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“We have to talk about sex. It’s important”

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, July 28th, 2021 - 145 comments
Categories: feminism, gay rights, gender critical feminism, Left - Tags: , , ,

Contemporary NZ Marxist blog Redline have put up the video of Sussex University philosophy professor Kathleen Stock being interviewed by Redline’s Daphna Whitmore.

It’s good to see this because Stock is one of the most evenhanded and thoughtful presences in the gender/sex wars. She is left wing, and a politicsed lesbian, so the whole line about gender critical feminism being a right wing fundamentalist US movement is neatly undercut.

Tribal lefties, don’t let your heads explode by the fact that this event was hosted by the Free Speech Union and introduced by Jordan Williams. Yeah, I had to adjust my emotional response too, but this is a feature of the gender/sex war and what I am about to write: if you take a No Debate position and force it on politicised people on the left, they will find other ways for their voices to be heard.

The left should be concerned about the numbers of left wing woman made politically homeless by No Debate and the redefining of ‘woman’ and ‘lesbian’, and who are now radicalising around women’s politics in ways that won’t necessarily serve the left. But also, the many left wing women who are still left wing, refusing to go right or work with the right, and are increasingly fucked off at being told to stfu.

There’s precedent in feminism of left/right collaboration or overlap eg the fight against pornography. I think there’s something politically healthy about this. In NZ it may help the right recover some semblance of political normalcy instead of National’s commitment to Trumpian politics, and for the left it might help us shift out of our position of god being on our side so we will inevitably win, despite evidence to the contrary. But then I’m a deep greenie, so working on policy across the political spectrum while holding firm on principles seems utterly normal to me.

A few snips from the first part of the video:

KS: [gender identity] is the theory that it’s not your sex or even the surgery you’ve had or anything about your body outwardly that determines your rights, which spaces you should be getting into, which resources you should have, it’s an inner feeling of gender identidy, whether you feel like really a male or a female or neither (if you’re non-binary). So that’s gender identity theory in a nutshell.

DW: One of the things I’ve noticed around that gender theory is there’s a very strong line that this is not up for debate. That is the message that’s put out there. I think it’s been very successful in shutting people down funnily enough, that just stating it in that way. So why do you think that has taken hold? Why can people just say this is not up for debate, shut you down, label you a transphobe and bigot, and be successful?

KS: I think that’s a really good question, really interesting. I think that someone should… many people should study this and write books about it in future years because there’s not a simply answer. I think there’s a confluence of cultural forces, intellectual forces, that are coming together right now which have produced this crazy situation. But I think one short answer is that this … whole movement is not pursuing truth. If it was puruing truth then they’d be open to, you know, evidence and alternative points of view, and things would proceed in the normal way. But actually I think the pursuit is in a way as I say an immersion in a kind of fiction of you know, people can change sex. And because the goal is fiction you can’t mention that it’s a fiction because you lose your immersion, so there’s a real concerted effort to shut down any kind of talk of reality.

So that’s one aspect. There’s also a lot of fear involved. There’s genuinely well intentioned fear of exposing trans people to violence. The misguided thought is that if we don’t mention their sex in any context then somehow we will protect them from violence, but actually I’m afraid that isn’t obviously true and the costs are far too high for everyone else. Because we have to talk about sex, it’s important.

Note that in the Q and A section, FSU edited out the questions so as to preserve anonymity of people asking. Stop and consider the implications of that, especially in light of the rest of the post above.

That’s my intro to the video. I’m still watching the whole thing and encourage others to do so in order to understand what is being debated.

One of the central premises of Stock’s book Material Girls is that we should understand our opponents’ positions well,

I am critical of gender identity theory – but not of trans people, for whom I have friendly sympathy and respect. When criticising a philosophical position, it’s a good idea to start with a fairly neutral presentation of it. You should try to describe the position as its supporters would, without aspersions. That way, you aren’t lazily setting yourself up for cheap wins later.

I wrote about the importance of this recently in Why we debate and I’m mentioning it again here because the sex/gender war isn’t solely about feminism and transactivism. A key feature is power and who gets to have a say.

The purpose in putting up this post is to make Stock’s arguments and work on gender/sex more widely known in New Zealand, especially given the debate around gender self-ID and the proposed changes to the Birth, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration legislation. I also want to provide a place for open and honest debate in the issues affecting trans people, women, lesbians and gays (and society at large). The Standard has so far been largely free of the abuse and massive talking past each other that is happening in other online spaces, and I encourage us to keep it that way.

Moderation for this post will be tight. Please read the Policy and About, and note that we encourage robust debate and discourage language or tone that excludes others. Note also that in the robust debate kaupapa there is a high expectation that people will back up what they say, especially when making statements of fact.

If you want to run particular lines on either side of the debate, make sure you are referencing your arguments well so that I don’t have to ask as a moderator. Expect short bans or being put in premod if I feel like my time is being wasted or people are ignoring these guidelines.

145 comments on ““We have to talk about sex. It’s important” ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    About time. Back in the day when we were working on Gay Liberation, de-criminalisation, marriage equality etc, we did not do it on the basis of "no debate".

    We had a good arguement and were more than happy to debate anybody at any time.

    No Civil or Human Rights progress has ever (up till now) made progress on the basis of demands only and the suppression of any form of questioning or critical thinking.

    Our activism never made targeting an oppressed group the centre of activism either. Now, people, especially women, who speak up for hard won women's sex based rights and protections are vilified and threatened – often with threats of sexual violence.

    Gay right activism never based itself on prosperous outright lies, like that having a penis and the ability to impregnate someone is something a woman/female person can have, that how we think about ourselves determines our sex and our reproductive system is irrelevant to that, etc. No rights movement has ever behaved this way.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    The left should be concerned about the numbers of left wing woman made politically homeless…

    They should be, but they're not.

  3. Gypsy 3

    "I am critical of gender identity theory – but not of trans people, for whom I have friendly sympathy and respect."

    Great comment. My concern is that today we seem unable to have serious discourse about many issues without someone wanting to shut the conversation down.

  4. Molly 4

    Thanks for posting, weka. Both Kathleen and Helen Joyce's book: Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. seem to be good sources of data based discussion.

    While looking for information on the use of social media and the impact on mental health for children, I came across this Australian submission by psychologist Diana Kenny that also collated some data around that influence: Social Contagion of Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents. It has some relevance to this topic and one of the questions.

  5. Tabletennis 5

    Thanks for posting Weka
    I hope that discussion will be possible, in particular with the powers that be. Stats NZ, already use 'trans' language, like 'assigned' at birth, instead of observed at birth.
    It will be rolled out with the next census. They refused to state who they consulted, apart to say that the Canadian example was its base.

    Furthermore in this paper – Regulator Impact Statement – https://www.treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-06/ria-dia-isi-may21.pdf?fbclid=IwAR12N-f6vyyDBCaI-IuLaSWl-
    on pg 11 + 22 one reads that the concerns of women are apparently merely around perceived 'predatory' men in toilet cubicles for which there is no proof they state.
    'Conversely, groups opposed to self-identification will not be supportive of the change and may reiterate concerns about its impact on protections for women and women’s rights. These concerns are low risk if they exist at all.'

    Submissions have to cover a broad range of other effects that an easy sex change declaration will have, e.g. on data collection, the reliability of state issued ID documents, vetting of new staff/volunteers, diversity in the workplace (if 6 are 'women', 4 men, and all are 100% male, is this a diverse work force?), the pay gender gap, language and words, sports competition, study grants for women etc..

