This matters to me because women’s rights have been hard fought for over a long period of time and have only been legally recognised for a very short period of time. Sex-based rights are crucial if women are to overcome the systemic barriers to equity that still exist in UK society and are particularly important for girls and young women who need single-sex spaces for reasons of safety, privacy and dignity. #
I don’t have children, but I have four nieces whose rights to their boundaries I will defend to the death. I also care about this issue because I am a lesbian, a same-sex attracted women. I object strongly to the idea that any male can self-identify as a woman and simply announce they are now a lesbian because of their heterosexual attraction to females. I am also infuriated by the deliberate conflation of sex and gender in official documents and by public bodies and organisations, in particular the Blood Transfusion Service and the NHS where an individual’s sex matters more than any specious idea of masculine or feminine.
I have signed a number of petitions; completed consultations on gender self-identification and reform of the Gender Recognition Act; donated to campaigns for women’s rights; and attended meetings organised by pro-women’s rights groups. I have written to my MP asking that she take account of women’s voices before committing to any vote on reform of the GRA. I have also written to my MSPs asking that they too take account of dissenting voices when it comes to the proposed introduction of gender self-identification in Scotland and followed up on their responses. I have also shared links to consultations on social media, asking people to take part in the consultation to get as wide a range of voices heard as possible.
I have been the subject of some anger and negative responses from friends on Facebook in particular and been accused of homophobia, transphobia and bigotry from people I considered good friends. That led me to make a conscious decision not to discuss the subject on Facebook, which I have stuck to now for around a year. However, the revelation this week that the Scottish Government is sticking to its redefinition of the word woman in the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act is making me rethink that decision, which I now consider a bit cowardly.
Frances Traynor, still believes that language matters and that words have meaning