Protect women’s rights and spaces: Submission on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registrati on Bill (NZ)

From Submission by Renee Gerlich:
To ensure that the BDMRRA does not breach Section 21(1a) of the Human Rights Act, section 19 of the Bill of Rights Act and CEDAW, I request that Section 28 of the BDMRRA be amended to include a necessary preamble: a definition of sex and a definition of gender with which the rest of the Act be made consistent. I suggest that these definitions are made consistent with the HRA and CEDAW: namely, that sex be defined as biological: persons can be either male or female according to standard definitions (chromosomes, gonads, genitals and secondary sex characteristics). I support the maintenance of an “indeterminate” provision for intersex persons under section 28 of the current Act.
Any definition of sex proposed to underpin the BDMRRA that challenges commonplace understandings of “sex” as biological, as well as definitions drawn on to prevent sex discrimination in the HRA and CEDAW, must not be legislated for without a full public consultation. This consultation should include every single service that will be affected by the institutionalisation of definitions of sex and gender that are not commonplace. Consultation must be carried out with rape crisis shelters, women’s refuges, sports teams, Corrections and within women’s prisons, any public facilities that include bathrooms and changing rooms, women in women’s representative groups and positions, all-girls schools, and other groups. I also propose that without the addition of a preamble clearly defining sex and gender, no amendments can be made to the BDMRRA. The BDMRRA is already at odds with Section 21(1a) of the HRA and CEDAW, and any changes made, if not underpinned by clear definitions, will remain weak and problematic at best and will become circular, illogical and increase harm to women at worst.
https://reneejg.net/2018/03/01/bdmrra-submission/

UK universities struggle to deal with ‘toxic’ trans rights row

Anna Fazackerley for The Guardian writes:
Transgender issues cut across many academic disciplines including law, gender studies, philosophy and history, and so the issues are natural ones for academics to discuss. Freedman is focusing on the Gender Recognition Act as part of her job as a law professor with expertise in human rights. “I am deeply concerned by how the conflation of sex and gender is leading to subjugation of women and is undermining the specific protections guaranteed to women under international and national human rights law,” she says.
As well as many abusive comments on Twitter, she has been shown a written request from an academic at another university asking for her to be blacklisted from giving any papers or attending events in their law school. Colleagues have also told her that Reading University has received written and verbal complaints about her views from its staff and students, and from people outside the university.
Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at Sussex University, who has been critical of trans self-identification as part of her work on feminist philosophy, has been publicly labelled “transphobic” by Sussex students’ union. The union put out a statement about her saying: “We will not tolerate hate on campus, and we will do everything in our power to protect our students.” She says the union and some students have sent emails asking her head of school and other senior managers to condemn or publicly disassociate themselves with her views, and students have protested against her on campus.
Stock says she knows academics at other universities who are “terrified of being fired” for their views on this subject. She wants UK universities to follow those in the US that have adopted the “Chicago [University] principles” on free speech. This is a commitment to allowing free debate on campus, even if other people at the university think someone’s views are “offensive, unwise or immoral”.
Stock says: “I can deal with strangers behind pseudonyms saying horrible things on Twitter, and, up to a point, with young, inexperienced students condemning me. But what I can’t understand is academics going out of their way to shame me.”
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/oct/30/uk-universities-struggle-to-deal-with-toxic-trans-rights-row

Petition Open Letter to the AAP

Please sign a petition addressed to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asking them to reconsider their recently released policy statement on the care of transgender youth.
The AAP’s policy statement essentially rubber-stamps the gender affirmative approach to working with transgender youth. The gender affirmative approach affirms a child’s belief that he/she is transgender at any age, regardless of other possible causative/related factors (such as autism, social contagion, or same-sex attraction). As part of gender-affirmative care, youth are often prescribed puberty-blockers and synthetic hormones that have not been approved for this use by the Food and Drug Administration. Under-age youth and young adults are also undergoing major gender-confirming sex reassignment surgeries.
The petition is being circulated by the Gender Critical Support Board, an online forum of over 1,100 parents and loved ones of trans-identified youth and young adults who are seeking a thoughtful and cautious approach to the treatment of their gender dysphoric children.
https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/open-letter-to-aap

