If our political class will not defend women’s rights, it falls on us to lead the way. Fair Play for Women is now raising a fighting-fund as quickly as we can so that we can launch a major campaign to take our debate to the country and stop sex self-ID before it’s too late.
Fair Play for Women is a group of ordinary people from all walks of life who have come together to fight for women’s and girls’ rights. We are deeply concerned that, in the rush to amend the Gender Recognition Act, our entire political class is failing to defend female sex-based rights.
This issue is now urgent. The government is launching a consultation on the Act in the coming weeks that will consider whether to enable people legally to self-declare their sex (“sex self-ID”). If sex self-ID becomes law, it will allow any man, whether transgender or not, to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) by a simple on-demand process and subsequently change the marker on his birth certificate to Female. He may swear on oath that he intends to live as his chosen sex: but, with no checks or safeguards and no requirement to make any surgical, physical, behavioural or other change, there will be no objective way of disproving his word.
Sex self-ID will in practice lead to the obliteration of all female-only space and activities, as the law governing single-sex protections will become practically unenforceable on the ground. Supporters of self-ID tell us our sex-based rights will be unaffected, but this is untrue. When any man can opt into the female sex, while protected by strict privacy rules that hide his transgender status, no one can challenge his right to enter a space lawfully reserved for natal females. When any man has the right to be female, single-sex protections lose all meaning.
Like all decent people in this country, we want transgender men and women to be able to live in peace and dignity, to flourish and prosper as human beings in their chosen presentation, and to get access to the services they need. But this must not come at the expense of women’s and girls’ rights.
Women’s single-sex spaces are needed. As long as men are responsible for 98% of sexually motivated crimes, as long as 85,000 of women are raped in England and Wales every year, and 510,000 women are assaulted, as long as males are bigger, stronger and more prone to violence than females, we will need single-sex showers, toilets, changing-rooms, refuges, prisons and sports.
Women have been subjected to vicious personal attacks simply for asking rational questions about this assault on our rights.
But we see what is happening. We, more than anyone, understand erasure. We understand belittlement. We understand colonisation. We understand how it feels when males want to muscle in on our space.
And we are not taking it.