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Photo from Twiter

*BREAKING STORY*

London – Furious at the impending erasure of women’s rights resulting from the 2015 Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee Report headed by the Conservative Party’s Maria Miller, women representing a coalition of feminist, progressive, and lesbian organizations picketed today’s Westminster Social Policy Forum on Transgender Rights.

 

Protesters expressed outrage at the Committee’s recommendation to remove sex-based protections for women and girls by erasing the protected category of ‘sex’ and replacing it with an undefined category of ‘gender identity’. The proposed change would eliminate the ability of women to seek redress under law for sex discrimination and sex inequality. Such violations would no longer be recognized by the state as the category of ‘sex’ itself would no longer exist.

 

If the Equality Committee’s recommendations go forth as planned, the elimination of legal sex as a protected class will be replaced by an individual’s declaration of their subjective and internal gender-based “feelings”. This would give men who proclaim such gender feelings the legal right to expose themselves in women’s locker rooms and other single-sex facilities where public nudity occurs and where women are particularly vulnerable. Convicted male prisoners who proclaim gender feelings will be housed in cells with confined female prisoners who will have no legal grounds to object. Men will have the right to compete in women’s sports, apply for women’s scholarships, and the right to serve as female proxies by occupying affirmative action slots which formerly served to address sex inequality in women’s representation in public life. Single-sex rape crisis services, women’s refuges, lesbian public events, will become illegal on the grounds they discriminate against the gender feelings of men.

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From a flyer distributed at the protest:

 

Women’s voices are being ignored and our rights eroded in the name of ‘transgender equality’. Current policy recommendations regarding transgender rights have a potentially adverse effect on women in a number of ways:

 

  • The pressure on parents to accept a trans diagnosis for a gender non-conforming child, based on gender stereotypes of clothing and toy preferences; or in the case of teenagers, to give in to the social media contagion to which they might be susceptible.

 

  • The threat to current sex-based rights, which keep males and females segregated in public places where women and girls might be physically vulnerable. These include toilets, changing rooms, rape crisis centres, refuges, hospital wards and prisons.

 

  • The inclusion of male-bodied, male-socialised people, into areas of success and achievement where women currently have their own space in order to make competition fair or to level the playing field. These include sports, prizes and awards, shortlists and quotas.

 

  • The negative affect on the lesbian community of the pressure on young women to identify as trans rather than as lesbian. There is also pressure to accept male-bodied self-identified ‘lesbians’ as sexual partners.

 

  • The skewing of national statistics regarding crime, due to the higher rate of offending by male transitioners as opposed to women, with possible knock-on effects on funding for women’s services.

 

  • The effect on the ‘trans widows’ of men (and it mostly is men) who transition in middle age. There is nowhere for these women to turn: all the help and support is directed towards the ‘trans’ person.

 

  • The changing of language pertinent to women and girls in order to make it more trans-inclusive, thereby making ‘women’s issues’ impossible to talk about. This includes the use of such terms as ‘pregnant people’ by health providers.

 

 

No women’s groups were invited to testify at the 2015 Women’s and Equalities Committee hearings on the largest proposed rollback to the legal status of women since the birth of the Suffrage Movement.

The Independent covered the growing outrage in January of this year, reporting on Committee Chair MP Maria Miller: “The former Culture secretary said she was taken aback by the “extraordinary” hostility from a minority of women “purporting to be feminists”.

“The only negative reaction that I’ve seen has been by individuals purporting to be feminists,” Miller went on to say.

Fellow committee member, Labour MP Jess Phillips, was quoted as saying: “Some feminists prioritise gender equality above all else, but I think we should also do our bit to promote general equality.”

 

Today’s public forum at Congress Centre in London was organized by the same individuals behind the proposal to erase legal sex-based protections for women and girls. From the event page:

We are delighted to include at this seminar keynote addresses from Jackie Driver, Director, Funded Programmes, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Will Huxter, Regional Director of Specialised Commissioning (London) and Chair, Gender Identity Task and Finish Group, NHS England and Ade Rawcliffe, Creative Diversity Manager, Channel 4.

