“Concerns about female safety”

I want women to be safe. Of course I do. I am one.

Self-ID is a small administrative change on the evidence required for trans people to change their gender legally. We never need to show our gender recognition certificates, and they have little effect except on marriage, and death certificates. So why the shouting? There are “concerns about female safety”. There are questions about access to safe spaces for women, domestic violence refuges. “Women are threatened and attacked”. “Predatory men could now come into female-only spaces unchallenged.”

The story put around is that “predatory men” are a risk to women because of self-ID, and that is ambiguous- perverts pretending to be trans women, or trans women ourselves? Often the writer does not say. The fuzziness allows women who might be our allies to read such articles rather than simply reject them as paranoid, then be drawn in. Their aim is to turn people against us. Down the rabbit hole, when the transphobes compete to say the most disparaging things, they speculate on our motivations, and claim that “true trans”, a person so feminine that she has no alternative but transition, is a tiny proportion of trans women or a falsehood. They say our motivation is sexual.

Sexual motivation conjures a vision of men being aroused in women’s loos. An erection would prevent a trans woman from urinating, and is uncomfortable when tucked. The smell from ejaculating would mean discovery, terrifying trans women. These are not real threats, but the speculation foments anger and fear against us.

The Times’ barrage of articles mocks and ridicules us, so dehumanises us. We stop being a person trying to get on with our lives, so entitled to basic sympathy. First we are laughed at, then despised, then treated with contempt, then with violence.

Social rules are negotiated. People do not complain, but leave that to others. You might feel uncomfortable in a situation, but you get out of the situation rather than seek help to change it. Walking away is less costly than confronting. But if we are despised we are less costly to confront. The self-righteous woman knows the cringing trans woman will not fight back. The anger and repetition of “threat” may be psyching those who write and share such rubbish to confront us. The anger may spill over from the forums.

Angry women looking out for us could be embarrassing and upsetting for someone starting her transition. This is the aim of The Times, and those forums. The angry person wants others to feel her anger, to feel justified and powerful. It is just a small number of people at the moment, but as the fake controversy gets hyped, the numbers grow.

4 thoughts on ““Concerns about female safety”

  1. I would think that the mindset of most sexual predators is such that the very thought of disguising themselves as a member of the opposite sex for any reason would be so abhorrent as to dismiss it entirely.


  2. I think those people understand something else by “self identification” of trans people. They mean: “Today, I feel like a woman; I’ll shave, put on a dress, fake breasts and use ladies’ bathroom.” No HRT, of course no SRS, male muscles… It’s easy to create fear with such an image…


    • Well. I think they use the ambiguity deliberately. They never make clear what they are worried about, except in their own dark corners of the web where it is clear they are hostile to harmless trans women. In public, what they say is studiedly ambiguous, and might be interpreted as fearing a great increase in cross-dressers cross-dressing in public, or even male sexual predators who suddenly think cross-dressing is a good way to get access to women.

      Possibly, more cross-dressers would think that they could go into women’s loos, and then claim to be trans if they were challenged. But most cross-dressers are fairly private- see all those photos of people in their living rooms- and it’s mostly people who are checking out whether they can manage transition who express female and use women’s loos while spending most of the time presenting male. As for sexual predators pretending to be trans women, that is just barmy.

      Liked by 2 people

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