Petition · Charge a crime as a male crime, according to UK law – not by self-identified “gender”. ·

British Transport Police are at present allowing some alleged criminals to self-identify as female when arrested. These alleged criminals are clearly not women as eye witnesses can testify. The crime is then recorded as a female crime and reported as such to the press. An example of this was recently reported widely in the tabloid press where many were shocked to see females in a video allegedly repeatedly stomping on a man’s head. The man suffered a broken eye socket. Two police officers also received injuries.

It seems that British Transport Police are misusing/misunderstanding the Equality Act 2010 and also misunderstanding/misapplying the provisions in the Gender Recogniton Act 2004 which refers only to the application for and use of Gender Recognition Certificates.

Suspects should be required to validate their sex as claimed upon arrest and at interview stage and certainly before a crime is reported as female to the press.

Establishing the sexed nature of crime is utterly essential to preserving the validity of crime statistics which show that most violent crime is committed by males upon other males and that most violent crime committed upon females is committed by male.

If men can simply self-identity as female against any current legal provision then no crime statistics are relevant.

We call upon the Government to commit to ensuring that the British Police are aware of the legal requirements to establish the sex of suspects. We call upon the British Government to apply the laws currently in place.


A Fight for Men’s Rights, in California Courts

Mr. Allison, 47, is a key player in a movement of men’s rights activists challenging female-focused businesses, marketing strategies, educational programs and civic projects that have surged since the election of President Trump in November 2016 and the #MeToo movement.

He has been a plaintiff in 13 lawsuits, most of which cite discrimination against men in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act . . . Mr. Allison and his cohort would like to remind everyone that Unruh’s broad promise of “full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services” extends to men.

Last September, Mr. Allison sued Ladies Get Paid, a career-development company for women, after he was turned away from one of its gatherings at a bar in San Diego. (Mr. Allison also sued the bar and bar’s owner.)

Founded in 2016 by Claire Wasserman, a former marketing director, Ladies Get Paid was intended as a “safe zone,” she said, where women could speak openly about money and issues contributing to pay disparities and “uncomfortable gender dynamics at work.”

California law provides that if the court finds there has been a civil-rights violation, the defendant is subject to a fine and must pay the prevailing plaintiff’s legal fees and costs. Ms. Wasserman’s company is new and self-funded; she took her lawyer’s advice, which was to settle the cases. She has changed her company’s policy, and it now welcomes men at events.

“We don’t have the money to fight it,” Ms. Wasserman said. “These guys are winning. We are rolling over and funding them.”

Transgender inmate charged with sex offences at Wakefield jail

A transgender prisoner has been charged with committing four sexual offences against inmates at a women’s jail in West Yorkshire.

Karen White, 51, is accused of four counts of sexual touching at New Hall Prison, Wakefield.

Ms White, who was born male but now identifies as a woman, has since been moved to a male prison.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) guidance says in the “great majority” of cases transgender prisoners are allowed to “experience the system” in the gender in which they identify.

The first alleged attack is said to have taken place within a week of her arrival at New Hall jail in Wakefield.

She had not yet had gender reassignment surgery when she was jailed in the women’s prison, according to a report in The Sun.

The prisoner was originally sent on remand to the female prison after a judge heard she had been living as a woman for more than two years.

But one of her alleged victims, who she is said to have become friends with, claims she stood next to her, touching her arm while her erect penis was visible from the top of her trousers.

Another alleged victim claims the prisoner made inappropriate comments about oral sex before giving her a bear hug.

Rape and domestic violence victims at risk as police fail to record tens of thousands of crimes, watchdog finds

Victims are being left at risk by the police’s failure to investigate tens of thousands of crimes, including rape, violence and domestic abuse, a watchdog has warned.

Victim Support warned that the failures were preventing victims from accessing the help, support and justice they deserve.

Chief officer Diana Fawcett said: “The fact that many of these crimes that are not being recorded include those of a violent and sexual nature is even more worrying as it is putting extremely vulnerable people at risk.

The cases that Lincolnshire Police failed to properly record included 24 reports of rape – some involving modern slavery victims who had been coerced into prostitution.

The proportion of unrecorded crimes rose to a quarter for violent offences, amid a nationwide increase in stabbings and shootings.

INTERVIEW: Angela C. Wild of #GetTheLOut on Pride in London and Lesbian erasure

Today, in the LGBT community, Lesbians cannot openly say that they are not attracted to penises or would not date a “pre-op transwoman,” because this is now considered “transphobic.”

Reframing females who are attracted to other females as somehow “bigoted” or “hateful” functions as a vicious form of misogyny, because it denies women’s right to have sexual boundaries. It is clear anti-lesbian propaganda enforcing compulsory heterosexuality, under the guise of political correctness.

