The WordPress blogosphere echoes with more voices than just bloggers.
Many interesting and articulate people comment and take part in detailed and often protracted discussions about issues raised in blogs. These are often as interesting as the original post and no blogger would deny that a healthy string of comments after a post adds value their site. Of course I understand why a person would want only to read posts from their favourite bloggers and to comment, but not to wish to have a blog of their own. Nevertheless, I feel that should such a person have something more substantial to contribute, then there should be space available for them to do so. I have therefore decided to make space available at this blog for such people, under the rubric of the shiteness of being Scottish.
LorCal, who also writes as The Scottish Casandra, is one of the most impressive and outspoken members of the blogosphere commentariat. Her opinions are always based on solid experience and good reason and she is in command of wide spectrum of knowledge. She is also passionate and tenacious, qualities I admire greatly, and has become well known for putting bloggers on the spot and giving others pause for thought.
Apart from continuous government prevarication about the so called constitutional question, obscene structural unequal distribution of wealth and land ownership, poverty, social deprivation, moronic sectarianism and all the rest, one of the most bizarre shitenesses of being Scottish right now arises in the wake of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
Regular readers will know that I have no time for ideologies of whatever hue being used as the basis for social policy and that I believe identity politics to be fundamentally incoherent, most crucially because identity has no substance. There is no id entity. Honest introspection can only conclude that our mental lives are in continuous processes of change. Identity is created and negotiated infinitely and infinitesimally throughout ordinary life as we look for stuff on the outside that chimes in some way with what it feels on the inside.
Politics should, I believe, be based on critical pragmatism, be directed towards the common good and work always with the material circumstances of existence, only one effect of which is the unique feelings of individuality we all experience. Politics should never deny or restrict this uniqueness, nor demand that being or experience be anything at all, but politics cannot be the summation of individual experience. The duty of politicians is to work pragmatically for the common good, preferably with humility and a healthy understanding of world history and human psychology.
In the real world however, politicians are more commonly in it to line their own pockets, to dish out backhanders to their pals, to enjoy the prestige of power or pedal some dodgy ideology. And quite often, despite the good intentions of politicians with genuine notions of doing good, they are sucked into self perpetuating systems of sinecure and patronage while their good intentions line the road to their hellish consequences.
The particular manifestation of identity politics that has become popular among those who see themselves as radical or, quaintly, “left wing” is based on gender. Sadly, these people also regard anybody who has anything critical to say to their ideas as “right wing” so that public discourse becomes the usual sectarian pile on, now with a frisson of generational conflict, both within feminism and more generally in the ongoing struggle against patriarchy and toxic masculinity.
Although I touched upon these matters earlier in the year in a post about being a dinosaur, I have found it very difficult to contribute to this debate, because anything I say is pulled into the culture wars. All questions and opinions are polarised between “gender ideology” and “gender critical theory” with no room for anything else. Under these conditions I become so enraged by the stupidity of it all, that I have to walk on by.
LorCal on the other hand has no qualms and writes with a level head. She is happy to throw herself into the debate with passion and here she presents serious questions, which we would be wise to reflect upon, to take into our daily experience and to use as a lens to observe the politicians we are allowing to engineer future social policy.
IDENTITY could be said to be crucial to human beings, and it comes in all forms, from individual identity to family identity to national identity to racial identity to ethnic identity and all forms in between and beyond. The identity that has come under fire in recent years is the identity of being an adult human female – known until recently as “woman”.
What if the identity you think you are cannot possibly BE, by all the known laws of nature, biology and science? What harm can that ‘false’ belief have on you and those around you, on people you do not even know, but who will be affected by your identity superseding theirs that has existed for millennia? This is the real problem that the trans lobby has yet to come to grips with: how can we as human beings, accept psychologically a proposition that offends every rational sense, when it may cause untold harm to many more people than would be caused by pointing out the lie?
This, essentially, is the dilemma that faced Winston Smith in Orwell’s ‘1984’, and for which he was broken psychologically and physically, in a state that was totalitarian at its roots, until he was willing to accept that 2+2 = 5. We are living in a very Scottish facsimile of that state now, in 2021, albeit the law protects us – for now, at least.