  6. Thanks Weka for posting this.

    Kathleen was a delight to interview. Her book is very readable and really lays out the arguments lucidly. It's available online for $17. She said an audible version will be out soon too. The print edition will be in NZ September/October.

    The Standard is playing an important role in allowing this discussion without throwing ridiculous slurs and accusations.

  7. Anker 7
    • It was a fantastic interview. Kathleen Stock is extremely well reasoned.

    I hope others on the Standard listen to it, particularly the men who I don’t think fully appreciate what is going on and think it’s pro trans versus anti trans.

    I note a few people in the UK are starting reflect on the silence around the apalling treatment JK Rowling has and continues to receive. Some are reflecting on how people came out against the racist abuse of the football goalie (which was correct), but media silence about the shocking treatment of JK Rowling.

    time to stand up for her

  8. barry 8

    There seem to some nuanced positions on the issue. However, lining up with the people that say that trans women are not women should make one very uncomfortable.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      …lining up with the people that say that trans women are not women should make one very uncomfortable.

      How so?

    • weka 8.2

      it helps to understand that many people believe that the word 'woman' means biologically female, and that there are important differences between male bodied and female bodied people, differences which affect women.

      One way to reconcile that and the need to make society trans-friendly is to talk about trans women being trans women. It's a false dichotomy to say either TWAW or you're erasing TW. Trans women are trans women acknowledges both the presence of TW in the world, and the importance of biological sex to women.

      • francesca 8.2.1

        A lot of emphasis is put on the outward signs of sex when a child is born.

        Apparently differences between male and female can also be seen in brain structure.

        Females tend to have a thicker corticoid structure. Infants who present as male, but later declare a stronger identity with women, have been shown to have a brain structure closer to cis women than cis males.

        But then we get into the "think like a woman,feel like a woman " troubling concept.Because those stereotypes have been dismantled I would have thought.

        As a 14 year old girl, I didn't have breasts or periods, where all my classmates and kids younger did .I felt a sick shame at my undeveloped body, and tried to hide the lack in the changing sheds etc. It really affected me , being cut loose from the pack , and not included in the girls chats about all that girly stuff. I didnt conform to the expectations of what a 14 year old girl should look like , and I came in for a lot of hurtful comments at times (that titless wonder etc)No wonder I got a fair dose of body dysphoria

        Thank god no one ever took me along to the doctor for a shot of hormone or breast implants, no matter how I longed for it

        Societal acceptance and welcoming of all body shapes, appearances, abilities would go a long way .

        Dealing with male violence should be a priority, because I'm pretty sure that the physical threats trans people receive come for the most part from males, not lesbians or cis females

      • McFlock 8.2.2

        Assuming the bulk of transwomen actually regard that labelling as trans-friendly with no hidden barbs (othering, outing, or belittling), how do you see it changing the arguments over the practical matter of people telling other people which changing rooms they should be using?

        • francesca

          Or people telling other people to shut the fuck up and accept whoever in previously safe places .

          Male bodies are generally bigger and stronger than female, and capable of inflicting hurt and damage.

          And they do with depressing regularity.

          It's no wonder there's a visceral response from females on finding a totally male bodied person in a previously female only space.

          I have sympathy for a male bodied person in a dress using a man's toilet, even cis men can feel threatened in a males toilet.I wouldn't want to visit that on them

          Maybe single cubicles on the street as in Paris might be an answer

          Though I have to say , I'd rather not use a toilet a man's just been in , very often their accuracy has a lot to be desired

          How is one to know that this unreconstructed male has the brain of a woman ?

          Georgina Beyer on the other hand ,I would welcome in a womans change room or toilet, I'd probably ask for her autograph.

          But Georgina is perfectly ok with her ID as a transwoman

          • francesca

            Sorry, the thread of that is totally jumbled

            We need dialogue, there are no easy answers

            • McFlock

              We need dialogue if it will lead somewhere positive.

              Lately, I've been a bit pessimistic about that outcome.

        • Molly

          Please take the time to consider this:

        • weka

          Assuming the bulk of transwomen actually regard that labelling as trans-friendly with no hidden barbs (othering, outing, or belittling), how do you see it changing the arguments over the practical matter of people telling other people which changing rooms they should be using?

          Not really sure what you are meaning there McFlock. Are you making a connection between the definition of 'woman', and access to women's spaces?

          "the practical matter of people telling other people which changing rooms they should be using?"

          Do you think women should be able to tell any men to stay out of women's space?

          • McFlock

            You want to apply a particular label style to trans women. Assuming they accept it (rather than, oh, being offended by the suggestion), how do you see it actually being applied in the context of real life events that caused riots and stabbings, like Wi Spa?

            Do you think women should be able to tell any men to stay out of women's space?

            Sure. But we fundamentally disagree on the definition of those words.

            • weka

              and yet I suspect you understood that I was asking if cis women should be able to exclude cis men from cis women's spaces.

              Plenty of trans women out there who have no problem with TWATW.

              I still don't really get what you are asking. How do I see what being applied to something like the Wi Spa events? I think you just restated the question without clarifying it.

              The riots and stabbings didn't happen because women want to retain the definition of their own sex class, they happened because the US is a shit show (and complex), antifa and conservatives are fighting a street war and this is just one of many fronts.

              • McFlock

                Sure, ciswomen excluding cismen from spaces has a lot of good reasons for it.

                My question was pretty simple. You want to define trans women as something other than women, no? So what's the point of that in the real world? Extra categories on official documents? Extra changing rooms?

                • weka

                  I want women to be able to maintain the definition of a distinct sex class in law, policy and society.

                  The point of that in the real world is that women (biological females) are affected by sexist and misogynistic structures on the basis of our biological sex (rather than gender identity). Understanding this is core to the whole thing. If we cede this, and say that it doesn't matter, that sex is a social construct, that gender ID is more important than sex, then women lose the ability to name and thus progress our own politics.

                  My personal position is that there is a conflict between existing women's rights and some of what gender activism is trying to achieve. No Debate has prevented that from being looked and worked through, so we don't even have a basic ground upon which to explore what you are asking.

                  You can of course prioritise gender activism's agenda and ignore women's rights, but you are unlikely to get mass buy in from women.

                  How the issues get resolved for trans people matters. I remain committed to resolutions for both classes of people. I don't believe that can happen until the GCF positions are understood and women across society have the opportunity to think about what matters to them.

                  • McFlock

                    The women outside the SUFW meetings seem to disagree with your perspective of trans rights and womens rights existing in opposition.

                    • weka

                      I didn't say they exist in opposition. I don't actually believe that. Maybe reread what I said and ask for clarification if you don't get it.

                      Feminism isn't a monolith, there's a lot of disagreement on many things. It's women's business. Please don't mansplain to me what women think.

                    • McFlock

                      So they conflict, but aren't in opposition. I do not understand that.

                      As for telling you what women think, lucky I didn't do that, innit.

                    • Visubversa

                      Probably because women did not get a chance to discuss the ramifications of the self ID policies and the experience elsewhere. Where this has been examined in a court of law, as in Britain recently, a High Court Judge found that there were conflicts and that women were the ones that suffered. The case involved male bodied people in women's prisons. https://sex-matters.org/posts/prisons/prison_jr/

                    • The women outside SUFW meetings are entitled to their opinion, as is everyone else. What they're not entitled to do is give away women's rights as a sex class.

