman facility and is run by Dr. Polly Carmichael.
The clinic, which attempts to treat children who are disturbed by sex-based social roles with pharmaceuticals, has quietly posted two items on their website for public feedback without notifying the press or public. The deadline for replies is April 20.
The first item is a ‘Policy Proposal’ which quite sensibly rejects lowering the age for cross-sex hormones below the age of sixteen in the UK. This is a response to transgender industry and activist lobbying to allow permanent irreversible changes to be performed on children below the age of legal consent. You can read that policy proposal, and rationale, in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/e03x16-policy-prop.pdf
The second item is a 62-page proposed service specification (treatment pathway) for the kids and teens referred to the clinic. No huge surprises. The usual circular definitions, which avoid outlining specifically what is actually being “treated” (“Gender Identity is an individual’s personal experience of their own gender”, LOL). The usual confusion and conflation of sex with gender (“biological natal gender” OH MY).
It is truly amazing that 50 years of existing work on gender: Analysis of what gender is, how it functions, its specific characteristics, modes of violent enforcement, harms, and lived experiences of such, is completely ignored because the authors of those five decades of work are Women. Lesbians. Feminists.
The proposed new GIDS service policy does mention obliquely in the most understated way imaginable that massive numbers of adolescent lesbians are seeking escape from sexual objectification and pornification and second-class humanity by adopting “anything but female” identities en masse. (“Gender identification is diversifying!”). (“The number of adolescents referred to specialized gender identity clinics for GD appears to be increasing. There also appears to be a corresponding shift in the sex ratio, from predominantly favouring natal males to one favouring natal females.”) (“Social and sociocultural explanations are offered to account for this recent inversion in the sex ratio of adolescents with GD.” ) COUGH.
And that trans-trending is now a subcultural teen fashion statement for entitled tumblrite millenials weaned on non-essential daily prescription pharmaceuticals that form their consumer identity every bit as much as the brands of clothing or carbonated beverage or types of piercing they express their core selves by sporting (“Yet it is also true that many youngsters who present to gender services are not acutely distressed”) LOL.
They also manage to note the absurdly high concurrence of social category dysphoria (gender identity malfeasance) among individuals who are less likely to observe social norms, ie. those on the autism spectrum. And that most “transgender” children will desist in adulthood. And that “social transition” in childhood results in distress, fear of teasing, and shame for those who wish to revert. And that a potential outcome of treatment for 2% (one youth out of 55 study participants in the only existing outcome study) is death due to complications from surgical castration and genital reshaping.
You can read the proposed service specification in full here: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/clinical-commissioning-wave8/user_uploads/gids-serv-spec-upd.pdf
And leave your comments, corrections or concerns, here:
The largest transgender industry lobbying group in the country, GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) has already posted their response. GIRES is run by a straight non-transgender couple, Bernard and Terry Reed. Bernard has an MBA from Oxford and serves as treasurer. Terry has a degree in Physiotherapy (occupational therapy) and serves as secretary. They started the group after their son, Niki Reed, suffered harassment when he transitioned on the job as a carnival ride operator and went on to win a groundbreaking 1997 employment tribunal that created precedent for transsexual individuals to sue on the basis of sex discrimination. (Chessington World of Adventures ltd v Reed, 1997)
Niki is heterosexual and went on to marry his female partner as a legal male. He does not publicly support the group his parents started and seems to have dropped out of sight. In all their public appearances his parents never speak of him.
What’s interesting is that GIRES is basically part of the UK government. They are “partners” with the Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership Foundation Trust which is their largest funder, and they co-produce educational materials on gender for providers together [PDF].
In addition, GIRES claims at least 79 “corporate members” of their group, including the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Imperial College London, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Learning and skills improvement service, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, among others. They were awarded the Orders of the British Empire in 2010. They donated over fifty thousand dollars to WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health) ostensibly to fund foreign language translations of the lobbying group’s standards of care. They are the establishment. A revolutionary besieged minority group fighting the power they are not. They are the power of the state. They are the state.
Here are a few nuggets of gender wisdom from Bernard and Terry Reed at GIRES to the youth of today, excerpted from their submission to the Gender Identity Development Service. You can read their full submission here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7n9HajupVrLSzdzVEhvaEVhZmRBNzVXMkMxdlZlZlV4SGFv/view?pref=2&pli=1 or here: http://archive.is/6rm1m
[Page 2 Gender Identity refers to conformity to sexist social categories]
Gender identity refers to a person’s sense of fitting into social categories of boys/men; women/girls. These are binary identities, but identities may also be non-binary, that is somewhere on a spectrum between the two, or outside that spectrum, known as non-gender. More of these widely diverse identities are now emerging, and many will be needing the support of medical services.
Gender dysphoria describes the unease experienced when the gender identity is not aligned with the sex assigned at birth: the gender role and expression typically associated with that sex are also sources of unease.
