Maria Miller’s Report* Puts Feminists
in an Impossible Position
(24 Jan 2016)"This is the crux of the matter; if the recommendations in this report are passed into law as expected, it means that in important legal terms the distinction between men and women will become ‘gender’ instead of ‘sex’. This is an arbitrary move; when did we decide that ‘gender’ is a stronger marker than ‘sex’ if you need to differentiate between men and women? Gender, as a concept of masculinity and femininity, is based on subjective opinion; a means of dividing men and women along personality lines. ‘Correct’ gendered behaviour and presentation is already enforced and policed by society in a million different ways from birth, and the group it mostly harms is women. This report does not ask women to support transgender rights, it demands that we accept a definition of women which reinforces a limiting stereotype and at the same time deny the biological sex which is the basis of discrimination against women.
If gender-based rights are enshrined in law, women will still suffer sex-based oppressions such as sexual assault, rape, FGM, and discrimination based on our perceived capacity to give birth, but we will lose the language to talk about it and the right to organise against it as women, along with all sex-based protections such as single-sex facilities and services."
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*"Transgender Equality" (PDF 98 pages)