We are being told that men can become women and women men, when every sense screams out that it cannot be, that we are a dimorphic species and that our biological sex is contained deep in our cell structure, in our genes. Furthermore, we are being told, those of us who are female, that we are, as women and girls, a subset of the female sex, and we are being told this by men who claim they are women.
We don’t live in an ideal world, which is why, at the end of the day, third spaces are the only logical answer to the stand-off between female spaces and rights and trans spaces and rights. So why do so many trans women, in particular, and their allies, rail against third spaces? Validation must be the answer, that and a determination to indulge a paraphilia in women’s spaces. When did validation become a human right? When did indulging a paraphilia?
What appears to be happening is that people who have paraphilic tendencies (MtF category) and who often refuse to believe that they have this condition in the form of autogynephilia (sexual love of oneself as a woman, but, crucially, not as a strong woman, rather as a weak, submissive one) or who will not admit that they have it even while they know perfectly well that they do, are the vanguard of a movement that might yet see prohibitive laws cast down – for the ultimate benefit of sexual predators. Autogynephilia has been studied in depth by a number of psychologists, including Ray Blanchard, the godfather of sexual studies in the latter part of the 20th century, and whose work is the definitive study on this condition – some homosexual autogynephiles, but the majority heterosexual autogynephiles. He did not think that it was, per se, a condition dangerous to others. Time and knowledge have moved on, of course, and we now accept that families can be destroyed by a paraphilia in its midst.
If no one was to be harmed in any way by this paraphilia, if no one else’s spaces and rights were part of the equation, few would turn a hair, as with the end of S28 and the opening of the door to wide public acceptance of homosexuality. However, it is precisely because women and girls are being told to share their sex-based spaces and rights with (very likely) autogynephilic men that this is not at all like S28 and the acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex attraction. The trans lobby is not asking per se for trans rights, which they already have; they are demanding that we overturn millennia of biological sex, accept them uncritically on their own definition of themselves as actual women and welcome them into female spaces and rights without a murmur.
This is where the battle ground lies, because women fought hard and long for their sex-based public spaces and their rights and concessions on the very basis that their needs were not being met, that they required spaces and public institutions that did not include men, any men – some of whom being the very reason that they were needed in the first place. Women needed the vote to elect people (often women, if female needs were to be addressed) who would represent their views and needs in parliament.
How can any man know what women need as they go through female puberty, give birth, as they menstruate (period products were considered luxury goods until very recently), as they go through the menopause, as they age? Some things in their lives will not differ from men’s experiences, but so many will. There are reasons why ‘trans children’ have to exist that have nothing to do with body dysphoria, and everything to do with validation – a heartless and cynical exploitation of the young to justify an ideology.
Most body dysphoric transsexuals – and it is they who are the tiny minority that is spoken of (we simply do not know how many autogynephilic heterosexuals there are in Scotland) – do not wish to access female spaces and rights, and most appear to actually support gender critical theory and women’s biological reality. They know and acknowledge that they are ‘trans women’, not women, so, already, we have different groups of trans women.
The vast majority of ‘trans women’ are biological men, so they have had to adopt a narrative that their penises are ‘ladydicks’, which might be okay if they kept that definition to themselves and did not also compel others, notably women and lesbian women, to accept them as such. We have to talk about the potential for deep psychological harm, separate from the potential physical harm that allowing natal males into women’s spaces will cause to women and girls. The ‘ladydick’ phenomenon makes a total mockery of women’s anatomy and lesbian women’s same-sex attracted reality that some trans women want to overturn.
J. Michael Bailey and Kiira Triea (Northwestern University, Canada) in February 2007: “… currently, the predominant cultural understanding of male-to-female transsexualism is that all male-to-female (MtF) transsexuals are, essentially, women trapped in men’s bodies. This understanding has little scientific basis, however, and is inconsistent with clinical observations. Ray Blanchard has shown that there are two distinct subtypes of MtF transsexuals. Members of one subtype, homosexual transsexuals, are best understood as a type of homosexual male. The other subtype, autogynephilic transsexuals, is motivated by the erotic desire to become women. The persistence of the predominant cultural understanding, while explicable, is damaging to science and to many transsexuals… ”
“Enforcing men’s sexual rights in international human rights law”: Sheila Jeffreys, June 2018: “… Self-ID [will mean] that any man who cross-dresses on the weekend, say, or makes no changes to his appearance and retains both penis and beard, can be legally recognized as a woman if he demands this… … it is being cited in the projected new legislation in Scotland, which will allow men to self-identify as women, as justification… ”
It is already in operation in women’s prisons, after the fact (of the crime, almost always a sex crime) and before the law has even been introduced, let alone changed.