We also know that “gender non-conforming” girls (what we used to call “tomboys”) are transitioned at an alarming rate in the UK (Transgender Trend and Lesbian Rights Alliance have done crucial work on this issue). As Lesbians who do not perform femininity, and as feminists who campaign against sex stereotypes, we cannot support the social or medical transitioning of women and girls who reject sexist stereotypes. Refusing to look like or behave in a “feminine way” does not make one a boy.

We decided to not march in the Pride March, because we do not feel part of Pride as its message exclude us. Instead, we decided to confront the parade by standing in front with banners explaining our message and with flyers to distribute to the crowd. The idea was to disrupt and delay the march for long enough for us to be seen. We had a GoPro camera to film our own protest. We have very little access to the media to explain our message, so guerrilla tactics such as this are the only way we found to reach a wider audience.

The general media reaction was (unsurprisingly) to condemn the action as anti-trans, because, naturally, stating that Lesbians do not either want or have penises is seen as an attack on men. All these men are completely obsessed with their penises don’t you think?

Trans ideology and trans activism is no different than any male rights movement — it employs the same tactics men use against women to keep us in place: gaslighting, threats of violence, actual violence, shaming, ostracization, economic abuse, name calling, etc. They use these tactics to keep us scared. This is how they maintain power over us. At some point we will collectively need to realize that we need to get past our fear of men, disobey, and take action.

Fair Play For Women would like to ask our supporters to read and share the open letter written by Fovas*; a group of female survivors of male violence.

Click here to read the letter: Open letter from female survivors of male violence to women’s organisations

Female in-house lawyers earning less than men

The ACC’s 2018 Global Compensation Survey, which received responses from over 5,000 corporate counsel worldwide, including over 400 in Australia, revealed that despite a mean salary for female in-house counsel of $141,000, men receive $169,000, marking a 16.5 per cent disparity.

At the entry level, women make 91 per cent of what men earn: the median base salary for those in a position for one year or less is $110,000 for females and $120,000 for males.

While the gender pay gap is smaller in the Australian in-house sphere than the global trend, there remains a 22 per cent difference between the median salary for females ($210,000) and males ($270,000).

Death rates from heart failure higher for women than men, study says

For years, health experts have struggled to challenge the perception of heart failure as a man’s disease and raise awareness of its disproportionate impact on women. A new study signals there’s more work to be done.

The researchers analyzed more than 90,000 patients diagnosed with heart failure in Ontario during a five-year period starting in 2009. They found that women were more likely to be hospitalized, and were more likely to die as a result of the condition, particularly within one year of diagnosis, according to the study published on Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

For men, signs of a heart attack, for example, are easier to spot. Women suffer more muted symptoms and are sometimes misdiagnosed as a result. “There is a lower index of suspicion,” Dr. Sun said of heart failure in women.

“Women have been under-researched, under-diagnosed and under-treated,” Ms. James said. Because of this, heart failure treatment for men has advanced over the past 10 years, while treatment options for women are behind. “Unfortunately, that gap is larger than we would like to see,” Dr. Sun said.

‘The right to sit’: Indian law change allows female workers to rest

Most owners of sari shops and other retail outlets forbid women, the bulk of the shop workforce, to sit. Even leaning against a wall can be punished. Lunch is 30 minutes. Toilet breaks are strictly limited. Talking to colleagues can lead to salary deductions. Employers monitor CCTV footage to check for compliance.

On 4 July, the Kerala state cabinet, reacting to street protests by shop assistants, announced it would amend the existing law, which fails to specify which amenities should be provided to sales assistants, to include the right to sit. “It’s our policy to protect the interests of all our women workers and this gap in the law had to be plugged,” said Thozil Bhawan, a labour commissioner.

The new law will stipulate a minimum monthly starting salary of 10,000 rupees (£110), an eight-hour day, a chair or stool, an afternoon tea break, and a lunch break, with a duration yet to be decided by the Kerala cabinet, be provided.

Turning the Tide – Not The News in Briefs

The GRA consultation has been announced by the Women and Equalities minister Penny Mourdant , which means that the original Gender Recognition Act of 2004 is to be examined to see if it is still fit for purpose. This is the first time that women have been allowed a voice in the discussion, which is a good thing – but it’s not all good. Ms Mourdant declared that the consultation would start from the premise that ‘transwomen are women’, which actually makes the whole idea of a consultation redundant, because one of the issues at stake is what makes a woman, how a woman is defined, and what rights should be particular to that definition.

Transwomen are women’ as a slogan is nothing to do with being nice. It is a political mantra: it does not define its terms and it is used to shut down all dissent. The impact on women and girls is huge. Although self-ID is not law yet, the government’s Guide for Service Providers, published after the 2015 Trans Inquiry, and written by trans lobby group Gendered Intelligence, made sure that public and private institutions would be so confused about it that they would act as though it was law, just to be on the safe side. This has already led to the erosion of women’s single-sex spaces such as shops’ changing rooms, public swimming baths and gyms’ changing rooms, women’s refuges, prisons, the Girl Guides, sports, youth hostel bedrooms, as well as women’s prizes and shortlists – there is an ever-expanding list. Treating sex as a ‘gender identity’ rather than a biological and material reality will ALWAYS mean that girls and women lose out, and leave men and boys relatively unscathed. In a society where the sexes are unequal this is inevitable.