                    • As for telling you what women think, lucky I didn't do that, innit.

                      JesusHFuckingChrist, please just stop and have a think about this for a bit.

                    • Molly

                      @McFlock: "So they conflict, but aren't in opposition. I do not understand that."

                      For the determined to misunderstand: It means that there are issues to be resolved, rather than a war with the victor taking all,

                      What's happening here? It.seems like you are not even reading comments before replying, and deliberately misconstruing and being snide.

                      I always thought of you as one of the more considered commentators, but on this topic, you are unrecognisable.

                • Sabine

                  Transwomen are just that Transwomen. Full stop there. Try it, it is easy.

                  At the beginning they were men, and then they transitioned to something resembling a women. They present at women – at least some do, many don't and in the case of the so called genderfluid, they may change daily if they present as a women, a men, or a rainbow colored monkey with an exposed dildo and a plastic arse when reading to kids in a library. And guess whom us women would like to keep out of our loos, saunas, and other female spaces.

                  They will never be women. They will only ever be Transwomen.

  9. Anker 9

    Thanks Barry for coming on to this post as I assume you are a man.

    Why should one be very uncomfortable to say that trans women are not women.

    The reality is that I would never have said that or thought to say that before, until people I knew were being told that they had to agree with the statement trans women are real women, else they are trans phobic. I can't recall ever being told I have to agree with someone's ideology, belief or thought before. Nobody has ever told me I must say Labour are the correct party to follow otherwise (insert slur here).

    We are being asked to concur with someone's belief/ideology which is contrary to what many of us believe i.e that sex matters and there are only two sexes.

    • Visubversa 9.1

      That is the ideology for you. That is the ideology that says that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman and was always a woman, including the time when they were competing in the Men's Decathlon and when fathering those children. The ideology that says that Eddie Izzard – now permanently in "girl mode" (at 50 years of age) is exactly the same sort of woman as your mother or your daughter. No wonder they refuse to allow any critical thinking.

    • Barry 9.2

      So there is no place for ambiguity? What about intersex people? Attitudes like "there are only two sexes" have led to babies with ambiguous genitalia being mutilated immediately to conform to a doctor's idea of what they should be.

      Yes, I am male (unambiguously so) but I know several people who have transitioned, or have considered it. I also know people who have had to hide their bodies to avoid ridicule because they don't conform to the stereotypes of your beliefs.

      I am aghast at some of the absolutism I see in the debate. The people that are being denied their choice of identity are human beings. Can you not see that the debate is seen to be personal and painful?

      • Rosemary McDonald 9.2.1

        barry. What percentage of transgender people are intersex?

        • Molly

          Apparently, it depends on the criteria you use for it according to Wikipedia:

          "… In those ″conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female [..] the true prevalence of intersex is seen to be about 0.018%, almost 100 times lower than Fausto-Sterling's estimate of 1.7%″.

          I think the are two conversations to be had here.

          One about the acceptance of a small number of people born intersex of whatever percentage, and how they are treated. I'm sure that no-one would sanction or approve of the previous medical interventions at the time of birth that resulted in physical surgery and long-term mental harm.

          Barry says: "I am aghast at some of the absolutism I see in the debate. The people that are being denied their choice of identity are human beings. Can you not see that the debate is seen to be personal and painful?"

          Demanding that the acceptance of intersex persons (which is a biologically occurring event and factually correct) is justification for the uncritical acceptance of self-id for gender is flawed.

          If you DO accept that flawed conclusion, then it follows that women who raise concerns are not accepting biology. There is no leeway for the fact that the concerns being raised are NOT about the existence of intersex or transpeople or their rights. It is about the inclusion into women's spaces of people with male genitalia and the distress that this inclusion may cause. People who champion inclusion need to recognise that distress may occur and be genuinely felt before the issue can be discussed. There are personal, societal and cultural reasons for women to want privacy in some spaces. There are also personal, societal and cultural reasons for women to want to be able to choose where and when they are exposed to male genitalia.

          It is also of concern that the well-being of intersex people in this approach is ignored, alongside the wellbeing of women. It seems that their existence is being used as a pawn in a quite ugly game of chess.

          The second conversation is “How long do women have to keep repeating themselves to be heard without prejudice?” Given that women are often on the receiving end of male violence, it is reasonable to assume that a safe space actually feels like a “safe” space, in ways that men might not appreciate (but should understand).

          It is not the true that those who raise concerns believe that every person with male genitalia is a predator (that comes from one of the bad actors that I spoke of before), but that being presented with male genitalia in a safe space is often very distressing or confronting for many women. It is also a cultural prohibition for many women, who might not then be able to access facilities and amenities that allow this to happen. Where is their inclusion in that space? And you don’t really have to get every woman’s story to justify that reaction. Just look at the statistics and the effort made over decades to get those spaces in the first place.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            No one is denying anyone their 'choice of identity'. What some of us are insisting on is that they stop confusing sex and gender.

            This trans ideology demands we suspend reality and accept that one can change 'sex'. Trans ideology also plunges us all back to the dark ages when one's sex did actually dictate one's 'gender identity'…only we dubbed them 'sex-role stereotypes' and committed ourselves to dismantling them.

            barry is being a tad dis- ingenuous tossing the 'whataboutintersex' argument into the mix. This is about transgenderism and the ideology that drives it…nothing to do with intersex people whatsoever.

            I suspect barry knows this. Or maybe he is very new to the subject and needs to catch up?

            • Molly

              "Trans ideology also plunges us all back to the dark ages when one's sex did actually dictate one's 'gender identity'…only we dubbed them 'sex-role stereotypes' and committed ourselves to dismantling them."

              I find that aspect pretty depressing.

              (I think you may be right about barry.)

            • weka

              "No one is denying anyone their 'choice of identity'."

              I think that there is still enough transphobia to warrant concern about personal expression of inner self. The irony is, it's not women or GCFs that are the problem there, it's men and conservatives.

              • Sabine

                but not all of those that want access to women spaces etc are Transwomen. Some are simply genderfluid men who do man and / or women as they like.

                See this one here.


                I think for many of us who have this discussion is not about transwomen or transmen and allowing them the bathroom of their choice and their presented gender. I think the issue is for us, Men like dear Philip, who also likes to be every now and then dear Pippa, and if women don't like him in their bathroom well sucks to be them.
                And i think that maybe the focus of this 'self identification' bill needs to actually go to that, more then the minority of trans people who just want to get on with their lifes and not be discriminated against in work, housing, etc.

                Why do women have to give 'gender fluid men' access to their spaces? And why do women have to pretend that his guy is a women. Because he likes dresses, lippy and the likes? Or is it just his lived experience of white male privilege and that he can? And everyone else can get told to 'shut up'?

                • Visubversa

                  Bunce is a classic autogynephiliac. The only joy in it is the sight of a merchant banker dressed like a 1960's Italian streetwalker which his firm has to put up with – although any woman who turned up to that sort of job in that sort of clobber would be sent home immediately.

                • weka

                  Gender expression and access to women's space are two different issues. I'm a fan of third gender/space. Let's set up the social structures so that trans and NB people can have their own politics, and they can work through the issues themselves.

                  I'm still waiting for an explanation about why NB males should have access to women's space, other than this default position which seems to be that if you id out of being male you must belong in the women's bag because of course women are non-males really aren't they.

