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Wins and Losses in the Gender War

Wins and Losses for Women                              

September 2022

forWomen Scotland Judicial Review

            Having examined the guidance being issued by the Scottish government on the gender composition of public boards, for Women Scotland (FWS) feels compelled to take the government back to court, as it appears the legal ruling forbidding transgender persons from being on public boards is being totally ignored by the government.   The hearing is scheduled for 9th and 10th November 2022.

            Here we go again, with women paying both sets of legal bills, those incurred by FWS and those of the Scottish government through our taxes.

Gender Reform bill:

            Liz Truss is planning to block Scotland’s plans for gender reform, citing concerns over people from elsewhere in the UK obtaining a gender recognition certificate (GRC) in Scotland then returning home, where they would not be able to receive a GRC on the same terms.

            She is concerned about the effect on women’s rights in Scotland, as well as in England and Wales.  As women’s rights to single sex spaces are based on the Equality Act 2010, her intervention would be in order, as the Scottish government cannot take away single sex spaces and cannot redefine ‘woman’ to allow men to qualify.

Joan of Arc (re)assigned as ‘non binary’

            The Globe Theatre has decided to portray Joan of Arc as non-binary, but the decision has been greeted with derision and anger.  Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, says the decision violates the meaning of history, applying modern terms to a time when they did not exist.

            Some historians speculate she may have suffered complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, but it is some leap to ‘assign’ her as non-binary.

Sandyford Clinic

            Following the announcement that London’s controversial gender identity clinic, the Tavistock, will close, there are calls for Scotland’s equivalent, the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, to go the same way.   Joanna Cherry and former Scottish Greens leader Robin Harper have written to national clinical director Jason Leitch saying that the clinic is putting young people at significant risk.  The clinic is still treating children aged 8 and under.

            The Tavistock is finally being brought to account for its affirmation-only model for gender reassignment.  Not a moment before time.

M&S ban women-only fitting rooms

            Iconic retailer Marks & Spencer have caused a heated online campaign calling for a boycott of the store after altering their changing-room policy.  A mother claimed that the Braehead branch only provided changing rooms with a sign ‘men’s fitting room’.  When she complained, she was told they were in fact unisex and there were no female-only changing rooms.  M&S responded by saying changing rooms had individual lockable cubicles but allow customers to choose their own fitting room on grounds of inclusivity.

            The row over changing rooms is one strand of the disrespect which many retailers are showing women and girls, particularly those of a religious persuasion, who are often forbidden by their religion from using mixed-sex spaces or just don’t want to on grounds of decency. 

            Other retailers like H&M and Primark do the same as M&S, but a survey of 7,000 people by women’s campaigning group Sex Matters found 98% wanted to keep single-sex changing rooms and toilets.

The Alan Turing Institute

            has waded into the melee with a poster advising gender critical women not to approach someone they feel is in the wrong bathroom, but ‘carry on with their day’… ‘don’t stare at them…….or purposefully make them feel uncomfortable’, by voicing safety concerns.  Also, their privacy and identity should be respected (but not women’s feelings or privacy) and you should ‘protect them (my italics) from harm’.   The management’s focus appears to be only on trans and non-binary people, and if women (females) are uncomfortable, tough.

            Sex Matters Executive Director Maya Forstater says the Institute could have put a gender-neutral toilet option in as well, but that was probably more expensive than a poster telling women off.  Although strangely if gender-critical women put up posters or stickers/ribbons, if apparently becomes a police matter.   Just saying….

The Bella Centre,

            a new purpose-built community custodial unit in Dundee ‘specifically designed for women’, will house up to 16 low risk offenders, and will take a ‘gender specific and trauma informed’ approach to reintegrating women into the community.

            Apparently, this will include housing transgender prisoners if they identify as women.  But what about women (females) who have suffered sex-based trauma like rapes or domestic abuse, trauma which may have contributed to the low-level offending which led them to prison, who may find themselves housed in a unit with males?  Dr Kate Coleman of the Keep Prisons Single Sex (KPSS) campaign said it would be to the detriment of women and will affect their long-term rehabilitation.  The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) does not seem to have taken Dr Coleman’s evidence on board, despite her specifically submitting evidence on this matter to them.

            The SPS claims decisions on the accommodation of transgender prisoners involves a ‘multi-disciplinary assessment of both risk and need’, seeking ‘to protect both the wellbeing and rights of the individual, as well as the welfare and rights of others around them’, in order to balance risks.

            The SPS further claims that a male prisoner is only held in the female estate if the risk posed to women in prison is ‘manageable’.  KPSS say there is no acceptable level of risk.

            So why can’t trans prisoners still be held in the men’s prison estate, with appropriate levels of risk and protection for them there?  Why is it always women who have to run the risks?

The world’s ‘youngest’ transgender model

            aged 10, American Noella McMaher, is claimed to have identified as transgender at two-and-a-half to three years old, according to Noella’s biological mother Dee, who now identifies as a non-binary ‘trans masculine male’.  

            Dee’s spouse Ray, a 32-year-old biological female, also identifies as non-binary, and together they have a baby, who is currently being raised as non-binary and whom Dee refers to as ‘theybie’.  Noella ‘socially transitioned’ at four and her family changed her legal birth certificate to ‘girl’ when she was six.  Noella is predicted to earn one or two million dollars in the next year.


            98% of girls object to gender-neutral toilets in Scottish secondary schools. Thirteen local authorities pressed ahead with gender-neutral, but some were caught out last summer, introducing gender-neutral facilities in some schools ahead of the pupils’ return to school.  Parents and pupils alike were horrified, not least because no one had consulted them.  Following an outcry and petitions, the decision was reversed in a number of instances.

            For Women Scotland (FWS) have received legal advice from Aiden O’Neill, QC, that schools are obliged to provide single-sex toilet facilities for pupils, but councils are ploughing

ahead with gender-neutral toilets, claiming that individual cubicles deal with the privacy issue.  However, cubicles do not deal with a female pupil opening the door to a boy or boys blocking her path.  FWS have also heard accounts of increased sexist behaviour, and girls modifying their behaviour so as not to use the toilets at all, some refusing to eat or drink during the day.

            If this has happened in your children’s school, organise, for example, with a petition by parents.  It seems to work.

SNP Code of Conduct

            The SNP is considering introducing a ban on critics of self-ID taking part in their upcoming referendum campaign, meaning if you believe men cannot become female you will not be allowed to be part of the official campaign.  The motion will be debated at the SNP conference.  One of the backers of the motion is Siobhan Tolland who had to apologise for shouting abuse at the Pope on his visit to Scotland.

            Incredibly, the rule would apply not just to SNP members, but to everyone. It follows the lead of Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM) and Believe in Scotland, who claim that belief in sex as opposed to gender is transphobic.  It isn’t, but you would be barred from the independence campaign merely for claiming that biological sex cannot be changed to make a male a female. 

            The motion seeks to promote tolerance and reject prejudice by being intolerant of gender critical people who believe in biological and scientific fact, a belief which logically cannot render them prejudiced, as it is just the truth.

Sacked for gender-critical beliefs

            A music academy lecturer has been sacked by Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) for saying that drag acts are a grotesque caricature of women.  The Institute claimed transgender students were upset by this remark.  She is now taking legal action on the grounds that she has been discriminated against on the basis of her sex and that her gender-critical beliefs are allowed as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

            BIMM has links to Sussex University, where Kathleen Stock was last year effectively forced out of her lecturing post because of her gender-critical beliefs.

Julia Pannell                                                    15/09/22

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