The Scottish Government believes that transwomen are women and that this statement is so self-evidently true that it is not even up for debate.
I believe that transwomen are not women, and that this statement should not require debate in any rational society.
Which of these two opposite beliefs you hold is important because which one you hold logically determines what you think should follow from that belief.
If, like the Scottish Government, you truly believe that transwomen are women, then the question of what follows largely resolves itself. You’ll believe that, by definition, transwomen should have all the rights that women have and that anyone denying these rights is denying the rights of women.
If, like me, you believe that transwomen are not women, then the questions of what should follow from that belief are much more complicated, especially if, like me, you regard yourself as a decent and compassionate person. One thing that does clearly follow, though, is that transwomen are not entitled to the rights of women, such as women-only spaces and services.
This post, then, is aimed at helping you determine which of these two foundational beliefs you hold.
Maybe, like me, you’re a long-time proven leftie, reluctant to accept finding yourself on the same side as Piers Morgan and Toby Young on any issue, and worried that you might be on the wrong side of history.
Maybe you’re at school or university and are being told by those in authority over you that people much smarter than you (who are also, so you are told, very “progressive”) have proved, in ways you don’t need to trouble yourself with, that transwomen just are women, and that if you ask for any argument or evidence, you’re a reactionary and a troublemaker.
Maybe you have children or grandchildren who are at school or university and who have passed that “knowledge” on to you with the same air of authority with which it was imposed on them. Maybe you think of how you used to correct your own parents or grandparents if they said “coloured” or “negro”, and you wonder if this is just your generation’s version of not moving with the times.
Maybe you’re in a Scottish Government or otherwise Stonewall-captured workplace where you’re given “training” in these issues and where no-one dares oppose the ludicrous dogma which comprises this “training” for fear of abuse, humiliation, dismissal and worse.
Well, you get the point, and if you are in any of those positions, I’ve got good news for you.
I have come up with three simple tests that you can take to establish for yourself exactly where you stand on the transwomen are women statement.
These three tests are all derived from the experiences of lesbian women as reported by journalist Caroline Lowbridge in her recent article published on the BBC website.
I hope you will find taking them to be as decisive as I did.
Before we begin…
A couple of preliminary points:
Firstly, for all the storm of outrage that has greeted Lowbridge’s article over the last few days, I have not seen anyone on any side claim that anything set out there disqualifies the transwomen featured from being transwomen.
Accordingly, for the purposes of the three tests which follow, we don’t need to worry about defining what is or is not a “transwoman”. We can safely say that the transwomen featured in the article and included in my three tests below are, as they are represented to be, genuine examples of transwomen.
Secondly, let me say quite clearly that I believe in the truthfulness of the women featured in the article and I believe in the integrity of the female journalist who wrote about them. I think the attempts being made by numerous authority figures to discredit the women and the female journalist who wrote about them are shameful.
But for the purposes of this post, that doesn’t even matter. If these women and their experiences had been conjured out of thin air by some isometric testing company purely for this purpose, they could hardly have provided us with better tests of where we stand on the statement trans women are women.
So let’s proceed to the tests:
Lowbridge reports how 24-year-old Amy, a lesbian, was asked to have sex with a transwoman. The circumstances as narrated in the article are then as follows:
[T]he transwoman in question had not undergone genital surgery, so still had a penis.
“I know there is zero possibility for me to be attracted to this person,” said Amy, who lives in the south west of England and works in a small print and design studio.
“I can hear their male vocal chords. I can see their male jawline. I know, under their clothes, there is male genitalia. These are physical realities that, as a woman who likes women, you just can’t ignore.”
Amy refused to have sex with the transwoman.
Do you believe that this transwoman with male vocal chords, a male jawline and male genitalia is a woman?
If, like me, your answer is a firm no, then I’d say it’s clear that, like me, you believe transwomen are not women.
If, on the other hand, you believe that what happened here is that Amy, a same-sex attracted woman, rejected another woman, with a woman’s male vocal chords, a woman’s male jawline, and a woman’s male genitalia, then your belief is right in line with that of the Scottish Government.
I can well understand why you wouldn’t want to debate that belief.
Lowbridge narrates another experience as follows:
Another lesbian woman, 26-year-old Chloe, said she felt so pressured she ended up having penetrative sex with a transwoman at university after repeatedly explaining she was not interested.
They lived near each other in halls of residence. Chloe had been drinking alcohol and does not think she could have given proper consent.
“I felt very bad for hating every moment, because the idea is we are attracted to gender rather than sex, and I felt bad for feeling like that,” she said.
Ashamed and embarrassed, she decided not to tell anyone.
What do you think?
If, like me, you think the transwoman who had penetrative sex with Chloe wasn’t a woman then, like me, you don’t believe transwomen are women.
You may well believe that Chloe was raped by a man. I certainly do.
If, on the other hand, you believe that the transwoman who penetrated Chloe did so with a woman’s penis, then welcome again to the Orwellian world of the Scottish Government.
I can well understand why you’ll have no interest in debating that belief.
Lowbridge cites a report published here in which:
One woman reported being targeted in an online group. “I was told that homosexuality doesn’t exist and I owed it to my trans sisters to unlearn my ‘genital confusion’ so I can enjoy letting them penetrate me,” she wrote.
Again, what do you think?
If, like me, you think that these “trans sisters” who wanted to penetrate a lesbian woman with their male genitalia are not women, then you believe, as I do, that transwomen are not women.
If on the other hand, you believe that these “trans sisters” wanted to penetrate this lesbian woman with their women’s male genitalia, then … well, you know the rest by now.
It’s pretty obvious to me why you’d do anything to avoid debating that belief.
How did you do?
If, like me, you concluded that transwomen are not women, then we can talk about ways in which our society can be kinder to transwomen and the difficulties they face, always though with the very clear proviso that the rights of women must be in no way compromised by any such kindness.
If you concluded that transwomen are women, and that women’s rights are their rights by definition, then it’s probably just as well that you don’t want to debate the subject.
I really don’t see what we could possibly have to talk about.