[Page 3 Absent all data, “associations” and “suggestions” “support” biologically based sexist social categories]
“Although no studies to date demonstrate the mechanism, multiple studies have reported associations with gender identity that support it being a biologic phenomenon.[…] Current data suggest a biologic etiology for transgender identity” (Saraswat et al 2015) [sic]
[Page 4 Skip the blockers]
Cross-sex hormones are acknowledged to be effective in treating gender dysphoria (which hormone blockers are not).
[Page 4 Hormones are harmless]
N.b. Cross-sex hormones are partially reversible.
[Page 4 Failure to attempt correction of sex role nonconformity is like waterboarding]
Delaying treatment causes “Psychological torture”.
[Page 5 Give kids who are still in the closet at puberty hormones]
It is not always possible to know whether gender non-conforming behaviors in a child are actually a reflection of gender dysphoria, or whether they are related to some other possible outcome, such as being gay, lesbian or bisexual. Usually, at the onset of puberty, the outcome becomes clearer to the child, and therefore to the relevant adults, including clinicians if they are already involved.
[Page 5 When in doubt: prescribe hormones]
The argument that the possibility of ‘desistance’ exists, is neither relevant nor a rational excuse for withholding cross-sex hormones. ‘Desistance’ should be completely detached from decisions about cross-sex hormones.
[Page 7 Hormones cure autism]
Anecdotally, young people who have been successfully treated, are often described as having no residual ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder]. The symptoms have disappeared once the dysphoria has been treated.
[Page 9 Actual death is a scare tactic compared to threat of potential self harm due to waiting for hormones]
The tragic death of a young person is not really a useful anecdote in this context. All surgeries carry risk, but unless you give the figures to show how many have had surgery, sometimes several surgeries and survived, mentioning one death is not meaningful. It seems like a deliberate scare tactic.
[Page 9 Hormones are the grail, the truth, the light. Nonconformity is death]
Preventing premature death would be overcome by providing cross-sex hormones to overcome the misery of gender dysphoria [sic]
[Page 9 Social sex role nonconformists provoke abuse upon themselves.]
Refusing timely interventions for adolescents might prolong gender dysphoria and contribute to an appearance that could provoke abuse and stigmatization
[Page 9 Social sex category nonconformity is ghastly, bleak, mentally ill, fatal.]
Psychological support is important but if the current reluctance to provide timely cross-sex hormones, young people will not recover from dips in their mental health but will continue to deteriorate.
[Page 14 The vast majority of people that quit hormones after a few months or years don’t exist]
Therefore it is extremely rare for CSH [cross-sex hormones] to be started and then have the young person decide they want to stop.
North Carolina pushes back against transgender mandate to eliminate sex-based protections for women and girls
March 24, 2016
Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 into law late Wednesday after the state legislature convened in a special one-day session to prevent a local Charlotte ordinance from taking effect April 1.
The Charlotte ordinance provided anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people but included a “Gender Identity” provision that eliminated sex-based protections for women and girls- in fact, it eliminated the legal category of “sex” entirely. The ordinance allowed any man, including convicted sex-offenders, to access women’s facilities merely by declaring a “feeling” that they were reproductively female, although male-bodied.
House Bill 2 eliminates the ability of local municipalities to enact their own unique categories of legal protections within the state. The bill also creates the first statewide anti-discrimination policy for women and girls, based on legal sex (which is already a federally-protected right but one under attack from the Obama administration -which seeks to replace the legal category of sex with “Gender Identity”, a subjective and undefined quality lacking any characteristics and based on men’s “feelings”.
North Carolina becomes the first state to officially clarify that areas of public nudity (such as restrooms and locker rooms) in state-run facilities (such as public schools and municipal buildings), are sex-segregated areas. An exception is made for transgender individuals who change their legal sex marker on their birth certificates. Transgender lobbying groups had declined to propose any sort of compromise prior to the session, claiming that excluding convicted male sex-offenders from women’s spaces would restrict the men’s rights to express their feelings.
The measure passed the House overwhelmingly with bipartisan support while all the Democrats in the Senate took the unusual step of recusing themselves by walking out of the session and declining to register a vote either way. The remaining Republicans passed the measure by unanimous 32-0 vote. The legislature will not reconvene until April 30.
February 17, 2016
A young man undressed twice last week in front of young girls in the women’s locker room at Seattle’s Evan’s Pool facility and police were not called due to confusion over Washington State’s new Gender Identity regulations. The rules allow any male to enter women and girl’s locker rooms, showers, restrooms, saunas, etc. by invoking his belief in “Gender Identity”, a psychological form of reproductive sex unrelated to actual biological sex. Males who enter such facilities without proclaiming a personal belief in psychological sex are subject to arrest under sex crime statutes.