                  • Sabine

                    Agreed, they are two different things. However Bunce as 'Pippa' will be given access to women spaces in his office/workplace with no question asked and if any of the women working there would feel uncomfortable what are they to do? Never mind the blokes that have to pretent equally that all is ok, when Phillip has a Pippa day and comes dressed like someone stuck in a really bad 80s movie with a bad wig. And no one is allowed to say anything, lest they lose their jobs.

                    To me this is bordering on abuse, gaslighting, even sexual abuse (mentally anyways) etc. And it is pushed by men, and i would bet it is men like this fellow there.

                    And for what it is worth, neither us women, nor transwomen/men, nor non binary people have the time to set up this social construct, as currently the debate seems to be handled by people with different ideas then just 'self identification'.

                    However, i bet you a dollar that those that push this self id, are not transwomen and transmen, but rather grown men who want access to women spaces for their own gratification, and power trips. And nothing is more powerful then making women feel exposed and vulnerable with their pants down on the loo.

                  • Molly

                    ".. because of course women are non-males really, aren't they?"

                    Heh. That takes me back to the fool old days of schoolyard sex education:. Boys have a penis and girls don't.

        • Visubversa

          Practically none – and as Differences of Sex Development are medical conditions, – they are not a third sex and they do not change sex, their medical difficulties should not be weaponised by gender ideologists seeking a physiological explanation for their psychological conditions.

      • francesca 9.2.2

        Yes there is a place for ambiguity, and we should all accept that ambiguity happens, own it and celebrate it, instead of claiming an identity one has no experience of .

        All the trappings and invasive surgery and synthetic hormones produce a facsimile , not the real thing

        Accept who you are and be proud, transwomen are transwomen , nothing to be ashamed of

      • Anker 9.2.3

        Barry intersex people make up about .05% of the population and the vast majority of them have either xx or xy chromosomes. It is only a very small percentage of intersex who have mixed chromosomes.

        What happens to people born with ambigious genitalia is between the clinician and their parents. I don't see it as my business and I wish them well. The overwhelming majority of us are either male or female.

        The debate is really about something different though, not intersex. That is different from people who are very clearly born one sex e.g male, but at some point in their life feel within themselves or identify as the opposite sex eg. female. That is what this debate is about.

        I don't deny anybody the choice to identify as the opposite sex to their chromosome. That is entirely within their right to do so and I would accept those people and treat them with respect.

        Where do the people who have transitioned have to hide their body so they are not ridiculed? Are you talking about change rooms? Or just out in public?

        A lot of people feel very uncomfortable about their bodies and hide them e.g people. with body dysmorphic disorder or some people who feel they are overweight. Of course no one should be ridiculed for their body. We are all born with the body we get and it is important that we learn to be as comfortable as possible in it.

        Some of us women feel very uncomfortable about the idea of maled bodies coming into our change rooms, spaces that have always been for women only. We want to be comfortable getting changed in these places.

        I am not denying anyone the choice to identify as they wish to. Never have, never will. You are misunderstanding what this debate is about.

        A lot of us started to get concerned about the trans issue when we were required to say things like trans women are real women. If not we were accused of bigotary and some women faced malicious on-line harrassment e.g Kathleen Stock.

      • weka 9.2.4

        So there is no place for ambiguity? What about intersex people? Attitudes like "there are only two sexes" have led to babies with ambiguous genitalia being mutilated immediately to conform to a doctor's idea of what they should be.

        Yes, I am male (unambiguously so) but I know several people who have transitioned, or have considered it. I also know people who have had to hide their bodies to avoid ridicule because they don't conform to the stereotypes of your beliefs.

        I am aghast at some of the absolutism I see in the debate. The people that are being denied their choice of identity are human beings. Can you not see that the debate is seen to be personal and painful?

        1. intersex and trans are not the same thing, and you appear to be conflating them. Intersex is a biological condition based in differences of sex development. Transgender is a gender identity. There are intersex activists asking people to not confuse the two, and to not use intersex people in the gender/sex debate.
        2. There are only two sexes if one is talking about how the human species reproduces. Intersex people still fall into male or female in that sense. The binary nature of sex isn't an attitude, it's an observation of reality. The attitudes that led to intersex people having surgeries or forced gender identity don't come from that, they come from the idea that all humans should be gender conforming.
        3. Gender critical feminists say that gender is harmful and should be abolished. They want gender non conforming people to be normalised and accepted. Gender activism sees gender as a good thing, and that we should be able to choose, but there is a major push alongside that around blue boys and pink girls that many feminists find regressive.
        4. I don't see people being denied their choice of identity in the way you imply. People should be free to express themselves how they want, and most gender critical feminists are working to change society so that is possible. What I don't get is why gender identity is seen as a personal right, but women no longer have the right to their own self definition. This is bizarre. Feminists are saying there is a conflict of rights, let's sort it out, gender activists are saying there is no conflict, be quiet and stop trying to claim that there is such a thing as a woman.
  10. JillianA 10

    Following on from Tabletennis – I have concerns around proposal 6 of the current proposed Hate Speech legislation – changes that could be made to the Human Rights Act.

    The proposal is to change 'sex, including pregnancy and childbirth' as a protected category in the HRA to 'sex characteristics.' This could have significant implications to the sex based protections that women currently have under the HRA – the ones that give us single sex spaces, that protect women’s sport (ha!) and allow us to ‘discriminate’ in asking for a female doctor for intimate care, etc.

    What does (or could) ‘sex characteristics’ mean in this instance? It could presumably refer to any combination of sex based characteristics – and so is another step in shifting the understanding of ‘woman’ to one based on identity. Not ‘female body, any personality’ as feminists fought for, for so long, but ‘any body, ‘female’ personality.’

    This is more significant legislative change by stealth – tucked away in proposal 6 of the proposed hate speech legislation, as self ID was meant to be in the BDMRR.

    • Tabletennis 10.1

      Proposal six add to the grounds of discrimination in the HRA:
      New Zealand's Proposals Against Incitement of Hatred and Discrimination seeking to criminalise gender critical beliefs.

      1. Afford female sex-based rights to men who claim to possess a "female gender identity".
      2. Make it a crime for women, lesbians, to treat men claiming a "female gender identity" as men and a crime to promote the rejection of, and objection to, the notion of "gender identity".

      Note- it says nothing about men and misogyny…

      And yet in court you'll be asked to put your hand on a book to tell the truth and nothing but the truth….

  11. Hanswurst 11

    It was interesting viewing, and Kathleen Stock came across very well. I'll probably pick up her book. What I found slightly unsettling about the whole discussion was that there was an apparent starting point of accepting that transactivists talk a whole lot of bulls***, but no real laying out of what that bulls*** was. After the fairly concise defining of gender identity theory at the outset, there was one reference to, 'That person's a woman; she has a penis,' and scattered references to the foreseeable implications of certain types of bulls*** for data-gathering, women's sport etc., there was not even really any attempt to explain what was bulls*** and why. As a result, a majority of what was discussed came across less as an attempt to discuss the specifics of gender debates in the context of free speech, and more as an implicit affirmation of some fairly basic right-wing views on buzzwords like 'post-modernism' and 'gender-ideologues' – attitudes that Kathleen Stock pushed back against at times. So I thought that there was a lot of interesting stuff in there, but I think the value was less than it might have been in terms of looking for some sort of clarity on the implications of current debates around gender with respect to free speech.

