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NO NO NO to self ID of trans women

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NO NO NO to self ID of trans women


My Twitter profile now includes the following:

"Fav veg: Rump steak. No! to snowflakes + self ID of Trans women."


Labour’s trans row shows the party can't handle debate


At a recent dinner party I attended in south-west London, a man in his 60s demanded of a bellicose woke vegan in her 20s how she could dispute that sex was a biological fact – that you are born either male or female, based on immutable physical traits.

Within minutes, the “discussion” touched on gender as a social construct and those people who feel trapped in the wrong body… and promptly went nuclear. He threatened to walk out, nearly in tears. She remained calm but deadly.

There’s a moment, about halfway through any dinner gathering, that I begin to feel nervous. If transgender politics haven’t been raised, they very probably will before dessert has been cleared. For it has become increasingly difficult to avoid the subject, even if you really want to.  The old are stunned that the concept of biological sex is being thrown on the slagheap, and therefore can’t leave the topic alone, and the young see this as the fight to the death of our times.

At first glance, it is mind-boggling that a question of gender concerning around one per cent of the UK population has proven so incendiary and so obsessive. But take another look and it’s not surprising at all: the relationship between sex and gender cuts to the psycho-sexual bone.

The stakes really are existential: are you what you say you are? The answer to this will never be straightforward and has profound implications for how society is ordered.

Which is why I find it disheartening to see not just online militias bullying those they disagree with, as if these matters were black and white, but those at the top of the establishment doing so, too, including those gunning for high office.

I felt truly queasy last week, but not surprised, to see Labour top brass, including deputy leader hopefuls Dawn Butler and Angela Rayner, plus Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is running for Labour leader, call on the party to “expel” any member deemed transphobic.

The group to which Long-Bailey and co are pledging allegiance as they call for supposed transphobic heads to roll is Labour Campaign for Trans Rights, which has produced a 12-point pledge card, which the three candidates have endorsed. If they are elected, Labour members will be obliged to “organise and fight against transphobic organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, LGB Alliance and other trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

Unsurprisingly, this hardline has not gone down well with everyone: a social media hashtag, #expelme, went viral in response.

As for calling those who are mobilising to defend women-only spaces and sex-based rights as “hate groups”, neither Woman’s Place nor LGB Alliance preach either violence or death. Rather, they campaign on the basis that sex is biological.

A Woman’s Place UK was set up in 2017 to put pressure on the government to think harder about the impact on women of proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. Changes currently being consulted on include allowing people to self-identify as a man or a woman without medical approval, which could mean trouble for women-only spaces such as changing rooms, refuges and prisons.

A Woman’s Place responded to the charge of “transphobia” and “hate” last week by reiterating the purpose of the campaign, which is “to ensure that women’s voices are heard and our sex-based rights upheld”. How hateful. Just like its manifesto: “We are against all forms of discrimination. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment.” Off with their heads!

Meanwhile, LGB Alliance – formed last year in protest at LGBT+ campaign group Stonewall’s increasing focus on trans rights – greets visitors to its website with the message: “Hello, let’s talk about the difference between sex and gender.” Unbelievable!

It, too, presents a cogent position. “We believe that biological sex is observed at birth and not assigned”, and that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are “under threat from concerted attempts to introduce confusion between biological sex and the notion of gender”.

For instance, the alliance defends lesbians who don’t want to engage emotionally and sexually with trans women, notably those that have not had any surgical intervention downstairs. For this, they have been labelled transphobic.

Whether or not you think this position right or woefully wrong, it is still a legitimate position, lawfully and respectfully advanced, and invites serious rebuttal, not insult. Indeed, in response to the accusations last week, the LGB Alliance promised with perfect grace to “keep speaking the truth and remain open to reasonable discussion”. To see what the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights says of them, you’d think they were swearing to cut up babies and eat them. 

There is plenty of nasty thuggishness in the anti-trans camp, too, and they really have no excuse. But as last week showed with sinister clarity, it doesn’t matter who you are or how you argue. If you take a particular view on these matters, you risk being treated like toxic dirt, to be purged, rather than someone to argue with, in good faith, over one of the thorniest issues of our time.

The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights insists that “bigotry has no place in the Labour movement”. Sadly, what they really seem to mean is that there is no space for a divergence of views in the party. But we knew that already, didn’t we?

What is  "self ID of trans women"


There is a proposal to change the law so that instead of needing a Dr to confirm that someone has changed gender to a female they can self identify as a female whether anyone else says they are or look male or not. Lots of folk think this is a bad idea,


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