In what looks like a misguided attempt to win fresh supporters, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to push hard for further relaxation in gender identity requirements. This ‘advancement’ in trans rights would grant legal status as a woman (or man) to anyone who says they are. Corbyn seems very misinformed about the current state of gender ID law in the UK – and woefully ignorant of the repercussions for women and children.
Gender self-identity would be very, very bad for women
What Jeremy Corbyn says he is going to legalise is the self-declaration of gender, ie, that all you have to do to legally ‘become’ the opposite sex is to say you’re the opposite sex. You don’t have to take hormones or undergo surgery – in fact, neither’s required anyway. His new law would do away with the waiting time. A man is a woman if he says he is.
What this does is render the categories ‘male’ and ‘female’ essentially meaningless, which in turn means that sex-based oppression doesn’t exist. So 50% of the population will still experience sexism – they’ll still be paid less than men, they’ll still do all the bum-wiping and crappy part-time work and they’ll still be harrassed and catcalled and talked down to and abused and need abortions and be subject to FGM – but they won’t be able to complain about it, because women will no longer be a protected class.
In addition, men being able to self-identify as women means no women’s sports (there is already a male trans cyclist dominating women’s cycling, a male trans weightlifter winning in women’s weightlifting, and a male trans MMA fighter who almost killed his female opponent).
It means men being able to access women’s refuges, shelters and prisons (where many of the women will be there because of male violence).
It makes it easy to get round employment equality laws by hiring self-identifying women who won’t do anything inconvenient like get pregnant.
So women lose out pretty badly if this happens
And it’s not just a few people – at some schools, over 25% of the kids identify as trans – which for many of them does mean a lifetime of hormones and surgery to try and become something biologically impossible.
It’s a huge issue for women right now, particularly mothers.
Think it through, Jeremy Corbyn!
A couple of years ago, Corbyn proudly shared a pledge to make public transport safer for women – by introducing women-only carriages, something that hasn’t been seen in the UK since the 1970s. After hearing from women’s groups that shutting us out of harm’s way isn’t an answer to male violence, he gracefully backtracked.
Now he wants to usher penis-owners into women-only spaces.
Self-ID and women’s rights are mutually exclusive. Let’s hope he’ll think this through and change his viewpoint.