    • Daphna 11.1

      The main focus of the discussion was free speech as it was hosted by the Free Speech Union.

      • Hanswurst 11.1.1

        Well yes, I gathered that, and it was fair enough as far as it went, but as I said, I thought that there seemed to be a more interesting discussion in there that didn't quite come to fruition.

  12. RedLogix 12

    I've nothing much of substance I want to add to the discussion except to offer my full support for the OP and the author's well-articulated position. Given our personal history I can imagine you being suspicious of my motives but I'm speaking from a solid conviction here that you are right.

    The meaning we put on words matters and while I've always said that the two sexes share far more than not – our biological sex is real, enduring and unavoidably shapes our experience of life. Legally eradicating that physical distinction and replacing it with self-identified 'gender' is an ugly, nonsensical word game. I'm not going to pretend I understand the genesis or history of it, but the broad outline is obvious enough to warrant the strongest possible push-back.

  13. francesca 13

    Heaven help us if a transwoman decides to go for the female co leadership of the Green party

    That'll set the cat among the pigeons

    • Anker 13.1

      Francesca I rhink that is a real possibility and if it should happen, the Greens will wear it as a badge of honour. They are completely captured by Gender Ideology.

      • francesca 13.1.1

        Not all of them are Anker

        I think quite a few recognise that this could tear the Greens apart

        Transhumanism next, oh brave new world!!

    • Visubversa 13.2

      The British Labour Party has this person as it's "Woman's Officer". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Madigan

    • Tabletennis 13.3

      The Greens have their AGM at beginning of August. On the agenda is a review of the co-leadership i.e. one female and one male.
      It will be thrown wide open from status quo, to just one leader or to any self-ID individual(s).

      Many women have said they won't renew their membership or have already left. The no debate, being accused of anti-this and anti-that and ageism (!) is too much to bare for those that have been on the left side of politics most of their lives.
      I wonder if this is also the case for the Labour Party

      • Anker 13.3.1

        I see most of Labour being completely captured by gender ideology.

        For me this means I am politically rudderless.

  14. Incognito 14

    Note that in the Q and A section, FSU edited out the questions so as to preserve anonymity of people asking. Stop and consider the implications of that, especially in light of the rest of the post above.

    As a Moderator of The Standard, I regularly edit user names (user handles) on this site. Commenters do occasionally put in their full name in the text field for their user name, write their comment in the text editor, hit the submit/send button, and walk away. They may realise straight away that they accidentally disclosed their full name and take appropriate corrective action within the 10-min editing window (or delete/trash the whole comment). Or they may follow up with another comment asking a Moderator to remove their (full) name. Or they may not realise at all.

    This happens a lot with e-mails too and occasionally and major one reaches even the MSM perhaps because it is considered newsworthy enough and they have nothing better with which to fill their space.

    When I see this happening, and fortunately it usually gets caught by the Pre-Moderation filter, I edit the user name, add a Moderation note at the bottom of the comment that makes the commenter aware of what they did and asking them if this is what they really intended doing, and release it from Pre-Moderation. Usually it is an honest mistake and I cannot remember any commenter replying that they were in fact quite happy with their full name being made public, at least here on this site. Remember that everything lives 'forever' on the internet.

    Very rarely do commenters put (personal) details in the text of their comments that may be too sensitive, for want of a better word, and again, I edit these in the usual Moderation style, i.e. in bold font and square brackets. This may help avoid embarrassment too, for example, but we are not here to protect people’s feelings! We just want to make sure that nobody is excluded from the conversation. In some ways and sometimes, Moderators can be perceived as acting as self-appointed ‘PR consultants’ behind the scenes; not all Moderators are the same, by the way, so don’t count on this ‘service’.

    I never delete/trash a comment for these reasons and make a real effort to make it appear in the front-end in unedited form in a timely manner so that everybody else can read it and respond to it, if they wish. Unless it is SPAM.

    There are good reasons why people want to stay anonymous and we should all respect that. There are some explanations about anonymity and the use of pseudonyms here in the About and Policy sections of this site.

    My take-home message is to never rush your comment here and give it due consideration before you submit it and walk away from your device or put it back into your pocket. You are sharing/saying here something that you may not want to share/say or not in the way you wrote it in your comment. This includes personal details.

    My pseudonym says it all!

  15. Anker 15

    Thanks Incognito. Yes I want to remain annonymous on this website, because of my occupation, like many, I need to keep a low profile.

    But in terms of my gender critical/skeptical views, I am positively terrified of the pile on that many gender critical feminists have experienced. Death threats, rape threats etc. I remain very cautious about my views.

    I have however appreciated that the Standard is a place I can express gender critical views, without being subject to intense harrasment. Although I have to say when I have expressed them on the Standard, there has been a moderate amount of personalising the arguement against me (and others). This hasn't happened to me before on The Standard.

    • Incognito 15.1

      Yes, it happens that some people tend to get a bit too personal in their comments, especially in heated debates on complex, controversial, and/or sensitive issues. Moderators take a dim view of people shooting the messenger and playing the ‘man’ and not the ball. However, in robust debate we have to let things take their course rather than jump on the slightest sign of becoming too (??) personal. People should try considering and respecting the feelings of others, which means not deliberately hurting/insulting others here. However, a few hits on one’s ego is not the end of the world and if the ego is too fragile maybe they should think about that before entering the ‘debating chamber’.

      Written language misses the many important non-verbal cues that are present in face-to-face encounters. How comments are perceived is not always how they are intended. Some people have thick skins; some are easily offended and distressed. However, we don’t know and cannot know these things and we cannot tell either.

      It is very hard to express oneself clearly and unambiguously. It is very hard to ‘listen’ (i.e., read) carefully and only ‘hear’ (i.e., read) what is there and not add (AKA project) one’s own material to it and/or make other assumptions that might to misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and incorrect conclusions. When in doubt, better check and ask, in an open and non-leading manner.

      Good debate is actually quite hard, but it is worth it and we can all learn it and make an effort to get better at it. If we want.

  16. Rosemary McDonald 16

    From earlier this year. Not all pregnant people are women….

    As it stands, says Abery, there’s an assumption that New Zealand’s babies are born to women …

    Worth reading the whole article…I have to confess I do not understand why a transman would choose to do something so fundamentally female as getting pregnant.

    (And, despite what is expressed, "female" does not mean the same as "feminine".)

  17. Sabine 17

    Here is an interesting statement to the whole 'mess' by some Transmen.


    and then followed of course by a statement about 'abusive behaviour' received by those pretending to represent Transpeople.


    Gender Dysphoria Alliance Canada and TReVoices (Trans Rational Educational Voices) have been accused of being anti-LGBT hate organisations by high profile Canadian trans activist Morgane Oger.

    Both organisations are run by trans men.

    GDAC is an organisation that advocates for those with Gender Dysphoria, using an evidence-based understanding of our condition. We use storytelling of our lived experiences to educate about what Gender Dysphoria is, including the different types of GD, because each type has different needs. This evidence-based approach has been overshadowed in recent years by activists who wish to replace an evidence-based understanding with a cultural-political narrative. We believe that is harmful.

    Maybe it comes with the wholesale destruction of the planet, the ultimate live giver, that we no longer value that which creates life. And thus women become people who menstruate, and men become people who ejaculate, as there are now men who don't ejaculate but birth children and we need to account for these people.