In all these years there has been one narrative, endlessly reinforced, and no challenge to this view has been allowed. Trans Media Watch for example, has been busy ensuring that a crime committed by a male transgender person is recorded in the press as a female crime, but if that person takes their own life in prison it gets recorded as a trans suicide. . . . Parts of the press have begun to report on women’s concerns, although others are still happy to paint women as bigoted transphobes. The BBC has occasionally resisted the wrath of Trans Media Watch and presented a more balanced picture, but largely it has been running scared.

It has become clear to me that ‘transwomen are women’ is political marketing genius. Under the ‘human rights’ guise of treating a minority with respect and dignity, it cleverly undermines all of women’s sex-based rights. . . . Now is the time to get involved and speak up, so that our daughters will be able to benefit from the rights and protections that we take for granted, and which are now under threat.

Why were lesbians protesting at Pride? Because the LGBT coalition leaves women behind

If “trans women are women, full stop” – even if they retain male genitals, as most do – then what it means to be a lesbian changes dramatically. A lesbian who refuses to consider a trans woman as a sexual partner is guilty of denying that trans woman’s gender identity. Online, such women are derided as “vagina fetishists” and transphobes.

Why does this matter so much? Because lesbians have consistently faced everything from mockery to violence for insisting on boundaries to their sexuality. For lesbians who know the history of “corrective rape” as a weapon against gender non-conforming women – the practical application of the old saw that all lesbians need to “fix” them is a dose of penis – this is a deeply alarming development in LGBT politics.

This isn’t a frivolous concern. In 2012, Planned Parenthood ran a conference called “Pleasure and Possibilities” which included a workshop on “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women”. The title referenced the feminist concept of the glass ceiling – that is, the invisible barriers to promotion at work. Cotton meant underwear. Getting inside women’s knickers was treated as a discrimination issue equivalent to failing to become a CEO.

Misogyny doesn’t vanish at the flicker of a rainbow. . . . Lesbians are even losing themselves as a group, as it becomes impossible to organise woman-only events without foundering on the controversy of how to define “woman”. Butch lesbians like the comedian Hannah Gadsby are asked when they’re going to “come out” as trans men, as Gadsby relates in her Netflix special Nanette. If you don’t look feminine, some gender identity schools of thought say you must be a male in your deepest self.

Human trafficking victims: How one tweet saved 26 women.

An Indian man named Adarsh Shrivastava was travelling by train earlier this month, when he saw something that made him uncomfortable.

On July 5, he spotted 26 young girls, aged between 10 and 14, appearing unusually nervous and restless. Shrivastava sensed that the group were in trouble.

Unsure of what to do, Shrivastava tweeted his concerns: “I am traveling in Avadh express (19040). in s5. in my coach their are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling unsecure [sic].”

He tagged railway authorities and officials, alerting them to the situation. Moments later he followed up the tweet by adding, “… subject to human trafficking… my current station is Hary Nagar my next station is BAGAHA and then Gorakhpur. Kindly help them out. Please help.”

Approximately an hour later, plainclothes police officers entered the train – confident of what they were investigating. They found the 26 girls accompanied by two men, both of whom were arrested.

The reason Shrivastava had been alarmed was simple. Although human trafficking is illegal in India, it remains a significant problem, with at least 20,000 women and children being trafficked in 2016.

People who are subject to human trafficking are exploited for sexual services, forced marriage or forced labour.

Children’s convener issues climbdown over expletive-laden Twitter outbursts – The Courier

Councillor Gregor Murray launched into a stream of explicit tirades on Saturday following reports of an anti-trans protest at a London Pride event.

The councillor, who identifies as gender non-binary, described a group of women blocking the front of the march as “utter c***s” and asked a fellow Twitter user, “where’s your f***ing solidarity you transphobic b******?”.

The children’s convener has now admitted the use of such crass language “reflects badly upon my city and my party” after facing a backlash over the outbursts.

Councillor Philip Scott, who also sits on the children and families services committee, said the latest actions “do not look good at all” for the administration.

God is a Woman: Ariana Grande taps into a long herstory of a female lord

Arwa Mahdawi writes the singer’s new music video is far from the first example of the maker being imagined in non-masculine terms.

While some may consider Grande referring to God in female terms to be a heresy, it’s one with a very long history, and one that hasn’t always been controversial.

