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One week in the war on women

Posted on May 17, 2019 by

6th May

On April 26th, the International Lesbian Day of Visibility, a very obviously physically male Twitter user sent tweets to accompany photos of himself in which he claimed to be a lesbian (he also commented “down with cis”).

Juliet Smollett, a feminist gay rights campaigner (and mother to a lesbian daughter) replied to him “you’re not a lesbian”. For this she was said to be committing “hateful conduct” and her account was permanently banned.

7th May

Caroline Farrow went to court to contest an application for an interim injunction at the Royal Court of Justice.

Farrow has been the subject of a lengthy harassment campaign since her appearance opposite Susie Green on ITV’s Good Morning. For the crime of “misgendering” Susie Green’s child her details, including her address, were revealed online.

She and her family were then subjected to:

– Multiple fast food deliveries, up to eight in one night.

– Malicious report to the NSPCC in her name accusing her husband of sexually abusing their children in their sleep, resulting in an immediate police visit to check on their welfare.

– False reports about him engaging in similar behaviour at a local swimming pool, posted in her name, on a website, with a local MP CCed in.

– Hundreds of orders placed in her name on the Argos website.

– Her nine-year-old daughter’s name used to sign up to a transgender teen site. Sexually explicit posts and threads started in her daughter’s name, including one claiming she was a drug user and wanted a mastectomy.

– Videos made about her, one calling for her imprisonment and rape, another attacking her daughter again, repeatedly calling her a “bitch”.

 – Multiple threatening emails, including some purporting to be from government agencies like the DVLA and passport office.

– Reports filled to CrimeStoppers in her name.

– Abusive emails sent to Mumsnet in her name result in her account being temporarily suspended.

 – Her children and 78-year-old father used in cartoons and sexually explicit fiction with accompanying Twitter and Instagram accounts.

 – An abusive blog with accompanying Twitter accounts set up by someone purporting to know about forthcoming legal action. In one message she is told she will be “nailed to the wall of court 37 and fucked”

 – At the Royal Court of Justice a trans activist, Stephanie Hayden, had applied for an injunction against Farrow. Having made comments on social media about Mrs Farrow such as that she “should be sectioned under mental health act”, and was a “public menace”, “inherently evil” and “sad middle aged hater”, Hayden then turned up in person at Mrs Farrow’s home to serve the papers in a highly intimidatory manner, while alleging that Mrs Farrow’s online behaviour amounted to harassment and defamation.

The judge’s decision was to award Hayden the interim injunction against Mrs Farrow.

8th May

A debate about the future of women’s sex-based rights held by Edinburgh University was deemed “transphobic” by students, as reported in The Scotsman. It had included journalist and life-long women’s rights campaigner Julie Bindel and Prof Rosa Freedman, an expert in law, conflict and global development from Reading University.

But Edinburgh University Students’ Association Liberation group claimed the university was “stirring up transphobia” and – in a string of tweets supported by EUSA, the university’s main student body – that the free event, which was open to all, made trans people unwelcome in the institution.

9th May

Scottish poet Stuart Paterson had his work withdrawn from sale by his own publishers. Copies of his 2017 co-authored book were pulped and his publishers removed all mention of it from their website because he was deemed “transphobic” and guilty of “hate speech” for supporting women who challenge self-ID legislation in Scotland.

10th May

Media outlets and Merseyside Police’s own social media account reported the arrest of “two women” over a violent scuffle in a Liverpool car park. However, shocking footage of the event which appeared on a variety of online forums clearly shows that one of the women is actually a transwoman.

The person in question is allegedly 55-year-old Carol Lea who, following an altercation over a parking space, became aggressive and violent. The focus of Lea’s anger seems to have been the car’s young female passenger, not its young male driver.

Lea can be seen taking a hammer out of the boot of her car, grabbing the teenage girl in a headlock and hitting her. When the young girl takes refuge in the car, Lea pulls at the door handle and then leans inside the vehicle to continue assaulting her.

Perhaps as shocking as seeing a natal male in a fit of violent rage attacking a 19-year-old woman is that, according to online profiles, for five years Lea has been a “trainer” to Merseyside Police in areas of “equality and diversity” and is also an adviser to students at Liverpool Hope University and Wirral Hospital Trust.

11th May

Natasha Devon resigned publicly from her role as a Times Educational Supplement columnist over allegations of transphobia after the paper published an article by Debbie Hayton, a transwoman.

Ms Devon, who was previously sacked from her role as a government mental health tsar and who controversially instructed teachers not to call female pupils “girls” as it “reminds them of their gender”, seemed to take issue with Ms Hayton’s support for the Transgender Trend organisation and the advice pack it offers schools and educators.

12th May

A harassment campaign against Joanna Cherry QC MP continued with the publication of a story in the Scottish national press in which she was accused of condoning bullying. Ms Cherry has questioned self-ID and challenged the silencing of women on social media, demanding to know why sex (as opposed to gender and gender identity) is not a protected characteristic according to Twitter’s code of conduct.

Because of this, she received so many violent threats that, at one point, she received a police escort to her constituency surgery.

13th May

Helen Steel, a lifelong environmental and social justice campaigner who was at the forefront of breaking the “spy cops” scandal was evicted from a mass land protest with Land Justice Network. Ms Steel, who has previously spoken about women’s sex-based rights at feminist events, was ejected from the LJN protest after being there for three days because of her opinions on gender.

According to Ms Steel’s account, LJN was being instructed by a group of academics from the Women’s Strike Assembly who claimed that her presence was making trans people feel unsafe.

Previously, the Women’s Strike Assembly were involved in the harassing of a female trades union member on a picket line and have offered a platform to Ada Cable, a trans rights activist who called for feminists to be physically assaulted.

14th May

Lewis Moonie was suspended from the Labour Party amid accusations of transphobia and told he must attend a disciplinary hearing. Lord Moonie, a former psychiatrist, was the MP for Kirkcaldy from 1987–2005 before being made a life peer. He has publicly supported women’s sex-based rights and the need to discuss any change in the law concerning self ID.

The 72 year old resigned from the party saying he was “Not really up to fighting it, so I’ve saved them the trouble”.

It has since become known that Moonie’s departure was at least partially down to the complaints of transwoman activist Aimee Challenor, best known for employing their father David Challenor as a Green Party election agent after the latter was charged with the rape and torture of a ten-year-old girl in the attic of their shared home.

David Challenor is now serving 22 years for that crime, while Aimee Challenor, now with the Lib Dems, is still on the trans advisory board at Stonewall.

During the week, Stonewall’s CEO Ruth Hunt was interviewed on HardTalk and asked about her legacy at that organisation.

“If you’re talking financial profile,” she said, our financial profile has improved.”


This article was originally published on Medium, but then removed by the publisher for alleged violation of its terms on “targeted harassment or shaming”. It is reproduced here in the public interest, in the light of the considerable Scottish political aspect.

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156 to “One week in the war on women”

  1. Helena Brown

    As a woman, I suppose an elderly woman I am at a loss at all this. Where has this come from. How many men feel they want to become women but actually hate the sex. Why are Lesbians being targeted and why are politicians getting their underwear in a God almighty twist with regards to this.
    The homosexual and Lesbian community fought long and hard for their place in society. None deserve this.
    Women and working class men had a hard time getting the vote, how many Trans people actually are there? How many are pretending because right now it seems in vogue.
    My Mother around my age knew and liked two guys who made their living dressing as women, Danny La rue fashion, she said they were gay as get out but she loved them both, that was thirty years ago. These people seem to want to destroy all the rights actually women have acquired and it worries me that politicians, many women, seem to want to help them.

  2. Terry

    There’s a bigger picture going on here. But ultimately women’s rights and safety plus free speech are under threat.

    Mystified and alarmed in equal measure. What’s going on?

  3. Joe

    This is what happens when people lose the plot.

    This is what happens when feelings become more important than facts. When it becomes about political power for group X versus group Y.

    Play identity politics at your own peril (not looking at any particular pro independence party)

  4. William Wallace

    That is some really toxic behaviour against those that dare to raise their head above the para(word filter avoidance)pet. There is not enough free discussion going on around the subject and any public consultations should be far more focused on taking on board the views of women around safety and security before enacting any policies or legislation.

    I’ve got my own views on it all but, such is the climate of hate around the whole issue, I am keeping my views largely to myself at the present time(not something that comes easy to me as most of you know).

    The whole debate is being closed down militantly and often aggressively and as far as I am concerned, that is an attack on free speech itself. It’s simply not on. Women and men need to stand together on this and fight back for the right to have a view on it and for that view to be heard.

    It’s far too one sided at the moment.

  5. Josef Ó Luain

    Extreme political-correctitude has been on its way for a long, long time. There are parallels here with those who castigate “vile-Cybernats” and so forth, in there attempts to control the language of debate. Fuck them!

  6. Dan

    Terry says at 9:24 am

    “Mystified and alarmed in equal measure. What’s going on?”

    Have long suspected this is just yet another divide and rule tactic being pushed into play. Women are unfortunately the collateral damage in all this.

    These days with an increasing numbers of folk identifying as non-religious the ability to divide society using that medium loses its influence, so another method must be found.

    It is a highly emotive subject that folk will have strong opinions about. Float that into a society that’s already compromised and divided / damaged by class, inequality, race, austerity, etc, and the masses will continue to bicker amongst themselves rather than unify and focus their ire on those that ultimately create all the major issues.

  7. liz

    I agree with Dan.This is being funded by some very rich and powerful people.

    Gullible politicians or those who want to attract the yoof vote have all jumped on the bandwagon.

    This is the biggest threat to the SNP IMO, for a very long while and they’re either too stupid or as some think, want to be at the forefront of an ideology to gain world status, to get a grip.

    Trans people already have rights

  8. CameronB Brodie

    Sex and gender are not the same things. Sex is an expression of biology and is characterised by its’ dimorphism. Gender is an expression of the different social oppression, social opportunity and social psychology experienced by men and women, due to their difference in sex. Gender-identity is the “performance” of stereotyped gender characteristics thought to define masculinity and femininity.

    It is not possible to change sex, so law that considers that it possible, lacks cohesion with bio-medical science and so can not be considered legally rational.

    8. Gender Impact Assessment: Framework for Gender Mainstreaming

    What is it?
    The Gender Impact Assessment provides help for policymakers in incorporating a gender perspective into policies that take account of the different needs, characteristics and behaviours of the users at whom they are aimed.

    When and where is it used?

    Equality Impact Assessments can be applied to legislation, policy plans and programmes, budgets, reports, and existing policies and services. Ideally, they should be done at an early stage in the decision-making process so that policies can be changed – or even abandoned – if necessary.

    Why is it important?
    Although there are some policies where it is clear that gender plays a central role, there are other policies where the relevance of gender is less obvious. These are as a result sometimes labelled gender-neutral, for example: health and safety and regional or town planning. In these examples, it may be tempting to see such policies, goals and outcomes affecting people as a homogeneous group. If policies are mistakenly perceived as gender-neutral, opportunities will be missed to include the views of different groups of women and men in policy formation and delivery and, in turn, to misjudge the different effects on each group, and the systems and organisations that support them.

    How is it used?

    It provides a methodology for policymakers to assess whether their policies will deliver equality of opportunity across the board, and helps to challenge policymakers to question the assumption that policies and services affect everyone in the same way. It puts forward key questions for policymakers to ask at each stage of process:

    • Define issues and goals
    o Define what the policy trying to achieve
    o Understand different problems and concerns
    o Enable equal contribution

    • Collect data
    o Gather gender, race and disability disaggregated statistics
    o Consult experts, women and men, black and minority ethnic and disability groups
    o Interpret from different perspectives

    • Develop options
    o Determine impact/implications for different groups
    o Offer real choice and opportunities
    o Remove stereotyped perceptions

    • Communicate
    o Integrate with equality commitments
    o Design different strategies
    o Use inclusive language

    • Monitor
    o Use the community
    o Develop indicators
    o Examine differential impact

    • Evaluate
    o Achieve equality of opportunity and equal outcomes
    o Learn lessons
    o Spread best practice

  9. winifred mccartney

    Just as we have managed to establish rights for women and given them the courage and platform to speak out there are now some who are trying to take away these rights. Safe places for women are very important wether in hospitals, prisons, refuge shelters, toilets, changing rooms etc.

    Lesbian women, trans persons and homosexuals and the whole range of LGBTI are well accepted in society (although there will always be people who will be horrible to others for many reasons as well as sexuality/gender).

    The biggest issue for me is this self identification – because it virtually brings an end to womens sport and puts the rights of women to have safe places at risk. To give rights to one group of people should never take away the rights of any other group.

    There will always be exceptions to any gender issues (the runner-can’t remember her name) but you cannot make laws around the very rare circumstances of one person.

    I feel for young people growing up – the issues being put into their heads are just making growing up more and more difficult and opening up the possibility of confusion and wrong decision making which could cause years of mental ill-health.

  10. CameronB Brodie

    winifred mccartney
    IMHO, Self-ID of sex challenges the meaning of “womanhood”. It also challenges legal reason, as law is traditionally grounded in liberal science not radical science.

    The Gender/Science System: or, Is Sex To Gender As Nature Is To Science?


    In this paper, I explore the problematic relation between sex and gender in parallel with the equally problematic relation between nature and science. I also offer a provisional analysis of the political dynamics that work to polarize both kinds of discourse, focusing especially on their intersection (i.e., on discussions of gender and science), and on that group most directly affected by all of the above considerations (i.e., women scientists).

  11. galamcennalath

    winifred mccartney says:

    self identification … brings an end to womens sport

    Just to quantify what that means in practice …. running a mile …. Hicham El Guerrouj is the current men’s record holder with his time of 3:43.13, while Svetlana Masterkova has the women’s record of 4:12.56.

    Men, on average, can run over 10% faster than women.

    Self identifying trans women, on average, can run 10% faster than biological women.

  12. CameronB Brodie

    I’m of course over simplifying things, there are different philosophical views of what it means to be a woman. Being a man, I have to rely on these second-hand accounts to gain any appreciation of what it might mean to be a woman. Enabling Self-ID will have profound scientific and legal ramifications, the vast majority of them harmful to my understanding of “woomanhood”.

    Science, Religion and Culture
    Debates, Approaches and Controversies

    On Knowledge and Authority
    2.Episteme, techne and power (Sept. 15)

    What is knowledge? How can it be communicated? Is religion a type of knowledge? How is scientific knowledge produced and distributed? Is technology a type of knowledge? Is technical knowledge or “know-how” always “scientific”? Why can someone lecture and another only listen? What gives the professor the power to speak and demands the audience to listen? How do we believe certain statements, dispute or disbelieve others? What is scientific revolution? And how revolutionary is it anyway?

    Oh, and why should I care?!

  13. Robert J. Sutherland

    Seriously worrying. Extreme intolerance from those demanding tolerance. Some apparently more equal than others – now where have we encountered this before? This kind of illiberal “liberal” misbehaviour is what has brought the term into such disrepute among ordinary people in the US. And the only winners from the backlash are the likes of Farage and assorted right-wing bigots who don’t give a damn.