  18. Anker 18

    Sabine maybe since these people from GDAC identitfy as men the men on this site might listen to them…………….

    They don't seem to be listening to their left wing comrades.

    • Sabine 18.1

      Women have very few true allies in men. disclaimer: i don't hate men, have men in my live, but i would never want to depend on a male for security, or comradery.

    • McFlock 18.2

      Stephanie Rodgers seemed to make a lot of sense.

      • Anker 18.2.1

        well I have only read about what Stephanie Rodgers said on the women's post.

        It went a lot like this. Trans women are real women. And if you don't agree "ding ding" your trans phobic.

        The issue is far more complex than this. And many of us don't accept the statement trans women are real women.

        REad Sabine’s article. It shows how utterly ridiculous things have got. The back lash will be intense. My prediction anyway.

        • McFlock

          I read that pile-on. My reading of her comments didn't match yours, obviously.

          As for your last paragraph, the main schools of thought on each side have been pretty clear on what they believe.

          Dunno if there's any resolution to the difference, though.

          • Anker

            Stephanie did use those words or words very close to that.

            So what did you hear her say that appealed to you so much?

            • McFlock

              You read the same comments I did. That's part of the problem. Is communication possible when there is no common frame of reference.

              • Anker

                So McFlock, do you think biology is irrelevant and all that matters is an internal sense of gender identity and that we should all treat our biological sex as irrelevant and just go with how we all feel?

                If not how do you see it.

                • McFlock

                  Biology can be relevant

                  We should treat biology as relevant when it is actually relevant.

                  An "internal sense of gender identity" (whatevs) can matter.

                  We should generally go with how we feel, and generally also be considerate of how others feel.

                  • Anker

                    Ok McFlock so a small amount of agreement.

                    Generally be considerate of how others feel gets the tick from me.

                    Biology can be relevant, yes I agree. I think biology is relevant in sport (Stephanie Rodgers doesn't btw unless I have misunderstood her).

                    I cite Ross Tucker who is a sports scientist who was employed by the international rugby organisation to research the impact of trans women who are biological men on playing rugby with biological women.

                    He said women are 30% more likely to be injured if tackled by trans women. He also said 10,000 biological males can run faster than the fastest women.

                    Men have larger hearts and lungs, more haemoglobin, larger bones a different pelvis, which gives them an advantage in sports e.g weight lifting. They have other physical differences from women that mean they will outperform women.

                    Identifying and transitioning from male to female will do very little to ameloerate these advantages.

                    Do you think this is an example of where biology is relevant? I do. I proposed that women's sport be kept for biological women only and there be a second category, "open" for anyone who wants to compete.

                    • McFlock

                      Very little agreement, actually. Binary absolutes do not mesh well with equivocated statements.

                      You have one person with an unmentioned study in one sport and you're extrapolating out to all sport. This does not seem logical to me, even merely as an illustration.

      • Rosemary McDonald 18.2.2

        Stephanie Rodgers seemed to make a lot of sense.

        She did?

        Dropping in with the opening Trans women are women, just as blonde women are women and fat women are women,

        Like, hair colour and body shape are somehow in the same league as biological sex as determinants of being "woman"?

        McFlock…it is "sex", as observed at birth (not "assigned" as if arbitrarily), that is noted on a birth certificate. It is a very major and serious thing to change that determination.

        For it to be permissible to change one's sex at a mere click of a mouse is clearly a nonsense.

        When one actually thinks about it, it makes no sense.

        • McFlock

          yes she did, a lot more than you.

          • Anker


            To quote Ross Tucker, "The scientific, biological differneces between men and women are so large, they would render women irrelevant in elite-level sport"

            That's right sport, not just rugby. Tracey also posted a very good link on the women's day post about the advantages biological males have over women in sports….

            Still I am glad you seem to accept that biological men (including trans women) have an advantage over women in rugby. That's a start. It does annoy me though that its not just about women being outplayed by biological males, it is about them getting more injuries. We are talking about safety here. Trans women playing rugby with women will lead to more injuries of women. Its an outrage that NZ rugby is even considering the possibility

            • McFlock

              I haven't looked at any studies. I have little to no idea even how to play rugby. You reckon someone did a study of transwomen in rugby and found a double-digit increase in injuries. What was the sample size? What did three other studies find? What's the mechanism of injury? If RNZ found a way to minimise those injuries, would all else be equal?

              Why should I be the one to do a lit search just because I think life is more nuanced than looking for a single study to support a binary view?

              • weka

                You need a study to tell you that in a sport like rugby biological males are an injury risk to biological females?

                • McFlock

                  Seems to me that there are many factors more significant that what was between someone's legs when they were born.

                  So yes, I'd like to base my opinion upon facts where available, rather than preconceptions. If only because my preconception about rugby is that it is needlessly violent and injurious, anyway.

                  • weka

                    "Seems to me that there are many factors more significant that what was between someone's legs when they were born."

                    Indeed, except for the bit where testicals are part of the male hormonal system that is involved in physical development. I'd suggest reading about the physiological development of male bodies in regards to physical and sporting capacity. Look for the bits about what confers advantage during puberty that outlasts puberty and how that is relevant to women and largely untouched by taking hormonal meds.

                    Whatever your personal feelings about rugby, there are women who want to play and who don't want to be unnecessarily injured.

                    • McFlock

                      great. Now we've gone from a couple of studies (to demonstrate the existence of an issue) to an entire damned lit review of developmental physiology in case the issue exists and can only be addressed by excluding trans women.

                    • weka

                      It's not if, the science have been done and it's not that hard to find.

                      I have no idea if the only way that it can be addressed is by excluding TW. I'm simply pointing to the physical reality that is well known, that male puberty confers physical advantages that don't go away when males use transitioning drugs. We can't even look at what is fair, safe or reasonable without understanding the biology.

                    • weka

                      the other problem here of course, and in much of what you argue, is what is a trans woman? Self-ID means that any male bodied person can call themselves a woman. The trans umbrella is very broad now. No medical or surgical transition required. TW no longer means a male bodied person with gender dysphoria who medically/surgically transitions. It doesn't even necessarily mean someone who socially transitions eg in the sense of appearance. It just means any male who wants to call themselves a woman, even part time. Identity here can mean something inherent, but it can also mean something chosen.

                      btw, I'm in favour of people not having to have surgery or drugs, I'd love to see GNC normalised and non-medicalised. But that means we have to have a discussion about why women's space exists in relation to women as a *sex class, before we start talking about which male people should have access.

                    • McFlock

                      Right, I see it's gone from listen to women, through not that woman, and now into I'm claiming a fact, do your own research to support it, so I'm done for the night.

                    • weka

                      Bullshit. Listen to whoever you want. If you respect SR's arguments, that's fine. Others didn't and explained why. This is all par for the course on TS.

                      If you think that there is no physiological advantage conferred by male puberty that isn't removed by hormonal drugs, then that's not fine. But sure, I'm not going to do your homework for you.

                      I can recommend people to follow on twitter who talk about this a lot though, if that would help. By which I mean, people you can learn the argument from, you don't have to agree with them.

                    • McFlock

                      If we can't even get anywhere in long-form discussion, how the hell is twitter going to improve things.

                      And as for "physiological advantage", I suspect there's a shedload of overlap between individuals, and I also tend towards the idea that (like every other human difference) maybe the first impulse should be "is there actually an issue, and can we make this more accessible and fair with a few trivial changes?" rather than "exclude them".

