Does Emma Nicholson have no idea what the law is about trans people? Does she want people to think so? Or does she just want to cause a huge twitterspat? She got 1400 likes and 410 retweets, and has hardly been off twitter since.
She wrote to Marks and Spencer that they should not allow trans women in women’s changing rooms, and tweeted a copy. First she claimed expertise as “Conservative Party Vice Chair with Special Responsibility for Women”; then she said “I believe you may wish to follow the government’s line and resume single sex spaces for the changing rooms in your stores”. No Trans Women!!!
Then the lie, the blatant, clear wrong interpretation of the Equality Act: “the Equality legislation allows no self-identification of gender”.
This is what the Act says: A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo…a process… for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex. Once I propose, I am protected, even if I have not yet seen a psychiatrist.
She claims that “girls from most if not all minority faiths will find it more and more difficult to persuade their parents of the benefits of clothes shopping in your stores while their personal integrity may be open to accusations of lack of protection by their communities.” So, the daughters of religious parents now have to ask their parents’ permission to shop for clothes.
She attached her speech in the House of Lords on 24 February 2020 where she claimed trans people, to be protected, needed to intend physiological change. “A man could wear a frock, rouge and nail gel every day of the week for ten years without qualifying for the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.” They cannot resist mockery, these transphobes. They hold courageous people living our lives freely in complete disdain. Such a trans woman would be protected.
“Rouge,” indeed. I don’t wear foundation, I haven’t since I was having all that electrolysis and my skin is good enough without it, so I looked up what people who aren’t in the House of Lords call it. I called it blusher twenty years ago, and now it is “contouring”. Emma dear, your use of the word “rouge” dates you, not us.
Her letter to Marks and Spencer goes further. Even if I took along my GRC to show to the shop assistants, if her position in her letter was enforced I would have to be directed to the men’s. My local M&S has cubicles in the changing room, with barriers between, and doors, from floor to ceiling.
However the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act use the words “sex” and “gender” interchangeably.
She also wrote to the minister, saying that some guidance for schools was inaccurate.
So what is she doing? Jean Hatchet pointed out that Nicholson is not a feminist, but this was dismissed as “grievance archaeology”. Nicholson supported Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which prevented local authorities from “promoting homosexuality”, and suppressed gay rights campaigning. But Nicholson has been bathing in the adulation of trans-excluders since her tweet.
The government in the UK has made a greater mess of the Covid pandemic even than the Trump administration. I am not surprised they want to spread hatred of minorities. Nicholson is a stalking-horse, sent out to say the most outrageous things, to see the public reaction before the government makes its response to the consultation it promised three years ago. Nicholson was kicked out of the House of Commons in 1997, when the last disastrous Tory government expired. Now, because righteous anger at all the needless deaths should force them out of government, they want to raise hatred against me and people like me.
The Marks and Spencer reply was measured.
We sympathise with the points you raise and strongly believe that our customers need to feel safe and secure in our fitting rooms… Our changing facilities consist of individual, private, lockable cubicles… Although they are not labelled for “men” or “women”, are used by customers of a single gender/sex. The system works effectively. There are customers who have adopted a sexual identity which they are entitled to do and we respect their right to choose… We expect all customers to respect the privacy of other customers… Our colleagues exercise discretion and common sense to ensure everyone using the fitting rooms is safe and feels comfortable… I hope this information is helpful and thank you once again for taking the time to write to me.
In other words, go forth and multiply. But Nicholson never expected M&S to bow to her crude pressure; she wanted to send out a signal on behalf of the government. If they can, they will make trans women into an out-group, to be hated. They must be shown this will not profit them.