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Europe’s war on sex A new ruling on trans rights could erase women completely

Where's Tony Benn when you need him? (Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Where's Tony Benn when you need him? (Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


October 8, 2021   6 mins

The United Kingdom may have left the EU, but we remain members of the entirely separate Council of Europe. The two organisations are easily confused — and no wonder. The similarly named European Council is an EU institution, though I suspect few would be able to distinguish the European Parliament (EU) from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe is the older and larger of the two organisations. Founded in 1949, it now comprises 47 members: every European country with the exception of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and the Vatican City. On paper, it purports to have three core values: democracy, the rule of law and human rights. But in recent years it has found a new cause: the promotion of gender identity ideology across the continent.

When Maria Miller, then the Chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, first introduced the concept of gender identity and sex self-identification to Westminster in 2016, she cited Council of Europe Resolution 2048 as good practice to be followed.

Resolution 2048 had been passed by the Parliamentary Assembly the year before by 68 votes to 23, with 12 abstentions. I was unaware of the vote when it took place — and I am transgender — so it is probably safe to assume that the few Europeans understood what was being decided.

And yet whether they realise it or not, Resolution 2048 remains influential to this day. After deciding that transgender people were subject to widespread discrimination and “frequently” targeted by hate speech, the Assembly called on member states to:

  • enshrine gender identity as a protected characteristic in anti-discrimination legislation and policies;
  • allow legal gender recognition on the basis of self-determination, and “make these procedures available for all people who seek to use them, irrespective of age” (meaning children were included);
  • pay for gender reassignment treatment and make that treatment accessible to adults and children alike and
  • re-educate society.

It was a veritable land-grab, and it was forged in collaboration with the transgender lobby. In particular, TGEU — or Transgender Europe — a well-organised NGO which at the time in 2015 had an annual budget in excess of €700,000 and employed at least 12 staff members.

On the day Resolution 2048 was passed, a TGEU policy officer highlighted how the organisation “is grateful for having been able to contribute to the work of the committee”. The TGEU co-chair added: “Now, it is upon member states to make this benchmark resolution a lived reality.”

So when Millar stood up in the Commons, she intended to do just that. In her opening statement, she called on the Government to change the Gender Recognition Act “in line with the principles of gender self-declaration” and create “a new protected characteristic of gender identity”. And in doing so, she opened up a can of worms that has far from improved the lives of transgender people.

On the eve of that debate, I warned that even if the proposed law was approved, it is impossible to regulate social groups that create their own boundaries. As I wrote at the time: “Transwomen in particular may find that goodwill is replaced by suspicion should abusive men spot an opportunity to exploit women’s spaces and protections.”

Self-declaration, to use Miller’s term, has not yet come to pass in any part of the UK — but the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg remains as enthusiastic as ever: last week, its Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee published a provisional report on “Combating rising hate against LGBTI people in Europe”.

The report’s “rapporteur” was Fourat Ben Chikha, a Green politician from Belgium. His report is worth reading in its entirety — not least because its Draft Resolution has now been adopted by the committee. The language is uncompromising: “[The Parliamentary Assembly] condemns with particular force the extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people that have been occurring for several years in, amongst other countries, Hungary, Poland, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Kingdom.”

You could be forgiven for wondering why the UK would be lumped together with the likes of Russia and Turkey, two countries which have come in for international criticism for their treatment of minorities. There are clues in the test that follows:

“The Assembly condemns the highly prejudicial anti-gender, gender-critical and anti-trans narratives which reduce the fight for the equality of LGBTI people to what these movements deliberately mis-characterise as ‘gender ideology’ or ‘LGBTI ideology’. Such narratives deny the very existence of LGBTI people, dehumanise them, and often falsely portray their rights as being in conflict with women’s and children’s rights.”