Transgender politics focuses on who determines someone’s gender – The body of law

The Economist writes:
WHO DECIDES your gender? The rights of transgender people stem from the seemingly simple question of how to define someone’s gender in law. Yet this week, in two countries where transgender politics and rights are most rooted, the question has received radically different answers. There is nothing simple about it.
https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/10/27/transgender-politics-focuses-on-who-determines-someones-gender

Labour members ‘punished’ over transgender Facebook debate

Lucy Bannerman for The Times writes:

Labour supporters have criticised a “sinister” decision to freeze them out of a Facebook group for sharing an article by the former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
In the article for The Times, Mr Phillips, a long-time Labour member, urged ministers not to give in to “trans zealots” over proposals to allow people to self-declare their legal gender.
Within 25 minutes of making the post, Ms Lush was told that she would be muted by administrators for sharing the allegedly “transphobic and offensive” material.
When another female member tried to share the article, the group moderator muted her and asked her “not to share that kind of stuff in the future”.
The member, who declined to be named for fear of harassment, criticised the hypocrisy of the administrators. The woman, a party member for 30 years, said: “The policy has never been debated amongst members, and Labour politicians are colluding with intimidation and silencing. Many women I know are leaving and have left (the party) over this issue.
“I was silenced for sharing an article explaining that the rights and protections of marginalised groups that were fought for for half a century would be destroyed if the push for self ID was successful. I had been perfectly polite and respectful, simply presenting the article for discussion, as I believe the points are valid and important. The silencing of anyone questioning these proposed reforms is not democratic.”
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-members-punished-over-transgender-facebook-debate-n38wwj8nx

Online paedophile jailed for 14 years

ITV News reports:
A man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl he arranged to meet in Basingstoke has been put behind bars.
Gary Cooper, 47, from Hertford, contacted his victim five days earlier via an online chat room and groomed her by posing as a teenage girl.
A police investigation uncovered a series of offences against the 12 year old and another girl, for which Cooper pleaded guilty.
He was jailed yesterday for 14 years and four months.
Det Insp Dave Storey said: “Gary Cooper (also known as Carrie Cooper) has been convicted of some very serious sexual assaults against children. The most serious involved a sequence of events in which Cooper used an on-line social network site to sexually groom and subsequently rape a 12-year-old girl.
https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2012-11-15/online-paedophile-jailed-for-14-years/
Hertfordshire Constabulary report as follows:

A woman has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for sexual offences against a child
Carrie Cooper, aged 53, was found guilty of nine counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 following a trial at St Albans Crown Court
The court heard how she abused the victim a number of times between 2007 and 2011
https://www.herts.police.uk/news-and-appeals/woman-sentenced-for-historical-sexual-offences-against-a-child-1970

Don't agree with trans ideology? UTAS will find a way to silence you …

Bronwyn Williams for the Tasmanian Times writes:

Universities present themselves as forums for robust debate, but when it comes to trans rights, it seems no dissent from the politically correct position will be tolerated. Those who argue against the favoured pro-trans ideology are shamelessly and vindictively silenced, with specious claims of defamation concerns, patently uninformed ‘legal advice’ and more buck passing than you’re ever likely to see, anywhere.
And, the censorship persists, based on a unilateral decision, with no consultation or information or proper advice offered to the author.
Below is the text of the offending article, as published in Togatus …
The Collective’s Facebook page posts the occasional useful feminist article, but the overall transgender/queer bias is patently obvious. Only those who agree with a ‘feminism’ that prioritises trans/queer interests are welcome.

I fully appreciate the emotional and social consequences gender identity issues must have for transgender and queer individuals, but I’m not prepared to cede my experience of femaleness to the overtly political agenda of some in those groups. I am a woman, not a cis-woman.