In 2015, for example, a group of female bishops within the Church of England campaigned for more “expansive language and imagery about God” that would encompass feminine pronouns. The Rev Emma Percy, the chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and a member of Women and the Church (Watch), a group that successfully campaigned for the ordination of female bishops, said that using more inclusive language to describe God would help dispel “the notion that God is some kind of old man in the sky”.

[D]espite the predictable criticism, plenty of people are persisting in trying to overturn the idea that God is an old, white man. Last year, for example, Harmonia Rosales, an artist from Chicago, painted a version of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, reimagining both God and the first man as black women – and it went viral.

Rosales explained to the Guardian that she made God a woman in the painting because, first of all, it just makes sense: “We all come from the womb.” Also, she says, “I made it a black woman because there are so many images as white male figures in power”. Rosales wanted to both illuminate and challenge the way we’re conditioned to think about who gets elevated in culture and show black women, “who are least represented as powerful and godly in any kind of way”, in an empowering light.

Feminist Apparel CEO reportedly fires staff over his history of sexual abuse

  • Staff members of the political clothing brand Feminist Apparel found an old Facebook post where the founder and CEO, Alan Martofel, admitted to sexual abuse.
  • When they confronted him and asked him to step down, employees said that he initially agreed.
  • Then he fired everyone over the weekend without severance pay and said he’d continue on his own femi

Petition · Lesbians Attacked at San Francisco Dyke March Demand Retraction of Libelous Statements

On June 23rd, ten lesbians attended the San Francisco Dyke March together, four carrying signs affirming lesbian autonomy and educating about the dangers of giving children puberty blockers. These lesbians were harassed throughout the march, and two, myself and my partner, were specifically targeted and physically assaulted on numerous occasions by trans rights activists.

The San Francisco Dyke March, and now also the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Bay Area Reporter, have ALL posted defamatory and libelous statements positioning the victims as the actual attackers, which is a complete reversal of the truth.

Since there is a harmful defamation campaign in action initiated by the trans rights activist hate group Degenderettes, we strongly advise not including your given name when signing this petition to avoid being added to their blacklist.

Protect Families and Children From Gun Violence – Let’s give women and children a say!

We are calling upon State and Territory Premiers and Ministers to protect families and children from gun violence, starting with the NSW Attorney General, Hon. Mark Speakman and NSW Police Minister, Hon. Troy Grant. We need compulsory family law firearm checks once proceedings have been lodged in the Family Courts and we need a full scale review of gun laws, to ensure they’re keeping us safe.

As the law currently stands, when a person applies for a firearm licence or permit to acquire additional firearms, the spouse of the applicant does not need to be notified or consulted, even when a family law matter has commenced in the courts and there has been previous history of threats and fear.

Samantha Lee, Director of GCA states, “Current gun laws fail to adequately protect women and children from gun violence because the law requires an AVO to be in place or a charge for a criminal offence before a firearm may be revoked or suspended. By then, it may be too late to save a life.”

“What GCA wants to see happen is a more pro-active approach which gives woman and spouses a voice in the gun licence continuation, application or acquisitions process.”

We need your support to change our gun laws to better protect families from gun violence.

This petition is endorsed by Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW Inc.

Women who kill their partners are still being treated differently to men

by Julie Bindel in an Opinion Piece for The Guardian

After we cleared Emma Humphreys’ name 23 years ago we thought the law would support women who had been violently abused. Her case resulted in a change in the law. Judges could now direct juries in such cases to take into consideration the whole life histories of women like Humphreys who ended up on trial for murder.

Feminist campaigners were buoyant, certain that the tide was turning and that other women in Humphreys’ position would be better understood, and treated fairly by the courts. We were wrong: 23 years after Humphreys was freed, very little has changed. Justice for Women is currently dealing with the cases of several women who have killed violent men and subsequently been convicted of murder. It is almost as though the huge campaigns of the past three decades never happened.

Sally now has a new legal team, and her appeal against the murder conviction will be heard later this year on the grounds that she was subjected to “coercive control” for decades. She was given a sentence of 22 years in 2011. The prosecution suggested that her motive was “jealousy”.

This is somewhat different to the way that many men who kill their female partners are treated. Infidelity is regularly used as a defence in such cases, often successfully, by men who kill, and yet women such as Humphreys are given no understanding of or sympathy for their experience of horrendous domestic and sexual violence.

Why are so many women charged with murder, as opposed to manslaughter, if there is strong evidence of domestic violence?

How different is the attitude to men defending property than to women defending their own lives or the lives of their children against violent men? When Richard Osborn-Brooks was arrested after stabbing a burglar who tried to break into his home, the hashtag #FreeRichardOsbornBrooks was launched alongside a petition calling for the Crown Prosecution Service to take no action against him. He was released without charge. “We have the right to protect ourselves in our own home,” tweeted one man, in support of Osborn-Brooks.

Can #MeToo help stop sex tourism?

Underage sex tourism is booming in Colombia; in Cuba, child prostitution is reaching alarming levels; and in Asia, sex tourism involving children is growing exponentially.

