Our five guiding principles
1) Biological sex exists, and in certain situations it is vitally important – objective truths are not bigoted or transphobic.
2) Sexism exists, it is endemic, and women and girls face structural inequality, male physical and sexual violence, harassment, reproductive injustice, unequal pay and so on precisely because they are members of the female sex.
3) Gender (or culturally determined roles, beliefs, and stereotypes) is neither natural nor innate but a socially constructed hierarchy borne of the dominant order that varies over time and between cultures; it is harmful to men and boys, but oppressive to women and girls. Sex and gender are not the same and must not be conflated.
4) Women and girls have a right to terms that are necessarily exclusive so that they can accurately name themselves and the injustice they suffer; a right to organise as a sex to address this injustice; and a right, in a democracy, to laws (and discussion of those laws) that protect them as a sex from this injustice.
5) Whilst we oppose all forms of bigotry and discrimination, trans rights do not exist in isolation and they must not come at the expense of another extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged group: women and girls.
We defend the sex-based rights of women and girls
We endorse the widespread societal norm, enshrined in UK law, that single-sex spaces and opportunities for women and girls are necessary, for safety, for fairness, and for privacy and dignity.
For safety. Most sexual assault is by males, against females. For our physical and emotional safety, we need to know where men are not permitted to follow.
For fairness. Female categories exist in sport to exclude males and give women a chance winning. Opportunities open to female only, such as prizes, scholarships and political shortlists, have been created to help redress the imbalance and under-representation of women in public life.
For dignity and privacy. In all those places where a person is vulnerable or exposed, women and girls, and also men and boys, generally feel more comfortable where there is no one of the opposite sex.
Prisons, domestic violence refuges, healthcare, dormitories, changing rooms, toilets, sport. We need to keep them single-sex.
We support trans rights
Both females and trans people are protected from discrimination in UK law. They are different groups.
We believe everyone should be free to look and dress as they wish, to be as traditionally masculine or feminine as they want, or to break out of oppressive gender norms as so many of us do, and not to be treated unfairly because of it. It’s right that transgender people have their own category under equality law, and protection from discrimination.
But people born male do not have the automatic right to enter the legal category of the female sex. Feeling like a woman is not the same as being a woman. Presenting as feminine is not the same as being female. Being a gender-nonconforming man does not stop you being male. Females exist. Women and girls exist. We share unique characteristics because of our biology and the way our femaleness is treated by society. We cannot identify out of that. That’s why the law protects women as a sex and permits the exclusion of males when objectively justified.
Trans rights are human rights, but they are not female rights.