The man in question twice reportedly entered the female changing facility and observed the women and girls in various stages of undress, and removed his own clothes in front of them.
“Seattle Parks and Recreation has confirmed an adult male inappropriately used a female locker room at Evans Pool in Green Lake while a youth swim team used the facilities on Feb. 8
Was the individual a male inappropriately using the facilities or a transgender female well within her rights?
“This didn’t seem like a transgender issue to staff — someone who was ‘identifying’ as a woman,” Seattle Parks and Recreation Communications Manager David Takami told me via email. “We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.”
At around 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, an adult went into the locker room to change. Takami says that at “no time did he verbally ‘identify’ as female,” nor did he request to be treated as transgender.
At the time, a local youth swim team was using the facilities. Young girls and some of their parents “became alarmed” that the male was changing in the female locker room and alerted the front desk staff. Staff members then “asked the man to leave and offered the availability of a family changing room.”
He did not accept the offer.
After his swim, he “again entered the women’s locker room to change.” Front desk staff once again asked him to leave “and he eventually did.”
Perhaps complicating matters, a witness who contacted KIRO Radio indicated this male was wearing men’s clothing as he entered the locker room.
Takami maintains that the parks department wants everyone to feel comfortable. But if this individual was, in fact, transgender, was this situation handled correctly? And is it appropriate to call the individual a male?
If this isn’t a “transgender issue” why didn’t staffers call the police? Critics of the failed transgender bathroom bill indicate there are already rules to punish people who break the law.
According to the law: “If another person expresses concern or discomfort about a person who uses a facility that is consistent with the person’s gender expression or gender identity, the person expressing discomfort should be directed to a separate or gender-neutral facility, if available.”
But Takami says everyone involved (the patrons complaining and the male individual) were offered a separate accommodation.
The law further states: “Any action taken against a person who is using a restroom or other gender-segregated facility, such as removing a person, should be taken due to that person’s actions or behavior while in the facility, and must be unrelated to gender expression or gender identity.”
There is no indication that this individual did anything inappropriate, if the person identifies as transgender. But Seattle Parks and Recreation did not believe he was transgender. So why didn’t they call the police?
“That was an option, but staff try to deal with issues immediately, and try not to call police as the first option,” Takami said.
This incident raises questions that go to the heart of the issue and controversy over gender-neutral bathroom protections. We’re told that the concern that a male using a female locker room is overblown and rarely happens. If you were to look into this incident, because police weren’t called, there’s no paper trail that the average person could discover indicating this issue happened. The only reason we’re aware of the incident is due to a KIRO Radio listener who spoke up. So it’s problematic for activists to claim these incidents don’t happen if police aren’t always being called.
Yet another concern is whether or not this was done by an activist to make a political point.
“In following guidelines laid out by the Washington Human Right Commission, the person did not exhibit a gender presentation or gender identity consistent with gender of the locker room as was asked to leave that locker room,” said Gunner Scott, transgender advocate and former LGBT Commission for the City of Seattle. “A concern I have is if this was a setup by opponents of LGBT equality to try to exploit the recent debate of basic rights of transgender youth, adults and families, as that tactic has been used by these opponents in different states.”
It’s a valid concern and one I fear will happen just to make a point. But that’s another reason parks and recreation failed by not calling the police to report the lawbreaker.
Here is Takami’s full statement to the Jason Rantz Show:
On Monday, Feb. 8, around 5:30 p.m., an individual, a young adult, came into the pool lobby, paid the fee for lap swim, and went into the woman’s locker room to change. At no time did he verbally “identify” as female. Staff didn’t see which locker room he entered as it was a busy time of day with a lot of swimmers coming and going. Previous to lap swim time at the pool was a local youth swim team practice. After lap swim was another children’s swim time.
Seeing this individual in the locker room, parents of swim team members (girls) and women who had paid for lap swim became alarmed and alerted our front desk staff. In response, an Evans pool staff member entered the women’s locker room and asked the man to leave and offered the availability of a family changing room. Other patrons were also offered the alternative of the family changing room. He eventually left the women’s locker room. After the lap swim, he again entered the women’s locker room to change. Front desk staff again asked him to leave and he eventually did.
This didn’t seem like a transgender issue to staff — someone who was “identifying” as a woman. We have guidelines that allow transgender individuals to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. We want everyone to feel comfortable in our facilities.”
Seattle’s King5 News Station provides further details:
“As far as policy to protect everyone, Seattle Parks spokesman David Takami says they’re still working on the issue. Right now, there’s no specific protocol for how someone should demonstrate their gender in order to access a bathroom. Employees just rely on verbal identification or physical appearance, and this man offered neither.”