    It’s well time to take pause. People will rightly not vote for a new country that they believe will be an interfering nanny-state run by bossy right-on zealots.

  14. Mike cassidy

    This is not a complicated issue.

    What you have are violent, mysoginistic men being handed on a plate the means to feck with women’s lives in ways they have only been able to fantasize about before.

    The woke attitude to selfidentification which fuels this needs a serious kick in the testicular area.

  15. CameronB Brodie

    Mike cassidy
    I kind of agree with you there Mike, but feel bound to follow an ethical line of argument. Self-ID is justified through a poor conceptualisation of equality and “radical constructivism”, which as a branch of science is considered “radical”. Though radical science is an important component of good science, it does not provide a rational platform on which to establish law. 😉

    Histories, Futures and Conceptions of Gender and Science
    Why explore history and futures of gender and Science, Technology and Innovation?

    Science, technology and innovation do not exist in a vacuum, but take place in historical contexts. Similarly, the question of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the future needs to be understood as located socially and historically.

    Accordingly, a historical perspective on gender and STI is pertinent in order to understand adequately gendered patterns and relations in both the past and the future: who does science, technology and innovation? How are science, technology and innovation organized? And also, how is knowledge constructed in science, technology and innovation? These are three key components of the relationship between gender and science and technology, as identified by, amongst others, Schiebinger (1999) and Hearn and Husu (2011). The first two of these issues are now well examined and established; the third of these issues is the least explored and the most far-reaching in its implications….

  16. steph

    Thanks for publishing Stu. When platforms like Medium have been culture-captured, we’re in real trouble.

  17. Corrado Mella

    All this gender/sex mashup, WWG1WGA, QAnon, Trump, Brexshit , Huawei, Iran, Venezuela and all the forms of agitation we see today are just outbursts of the bewildered masses, tormented by an inner voice that tells them every minute of their day “Life can’t be this shit, can it? Something’s wrong here!”.

    It’s still bouncing in the unconscious minds, but as soon as it clicks in our collective consciousness, and we focus our attention against those that torment us, all this infighting will end and The Purge will begin.

    Remember, we are billions.
    The Establishment parasites are hundreds.
    Their only power is the money “golden cage” they have locked us in.

    Don’t worry if you don’t understand it yet.
    You will.

  18. Liz g

    Mike @ 3.20
    I don’t know that I entirely agree with ye there Mike.
    It’s an issue that needs discussing to be sure and that the discussion is being restricted is the hijacked bit.
    The expectation that Woman will just have to give way in this is clearly plain wrong…. But the hoops that Trans people have to jump through at the moment is,it seems to me, just as bad as the systems governments put in place for Social Security and Immigration and needs looked at!
    We should never let governments away with stupid restrictions on any group.

    There is undoubtedly manipulation of Trans people going on and just how they cannot see it is baffling,but then again,the same thing is happening with the Brexit mob and they can’t see it either.
    The issues between Trans people and Women are easy meat for the instigators and we all need to be aware of it.
    There’s no group more clued up around establishment manipulation than the Yes group we of all people should be able to look at this rationally and call out the bullshit too!

    Right here right now I am leaning towards the Revs point of view on it,but if the information changes I’ll change my mind.

    And I do have questions….
    One of the first being, “Why do Trans Woman not want to OWN being Trans Woman”?
    I could respect that, I could see Society moving very quickly to respect that too!
    They go through so much and yet seem to be fighting for no one to know it and for everyone to pretend that they’ve always been and are now actually Woman,to infact stick their life journey in a closet!
    It seem to me bizarre to simultaneously claim there’s many genders/sex and then,that, it’s important that right’s to one of the established two are automatic.

    That’s before we even get to the science….
    All the hormone messing and surgery on the planet is not going to change the skeleton or chromosomes…
    Humans are either going to be XX or XY they just are.
    Men will have wider shoulders and woman will have wider hips
    and this makes a big difference in sport,mainly giving the humans with the XY chromosomes an advantage!!!
    And as mammals…
    We see homosexual behaviours in other mammals,do we see mammals actively choosing to live in the way that their opposite number dose in their environment… Have we looked??
    These are all fascinating questions that it’s surely “not beyond the wit of man” to find answers to,and also to solve the clear issues around sport.

    But Naw … some as yet unidentified people are making (pardon the pun) some very big balls and handing them to some very messed up narcissistic clowns to fire at Women,knowing fine well that women stand up for themselves nowadays and won’t (pardon yet another pun, isn’t this not using that right language thing fun if ye want it to be 🙂 ) take this laying down..
    We need to find Trans people who can talk bloody sense to get anywhere and they will probably find that then the biggest advocates for their right’s will be Women!

  19. CameronB Brodie

    I suppose I can make grandiose claims to being a bit of a post-colonial feminist, without actually delivering. Time for some feminist theory, with a side order of semiotics?

    The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective

    ….Some of us tried to stay sane in these disassembled and dissembling times by holding out for a feminist version of objectivity. Here, motivated by many of the same political desires, is the other seductive end of the objectivity problem. Humanistic Marxism was polluted at the source by its structuring theory about the domination of nature in the self-construction of man and by its closely related impotence in relation to historicizing anything women did that didn’t qualify for a wage.

    But Marxism was still a promising resource as a kind of epistemological feminist mental hygiene that sought our own doctrines of objective vision. Marxist starting points offered a way to get to our own versions of standpoint
    theories, insistent embodiment, a rich tradition of critiquing hegemony without disempowering positivisms and relativisms and a way to get to nuanced theories of mediation.

    Some versions of psychoanalysis were of aid in this approach, especially anglophone object relations theory, which maybe did more for U.S. socialist feminism for a time than anything from the pen of Marx or Engels, much less Althusser or any of the late pretenders to sonship treating the subject of ideology and science.5

    Another approach,” feminist empiricism,”also converges with feminist uses of Marxian resources to get a theory of science which continues to insist on legitimate meanings of objectivity and which remains leery of a radical constructivism conjugated with semiology and narratology.6 Feminists have to insist on a better account of the world; it is not enough to show radical historical contingency and modes of construction for everything. Here, we, as feminists, find ourselves perversely conjoined with the discourse of many practicing scientists, who, when all is said and done, mostly believe they are describing and discovering things by means of all their constructing and arguing.

    Evelyn Fox Keller has been particularly insistent on this fundamental matter,and Sandra Harding calls the goal of these approaches a “successor science.”Feminists have stakes in a successor science project that offers a more adequate, richer, better account of a world, in order to live in it well and in critical, reflexive relation to our own as well as others’ practices of domination and the unequal parts of privilege and oppression that make up all positions.

    In traditional philosophical categories, the issue is ethics and politics perhaps more than epistemology So, I think my problem,a nd “ourp”r oblem,i s how to have simultaneously an account of radical historical contingency for all knowledge claims and knowing subjects, a critical practice for recognizing our own “semiotict echnologies” for making meanings, and a no-nonsense commitment to faithful accounts of a “real” world, one that can be partially shared and that is friendly to earthwide projects of finite freedom, adequate material abundance, modest meaning in suffering, and limited happiness.

    Harding calls this necessary multiple desire a need for a successor science project and a postmodern insistence on irreducible difference and radical multiplicity of local knowledges. All components of the desire are paradoxical and dangerous, and their combinationis both contradictory and necessary. Feminists don’t need a doctrine of objectivity that promises transcendence, a story that loses track of its mediations just where someone might be held responsiblef or something, and unlimited instrumental power.

    We don’t want a theory of innocent powers to represent the world, where language and bodies both fall into the bliss of organic symbiosis. We also don’t want to theorize the world, much less act within it, in terms of Global Systems, but we do need an earthwide network of connections, including the ability partially to translate knowledges among very different – and power-differentiated – communities. We need the power of modern critical theories of how meanings and bodies get made, not in order to deny meanings and bodies, but in order to build meanings and bodies that have a chance for life.

  20. CameronB Brodie

    That should have read, “…I can’t..”, obvs.

    The Feminist ‘Successor Science Project’ as a Transnational Epistemological Community

  21. CameronB Brodie

    I am not the person to be doing this as I’ve not looked at this stuff in over a quarter of a century.

    Editorial: Feminism and Semiotics

    The addition of feminism to semiotics creates the “ampersand problem.” As supplement, feminism deconstructs the presuppositions of semiotics to expose a prior and unexamined binary opposition privileging the masculine of which women are the unnamed constituent part.

    Feminist critique has established the ideological dimensions of semiosis and so contributed to the elaboration of a critical, materialist semiotics and the development of cultural studies. In the process, the “sex/gender system” (Rubin 1975) has been shown to be an important signifying practice through which relations of power are enacted….

  22. Capella

    I agree with Mike Cassidy. Biological sex is determined at conception. You either have XX or XY chromosomes. That won’t change, ever, throughout life.

    Why is this obvious biological fact being distorted to promote the view that sex is some sort of spectrum with humans distributed along the spectrum from extreme female to extreme male?

    I quite agree that people can identify with the opposite sex and feel masculine or feminine and want to adopt the dress and mannerisms associated with that gender. What is wrong with that? The problem arises if men demand access to women’s safe spaces and to take over women’s sport and other reserved positions designed to correct historic inequality e.g. women’s officers in political parties or NGOs.

    Destroying these safe spaces appears to be the agenda of some politically motivated individuals. I do hope that SNP and other political parties take time to protect women’s rights and safety. There are very naive individuals promoting this as if it is evidence of tolerance and equality.

  23. CameronB Brodie

    Self-ID would dilute the meaning of “womanhood” and make it harder for women to defend their sex-based human rights. Weakening women’s rights is part of the neo=liberalisation of society. The degradation of biological women’s social standing represents an expression of neo-liberal biopolitics and a resurgence of patriarchy.

    Excuse me ladies. 😉


    ….From the crucial understanding of the difference between “sex“ and “gender“, with gender in the definition of sex roles, i.e. a set of stereotypes imposed on us according to the current needs in a society, we get a policy that seeks to deny sex and our bodies, and our possilities to speak about them.

    This is definitely where patriarchy reaches a full circle – the female body as the unspeakable, as that which must not be named, which must be repressed because it is so offensive, so threatening, a body that triggers whole civilisations so that entire religions had to be invented to guard us against it, that body is now again pushed away as it always has been: by not mentioning it, declaring it as off limits or off discourse, or as dirty, by using violence against it when it is visible, often directed against our sexual organs (4), or by hiding it under images of that body that aestheticise or codify it out of recognition, always firmly tied to the male gaze and male evaluation of that body.

    We are told not to mention menstruation, or name our uterus or vagina as female, as parts of our female physiology, because this could trigger those who don’t have that physiology. Well! Look, come back patriarchy when you’ve got something new, so much of patriarchy has been constructed around our bodies being our bodies.

    Since the female body exists, the struggle is about representation, i.e. language. This body is not supposed to have any meaning other than that which men assign to it, and if society, or the men in it, feel better by not hearing about it, or by not calling it female, or by replacing it with references to various functions or body parts (uterus-bearer, or menstruator) that is somehow supposed to be progressive. Because we don’t want to be tied to our reproductive capacities, do we?

    Well, heck, no we don’t, and yes, that’s a trap. While we are at it, pondering its settings, let me return to the title of this session – what’s it all got to do with neo-liberalism?

  24. Capella

    @ CBB – I agree Cameron – SelfID is nonsense. I’m not aware that the Scottish Government has changed the law to allow this. It may be that the police are recording trans women as women in crime statistics. Or that may only be in England and Wales. Who is giving advice on this?

    As ever, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  25. Capella

    I’ve read the interview of Ray Blanchard who was kicked off twitter for 24 hours for expressing his views on transgender issues. He is reputed to be the world expert in this field.

    Ray Blanchard is an American-Canadian sexologist who served as the head of clinical sexology services in the law and mental health program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto from 1995 to 2010. His research on paraphilias, gender-identity disorders, and sexual orientation spans nearly 40 years. From 2008 to 2012 he was a member of the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

    For the other side, I read a feminist challenging transphobia blog article. While there’s much I agree with, there are also some assertions which I would dispute.

    It’s really too big an issue for one blog article. It causes much anger and woe to the trans community, many of whom are very quick to accuse us of transphobia.

  26. Brian Doonthetoon

    Over the years, I’ve had no need to really think about this topic so this comment is straight off the cuff.

    To me, there are men and women – the XY and XX chromosomes determine that. However, I understand that there are people who feel they are in the wrong bodies, gender-wise. Males who feel that they would be more comfortable as females and vice versa.

    Fine so far. I think it’s all down to the reproductive equipment down below. If a male wants to present as a female, that male has two choices.

    1. Take hormones, have breast augmentation and removal of ‘reproductive equipment down below’. Then, to all intents and purposes, that male is presenting to the world as a female. I would see no problem in this person using female toilets, for example.

    2. Self-identify as a female but keep all the ‘reproductive equipment down below’. I cannot see why this person should be allowed into a female toilet, changing room, etc. This person is confused; not willing to make “the final cut’, if you’ll excuse the pun. Kinda like ‘dressing up’ when you were a bairn. (There is a pic of me on Facebook, aged 4, wearing high heels, a dress and earrings. My Mum’s cousin’s fault.)

    However, I do not believe female sports should be open to biological males and vice versa. As other have typed, this will kill women’s sports.

    Enough from me – I don’t feel qualified but I would say that nobody under the age of consent should have their gender reassigned.

  27. Cherry

    I found this article quite recently and was unsure how or where I could place it. This would appear the perfect spot. This article explains so much as to who is finding this and why! It is huge in the US and was one of Obama’s let projects. I found it frightening to know this is happening and it’s all about making money backed by billionaires. People are being taken advantage of and will need medications for the rest of their lives…guess who wins the payload…Big pharma!! Read it and then get angry then stick it on Facebook.

  28. Cherry

    Sorry * funding not finding and *let not let

  29. Capella

    @ Cherry – thx – looks interesting. Will read it later and I am aware of the financial interest of some surgeons in the US where health is a business. Coming soon to a country near you!

    I’m off to watch “Mary Queen of Scots” who was approx 6 ft tall and so would have been a candidate for reassignment surgery today. However, in those days stroppy women were simply deemed to be witches. She did lose her head in the end.

  30. Dan

    Why Self ID as part of a specific group and be constrained by the parameters that define that group?
    Why not ID as YOURSELF and learn to embrace your unique individuality and place in the greater scheme of things, with the freedoms and limitations that being part of a diverse society entails?

    We’re not sheep, we’re only human after all…

    Rag’n’Bone Man.

  31. CameronB Brodie

    Brian Doonthetoon
    I’ve met you and you are a reasonable individual, so your opinion counts. If you just remember that bio-medical science and human anthropology both considers sex to be typically characterised by its’ dimorphism, you’ll not go far wrong. The political correctness of the woke world-view is omnipresent though.

    I don’t hate trans-women, I respect them as being human and more prone to marginalisation and vulnerability than your average member of the public. However, sex is immutable and can’t be changed. Legislating as if sex is a matter of emotional expression, undermines the normative foundations of all our human rights.