According to some, paying for sex abroad is a means to escape from the #MeToo movement back home.

“The only way to fight #MeToo is to sleep with prostitutes, or save up for sex tourism,” says Mac, an online forum commentator. And he isn’t alone.

According to a recent study done by Ending the Sexual Exploitation of Children (ECPAT), sex tourism isn’t just about prostitution: Western men, apparently, particularly enjoy feeling superior in developing regions of the world.

In other words, sex tourism isn’t just about sex: it’s about power.

But what about the happy hooker narrative? That is to say, the claim that women choose prostitution of their own volition, because they enjoy or feel “empowered” through selling sex?

Few people realize how many women and girls are trafficked or coerced into prostitution, how many of them have very few viable options to earn an income.

[E]ven in countries like Germany or the Netherlands, where prostitution is completely legal, the majority of prostituted women aren’t German or Dutch, but Eastern or Central European, North African, or Slavic — in other words, women with fewer options than their Western counterparts.

Awareness is key to ending the sexual exploitation of women and girls, human trafficking, and sex tourism. Matekaire believes that #MeToo can help women all around the world, because victims’ voices are heard, survivors are sharing their experiences, and some governments are finally taking action.

She sees the new legislation being implemented in various European countries — like Northern Ireland, Ireland, and France — that treats prostitution as an issue of women’s rights, penalizing the johns instead of the women, as an example of this.

Sex tourism is a $1 billion a year industry — among the top five largest industries within the world — but profits are concentrated in the hands of pimps, hotels, tour operators, etc., not the prostituted women and girls themselves. The profit made through the sexual exploitation of children for tourism is estimated to be worth $20 billion USD per year.

It’s a billion dollar industry where men enjoy all the fun and profit, and where women and girls suffer, often with nowhere to turn for help.

Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials – The New York Times

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, most of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation, according to officials from Uruguay, Mexico and the United States.

In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.

Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington’s strong-arm tactics. The $70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of American and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding. Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution to the W.H.O., several negotiators said.

The final resolution preserved most of the original wording, though American negotiators did get language removed that called on the W.H.O. to provide technical support to member states seeking to halt “inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.”

A 2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

Billie razors: ‘First razor ad with hairy women’ wins praise online – BBC News

“Body hair. Everyone has it.”

Simple words, but they’ve prompted a debate in the US and beyond this week thanks to a new razor advert that shows women actually shaving their body hair.

Razor brand Billie says it’s the first to feature hairy women for 100 years and the advert has gone viral as a result.

On social media, many women applauded its close-ups of hairy female toes, armpits, monobrows and stomachs.

“When brands pretend that all women have hairless bodies, it’s a version of body-shaming,” Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley told Glamour magazine.

“It’s saying you should feel ashamed of having body hair.”

As well as its advert, the brand has launched an online campaign to normalise images of fuzzy, stubbly, natural women.

Can a company selling razors really say it’s not complicit in that?

Billie addresses the issue with a line of pop-up text: “If and when you feel like shaving, we’re here.”

OHCHR | 38th session of the Human Rights Council, Statement by Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences

During my visit to the country (undertaken from 13 to 27 February 2017) I observed that violence against women in Australia is recognized and addressed as a pandemic by political leaders at the highest levels of Government.Through my visit to different jurisdictions, I commended the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
However, I also noted that such efforts are limited by several factors that impede the achievement of concrete results, including the lack of federal law or harmonized national laws on prevention, protection and prosecution of violence against women . . .

[T]he Government should, as a matter of priority:

  • Amend the Constitution or other laws to enshrine the right to equality of women and men as required by article 2 of the CEDAW and the prohibition of discrimination against women, in accordance with the definition in article 1 of the Convention, in order to provide an harmonized standard for laws related to women’s rights and prevention of gender based violence against women;
  • Enact a Federal Law on combating and preventing violence against and domestic violence based on CEDAW Convention and CEDAW GR 19 and 35. The Government should also expand the definitions of family and domestic violence to cover all forms of GBVAW including sexual assault, sexual harassment, violence in residential settings and online violence and harassment.

Britain kicks off consultation over ‘invasive’ rules for …

LONDON, July 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Britain began a 16-week public consultation to make it easier for transgender people to legally change their gender on Tuesday, amid fears it will jeopardise women-only spaces.

People wanting to change their gender on their birth certificate in Britain must provide two medical reports, including a mental health condition diagnosis, and prove they have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years.

“Transgender people across the UK find the process of legally changing their gender overly bureaucratic and invasive,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.

“I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised – because being trans should never be treated as an illness.”

A national LGBT survey found that only 12 percent of transgender respondents had a gender recognition certificate, with nearly half saying they could not meet the requirements.

Some women’s groups have voiced fears that the planned reform will allow self-identifying transgender people to use single-sex spaces, like domestic violence refuges or toilets.

