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Women’s Issues October 2022

Women’s Issues                                                   October 2022

Gender Reform

            The committee examining the government’s proposals concluded that they are in favour of it, although the committee composition appears heavily weighted in favour of those who were always in favour of it.  The only dissenting voices were Conservatives Pam Gosal and Rachael Hamilton.  It was recently remitted to parliament for consideration.

SNP Rebellion over Gender Reform

            However, at the Stage 1 debate on the proposals in Holyrood at the end of October, the SNP government faced an unexpected rebellion.  Seven SNP MSPs, including Ash Regan, Minister for Community Safety, voted against the proposal, with two SNP abstentions.  Ash Regan had resigned as a government minister hours before the vote, which was passed to the next stage by 88 to 33.  As Nicola Sturgeon did not allow her MSPs a free vote on this matter, it forced them to disobey the party. 

            She is apparently not withdrawing the whip from the MSPs meantime, possibly as this would leave her without a majority in parliament.  But it is the worst rebellion the SNP have faced, and it is to be hoped that as the bill progresses through parliament that other MSPs will decide to vote with their conscience against the party line, and even if they do agree with elements of the bill that they will realise the strength of feeling outside parliament against some of its provisions, particularly its lack of any safeguarding against bad faith actors.

Maggie Chapman

            More worryingly is the report’s request from Maggie Chapman that the Scottish government considers a future process that would enable young people under the age of 16 to apply for a GRC [Gender Recognition Certificate] with appropriate safeguards’.

            So there we have it.  Today’s gender reform is not the end of the matter.  Some want to extend it to those under 16.  Given that the government resolutely denies that ANY safeguarding is needed for the current bill, faint hope that there would be any for those under 16 in the future.

Shopping Trauma

            Increasing numbers of women are reporting being shocked to encounter males in the changing rooms of shops such as Primark and M&S.  These incidents include males walking in on females trying outfits in a unisex changing room at Primark.  One mother reported that a male with exposed testicles emerged from a changing room in M&S.  In a different M&S store a male left open the door of the cubicle in gender-neutral changing rooms while he tried trousers on.  Unfortunately he seemed to have forgotten his underwear that day. 

            Men have covertly filmed women in changing rooms and one male is reported to have filmed himself performing a sex act in a cubicle adjacent to one where an 18-year-old girl was changing in the south of England.  He was reported to have stood on a stool to film over the top of the cubicle.  

            H&M, John Lewis, M&S, Monsoon and Primark no longer offer female-only spaces after pressure from trans activists to have only gender-neutral changing rooms and despite the fact that 98% of the public want single-sex spaces (which is **** THE LAW ****under the Equality Act 2010).   Rosie Duffield, Labour MP, said it is completely unacceptable for major retailers to deny the right to change in private.  Not only unacceptable but also ILLEGAL.

            Primark is reinstating women-only spaces, but apparently allowing in ‘men who identify as women’ as well as actual females.  M&S and H&M are doubling down on allowing customers to ‘choose their own’ fitting room.

Predatory Males

            It’s okay in Scotland, though.  According to Shona Robison, the lead MSP on the gender reform debacle proceeding through parliament,

“There is no evidence that predatory and abusive men have ever had to pretend to be anything else to carry out abusive and predatory behaviour”.

             What about the men who are charmers till you are married or dependent on them, then the abuse starts?  What about the convicts who have ‘transitioned’ and been sent to women’s jails, only to later abuse female inmates?  One such is now named Sally Ann Dixon, although Sally Ann committed the sexual abuse of children as a male.  When imprisoned in a female prison, Sally Ann was reported to be flirty and sexualised with other prisoners, starting a relationship with a vulnerable inmate who has learning difficulties and mental health issues, necessitating a move for Dixon to a different wing of HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, where authorities admit they just don’t have the staff to ensure women’s safety.

            It took Sussex Police 22 years to prosecute some of the allegations against Dixon, and on Sally Ann’s conviction, obligingly referred to the culprit as a ‘woman’ being convicted of offences against children.  A firestorm of criticism erupted, compounded by Sussex Police warning people not to criticise someone over their ‘stated gender’, saying this was ‘irrelevant to the crime committed’ (WRONG).

            The police only apologised and withdrew their tweet when the then Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, bluntly rebuked them. According to the police, Dixon used family connections to establish relationships with victims and later abuse them. On one occasion, Dixon had a cctv camera trained on a common where children gathered.   

Trans Prisoners

            In 2019 there were 163 transgender prisoners in England and Wales, of which 81 had been convicted of sex offences.  Twenty-four of the 163 were held in women’s prisons.

            According to the Scottish Prison Service, in Scotland the number of trans people in prison has gone up from 12 to 16 in the quarter to 23/08/22, 11 transwomen and 5 transmen. Six transwomen were in the men’s estate, five transwomen in the female estate. Four transmen are housed in the female estate, with only one in the men’s estate.