HUD proposed regulation forces homeless women and girls to bunk and bathe with men who claim to feel psychologically female: January 19 deadline for public comment
January 6, 2016
Julian Castro, the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (and the likely Vice Presidential running-mate of Hilary Clinton) has announced his agency’s intention to eliminate the legally protected category of sex in homeless shelters nationwide, eliminating the right of vulnerable women and girls to shower, sleep and toilet separately from homeless men.
HUD had previously issued a non-binding “guidance” document back in February 2015 suggesting that physical sex be redefined as “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” and prohibiting those providers of homeless services who receive HUD funding from inquiring about the physical sex or sexual orientation of service recipients. Kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” provision. Providers were instructed to assess clients on the basis of adherence to sex-role stereotypes and make their own determination of the client’s transgender status. Those suspected of possible cross-sex identification were to be advised that the agency provides placement based on “gender-related characteristics”, and not physical sex: “where a provider is uncertain of the client’s sex or gender identity and that information matters for the determination of placement, the provider informs the client or potential client that the agency provides shelter based on the individual’s gender identity.”
HUD’s non-binding February 2015 “guidance” was similar to those recently issued by other Federal Obama administration agencies [such as the DOE’s “guidance” overturning Title IX protections for women and girls, and the DOL’s “guidance” eliminating privacy for women in workplace accommodations] which attempt to reinterpret existing protected sex categories into a cluster of unspecified psychological characteristics which the government redefines as the core human reproductive trait, overriding biology (or any other objective measure).
The proposed new rule is a modification of the previous “guidance” that HUD issued and will change federal law, officially removing sex as a protected category and creating precedent for other agencies to bypass the legislature, judiciary, and public debate in eliminating the legal category of sex under which women’s rights are protected. (HUD Secretary Julian Castro actually cites the DOE’s recent highly controversial reinterpretation of physical sex -as a subjective psychological self-perceived essence- under Title IX as the governmental authority which sets the precedent justifying his own agency’s move to elevate its internal “guidance” into federal regulation.)
Julian Castro’s new HUD rule will be the first official elimination of legal sex-based protections for private citizens under federal law by agency regulation, and homeless impoverished women in crisis- largely women of color with children, most of them survivors of male violence- are the first targets. Under this new law legal sex status will be redefined by the US government as “gender identity” defined as such:
“Gender identity means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
Biological sex will be conflated with sex-stereotypes of “appearance, behavior, expression and other gender-related characteristics” and become “perceived gender identity”:
“Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender-related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth.”
This law is designed to allow homeless males to bathe and bunk in shelters set aside for females and specifically forbids agencies to consider the rights of women and girls to bathe, bunk, and bathroom separately from men. There is no provision for “improper purpose”. There is no “right to privacy”. There are 18 references to “health and safety” issues and concerns but the source of potential dis-ease and danger is never identified:
“In deciding how to house a [transgender] victim, a recipient that provides sex-segregated housing may consider on a case-by-case basis whether a particular housing assignment would ensure the victim’s health and safety. A victim’s own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration.”
“..taking health and safety concerns into consideration. A client’s or potential client’s own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement. For instance, if the potential client requests to be placed based on his or her sex assigned at birth, HUD assumes that the provider will place the individual in accordance with that request, consistent with health, safety, and privacy concerns.”
“..whether a particular housing assignment would ensure health and safety. It is prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or on complaints of other shelter residents when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity. It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
“..legitimate safety concerns that may arise in any shelter, building, or facility covered by this rule.”
“..eliminate the safety risk and that has available accommodations..”
“…since it would not apply unless the facts and circumstances demonstrated a nondiscriminatory risk to health or safety that could not be eliminated or appropriately mitigated by policy adjustments and physical modifications to buildings and facilities.”
“HUD recognizes a limited exception to accommodating individuals in accordance with the individual’s gender identity when a recipient, subrecipient, owner, operator, manager, or provider identifies a legitimate safety risk that cannot be eliminated or appropriately mitigated”
“keeping a record of when a legitimate safety risk is identified.”
“accommodation is necessary to ensure health and safety. It shall be prohibited for such a determination to be based solely on a person’s actual or perceived gender identity, the complaints of other clients, beneficiaries, or employees when those complaints are based on actual or perceived gender identity, or on an actual or perceived threat to health or safety that can be mitigated in some other way that is less burdensome. In order to avoid unwarranted denials of placement in accordance with an individual’s gender identity, decisions to provide accommodations based on concern for the health and safety of the individual..”
At no point is the nature of this “threat to health and safety” identified. Epidemic male violence is apparently not only a protected government-sanctioned institution beyond reproach but one which cannot be named. While a male or male-identified transgender client’s “own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration” and his “own views with respect to personal health and safety should be given serious consideration in making the placement”, women’s views with respect to their own personal safety are not only disregarded but explicitly prohibited by law: “It is likewise prohibited to deny appropriate placement based on a perceived threat to health or safety..”