The document from the Scottish government about their proposals to change the requirement for ‘gender’ recognition certificates specifically states: The view of the Scottish Government is that the 2004 Act requirements are unnecessarily intrusive and do not reflect the best practice now embodied in the Yogyakarta Principles and Resolution 2048 (Scottish Government, 2017).
In practice, GRCs will become unnecessary as self-ID will render them obsolete except as administrative tools. Many women are now looking at the 2004 GRA as being the line in the sand, and are demanding its repeal: same sex marriage is now law; data protection ensures non-disclosure of personal information; and so on. Its continued existence is being interpreted by many women as meaning that it is to be the springboard for even more reforms and even greater incursion into women’s rights, far beyond their sex-based spaces.
2010 EQUALITY ACT PROTECTED CATEGORIES – Note: gender reassignment has no limits, and may constitute both full transition and surgery, and no change at all, according to the Stonewall doctrine, which is preempting the law yet again. Both Sex and Gender Reassignment (not identity) are protected characteristics, albeit women’s spaces and rights can be protected even from the trans reassigned if the action is proportionate to achieve the end, but we have seen how permeable women spaces and rights are when the law can be preempted at will by trans women – and the law does nothing, as in the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre case. Stonewall assists the police in the area of trans issue.
The appropriation of women and girls’ spaces is, at best, a colonisation of existing sex-based spaces and rights. It is no different from imperialism and invasion of others’ territory for the invaders’ benefit and to the utter detriment of those being colonised. If paraphilic men are allowed to drag – and I use the word judiciously – their paraphilias and fetishes into the public space, what is to prevent them living out their fantasies in front of unwilling and non-consenting women and girls currently protected in law?
Perhaps the politicians would also care to explain how open access could possibly dovetail with existing laws against public exposure of the genitals and other even less salubrious activities like public masturbation, for example? What about rape? Can you legally rape with a ‘ladydick’, because, if a trans woman is actually a woman in law, then the penis must be a vagina, as they claim. Will sexual offences laws all have to be repealed? That must be the logical conclusion. What about consent or age barriers? Will these laws also be brought down to dovetail with the trans lobby’s demands for access because, if you are allowed by law to show your male genitals to young, underage girls in female spaces, and you are classed legally as a female, then it cannot also be illegal to do so?
Everyone’s consent will also have to be presumed, along with women’s, even when minor females are deemed by law to be unable to consent. The presumption of paedophilia under the law must also be jettisoned because the trans woman’s right to expose her ‘ladydick’ must be presumed to take precedence over the female child’s age. Are these existing laws against public sexual behaviour to be repealed so that even more danger can be visited upon children and women?
Repeal of all prohibitive and preventative sexual laws must be the next step, logical conclusion, so that those who, now, raise actions against certain perceived breaches of the law or who expect the police to bring a case against an alleged perpetrator, will have no redress or even means of redress since no law will have been breached and no case will require to be answered if there are no laws against these things – these things that could never happen anyway, we are assured. Except they do. These are matters for jurisprudence, and a few souls are beginning to posit these questions.
When you allow anyone, male or female, to pull, legally, their private, erotic fantasies into the light of public exposure and force us all to participate in them against our will, to accept a patent biological and scientific untruth, you are opening up a whole can of worms as never before in modern society: enforced compliance in a ‘democratic’ state. People are, more or less, allowed to do what they like in private with consenting partners who are adults, and the state does not interfere. For the first time in the history of the modern Western world, the state – and the law that legitimises that state – will be, potentially, forcing unwilling women and female children into roles as extras in the fantasies of paraphilics and, far worse, opportunistic sexual predators enabled by the self-ID laxity.