Helen Belcher, Trustee, Trans Media Watch; Dr Polly Carmichael, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director, Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; Peter Dawson, Deputy Director, Prison Reform Trust; Dave Frost, Vice-Chair, LGBT Committee, Equity; Susie Green, Chief Executive Officer, Mermaids UK; Dr Debbie Hayton, Head of Physics, King Henry VIII School, Coventry, West Midlands; Member, NASUWT and Member, TUC LGBT Committee; Delia Johnston, Specialist Diversity Consultant, Trans in Sport; Anna Lee, Vice President, Welfare and Community, Lancaster University Students’ Union; Megan Key, Equalities Manager, National Probation Service; Steve Mulcahy, Headteacher, Richard Lander School, Cornwall have also agreed to speak.

Baroness Barker, Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights and Ruth Cadbury MP, Member, Women and Equalities Committee have kindly agreed to chair this seminar.

The agenda [http://www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk/forums/agenda/transgender-equality-2016-agenda.pdf]

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Photo from Twitter

Women’s groups represented at the protest include the Women and Girls Equality Network, Transgender Trend, UK Lesbian Rights Group, and Parents Campaigning for Sex Equality for Children, among others.

Another flyer from protesters:

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*UPDATES TO THIS STORY WILL BE POSTED IN COMMENTS BELOW*

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Photo from Twitter

girl brain lettertoparents

We refer to this as having a girl brain

..

Gavin Grimm

Gavin Grimm

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Doumar rejected the Obama administration’s attempts to eliminate Title IX sex-based protections for women and girls and replace them with social stereotypes based on sex. The ruling came in the case of Gavin Grimm, a sixteen year old girl who believes that people have inborn mental characteristics based on sex, and that she has the personality of a sperm-producing individual. Individuals with this belief system call themselves “Transgender” and consider what they believe to be a mis-match between personality and reproductive biology to be a psychiatric condition.

Grimm believes her personality is one of a biological male, and that therefore she is a male with a female body. She would like to express this belief by using the urinals along with the males in the public restrooms at her school. Transgender adherents also believe that individuals who have personality traits “innate” to the opposite sex should be made to use facilities of the opposite sex that are normally sex-segregated for the protection and privacy of women (locker rooms, sports teams, sleeping quarters, showers, hospital bed assignments, etc.)

The Obama administration also believes in the concept of mental sex, and has attempted to bypass the legislature and judiciary by pushing guidelines through their Department of Education, OSHA, Department of Labor, EEOC, and Justice Department removing sex-based protections for women and girls under Title IX and replacing them with protections for “mental sex”, or “reproductive personality”, or “gender identity”.

The ACLU, with the backing of Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Gavin Grimm’s school district, claiming that Title IX sex-based protections should be overridden by the concept of sex-based personality. Specifically they assert that students whose personality does not “match” their reproductive status should use areas of public nudity along with those of the opposite sex. Grimm’s school district sought to accommodate her sex-stereotype beliefs by offering her use of private unisex facilities in several locations throughout the school, but she claims segregating any facilities based on sex discriminates against her self-concept and belief that her brain is reproductively male.

This is at least the second federal ruling that rejects Obama administration attempts to strip Title IX protections from women and girls in order to establish federal guidelines on sex-based personality characteristics.

Here Gavin explains why she believes she is a sperm producing male individual, rather than an egg producing female individual:

“When I was little, I didn’t think of myself as a boy or a girl. I thought of myself as a kid who did what I wanted. When I started school, though, that gender divide became more apparent. I noticed that boys didn’t want to play with me. I had a best friend in elementary school, and one day he just said, “Hey, we can’t hang out any more.” When I asked why, he said, “’Cause you’re a girl.” I was indignant. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “What does that even mean?”

I never, ever, in a million years envisioned myself growing up to be a woman. I don’t think I thought of any alternatives, but I knew for sure that I was not going to grow up and be a woman. When puberty hit, my biggest struggle was not only feeling betrayed by my body, but also the increasing pressure to become a little lady.