Homeless males can identify as female or male and access whichever facility they prefer. Atlanta’s 600-bed Peachtree-Pine Shelter estimated that 5% of the male homeless population is transgender (using the no longer required definition: males who regularly adopt some social cues traditionally associated with females). “Women are allowed to stay in the men’s shelter — because Peachtree-Pine is not supposed to turn anyone away — but they can only stay in the lobby area overnight sitting upright in a chair, said Tony Thomas, the shelter’s spokesperson. So when given the option of sitting in a chair all night or sleeping in a cot, many transwomen will identify and “present” as male, he added.”
According to Mark “Mara” Keisling’s National Center for Trans Equality (NCTE) 49% of homeless transwomen report a history of criminal incarceration. [PDF]
Presumably this measure solely serves the desires of some men to be housed with women. Only a sociopath would suggest a female transgender (FTM) be housed among men. Toronto’s ‘Trans Communities Shelter Access Project’ claims that multiple homeless “transmen” have been gang-raped in men’s shelters: “Although a female-to-male trans person (trans man) might identify themselves as a man… the reality for many is that surgery and hormones are expensive, passing is out of reach, and men’s services are not safe for a trans man who may not pass. If an FtM has not been approved for testosterone, or had a mastectomy, (and even if he has…) then he is at risk for physical, verbal, and sexual assault in men’s dorms/ bathrooms/ and showers. There have been incidents of gang rape toward FtM’s in men’s shelters. Some FtM’s may choose to face these risks in a shelter that validates their identity… but they should not have to. There are no FtM shelters or rape crisis centers, so as men who face (or have faced) sexual assault, spousal abuse, and gender discrimination, there is, as of yet, no place better equipped to meet the needs of FtM’s than women’s services.”
As required by the Administrative Procedure Act this proposed law has been filed with the Federal Register for public comment. HUD is required to respond to issues raised by the public before adopting the law. The deadline is January 19. Comments may be submitted by mail or posted online here:
Comments must include the name and number of the regulation:
FR–5863–P–01 Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs
You can also view the comments that have been submitted. As of now, 30 comments have been received. 20 have been published. 14 have been discarded due to duplication via (transgender activist) mass mailing campaign. 4 are obviously duplicate mass mailers from transgender activists. 10 are yet unpublished. Only two comments mention the welfare of women and girls.
[bolding by me-GM]
HERO crushed in Houston as public becomes educated about the impact of “Gender Identity” on sex-segregated areas of public nudity
November 4, 2015
Last night the “LGBT Rights” movement faced its first momentous loss following last summer’s victory in the decades-long fight for equal marriage rights, as Houston’s HERO ordinance was voted out by a stunning 62-38% margin. The ordinance had claimed to offer protection against discrimination for 15 categories: Sex, Race, Color, Ethnicity, National Origin, Age, Familial status, Marital status, Military status, Religion, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Genetic information, Gender Identity, Pregnancy, but only two of the categories: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, actually changed anything, as the rest are already covered by national and/or state law.
The sticking point for voters was a simple one: The overbroad legal status of “Gender Identity” contains no specific characteristics whatsoever. That’s right! No specific characteristics. The sole characteristic of individuals protected by the legal status of “Gender Identity” is that the individual chooses to claim that legal status, and they can invoke it or discard it at any time or for any reason. In practice, this means that any individual can escape charges of indecent exposure, trespassing, and voyeurism in sex-segregated spaces of public nudity (toilets, locker rooms) simply by stating their desire to invoke “Gender Identity” status. There is no medical requirement or psychiatric diagnosis or evidence of gender nonconformance required. No transgender “transition” (adoption of sex-stereotyped appearance or behavior) is required. Even the protected status of religious faith requires objective characteristics (evidence of duration, participation in religious services). Not so for “Gender Identity”.
What could possibly go wrong with the introduction of a new protected legal status that has no characteristics but which is designed to eliminate the rights of women and girls to areas in public life segregated from males for our privacy and protection against sexual harassment and predation? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all, if you are willing to ignore the ever present gauntlet of sexual violence by men against women and girls of all ages, ethnicities, orientations, and yes, even “identity”, across all cultures throughout recorded history. Nothing at all, if you completely disregard the rights of women and girls to participate equally in public life. Which is what those who lobbied for the HERO ordinance and those who push other “Gender Identity” statutes must do, in order to support them.
The “Gender Identity” movement, under the auspices of the Transgender Rights movement, is the first (so-called) “civil rights” campaign whose success relies on removing the rights of another protected category: Women. This conflict of competing minority rights is based on the transgender philosophy that there is something wrong with being transgender. Rather than lobby for rights and protections for individuals who choose to modify their bodies to look like the other sex, or who believe that humans have distinctly different brain functions based on reproduction (and that they possess the “wrong” type), the transgender lobby demands to be recognized as “cisgender” (their word for people outside the Gender Identity movement).
