Female-only must always mean male-free.
If you are told your mother is in a female-only hospital ward you need to be sure she won’t find someone born male in the bed next to her.
If you are told you’ll get a female health care professional to perform an intimate procedure you need to know that’s what you’ll get.
If you choose a female-only club or activity you need to know it will be male-free.
If you read about a ‘female’ sex-offender in the newspaper you need to be confident that really is their birth sex.
If your daughter is playing a team sport, she needs to be safe from the increased risk of injury to her if there is a trans-identifying boy in the other team – or even her own team.
Despite the UK Equality Act clearly stating that it can be lawful in all these situations to be female-only and to exclude males, even if they have a GRC, this is not what is happening.
Along with challenging policies in these areas, we are tackling the obfuscation and misleading language that conceals what is actually going on.
Can you believe newspaper reports about women committing sex crimes?
We are increasingly seeing media reports of “women” sex offenders, committing the sorts of violent and sexual crimes that are vanishingly rare for women. Usually, these are males who claim womanhood, and whom the police and courts have referred to as “she”. Although only a few cases such as Karen White and Katie Dolatowski have been widely reported, these are not isolated incidents. We are lobbying IPSO, the UK’s main media watchdog, to correct their Editors’ Code so that people can believe what they read. We have also produced a media guide to assist in fair and truthful reporting.
Sex and gender identity must not be conflated in the ONS Census
We are also lobbying the Office For National Statistics (ONS) which runs the Census for England and Wales, to ensure that the data they collect by sex can be relied on. They are facing conflicting demands from statisticians to collect reliable sex-based data, on the one hand, and from trans activists on the other hand, who want to answer the sex question in the 2021 census according to how they identify rather than birth sex. Fair Play For Women has been working on this behind the scenes since late 2019, which led to our participation in June 2020 in a stakeholder round table discussion on the issue. This matters because all sorts of organisations in the public and private sectors, as well as academics, rely on ONS data to plan for people’s needs and to inform policies and decisions. Bad data leads to bad decisions. The approach taken by the ONS is considered the gold standard in data collection and is widely copied, so the problem spreads.
The proposed solution, a sex question and a separate gender identity question, will provide good data only if the ONS directs people to answer the sex question by birth sex, and not by self-ID. You would think trans activists would want this too, as it is the only way to get a meaningful picture of the size and nature of the trans population, which would help shape healthcare and other services for their needs. But trans activists want the sex question to mean gender identity too. They want the ONS guidance to say that people should declare their sex by how they identify. This will not generate good data. We know that 98% of sexual offences are committed by men, because of data collection by sex. If these policies continue, the data will be incorrect. As of January 2021, it seems that common sense has prevailed and the Census guidance will direct people to answer the sex question according to birth sex.
Erasing the words woman and mother is not inclusive
The very words we use to describe ourselves as a sex class are being erased. In media reports, in health campaigns, in human rights organisations, we are seeing the replacement of “woman” or “women” with terms like “menstruator“, “uterus-haver” or “people with a vagina“. Women tell us that they find this dehumanising, not inclusive. Our concern is that it blurs legal issues such as sex discrimination. This can only set women’s equality back. There is no upside for women in losing the words we need to talk about our bodies, our needs and our rights.
Listen to Dr Nicola Williams talk about the importance of the word “mother” Transgender man loses appeal court battle to be registered as father on child’s birth certificate.
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