Only about one in five trans people undergo ‘sex reassignment’ surgery. Approx 75% of trans women have a functioning penis. Reports vary: we give information below from the Transgender Law Centre and GIRES.
Our header image is an opening clip from BBC2’s recent documentary, ‘Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?’ We found this a very fair and well-researched programme, presenting both sides of the debate. Our comment is here.
“Some women have penises, some men have vaginas, get over it.”
Readers will remember the media storm over Tara Hudson, the “beautician” who supposedly lived her entire life as a woman but somehow neglected to apply for a reassignment certificate. In his successful campaign to be incarcerated with women, Hudson managed to keep all the facts about himself out of the public eye. These facts include his real profession as a ‘she-male’ (his word) prostitute and sex performer, the news that he refers to himself as a bloke, and his now deleted pages of tweets mocking all the people who fell for his “mistreated young woman” story.
Hudson’s campaign seems to have been a clever publicity stunt.
He was sent to a women’s prison for the latest of at least eight convictions for severe assault (battery.) Most of his victims were women.
We share these insights to help correct the widespread assumption that most transgender people have ‘bottom surgery’ – they don’t – and to highlight just one of the many problems that arise when we say anyone can be a woman.
‘Women’ with male reproductive equipment are being allowed into female prisons, shelters, hospital wards; into girls’ dorms, female changing rooms and showers. It’s already a crime to treat anyone with a Gender Recognition Certificate as their birth sex. The certificate doesn’t require genital surgery. Soon, if the Gender Identity (Equalities) Bill goes ahead as seems likely, self-identification will be enough.
It’s worth pointing out that Tara Hudson did not have a GRC, yet vulnerable women prisoners were still exposed to him.
Maria Miller wants to expand the legal definition of gender identity, so that anyone who calls themselves a woman must be treated as one. Not only must they and their penis be allowed into women’s private spaces, but anybody who objects will be guilty of ‘hate crime’. They are the ones who’ll be punished, not the self-identified woman who is male.
In Canadian and American states where this is already law, there have been numerous incidents of voyeurism, rape, even murder of females by male transgender women.
From Sheila Jeffreys’s submission to the Transgender Equality Inquiry:
4. Why men who transgender should not have access to women’s spaces:
i. Men who transgender should not have access to women’s spaces because they do not change their biological sex and do not become female. Moreover, the majority of these male-bodied persons (85%) retain their genitalia (Transgender Law Centre, 2005). There is no requirement in UK legislation such as the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, that recognition as transgender must involve hormonal or surgical treatment. Thus male persons who access women’s spaces may be physically entire and express their gender identity only through the assumption of feminine stereotypes, i.e. gender, in their appearance.
ii. The behaviour of men who transgender towards women resembles the behaviour of men who do not transgender in respect of male pattern violence i.e. some male-bodied transgenders, like their non-transgendering counterparts, have a pattern of violent practices towards women such as murder, rape, sexual harassment. The linked website provides a collection of newspaper accounts of sexual violence against women and girls by men who transgender: https://outofmypantiesnow.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/when-is-90-not-substantially-all/
The response from transgender rights campaigners is sometimes that the men who are violent are not genuine transgenders, but since transgenderism is not a biological condition but a mental one, adjudication of genuineness is not possible. Increasing numbers of those who have transgendered are deciding that they have made a mistake and engaging in ‘detransition’, which reveals that the mental condition can be temporary and evanescent. A google search reveals 19,600 pages of resources for persons who seek to detransition.
The Human Rights Campaign has launched a new series of online videos aptly titled “Debunking the Myths: Transgender Health & Well-Being”
The first video, “Myth #1: Surgery is a Top Priority for All Transgender People,” addresses the false notion that gender-confirming surgeries are essential to every transgender person’s identity. In reality, only 33 percent of transgender people have reported undergoing some form of gender-confirming surgery, with 14 percent of transgender women and 21 percent of transgender men not interested in ever having genital surgery.