Autogynephilia is no longer deemed to be ‘harmless’: what the trans lobby and its activists do not want the public to know about is the testimony of many so-called ‘trans widows’ who have been at the receiving end of these men’s paraphilia, where boundary after boundary was crossed in the paraphilic’s pursuit of his own pleasure (note the implicit narcissism). In truth, families have been destroyed by this behaviour through the pushing of boundaries to breaking point. If it can happen in the private sphere, why not the public sphere, too? Heterosexual autogynephilia can be extremely destructive of those around the paraphilic trans woman, as lesbian women and other women are discovering.
A narcissistic personality may accompany autogynephilia (as Blanchard and others noted) and it has little empathy for those forced unwillingly to participate as extras in its own private sexual realm. Will we discover that some of these trans women wish to masturbate in women’s spaces (subject to the criminal law at present) as some of these ‘trans women’ already boast on social media they will do; that they will get erections in front of little girls (subject to the criminal law at present) as occurred in the WiSpa incident in the States? And that’s not harmful? Will the law venture into the field of human choice of sexual partner and force lesbian women to partner trans women, as some trans women demand? What exactly is the legal definition of ‘harm’ these days?
Distress and anxiety, caused by lack of privacy and dignity in shared spaces, previously their single-sex spaces, are not harmful to females? Trying to change your pad or tampon noiselessly, knowing that a trans woman is next door and might hear you (menstruation is a fetish, too, that some paraphilic men imitate) and holding in your urine all day (because listening to females peeing is yet another) is not harmful, both physically and emotionally? Being reduced to a subset of your own sex is not psychologically harmful to females?
Will the laws that constrain and restrain sexual behaviours and sexual predators be brought down to accommodate the push against all boundaries that queer theory advocates – ostensibly in the name of greater personal and sexual freedom? What is the alternative if trans rights supersede women’s rights? On what basis can we say, legally, this trans woman, but not that one? We can’t. So, we let all-comers (self-ID) in or, alternatively, we recreate all public spaces as unigender, eliminating biological sex entirely?
Is the law flexible enough to accommodate all trans women and all trans men in spaces and rights that are universal? Hmmm… What about the threat that some men pose to females? We disregard that? How can we tell who is a threat and who is not a threat? A trans woman or any man cannot be convicted of exhibitionism if the law allows her/him to undress in female spaces (now) and unigender spaces (in the future)? Ergo, back we come to the law, because only prohibitive/preventative laws can protect women and girls and children, and back we come to the beginning and the reason why adult female spaces and rights need to be protected by law.
So, why were women exempted from the Scottish Hate Crime legislation – which is, in itself a curtailment of freedom of speech or a great liberator, depending on your viewpoint? Because they would be protected from misogyny and naked sexism (based on sex) must be the answer. Nothing else makes sense when women require to be cowed into compliance in order to push this stuff through, and they must have nowhere to turn for help or comfort or hope. The promise of a later special piece of legislation is patent obfuscation because it is unlikely to appear before the GRA reform is in place, on a par with: we will have a referendum after the pandemic and its aftermath.
Even if every trans woman was a model of love for her fellow subset of cis women, what about the sexual predators that the trans lobby will enable, through their vanguard actions, to access women’s spaces and rights when, first, GRA reform comes in, with self-ID, and secondly, when, one by one, laws are felled to reflect the trans lobby’s demands? Oh, there will be more demands. Lots more. Access is just the start. How are they going to protected trans women against the sexual predators they will have enabled to gain access to female sex-based spaces? Aren’t they always telling us about how victimised they are in comparison with ‘cis’ women?
Will having a ‘ladydick’ save them from that ‘fate worse than death’? More to the point, will the law save the rest of us from the almost entirely middle-class, pseudo radical, authoritarian control fest of masculinity that is the trans gender movement? Women, know your place – which apparently is not in your own sex-based spaces and rights, but somewhere south of that bottom rung. The trans identity war on women is nothing more or less than misogyny and sexism wrapped in a shiny, new, rainbow-coloured wrapping paper with a ribbon (not a Suffragette one) saying: please be kind.
All references, etc. may be Googled or are to be found on the Scottish Government website.
© LornCal, 2021
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Love and Peace.