Meanwhile in Ireland:
Among those the Guardian spoke to, there was no evidence of the legislation leading to individuals – in particular teenagers – being pressured to undertake medical transition, or men falsely declaring themselves female in order to invade women-only spaces, as some feminist activists have feared.
the most risible
To address potential accusations that this line of reasoning is an attempt to minimise criticisms of the crypto-antisemitic insinuations made in the current deadly climate – this was certainly not intended as anything more than a personal response to the marginalisation of trans concerns in the local discourse by cis people. My apologies at having presented the impression of hierarchization.
From a personal standpoint the crypto-antisemitism fails to pass any acid test deeming it worthy of debate simply on the grounds that global documentation of gender minorities predates Soros, Buffett et al by some considerable length as does the medicalisation of transgender people (though there are some troubling overlaps in the original article’s argument) and that medicalisation remains – despite claims we have now adopted ‘an informed consent model’ – incongruent with strict gate-keeping which still occurs under the jurisdiction of some DHBs and practitioners.
This expansive history of gender diversity is most evident locally when accounting for longstanding recognition of fa’afafine, fakaleiti and the revival of takatāpui etc rendering this spurious conspiracy as to the creation/promotion/recognition of gender minorities for the benefit of big pharma as both largely Eurocentric and farcical for any educated ally, gender minority or concerned individual with access to Google, as opposed to the allegations against the NZ health system, medical profession, guardians – which while easily refutable by those in the know – play largely – without much in the way of data – on fear of the unknown among the general population.
Though both preposterous and dangerous in their way – I assume part of the reason for the silence by the trans ally cis population wrt the child abuse allegations is in part due to lack of access to information required to refute that.
Continuing this intermittent and tiresome fact-check of the Herald article, in the context of "Under the proposed new law”, the journalist stated:
How about Laurel Hubbard competing straight-faced as a female in weightlifting? And all those other athletes around the world winning hands down against biological women? Is it fair to females, who’ve often trained their whole lives, only to come second to a biologically stronger athlete – no matter how they identify?
Which has absolutely nothing to do with ’the proposed new law’. Independent bodies responsible for administering competitive sport will continue to exercise oversight of regulations governing the participation of all competitors, trans, intersex or otherwise.
Self-declaration will not change this provision.
Additional background from the British Journal of Sports Medicine – for anyone interested in nurturing an informed discussion on this topic.
only to come second to a biologically stronger athlete
Not to mention that that is the entire point of athletics competitions.
The trouble is, as we're seeing, that the question "what is a woman" is not one that has a simple answer with a clear line between "woman" and "non-woman". Blaming organising bodies at any level for not managing to come up with a simple, unambiguous test for that is silly.
Mark, I'm not suggesting you're doing those things, just trying to point out that the underlying premises don't stack up.
Totally, I was impressed with the evenhandedness in that Sports Medicine article both in covering the background and in highlighting that there’s considerably more complexity to this than the journalist (above) and DPF would care to acknowledge in perpetuating the myth that oversight of these issues is the purview of our Government with its proposed amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act.
This week in mythbusting the article:
TERF stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’ and is used as a way of denigrating any woman who questions the current craze of people – overwhelmingly men – who say they were born into the wrong body."
This depiction plays on the stigmatisation of femininity and dienigration of trans women as class traitors moving against a societal current which rewards adherence to masculinity.
While it hinges on data showing that in popular history trans woman have been more visible, like many of the motifs these groups employ, it functionality is contingent on the ongoing erasurre of trans men, non-binary people etc.
Contrary to the journalist misrepresentation of ‘the current craze’ (see transtrender slur) the current demographic shift is moving in entirely the opposite direction.
Appointments to the Wellington Endocrine Service for Capital & Coast DHB from Jan 1990 to the end of 2016 show that in recent years the largest increase in referrals is for trans men (table 1). Up from 9 in 2012 to 41 in 2016 compared to trans women; up from 22 to 51 over the same period – corresponding with global trends where applicable.
The reasons for this are many but not altogether difficult to comprehend.
• Today, there is more easily-accessible information regarding transgender individuals. Hence, people (in general) are more informed and educated. That translates into an overall increase in acceptance.
• The fact that people are more and more accepting, means that more people are able to express themselves authentically, with a reduced risk of discrimination. (Although discrimination is still very prevalent.)
• In the past, more transgender people would remain “closeted” (i.e., would not transition) for fear of persecution. However, there is less and less of a need to do that now. Thus, there is an increased visibility of transgender individuals. So while it may appear that the numbers are increasing, the reality is that you’re actually getting a more realistic idea of the numbers (which actually aren’t that high).