    Gender: Refers to the social attribution of our assigned sex and the social and cultural context in which a range of identities, expressions, and relationships are structured. These attributes, opportunities, and relationships are socially constructed and learned through socialization processes. They are context/time-specific and changeable.

    Based in a binary perspective, gender determines what is expected, allowed, and valued in a woman or a man and attributes different values to masculinity and femininity in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between men, women, and gender minorities in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities.[1]

  32. Derick fae Yell

    Glad you’ve published this, Stuart

    Having steadfastly ignored this for years, there finally comes a time when you can no longer ignore the massive misogyny at the heart of the TRA agenda.

    When the language used, the entitlement, the threats and the behaviour exhibited are EXACTLY those that violent woman-hating men have used since time immemorial then it’s clear these are men, not women.

    If it quacks, it’s a duck. If it threatens and intimidates a woman: duck. If it physically assaults a woman: duck.

    Narcissistic, incel-like, duck.

    Readers may be interested in this sorry tale from Norway. Read and make up your own mind

  33. twathater

    All I and many others want is independence for Scotland first and foremost,therafter ALL discussions on what people want and desire can be investigated and possibly agreed .

    But what we cannot have or accept is people no matter how much they feel righteous , threatening violence or worse against others who hold a different view , I read Stu’s and others twatter feeds and the bile and threats against many women is totally disgusting and reprehensible

    This whole argument is IMO a TRAP for the SNP and INDEPENDENCE and should be sidelined and parked until a proper ALL encompassing discussion and views can take place

    AFAIK the discussions that have taken place up until now have been skewed in favour of the pro self iders who have been extremely vociferous

  34. mike cassidy

    Cherry 8.27

    Thanks for that.

    Would never have guessed people were pioneering child transgender medication 12 years ago this month.

    And that financial and cultural wave is what these misogynists are surfing in on

    Men pretending to be women so they can overturn decades of women’s historical progress.

    Knowing the law is on their side now.

    The inevitable backlash is not going to be pretty.

  35. Col.Blimp IV

    Some bossy self-styled thread policeman directed me here…apologies if you have read this elsewhere and dismissed it as the ravings of an xyzeeophobe looney.


    I tend to agree with you, there are only two genders. Four if you include, hermaphrodites and eunuchs, who do have a plausible claim to self-identify.

    There is however an infinite number ways in which people get their sexual jollies. An ever growing number of crazies seek to define their identity by the sexual sub-set they belong to and elevate their clubs into fully fledged “Genders”.

    The political classes seem to be buying into this nonsense, lets hope they do not take it to it’s logical conclusion.

    Is there a “Tit Men for Independence” affiliated organization yet?

    How many delegates do we get?

  36. Col.Blimp IV

    Oh dear…Are we allowed to say “looney” these days?

    I hope no offence was taken by or on behalf of any temperamentally challenged persons, who may or may not have read my post.

  37. Capella

    To avoid confusion, I would use the term “sex” to refer to the biological binary nature of male/female being. At conception you have either female xx or male xy chromosomes. That is immutable.

    (Yes there are very rare xyy chromosome types but that doesn’t alter the fact that the vast majority conform to either xx or xy chromosomes).

    Gender, on the other hand, refers to a set of cultural stereotypes assigned to either male or female beings. This changes over time. Individuals may not conform to these gender stereotypes.

    Someone could self ID as a masculine or feminine gender or any number of genders in between. I don’t see any problem with that.

    I do agree with BDTT that it is not fair to perform surgery or give hormone drugs to young people. Teenagers are notoriously easily influenced by TV soaps and suggestion about how to behave. Social workers are well aware of the copycat dangers of TV soaps showing depression or suicide in young characters.

    Bottom line is still that women’s rights must be protected. Full stop.

  38. Petra

    There are sex chromosome (23rd pair of chromosomes) anomalies (some not quite so rare) highlighting that not everyone falls into the XX – XY categories. The following short article covers that to some extent..

  39. Petra

    Ooops.. I don’t know what happened there! I’ll try again.

  40. Capella

    @Petra – thx for the link. I’ll read it tomorrow as the brain is tired. I don’t dispute that there are anomalies. I see from the URL that the article talks about “abnormal” occurrences (which would infuriate some). Of course there are. But should we remove women’s rights to accommodate a small percentage of the population? I don’t think so.

  41. Col.Blimp IV

    Re taking a knife to minors to comply with a cultural stereotype.

    If African parents try to take their daughter down that road, they risk finding themselves in jail and their children taken into care.

    If trans-fan parents make a similar choice they will be lauded and vilified in equal measure.

    If Jewish families have a bit of their sons penis cut of for cultural reasons, nobody bats an eye.

    It’s a funny old world…

  42. Col.Blimp IV


    Is that the same science/voodoo, that got Caster Semenya banned for not being girlie enough?

    That was fekking outrageous, she is not a cheat, nor is she a man.

    She is just a wee bit different from most women…well the same could be said about anybody.

  43. Morag

    To be clear, nobody is born in the wrong body, that’s an existential impossibility. Nor can someone have a female brain in a male body. Every cell of that brain has XY chromosomes and is influenced by the male hormones the body produces.

    What we have are several distinct clinical-psychiatric phenomena, dominated by autogynaephilia, a sexual paraphilia which drives men to desire to become women and to be accepted as women in every possible way. These men sometimes have surgery but often not. Sometimes they take hormones, sometimes not. They are heterosexual but when they take on their preferred female role they describe themselves as lesbians and pity-shame actual lesbians into feeling they have to regard them as potential sexual partners. Dangly bits and all.

    Because their condition drives them to want acceptance in women’s spaces they angrily reject any offer of a third space just for them. That’s discrimination, apparently. However they are men with male socialisation. They talk over women. They centre the conversation on themselves. They police women’s language so that the “girly talk” they crave isn’t allowed to go into subjects that remind them they aren’t female and never can be. They demand that language itself be subverted to support their delusion.

    They retain typical masculine levels of violent and sexual offending even when they present as female. Their grossly inconsiderate and demanding behaviour towards the women whose society they crave to join is typical male entitlement.

    Now that isn’t every trans person by any manner of means, but it’s about 70% to 80% of trans-identifying males in developed countries. These are the people who are driving this, and they’re a problem. I have officially stopped prefacing everything with an acknowledgement that trans people are vulnerable and have to be supported, it’s just that… but…

    These are domineering, narcissistic bullies. Their stated goal is to dismantle all the sex-segregated provisions and categories women have managed to achieve over the past century or so. And I for one am going to tell it as it is. The grovelling language is demeaning and I won’t do it.

  44. Morag

    Oh yes. And “woman” is not a costume. It is not a feeling in someone’s head. It’s not a live-action roleplaying game. It’s the condition of being born in a female body and growing up in a female body and being an adult with a female body.

    Cosmetic surgery and drugs cannot transform a male body into a female one. No matter how sincere the beliefs or how much the play-acting means to them, they are not us and they cannot become us.

    It demeans every woman who has ever lived, every woman who has struggled with menstruation, childbirth, FGM, rape, forced marriage, lack of legal rights, foot-binding, the menopause and everything else that comes from having a female body, to declare that our identity is something a man can claim just on account of a feeling he says he has.

    How can a man know what it’s like to “feel like a woman”? Women don’t know what it’s like to feel like a woman. We only know how we feel as ourselves, living in our bodies and leading the lives constrained by our society’s expectations of us.

    So sure, treat a mental illness for what it is. If someone says he’s Napoleon we can be sympathetic and try to find the best way to let him come to terms with this and lead a happy and productive life. But we don’t actually have to believe he is Napoleon and we don’t have to tell him we believe he’s Napoleon. And we don’t put him in charge of the French army either.

    This may sound harsh but I’ve had it up to here with these entitled, narcissistic bullies. I have some sympathy with the ordinary, decent trans people who are only trying to get on with their lives and fit in unobtrusively. But defending women’s rights is more important than avoiding hurting even their feelings.

  45. Petra

    I totally agree with you Capella (and others) that we shouldn’t remove women’s rights to accomodate a small percentage of the population. I posted that (basic) link rather to highlight to readers in general that not everyone has XX-XY chromosomes and that many people live amongst us that are unaware of the fact that they have one sex chromosome only or especially more than two.

  46. Col.Blimp IV

    I think you hit all the nails squarely on the head there Morag, if that’s not too masculine an analogy for your taste old Girl.

    The “logical conclusion” I spoke of earlier, of going the whole nine yards with self identification, would be pandering to a nine year olds sincerely held belief that she was a Mermaid.

    The surgeons could remove the bones from her feet and fashion them into a tail, fuse her legs together, then they could laser burn scales into all her skin bellow the waist and tattoo it blue. The “right on” enablers would then ensure that the local authority installed a swimming pool with little heart shaped island in her back garden and make sure she had a swimming coach and a lifestyle Councillor.

    Would she have become an actual Mermaid? I would say, no more than your man in the funny hat is Napoleon … but I fear the thought police might not agree and pack all dissenters off to the Gulag for a spot of much needed of re-education.

  47. Capella

    @ Morag – spot on Morag, I completely agree. This needs to be circulated and understood.

    @ Petra – thx for the link to the article on chromosomes. It is as I expected, the norm is xx and xy and some anomalies which are relatively rare. I notice the article did not imply that anyone with an anomolous chromosome status wanted to be trans.

    Now for Sarah’s link.

  48. Capella

    Apologies, Cherry’s link. Well worth reading. Spells out the billionaires funding this:

    Exceedingly rich, white men (and women) who invest in biomedical companies are funding myriad transgender organizations whose agenda will make them gobs of money…

    As an environmental activist who was deplatformed from a speaking venue by transactivists, in 2013 I developed curiosity about the power of this group to force this development. A year later, when Time magazine announced a transgender tipping point on its cover, I had already begun to examine the money behind the transgender project.

    I have watched as all-women’s safe spaces, universities, and sports opened their doors to any man who chose to identify as a woman. Whereas men who identify as transwomen are at the forefront of this project, women who identify as transmen seem silent and invisible. I was astonished that such a huge cultural change as the opening of sex-protected spaces was happening at such a meteoric pace and without consideration for women and girls’ safety, deliberation, or public debate.

    Concurrent with these rapid changes, I witnessed an overhaul in the English language with new pronouns and a near-tyrannical assault on those who did not use them. Laws mandating new speech were passed. Laws overriding biological sex with the amorphous concept of gender identity are being instituted now. People who speak openly about these changes can find themselves, their families, and their livelihoods threatened.

  49. Morag

    Thank you for that link Capella. I’m not sure if it was the one I’ve been looking for but it’s extremely useful.

  50. Morag

    Regarding chromosomal abnormalities, these really aren’t what this is about. The vast majority of people with abnormalities of the sex chromosomes or sexual development are nevertheless still unambiguously male or female. The tiny tiny number of edge cases don’t change the fact that for the overwhelming majority of the population there is no doubt whatsoever as to which sex they are, and even in the case of ambiguous anatomy it’s almost always possible to figure it out.

    (A pretty good rule of thumb is, presence of a functional SRY gene and biologically available testosterone = male. I’ll leave you to work out where Caster Semenya comes in on that one, yes it’s true sometimes a cursory inspection of ambiguous genitalia in an infant gets it wrong and a lot of heartache ensues.)

    But people with disorders of sexual development are an entirely different group from trans people. Very very few people in the “intersex” category actually transition from the sex they were raised as. The trans debate is about genetically and phenotypically normal males (and females) “identifying” as the opposite sex. And intersex people are getting pretty tired of telling the world that they don’t appreciate their medical problems being appropriated and weaponised in a debate they don’t want to be dragged into.

  51. Morag

    Actually there’s something interesting I realised about Caster Semenya and a group of athletes like her, all of whom seem to be black. They’re shouting about racism when it’s discovered that these incredibly good girls are actually in possession of a functional SRY gene and biologically available testosterone, and rules get invoked and controversy ensues.

    The condition of XY with PAIS (partial androgen insensitivity syndrome) which is what appears to be involved here, isn’t racially determined. However, for several decades in developed countries with good universal healthcare it has been considered best practice to raise these children as male. The case of Erik (né Erika) Schinegger in Austria goes back to the 1960s and he was actually born in 1948. It seems he has the same condition, but nowadays babies born in Austria with that condition are properly diagnosed and treated appropriately. They don’t suddenly pop up as astoundingly good girls, because they’re being brought up as boys. So the Caster Semenyas overwhelmingly tend to come from less developed countries/societies with relatively primitive neonatal care. (Yes I know she’s South African. My point still stands.)

    Just how young people who have been brought up as one sex (usually female, as ambiguous genitalia tend to look female to the untrained eye) adjust to discovering they are in fact the opposite sex, I can only imagine. 5-alpha reductase deficiency is a really interesting one in that respect. But this has absolutely bugger-all to do with biologically normal males who develop a fixation about being female. That’s not a physical condition, it’s a mental illness.

  52. Joe

    Robert J Sutherland: ‘It’s well time to take pause. People will rightly not vote for a new country that they believe will be an interfering nanny-state run by bossy right-on zealots.’

    That is the single most accurate statement I’ve read for a long time on the comments on this site.

    Im pro independence but i’ll find it very difficult to know what to do if Scotland continues into the hyper-progressive P.C future its headed for.

  53. CameronB Brodie

    Thank you for that, I did say I’m not geared up for the role of defending womanhood. 😉

    I’m trained as an ethical rationalist but also a critical realist. You are absolutely spot on. My language selection is geared towards ethical conduct but the TRANS argument is not an ethical one, and neither is their conduct. This springs from the ‘educational’ practice of Stonewall UK and Mermaids, etc., who are grooming Britain to accept mansplaining and patriarchy as the natural order of things.

    Trans-activism is intensely regressive and is not only harmful to women, but also to public health, social cohesion and the effectiveness of international development.

  54. Joe

    Morag: be careful with what you say. This stuff is can now be considered criminal in the same way as assault.

    The answer is easy. Freedom of association and freedom to not associate at will (without being called sexist, racist etc). If I want to form a gentlemen only golf group then that should be fine. Same as if women wanted to. If I want to form a muslim only reading group then that should be acceptible as would a christian only. Anyone who cant handle it can always take themselves to a psychiatrist, or at least change their own nappy.

    Equal rights mean equal rights. No privileges for anyone, same rights for everyone. Stop pretending the sexes/genders are the same and that there nothing biological underpinning it.

    The fake left progressive types who jump on every band wagon are corroding civil society with this B.S and yes, it is being done deliberately from a very great height.

  55. CameronB Brodie

    Here’s one for men who think a return to a patriarchal society might be quite cool. It won’t, patriarchy hurts the poor, both male and female, and destroys the planet.

    The Pathology of Patriarchy and Family Inequalities

    Everyone in the world belongs to at least two families: The one in to which we were born and the ones we create in adulthood. Underlying this shared global experience is a wealth of individual diversity in how family shapes us emotionally, physically, and economically throughout our lives and, in turn, the lives of our children.