In the wake of the overwhelming failure of Houston’s HERO initiative the men at the helm of the post-equal marriage “LGBT” movement are reacting the only way they can: by continuing to ignore the competing rights of women and girls. They are calling the voters of Houston “haters”, even though they represent the most diverse city in the country who elected a Lesbian mayor for the last three terms. They are calling for more “education” of the public on transgenderism. But that isn’t the problem. No one has a problem with transgenderism. Even the proponents of HERO admit that the measure would have passed easily if it had not sought to remove the equal rights of women and girls. The problem, at least for the Gender Identity movement, is that the general public is now becoming “educated” as to what legal Gender Identity status means to them, and to the women and girls in their lives.
Houston’s Gender Identity advocates did everything right. They did everything that has worked for them in the past:
They attached Gender Identity to the lesbian and gay rights movement.
They spent millions more to campaign than their opponents.
They obscured the conflict of interest with women’s rights by embedding Gender Identity in a long list of established rights for minority groups that everybody agrees with.
They tried to pass it as quietly as they could.
They used their political power to squelch the legal rights of the opposition to contest (later overturned by the Texas supreme court).
They threatened to subpoena the sermons of Houston churches (later withdrawn).
They got Hollywood celebrities to do photo-ops in support.
The President of the United States, as well as 2016 candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stumped for it.
They called opponents “haters” and “bigots” and “anti-gay”.
They threatened to force important national football and social events to boycott the city.
They called women and girls “fear mongerers” who should simply trust men to refrain from ill-behavior.
They denied overwhelming evidence that male predators will use any means necessary to gain access to potential victims.
They ignored the poll numbers and framed the opposition as fringe right-wing Christian zealots.
In short, they did everything right (by the standards and history of the Gender Identity movement). What they failed to realize is that the public is becoming “educated” about the conflict the transgender movement poses to the rights of women and girls. You can see the same story playing out in Illinois, where the largest school district in the Chicago suburbs, District 211, is facing off against the dubious legal authority of the Obama administration’s Department of Education. The school board voted unanimously that opposite-sex students must simply utilize one of the plentiful privacy booths when using opposite-sex locker rooms. The issue arose after two female students complained about a male student undressing in the girl’s locker room. He was previously given the right to use female restrooms and also given a slot on a female sports team. Obama’s DOE has threatened to strip the district of federal funding (which comprises around 2.5% of their annual budget), unless the male student is permitted to freely expose himself and shower openly with the girls, claiming that “Gender Identity” overrides the rights of women and girls. But, no. The mainstream liberal residents in the district overwhelmingly support drawing the line. They’ve reached “Peak Trans”.
The “problem” in Houston and around the country isn’t that people are “bigots” or require “education”. The problem going forth, at least for the Gender Identity movement, is precisely the opposite.
Professor of Political Science, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne (currently on leave in London).
I am the author of a number of influential books, book chapters and scholarly articles on transgenderism including the 2014 book Gender Hurts: a feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism (Routledge). Gender Hurts has been featured on Woman’s Hour in the UK and in The New Yorker, The Nation, Village Voice, and numerous other media outlets. See also my article ‘The Politics of the Toilet: a feminist analysis of the ‘degendering’ of a women’s space’ (2014) http://www.sheilajeffreys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/toilet-article.pdfpublished-version.pdf
Transgender equality versus women’s equality: a clash of rights?
–The submission argues that any discussion of transgender equality should consider the ways in which such equality might violate women’s equality rights.
–The submission argues that men who transgender should be not be treated in law and policy as if they are women if such treatment enables them to gain access to spaces set aside to ensure women’s dignity, security and right to organise as a specific rights bearing group, such as women’s refuges, women’s toilets, women’s prisons, women only political groups and activities.
–The submission requests that ensuring women’s equality rights in relation to women’s spaces should inform the committee’s deliberations and that a policy guideline aimed at protecting such spaces should be drawn up.
1. Transgender equality rights:
This submission supports legislation and policy that seeks to prevent discrimination against persons who transgender. All persons should have rights of employment and access to services irrespective of how they choose to dress or present themselves in public. It supports the rights of those in a category called ‘transgender’ to protection from discrimination in the exercise of their proclivities. Gender is not the same as sex. Women require protection as a sex, as it is on the basis of and through their sex that women are discriminated against and suffer disadvantage. Women do not occupy low status on the basis of their ‘gender’, i.e. aspects of appearance and behaviour, but on the basis of sex. The protection of a category of men to express their ‘gender’ should not conflict with women’s right to protection from discrimination as persons of the female sex.
