Monday 15th June - What Rights Do Trans People Not Have?
"It is not a “rowing back” of trans rights but a rebalancing to take in women’s rights."
Last week's Sunday Times reported that Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, has decided to scrap GRA reform which would have allowed for the self-identification of legal sex.
Since Truss first alluded to her plans in a speech several weeks ago, there has, of course, been an outpouring of rage from trans rights activists and their mouthpieces. The standard hyperbole ensued with talk of a "rolling back of trans rights", of trans people living in terror and even of trans people planning to 'flee the UK'.
The fact is that trans people are not losing any rights; the law is not changing. Trans people enjoy exactly the same rights as everyone else in the UK and are already protected by existing legislation. Section 7 of the Equality Act 2010 protects the characteristic of gender reassignment. The freedoms to express oneself and to live without prejudice or discrimination are protected under Article 10 and Article 14 of the Human Rights Act. Furthermore, trans people enjoy increased protection under hate crime legislation, a security not extended to women.
As Helen Saxby wrote in her excellent blog post on this subject:
"In the UK you will be given a harsher punishment if your crime is motivated by transphobia than if it is motivated by misogyny. Discrimination against trans people therefore is robustly legislated for, and this will not change."
Tuesday 16th June - Transwashing Gay & Lesbian History
Thanks to Fred Sargeant, a veteran of the gay rights movement, for calling out this distortion of gay and lesbian history.
The Liberal Democrats are peddling lies about the Stonewall riot, a pivotal event in the history of the gay and lesbian liberation movement. A piece written by Coralie Ayala which appears on the Lib-Dem website, actually states that, "Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, threw the first brick".
This is an urban myth that has become very popular with trans rights activists but it has been disproved beyond any doubt time and again. Luckily for Ayala and the Liberal Democrats, Fred Sargeant was actually present at the start of the Stonewall riot and was able to point out the article's various untruths.
Firstly, Marsha (real name Malcolm) was not a transwoman. He was a gay male drag queen and that is how he described himself. Secondly, he was not even present at the start of the Stonewall riot.
But why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
Here's Graham's recent interview with Fred.
Wednesday 17th June - Who is Sylvia, What is She?
Thanks to journalist, Helen Joyce, for putting together this list. It compiles various definitions of the word 'woman' that have somehow replaced 'adult human female' among polite society.
Here are a couple of highlights:
"A woman, for me, is someone who feels that they are a woman."
(Sally Hines, Professor of Sociology)
"Many people identify as women. However, what this means varies a great deal depending on their other intersecting attributes. It is important not to assume, for example, that being a woman necessarily involves being able to bear children, or having XX sex chromosomes, or breasts. Being a woman in a British cultural context often means adhering to social norms of femininity, such as being nurturing, caring, social, emotional, vulnerable, and concerned with appearance."
"Femaleness is a universal sex defined by self-negation… I’ll define as female any psychic operation in which the self is sacrificed to make room for the desires of another…[The] barest essentials [of femaleness are] an open mouth, an expectant asshole, blank, blank eyes."
(Andrea Long Chu, American transwoman and author of Females: A Concern)
Thursday 18th June - Concerns Over Child Safety at GIDS
BBC NEWSNIGHT: Hannah Barnes and Deborah Coen, reported on grave concerns about the welfare of children treated at the NHS's gender clinic.
The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is the NHS's specialist clinic for children with gender dysphoria and it is based at the Tavistock & Portman Trust. Newsnight has accessed over 100 pages of transcripts from interviews conducted as part of an internal review and revealed that staff members have serious concerns about the well-being of their patients.
It is telling that most staff did not wish to speak to the programme on-camera, even with the guarantee of anonymity. However, actors voiced quotations taken directly from the transcripts to highlight the main areas of concern.
Clinicians believed that some children were being pushed into treatment by homophobic parents who feared their child was gay or lesbian and saw transition as a preferable option.
One clinician described a young girl who had come out as a lesbian and faced a lot of homophobic bullying, at school and within her own family. She suddenly changed her mind about her sexuality and began identifying as trans.