It seems to me that such language is a veiled attack on those campaigns in the UK which have been openly critical of Resolution 2048 — organisations such as Woman’s Place UK and For Women Scotland, which are concerned about women’s sex-based rights. The draft resolution, in contrast, calls on member states to “amend antidiscrimination legislation as necessary to ensure that it covers all forms of discrimination, in all areas of life, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics”. Sex, itself, is absent.

The explanatory memorandum that follows clarifies Ben Chikha’s thinking. Paragraph 52 concerns the United Kingdom. The emphasis is mine.

“In the United Kingdom, anti-trans rhetoric, arguing that sex is immutable and gender identities not valid, has also been gaining baseless and concerning credibility, at the expense of both trans people’s civil liberties and women’s and children’s rights. At the IDAHOT Forum 2021, the Minister for Equalities stated, in contradiction with international human rights standards with respect to the rights of trans people, ‘We do not believe in self-identification’


The ‘gender-critical’ movement, which wrongly portrays trans rights as posing a particular threat to cisgender women and girls, has played a significant role in this process, notably since the 2018 public consultation on updating the Gender Recognition Act 2004 for England and Wales. In parallel, trans rights organisations have faced vitriolic media campaigns, in which trans women especially are vilified and misrepresented.”

But as far as human beings are concerned, sex is immutable. That is a biological fact. I am a trans person and I live in the United Kingdom. I do not recognise the picture painted by Ben Chikha. Trans women are not being vilified and misrepresented; rather, the public is waking up to the fact that people cannot change sex, and disagree with outlandish claims. As for the memorandum’s later claims about increased levels of violence against trans people, it’s worth noting that its source is a Galop online survey based on 227 responses — of which only 147 declared a trans history; hardly the basis on which to drive the agenda across an entire continent.

So who is Fourat Ben Chikha, and how did he become so influential that his reports are adopted by a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly? Unlike the EU Parliament, there are no direct elections to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Its 324 members (and their nominated substitutes) are appointed by national parliaments. They attend week-long plenary sessions in Strasbourg, four times a year. The UK delegation comprises 18 MPs and peers from across politics.

Ben Chikha was nominated by Belgium, where he is a member of the Belgian Senate. But that body is not directly elected either. Its 60 members are either appointed by regional and community parliaments or co-opted. Ben Chikha was co-opted.

Tony Benn’s famous five questions have never seemed so pertinent: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?”

We can’t get rid of Ben Chikha, but he has the power to write reports and draft resolutions that affect, and should concern, us all. After all, in whose interests is he exercising power? He has certainly been talking to TGEU — and perhaps he has been talking to activist groups in the UK as well. What is clear, however, is that the British public is largely unaware of what he has been doing.

But that doesn’t appear to matter: his recommendations have been approved by his committee and the next step is the Parliamentary Assembly itself, where it will be debated at the next plenary which opens on 24 January 2022. There, Assembly Members such as Ben Chika would do well to remember that the Council of Europe was designed to be accountable to the people of Europe — a Europe that still includes the UK.

His report needs to be scrutinised, not nodded through, because the repercussions will be felt in the UK. Women’s sex-based rights are at stake. The British public might not care much about Strasbourg, but Resolutions of the Council of Europe carry weight in the minds of politicians. When neither Boris Johnson nor Keir Starmer are willing to declare that only women have cervixes, the situation is desperate. They must not be gifted a new Council of Europe Resolution to hide behind.


Debbie Hayton is a teacher and a transgender campaigner.

DebbieHayton

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Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

‘Rising hate against LGBTI’ in Europe could be directly linked to a corresponding increase in the importation of a culture that openly despises LGBTI and in their home countries punish it with death. Yet the progressive left see no issue in its weird support for Islam and its equally weird obsession with identity politics, especially trans.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

That is because both support for the alphabet-soup sexual minorities and support for Islam serve the common purpose of destroying the Christian foundations of Western Civilization so that it can be refashioned according to the likes of secular know-it-alls.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

You are bang on the money. When most Westerners complain about religion it’s almost always Christianity they’re referring to.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  David Yetter

Sadly I think you are right

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

This is what happens when governments allow pressure groups to set the agenda.

ralph bell
ralph bell
2 years ago

Very well written illuminating article on how The European Council of Europe is allow undemocratic processes to influence laws based on poor arguments.