“If we have no objective standards of what it means to be trans, then we are creating a system that is wide open to abuse,” Sarah Ditum, a writer who has criticised the reform, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“We can’t be naive about the fact that male violence exists in society and that men will take advantage of loopholes.

Why are women who discuss gender getting bomb threats?

Last night, some women got together in a room to talk about law and politics and sex and gender. The meeting, in Hastings, was organised by a group called A Woman’s Place UK, which is concerned about the way politics and public debate is developing with regard to the legal rights of transgender people and women.

In Britain in 2018, women trying to hold public meetings to talk about politics and the law are being subjected to intimidation and threats. The police are investigating a bomb threat against one of those meetings. Yet politicians and large sections of the media are silent. Would that be the case if any other group or community were subject to such threats and intimidation? Why aren’t politicians, of all parties, shouting from the rooftops about this?

It’s not as if they don’t know or don’t care. Since I started writing about the gender debate in February, I’ve lost count of the number of MPs and other political people (of all parties and ranks, from policy advisers to Cabinet ministers) who have privately told me they are worried about the nature of this debate and worried about the implications of policy. Yet almost all of those people have also said they are not willing to talk about this publicly, for fear of the criticism and vitriol they believe they would face from people who believe the interests of transgender people are best served by shouting down questions with allegations of transphobia and bigotry.

Twitter ‘bans women against trans ideology’, say feminists

Twitter is banning women who “speak out against the dangerous dogma of trans ideology”, a feminist group has said.

In a letter to Twitter director Martha Lane Fox, Fair Play for Women says the company is allowing “a concerted attack on women’s free speech”.

Fair Play for Women describes itself as a group of “ordinary women” who argue that “in the rush to reform transgender laws” women’s voices will not be listened to.

It says Twitter users have been banned for stating “basic, incontrovertible biological facts” such as saying men are not women.

Transsexual writer Miranda Yardley said she was banned from Twitter for stating that Green Party LGBT spokesperson Aimee Challenor, a trans woman, is a man.

Writing on her blog she said: “According to the rules of Twitter it is now hateful conduct to call someone who is a man, a man.

“The implication of this is that the concept of proscribed speech, things we are now not allowed to say, now extends to the truth. This is fundamentally illiberal.”

Currently, if someone wishes to have their gender identity legally recognised they have to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate – a process LGBT campaigning group Stonewall describes as “long, demeaning and bureaucratic”.

Stonewall is calling for a system of gender recognition based on self-identification, and wants to remove the requirement for a medical diagnosis before a transgender person can change their legally recognised gender.

In July 2017 then Equalities Minister Justine Greening said the Gender Recognition Act needed to be updated and that a consultation would begin in the autumn.

The Scottish government is currently consulting on gender recognition.

The campaigning group Man Friday argues allowing people to self-identify as a particular gender “removes any gatekeeping to women’s identity and protected spaces”.

To protest against any change to the law, the group choose Fridays to identify as men and take part in activities such as using male changing rooms.

On Friday a group of women attempted to access the men’s only bathing pond in Hampstead Heath as part of a protest against self-identification.

Rape charges: British women imprisoned for ‘inconsistent’ claims

HUNDREDS of vulnerable women have been sent to prison in the United Kingdom for lying about rape, according to an investigation.

The report found that UK authorities are “exceptionally aggressive” in pursuing women for lying about rape, prosecuting hundreds over the past decade.

At least 200 women have been prosecuted for fake rape cases in that time, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of press reports.

Most of the women were sent to prison, with dozens of them facing sentences of more than two years.

They said they found prosecutors went after women who were teenagers, reportedly had mental health issues, had experienced past physical and sexual assault, or were grappling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Last month a student revealed he is suing a woman for $6 million, claiming her false rape accusation at a frat party has destroyed his life.

The investigation also revealed women were prosecuted even when they reportedly went to police only under pressure, quickly recanted, or never named their attacker at all.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chair of the influential home affairs select committee, said the investigation was “very troubling”.

She called on the CPS to make sure the guidance was followed so that “victims are not deterred from coming forward” and “vulnerable women are not inappropriately prosecuted”.

Revealed: how US sex traffickers recruit jailed women for prostitution

Women in prisons across the US are being recruited by sex traffickers who force them into prostitution on their release.

A Guardian investigation has found that traffickers are using government websites to obtain personal information including mugshots, release dates and charge sheets to identify potential victims while they are still behind bars.

The investigation also found cases of the bail bond system being used in sex trafficking operations in at least five different states. Pimps and sex buyers are locating incarcerated women awaiting a court date by using personal data such as mugshots and bail bonds posted online, or through corrupt bondsmen.

Traffickers are then bailing women out of detention. Once released, the women are told they must work as prostitutes or have their bond rescinded and be sent back to jail.