In some cases, clinicians felt it would be inappropriate to refer children for medical treatment but they were overruled by GIDS director, Polly Carmichael.
"The young person had very clearly told me and my colleague that, 'my mum wants the hormone more than I do' and when we took it to senior management - Polly Carmichael - she suggested that we refer, even though this was not clinically indicated"
Speed of Assessment:
Many GIDS clinicians fear that children are being put on a medical pathway and prescribed puberty blockers before other complex issues, such as childhood trauma, autism or mental illness, have been explored.
They say that safeguarding protocols are being ignored and that children are being referred for hormone treatment after just one or two appointments.
"Maybe we are medicating gay kids, maybe we are medicating kids with autism, maybe we are medicating traumatised children. And if we are, we're doing bad things to these vulnerable kids."
Staff Concerns Dismissed & Silenced:
Many staff at GIDS raised their concerns with senior management, both at the clinic and at the Tavistock and Portman Trust. But they were ignored.
"People who raise concerns are seen as trouble-making and difficult. I think it is the case that somehow the organisation works to evacuate people who are not compliant."
Staff claim they were discouraged from reporting safety concerns to the lead safeguarding officer and from seeking advice, especially by GIDS director, Polly Carmichael.
"Lets pray that I am wrong. Because if I am not wrong, very many vulnerable children have been very poorly treated and will be left with, potentially, a lifetime of damage here."
Transgender Trend have been challenging the medicalisation of gender non-conforming children and the teaching of 'gender identity' in schools for years. There is a wealth of information on their website should you need it. If you would like to make a contribution to their vital work, here is a link to their fundraising page.
Friday 19th June - The Corrosive Impact of Transgender Ideology
In this report, Joanna Williams argues that transgender ideology has become a significant force driving political and social change. She asserts that the elevating of 'gender identity' over biological sex and the ideological capture of businesses and public bodies etc are erasing the sex-based rights of women and eroding vital aspects of child protection.
Her report draws the following conclusion:
"Transgender ideology, as opposed to the existence of transgender individuals, has a pernicious impact upon society more broadly and the lives of women and children in particular. It is also detrimental to transsexuals who do not wish their lifestyle to become politicised. For everyone’s sake, we need to push back against transgenderism while offering support to transgender individuals. First and foremost, there needs to be an insistence upon the right to debate all aspects of transgenderism...
Resolving tensions between apparently contested and competing rights is never straightforward. This is especially the case when the promotion of transgenderism has come to provide a moral justification for numerous social institutions. Undoing this institutional capture requires a far bigger challenge to the dominance of identity politics and the prevalence of a victimhood culture... As an ideology, transgenderism pervades every area of our social and cultural life."
In closing Joanna Williams makes the following recommendations:
Saturday 20th June - Ideological Capture in the Classroom
The school had provided the child with a link to a website called The Day; "An online daily newspaper for children... We publish topical news analysis encouraging debate, for ages five to 18."
This website is recommended by the Department for Education.
The article linked to by the school asked pupils whether people should boycott Harry Potter books after JK Rowling's recent tweets. The text of the article told children that JK Rowling's original comment "Mocked the expression 'people who menstruate' and was widely criticised as transphobic". It described her as attacking trans people, called her "Deeply unpleasant" and even compared her with anti-Semitic composer, Richard Wagner.
The article ends by summing up the arguments for 'cancelling' Harry Potter. "JK Rowling must understand that her words have consequences. Trans people are especially vulnerable to self-harm and suicide and it is simply unacceptable for her to use her fame in this way. As readers, the best way to show our outrage is to stop buying her books".
Sunday 21st June - The A - Z of Censorship
FOX NEWS: Online sales giant, Amazon, is preventing a publishing company from advertising one of its author's books.
Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters examines the idea that identifying as trans has become a peer contagion among teenage girls.
Publishing company, Regnery, claims that Amazon has suspended a paid ad campaign for the book because it contains 'objectionable content'.
As Shrier herself says, "Apparently, you're allowed to promote gender ideology; you're just not allowed to question it".
See you next week.