    The first goal of this chapter is to present a holistic conceptual frame for comparing the group inequalities in inputs, family processes, and outcomes discussed in the other chapters of this volume. Crucially, the frame highlights that relative group differences over time and across countries are configured at the intersections of family, market, and state institutions….

  56. Joe

    I have to admit im seeing some people here apologising for their way of using words or how someone might take there statements.

    Is this the future? Being perpetually worried that some infantile grievance-monger might take something the wrong way? Not sure whether to laugh or run away to be honest.

  57. CameronB Brodie

    What about resisting misogynistic and authoritarian power with steely determination?

    Language and Power

    Summary and Keywords

    Five dynamic language–power relationships in communication have emerged from critical language studies, sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and the social psychology of language and communication. Two of them stem from preexisting powers behind language that it reveals and reflects, thereby transferring the extralinguistic powers to the communication context.

    Such powers exist at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, the power behind language is a speaker’s possession of a weapon, money, high social status, or other attractive personal qualities-by revealing them in convincing language, the speaker influences the hearer. At the macro level, the power behind language is the collective power (ethnolinguistic vitality) of the communities that speak the language. The dominance of English as a global language and international lingua franca, for example, has less to do with its linguistic quality and more to do with the ethnolinguistic vitality of English-speakers worldwide that it reflects.

    The other three language–power relationships refer to the powers of language that are based on a language’s communicative versatility and its broad range of cognitive, communicative, social, and identity functions in meaning-making, social interaction, and language policies. Such language powers include, first, the power of language to maintain existing dominance in legal, sexist, racist, and ageist discourses that favor particular groups of language users over others.

    Another language power is its immense impact on national unity and discord. The third language power is its ability to create influence through single words (e.g., metaphors), oratories, conversations and narratives in political campaigns, emergence of leaders, terrorist narratives, and so forth.

    Keywords: power behind language, power of language, intergroup communication, World Englishes, oratorical power, conversational power, leader emergence, al-Qaeda narrative, social identity approach

    P.S. You have to respect the German language, which has a specific word for “a face that needs punching”. 🙂

  58. Capella

    @ Morag – great to get some background info from someone who knows what they are talking about. As you say, chromosome status is not what the trans argument is about. Which raises the question: why a sudden rise in this condition? why now?

    Cherry’s link to the Federalist article gives a plausible answer. It’s the medical industrial complex. Its about billionaire investors making huge profits which depend on thousands of people becoming dependent on drugs and surgery for the rest of their lives. It’s an utterly cynical enterprise.

    Could there also be a link with the “feminisation” of the environment which grabbed the headlines some years ago? All those yoghurt cartons with oestrogens in the plastic which leached into the Florida swamps and turned the alligators androgynes?

    There have always been men who like to dress and behave as women. Some North American Indians called them “winkties”. They were accepted in the tribe and left in peace. But the women weren’t obliged to give up their rights to accommodate them.

    Who knows what the answer is in our society. But the bottom line still is – women’s rights must be protected.

  59. Joe

    CameronB Brodie what about resisting authoritarian power? Full stop. Whether is misogynistic or not?

  60. CameronB Brodie

    You can’t say no to that.

  61. Morag

    I really don’t think this has anything to do with synthetic hormonally-active substances in the environment. I think the causes are complex and sociological and yes there are people making a great deal of money out of it too.

  62. Dan

    @Capella & Morag

    There’s no doubt it’ll be a complex mix of factors.
    We know minuscule amounts of chemicals, both naturally produced in our bodies or ingested can have significant effects on our bodies and minds.
    We are all unique individuals that have different body characteristics along with lifestyles factors such as diet and exercise.
    With so many variables I can’t see how it would ever be definitively possible to ascertain through study if there is or isn’t a contributing factor to a specific condition due to ingestion or exposure to certain substances.

    During the 70s at primary school we had only one person in our class that could be described as chubby.
    We all ran around playing either football (predominately boys) or skipping / hopscotch (predominantly girls), or if the stars aligned, kissy catchy!
    New sweets such as Wham Bar and Space Dust were replacing gnawing a stick of rhubarb dipped in sugar.
    Think that mid 70s was the start of the highly refined corn sugar becoming more prevalent in processed foods.
    That was also around the start of the computer game era with such classics as that Binatone tennis thing you plugged into the telly.
    Being “a hyperactive little shit” (That’s my Mum’s official description of me in my younger years), I would rather spend my time kicking a football or BMXing so didn’t slip into a more sedentary lifestyle of sitting playing computer games or burling sections of a Rubik’s Cube.
    It’s known that both diet and exercise have a big effect on our well-being. I can’t help but think (but obviously can’t prove) that a sedentary lifestyle mixed with a crap diet including large amounts of highly refined sugar must play havoc on our bodies, and by extension our minds.

    NB: I’m in no way claiming that this is a direct cause of any specific condition. More that if an individual’s physical and mental well-being is not great, and that is mixed in with certain societal pressure and influence due to their circumstances, they may be more susceptible to certain conditions.
    We are products of both nature and nurture.

    To finish, re. chemicals. I used to have a vid saved that had a doctor giving a talk about a long list of chemicals that were found in a blood sample he had analysed. The list included all sorts of stuff, some was known to be bad for our bodies. One may have thought these chemicals had built up in a body over a long length of time, but at the end of the vid he disclosed that the blood sample had actually been taken from the baby in his wife’s womb.

  63. Liz g

    Morag @ 6.06
    Well playing Devil’s advocate, so to speak,to coin a phrase..
    I could make the same arguments for religion!!
    There is no science demonstrating a Deity only a beliefs and feelings. Some even “just” wake up one day and decide they not only know God exists but that they also know what he ( and it’s always a he) wants!
    Yet groups of the religious get to have special rules and exemptions from their governments,that everyone else is “supposed” to respect.Some of the religious are even violent to get their way too!
    So if a group of other people make other crazy claims then they are surely as entitled to have their government legislate for them too?
    If not
    Why not ?
    ….. And can I just point out here that the Religious have never held a particular care for Woman’s rights either.

  64. cassandra

    @Liz g

    The parallels with religion are interesting. A delusion is a false belief out of keeping with the social and cultural attitudes of the majority. Religion to the non-believer seems bonkers but our society had religious beliefs ingrained in every area of life, education, politics and, interestingly, in the patriarchal structures of life. With that now gone, is this strange pseudo science now taking its place? We are being brow beaten into accepting this nonsense with mantras of ‘TWAW’ and anyone who is a non-believer is treated as a heretic. Look at how we are being told we will be on the wrong side of history and we must acquiesce. We must accept it as normal when every instinct tells us otherwise.

    Women for years were the healers and held the secrets of childbirth and stories to pass on, men saw that as a threat and the Church especially the RC church sought to diminish the role of women greatly. I believe we are witnessing the modern day version of that, a predominantly social but also political phenomenon which has roots in the frailty of men who want to hold on to power over women. What clearer way to say there is nothing special about you than ‘we can be better women than you’ and deny your very existence.

    The idea that brains are born in the wrong body is an abnormal belief with no scientific evidence, but I don’t think most trans people actually believe that. I would agree there are many factors but body dysmorphia does seem increasingly prevalent and presents in other ways, all of which are on the increase – anorexia nervosa, plastic surgery addictions with appearance, blaming the external body for the discontent of the mind. I believe there are studies coming out that confirm there is no benefit in mood or parameters of mental distress when people do transition, which would indicate it serves no therapeutic purpose. The over representation of autism in teens who transition is an area of extreme concern.

    Also, if it were external factors, such as the pseudo oestrogen effects of plastics, or exposure to birth control hormones during early pregnancy then you might expect ‘feminized’ males with 2y sexual characteristics of females to be the majority of those wanting to transition and there is no evidence of that yet. In fact we are probably seeing as many extremely male men wanting to transition now.The autogynephilia aspect is an illustration of the overtly sexualisation of male fantasy stereotypes and these individuals are often narcissistic and dangerous.

    It would be fascinating if it were not so scary but I think we are witnessing a visceral hatred of women’s rights and a deliberate attempt to strip them away. In our desperation to appear tolerant of the needs of every minority we are losing sight of the bigger picture.

  65. Capella

    @ Liz g – good point. We see in Alabama today the effects of the religious right in suppressing women’s rights. Chris Hedges, who spent a good deal of time among these people, refers to them as straight forward fascists.

    If people insist that the law is changed in order to oppress 50% of the population, I expect our government to refuse.

  66. Liz g

    Capella @ 9.00am
    Exactly Capella… If the current rules to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate are a disgrace ( according to Mhari Black they absolutely are) and need to change.
    Then that’s fine.
    But the proposed changes shouldn’t disadvantage another group.
    Therefore the group asking for the changes has all the work to do to demonstrate any changes won’t do that.
    Instead we are getting a vocal few demanding that no one can examine how or whether the proposed new laws will impact the current provisions for Women and any middle ground as a solution.
    We seem to be being pushed towards “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” law for Trans People ….. Which is bizarre enough to be deeply suspicious…
    I personally want not a thing to do with an issue that causes laws to be made for me that I cannot question… So I guess I’ll just keep right on questioning 🙂 .

  67. Morag

    Actually, I don’t think the current requirements to gain a GRC are particularly horrendous. Mhairi has been listening too hard to the entitled male activists who want everything their way and they want it now. It’s extremely important to have a gatekeeping process to ensure that the acquisition of a GRC is not abused, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect the people who have to comply with this process to be the best ones to judge it’s appropriateness.

    I thought my driving test was horrendous and an appalling imposition. I should just have been given my driving licence after signing a form to say that I truly believed I was a competent driver. But hey, other people have a different view on that.

    If there is some way to make the gatekeeping process more sensitive and less dependent on stereotypical behaviour (I’m all for that) then it should be done. But removing all gatekeeping is not the answer. You might as well let everyone who wants to drive a car have their licence on their say-so. I mean, the roads are governed by laws, after all. If someone breaks one of these laws we can deal with it on that basis. It’s not fair to assume that everyone who wants a driving licence will break the law. Just give a licence to everyone who wants to drive, and then deal with anyone who misbehaves on the road under the appropriate legislation. That’s pretty much the equivalent of what’s being said here.

  68. Morag

    Oops. ITS appropriateness. Proofreading, Morag!

  69. Capella

    While searching for some data on the distribution of transgender people, I came a cross a couple of interesting papers (pdfs). Long reads but interesting.

    A 2014 paper The Global Transgender Population and the International Criminal Court
    Brian Kritz
    Examines the historical context and human rights protection of transgender people.

    2013 The Demographics of the Transgender Population.
    has tables with best estimates of numbers in populations, including Scotland e.g in 1999 incidence per 100,000 was 8.2 (usual caveats about collecting data).

  70. Morag

    That’s less than 500 people in the whole of Scotland.

  71. Liz g

    Morag @ 1.47 pm
    I think over all we are in agreement about the legislation being changed if it’s demonstrated to be unnecessarily cumbersome or unfair.
    But I don’t see the Driving Test analogy,a car is a lethal weapon and as such, testing that it can be safely used no matter how horrendous is fair.

    Two examples that come to my mind are,the initial legislation around the contraceptive pill when it was first available, and the current legislation around dog’s.
    Both of these are examples demonstrate how Government’s of the past and current governments introduced basically stupid rules and regulations that needed and need changing…
    So since I can see how Government’s get it wrong in the real world despite their experts when it’s in relation to my own experience.That’s where I’m willing to have the conversation an see if this group has a point.
    Although I said they still have all their work ahead of them as Women’s rights were too hard won and we will defend them!

  72. Petra

    Just came across this on the BBC news site.

  73. Petra

    And this was embedded in the BBC article. Totally gobsmacked at the findings.

    ‘Gender Identity Survey – 2019.’

  74. Capella

    @ Petra – so there’s a men’s pool, a mixed sex pool and a women’s pool and the trans women are to be allowed to use the women’s pool as anything less would be discrimination. Right.

    I’ve been looking at a couple of BBC articles too. Aware that I wasn’t up to date with what was happening at Holyrood, I had a look at the BBC articles on the progress of the consultation and where next.

    This article embeds links to two others which are worth reading. This is about the Megan Murphy address at Holyrood.

    Embedded are links to the criticism of Nicola Sturgeon over this issue and the SNP MSPs and MPs who are raising concerns.

  75. CameronB Brodie

    See all this talk about what being a woman is all about. Cassandra was spot on, this is all about removing the concerns of biological women from the political sphere. Here’s one for the woke brigade, who appear to believe equality legislation can be used to enable men to make erronious claims to a sexual epistemology/history that is not theirs to claim.


    ….From the 1980s, feminist critics of second stage feminism
    argued that the call to ‘sisterhood’ obscured the differences between women, making middle-class white Western womanhood the default position, and membership of other oppressed groups mere ‘add-ons’ (Spelman, 1988, Mohanty, 1992). ‘Woman’
    was a fragmented identity, not a unitary one. It was doubtful whether it was a usable basis for political solidarity, since so many oppressive relationships took place between women themselves.

    Feminist politics became increasingly fragmented, with
    single issue campaigns and coalitions replacing the broad sweep of a movement – corresponding to the ‘anti-foundationalist’ epistemological theory that allows an ontology of parts but forbids one of wholes, and views abstraction as a dangerous betrayal of concrete particularities. The politics of ‘recognition’ (of subordinated subordinated identities be revalorised while leaving hegemonic identities intact?

    ‘Woman’ was first deconstructed into fragmentary identities, and then, as we know, postmodern thinking transcended and rejected identities altogether. The very gender categories ‘woman’ and ‘man’ were themselves challenged. As irrealism (strong social constructivism) become increasingly fashionable, the social world was identified with the cultural realm, with discourse or ‘text’. Postmodern forgetting of the material has always been an uneven tendency. Sometimes material differences, including the inequalities I mentioned, are seen as the products of certain discursive regimes, sometimes as expressive of them (the former, but not the latter, is an unacknowledged causal thesis).

    In either case, while institutionalised inequalities
    between women and men persist, and much academic feminist work continues to underlabour for feminist activism, most gender theorising pays less attention to material forms of gender oppression and more to the categories in terms of which gender relations are described.

    In a poststructuralist classic, Weedon remarks that the discursive is the source of power, ‘exercised through the constitution of subjectivity within discourse and the
    production of social agents’ (Weedon, 1997: 163), and therefore assumes it is the effective locus for action. In contrast, feminism has historically used ‘explanatory
    critiques’(Collier, 1994), identifying false beliefs or unmet needs, explaining the mechanisms through which these are reproduced, criticising the states of affairs which
    allow the exercise of these mechanisms, and recommending action to end them.

    Where the ‘discursive turn’ has been influential, such critiques have been undermined and feminist activism weakened (New, 2003). The deconstructive politics of ‘disidentification’ of gender categories, for example through parody or mimesis (Braidotti, 1997) lack any strategy for structural change. We are not told how disidentification influences subjectivity, and thus agency. Unsurprisingly, the aspects of the gender order which receive most attention are the socio-cultural ones where such means of struggle have most chance of success (Butler, 1995).

  76. Capella

    @ CBB – I agree that Cassandra is spot on in identifying the underlying agenda of much of trans activism. All of the contributions on this thread so far have been very useful in developing an understanding of what is going on.