And, seriously, when a Collective member has a bitch about their ‘queerness’ not being taken seriously enough because they’re ‘low femme’ and they have ‘a long-term cis man partner’ we know we’re truly in the realm of privileged, white, first world problems.
Thousands of women are out there right now – being underpaid, and exploited, and trafficked into sexual slavery, and raped and beaten and killed. Most of them have XX chromosomes and bigger things to worry about than their gender identity. If feminism has to be a game of priorities, I prefer to prioritise their struggles.
https://tasmaniantimes.com/2018/10/dont-agree-with-trans-ideology-utas-will-find-a-way-to-silence-you/

Lib Dem trans activists ‘hounded’ abuse victim

Lucy Bannerman for The Times writes:
Natalie Bird, 38, a mother of two who fled an abusive former partner, was accused of “dangerous transphobia” by transgender activists in the party. She had said that opening up safe spaces without proper safeguards to anyone who said that they were female could put women at risk.
She opposed segregating women’s refuges by chosen gender instead of biological sex, and said that it was not fair to make female victims of domestic violence, abuse and rape share services with people with “functioning” male anatomy.
After being allegedly bullied on social media by party activists, Ms Bird was brought before a disciplinary hearing to face a complaint in the name of Zoe O’Connell, on behalf of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats. The correspondence says that Ms Bird had “expressed troublesome views”.
The hearing found no evidence to support the complaint of transphobia, but Ms Bird lost her position as chairwoman of the Radical Association, made up of party members, following a vote of no confidence. This cost her her role as a judge of the Ashdown Prize for Radical Thought; an ironic move, Ms Bird said, given that the prize’s aim was to reward “big, bold, radical” solutions to society’s most “daunting problems . . . no one has the courage to argue for”.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/lib-dem-trans-activists-hounded-abuse-victim-b6dx39tv3

Transgender prisoner who sexually assaulted inmates jailed for life

Nazia Parveen for The Guardian writes:
A “predatory and controlling” rapist has been jailed for life after she(sic) attacked vulnerable women in female prisons.
Karen White, 52, who was described as being a danger to women and children, admitted sexually assaulting women in a female prison and raping another two women outside jail.
The 52-year-old, who is currently transitioning, was sentenced yesterday for two counts of rape, two sexual assaults and one offence of wounding.
White has previous convictions for indecent assault, indecent exposure and gross indecency involving children, animal cruelty and dishonesty.
The Ministry of Justice has apologised for moving her(sic) to the women’s prison, saying that her(sic) previous offending history had not been taken into account.
Prosecutor Chris Dunn described White as an “alleged transgender female” who has used her(sic) “transgender persona to put herself in contact with vulnerable persons” whom she(sic) could then abuse.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/11/transgender-prisoner-who-sexually-assaulted-inmates-jailed-for-life

Transgender man upset by blood agency's screening policy which considers him female

Travis McEwan for CBC News reports:

A transgender man is calling for Canadian Blood Services to change its screening policy when dealing with trans donors.
Jack Biamonte donated blood five times over the past year. Two weeks ago he had an embarrassing experience after he revealed his recent hysterectomy surgery to staff.
Staff, unaware Biamonte was a female-to-male transgender individual, asked him if he had genital-reconstruction surgery. When he said no, staff told him he would have to answer questions based on his sex assigned at birth.
Donors who have not had genital-reconstruction surgery are screened by their gender assigned at birth.
That means trans men born female are screened as women and questioned about pregnancies, as donors who have had a pregnancy are more likely to have antibodies in their blood that may cause a rare but potentially fatal complication in a recipient.
“I feel like if it’s better explained people will be more accepting of it,” Biamonte said.
But he disagrees that the policy is based on science.
[ed: sounds like they will need to ask all donors about
pregnancies now regardless of how they present.]

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/trans-canadian-blood-services-1.4851296