                • Sabine

                  Weka, these biological males are now women, exactly like the biological women whom they want to play with. Surely we need several studies to show that injury could / can/ will happen. Many Many studies will be needed.

              • Anker

                Hi McFlock, I think it would be best if you read the link I posted. It’s a relatively short article the scientist is very apologetic to the trans community about his results (I personally think scientists don’t need to apologise for their results). This article backs up my argument that biology matters in sports. I can post other information too.
                I am not asking you to do a lit search. I think given you debate this subject though the least you can do is read this article. At the moment in this debate on biology you have nothing.

                you say you will base your opinions on facts, but you produce none.

              • Anker

                Hi McFlock, I think it would be best if you read the link I posted. It’s a relatively short article the scientist is very apologetic to the trans community about his results (I personally think scientists don’t need to apologise for their results). This article backs up my argument that biology matters in sports. I can post other information too.
                I am not asking you to do a lit search. I think given you debate this subject though the least you can do is read this article. At the moment in this debate on biology you have nothing.

                you say you will base your opinions on facts, but you produce none.

                • McFlock

                  Maybe rugby should have weight classes, regardless of whether typical transwomen are close to "typical male" or not. Besides improving general player safety, how would that affect whether transwomen have an advantage in rugby over other women?

                  I have no opinion on whether transwomen have an unfair advantage over other women in every (or any particular) sport. If they do have an advantage in a specific sport, then I suspect that will be already evident in the physiological type of athlete who makes it to elite level. Frankly, that's the business of sports physiologists and governing organisations working with them.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Club Rugby has existing weight classes.

                    Maybe you should start off with identifying sports where females compete evenly with males, rather than explaining how sports your proudly and clearly ignorant of should be run.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, in a discussion about sports in which transwomen allegedly have a physiological advantage over other women, I wasn't the one to bring up with a sport that apparently (from what you say) already accounts for physiological differences between players.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Too right. All you've managed to demonstrate so far is ignorance, not that its stopped you voicing opinions about how sports should be run.

                      Since you don't seem to compete in any sports, as a general rule, males perform better than females is almost universal.

                    • Incognito []

                      … in any sports, as a general rule, males perform better than females is almost universal.

                      Just as well then this doesn’t apply to ordinary daily life situations in society 😉

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Yep, I know McFlock can voice opinions from positions of ignorance on ordinary life as well.

                    • Incognito []

                      Sure, so can I and anybody else; ignorance is universal but some have a natural advantage.

                    • McFlock

                      Here I was thinking there was maybe an issue of two populations with overlapping normal distributions of physiological characteristics that maybe pointed to unaccounted advantages within those populations (and maybe it would be a good idea to check if a particular subpopulation of one group transitioning to the other group might have a distribution more similar to the other group), but sure, let's go with "as a general rule". Throw that one to NZ rugby, IOC, and every other sporting body, problem solved /sarc

                  • Anker

                    McFlock I am glad you are thinking about options for managing sport.

                    However its not just weight e.g. in a scrum or takling. Think of line outs where jumping is required. Mens hands are bigger, which advantages them in catching. They can run faster. So weight is only one aspect.

                    I think what is best is that we keep women's sport for women. Then have an open category, open to anyone.

                    Afterall it is bodies that play sports not identities.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Afterall it is bodies that play sports not identities. yes

                      Its not that hard a concept is it?

                    • McFlock

                      If (e.g.) a bigger-handed woman has an unfair advantage in rugby over "typical" women, why is it only bigger-handed transwomen who should be excluded? And what about smaller-handed transwomen?

                      If it's bodies that play sport, judge on the bodies, not the identity.

          • francesca

            Self ID and becoming legally female is going to wreak havoc with data collection .Oh, but then of course transwomen are real women , and with that kind of magical thinking will also be subject to unwanted pregnancy, endemetriosis, heightened risk of breast cancer, childbirth injury, ovarian cysts, etc etc.

            • Anker

              McFlock have you read the article I posted about sport and male advantage over females?

              Its the hands, the jumping, the speed and the goal kicking ability, strength. Overall the biological advantage men have over women in sport is huge.

              I understand you are coming from a place of wanting to support children of parents you know who have transitioned. I get you have a personal connection to this. I get that.

              But it's not your place to argue so vigourously, cherry picking bits of information e.g.about hand size, rather than facing up to the fact the men have a significant advantage over women in almost all sports, whilst not producing any evidence that supports you view that Trans women should be able to play in women's sports.

              You agreed biology is important at times. I raised in sports and have given you many good reasons why this is the case. Back down man. Accept biological reality

              I don’t see what an earth is the problem with trans women playing sport in an open category? Given the biological reality, why are they entitled to this treatment.

            • Anker
              • Mcflock “if it’s bodies that play sport not identities judge on the bodies”

              exactly. Biological women play biological women. A second category “open”for all others. I am glad you are able to see our point of view

  19. Sabine 19

    and this to the institutionalising of all this jazz and the eradication of women/male 'sex' in the medical field, cause fuck biology, its for suckers.


  20. Anker 20

    well I have only read about what Stephanie Rodgers said on the women's post.

    It went a lot like this. Trans women are real women. And if you don't agree "ding ding" your trans phobic.

    Many of us don't accept the statement trans women are real women. We believe biology which can be measured trumps gender identity which is a felt sense of identity, which people are entitled to experience.

    • Visubversa 20.1

      This "felt sense of identity" was invented by Dr John Money in the 1950's as part of his eugenicist experiments on children. There have always been "cross dressers" but they existed for a reason – men because sex between men was unlawful and got you imprisoned or burned at the stake. Women cross dressed to do things women were not allowed to do – like get into Medical School, or Law School, or the Military, or to marry another woman. The idea of a gender identity is very new.

  21. arkie 21

    Here's an interesting read from another UK Professor, Davina Cooper. Asking:

    Can feminism develop and grow if the room for reasonable divergence between us becomes ever narrower? We need spaces where we can discuss feminist politics to improve all our feminisms. The cheerleading, backslapping and feuding of twitter is not a good substitute.

    Critical Legal Thinking

  22. Anker 22
    • Sorry Argie, way too long for me to read at this time of night. Give me some bullet points to tempt me to read it if you like
  23. Tiger Mountain 23

    Firstly thanks to Daphna Whitmore and Redline blog contributors, who have been looking at trans issues from a materialist, evidence based perspective for several years now.

    The post modernist philosophical position where essentially “anything means anything” imo looms large among the section who believe “Trans women are women–OR ELSE!”

    Secondly thanks to WEKA for this post. Trans Women are Trans Women is a neat summation. Politicised Lesbian women are some of the staunchest allies it is possible to encounter and it is upsetting to see some of the online put downs they have had to endure. On one level I guess “Trans Women are Women” really equates to a demand for full rights for Trans Women.

    From a class left position all people should be defended from exploitation, oppression, bullying and attack. Capitalist gender stereotyping, and patriarchal enforcement and legal status for inheritance and female domination, was the precursor to modern gender issues.

    I watched “1971” on AppleTV the other night and there was David Bowie in a dress early in his career. Americans did not know what to make of him. In 70s New Zealand long haired males like myself forever got “Whadarrryaaa?…” type comments particularly in the provinces. Nowadays who cares if you have an undercut, dreads, or are covered in tattoos. I am not trying to equate such minor oafishness with what Trans people have to put up with from society, medicine, cops, street bullies and all the rest. But is totally time to end gender discrimination in all its forms.

