Gender identity – why we can’t look away
28 September 2021
People don’t believe feminists when we say women are being erased from our own language and our political rights. Women are accused of “hate” and “transphobia”, as if our concerns are focused on stopping trans people from having decent lives and enjoying the rights all people share.
At WLA, our focus is in fact less about trans people, and more about the advance of a new philosophy – “gender identity ideology” that is becoming embedded in law across the Western world, largely without national populations understanding what is happening.
As leftists we are keen that everyone has access to the things that make a decent life – quality public healthcare, housing, education and income. No one should be unfairly excluded from access to those things on the basis of characteristics over which they have no control – such as age, ethnicity, sex, non-conformity with sex stereotypes, which from our perspective includes trans people. Nor should people be so excluded from exercising their rights on the basis of their philosophical, political or spiritual beliefs.
What we don’t support, and in fact vigorously oppose, is the wholesale removal of the word “woman” from public discourse, and replacing it with dehumanising language about “bodies with vaginas” as happened at the Lancet over the weekend (see this paywalled article too). It isn’t the first or only time this has happened, and yet MEN are still just men. Not “bodies with prostates”, as this May 2021 Lancet article demonstrates. And then there is this tweet from the venerable American Civil Liberties Union, now a bastion of gender ideologies, removing the word “woman” from a quote by Ruth Bader Ginsberg of all people.
Hand in hand with this outright erasure of women from language about our health needs, are steps taken, allegedly in the name of “trans rights”, to prevent women from organising as women – politically, or simply for camaraderie and enjoyment (see also this paywalled article in The Times). Current law changes such as those in the the BDMRR Bill, that render a birth certificate meaningless, pave the way for similar assaults on women’s rights here.
While we are told birth certificate laws are simply to make it easier and less embarrassing for trans people to provide official identification that matches their internal feelings – under gender identity ideology, it goes further than that – a change in identity now guarantees access to single sex spaces and services – regardless of the feelings of people born into that sex.
Trans people exist. They are entitled to – and we believe already have – the rights we all share. They’re entitled to organise as trans people for political and social reasons. And not every trans person is a supporter of gender identity ideology. Many of its loudest and most vengeful proponents are straight, “cis” people.
Women exist. We need our language and we will always need and want space and time to organise and socialise without the presence of men. This is the key issue in debates about the BDMRR Bill that most of the broader left and seemingly all of the Parliamentary left don’t or won’t understand – certainly if the arrogant recent performances in Select Committee by such Labour also-rans as Deborah Russell, Rachel Boyack and Shannon Halbert are anything to go by.
It’s tiresome to have to fight these battles again, when there are pressing issues for women like homelessness and family violence, sex-based poverty and always, always sexual assault. But all of these rest on the basis that women exist, and as leftists, we see that we exist as a class. That’s why fighting the gender identity ideology sweeping the globe is a top priority for women’s liberation, much as we wish it were not so.
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Yes. Their bully behaviour works. Most cults are good at bullying. I agree & our sisterhood is what we must rely on