2. Omission of women’s interests in this inquiry:
Despite the fact that this committee’s name specifically references women, women’s equality rights are not included in the terms of reference for this inquiry. The inquiry does not refer to the effect that ‘equality’ for men who transgender might have upon women’s equality. Women’s and feminist groups are generally not invited to contribute to consultations on transgender rights as if they would have nothing relevant to say, despite the fact that men may, under the idea of transgender equality gain the right to be recognised in law as ‘women’. Women are the ‘absent referent’, not officially referred to, despite the fact that it is ‘women’ that the majority of those persons who wish to express their ‘gender rights’ seek to emulate. In this submission I have taken the liberty of writing from the point of view of the category of persons, women, whose interests are usually omitted from consideration in relation to this issue.
3. Clash of rights:
i. The demand for transgender equality may create a ‘clash of rights’ in which the rights demanded by one group of people can substantially endanger the rights of another group (Sniderman, Fletcher, Russell and Tetlock, 1997). In a clash of rights some adjudication has to be made as to whether the group involved in the rights demand that compromises the rights of another group, can be accommodated in human rights norms.
ii. In the case of the campaign for transgender equality the main category of persons seeking rights are persons of the male sex, that is, those responsible for the violation of women’s rights to, for example, live free from violence and the threat of death, to freedom of movement and expression, to freedom from discrimination (Romito, 2008). These male persons do not generally just claim that they are disadvantaged in their own right as members of the category ‘transgender’, but that they actually are physically members of the female sex, women, as in the demand by male bodied transgenders that they should be able to enter spaces such as toilets, set aside for women. A most serious clash of rights is likely to occur when members of one rights-bearing category claim to actually be members of another category.
iii. A clash of rights occurs also when members of one rights-bearing category, persons who transgender, promote ideas and practices which are recognised in international law as harmful to the equality of another group. Persons who transgender do not change their biological sex but follow the norms in outward appearance that are called in human rights terms ‘gender stereotypes’. The promotion within the politics of transgenderism of the idea that an essential ‘gender’ exists and that the appropriate ‘gender’ for persons of the female sex is represented in particular forms of clothing and mannerisms creates a clash with the rights of women. In international law gender stereotypes are recognised as being in contradiction to the interests of women. The importance attributed to the elimination of these stereotypes is exemplified in the wording of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which feminists advocated for throughout the 1970s until its promulgation in 1979. Article 5 of CEDAW calls upon States Parties, to ‘take all appropriate measures’ to ‘modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudice and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women’ (United Nations, 1979: Article 5). ‘Stereotyped roles’ are, according to feminist critics of the practice, the very foundation and sine qua non of transgenderism, and the notion of ‘gender identity’ (see Jeffreys, 2014). The promotion of such stereotypes by men who transgender is harmful to women’s equality and this could be seen as a reason why ‘transgender equality’ inevitably conflicts with women’s rights.
4. Why men who transgender should not have access to women’s spaces:
i. Men who transgender should not have access to women’s spaces because they do not change their biological sex and do not become female. Moreover, the majority of these male-bodied persons (85%) retain their genitalia (Transgender Law Centre, 2005). There is no requirement in UK legislation such as the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, that recognition as transgender must involve hormonal or surgical treatment. Thus male persons who access women’s spaces may be physically entire and express their gender identity only through the assumption of feminine stereotypes, i.e. gender, in their appearance.
ii. The behaviour of men who transgender towards women resembles the behaviour of men who do not transgender in respect of male pattern violence i.e. some male-bodied transgenders, like their non-transgendering counterparts, have a pattern of violent practices towards women such as murder, rape, sexual harassment. The linked website provides a collection of newspaper accounts of sexual violence against women and girls by men who transgender: https://outofmypantiesnow.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/when-is-90-not-substantially-all/ The response from transgender rights campaigners is sometimes that the men who are violent are not genuine transgenders, but since transgenderism is not a biological condition but a mental one, adjudication of genuineness is not possible. Increasing numbers of those who have transgendered are deciding that they have made a mistake and engaging in ‘detransition’, which reveals that the mental condition can be temporary and evanescent. A google search reveals 19,600 pages of resources for persons who seek to detransition.
5. Women’s spaces:
Three varieties of spaces deliberately segregated to protect women’s dignity and security will be considered here: women’s refuges, women’s toilets and women’s prisons.
i. Women’s refuges: Women’s refuges were established to create a place of refuge for women who have suffered violence from men. From their inception the majority of refuges have sought to offer women spaces where they are not forced to interact with men in order to enable them to recover from the trauma they have suffered. Unfortunately, as a result of the campaign for transgender equality, refuge provision for women is increasingly being opened up to men who ‘identify’ as women through the adoption of stereotyped feminine accoutrements. Some of these men have histories of violence against women and media reports of court cases involved rape by such persons is starting to emerge. In a Canadian case a man called Christopher Hambrook was found guilty of sexually assaulting ‘four vulnerable females between the ages of five and 53 in Montreal and Toronto over the past 12 years’ in two shelters for homeless women and women escaping domestic violence (Pazzano, 2014). He accessed the shelters by claiming to identify as a woman called ‘Jessica’. Clear dangers arise when women residents are forced to share bathrooms and bedrooms with violent men who profess to have gender identities.