  24. Rosemary McDonald 24

    And here's author and older gay man Allan Stretton with a long form essay about how the trans movement has not only hijacked the language but effectively erasing homosexuality by trying to erase sex.

    He gets how powerful the messaging has been and how easy it is to be dragged down the rabbit hole…

    As someone who has lived the internal politics of the LGBT community for decades (being of the G persuasion), I’ve noted that many of the gender-supremacist movement’s most doctrinaire high priests are trans women who, notwithstanding their loud and proud self-identification, seem quite happy with their penises and chest hair. Their Internet acolytes typically consist of mostly straight, bi, or queer-identified young people who are eager to sign on to what seems like a progressive movement. The priests aren’t elected, nor do they seem to represent the bulk of transgender individuals (who generally have a more realistic understanding of how biology works). However, the priests have been able to maintain their influence, and protect themselves from criticism, through word games and the threat of quick-trigger transphobia accusations.

    IMHO we are all caught up in a very weird social science/psychology experiment to see how much bullshit a tiny minority can force the wider population to swallow.

    Packaged up as a progressive human rights campaign, it is ironic that it is men, 'cis' men if you like, who step up and lend their voices in support of this movement. Ironic, because while the transactivists claim that failing to acquiesce to their demands for sex self ID will lead to violence…it is women, real women, who suffer the most violence at the hands of these trans friendly men.

    • weka 24.1

      One of the challenges here is how to make that visible without throwing trans people under the bus. The risks for women in self ID and gender over sex, and the risks for trans people of backlash against the excesses of the gender identity movement and transhumanism.

      • Rosemary McDonald 24.1.1

        TBH…I'm thinking that we have to persist, iron fist in velvet glove, until this 'excess' naturally burns itself out.

        We need to be firm that sex is a reality, and while we can respect gender diversity (because, hey, we women were the pioneers in this space) we must not succumb to transideology that would force us to 'believe' in the feels, rather than accept the facts.

        With LGB activists stepping forward and transexuals speaking up we just might be able to get things back to something approaching 'normal'.

        Whatever that means.

  25. weka 25

    I’d like to write a post about this, am thinking about how to explain it and why it matters. Thoughts?

    • Sabine 25.1

      yes please, you have good words.

      I did the same yesterday and stopped. Might pick it up again today.

  26. Anker 26
    • Time to write to Labour’s MP urging them not to vote for this bill
    • Sabine 26.1

      attach the picture above, maybe that will get them to think?

    • Visubversa 26.2

      From Speak Up for Women

      "Basically the Minister acknowledges she is conflating sex and gender with the BDMRRB but doesn't really care.

      Sex self-ID will be part of a supplementary order paper (SOP) that is going to cabinet for approval on 2 August. Following that, it'll be debated at the second reading in the house – it is this SOP that will then go to Select Committee in late August for public consultation. The intention is to be wrapped up and at the third and final reading by December!

      It’ll cost one million to change the IT system to allow multiple sex markers. This is only the births registry system -there will be unquantified costs to other govt dept systems to implement the same.

      Sex on birth certificates are no longer evidence of sex “I (Jan Tinetti) intend to maintain the policy position that birth certificates do not provide conclusive evidence of a person’s sex or gender.” But how then will any service provider establish someone's sex for the purposes of enforcing their single-sex status? DIA's answer is "providing guidance for determining sex is beyond the scope of the department" and would require a cross-department effort, but there is no indication this project is underway. It seems they intend to leave it to the courts to decide

      People can change sex multiple times

      “I am aware that using a sex marker to represent gender conflates sex and gender.” But “Creating a separate gender marker on birth certificates has wider cost and timing implications for data collection and IT systems changes across govt.” – So women are under the bus due to cost concerns and time pressure driven by gender theory activists.


    • Tabletennis 26.3

      Don't forget the hate speech laws :
      Proposal (# six) to add to the grounds of discrimination in the HRA:
      New Zealand's Proposals Against Incitement of Hatred and Discrimination seeking to criminalise gender critical beliefs.

      1. Afford female sex-based rights to men who claim to possess a "female gender identity".
      2. Make it a crime for women, lesbians, to treat men claiming a "female gender identity" as men and a crime to promote the rejection of, and objection to, the notion of "gender identity".

      Note- it says nothing about men and misogyny…

      And yet in court you'll be asked to put your hand on a book to tell the truth and nothing but the truth….

      • Anker 26.3.1

        OMG Tabletennis. Is that what is proposed!

      • Sabine 26.3.2

        That is gonna be so fun when they start arresting women all over the place for the audacity to have a place to go to the loo without having some creep get his fetish on all legally now, cause HE can.

        Can't wait for this. It is gonna make for good TV. Maybe a new, Gender Police TV, life now, watch your birthing body, err 'chestfeeder' err 'heterosexual sex provider' 'err fronthole sibling' being arrested for beating the crap out of a masturbating male in the ladies toilet.

        10/10 would watch.

      • Sabine 26.3.4

        can you provide a link to this in the document? Please that would be very handy.

          • Sabine

            Thanks for that, and why am i almost afraid to do that?

            • weka

              less fear inducing than not doing it and the government entrenching gender over sex into law even more.

              I'm not sure that proposal six does criminalise GC beliefs, but I think there is reason to be concerned and to tell the government what those concerns are.

              • Molly

                Proposal 6 in the discussion document refers back to Proposal 1.

                This makes the practical application unclear, which is of concern.

              • Sabine

                I know that 'women hatred' is as common a volkssport as is rugby or soccer.

                But to see it typed out on paper, is something else. In effect this taken to the extreme could end up criminalising all female centric vocabulary.

                And i would also like to point out that this would ONLY criminalise 'women' as they did not say 'Persons', but 'women' and 'lesbians'.

                Essentially it would make it a criminal act if a women were to complain that Philip Bunce won an award in a female category because he too is a female. WE not only have to give up what few rights we have, we have to do so without complaining.

                That is mysoginy in its finest, and it is on a government paper. that should scare all of us who are born with a vagina.

                And all that in the name of equality. Cause Men are men, and Men are women, and everyone else is 'other'.

  27. Delia 27

    .. that younger generation are anti sex but in a new way. I have nothing against fully transgender women in female service and spaces. I do not want cross dressers and men who just think they like being in female spaces, in our services, because our govt said it is legal. Women are entitled to privacy and be away from the male sex and the male sex should have the same. I suggest this govt stop pretending mothers do not exist, fathers do not exist and wise up to the fact the majority of New Zealanders were born male and female and do not even think about it, until they feel their own safety is being interfered with. We already see a dire situation in Tasmania where lesbians have been told by the Human Rights leader over there, they must allow males in, if they advertise a lesbian function…proving what women have been saying for months, our own autonomy is in peril with meddling govts.

  28. Anker 28

    McFlock I am glad you are thinking about options for managing sport.

    However its not just weight e.g. in a scrum or takling. Think of line outs where jumping is required. Mens hands are bigger, which advantages them in catching. They can run faster. So weight is only one aspect.

    I think what is best is that we keep women's sport for women. Then have an open category, open to anyone.

    Afterall it is bodies that play sports not identities.

  29. RP Mcmurphy 29

    face it. gender identity or what ever you want to call it is about who you want to have sex with. the why is never discussed. for every effect there must be a cause so why do some men want to have sex with men and some women want to have sex with women?

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