“If inmates are being targeted while inside our prisons and jails by predators, instead of being offered the chance of an alternative when they are released, then this is a systemic failing of our duty of care to some of our country’s most vulnerable women.”

The US Department of Justice declined to comment.

What Really Happened With Lesbian Protestors At Pride London Yesterday?

In an audacious move, lesbian feminist campaigners Get the L Out marched to the front of the Pride bearing banners with the words ‘Lesbian = Female Homosexual’ ‘Lesbian Not Queer’ and ‘Transactivism Erases Lesbians.’ Pride London organisers told them their banners were ‘offensive’ and bystanders harassed and swore at the women.

Explaining why she took action, one of the campaigners explained:

“We protested the LGBT movement as a whole and Pride specifically because many lesbians feel erased and betrayed by a movement which claimed to represent us. The L in “LGBT” is meaningless when the LGBT organisations claim that a man can identify as ‘lesbian.’

“We either respect women’s sexual boundaries to refuse penises under whatever name or we don’t . And right now the LGBT organisations and Sadiq Khan naming lesbians “hateful” and “anti-trans” for daring to say “no” is disgraceful, misogynistic and anti-lesbian.”

Outside of shouty, blue-fringed students, the idea ‘some lesbians have penises’ is ridiculous. And yet, empowered by late-transitioning transwomen, the law is at risk of being changed to make questioning this statement a crime.

“We stand for the rights of lesbians to choose their sexual partners on the basis of their sex not their “gender identity” and condemn any pressure on lesbians to accept so called “trans women” as potential sex partners and the penis as a female organ as coercive and a manifestation of rape culture”

“we oppose the transition of young lesbians on the basis that their appearances or behaviour does not conform to socially accepted images of women. Having short hair and disliking pink is not a sign of having a male brain and does not mean one requires transition. The trans movement is a conservative movement which reinforces sexist sex stereotypes.”

“We oppose proposed changes to the GRA and view self-identification as a threat to women’s and girls rights.

“We demand stronger sex-based protections for women and girls and that women maintain the right to sex-segregated spaces at the exclusion of male regardless of their “identity”.”

Changing the concept of “woman” will cause unintended harms

Let’s focus on the sentence “trans women are women”. It’s occasionally said that this is already widely accepted as an implication of the current public concept of “woman”. Certainly, some speakers sincerely believe it, but still, I think, the usage hasn’t spread widely enough for this to be persuasive. Most use trans people’s preferred pronouns and names, but arguably this only shows a wish, which I share, to be compassionate and respectful. It’s also true that British law recognises trans women as women, but again, this was not intended to settle conceptual disputes but to alleviate discrimination against trans people.

[S}ome philosophers say that, even if the current public concept “woman” doesn’t include trans women, we should actively engineer it to do so in future. It’s argued that this will vastly improve the experience of trans people, ultimately helping to minimise both their sense of gender dysphoria (distress caused by a mismatch between felt and perceived gender identity) and their susceptibility to transphobic violence.

In public discourse, there’s a lot of focus on whether trans women should be counted as women. Whatever the ultimate answer, that’s obviously a reasonable question, despite trans activists’ attempts to count it as “transphobic”. But I think we should also ask whether self-declaration alone could reasonably be the only criterion of being trans.

And though, as in the notorious case of Rachel Dolezal, a person might “self-declare” that she is “trans racial”, it has seemed clear to nearly everybody responding to this case that such a declaration would be not only false, but also offensive to genuinely oppressed members of the race in question. There is no such thing as being “trans racial”; there is only thinking falsely that you are.

Both Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party, have apparently enthusiastically taken up this conclusion. They want to change the law to allow gender self-identification via an administrative process of self-certification as the only criterion for legally changing the sex recorded on one’s birth certificate. However, I’ll now suggest that such a move is not cost-free. In particular, certain harms to original members of the category “woman” should be weighed against any gains.

The category “female” is . . . important for understanding the particular challenges its members face, as such. These include a heightened vulnerability to rape, sexual assault, voyeurism and exhibitionism; to sexual harassment; to domestic violence; to certain cancers; to anorexia and self-harm; and so on. If self-declared trans women are included in statistics, understanding will be hampered.

Even more pressingly, if we lose a working concept of “female” in the way indicated, self-declared trans women (males) may well eventually gain unrestricted access to protected spaces originally introduced to shield females from sexual violence from males. We are already seeing the erosion of these, as companies and charities open formerly female-only spaces such as changing rooms, shared accommodation, swimming ponds, hospital wards, and prisons, to everyone out of a desire not to appear transphobic.

The problem here is male violence. The category of self-declared trans women includes many with post-pubescent male strength, no surgical alteration of genitalia, and a sexual orientation towards females.