    But it’s a bit late in the day to read your Sex and Gender abstract CBB. I think it would score very high on the Fog Index and right now my reading age is about 6 🙂

  77. CameronB Brodie

    Sorry, it had to be done. I’ve got more if your interested? 🙂

  78. CameronB Brodie

    Such as, I don’t want folk thinking I’m a raging lefty, so here’s some Critical Rationalism.

    Trasnsgresing Boundaries:
    Theories of Knowledge, Gender and International Relations

  79. CameronB Brodie

    And here’s some post-colonial feminist theory and stuff.

    Rethinking Identity and Feminism: Contributions of Mapuche Women and Machi from Southern Chile


    I analyze how machi discourse and practice of gender and identity contribute to feminist debates about gendered indigenous Others, and the effects that Western notions of Self and Other and feminist rhetoric have on Mapuche women and machi: people who heal with herbal remedies and the help of spirits. Machi juggling of different worlds offers a particular understanding of the way identity and gender are constituted and of the relationship between Self and Other, theory and practice, subject and object, feminism and Womanism

  80. Petra

    I’ve just read the BBC articles Capella and what a mine field! I’m sure I’ve also read previously that ‘self-declaration’ is now enshrined as a Human Right. If not, someone who knows better than I will hopefully correct me. If it is an UN Directive are countries legally obligated now to adopt this procedure?

    As to Nicola Sturgeon she should most definitely back off from this, IMO, until we get our Independence and then hold a referendum, following exposure of full facts (Swiss style). I see that she has said that there’s “a need to bring different parts of the debate together”, which seems to indicate that she won’t be making a decision in the near future. If she, conversely, forges ahead with this she’ll surely lose support and of course the Unionists knowing this will try to force her hand to make a premature decision.

    Currently few ordinary people are aware of the ins and outs of this situation, but when it becomes common knowledge I’d reckon they’ll be horrified: Not so much by the fact that we’ll be eradicating the hard fought and won Human Rights, over centuries pre-UN, of women and children (and with a long way to go even yet), but by the everyday practicalities of fearing for the safety of their children whether it be going into a public toilet or swimming pool. And of course if this travesty comes to pass the perverts, in their droves, will emerge from the woodwork, IMO, and make the most of this farce.

    I’m already raging at the fact that our Scottish Corroboration Law, backed by Unionists / opposed by the SNP, leaves us open to paedophiles seeing Scotland as a safe haven and now this! “This” being the fact, basically, that if any man (better still with a “pal” acting as witness) is confronted in a female’s toilet, even by the Police, he can just say, “get lost, I’m a woman today.” And of course many will go on and make a meal of this idiocy by suing the authorities for breaching discrimination laws – “My reputation has been tarnished by the Police approaching me in the toilet. It’s left me depressed and suicidal. I’ve lost my job because of this and I’m out of pocket, etc, etc.” Beggars belief.

    I should also add that I’ve got great sympathy for genuine trans people who dearly want to transform their lives and live out their days in peace, but now find themselves caught up in such a situation. I’d imagine that the furore being created over this is the last thing they’d want to see / be dragged into, but because of their understandable reticence don’t have a (loud) voice. Seems to me that this is being driven by a small number (per capita) of aggressive “activists”, some of whom are in turn, maybe, being influenced by the money men (oops or women). Others seem to have more psychological and / or sinister motives or are simply troubled individuals, narcissists, who are totally incapable of seeing any given situation from anyone else’s point of view. Whatever the case exhaustive scrutiny of the implications of potential change to the status quo, and even “activists” motives, will have to be put in place to address the situation fully and fairly. No mean feat and if done properly and thoroughly should take many months or years to carry out. And I also reckon, views on this will continue to change, year on year, as further psychological, genetic and environmental research findings are made available to us. My opinion, overall, for what it’s worth … or not, lol.

  81. Liz g

    Petra @ 1.12
    If memory serves Petra I’m sure Marhi Black said that Sweden among others has already had these laws for a couple of years now and have had no issues with them.
    That why I think the information we are getting and the way we are getting it is deeply suspicious!!!
    And yes Nicola should stay away from getting played ( cause that’s what’s really going on ) till we can get the real truth of it all in our own media!

  82. CameronB Brodie

    Trans-activism isn’t targeted at undermining the SNP, this is a problem of late western modernity (the woke world-view has perverted western thought). However, the woke brigade do appear to be a serious problem within the party. This needs sorting and dicks like Jordon need telt, or booted, or seriously quarantined (bio-hazard level). Fuck his freedom of speech. Liberty does not provide the right to undermine biological women. That’s plain misogyny!

    Feminist Theory And The Law

    Abstract and Keywords

    American feminists have identified law as an instrument of male supremacy since their first national gathering at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Critiques of law thus became an important part of the early feminist movement, which succeeded in eradicating the most blatant examples of legal sexism.

    The successes of the contemporary feminist movement might not have happened without one of those early successes: the opening of higher education to women. Contemporary feminism has had a profound and lasting impact on intellectual discourse. Many young scholars focused on gender in their research, pursuing the feminist goal “to question everything.” These scholars and their successors continue to realize the revolutionary potential of feminist thought.

    “Feminist jurisprudence,” as it came to be called, is law’s equivalent of feminist history, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy, and their counterparts. Feminist jurisprudence has borrowed freely and fruitfully from these cognate disciplines. This article examines the premise and presence of male bias, feminist jurisprudence and gendered reality, and feminist legal reasoning.

    Keywords: law, feminism, feminist jurisprudence, bias, women, legal reasoning, legal sexism, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy

  83. CameronB Brodie

    What’s your frame of reference, if that’s not a personal question?

    Unity and Diversity in Feminist Legal Theory


    Feminist legal theory has undergone some significant changes over the past thirty years. This article provides an introductory overview of feminist legal theory, from liberal and radical feminism through to postmodernism. It outlines some of the major current issues within feminist legal thought, notably debates surrounding culture and religion, the relationship of sex and sexuality scholarship to feminist research, and the position of women within transitional societies.

  84. Capella

    Strangely, the trans issue has never come up at any of the Branch meetings I have attended – admittedly very few. Have there been motions at Conference on this issue? That is how all policy is supposed to be made.

    I will do some research and look for info on this. Nicola certainly shouldn’t be bounced into any knee jerk decisions.

    @CBB – Jordon is clearly a pest. I’m surprised twitter doesn’t suspend his account – they are super quick to remove any feminists stating the unabusive obvious.

  85. Dan

    Hey Cameron.
    Just wondering. In amongst all the academic reference material you look through. Is there anything that touches on the subject that for all the theoretical studies that humans spend so much of their time considering with their own personal unique perspective. It’s all just pish because in the greater scheme of things, we are actually all just a variation of different temporary carrier hosts to cover the bases and enable a DNA strain to pass through a small amount of time on its evolutionary journey.

    We have the capacity with our big brains to fill our lives with whatever activities and feelings we want but that is merely a distraction to pass the time until our inevitable expiry date arrives.
    It takes a man and woman to procreate to allow the partial DNA mix from the two parties to pass to the next evolutionary stage.

    Oh, and for any legal minds reading in… Are we currently or soon to be breaking any human made laws when we force male and female plants, fish, and animals to have sex with each other so we have stuff like food to sustain our existence?
    I heard ignorance is no excuse when breaking the law, so I just want to make sure I won’t go down for a ten stretch as an accessory to multiple non-consensual sex acts by facilitating the touching of some of my courjette plants’ male sex bits on to the female sex bits.

  86. Morag

    Two quick comments here.

    Mhairi Black and the rest of the wokemaidens are happy to tell us about the countries where self-ID has already been enacted and that there have been no problems. In fact in most of these countries self-ID has been enacted with important limitations (for example in Ireland males are never housed in women’s prisons no matter how they identify) but there are still serious problems. And in Canada, where they seem to have gone the full Monty, there is a hell of a mess.

    Unfortunately the women in these countries who are trying to highlight this hell of a mess are being intimidated into silence in the time honoured manner and it’s all too easy to find the bland happy-clappy endorsements and hard to find the real truth about the problems.

    Second point, as far as local SNP branches are concerned, I don’t think we’ve had it on the agenda at a branch meeting but private chats around street stalls and so on confirm that members are pretty much universally horrified by the self-ID proposals. This goes as far up as a former MP.

    The issue was in a manifesto in the most anodyne terms, a commitment to update the GRA in line with modern best practice. Nobody reading that without an in-depth knowledge of the issues (which pretty much nobody had at the time) could have realised what they really meant was the abolition of all single-sex provisions in the country, from public toilets to prisons. Now we’re being told, it was in the manifesto so the party has to enact it. No it bloody doesn’t have to and it better not try.

  87. CameronB Brodie

    Sorry, I’m not entirely sure what it is you are asking Dan. Can you clarify, please.

    Here’s some more critical feminist legal theory that I think puts this CORE issues beyond doubt, though I suppose some might still consider me a wingnut. Please, SNP membership, get these woke a-holes sorted, they are inadvertently destroying the party and the movement from within.

    Shock to Thought: An Encounter (of a third kind) with Legal Feminism


    This paper takes a recently published text and, in examining it closely, argues that it exemplifies trends within feminist scholarship in law, which might be characterised as establishing a form of orthodoxy. The paper explores some of the ways in which this orthodoxy is constructed and presented, and argues that it is characterised by a commitment both to ‘grand theory’ and Hegelian dialectics.

    The adoption of this model of work seems to offer a chance to hold together the triangular figure of women/theory/law reform. The paper will argue that, whilst this model is clearly a valid choice, and attractive to feminist scholars in the promise it seems to hold, the model is not to be presumed but rather should be examined and considered in terms of its potential for feminist scholarship.

    Both within its own terms, and as part of the construction of an orthodoxy, the paper will argue that it is in fact problematic and that feminist scholarship would be better served by seeking an alternative theoretical model. An alternative is suggested, using the work of Deleuze, but it is acknowledged that this will require the acceptance of a very different theoretical configuration from that suggested by the triangular model of women/theory/law reform.

    Badiou, Deleuze, dialectics, difference, legal feminism, orthodoxy, politics

  88. Morag

    But I don’t see the Driving Test analogy,a car is a lethal weapon and as such, testing that it can be safely used no matter how horrendous is fair.

    And you don’t think that free access of males to all previously single-sex spaces is potentially a lethal weapon? Given the known lengths sex pests and abusers will go to to get access to their victims when they’re in a vulnerable position?

  89. Capella

    ICYMI – here’s a clip of Maggie Chapman arguing that sex isn’t binary. Joan McAlpine heroically spells out the facts.
    From Stu’s twitter.

  90. CameronB Brodie

    There is a shared characteristic between the woke world-view and British nationalism, both exhibit an extreme disregard for a DUTY OF CARE to their subjects (see the full-English Brexit).

    The Ethic of Care, Female Subjectivity and Feminist Legal Scholarship


    The object of this essay is to explore the central role played by the ‘ethic of care’ in debates within and beyond feminist legal theory. The author claims that the ethic of care has attracted feminist legal scholars in particular, as a means of resolving the theoretical, political and strategic difficulties to which the perceived ‘crisis of subjectivity’ in feminist theory has given rise. She argues that feminist legal scholars are peculiarly placed in relation to this crisis because of their reliance on the social ‘woman’ whose interests are the predominant concern of feminist legal engagement.

    With the problematisation of subjectivity, the object of feminist legal attention disappears and it is in attempts to deflect the negative political consequences of this that the ethic of care has been invoked, the author argues, unsuccessfully. The essay concludes with suggestions as to how the feminist project in law might proceed in the wake of the crisis of subjectivity and the failure of the ethic of care to resolve it.

    academic feminism, care, crisis of subjectivity, ethic of care, feminist legal scholarship, Gilligan relational jurisprudence, subjectitivity, woman, women

  91. Capella

    @ Liz g @ Morag – I once worked for Women’s Aid. Men were not allowed inside the refuges. But that didn’t stop them standing outside with guns firing bullets through the windows or throwing acid over the face of a spouse caught outside the refuge (blinding her for life in a horrendously painful way so that she will never be able to see her young children again).

    So I would not agree that males are entitled to enter women’s safe spaces simply by declaring themselves to be female.

  92. Joe

    Quite interesting seeing comments regarding dangerous men and the damage they do to the women unlucky enough to stumble upon them.

    As a personal opinion the problem is that liberal/left mindset has stopped criminal activity from being punished properly. There is simply way too much activism for criminals and a focus on their human rights.

    I used to see a guy walking by my door on a regular basis, going to work or whatever he did. He ended up being convicted for kicking a 75 year old man to death. 5 years later i saw him walking past my door again.

    This is the problem we have with dangerous people. There wouldnt be even 10% of the ‘dangerous’ men out there if it wasnt for a system that protects criminals at the expense of the innocent whether they are male or female.

    I know that is away from topic, but had to chime in

  93. Joe

    Id like to point out also that women, if they are at all intelligent, need to start getting their act together in the political arena. Not just in Scotland but in the UK and in Europe as a whole.

    There are powerful groups out there that intend to (and already are) change our society to 1 that makes women less safe and take basic rights from them. The trouble is we cant say it without being attacked by the narcissistic, communist PC types.

    Honestly, women need to start waking up and opening their eyes before its too late and all recent progress in equality is erased. Hint – its not your average British/Scottish man doing it.

  94. Morag

    Women are getting organised. I’m off to a meeting in Glasgow later this afternoon. But we also need men standing up on our side. Like it or not, women get ignored even when they’re turning themselves inside out trying to draw attention to a problem. Then after it’s all gone tits up, the men say, “Well, why didn’t you say something?”

  95. Capella

    Hey Joe – women have been getting their political act together for over 100 years.
    I suggest you work on converting the men to freedom and justice for all.

  96. CameronB Brodie

    Here’s some help to the cause, I hope. Perhaps a bit technical for most readers but I’m not here simply to bump my gums. I knew this was where I was heading, I just couldn’t remember how to get here. 🙂

    This points to my frame of reference, what’s yours?

    Feminism, Critical Social Theory and Law

    Critical social theory has revolutionized the way that critical legal scholars and, to a lesser extent, mainstream legal scholars think of the most fundamental categories of legal theory. By contrast, social theory has proven to be far more controversial among feminist legal theorists. Indeed, the critical and postmodern turn in contemporary progressive social theory might well turn out to be as divisive to the feminist legal theory of the 1990s as the pornography
    and sexuality debates have been to feminist practice in the 1980s.

    This article tries to explain and defend the lack of enthusiasm among at least some feminist legal theorists for the great transformative ideas of Michel Foucault, Roberto Unger, poststructuralists, postmodernists and other critical social theorists that have so energized critical legal thought. I will urge that the four central ideas of critical social theory proven to be of most interest to critical
    legal theorists – ideas that center around the nature of power, of knowledge, of morality and of the self – will not be helpful even to our understanding of patriarchy, and will frustrate rather than further our attempts to end it….

  97. CameronB Brodie

    Actually, this is more where I was wanting to get to.

