Last year, the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Sarah Bolt, ruled against Jessica Hoyle in an application to hold a female-only event for lesbian women in a Hobart gay bar. Hoyle sought an exemption from gender identity protections in order to discriminate against male people.
Sarah Bolt indicated that when the lesbians acted to ‘confirm a person’s biological sex’, they would be involving people in intrusive questioning and undermining their ‘right to privacy’. The implication is that lesbians are so poor at determining a person’s biological sex on sight, they may seek to inspect an individual’s genitals.
Last week, Kate Cuthbertson from Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (TASCAT) upheld the ruling of Sarah Bolt by saying that there is ‘no evidence’ that allowing lesbians to discriminate on the basis of sex is ‘desirable’, not only that, but the very application to ask permission for a single-sex space for women does a ‘disservice to transgender and transexual communities’.
The application for an exemption from Hoyle, used evidence from UK prisons where there are clear indications that ‘transwomen’ are showing higher rates of sexual offence than the general male prison population. The evidence suggests that some males will adopt trans identity to access female facilities. Cuthbertson meets the evidence . . . with the claim that the evidence is not ‘peer-reviewed or subject to any formal statistical analysis’.
Australian lesbian women, who formerly held protective attributes, are being asked, by legal mechanisms, for peer-reviewed proof of the criminality of males in relation to females to justify their requirement of a single-sex space. The sexual behaviour of males toward females including aggressive, coercive, and violent behaviour is established science. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘nearly all sexual assault offenders recorded by police were male’. If we are being told there is a cohort of males who are exempt from these statistics, we need to know how to define this cohort.
The debate about whether ‘transwomen’ are a danger to women is a red herring. We know that males are a danger to females, we need evidence from governments, from ACON, from Equal Opportunity Tasmania, from the Queensland Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman; how it is that a declaration can abate male pattern violence? Where is the science that is being used to erase the sex category that women need for our own protection in public spaces and cultural and religious events?