Andy McDandy wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:44 pm
I just think that there must be some method of weeding out the piss takers and perverts, however few there may be, and yes, presumption of innocence and all that. In the meantime, individual toilets and get rid of communal changing rooms.
I know a couple of trans people and I dealt with one as a head of year. I have no issues with people changing gender, because I believe that it is entirely possible to be born with the 'wrong' genitalia, or to have a psyche that does not match physique.
The issue for me is the need for, and maintenance of, women's spaces.
Back in 1985 Mrs A was one of the group of feminists in our local borough who took advantage of Labour's generous funding to set up a Women's Centre. It was a lot of work, and she was one of the original planners and trustees, so I feel that I have some insight into the underpinnings, so to speak.
One issue which soon arose was the admission of males into the women's space. At one level this was about not being able to find a female plumber (not such an issue nowadays) or allowing male children into the creche. At another level, however, this was about trans women who were pre-op and whether or not they should be considered male or female. The eventual decision came down to a judgement - was the person genuinely transitioning or, as Andy put it, taking the piss. In fact both the cases that had to be decided upon were the former, and not the latter.
The matter now, it seems to me and I may be wrong, comes down to self-identification, and cases where non-trans men - some wearing beards ffs - have entered women's spaces and justified that by 'self identifying'. Now I know that the process of transitioning is very hard, involving psychological assessments, medical and surgical interventions and social adjustments that may be far from pleasant. For those people I have no question. But simply to say you identify as a woman is not a qualification for being treated as a woman. And yes, it is a very strong argument that we should accept the person's self-definition because it is theirs to make. In the early days of the transitioning process the person may be 'part-time' or testing the waters. So self-definition is important.
However, if someone uses that situation to assault, intimidate or seek gratification by invading women's spaces they can never again be allowed to self-identify. They have shown themselves for what they are, and should be treated as such.
My understanding is that the key issue is the degree to which self-identification must remain unchallenged. (I believe that to be the case for many 'TERFs'). The commitment to safeguarding women.
Unlike Greer and others I don't believe that gender is unalterable, and I'm not totally certain of Rowling's position on that. Unlike Linehan I believe that most trans people are genuine and working from a pretty poor hand, psychologically, and deserve empathy and support. But the constant hectoring from the likes of Kobel says much more about them than about the very tricky moral choices and decisions that have to be made. Abusing people, ascribing views to them that they don't in fact hold, treating allies as enemies and flaunting their right-on purity I find to be as distasteful as any other extremist ideology. It says a great deal more about them than the situation which requires to be resolved. But they seem to have hijacked the argument.
Finally, there are questions which don't have answers and problems which don't have solutions - at least not simple ones like shouting slogans. In the end there has to be compromise and pragmatism. Seeing individuals instead of categories. Treating people like people and not acronyms.