Canada’s Bill C-16 would establish a government recognized class of people based on their personal feeling that sex stereotypes form an integral and desired component of their legal identity.

“Gender Identity” is defined under Bill C-16 as:

Gender identity is each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different from the gender typically associated with their sex assigned at birth. For some persons, their gender identity is different from the gender typically associated with their sex assigned at birth; this is often described as transgender or simply trans. Gender identity is fundamentally different from a person’s sexual orientation.

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=index&crtr.page=1&nid=1066589

“Gender” itself is not defined by Bill C-16. Therefore “Gender Identity” is each person’s internal and individual experience of a legally undefined quality.

“Gender Identity” is legally recognized on the basis that an individual proclaims that they have the feelings of having such an identity.

“Gender Identity” would override legal recognition of, and protections based on, “Sex”.

For one example, an incarcerated male’s declaration of his internal and individual experience of “Gender Identity” overrides the Sex-based protections of Canadian female prisoners not to be confined with males. This allows Canada’s government to contravene the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners:

8.a. (a) Men and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions; in an institution which receives both men and women the whole of the premises allocated to women shall be entirely separate;

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/TreatmentOfPrisoners.aspx

Convicted male contract killer Jean-Paul “Fallon” Aubee has already applied for transfer to a women’s facility based on his internal and individual experience of an undefined quality (“Gender Identity”):

Transgender inmate hopes to make history with transfer to women’s prison
CBC News Apr 23, 2017

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/transgender-prison-policy-trudeau-1.4075500

Here is some more of the Parliamentary testimony against Bill C-16 heard at yesterday’s hearings. Follow in comments for more coverage and updates.

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Incredible, must-see footage of this event:

 https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/women-speak-out-press-conference-thursday-june-16/

Women attempt a civil dialogue with Transgender Activists over conflicting rights! 

protest 2

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.

bathroom-uk_640x345_acf_cropped

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]

protest 3

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:

flyer 2

 

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

protest1

Photo from Twitter

women speak out 1 women speak out 2

Julian Castro- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and no friend to women and girls.

Julian Castro- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and no friend to women and girls.

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:

http://www.regulations.gov/#%21documentDetail;D=HUD_FRDOC_0001-4281

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

ID: HUD-2015-0104-0001

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]

 

bigben Written evidence submitted by Sheila Jeffreys to the Transgender Equality Inquiry

Professor of Political Science, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne (currently on leave in London).

Expertise:

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?

Summary:

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.

Conclusion

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.

Recommendations:

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.

References

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

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http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/women-and-equalities-committee/transgender-equality/written/19512.html

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“Lila Perry”

http://www.online-instagram.com/user/transcendentbitch/1618041590