So after reading yet another article about how women are being ‘hysterical’ in having fears around male inclusion in female only spaces where we are vulnerable, I realised that it’s time to deal with this *fucking bullshit*.
Firstly, let’s get one thing straight: how a male identifies makes *no difference whatsoever* to the threat that they pose to women as a male.
And actually, as a woman, the fact that so many trans identified male (TIM) activists are misogynists who have violent ideations around women to the point of fetishising violence against women (check out terfisaslur.com) coupled with the fact that LGBT organisations have resolutely refused to address this despite its pervasiveness (or even acknowledge it), means that for me – as a woman – there is an additional threat to deal with here in respect to this group, especially with regards to feminists like me. And women cannot afford to ignore that.
I regularly see tweets by TIM activists calling for the murder of women like myself and my sisters, and despite the prevalence of TIM’s calling for our rape/death/beating and the general attitude that violence against women is okay, nay necessary, if those women refuse to submit to males (some of these tweets get thousands of likes), the only trans people challenging this is a small number of transsexuals who bravely speak out and get vitriolically attacked by trans activists as a result.
Indeed the general silence from the trans community – particularly those organisations spearheading trans activism – is deafening, which tells me there is a general acceptance of these attitudes and *that’s* what makes me extremely wary of TIM’s generally (and the many other men who completely ignore this violent misogyny/engage in it), just as I would be of any male from within any community where these attitudes were accepted and normalised. And these attitudes do lead to male violence against women; there has been three physical attacks on women by trans activists in the last year, one of which was reported to police and a TIM is due to stand trial for physically assaulting a 60 year old woman later this month.
So while I *have to have* additional concerns around TIM’s generally speaking, I don’t doubt that most TIM’s are not predators, indeed most men aren’t, but it’s equally clear that they have done everything to women and girls that men have: most remain fully male bodied and TIM’s have been convicted of beating, raping and murdering women and children. In the UK in the last 10 years, more TIM’s have killed than have been killed (these are still low numbers respectively though) and the prison service has confirmed that roughly half of trans prisoners are sex offenders. This info simply helps to make the point that there is precisely zero difference in the threat to women and girls of anyone with a male body, because it is the male body that is capable of rape; it is the male body that is generally much stronger; *and* it’s males who commit 98% of sexual crime. In other words, women and girls live in a climate of *male* violence, and this includes males who identify as transgender.
And this is all exacerbated by Self ID – the policy of acknowledging any person legally as the opposite sex based solely on their saying they’re trans – which looks to soon be implemented in Scotland, giving every male fetishist who gets turned on by the idea of being a woman the exact same rights and access to women’s spaces as dysphoric transsexuals.
In fact self ID is already happening by stealth; women’s refuges have to include males who self-identify as women or lose their government funding; the new requirement for so called ‘gender balanced’ public boards in Scotland allows any male who self-identifies as a woman to take a woman’s place, even though this policy is meant to increase *female* participation, because females – not males – suffer sex based inequality and under-representation. And then there’s services like Scotrail’s Caledonian sleeper, which now allows self-identified women, i.e. males, to sleep in the same cabin as women travelling alone, even though these cabins are meant to be sex segregated for *women’s safety*. And women will not be warned about this in advance either. Indeed these examples not only serve to show some of the ways that self ID is already being implemented, but they also serve to show some of the ways in which self ID is already impacting on women’s safety and our hard fought for rights.
And to those who say that self ID hasn’t led to any problems elsewhere, well that’s simply not true and further, it’s also missing the point (and each country has different exemptions so no direct comparisons can be made anyway).