It was around this age that my leg hair started growing in — and I did not want to shave it. I loved having leg hair; I thought it was cool! But, my classmates didn’t agree. My mother, of course, put a lot of pressure on me — because I was “blossoming into a young woman” and all that — to conform to feminine archetypes. That caused a lot of conflict in my family relationships. I was a very volatile, angry kid in that time period.

But, I didn’t give up; I just continued refusing to shave or wear dresses. I gravitated towards boys’ clothes. It started slowly: Oh, here’s one Pokémon shirt because I love Pokémon. Soon, I was only shopping in the boys’ section. My mother (and I want to make it very clear that she has come a very, very long way) is Christian. She had a lot of problems with homosexuality, and she perceived me to be a homosexual female because I was very masculine in how I acted and dressed. At one point, she came to me and said, “You’re so angry, and I know why.” I said, “Wait, you do?” And, she said, “You’re a lesbian.”

I was about 11 or 12 at the time. And, I knew I liked girls, but I’d never, ever, ever identified with the term “lesbian” — calling yourself a lesbian means asserting yourself as a woman, and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to live in that gray area where I didn’t have to say that I was anything. So, the conflict started again. Apparently, being a lesbian doesn’t excuse you from shaving your legs.”

Transgender Flag: Blue is for boys, Pink is for girls

Transgender Flag: Blue is for boys, Pink is for girls

From Katie S., mother of a “Transgender Child”:

Submitted on 2012/09/23 at 5:54 pm

I find this entire blog very mean-spirited. I’m not sure why you have such strong feelings against transpeople. I feel sorry I stumbled onto it. Transgender people are already a marginalized population. They experience violence left and right. Honestly, why do transpeople bother you all so bad that you have to invest so much time and energy tearing them down? Maybe I’d have to be some kind of ultra feminist lesbian type to understand.

I’m actually a conservative-leaning woman. I’m married, and live in Utah with a girl and three boys. The baby of my family, a boy, has insisted he is really a girl from almost the moment he learned to talk. He’s eight now, and it’s been incredibly difficult to deal with this issue. Our church, family and friends are not supportive, but when his father and I force him into a male role, he gets so depressed that we become scared for his personal safety. When he was five, I found him in bed in the morning with his pants down. When I asked him why he slept like that, he said he wanted to make it easier for God to take his penis away. He’s ALWAYS believed he was really a girl, and that God made a mistake.

I’m sorry, but you’re missing something. I don’t know what it is, and obviously, you don’t either. I am an LCSW, and I’ve accessed lots of psych articles about brain and genetic differences in transpeople. From what I’ve seen with my son, and the other kids he plays with at Kids Like Me (a program for trans kids), I agree with the research. There’s no other way to explain my son’s early behavior. His feelings have not changed, no matter how hard his father and I push, or how much time he’s spent with counselors at LDS Family Svcs. It’s just what it is. I’ve come to accept that.

It scares me that he/she will have to deal with people like you someday.

Submitted on 2012/09/23 at 11:02 pm

I do not agree with your argument that human brains are not sex-typed. You might be inconvenienced or annoyed by the fact that male/female hormones and genetics influence the brain, but to deny it is also a form of “magical thinking”.The research I’ve read and the experiences I’ve had with my transgender child prevent me from believing any different.

I’ve noticed that most of your writing paints a very simplistic, black and white picture. In this post, it’s either “sex-typed brains explain all gender-specific behavior” or “social role conditioning explains all gender-specific behavior”. It’s all or nothing. In reality, nature working in tandem with nurture is actually the most plausible explanation for all human behavior. And do sex hormones, which have an effect on every single aspect of our bodies, magically skip over the brain? I believe that social conditioning plays a huge role in male/female performance, and when you compare outcomes between males and females, it almost always looks like two barely distinct normal curves. Performance and anatomy are two different things, and in my opinion as a mental health professional, there is something going on in the brain that guides us in some of our reproductive behavior.

My son is only 8, and our family believes in different gender roles for men and women. I actually enjoy being a mother, wearing makeup, and looking and feeling feminine. My husband enjoys doing guy stuff. Why then, has my son completely rejected his body and his role at such a young age? We’ve offered male socialization. Why does he reject it? What convinces a 3 year old boy, against all of our wishes, that he is really a girl?

Explain that to me.