Last edited 2 years ago by ralph bell
rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  ralph bell

Even though I’m not well up on this subject, I think it’s a great article too, and it has given me much to think about.

Also, you may be able to make physical changes to your body, but you will still have whatever combination of chromosomes you were born with. It turns out there are more combinations than XX or XY. Who knew?

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

There are different combinations, but still two sexes. In most cases it depends on the presence or absence of the Y. So XO (Turner syndrome) is female while XXY (Klinefelter syndrome) is male.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

Thanks Debbie. I was thinking, sort of intuitively, that gender (sex? I don’t even know the correct terminology!) was likely to be mainly about the Y

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Yes it is, and in particular one gene (the SRY gene) that is almost always present on the Y but virtually never present on the X.

Last edited 2 years ago by Debbie Hayton
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

Oh god, Debbie, not only full of commons sense but also up on the science. Ever thought of running for office? I’d vote for ya!

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

…what Cheryl said…and a heartfelt vote of thanks for the good sense and decency you consistently contribute to this generally toxic and frequently deranged debate. If I ever spot you in a bar, I have every intention of standing you a large one..!

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Note to self: gender tends to mean gender identity, and sex is biological sex

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

‘it turns out there are more combinations than XX or XY’…very rarely but some folks are determined to hold the majority to ransom on the back of it.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

The more governmental, administrative and state bodies that exist, the more opportunity for people who know better than the rest of us to quietly capture these institutions and use them to ram garbage like this down peoples’ throats. Whatever the problem, more government is never the answer.

Fam Barr
Fam Barr
2 years ago

Very timely – I am going through a horrible experience of my 11yr old being bullied by a non-binary 11yr old. The narrative is always the poor trans/non-bi victim but I am learning that these minority groups are quite vicious.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
2 years ago
Reply to  Fam Barr

Sorry to hear that. We are all human and the same rules should apply to us all. Identifying into trans or non-bi should make no difference when it comes to how we relate to other people.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

…which is why there should be no legal necessity to single out particular characteristics of specific minority groups. The present voracious appetite for crafting more and more dystopian, divisive measures targeting sexual/gender/racial/ et al distinctiveness of an individual are a nonsense when what is actually required is that the present human rights laws be enforced vigorously and appropriately.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

I think the problem is that none of this filters through. It is my belief that the VAST majority of the population knows what a woman is and all this is SO far removed from any aspect of real life that even asking the question is… out of the question as it is meaningless and cannot even be conceptualised.
Add to that some obscure European body (and I had never heard of the Council of Europe), and here we are. For whatever reason a fringe group has gained a foothold in the corridors of power and as what they are proposing is that the earth is flat, no-one pays any attention, so they can gain ever more power bit by bit. Then all of a sudden there is a virtuous circle, as the politician find themselves embroiled with the flat earthers (where did they come from again?), So they have to give them more power, but then they ask for more and more and the process continues ever amplified (does this remind anyone of the SNP?)
In Italy a few years ago there was a lot of talking about the so called “gender ideology”. I never really understood what it was, but I suspect it’s exactly what you are describing here. It seems to have gone out of fashion these days, but I don’t know if it is operating in the shadows.
I wonder… Maybe we need a Phyllis Shlafly 😀

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

The Council of Europe drafted the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) so is not so obscure, although its deliberations are hardly ever publicly reported on. The ECHR has become somewhat controversial in the UK since its provisions were adopted into the UK Human Rights Act by the Blair government. The complaint is that it has been used to stray into areas of daily life never intended by its authors. This is one of them.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I don’t dispute it is important. I just never heard of it, and if I had, I wouldn’t have known what it was.

Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

No criticism intended. Very few people are aware of it. It started with the best of intentions after WWII.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mel Shaw
Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I think many people think we left Europe when we left the EU. We did not leave the Council of Europe.

sarah rutherford
sarah rutherford
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

I didn’t know this and am very thankful to you for drawing attention to it. We know that this lobby pushes its agenda in through back doors and targeted the human rights movement brother than individual country’s democratic processes. Worrying.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Basically infiltration of institutions by Cultural Marxists following Gramsci and Frankhurt School.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

In exactly the same way the nascent EU started with the idea of controlling the production of coal, iron and steel so no country could build very large tanks, again.

R S Foster
R S Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

…indeed so. They had in mind an immediate history of Genocide…not the right of a bloke (not) in a frock to wander about in a women’s changing room with an erection…which is pretty much exactly what happened in the briefly notorious “Spa” case. About which the TG lobby have now fallen silent, because the perpetrator has been charged with indecent exposure…an offence for which he has previous…

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

…”its deliberations are hardly ever publicly reported on.”
Sounds like a textbook definition of obscurity.

Steve White
Steve White
2 years ago

The questions that those that insist the fiction of gender identity is real can never answer

IsJessica Yaniv a woman? Is Karen White a woman? Is Barbie Kardashian a woman? Perhaps they are just dangerous predators that self identify as women?

You need to get over this hurdle in order to make a case. I asked this of a Trans Rights Activist in my union and their answer was – yes they are women because they feel it and identify as it.
This is pure fiction in my opinion. It is based on false philosophical ideas and translates into, to feel it is to be it. So you either have to base the feelings on stereotype feelings that you imagine how it feels to be a woman or you believe in a “sexed soul” that we are all born with.

Which is it?

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve White

Why this focus on merely human trans rights? There are many of us struggling with anthropomormism..I don’t often confess this as I will be reviled and attacked. But I feel condemned to spend my life in the wrong body…I feel that I am a horse: not any old horse, mark you – I identify as a pure bred Akal Teke stallion (who in their right mind would not covet a coat like that?)
I have felt this way since childhood, prancing and cavorting (in private): a trot, a whinney, a toss of the mane (discretely) in public. Even at that age aware of the vicious discrimination I will face if ever I have the courage to come out…

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
2 years ago
Reply to  Marcia McGrail

anthropomormism… I don’t wish to nag but surely you mean anthropoMormonism?

Mark Goodge
Mark Goodge
2 years ago

I don’t have any problem with gender identity being a protected characteristic in discrimination law. It’s broadly analogous to other indentity-based protected characteristics, such as sexuality and religion, and few people have a problem with those.
What does seem odd to me, though, is the extent to which the campaign for recognition of gender identity as a protected characteristic and the rights associated with that has morphed into a campaign to denigrate and downplay sex as a protected characteristic and the rights associated with that.
It seems blindingly obvious to me that sex and gender identity are not the same thing, just as sex and sexuality are not the same thing. Just because you possess a male body does not mean that you are necessarily sexually aroused by a female body. We’ve moved on from the idea that men can only fancy women, and vice versa. And rightly so. And just because you possess a male body does not mean that you necessarily identify as a man.
However, male-bodied people who are attracted to other male-bodied people are still male. Recognising that is a key aspect of gay rights. We no longer believe that being gay is a sign of effeminacy. We do not, as is still the case in some places, insist on treating gay men as if they were women, because “real men” aren’t gay.
And the same applies to gender identity. Your identity does not change your biology. A male-bodied person who identifies as other than a man is still biologically male. And, while their identity can, and should, be protected by law from abuse and discrimination, it does not negate their right – or anybody else’s right – to also be protected from discrimination and abuse on the grounds of their biological sex.
Treating sex and gender as interchangeable has the potential for all sorts of undesirable outcomes. For example, it’s been reported that biological females who identify as men are not being called for routine smear tests, because the database records only their gender, not their sex. This is an absolute travesty, and trans rights campaigners have every reason to be up in arms about it. A person’s medical records should always include both sex and, if different, gender identity, because both are relevant to their risk profile and any necessary treatment. Many of the issues described by Caroline Criado Perez in “Invisible Women” stem from an unjustified assumption that male and female bodies are interchangeable.
The reality is that sex matters, and will always matter. You can’t legislate that away, and even trying to will inevitably cause harm. A civilised society recognises that a person is a complex mix of biology and identity, and treats both of those aspects of their personhood with respect.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mark Goodge
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago

The pertinent question is, is Carrie Johnson unwilling to declare that only women have cervixes?

Robert Pound
Robert Pound
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

If we don’t know then it probably means the media haven’t asked her, which they ought to – because as a confidante of the prime minister she probably has more influence on public policy than any of the Labour frontbenchers who’ve been asked the question.

Brian Delamere
Brian Delamere
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

She should tell us one way or the other, after all, she is the Prime Mistress

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

If that is so then how come, as a bloke, I have an afliction diagnosed as Cervical Spondylosis? My doctor tells me that men and women have a body part with that name – its the top 5 vertibrae. You All will have to choose a different female body part (Quite close to the Cervix that men do not have.)

Mark Goodge
Mark Goodge
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Cervical Spondylosis is so called because it affects the spine in the neck – the word “cervical” comes from the Latin word for “neck”. The cervix is so called because it’s the “neck of the womb”, and takes its name from the same Latin word even though it’s not related to the spine.
Possibly more confusingly, though, cervical cencer is cancer of the cervix, not cancer of the neck, even though cervical spondylosis is an affliction of the neck, not the cervix. The English language can be inconsistent at times.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Goodge

I would have thought it fairer to blame Latin. Surely English is blameless here.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

And also, don’t forget, that despite our possession of all kinds of things ‘down below’, women are still the only ones capable of loading the dishwasher properly while stirring the pasta, yelling at the kids to be quiet and doing her pelvic floor exercises. All at the same time. While planning how to pay off the credit card and deciding how to organise care for her elderly father (or any other relative). You see, gender is about more than chromosomes and girl parts. It’s a mindset and a skill set. The whole package. Shoot me down if you dare.

David Fee
David Fee
2 years ago

I greatly value your articles Debbie. You impart valuable information from a balanced position of true understanding. Thank you.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

It is not hard to see where all this is going. It is yet another offshoot of the totalitarianism that is creeping inexorably into every aspect of our lives.
In terms of respecting the privacy and safety of women, and men too come to that, I was horrified to read recently in the DT that the NHS have put out “guidance” for staff saying that people who insist on being in same sex wards are to be regarded as racist, sexist and/or transphobic. I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had years ago with a district nurse in France. I told her that we were impressed with the quality of French hospitals which mostly have one or two-bedded rooms with their own showers, while the NHS in Britain still had wards with rows of beds. She was horrified as everyone knows that this is the best way to spread infections. When I added that many of the wards were also mixed sex she quite simply didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I dread to think what her reaction would be to self-identifying transwomen being allowed into women’s wards….!
Good, well-informed and well articulated article from Debbie as usual.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

If gender is just socially determined why is reassignment considered necessary?

sarah rutherford
sarah rutherford
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Excellent question? This movement has changed the meaning of gender to be the same as sex
.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago

It’s not really a war on sex, though,is it? It’s a ‘war’ on women, or at least, an attempt to put women back into an automatically subservient position. The ‘rights’ in question always seem to be about men enjoying (in the Tudor as well as modern sense) the prerogatives and protections which women have o so slowly gained over the centuries. The ‘ rights’ of the poor deluded girls who are encouraged to cut off their breasts and ingest male hormones to grow a straggly beard, hormones which will often render them sterile and probably impact on their long term health are not much of a topic in this debate. They are just collateral damage in the great obliteration of the female as an independent being.
I think that the early days of the male to female movement, there were confused and troubled men who really did think that adopting a female ‘identity’ would be a panacea . I knew some of them. Now though, I think it has mainly become a vehicle for the s****ually troubled (‘s@@k my lady d##k’ as they rant) and the psychologically disturbed ( kill the TERFS) .and even further along the line, it is being cynically adopted by predators who just see an opportunity to access women at their most vulnerable : naked, incarcerated, sick or fearful.
The real question is why some women are embracing this attack on themselves. Is it just for personal or political advantage? Do they think that decrying female rights is going to somehow protect them from the revisionists and the aggressors? Because history shows that that has very very rarely been the case.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

Resolution 2048 remains influential to this day. After deciding that transgender people were subject to widespread discrimination and “frequently” targeted by hate speech, the Assembly called on member states to:
[…]
re-educate society.
Calling on member states to re-educate society means engineering the way we talk about things. This re-education has the implicit assumption that the populace will be forced to speak and therefore think different thoughts – to think ands speak the correct way and to not think and speak the wrong way according to the applied postmodernist doctrine.
This re-education is done through tyranny. Perhaps this is happening now via university matriculation requirements and workplace re-education requirements etc?
Where is the force of the state in protecting its citizens from the threat of tyranny?

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
2 years ago

Yes, talk of ‘re-education’ is a chilling echo of the worst features of communist oppression of anyone seen as a dissident. And your mention of ‘university matriculation requirements’ (eg the disgraceful tests on correct thinking set at universities such as St Andrews and Kent) reminds us that those who reject this modern form of fascism must stand up and fight it! Some universities have forgotten what a university is: it is time for a counter-revolution against this dangerous nonsense.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago

About 20-odd years ago I used the acronym BLIGHT as a mnemonic to remember all the categories. As they kept on getting added to I wondered why they didn’t just simply use NH (Not Heterosexual) as an apposite grouping.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

Is anybody doing any investigation of where the funding for this ideology comes from.

sarah rutherford
sarah rutherford
2 years ago
Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
2 years ago

All of this bs because advocates only gave women consideration as an afterthought, if at all.

Sue Ward
Sue Ward
2 years ago

Not so much rising hate against LGBTQI but certainly rising hostility to the T part as ordinary straight and gay people (and also parents of all orientations) start to understand what this obsession with self ID actually means. Most people have a live and let live attitude to trans but trans activists do not have this attitude to the rest of us who must be forced to say things we don’t believe and batter our brains into thinking things that we don’t really think. It is frightening that their continued prodding of the slumbering beast of public opinion will ultimately produce a backlash which will engulf us all.

Last edited 2 years ago by Sue Ward
Tony Pearson
Tony Pearson
2 years ago
Reply to  Sue Ward

I am reminded of the activities of the Paedophile Information Exchange back in the day, which sought to normalise sexual activity with children, resulting in a huge public backlash, but not before their cause at first was supported by certain politicians and other public figures who should have known better.

Jill Abigail
Jill Abigail
2 years ago

Thank you, Debbie, for taking the time to contribute to our current legislative move in New Zealand to endorse sex self-identification. Those of us submitting against the legislation are being treated with absolute contempt by the Select Committee – as you yourself experienced, when you were told by the Green Party member that we have our own trans leadership in New Zealand and [as she implied] don’t need any advice from outsiders like you. Those of us who are 2nd wave radical feminists are in absolute despair over here at what is happening. This account you’ve just written from the Council of Europe and one person’s ludicrous influence adds yet more devastating news. But thank you again for keeping on with your writings on behalf of natal women.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

Thank you, but you are right. These are worrying devlopments. We can shine a light on them but merely knowing about them is not enough.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
2 years ago

Maybe the attraction of undemocratic and totalitarian political and religious movements is that they replace the discomfort of ambiguity with the reassurance of conformity. It is obvious which state is most inherently stable. History is full of movements that sweep across countries or wider regions aligning the spins of individuals, as far as they are able or allowed to express them. However, these never seem to end well.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

Identity politics has reached a position of such power and influence because of the endless attrition by fanatical activists, such as the wretched and absurd Ben Chikha, whom naive governments and institutions seem to on this basis consider experts whose views must be acted upon. And despite the ludicrous and obvious inconsistencies of the ideology, such as it is almost encouraged to ‘change’ gender but it would be anathema to claim to change race. And yet sex is a far more biologically meaningful category than race.