There have been convictions in the US and Canada for voyeurism, assault and rape where access to female only spaces was given *due to Self ID*, so there’s that. And incidences of voyeurism in stores like Target, where they opened up their female changing rooms to men in order to be ‘trans inclusive’ just like Topshop have recently, saw a three-fold increase as a result (at least one TIM was convicted for videoing a teenager undressing in a Target changing room). And what we actually know about is only ever going to be the tip of the iceberg, considering 80% of sexual assaults go unreported. Furthermore, there has been no work carried out to gauge the impact on women and girls in the countries/states that have implemented self ID, so we have no idea how many women and girls are self-excluding/distressed/have been violated/have otherwise been impacted, including any impacts on gender equality. We do know women and girls are going through all this though, from testimony.
But the real issue is *the threat of male violence*. As shown above, TIM’s are the exact same threat to women and girls as men. And women are being put in the position where we have to constantly highlight this due to the constant gaslighting by trans activists who try to make out that men who equate women with gender stereotypes and who go on to define themselves as women, are somehow suddenly no longer a threat to women in the way that men are. Yes it is only a minority of men who are predators, trans and not, however predators don’t come with a warning, women have to manage the threat around *all males* and certainly around those in spaces where we are vulnerable. So TIM inclusion has all the same impacts on women and girls in sex segregated spaces as would the inclusion of men who don’t identify as trans, because it’s the *male body that the threat hinges on*, not identity.
And yes not all women feel that way, but if the MeToo movement told us anything it’s how vulnerable women are to sexism, harassment and assault and indeed how pervasive this climate is for us. This, together with the statistics on male violence, makes it abundantly clear that sex segregation where females are vulnerable is entirely necessary, even if some women don’t personally see the need for it (some women do shit like vote for Trump after all); supporting sex segregation is the merited position.
And if you understand the need for sex segregation – which to be clear allows women to safely participate in society and is crucial both for our welfare and our sex based equality – then there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for claiming that the inclusion of males who identify as trans poses no danger to women or indeed to our equality.
So those defending services like the Caledonian Sleeper bringing in self ID are actually defending an end to sex segregation entirely by denying the legitimacy of its very basis. Do I really need to point out that this is not progressive?
And most women know all too well the danger of falling asleep around predatory men, who – let’s remember – don’t come with a big fucking ‘I’m a predator’ sign. I have been sexually assaulted a number of times when I was asleep. The horror of waking up in the middle of the night to an 18 year old male assaulting me when I was 15 – whose house me and a friend were staying at, he was her boyfriend’s friend, I was sleeping on the couch – he had pulled most of my clothes off, his hands all over me. Or when I woke up to realise I was being raped. Or when I woke up in hospital to a male nurse who proceeded to comment on my underwear, leading to my swift departure, only to find him outside of my work a couple of weeks later waiting for me. He got my details from my purse when I had been admitted to A&E unconscious. I could go on.
So yup, anyone who wants males to have access to female only spaces where women and girls are vulnerable should be prepared to tell those of us who have lived the statistics of male violence that we should be okay with those experiences being dismissed. It means Rosemary Goring should tell me that I should be fine sleeping in the same space as men I don’t know, where they could easily assault me and where a *substantial minority* would. And no, saying that I have to self-exclude from female spaces where females are vulnerable is not an option, that much should be clear, even to Rosemary. And I’m not some ‘traumatised’ woman who such people get to conveniently dismiss as though the fact I have experienced male violence somehow removes my ability to address it, rather than indicating the very clear reality, which is that I actually know what I’m talking about. I am a woman who knows what women are living under; I am a woman who doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring it even if I wanted to. And of course it isn’t just women who have had these kinds of experiences who are raising the same issues I am, and who are affected by these kinds of policies. It’s feminists. It’s Mumsnet. It’s WOMEN.
So to those proponents of blanket ‘trans inclusion’I say this: show the courage of your convictions by defending your actual (totally fucked up) position by either making an argument that sex segregation is unnecessary *at all*, or that ‘trans women’ can’t and don’t do what male predators have done to women and girls; OR take a position that is actually defensible and get on with advocating for third spaces for trans identified people where sex segregation is necessary, and stop expecting women and girls to be excluded, distressed, violated, and assaulted just so trans identified males can feel validated; it’s time to end that male supremacy.