    Feminist Legal Realism


    This Article begins to rethink current conceptions of two of the most significant legal movements in this country – Legal Realism and Feminist Jurisprudence. The story of Legal Realism has been retold for decades and is ever evolving, but one thing has remained constant: male-centered descriptions of Legal Realism have occupied the center of the discussion.

    In contrast, this Article offers a gendered account of the realist enterprise that shifts those in legal history’s margins to the mainstream. Focusing on the realistic work of Anna Moscowitz Kross – one of the country’s first women law graduates, practicing lawyers, and judges – the Article examines the work of realistic women in law during and after the realist era’s heyday.

    Like other women of her generation, Kross did not just talk about Realism; she actually did Realism. As outsiders and reformist lawyers, Kross and her cohorts sought to address social problems they believed contributed to the oppression, marginalization, and day-to-day inequality experienced by women, families, and communities.

    In this way, the Article serves as a two-way mirror – reflecting on our realist past while looking into our feminist future. It suggests that those who are currently grappling with the realities of feminism and the law – particularly within the academy – may draw some lessons from the life and experiences of Kross and her contemporaries.

    Like feminists today, in the shadows of constructed categories and lists, Kross and her cohorts also sought to establish their own agency and identities while challenging lived injustice. And although no path is ever perfect, their generally more rooted, communal, and practical approaches to feminist concerns – through activism and not just academics, doing beyond talking – may provide a potent shot in the arm for those feeling the frustration of feminism’s limited impact on the law and its institutions as lived. As such, this work suggests a new legal realist history, as well as a new feminist jurisprudence agenda, one that may be called Feminist Legal Realism.

  98. Dan

    @CameronB Brodie at 1:17 pm

    I’m just a practical sort of chap so not entirely sure what the correct terminology would best describe what I am looking for. Maybe it would fit in the realms of philosophical views on sustainability of societies?

    As humans we come in many different forms. I understand a lot of our instinct is hardwired in from conception, and other aspects we develop through our life experiences.
    The process of natural attraction / selection which may have led to procreation used to be just that, a straightforward feeling of attraction we have when we meet other people.

    In our western society in relatively recent times the “natural” aspect of that has been altered with the use of perfumes & aftershaves to mask our own subtle body’s scents, coloured or heavily stylised hair, makeup, clothing, and even cosmetic surgery.
    These are often worn by and carried out on individuals so they feel they confirm to current societal fashions and trends, and I admit they are often very cool to see, but ultimately they do mask to a degree who we really are underneath it all.
    Maybe that compromises our ability to accurately identify suitable life partners.
    If that is then mixed in with the other stresses people in a compromised society have to endure with austerity, poor paying jobs, expensive housing costs, lack of community, etc, then could that not describe where we find ourselves now. A broken and confused society with falling birth rates where we grasp at anything for a quick comfort fix to boost our well-being.

    This article is about the undermining of hard won women’s rights. There are a lot of decent minded men that will stand alongside and offer support to women (should they want it) against this onslaught which appears to be driven by some folk that have questionable motives and behavioural characteristics.
    It’s my belief, as I stated much earlier in the thread, that this agenda is being pushed by cynical means as a new divide and rule tool, and that some people in our compromised society may have inadvertently been drawn in and played by it.
    At least the matter is now well and truly out in the open and can hopefully be addressed properly.
    As Petra mentions up thread, if as an activist you had to try to explain this to the majority of small c conservative folk they would think you are barking mad.
    It’s hard enough as is to campaign and explain the benefits of Indy, EU membership, and immigration to folk against the torrent of BS from TV and Newspapers.
    And now we will have to work on yet another front as this gender subject will inevitably be brought up in the future too…

  99. CameronB Brodie

    I can certainly accept most of your critique Dan, as there are many conflicting crises of identity on-going in late capitalist modernity. Many of these reflect a popular resistance to the limitations on justice imposed by the dogmatic social structures of the industrial society, which is undergoing reconfiguration by globalised capital. It is a confusing time to live in, with many challenges, which should be viewed as opportunities to improve our social practice. Change is natural and can be socially beneficial, especially if it is ethically rational, unlike the full-English Brexit. 😉

    Law and Political Economy

    A revised version of this paper is forthcoming in M. Sellers and S. Kirste(eds.) Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (Springer, 2019)


    ‘Law and Political Economy’ surveys recent approaches to the study of phenomena at the intersection of law, politics and the economy. These take an interdisciplinary perspective, viewing markets as fields of social power that are not spontaneous but created and reproduced in the meeting of legal norms, political action and economic activity.

    Through regulating economic relationships, the politico-legal order constitutes and reconstitutes the power relations that make up society. This, in turn, is driven by the formation of class, sectoral and geopolitical interests, as well as ideological convictions, which harness political and legal authority.

    We present these inter-related processes through exploring contemporary debates on inequality, inter-personal market relations, the relation between the state and market, and the effects of economic integration and globalisation on democracy and political selfdetermination.

  100. Liz g

    Morag @ 1.19
    I absolutely agree that women only spaces need preserving..
    But every man is NOT lethal to women if not ” handled correctly ” 🙂 and every car IS lethal if not handled correctly! To follow your analogy we’d need lessons,a test and a licence to interact.
    Anyhoo… I’m not buying any of it,unless and until we get both sides without the hysterics that’s going on in Twitter.
    And some clear information about how these laws impacted the other countries that already have them.
    I think Women are being gaslighted and we are never going to get anywhere till we “take the conversation out the toilet”, it won’t be done for us as usual, and we need to insist that it happens on our terms!

    Capella @

  101. Liz g

    Capella @ 1.54
    Sorry hit send to soon…
    I’ve helped 2/3 women through the Woman’s Aid system with varying degrees of input,so yes I totally agree some go to some lengths to get access to their ex, and usually not with good intentions.
    I share your concerns over someone socialized as a man and with the physical strength of one being in that environment too.
    I’m sure you’ll agree that anyone who is in that situation is already at the end of their rope and when having a meltdown they could become quite frightening and dangerous to the others… Therefore to not accept a space of their own just on a point of principal seems to me hypocritical!!!

  102. CameronB Brodie

    The lack of consideration given to the needs of biological women, should tell you all you need to know about the proposed enabling of self-ID. This change will institutionalise structural misogyny and racism into law and public policy. Degrade the social standing of women and we are all diminished.

    Transgenderism Has No Basis in Science or Law

  103. Joe

    Just to say to the women regarding my last post – im sorry, but most women have no idea whats looming around the corner

  104. Brian Doonthetoon

    Hi Dan (earlier today).

    I have used a cotton bud to cross-pollinate different flowers (on the same plant) on my indoor window ledge, due to a lack of bees in my kitchen.

    Have I been unconsciously meddling with nature? Or have I been assisting the natural process?

  105. CameronB Brodie

    P.S. The full-English Brexit creates a new Brexitanian state that denies Scotland’s residents poses a legal EU identity, and a human right to choose our own identity and a right to self-determination. That is not liberal democracy, that’s totalitarian authoritarianism.

  106. CameronB Brodie

    Is there not some Tory MSP in Scotland in Union, who claims to have studied politics and human rights? It doesn’t show, frankly. I suppose she supports the full-English Brexit?

    Sexual health, human rights and the law

    I. Introduction

    Sexual health is fundamental to the physical and emotional health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and ultimately to the social and economic development of communities and countries. However, the ability of individuals to achieve sexual health and wellbeing depends on them having: access to comprehensive information about sexuality; knowledge about the risks they face and their vulnerability to the adverse consequences of sexual activity; access to good quality sexual health care; and an environment that affirms and promotes sexual health (1).

    National laws and policies, both those governing the provision of health services (including information and education) and criminal, civil and administrative laws that are applied to sexuality related matters, play a key role in fostering or hindering sexual health, and in promoting and protecting people’s human rights related to sexual health.

    This report explains and discusses the relationship between sexual health, human rights and the law. Drawing from a review of public health evidence and extensive research into human rights law at international, regional and national levels, the report demonstrates how states in different parts of the world can and do support sexual health through legal and other mechanisms that are consistent with human rights standards and their own human rights obligations.

    The report is directed at policymakers in the field of health, health-care providers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and others concerned with the promotion of sexual health and human rights. It seeks to help governments and policy-makers improve sexual health through bringing their laws and policies into alignment with national and international human rights obligations.

  107. Dan


    I read all 16 pages and there were various points I was nodding my head in agreement (not nodding off) with some of the content being inline with what I asked and what you linked to so that’s a positive interaction.
    The linked content is clearly some pretty involved stuff to comprehend, and I do understand where Patrick Roden is coming from that to read and absorb stuff like that will be an ask for the common person (getting my pronouns right there).
    In the “real world” where the majority of folk exist we are effectively constrained to the system with little ability to change it.
    Trying to get unity of feeling on a simple matter is like herding cats, people being what they are with their own life views and all. So trying to get unity of feeling with a view to changing the system on a much larger and complex scale will be like catching all the stars in a butterfly net.
    Reading it did provoke ideas on what could possibly be used to facilitate or leverage change through law, but again that is such a painstakingly slow process to get through, see this thread re. GRA, and the recent OBFA and Threatening Communications act stushie.

    Maybe in future times with wider support of the people, environmental legislation could be used to force changes by manufacturers so their products are more constrained towards that side of things rather than biased towards the economic aspect of solely profit, with no consideration for the degradation of society due to the extraction of wealth from the people to companies.
    It’s all very well a car company making money, they need to re-invest in machinery and keep up with the times. But profiting to the point they fund huge salaries for the MDs and the ability to fund say a world championship racecar team might suggest their concern for the economic sustainability and well-being of general society that buy their products is a secondary consideration.
    This is getting a wee bit long now but the next bit sort of ties in with reasons for people to have less self worth and money.

    Some may think advances in technology are always beneficial to humankind, but are they. Human bodies need to be relatively active to stay fit and function properly. Automation has effectively put an end to a lot of manual tasks, knowledge, and skills, leading to more sedentary lifestyles and lack of fulfillment and pride in the work we do.
    Some of the tech we use such as computers and phones have leaped on bounds since the 80s. Yet other stuff has regressed.
    EG. Vauxhall’s first FWD cars used to allow the changing of the clutch in 1 hour without even taking the gearbox out by use of an innovative but simple design. So 1 hour’s labour and less than £100 for the parts.
    And because you didn’t have to strip out the gearbox and driveshafts and disturb the suspension geometry and wheel alignment, there was no time spent setting it all back up after the clutch was fitted.
    Now a clutch assembly kit and combined DMF on most cars costs over £500 and the design on the car means it is generally and often over 5 hours labour and involves removing a huge amount of components to do the work. So easily knocking on for a grand or more which as we know in our low wage economy is way more than most folk have in disposable income.
    That simple Vauxhall design could be incorporated into modern cars. But it isn’t, so folk have to take the financial hit.
    It is like that for so much other stuff we use now too.


    Well you’ve admitted doing it now so you’ll just have to wait and see if The Plant Police (sex crimes division) knock on your door.

  108. CameronB Brodie

    It is a daunting task, so needs to be compartmentalised and tackled in a systematic and programmed fashion. Step one, gain self-determination for Scotland. Step two, create a rational and ethical written constitution. Step three stop self-ID of sex. Though not necessarily in that order, though that would be the rational approach, IMHO. 🙂

    Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?

    6 The Future of Research on Biological Sex Differences: Challenges and Opportunities


    Being male or female is an important fundamental variable that should be considered when designing and analyzing basic and clinical research. Historically, the terms sex and gender have been loosely = and sometimes inappropriately – used in the reporting of research results, a situation that should be remedied through further clarification.

    Conducting studies that account for sex differences might require innovative designs, methods, and model systems, all of which might require additional resources. Studies that rely on biological materials would benefit from a determination and disclosure of the sex of origin of the material, and clinical researchers should attempt to identify the endocrine status of research subjects.

    Longitudinal studies should be designed to allow analysis of data by sex. Once studies are conducted, data regarding sex differences, or the lack thereof, should be readily available in the scientific literature. Interdisciplinary efforts are needed to conduct research on sex differences.

  109. Capella

    The person campaigning successfully to have women only spaces open to transgender women is called Edward Lord. He self IDs as a “non binary” but is also a Freemason as a man since the Freemasons don’t allow women to become members.

    He launched a consultation in London and now Hampstead Pools have one men’s pool, one mixed pool and one women’s pool which allows transgender women.

    The BBC article says the law has been in place for 10 years but apparently this is a misrepresentation of the law. The difference is that now selfID transgender women have rights of access.

  110. CameronB Brodie

    The BBC have enabled/encouraged the rise of blood-and-soil nationalism in England. This threatens Scotland’s political economy and public health, and is what happens when you leave a bunch of (English) utilitarians in charge.

    Gender and Critical Realism: A Critique of Sayer


    In a recent article in this journal, Andrew Sayer has argued that much feminist research on the gendered nature of organisations, such as bureaucracy and the market, confuses a contingent association of gender and organisational forms with a stronger claim that they are intrinsically gendered. Sayer accepts that this research has shown that the empirically found, concrete forms of organisations are gendered. However, deeper theoretical reflection, he suggests, reveals that, when considered as ‘abstract realist models’, bureaucracy and the market are, in fact, identity-blind. He makes two claims, one concerned with explanation, the other concerned with the political consequences of social inquiry.

    The first is that the construction of abstract models, rather than the ‘associational’ thinking concerned with the delineation of empirical regularities, is necessary to the proper understanding of the operation of causal mechanisms and their mode of determination in social life. The second is that this will enable a more progressive and positive politics beyond a fatalism which he attributes to associational thinking. This paper takes issue with both claims arguing that the abstract theory he defends has no positive role in social inquiry and that his political critique is misplaced.

    full text (it woundn’t copy/paste)

  111. CameronB Brodie

    Too many tabs open, that wasn’t what I meant to post and the lancs link was for this one. Sorry to be so geeky. 🙂

    1 The Gender Selectivities of the State
    A Critical Realist Analysis

  112. Liz g

    Cameron @ 11.41
    Your not being geeky… But you are being a Man…
    You,Dan,BDTT, et all….. Think about it !!!

  113. CameronB Brodie

    Liz g
    I’m aware that this isn’t a fight I should be leading but my training was geared towards addressing the legal and ethical issues of policy development. I’m rationally and ethically bound to share my insight, so what should I do?

  114. Liz g

    Cameron B Brodie @ 12.55
    In this instance!
    The Women trying to have the conversation 6 or 7 articles down from the main thread in a space the Rev created…
    Would,as Women tend to do, have asked if we were wondering about any particular points!!
    But we didn’t get to sort out for ourselves what we really should be focusing on before the men turned up and decided what we needed to know!
    So… In answer to what you should do…..
    When you see Women having a conversation,listen and mibbi learn!!!!!!

  115. Liz g

    Cameron B Brodie @ 12.55
    Reading my 2.37 comment back it could sound nasty
    And mindful of the shit you have to put up with.. that’s NOT the intention here.. This is only a robust debate…
    And I’d say the same stuff to you face to face as you probably know 🙂 but I just want to be clear to anyone reading that I’m not piling in on you!!

