Shona Craven makes several very important points. Misrepresentation by pro-reform activists of the arguments offered by those expressing concerns about the proposed GRA reforms is largely responsible for the toxicity of the debate. This toxicity has been quite purposefully contrived because it helps the pro-reform side dodge the kind of questions Shona refers to. Questions relating to the actual effect of the revised legislation in real-life situations.
Questions about the real-life effect of the reforms are smothered with worthy-sounding rhetoric about the intent. People with questions are discouraged from asking them by the fact that merely seeking clarification is enough to have them branded a hateful, uncaring bigot. The GRA reform debate has been beset by some truly despicable politicking almost entirely emanating from the woke clique which forms the imperial guard helping Nicola Sturgeon maintain her near-total control of the SNP.
Typically, we are assured that the reforms are about gender and not sex. But when we look at the effect of the reforms in real life, we see that this simply isn’t the case. Possession of a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) allows the individual to alter records essential for the purposes of identification – such as their birth certificate and passport. Even National Records of Scotland (NRS) goes along with the deception. Its explanation of how a GRC can be used to alter a birth certificate refers only to gender. Sex is not mentioned at all. This despite the fact that there is no entry on a birth certificate for gender. Only for sex. It is the record of the person’s sex which is being altered. Not the record of their gender. Because there is no record of their gender on their birth certificate.
There could not be a record of the individual’s gender on a birth certificate not only because there is no such entry but because the neonate has no gender. Gender is, as we are constantly being told as if we didn’t already know, very largely socially determined. Babies have not had the opportunity to acquire a gender identity or to have a gender identity ‘imposed’ on them. They have yet to be socialised.
The claim that it’s about gender not sex is clearly a lie. The law as proposed will allow official records to be altered in order to confirm a lie about the sex of an individual. One cannot help but be reminded of Winston Smith’s job in Orwell’s 1984. The reforms proposed by the Scottish Government are explicitly intended to make it easier for almost anyone to alter official records. To believe that this facility will not be abused is to deny human nature. Which, I suppose, is easy once you’ve reached the stage of denying the binary and immutable nature of sex.
Another distortion of the debate is the way in which concerns about those who might abuse this facility to obtain official documents falsely testifying to their sex are minimised or dismissed. Shona mentions the revoltingly glib line about not having to show your birth certificate to gain entry to the ladies’ loo. Then there’s the one about it being men who attack women in toilets and not trans people. Ignoring the fact that the sex distinction has ceased to have any real meaning on account of the reforms. We are presented with statistical evidence that purports to show that the problem of men invading women-only spaces is infinitesimal. Mention that the problem the reforms purport to address is even more infinitesimal, however, and you are again labelled a heartless beast blah! blah! blah!
This minimisation and dismissal of the impact of the reforms on sex-based rights and safe spaces ignores yet another real-life effect of the legislation. In real life, it is not being attacked that blights lives but the fear of being attacked. Even if you could produce statistics which showed that only one woman in a million would be the victim of an attack perpetrated by a man who had falsified his sex with the assistance of the government, this doesn’t alter the reality of the fear felt by the other 999,999 women. It is fear which blights lives. It is fear which will effectively deny access to (formerly) women-only spaces for thousands of women. It is not somebody standing at the door checking birth certificates which will prevent them entering the ladies’ toilets. What stops them is the knowledge that this is no longer a safe space. It is no longer a space reserved for women. It is a space which can easily be accessed by men.
This fear too is dismissed by proponents of the reform. They typically respond to concerns about men going into women-only spaces by tritely pointing out that men can already go into these spaces. Ignoring the fact that what they propose will mean that those men will in future have access to those spaces legitimised by easily obtained official documents stating that they are female. Ignoring the fact that while they boast about making it easier for people to obtain these falsified documents and increasing the numbers who do so, they blithely disregard the fact that the real-life effect of this must inevitably be to increase the fear felt by women.
It’s not what the law says that matters. It’s what the law does. Proponents of the GRA reforms as proposed choose to turn a blind eye to what effect the reforms imply for women in real-life situations holding this to be of no consequence when set against the magnificent progressive purity of their intent.
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