I welcomed Shirley-Anne Somerville’s blog and was able to mostly agree with her words right up until this point –
“But it means the problem we face is not one of trans women wanting to feel safe and accepted – it is one of how we protect and safeguard women against potentially abusive men. That’s not a new problem in Scottish or global society – nor is it one created by trans women.”
We know! We know it’s not a problem created by trans women. We never claimed that it was! It’s been over a year now since the GRA consultation closed and incredibly the Cabinet Secretary for Equalities still doesn’t understand the concerns of ordinary women. The mere suggestion that we have been blaming trans women throughout this ‘debate’ shows just how extraordinarily out of touch the Government is. This is what happens when you stand back and allow the ongoing abuse and silencing of women. Perhaps if this blog had been published a year ago we might have actually achieved something positive during this time, but instead the country has become more divided with devastating outcomes for women and trans people.
We are in fact very aware of who has created this problem, or to put it more accurately, who is responsible for exacerbating this problem – the decision makers of every public authority in the country who have rewritten policies and practices with the goal of being ‘trans inclusive’ whilst simultaneously throwing away every single-sex based right for women and girls. The ease with which it was done still shocks me to the core.
How do we move on from here? For starters the Government can carry out it’s promised review of the Public Sector Equality Duties (Hint: they’re not working) and implement a statutory monitoring and enforcement measure for the public authorities who are failing in their duties. (This is especially important as presently members of the public have very limited routes available to them). It’s difficult to know how we got to this place, where public bodies have implemented new practices that actively discriminate against a protected group, and were then able to justify it by correctly pointing out just how widespread these practices are! That’s exactly where we are at with the erosion of women’s sex based rights.
Women did not create this problem, and neither did trans women!
The Government has to take responsibility for its actions (and non-actions) in creating this monster.
It now needs to make moves to fix it.