Sunday, August 08, 2010

Transphobic crap strikes again

Crossposted from A.E.Brain's blog:
 From the UK Equality Act 2010 :
Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)
Schedule 3 — Services and public functions: exceptions
Part 7 — Separate and single services

Gender reassignment
(1) A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in relation to a matter within sub-paragraph (2) if the conduct in question is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

(2) The matters are—
(a) the provision of separate services for persons of each sex;
(b) the provision of separate services differently for persons of each sex;
(c) the provision of a service only to persons of one sex.

Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)
Schedule 9 — Work: exceptions
Part 1 — Occupational requirements
(3) The references in sub-paragraph (1) to a requirement to have a protected
characteristic are to be read—
(a) in the case of gender reassignment, as references to a requirement not to be a transsexual person (and section 7(3) is accordingly to be ignored);
So what does that mean? It means that there is one "protected" class where protection is explicitly removed, not granted. It means that a gender recognition certificate is not worth the paper it's printed on. Rather than being a recognition that they are of the target gender, it's a nullity, as the law states that they're not, not really. This is made clear in the explanatory notes.:
Gender reassignment: paragraph 28

749. This paragraph replaces a similar provision in the Sex Discrimination Act
A group counselling session is provided for female victims of sexual assault. The organisers do not allow transsexual people to attend as they judge that the clients who attend the group session are unlikely to do so if a male-to-female transsexual person was also there. This would be lawful.
Schedule 9: Work: exceptions
Part 1: Occupational requirements

A counsellor working with victims of rape might have to be a woman and not a transsexual person, even if she has a gender recognition certificate, in order to avoid causing them further distress.
The provisions of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 that over-rode that 1975 act have now been repealed. There is a distinction between "women" and "transsexual persons with (or without) gender recognition certificates" now.

Now of course, who could reasonably object to a councellor whose appearance might be upsetting to a rape survivor? In such cases, we cannot afford to be too precious about rights of employment, we must consider the victims first and foremost.

But it's not about appearance. It's not about the victims and their feelings. It's about transphobic prejudice. It's now legitimate to refuse help to victims who are "transsexual persons" because of the transphobia of others. There are other consequences too.



Noted "Womyn born Womyn" Female At Birth founder of the New Radical Lesbian Feminist Front, dedicated to keeping Trans women out of women's space, including rape crisis centers. A "real" woman who it is illegal to discriminate against.Not a woman, but a transsexual person. Someone who it is explicitly legal to discriminate against as their presence - either as councellor or as victim - may be too upsetting to other rape victims.

As for those women transsexual persons with gender recognition certificates who have been raped... I guess they're out of luck. The "Equality Act" is anything but.
From The F Word's coverage:

So apparently, even though I have a full GRC, and all my other documentation shows my gender correctly, I will no longer legally be a woman when this Act comes into force in October; I’ll be a “transsexual person” and that means I can forget it if I think I can count on UK law for any protection of my civil and human rights.

I’m already seeing a groundswell of outrage and anger amongst some of my trans sisters online; I think it’s entirely understandable, even justifiable. Because, when you get right down to it, cis society is transphobic, by default and to its core; there is precious little respite for trans people and, like most humans, repeatedly backing us into a corner isn’t going to put us in the best of humours.

But anti-trans prejudice is so deeply embedded in cis society that all the legislation in the world is never going to change anything for the better, least of all the attitudes of cis people. There’s no logic, no acceptance and certainly no justice. There never really was - all this legislation will do is formalise a state of affairs which already exists.

Cis people may, rightly, feel aggrieved about the low proportion of reported rapes that end in a successful prosecution - but has anyone ever seen statistics for reported rapes of trans people? Has anyone ever heard of even one trans person who’s seen a successful prosecution? And there may well be too few rape crisis centres available to cis women - but how many of them will even let a trans woman through the door, let alone offer help and support?

The fact is that the law - like many other aspects of society which the majority of cis people take for granted - is simply not accessible to us. Trans people are routinely dehumanised and demonised, excluded and harassed, attacked and even murdered with impunity by cis people from across the entire class spectrum - and, be honest, would you trust a system in which nearly everyone you meet treats you as less than human?

As the old joke goes: it doesn’t matter which way you vote, the government still gets in. And as far as I’m concerned, with this legislation, the government looks set to do a far better job of morally mandating people like me out of existence than Janice Raymond could ever dream of.


I don't care which goverment was responsible for this, it's bullshit.  And calling it Equality?  They've got a bloody cheek.

1 comment:

notintheface said...

It's kind of like when the Bush Administration here in the US relaxed rregulations against logging under the title "Healthy Forests Initiative".

And you're right. It IS bullshit.