Kemi Badenoch is considering a change to the Equality Act 2010 that would restore the meaning of sex to what everybody once understood. I am a science teacher, so I know this. There are two sexes: male and female. Females produces large gametes called eggs while males produce small motile gametes called sperm. Science doesn’t care whether it happens in frogs, monkeys or people – sexual reproduction is a robust process that has been around for millions of years.
Tag: Equality Act
The omnishambles playing out in Scottish politics makes one thing clear: Nicola Sturgeon has no clue what she is doing when it comes to trans rights. The First Minister’s flagship Gender Recognition Reform Bill has hit the buffers. Now an ‘urgent review’ has been launched on an issue that hardly requires much common sense: that transwomen should not be housed in women’s prisons.
On Monday* we learned that Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs) issued in Scotland might not be accepted in England and Wales. Last month Scotland passed its contentious Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which means that anyone over the age of 16 can legally change their gender after three months, even if they don’t have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
For saying that teachers shouldn’t pander to trans pupils, Suella Braverman has found herself in hot water. The Attorney General suggested in an interview with the Times that male pupils should not be able to use girls’ toilets, and that single-sex schools can indeed restrict admission to children of just one sex. These are hardly revolutionary ideas, but they appear to have upset the National Education Union.
There are two things the liberal commentariat tend to forget about the ‘silent majority’, that great mass of ordinary people who don’t get involved in arcane discussions of modish topics, but who make their views known at every election.
As Keir Starmer still struggles to tell us what he thinks the word ‘woman’ means, some much-needed common sense has been injected into the transgender debate. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance for providers of single-sex and separate-sex services: in short, it says bathrooms and domestic abuse refuges can be single sex in certain circumstances. This is welcome news for women – and for transgender folk like me.
If anyone can change their legal sex – just because they want to – then what it means to be a woman becomes no more than a feeling in a man’s head. No wonder that a growing number of women are concerned about the Scottish Government’s proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act.
A gendered soul?
The trans debate was less toxic when it was a process, not an identity.
Stonewall’s worrying school guidance
Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ programme appears to have been haemorrhaging members since an investigation by the university of Essex found that the organisation had been preaching ‘Stonewall Law’ rather than the actual law.
But it is not only corporations, councils and government departments who have been persuaded to part with good money to receive questionable advice. Stonewall’s similarly named ‘Schools and Colleges Champion Programme’ seems to have sucked places of education into the charity’s web as well. As a teacher I know how tight school budgets have become in recent years, but it seems that several schools have still found money to hand over to Stonewall.
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.