In addition, it is seemingly very important for the ‘woke’ project that they lay claim to the definition of women (fascinatingly and disturbingly, much less interested in the term ‘men’), while at the same time declaring that there may be hundreds of genders! Of course the more ludicrous and sinister this nonsense is – a hidden deep misogyny at its core – the more necessary it is for them to fight dirty and use power, not argument, to win the day, as in totalitarian societies.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Brooke Walford
Brooke Walford
2 years ago

So glad the lid is being lifted on insideous gender law-making by stealth by a trans person .Thank you Debbie Hayton.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
2 years ago

5 questions that work well.

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
2 years ago

Indeed – whether one agrees or disagrees with Tony Benn more generally that is a major contribution to the art of clear political thinking.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago

It feels strange to ask (and I’m not really sure if I’m allowed) but doesn’t a society reap what it sows? Isn’t it hypocritical of openers of the Pandora’s boxes this society finds itself emeshed in, to bemoan that others are more than willing to open them too far? Some countries are cultivating chimeras – what about their prospective human/animal rights?

John Davies
John Davies
2 years ago

This is a chilling account of how the democratic process is being abused and exploited by devious and well-funded groups in order to achieve undemocratic ends. (Historic parallels exist for this of course). Ultimately, it exposes the incapacity of the institutions of western society and their inability to defend the values of that society when presented with hysterical, self-righteous and ignorant rhetoric in the name of a cause that is presented as politically virtuous. The very idea that the ‘Council of Europe’ can institutionally condemn ‘criticism’, whether of the transgender argument or anything else, should objectively render it utterly unfit for purpose. Unfortunately, this corrupted body appears already to have had massively disproportionate influence since the leaders of all three of the UK’s main political parties are now convinced that it is political suicide for them to recognise the distinct identity of the female sex. If the Council of Europe is so weak and unrepresentative that it allows unelected, unaccountable fanatics effectively to dictate the political agenda of European countries it is time for those countries to reform it or walk away.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
2 years ago

Thanks, Debbie Hayton, for another great article. I know very little about “trans rights”, except for snippets of news in which so-called “activists” seem to act in such a way as to polarise opinion, rather than win arguments, when they villify perceived opponents. So your measured arguments are greatly appreciated by this reader.

sally ingrey
sally ingrey
2 years ago

There is a lot of money and powerful people behind the trans agenda, it is not coming from the ‘grassroots’ as gay rights did in the 70’s. Debbie Hayton has provided an excellent example of how this works in practise. Thank you.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

I do not hate trans gendered people nor do I want others to do so. I do however feel that much of the debate about women and trans women is focused on envy and misogyny. As a woman I can define myself, politicians and activists should not abrogate to themselves that right.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alison Tyler
Brian Delamere
Brian Delamere
2 years ago

As a person without a cervix, I think this is hilarious.

Jill Abigail
Jill Abigail
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Delamere

As a person with a cervix, Brian, I can assure you there is nothing funny in any of this. Women are being erased from our own language, losing our rights to assemble together in single-sex spaces, called transphobic if we don’t want to sleep with male-bodied transwomen, losing our rights to compete with one another in women-only sport…. and so on and so on. It is deadly serious.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago
Reply to  Jill Abigail

You are not wrong

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago

Time to become trans.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

I so dislike being fashionable.

Brian Delamere
Brian Delamere
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

How dare you threaten my bits, I like them as they are.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Why? If he became “she”, “she” still wouldn’t have a cervix.