            Rhona Hotchkiss, former governor of Cornton Vale prison, says women are ‘unwilling participants in a social experiment’ whose concerns and fears take second place to the feelings of men.  Dr Kate Coleman of Keep Prisons Single Sex (KPSS) says female prisoners have the same rights as other women to single sex spaces for ‘dignity, privacy and safety’.

            Another prisoner has demanded to be treated as a baby with pureed food and nappies.  Unfortunately, due to human rights legislation, all claims, however outlandish, must be considered.  Why aren’t the rights of female prisoners a matter for human rights legislation?  It seems like men who claim to be women have more rights to be women than women do.

            But Shona has support from her leader.  In the last few days, Nicola Sturgeon waded into the debate by insisting

“Most men who want to abuse women don’t feel the need to change their gender to do it. Abusive men is what we should be focussing on.  Because that is the real danger to women”.

            So while recognising the danger posed by abusive or predatory men, this government puts NO safeguarding measures in the legislation they wrongly insist we all want.

Trans charity Mermaids

            is the subject of a ‘regulatory compliance case’ by the Charity Commission following concerns raised over their practices and advice on puberty blockers, breast binding and breast ironing.  A £500,000 Lottery grant is now on hold.  Mermaids has been heavily involved in rolling out schools training on gender identity, an ideology at odds with biological science.   Breast binders have been associated with various health problems including breathing difficulties, chronic back pain, changes to the spine and even broken ribs.  The English Crown Prosecution Service 2019 guidelines said breast ironing ‘should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse’.

            Mermaids is also trying to remove the charitable status of the LGB Alliance which campaigns for gay, lesbian and bisexual rights.

Caroline Farrow

            was arrested at home by Surrey police over alleged malicious Twitter posts.  After opening her door to police, they appeared to force their way in, seizing all the electronic devices in the home, even those belonging to other members of the family.  She was taken to a police station, searched for drugs and held in a cell for hours before being released under investigation. 

            That was bad enough, but why was she arrested on an allegation, without questioning her first to hear her version of events? Is that what you do now?  Accuse someone and get them arrested first, then look for evidence?

Norwich City Council

            Unanimously backed a motion to ‘better support’ transgender and non-binary people by stating that ‘trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary people are non-binary’. 

            Norwich Women’s Rights Group were swift to condemn the move, asking if that meant that women-only swimming sessions at Riverside Leisure Centre would now be open also to men, or whether there would be any safeguarding for vulnerable women from predatory males.  The council did not appear to have any response.

Bristol City Council

            recently issued a public consultation on trans rights, expressly seeking people’s views on trans rights and then brazenly announcing its wish to extend those rights to non-binary and other groups which are not protected under the Equality Act, thus seeking to ‘do more than the law requires’ by actually breaking the law.

University of Bradford

            midwifery courses will henceforth refer to ‘pregnant people’ and ‘birthing parents’.  Course specifications refer mostly to ‘childbearing people’ and ‘birthing people’.  ‘Women’ are mentioned only 3 times in the document and ‘mother’ is not mentioned.   Cumbria University has also replaced references to ‘mothers’ with ‘birthing parents’.

Scottish Labour’s Alison Ann-Dowling

            of Renfrewshire Council has come in for criticism for attending the women’s rally outside Holyrood on 6th October protesting in support of women’s rights against the encroachment on female spaces by men who can simply identify as women.  Scottish Labour, Scottish Greens and the LibDems back the SNP’s efforts to allow self-identification and other changes to the Gender Reform Act which will encroach on women’s rights.

Thyroid Misdiagnosis

            Women may be being misdiagnosed with depression or menopause when what is wrong is an under- or over-active thyroid.  Women who get a blood test will find out immediately if their thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism) where levels of two hormones in the thyroid are too high, causing palpitations, rapid weight loss, sweating and itching.  More common is hypothyroidism, where too few hormones result in weight gain, fatigue, feeling the cold, constipation, dry skin and hair.  Women are ten times as likely to be affected as men.

            Research last year published in the Lancet suggested that women who experience recurrent miscarriage (3 or more in a row) should have their thyroid tested.  Other adverse outcomes can be pre-term birth and pre-eclampsia.

            If not the thyroid, it may be a simple iodine deficiency, or using amiodarone for heart rhythm disorders, or even a complication of severe covid.  Part of the problem is there is no nationally agreed standard of what a ‘normal’ thyroid is, and the usual prescribed medication can have differing effects depending on the patient’s age.  It is important that the right diagnosis is made and then monitored in case the expected results do not materialise, whereupon different medication (or none) may be needed. 

31/10/22

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