  116. CameronB Brodie

    Liz g
    No problem Liz. I’ve felt uncomfortable, though I’m not sure this is a space created for women to have a debate. Anyway, I get where you’re coming from, I think, and I’ve pretty much said my wack for now anyway. All the best.

  117. CameronB Brodie

    I hope you ladies don’t mind me having another pop at bad policy design? I’ll get ma coat. 😉

    A guide for policy-making

  118. Dan

    @Liz g at 12:36 am

    I know it’s the written word and that you post again after realising it may have been misconstrued. Nae bother.

    I’ll just add that there have been quite a lot of bloke named posters that have added to the btl comments of this article.
    Surely having thought and insight from folk with the same sex as the main protagonists against the cause of women’s rights would be useful in developing comprehension of where and by whom this current attack is coming from?

    I’m aware some of my posts have been longish, but in no way were they trying to impose or dominate the comment trail, They are only attempting to add some perspective and ideas from a male individual’s point of view on why we, both women and men, find our society having to deal with this situation.

    First they came for the… and I did not speak out…

  119. Capella

    I am happy to read all well intentioned comments regardless of who posts. My problem with this issue is that I haven’t engaged with it in enough depth to understand what is going on – until recently.

    Misrepresentation of the law is a problem. It muddies the waters, see the case of the Hampstead Heath pools. It gives the impression that Local Authorities have no choice but to allow SelfID transgender women into protected women’s spaces. It implies LAs ill be sued if they refuse access. However, I read that access is only mandatory if the person has a certificate but not for SelfID. How to administer such a system?

    Trans activists are lobbying Holyrood and Westminster to secure a change in the law to allow SelfID the same access as GRA certificate trans women. That is the problem ATM.
    I sent a response against this during the consultaion. But I see that in the London case, many of the responses were disallowd and I’m not sure on what grounds. Is this the same in the Scottish Parliament consultation? Does anyone know?

    There are campaigning sites such as Feminist Current set up by Meghan Murphy which highlights current issues around the world. Trans activists are particularly hostile to Meghan Murphy.

    Is there a Scottish site which deals with current concerns?

  120. Capella

    Seems the “consultation” run by Edward Lord, selfID non binary and Freemason, on transwomen’s access to single sex spaces, was flawed. He filtered out any respondent who did not support transgender entitlement.

    However, it then emerged that almost half of the responses have been disregarded. The City received nearly 40,000 responses to the survey but claimed that only around 21,000 were deemed valid. These methods have been criticised by leading social scientist, Professor Alice Sullivan of University College London.

    from Graham Linehan’s Medium post

  121. Capella

    Not found the consultation on gender issues yet but here is a Scottish Parliament news item from 7th Feb on changes to the 2021 Census questions on sex and gender.

    A Scottish Parliament Committee has found serious deficiencies in the way consultation was carried out around planned changes to the 2021 census. In a report published today, they recommend wider consultation and propose amendments to avoid the perception that sex is being conflated with gender identity.

    Joan McAlpine video.

  122. CameronB Brodie

    I had a look at HMG’s consultation, which was no better. Poor consideration of biological women’s needs and an overly ‘legal-ist’ interpretation of equality. It also conflates sex with gender-identity.

    Popper Letters (Japan), IV, 2000, 12. No. 1, 5-13.

    Judith Buber Agassi

    Feminism and Critical Rationalism

    The basic feminist view of the modern Women’s Movement that rose at the end of the 1960’s is: that the inferior status of women in society must be abolished; that violence against women, the exclusion and the segregation of women, their legal, judicial, customary, political and economic de facto discrimination, all constitute crucial infringements of human rights and of democracy. Most modern feminists also assume that by now the abolition of these infringements is quite feasible.

    This feminist goal appears to be in accordance with Popper’s ideal of the Open Society. Popper himself has occupied himself neither with the Feminist Movement), nor with social research connected with it. My thesis is that Critical
    Rationalism can be of great help and significance for feminist researchers. Before embarking on an explanation of this statement, let me present my short outline of a basic Feminist Research Program for sociologists, anthropologists,
    economists, political scientists and historians, who share the basic feminist views mentioned above:

    1) What are the causes of women’s inequality? Is there one major cause for it in all societies and periods?

    2) What are the causes of different degrees and different forms of gender inequality in different societies and in different periods?

    3) Have there ever been societies where women’s status was equal or superior to that of men?

    4) If yes, why? Could such conditions be recreated?

    5) If not, does this not point to the fact, that all, most, or at least a significant part, of the causes are biological-physiological?

    Assuming that the large social differences in the forms and degrees of gender inequality refute the claims that all or most of these causes are biological, yet not the claim that a significant part of them is, then the following questions should be asked:

    6) Have the biological differences between men and women themselves, or their impact on women’s lives, changed recently? Could they be changed more radically? What is the price of such a change?

    7) If the answers to 3) and to 6) are negative, does this not negate the possibility of gender equality ever to be achieved?

    8) Rejecting the view that absence implies unfeasibility, what recent basic changes could have made gender equality feasible now?

    9) Are women a social group? What are their common interests, where do their interests differ? Can they develop solidarity in the fight for their common interests?

    10) What part does/can the Women’s Movement/different women’s
    movements play in the equalization of women’s status in society? What makes for success or failure of a specific women’s movement?

    11) What is the most effective strategy of the women’s movement? Equalization of gender roles and integration of work roles, or gender separatism by turning women’s traditional skills into monopolistic strongholds or by creating a separate women’s economy?

    12) How strong are men’s–which men’s–interests in keeping women in an inferior status in household and workplace?

    13) How can the male role be changed sufficiently to facilitate such a change in the female role, so as to enable women to achieve equal power in society? Can this process be facilitated by social policy? By which social policy?

    14) Which factors in present-day industrialized society support the status quo of gender inequality, and which factors push for change?

    15) Can the large change in women’s roles that has taken place in the last 30 years be reversed? How serious is the backlash to this change?

    16) What are the causes of male violence against women? Will the economic and political empowerment of women reduce male violence against women? Is the backlash in fact producing an increase in violence?

  123. Capella

    @ CBB – I’ve found the Scottish Government consultation report.

    It looks as though less than half the respondents were resident in Scotland – which seems odd. Also, the report talks of the number of responses “available for analysis” which seems a strange way of putting it.

    Still combing through it. Obviously one has to treat these consultations with a great deal of care.

  124. CameronB Brodie

    I’m very rusty, so haven’t found any specifically “gendered” guidelines on public consultation. However, these are the sort of considerations that needs to be given when doing “equality” related research. Unfortunately, a universal appreciation and systematic application of ethics has not been achieved among the social sciences.

    Ethics in primary research
    (focus groups, interviews and surveys)

    Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU’s) third research briefing aims to assist equality and diversity practitioners at higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education institutions in the UK to conduct equality and diversity research that is underpinned by ethical standards and considerations.

  125. CameronB Brodie

    I’ve still not found any specifically “gendered” guidelines on public consultation, but here’s one that supports my previous claim. And here’s another claim to consider. I’ve been a civil servant and I’m aware of how flexibly ethics can be applied to civil service research, which is inherently political in nature.

    ESRC Framework for research ethics
    Updated January 2015

    1. ESRC’s minimum requirements

    The requirements described here in Section 1 constitute our minimum requirements for a research proposal to be eligible for ESRC funding.

    1.1 Ethics issues should be identified in the proposal

    Although the ESRC does not require that ethics review should be completed before submission of a research proposal, all applicants should complete the ethical information section.

    Applicants should identify ethical issues that could possibly arise during the lifecycle of the project, what ethics review the applicant(s) considers will be required for the proposed research, and why (see proposal example of ethical information). Where an ethics review is yet to be undertaken, this should be stated, along with how and when this will happen. All ESRC-funded grants should undertake the appropriate ethics review.

    In the first instance, it is the responsibility of the researcher, or research team, guided by standards set by their professional societies, disciplinary bodies and research organisations, to decide what ethics issues may arise within the research and whether the project should be subject to either a light-touch or a full REC review.

    Research proposals involving human participants and personal data will usually require a full review by a REC that has been established and operates in accordance with the principles and guidelines set out in this framework. Researchers should consider the privacy requirements of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (, when undertaking research using personal data, including research where individuals are potentially identifiable through data linkage. In particular, research proposals involving the groups noted in section 1.2.1 would be expected to require a full review.

    ESRC = Economic and Social Research Council

  126. CameronB Brodie

    You were going to get the ethics of psychologist practice, which I thought relevant but offered weaker support to my argument. The correct link.

  127. Capella

    I read through the Executive Summary and I’m not convinced that the methodology is sound. Note the final two paras:

    Further comments about the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

    90. Further comments not covered elsewhere in the report tended to focus on how the proposals had been developed and the consultation paper itself. It was claimed that the Scottish Government had sought the views of trans organisations but not those of women’s groups. It was also suggested that the questions were asked in such a way as to affirm the Scottish Government’s position.

    91. A range of points was made about the consultation process and the analysis of responses including that the consultation was not adequately advertised, many people are still not aware of the changes that are being proposed and that the consultation should have been restricted to those who live in Scotland.

    These seem to me to be valid criticisms. Why would a Scottish Government consultation mainly ask people not resident in Scotland for their views? Why consult only trans organisations and not other women’s organisations? Wouldn’t that tend to skew the response?

  128. Capella

    UPDATE: On reading Annex 1, list of groups consulted, I see that there were 20 Women’s groups listed. There were 28 Trans groups and 26 LGBT groups.

  129. CameronB Brodie

    It might be me being dim, but that archive page took me to an Asian google with dead links.

    Here’s the state-of-play re. research on gender equality in the EU. If I was a woman, I would not be looking forward to the new patriarchy that Brexitania will almost certainly be.

    Gender equality: She Figures 2018 & EU Public Consultation

    27 Mar 2019

    “She Figures 2018” report published

    The European Commission has published the 2018 edition of its report called ‘She Figures’ which monitors the progress made towards gender equality in research and innovation in the European Union. The first report was published in 2003 and the last one back in 2015. The report is accompanied by the ‘She Figures Handbook’, which provides information on the methodology and indicators used.

    The report found that gender imbalance amongst researchers continues; only one third of the EU’s researchers were women. However, during the 2008-2015 period, the number of female researchers increased at higher rate on average than that of male researchers (3.8% for women and 3.4% for men).

    Gender Equality

  130. Capella

    @ CBB – apologies, you’re right. No idea how that happened. Here’s the link to the original doc. I only archived because it is long URL:

    Whilst I’m here, this is a very interesting thread regarding funding to Women’s Rape Crisis centres in Scotland. It would appear their funding is dependent on them allowing transwomen to access their services. A reason to suspect stats derived through coercion.

  131. Capella

    @ CBB – apologies, you’re right. No idea how that happened. Here’s the link to the original doc. I only archived because it is long URL:

    Whilst I’m here, this is a very interesting thread regarding funding to Women’s R**e Crisis centres in Scotland. It would appear their funding is dependent on them allowing transwomen to access their services. A reason to suspect stats derived through coercion.

  132. CameronB Brodie

    I had a quick look at the consultation report, which is all fine and dandy apart from the basic premise being a load of bollocks, i.e. that it is possible to change sex. This irrationality is compounded by the conflation of sex/gender with gender-ID, and an apparent skewing of data through coercive financial accounting practice. Not exactly an exorcise in good governance, but that suites the global men’s right movement and historical patriarchy.

    OECD Toolkit for Mainstreaming and Implementing Gender Equality

    Implementing the 2015 OECD Recommendation
    on Gender Equality in Public Life

  133. CameronB Brodie

    Exercise, of course. Here’s one to help exorcise irrationality. 🙂

    Critical realism: A philosophical framework for the study of gender and mental health

  134. Capella

    ? Creating a policy “in a vacuum” or without reference to
    broader gender policy initiatives and commitments;
    ? “Doing it alone”: underdeveloped consultation processes
    within parliament or externally;
    ? Establishing unrealistic objectives, or setting an
    institution up to fail;
    ?Failing to take into account broader organisational
    political dynamics;
    ? Making policy progress dependent on financial
    ? Placing responsibility for gender mainstreaming solely
    in gender equality mechanisms.

  135. Capella

    ? Creating a policy “in a vacuum” or without reference to
    broader gender policy initiatives and commitments;
    ? “Doing it alone”: underdeveloped consultation processes
    within parliament or externally;
    ? Establishing unrealistic objectives, or setting an
    institution up to fail;
    ?Failing to take into account broader organisational
    political dynamics;
    ? Making policy progress dependent on financial
    ? Placing responsibility for gender mainstreaming solely
    in gender equality mechanisms.

  136. Capella

    Oops – posted too soon. The above quotes are from the OECD toolkit linked above.

    Ch 3 Gender Sensitive Practices in Parliaments. Pitfalls to avoid.

    Points about underdeveloped consultation processes and making policy progress dependent on financial resources seem particularly apt.

  137. Morag

    Capella, apologies if someone else already posted it, but this is the Scottish group you’re looking for, set up to give women a voice on this issue.

    With regard to the women’s groups consulted on the GRA, I’m passing on second-hand information here, but it’s being said that this is a sham. The SG has decreed that NO organisation that isn’t trans-inclusive can have any SG funding. Organisations that want such funding are prohibited from exercising the legal provisions of the Equalities Act to provide single-sex services where this is appropriate (for example rape crisis services). Then, these organisations which have been forced to be trans-inclusive on pain of losing funding, are asked to comment on whether they are trans-inclusive and whether they support trans-inclusivity.

    Orwell couldn’t have done a better job.

  138. CameronB Brodie

    OK, in the absence of gendered guidelines on public consultation, let’s consider the robustness of the proposed policy from another direction. IMHO, it does not withstand the requirement of a balanced gender-based analysis for policy making.

    A guide for policy-making

    This stage hones and clarifies the research design, and the type of analysis to be done (e.g. cost/benefit, social impact, relationships to government, etc.).

    Tasks and methods of analysis and approaches to data presentation are discussed in this phase, and the research is carried out.

    The following questions are generally asked to define the research design:
    • What is the analysis seeking to determine (e.g. cost/benefit, social impact, effect on government priorities)?

    • Who determines the research question(s)?

    • What is (are) the research question(s)?

    • What factors will affect the research design?

    • Who will be involved in the research and the research design? How?

    • Is the scope and nature of the research design appropriate for this policy issue?

    • What methodology(ies) will be used?

    • What type of analysis will be done?

    To ensure a gender perspective in defining the research and the analysis to be done, consider:

    • that policies, programs and legislation that do not address gender concerns may leave out relevant facts and data;

    • that research questions must make specific reference to both women and men if the research is to address their particular circumstances;

    • that the research design should include gender as an analytical tool for understanding social processes. Knowledge of issues that make gender a factor (e.g. parenthood, safety, medical issues, wages) should influence your choice of the research design to be used. The research design should be constructed in a way that disaggregated data are collected. In the case of secondary research, disaggregated data should be sought;

    • that some research approaches are not sensitive to women’s or men’s particular needs (e.g. issues of disclosure or confidentiality for women in shelters may rule out some data collection approaches);

    • that a research methodology should have “face validity” with those consulted, as well as with those who will implement the policies, programs and legislation. This will require consultation with both women and men;

    • using reports, studies and guides that use gender methodologies in designing your gender-aware research. These need to be part of your research tool kit;

    • gender as the primary category of analysis. It is the analytical tool to understand the issue at hand. Analysis should identify the relationships among variables so that gender differentials are exposed and understood.

