Jess Phillips thinks that transwomen — like me — are not female, but we should be treated as women. She has probably succeeded in upsetting both sides of what has become a toxic debate. Politicians entering these shark-infested waters do so at their own peril. If, like Rosie Duffield or Joanna Cherry, they stand up for science and reason, they put their careers at risk. If they go with the programme that we all have a gender identity, and biological sex doesn’t matter, they end up looking ridiculous, like the ‘jiggle on the stairs’ crew.
Our planet is in a mess. Ice caps are melting and the glaciers are retreating. This summer in Canada, the mercury has already broken through 49 degrees Celsius, with August still ahead of us. Climate change worries me, and I think it should worry others too. But despite the party’s name, the Green party isn’t devoting its full attention to this issue. Instead, some of its members are preoccupied with rooting out alleged transphobia within the party.
Comparisons like these will inflame the already raging debate around trans rights
Lesbian and gay rights are still not secure in the UK. This week the LGB Alliance – a group used to being smeared and misrepresented – came under further attack. With astonishing impudence, the LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, the LGBT Foundation, TransActual, and the Good Law Project ganged up with Mermaids UK in a staggering appeal to strip the LGB Alliance of its charitable status.
Has Police Scotland misunderstood the purpose of policing? A recent crackdown on ‘controversial stickers’ appears to suggest as much.
How can a human being be neither a man nor a woman? Sam Smith thinks they are, but what this means beyond grammatically inconvenient pronouns is hard to fathom.
Once upon a time an organisation was established to campaign for gay and lesbian rights. They faced opposition from the outset. They were widely condemned, even called out as a hate group when they talked about same-sex attraction. When they sought charitable status, a petition was launched, urging the Charities Commission to reject the application. Tens of thousands of people signed it.
But this was not the dark days of the 1980s, when Section 28 stopped councils and schools ‘promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’. This is now.
A year of disrupted schooling means there are plenty of issues facing our schools right now. But delegates at last week’s National Education Union conference were more interested in another subject: developing a new – and presumably beefed-up – definition of transphobia.
Is the Green party determined to make its female members feel unwelcome? After voting down women’s sex-based rights at their spring conference, the party has now suspended the co-chair of its women’s committee, Emma Bateman. The reason? According to Bateman, her decision to question whether trans women are female is to blame.
Something dramatic happened in the House of Commons yesterday [1 March 2021]: Penny Mordaunt told MPs that ‘transmen are men and transwomen are women’. This mantra – for that is what it is – has been said so often in recent years that it might now be an unremarkable way in which to wind up a debate. But it is a worrying sign to see it repeated so unthinkingly in parliament.