Debbie Hayton reports on the endless moves in Parliament to amend the Gender Recognition Act and asks whether MPs are focussed on the wrong target.
Five years ago, in June 2016, Norway allowed anyone to change their legal gender. Legislative Decree 71 was everything that the gender identity brigade would like to introduce in the UK: no diagnosis, no medical reports, pure self-identification. The age limit was set at six years old, providing the child has at least one parent’s consent.
Lidia Falcón O’Neill is a legendary figure in Spanish politics. Half a century ago, she stood up to Franco as head of a cell in the communist Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia. In 1974, this opposition led to her being brutally tortured:
‘When she fainted they untied her and laid her on the ground. They woke her up with a bucket of water. … She stayed on the ground, wet, for hours, until they took her down to the cell. … On the sixth day, the torturers could not continue with the same sessions. They could no longer hang her on the wall because she was rapidly losing consciousness because of it. So, when she woke up, she kept getting punched and kicked while lying on the ground.’Alejandro Torrús writing in Público (translated into English)
2020 will, of course, be remembered as the year in which Covid-19 was unleashed on the world. But it is one in which another menace – gender identity ideology – was put firmly in its place, in the UK at least.
The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee launched yet another inquiry into Gender Recognition Act reform last week. Either they are gluttons for punishment, or this really matters to someone. This is the third time since 2015 that Westminster has asked the public what they think about gender recognition. When you add this to the two separate Scottish consultations, it becomes apparent that transgender inquiries are now an annual event.
The government’s decision to reject ‘self-ID’ is a victory for this transgender woman. When I transitioned eight years ago, I had two ambitions: to keep my job and to stay out of the press. I achieved the first, but failed the second. However, this week’s announcement vindicates my decision to speak out.
This piece was originally published in English by The Economist on 3rd July 2018: Gender identity needs to be based on objective evidence rather than feelings
Written by Debbie Hayton; Japanese translation by @hatenademian
Gender identity needs to be based on objective evidence rather than feelings
The U.K. government has a rare opportunity to help trans people restore societal fairness and trust.
Like an out-of-control juggernaut, transgender ideology has steamrolled through legislatures and institutions, leaving irrational and unscientific policy in its wake. But there’s been some promising pushback in London this summer where the British government might be about to say no to the transgender lobby.
Gender recognition is the ultimate political hot potato. Three years after Justine Greening — the then Equalities Minister — announced a public consultation on changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, and two years after the public were finally asked for their views, we are still far from resolution. As the months passed, many assumed that the Government had kicked it into the long grass, if not the primeval forest.
The consultation itself came and went a year later in 2018 amid fervent campaigns by transgender activists eager to allow legal gender changes on demand, and women’s groups concerned that their boundaries would be rendered meaningless as a result. If men can identify as women — for whatever reason they might choose — how can they be kept out? It is naïve to rely on the argument that “men wouldn’t do that, would they?” Spaces such as changing rooms are most often cited, but also at risk are prisons, hospital wards, reserved places on committees and boards, scholarships and, indeed, every sex-based protection.
For the past two years, the hot potato never went cold — on the contrary, it ignited a social media inferno. The furore surrounding JK Rowling — condemned as a transphobe for reclaiming the word woman to describe her sex — is remarkable only because she is a public figure.