To that last point I can personally attest having occupied the grey area for some time (largely due to living abroad with no access to gender affirmation processes) – to better contextualise this here’s a photo my wife took of me on our first date in March 2011. While I have been ‘out’ for years for the vast majority of my online engagement/ work etc, based on a 2010 thread I remained uncertain about some attitudes and had long since learned it’s better to be safe than sorry – there are no uniforms. Obviously as I latterly discovered the folk on this site are pretty damn supportive.
As for this increase in referrals for trans men – well unlike trans women (where in Aotearoa we’ve been so fortunate), for trans men there haven’t been so many visible role models, Chaz Bono being something of a ‘pioneer’ in that regard, coming out in 2009, reaching a wider audience with the 2011 film Becoming Chaz.
So I feel it’s somewhat disingenuous of the journalist to dismiss what is more of an awakening of sorts wrt the misinformation and erasure we’ve been fed and readily and unquestioningly consumed than so much of a ’current craze’.
Depends on your motivations I guess.
In this final installment of debunking the article we’ll be looking at succedent paragraphs:
Under the proposed new law, a man can call himself a woman without ever medically transitioning (most never do) and insert himself in female-only spaces such as changing rooms, women’s refuges, and prisons. Women would have absolutely no legal recourse to challenge such a move.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be locked up alone in a cell all night with a hairy, muscly, sex-starved inmate of either gender – but particularly one with his full kit and caboodle intact.
Again we begin with the misgendering and the claim that most trans women never transition – which may or may not be true when accounting for closeted individuals – who aren’t bothering anyone – but certainly doesn’t bear much scrutiny (see previous post) as the graph above shows(fig 3) – trans women having been historically considerably more likely to medically transition than trans men.
We run into immediate problems in this paragraph wrt self-ID and the prospect of trans women ’inserting’ ourselves into these spaces. Firstly most trans woman I know are petrified of entering women’s spaces, specifically because of the attitudes of people like the journalist. No one wants a falcon set on them. This issue is exacerbated by the prolonged waiting time for surgeries (despite expedient albeit currently superficial messaging to the contrary).
An example of the inutility of self-ID in altering the current landscape in commercial spaces was illustrated in May:
The 38-year-old has legally changed her gender to female on her birth certificate and all legal documents, according to NZME.
Despite this, she was asked to provide evidence that she’d had sex reassignment surgery
As for publicly managed spaces I would assume the same conditions as have applied for the last however many years would remain in place – namely that GRS is not a criteria for legal recognition of womanhood.
As for trans women inserting ourselves into refuges and prisons – I feel a better verb could have been exploited. Firstly wrt refuges,as Hadassah Green notified me in December 2016:
"in general our policy is that refuge is open to anyone who self-identifies as a woman, no identification necessary."
i.e. self ID has no bearing on access.
And wrt prisons, my feeling is that fundamental to the issue being objected to is double-celling – which is absolutely aggravated by the sharp recent increase in women’s prison numbers. Personally I don’t have answers on the finer points of prison policy, but my feeling is if we’re to have that discussion then it would show good faith if we didn’t kick things off by misgendering and lampooning trans women with cutsie nicknames for our genitals.
The proposed self-ID change isn’t simply a case of ticking a box on an application form – like the passport gender change it requires signing a statutory declaration in front of a JP, MP, lawyer, registered legal executive (fellow of NZILE) or Government Officer authorised to take statutory declarationns – which would leave a paper trail and credible witness – drastically undermining its usefulness as an avenue to commit crime.
I may be being overly optimistic but I imagine that surely there must be a more tolerant way to have any of these discussions without dehumanising us, disseminating crypto-antisemitic conspiracy theories, defaming the New Zealand health system, misrepresenting basic medicalisation data,scaremongering about Women’s Refuge and distorting the complexities of international sports administration.
All things considered, ‘TERFs’ never really scared me, their mental gymnastics always struck me as being so mendacious as to be almost comical – the centrists, otoh, who provide the fertile ground for the transphobia TERFs peddle to take root,the moderates whose transphobia existed long before and will persist long after; ex-leaders and movers and shakers, who offered their support amid the entirely anticipated fracas following the publication of that highly provocative piece – those people who see our lives as little more than debate fodder, those who publicly make a point of proclaiming their need to “see both sides” in response to these types of attacks – who feel our responses are too negative – they indicate how easily public sentiment could turn on a pin – and they absolutely terrify me.
So anyway that’s me done. 10 years is a long time on any site – no less so when you’re absolutely petrified for most of it about people discovering your gender. Now it’s just a more general state of constant anxiety. I’ve learned an incredible amount from many of the regulars for which I’ll be eternally grateful, as am I incredibly grateful for not being banned, I likely would have banned me many times over. Also I’m deeply regretful for the annoyance and hurt I’ve caused so many of you over the years, especially you Emma, thank you for allowing me to take such liberties on your thread, among many other things, and of course you Russell – superb surgeon – would recommend.
noho mai rā