Naomi Cunnningham, barrister, gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee about the GRR Bill on 31 January. Though Robin Moira White, barrister and trans woman, was there, she expressed strong distaste for trans women, whom she sees as men.
Anum Qaisar, SNP MP, put to her that Scottish Women’s Aid and others supported the GRR Bill. Other threats to women’s rights in Scotland include poverty, cuts to services, rape conviction rates, and the experiences of immigrant and refugee women. Yet media attention is devoted to GRR rather than these real issues.
Cunningham called that “whataboutery”. She thought GRR threatened women’s ordinary privacy and dignity. All women are entitled to their own boundaries, and some find it particularly threatening to use a toilet in the presence of men.
She thinks thousands of trans women might get GR. Lord Falconer thought it might be hundreds. She does not know and does not care. She talked of what others call “real transsexuals”, though she did not use the term, a few thousand people envisaged in 2004. She talked of the “man who identifies as a woman who passes,” who has had surgery and hormones, dysphoria for years, assimilated as a woman, where “people would think he was a woman”. But now people might apply who “cross dress for erotic purposes” or to avoid being sent to a men’s prison after they “committed horrible crimes and think they will have a nicer time in a women’s prison,” or just want to exercise power by transgressing women’s boundaries. Not all will be predatory, but there is nothing to stop predatory men.
She says any trans woman without a GRC can be excluded from a women’s service because she is a “man”, contrary to the EHRC statutory code of practice. Unfortunately, Lord Falconer agreed with her. This is becoming the common understanding, without any case law in England to back it up.
She produced an argument I had not heard before. A women’s service which includes trans women to her includes men. “The permission to provide a service for one sex only becomes meaningless”. There is no service which is needed by women and “men with GRCs” because “that is not an actual category at all”. So the entitlement to women’s services ends.
To her, trans inclusion destroys all women’s rights. To me, trans inclusion is a recognition that human categories are fuzzy, and making an exception for a tiny group- less than 1% of the population- who need it. She will never agree with that.
Naomi Cunningham, whom I like and respect because of her Employment Tribunal Claims textbook and blog, which as an ET rep I found useful, finds me repulsive. If 1% of “women” are trans women, that is far too many. She fears us, because we could be dangerous. That ET blog is defunct. Now she blogs on Legal Feminist, where on 10 February she raged about the “law going bonkers” for putting trans women in women’s prisons, just before the guidance in England was changed. Her latest blog is of interest only to trial lawyers and litigants in person, but all her previous ten blogs, long and detailed, were anti-trans. One was against a conversion therapy ban.
She does not tweet in her own name, but is co-founder and chair of Sex Matters, another tiny hate group. So I looked at one of their tweets, and found Marilyn had retweeted it, so took Marilyn as my representative sample of an ATC. Well, this is a blog, not a detailed study.
Marilyn, who shares a name with a New Romantic singer, is a “real actual WOMAN with two beautiful golden retrievers (bitches)”. She tweets about her dogs, and hating trans women. Her pinned tweet is on her dogs, but thirty tweets in three days are anti-trans. Her most recent tweets, as I type, were 3, 13 and 21 hours ago. That is, she goes on twitter several times a day to hate on trans people. This particular hater has not done replies- none of her tweets in those three days are her own words.
I poked about, and found no replies to various anti-trans tweets, but found Lizzie replying to the first trans woman’s tweet I checked. Her latest tweet, a reply, is “I’ll never vote Labour again, due to their shocking disrespect towards women and girls, their utter insanity and their slavish devotion to Transworld. Same with LibDems/Greens, and I will not vote Tory, so am politically homeless. – Lizzie, a woman and Adult Human Female.” In 30 minutes it has had thirteen views, and no likes. One reply is to an ATC- even though the ATC has attacked a trans man, Lizzie corrects him for using a male pronoun.
After scrolling for what seemed like ages, I found a reply from two days ago. It had 53 views, and three likes. It was her reason for not using the term “trans woman”- instead she will only use transsexual, transgender or transvestite. Her latest tweets are, as I type, 3 and 35 minutes, 12 and 16 hours, all anti-trans.