    Using a gender-based analysis process helps to identify the research questions more accurately, and guides the research design, methodology, data collection and analysis to ensure that both women’s and men’s circumstances are considered.

    For example, if a policy outcome is to have more young women trained in trades, research should look at specific barriers and successes that young women experience in such training. These will be different than those experienced by young men. To help ensure young people’s participation and input, gender-aware research events (focus groups, participatory methodologies, talking to street kids, etc.) can de designed.

  139. Capella

    Thanks Morag – that’s interesting. Good link too. I had found the Fairplayforwomen website which has a lot of good info on the Equality Act and the exceptions allowed, such as single sex services.

    I was told, by a young woman who is gay and pro trans equality, that Women’s Aid was open to transwomen in refuges and had good services for them. I wasn’t told that they had to do that so that they could get their grant. That’s coercion IMO.

    How has this biased situation come about, I wonder. (Currently on a perpindicular learning curve about this issue!) I understood that all SNP policy came about through Branches presenting resolutions to Conference which are then debated and voted on. All very democratic. But I don’t remember this issue coming up. However, that could be because I’ve only been a member since 2014.

    Off to read the Forwomenscot site.

  140. CameronB Brodie

    Seeing as folk don’t tend to click links, this is from the above link. Please get the woke brigade sorted, they are undermining social solidarity.


    SEX identifies the biological differences between women and men.

    GENDER is the culturally specific set of characteristics that identifies the social behaviour of women and men and the relationship between them. Gender, therefore, refers not simply to women or men, but to the relationship between them, and the way it is socially constructed. Because it is a relational term, gender must include women and men.

    Like the concepts of class, race and ethnicity, gender is an analytical tool for understanding social processes.

    GENDER EQUITY is the process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, measures must often be available to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. Equity leads to equality.

    GENDER EQUALITY means that women and men enjoy the same status. Gender equality means that women and men have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and potential to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development, and to benefit from the results.

    Originally, it was believed that equality could be achieved by giving women and men the same opportunities, on the assumption that this would bring sameness of results. However, same treatment was found not necessarily to yield equal results. Today, the concept of equality acknowledges that different treatment of women and men may sometimes be required to achieve sameness of results, because of different life conditions or to compensate for past discrimination. It is this notion of equality that is embedded in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Gender equality is therefore the equal valuing by society of both the similarities and differences between women and men, and the varying roles that they play.

  141. Morag

    Thanks Morag – that’s interesting. Good link too. I had found the Fairplayforwomen website which has a lot of good info on the Equality Act and the exceptions allowed, such as single sex services.

    That’s a very good site, with some excellent statistical analyses. Of course if you link to it to prove a statistical point the trans allies will refuse to read it on the grounds that it’s a “hate site”.

    I was told, by a young woman who is gay and pro trans equality, that Women’s Aid was open to transwomen in refuges and had good services for them. I wasn’t told that they had to do that so that they could get their grant. That’s coercion IMO.

    My understanding – second-hand, so take it as provisional – is that they do manage in practice to provide single-sex services. And of course transwomen need refuges too, and there’s no reason they can’t be provided by the same provider. It’s the idea that women and men (transwomen) are housed together that’s problematical. This actually happens in Canada and women have left refuges as a result.

    I believe the concern in Scotland is that vulnerable women do not perceive the service as being single-sex and so exclude themselves because of this concern. If it is the case that there are separate refuges this should be publicised, but of course some will say that’s transphobic and all organisations are terrified of being accused of transphobia.

    How has this biased situation come about, I wonder. (Currently on a perpindicular learning curve about this issue!) I understood that all SNP policy came about through Branches presenting resolutions to Conference which are then debated and voted on. All very democratic. But I don’t remember this issue coming up. However, that could be because I’ve only been a member since 2014.

    Some anodyne conference motions (placed by special interest groups, it’s not just the branches who can submit motions) passed because nobody was very interested in them, it wasn’t at all clear from the wording what was actually being proposed, and basically most of the delegates thought, well, no objection to trans rights, not really bothered, and went for lunch or something.

  142. Capella

    @ Morag – If this has come about through carelessness and apathy and/or some people exploiting it for their own agenda, then it needs to go back on the agenda for branches and conference. It’s not good enough to have people fighting for women’s rights to be harassed and labelled TERFs. Most members will have no idea what’s going on.

    The site has a link to an excellent speech by Leeds Councillor Sarah Field. Well worth reading:

    Full speech from today’s Declaration of a Sex Based Rights at Leeds Civic Hall, by Cllr Sarah Field:

  143. Bob Mack

    Transexual issues are not new, and I have dealt with several people undergoing the difficult journey to transform their identity from one sex to another. It is very difficult.

    Having said that I do not entirely agree with open season on anybody declaring themselves as a matter of convenience.

    The greatest loses are women who have endured centuries of deprivation and second class citizenship, much of which is still happening. This move to self identity only minimises further, the small concessions women have won since the beginning of last century.

    None of my female relatives or friends, and indeed males as well agree with this under the prevailing circumstances.

    It is inherently wrong to deprive and disenfranchise one group to satisfy another.

    Live and let live, but don’t try to create something to satisfy your desire to over compensate for one grouping at another’s expense, especially one who has only recently started to gain the rights they should have had for centuries but were deprived of due to male supremacy..

  144. Capella

    From Stu’s twitter, it seems that the impetus to remove the distinction between sex and gender came from a lobbying group who persuaded civil servants in the Scottish Government to alter documents.
    Thread here:

  145. CameronB Brodie

    Are the Equality Network for real? It is simply untrue that “sex” is undefined in law. These diddies appear to want to undermine the effectiveness of service provision, jurisprudence, and all sorts of important stuff. Third-wave feminism, queer theory, and the discursive turn in general, were meant to make society more empathetic, not rip the fabric of society to shreds.

    The Meaning of “Sex”: Using Title VII’s Definition of Sex to Teach About the Legal Regulation of Business

  146. CameronB Brodie

    I think some legal theory might be in order. Not only in relation to the predicament biological women face due to the proposed changes to the GRA, but also with respect to Scotland and the full-English Brexit.


    A current focus of legal debate is the proper role of the courts in the interpretation of statutes and the Constitution. Are judges to look solely to the naked language of an enactment, then logically deduce its application in simple syllogistic fashion, as legal formalists had purported to do? Or may the inquiry into meaning be informed by perhaps unbridled and unaccountable judicial notions of public policy, using legal realism to best promote the general welfare?

    Judge Posner considers the concepts of formalism and realism to be meaningful and useful in common law reasoning but in interpretation to be useless and, worse, forbidden. He analogizes unclear “orders” from a legislature to garbled battlefield communications, and argues that the duty of the recipient of those orders (the judge) is to advance as best he can the enterprise set on foot by the superiors. Case studies elaborate this thesis. Judicial decisions interpreting fixed texts, Judge Posner concludes, can be neither logically correct or incorrect, philosophically sound or unsound, until the ultimate jurist, time, has adjudged their results….

  147. CameronB Brodie

    I might get back to the legal theory but I think it’s time for a bit of Psycholinguistics.

    The Influence of Sex Information on Gender Word Processing


    Three different tasks (word repetition, lexical decision, and gender decision) were designed to explore the impact of the sex clues (sex of the speaker, sex of the addressee) and the type of gender (semantic, arbitrary) on the processing of isolated Spanish gendered words. The findings showed that the grammatical gender feature was accessed when no mandatory attentional focus was required.

    In addition, the results indicated that the participants organize information according to their own sex role, which provides more salience to the words that match in grammatical gender with their own sex role representation, even when the gender assignment is arbitrary. Finally, the sex of the speaker biased the lexical access and the grammatical gender selection, serving as a semantic prime when the two dimensions have a congruent relationship. Furthermore, the masculine form serves as the generic gender representing both male and female figures.

    Sex, Grammatical gender, Lexical access, Priming, Voice

  148. CameronB Brodie

    OK, back to the law. I’m honestly struggling to think of a logical reason why the civil service would accede to Equality Network’s demand to have irrationality written in to administrative law and public policy.

    UK Sex and Gender Legislation Summary

    Within the UK legislation exists to protect both women and men in the following situations:

    – Discrimination against an individual with regards to their marital status

    – Gender reassignment

    – The right for both sexes to have equal pay

    – Immediate, short term dependant care leave

    – Pensions equality

    – Maternity and parental leave

    – Paternity and adoption leave

    Please note, separate legislation exists in Northern Ireland

    The new Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005 came into force in October 2005. The main changes are as follows:

    – a new definition of indirect sex discrimination in employment matters and vocational training

    – new provisions prohibiting harassment of a sexual nature or on the grounds of sex

    – a provision specifically stating that less favourable treatment of women on grounds of pregnancy or maternity leave is unlawful sex discrimination

    – the extension of SDA protection to people who work overseas for a British employer

    – clarification of the responsibilities of those who provide vocational training and extension of the protection to cover vocational guidance and unpaid practical work experience

    – introduction of an 8 week response time by the employer to a statutory questionnaire

    – a change to the current exception in the SDA that allowed an employer to refuse to offer a particular job to someone planning or undergoing gender reassignment

    Taken from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) web site

    The above changes only apply to employment matters and vocational training

    The following is a list of documents giving detailed information on all legislation relating to women and men:

    The Equality Act (2010)
    Pensions Act (1995)
    The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations (1999)
    The Maternity and Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations (2002)
    The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations (2002)
    The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations (2005)
    The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. and the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations (2006)

  149. Capella

    I’m wondering if any of this has emanated from the Leslie Evans school of public administration.
    Morag has posted a link to a Labour Women’s conference call to oppose updates to the GRA 2004. We need to do the same IMO.

  150. CameronB Brodie

    I’ll away and take a look at the “Leslie Evans school of public administration”, but here’s some legal theory to consider for now. The proposed changes to the GRA will undermine the coherence of legal doctrine, IMHO. Once you’ve blunted the legal tools available to defend the vulnerable, who’s going to stop the Tories doing what comes naturally to them, i.e. protect inherited privilege and generally be misogynistic chauvinists?

    Situationist Torts

    A. What Is a Tort?

    Anyone who teaches and writes about tort law long enough eventually recognizes (or should recognize) that the frontiers of tort law are determined by the outcomes of debates regarding a variety of deep mysteries. Among those mysteries is this central enigma: “what is a tort?”

    A simple question, most novices suppose. Any answer, however, reveals the strikingly contingent nature of tort law. In fact, the typical definition can be characterized as content-free tautology. The late Dean William L. Prosser, one of the field’s most respected authorities, tells us that “tort” is “a term applied to a miscellaneous and more or less unconnected group of civil wrongs other than breach of contract for which a court of law will afford a remedy in the form of an action for damages.”5

    Today’s ultimate authority, Wikipedia, more efficiently delivers the same message: “A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy.”6 In short, a tort is what a court says it is.7

    Push even slightly on that vacuous definition and one is overcome by still deeper mysteries. For example, what sorts of “harms” can count as a tort? Harms caused by a hurricane? What about those resulting from an epidemic? Tobacco? Sexual harassment? Drunk driving? Fast food? Again, the typical
    newcomer expects those questions have clear answers, but they do not….

  151. CameronB Brodie

    I’m aware there is ‘debate’ around Leslie Evans but her background at least appears to look fine and dandy, with respect to supporting informed government. I’m all for rational administrative law and public policy informed by liberal science. 😉

    A new fellowship develops dialogue between government and academia

  152. CameronB Brodie

    I’m certainnly not the only person trained in post-positivist social science and critical legal theory, so where are the better qualified voices? I haven’t looked at this stuff in over a quarter of a century and I wasn’t what you’d call a proper scholar back then.

    The Critique of Rights in Critical Legal Studies

    This piece presents a critique, developed by a faction of the group that called itself critical legal studies, of rights as they figure in legal and general political discourse. This rights critique, like critical legal studies in general, operates at the uneasy juncture of two distinct, sometimes complementary and sometimes conflicting enterprises, which I will call the left and the modernist/postmodernist projects.1

    The goals of the left project are to change the existing system of social hierarchy, including its class, racial and gender dimensions, in the direction of greater equality and greater participation in public and private government. The analytic part of the project includes a critique of the injustice and oppressiveness of current arrangements, a utopian part, and a positive theory of how things got so bad and whey they stay that way.

    Modernism/postmodernism (mpm) – a no less contested concept – is a project with the goal of achieving transcendent aesthetic/emotional/intellectual experiences at the margins of or in the interstices of a disrupted rational grid. The practical activity of mpm centers on the artifact, something made or performed (could be high art, could be the most mundane object, could be the deconstruction of a text, could be the orchestration of dinner). 2

    The critique of rights I offer below operates from within both of these projects (I will call it left/mpm). It has three parts: an account of the role of rights in American legal consciousness (and by indirection in American political consciousness more generally); an account of how one might come to lose faith in the coherence of rights discourse; and a brief suggestion as to why one might make such a critique in spite of its unpleasantness.

  153. Capella

    We may be talking amongst ourselves. I’m sad to see that the link to the Scottish_Women thread is no longer available. They have closed the site, possibly because of hostility.

  154. CameronB Brodie

    I might be rusty but it would appear I still have a reasonably good eye. Time to fill your boots?

    Critical Legal Thought – L6173

    The concepts “public law” and “private law,” as well the notions of “canon,” “field” and “foundational curriculum,” all rest on a set of unstated premises for their integrity. Certain legal concepts, forms of reasoning, and values are privileged, while others are marginalized and devalued, if not ignored. Critical Legal Thought will introduce second-semester, first-year law students to a range of critical approaches to law with the goal of giving them tools for testing legal arguments, assertions of legal pedigree, and the underlying normative premises that often make certain legal outcomes seem just, if not inevitable. Further, the constitutive courses of the first-year curriculum will be critically examined.

    The first weeks of the semester will examine the underlying structure of “regular law,” including the work done by legal positivists, and formalists. From there we will cover critical approaches to the assertion of law’s objectivity and rationality. Beginning with Legal Realism and it’s progeny Critical Legal Studies, readings will cover Feminist and Critical Race critiques of law’s aspiration to objectivity and neutrality. We will then move to examine the foundational curriculum – Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Civil Procedure.

    Students will be evaluated based on class participation, one short paper, and a final open-book take home paper in which they will be expected to articulate their own critical evaluations of the material covered during the semester….

  155. Capella

    Update – it’s back up again. I’ve downloaded the thread, just in case. I feel it is an important document of what is happening.

  156. CameronB Brodie

    Well, tbh, I never saw the day coming when I’d be trying to teach critical legal theory and political reason across t’internet. I hope folk have spotted the applicability of this stuff to Scotland’s predicament?


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