ii. Women’s toilets: Women’s toilets constitute spaces in which women are particularly vulnerable and for this reason, to protect women’s dignity and safety, they have tended to be segregated ever since women’s rights campaigners in the nineteenth century demanded such provision. As a result of campaigns for transgender equality, men who crossdress and transgender are increasingly gaining the right to access women’s toilets. There are a quite surprising number of cases in which men wearing women’s clothing have been arrested for engaging in behaviour in women’s toilets that harms women. This webpage provides information and links to numerous occasions on which men dressed in stereotyped women’s clothing have engaged in sexual violence in women’s bathrooms/toilets: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/men-love-the-ladies-restroom-transgender-edition/ l The range of acts they engage in includes secret photographing of women using the toilets and showers, making audio recordings of women urinating or defecating, peeping at women from adjacent stalls or under stall dividers, demanding that women recognise them as women and becoming aggressive if women do not, luring children into women’s toilets in order to assault them, and sexual assault. In a British case, a man dressed up as a ‘mannequin with a mask and a wig’ to enter a cubicle in the women’s toilets in a shopping mall, where he ‘performed’ an unspecified ‘sexual act’ (Ninemsn staff, 2011). The 22 year old man told police he ‘found the sound of women on the toilet sexually exciting’. The man had filmed women’s feet from beneath cubicle doors on his mobile phone, and recorded the sound of a flushing toilet.
iii. Women’s prisons: Women’s prisons are spaces in which women are confined and unable to escape unwanted attention from males. The fact that women may have to share cells and shower facilities with men who are seeking to transgender could be seen as an extra layer of punishment. Male prisoners in western countries are using human rights laws successfully to gain access to transgender treatment at public expense in prison, and the right to then transfer to the women’s estate. These men are often precisely those who are most violent and dangerous to women’s safety, having been convicted of grave crimes including the murder of women. In 2009, an appeal from an unnamed, violent male prisoner in the UK to be moved to a women’s prison was successful. The petitioner in this case was found guilty in 2001 of the manslaughter of his male lover who was strangled with a pair of tights, allegedly for refusing to fund the murderer’s sex change surgery. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Five days after his release he attempted to rape a female stranger and was sent back to prison (Allen, 2009). The man’s lawyer told the court that the crimes were all linked to ‘a desperation to become a woman’. The judge declared that ‘her (sic) continued detention in a male prison is in breach of her rights under Article 8 [the right to private and family life] under the European Convention on Human Rights’. The notion of human rights is trivialised thereby. In response to the judgement, new guidelines were issued for the treatment of prisoners seeking gender reassignment in UK prisons in March 2011, which enabled prisoners to have treatment and to be located in women’s prisons. Unfortunately, there seems to be no acknowledgement here of the more serious and pressing right of women to avoid being compulsorily housed with violent men.
Persons of one biological sex who consider that they have a ‘gender identity’ stereotypically associated with the other sex do suffer discrimination and need protection. A problem arises, however, when ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are confused, to the extent that male-bodied persons gain a right to enter spaces set aside for women. In such a case a clash of rights is created. Persons who wish to express a gender identity not usually stereotypically associated with their biological sex need to be accommodated in ways that protect them, but do not conflict with the rights of women.
That the protection of women’s rights to dignity and security and to separate women’s spaces should be an underlying principle guiding the deliberations and recommendations of this committee. That the committee should establish a guideline that ensures such protection.
Allen, Vanessa (2009, 5 September). Transsexual killer and attempted rapist wins ‘human rights’ battle to be moved to women’s prison. London: The Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211165/Transexual-prisoner-wins-High-Court-battle-moved-womens-jail.html
Jeffreys, Sheila (2005). Beauty and Misogyny: harmful cultural practices in the west. London: Routledge. Jeffreys, Sheila (2014). Gender Hurts: a feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism. London: Routledge.
Ninemsn Staff (2011, 18 April). Man dressed as mannequin found in mall toilet. Australia: Nine News. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8238380/man-dressed-as-mannequin-found-in-mall-toilet
Pazzano, Sam (2014, 15 February). A sex predator’s sick deception. Toronto Sun. http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/15/a-sex-predators-sick-deception
Romito, Patrizia (2008). A Deafening Silence. Hidden Violence against Women and Children. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Transgender Law Centre (2005). Peeing in Peace: a Resource Guide for Transgender Activists and Allies. San Francisco Transgender Law Centre. 20 August 2015