Note that this is emphatically not a worry that self-declared trans women are particularly dangerous or more prone to sexual violence. It’s rather that we have no evidence that self-declared trans women deviate from male statistical norms in relevant ways. There’s also a separate worry that violent males who do not consider themselves trans will eventually take advantage of increasing confusion about social norms about such spaces. Sex offenders already go to great lengths to access vulnerable females; there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t use this situation to their advantage.

And changing the concept of “woman” to include self-declared trans women also threatens a secure understanding of the concept “lesbian”.

Harms also arise for females having to share already meagre sex-based resources with self-declared trans women (such as all-women shortlists for political candidacy, representation in the media and sports scholarships). They arise for post-operative “transsexuals” in relation to the approaching massive expansion of their defining category. And they arise for gender-nonconforming children, whose emerging world-view can be strongly influenced by trans-activist rhetoric about self-declaration.

Trans rights should not come at the cost of women’s fragile gains

In June Cancer Research UK, a charity, tweeted: “Cervical screening (or the smear test) is relevant for everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix.” The odd phrasing—“everyone with a cervix” rather than “women”—was not accidental. The charity explained that it had deliberately chosen to use what it described as “inclusive language”. Similarly, the campaign Bloody Good Period, which donates tampons and sanitary towels to asylum-seekers, uses the word “menstruators” rather than “women”. And Green Party Women, an internal campaign group of the British Green Party, confirmed last year that its preferred designation for the constituency it represented was not, in fact, “women” but “non-men”.

These linguistic peculiarities are all responses to the astonishingly rapid advance of trans activism. Mara Keisling of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, an American lobby group, claims that it has made “faster progress than any movement in American history”, and the same holds true across the globe.

Trans people face substantial injustices, most significantly violence (perpetrated, like all violence, largely by men) and discrimination. The process of applying for a gender-recognition certificate is intrusive and burdensome for many, and there are frustrating waiting lists for medical transition, which are compounded when doctors appear unsympathetic or obstructive. Yet rather than confront male violence or lobby the medical system, the focus of trans activism has overwhelmingly been the feminist movement, spaces and services designed for women, and the meaning of the word “woman”.

It is notable that Cancer Research UK did not test its “inclusive” approach with a male-specific cancer. Its campaign messages about prostate and testicular cancer address “men”, rather than “everyone with a prostate” or “everyone with testicles”.

Women’s groups are aggressively picketed for being exclusionary; men’s clubs are left unmolested.

This asymmetry is a problem. Gender equality has not been achieved. Men still earn more than women for equivalent work, run most of the biggest companies, dominate representative politics and commit the great majority of violent crime. But the drift towards gender-neutral language (at least when discussing matters that affect women) makes it increasingly hard to articulate all this. How can you describe the maternity penalty as a factor in women’s disadvantage in the workplace, without committing the “essentialist” faux pas of associating women with pregnancy and motherhood?

In sports, trans inclusion means trans women (natal males, such as Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand) competing against and beating female athletes, while trans men (natal females) present little threat to male competitors.

Too often, gender neutrality is accomplished by neutralising services or analyses centred on women. But it is also important to understand that, far from loosening the shackles of gender, modern trans ideology often tightens them.

There is a word for a situation where women talking about female bodies is considered impermissibly antisocial, where describing the consequences of sexism for women is systematically impeded, where resources for women are redistributed to male users while resources for men are left in male hands, and where “male” and “female” are rigidly associated with masculinity and femininity. That word is not “progressive”, “liberal” or any of the other terms usually associated with trans activism. The word is misogyny. Trans rights should not come at the cost of women’s fragile gains.

UN grills Australia on multiple failures to protect women against violence

This week, the key UN Committee on gender equality asked a multi-agency Australian government delegation how Australia is implementing the primary convention on women’s rights and gender equality.

As a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Australian government is expected to present to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination every four years but the last time they presented was in 2010.

Given Australia’s global economic standing, the Committee was extremely concerned by cuts to women’s shelter services and the housing, financial and legal services upon which the most vulnerable women rely. The Committee criticised Australia for cutting specialised services designed to help women escape violence in the home and replacing them with mainstreamed services. The Committee considered it is unreasonable for a woman who has been the victim of male violence seek refuge at a shelter that now also serves men.

Committee expert, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari asked about reduction in women’s access to justice due to “major cuts to legal aid across the board.” Quoting the 2014 Productivity Commission Inquiry she reminded us “women are more likely to experience unmet legal need than men, and that indigenous women are more at risk, and more legal need is unmet in rural, regional and remote areas.”

Committee’s Rapporteur for Australia, Patricia Schulz, was deeply critical of why the government had decided to merge the Family Court with the Federal Circuit Court before the results of the review they commissioned to ensure the family law system meets the contemporary needs of families and effectively addresses family violence and child abuse. She also expressed concern about the influence of false claims by the so called ‘Men’s Rights Activists’ on family law officers, policies and practice at the expense of the safety and protection of women and children in situations of domestic violence.