Baroness Falkner is right to stand up to gender ideology
The peer has endured abuse for saying that sex is biological
Exposing a lie sometimes has dramatic consequences. For years we’ve been told there’s no conflict between women’s rights and the demands of trans activists. If that were really the case, no one could possibly object to putting the word “biological” in front of “sex” in equality legislation, could they?
Nothing could be further from the truth, as the head of the UK’s equal rights watchdog, Kishwer, Baroness Falkner, has discovered. She has endured weeks of abuse since the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) wrote to the Government, proposing consideration of a technical amendment to the Equality Act 2010 to make it clear that sex means biological sex.
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Since then, all hell has broken loose. Falkner has been called a ‘“Nazi”, a particularly vicious slur given that her husband is German. She’s been attacked by a slew of Labour MPs, who’ve made the baseless accusation that she’s trying to take “rights and protections” away from trans people. Now it’s emerged that a group of employees at the EHRC has compiled a dossier of complaints against her, including “transphobia” and harassment. Falkner is said to be “heartbroken” about the allegations, which her supporters describe as a witch-hunt, but she’s standing her ground.
It’s not the first time the EHRC has been targeted. Last year, protesters turned up outside its offices in Victoria where a man in a dress and a balaclava poured urine over himself while claiming that the EHRC “has blood on its hands”. The organisation’s role in balancing the rights of various groups is evidently not understood by gender extremists, who appear to think their demands should have priority over everyone else’s.
The attempt to oust Falkner shows how much is at stake. When trans activists claimed they weren’t trying to take anything away from women, they were telling an obvious untruth. Now everyone can see the reality for themselves, as convicted male sex offenders demand to be housed in women’s prisons and disabled women are called bigots for refusing intimate care from trans-identified males.
Adding the word “biological” to the Equality Act would achieve a very simple outcome, which is to confirm that the law means what we always thought it did. No one ever imagined, when the act was passed 13 years ago, that a group of women who share the protected characteristic of sex should include men who say their gender identity is female. If it did, it would mean the end of women-only spaces and services, which is why it is vital that the law should be clarified.
Another untruth is at risk of exposure here, however. Trans people in this country have the same rights as everyone else, which is right and proper. What activists are demanding is additional rights, which in this case compromises women’s rights to privacy and safety. And if the attack on Falkner shows anything, it’s the desperation of people with authoritarian views who fear they’re going to lose.
What’s happening is a nasty, personal campaign against any woman who advocates strengthening the legal protections women already have. Even the Labour Party, with its shameful record of appeasing trans extremists, has said it supports the EHRC’s proposed review of the Equality Act. When the stakes are so high, we need politicians across the board to hold their nerve.
“biological sex” is tautological because that’s what “sex” means, but it’s necessary due to recent nuttiness. It’s sad it’s come to this.
I do not think it is tautological. Sex exists outside of biology. Jungian Archetypes, say. Metaphor, Classical allusions, Mythology, Religious.
Biological is only one part of sex – the other is the quality of the being, soul, persona….
Although – you do not change that side of sex either. Certainly not by the Bio-Pharma Industrial Complex’s little pills and mutilations. We carry our sex in our body, and our soul, it is us to the very core and it is determined and immutable.
Sex is a biological term referring to the parts of an organism which make small motile gametes (male) or large immotile ones ( female). Sexual reproduction occurs in 99.999999% of all living species as it ensures variation in offspring which confers a survival advantage for the species. Homo sapiens is a mammal and the sexes are in separate individuals, with the female gestating the young. It is binary by definition (gametes) unchangeable as it is encoded in every cell. Gender, once a purely grammatical term, is now used to refer to the behaviours expected of each sex, a concept which is at least partly culture specific. Transideology has exploited the delicate desire to use gender as a euphemism for sex, but this really has to stop because women’s safety depends on clarity.
True, and “gender” in this context means the same. It’s not a free word that activists can make into whatever meaning they choose.
My question is what do the puppeteers behind these unquestioning trans activists want to get out of all this furore?
Because if it is another example of tearing down society so that something glorious may arise from the ashes… well that deserves a very robust response.
That’s a really important point to make. I get the impression that just giving in this issue will not achieve any peaceful settlement. There will be a never-ending list of ever more ludicrous demands made by the activists.
Yes, not just what but who and why. Follow the money seems the most obvious explanation.
My son is a trans man & I these people do NOT care about helping transsexuals. In fact they have done horrible harm to transsexuals by supporting Gender Self-ID. I think many of the followers do want to tear down Western Society, believing a glorious new world of “equity” will rise from the ashes. But I think the more powerful puppeteers want to tear down democracy so that they can gain more control over the populace. Many so called “trans activists” and “antiracists” are useful idiots for those who seek to crush democracy around the world.
And this is the rub, self ID has just encouraged the worst type predatory male to abuse this act and it’s damaging everyone.
Remember Bud Light!
””Never Give Up, Never Surrender” –
(Commander Taggart, NSEA Protector)
“protesters turned up outside its offices in Victoria where a man in a dress and a balaclava poured urine over himself while claiming that the EHRC “has blood on its hands“
Any functioning society would section him and lock him up for his own good. Unfortunately, ours now takes their side against sane, normal people who want to get on with their lives.
Leave sectioning out of it, these people aren’t mad, they’re wrong. People with genuine mental illnesses have enough problems already.
Thank you, Joan, for raising these concerns that I, among many, share. The slander and slurs directed towards anyone (actually, it’s not, for the most part, anyone. It’s women) who is not afraid to say the blooming obvious out loud have continued unabated for years now. If ever any more evidence were needed to demonstrate that this ‘movement’ is underpinned by misogyny and homophobia, this latest attempt to remove the rights of women, lesbians and gay men should provide it. Sadly, our politicians and institutions are so captured and/or so petrified that they’ll shy away leaving the likes of Baroness Falkner and the other brave women to the mob.
Many thanks to Joan Smith for this piece. And best wishes to Baroness Falkner. It takes guts to withstand that lot, especially when they have a well-entrenched fifth-column within the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
I am not a great fan of referenda, but I wonder if a referendum on this issue might clear the air.
A referendum? Oh please, no. For one thing, the trans activists would ramp the whole thing up to boiling point. For another, their batty ideas would get an airing they don’t deserve, as the BBC strives to maintain balance. And it would give the activists a credibility they just don’t deserve.
As Joan Smith makes clear, government ministers should use common sense in a way the SNP government in Edinburgh conspicuously did not. And they should have the courage to stand up and say so, in a way they didn’t with Tony Sewell’s report on racism.
All politicians should just grow a backbone, stand up and do what we pay them to do, instead of cowardly avoiding the issue.
On 12th Jun 2023, parliament will be debating the subject “Update the Equality Act to make clear the characteristic “sex” is biological sex”, lobby your MP to attend and speak on behalf of their constituents.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
This is exactly the right subject for a referendum.
I’m not sure about referenda. We are about to have a referendum in Australia about a first nations Voice to parliament. The media are full of enthusiastically racist views.
How would the question be worded? A considerable number of people – perhaps even a majority – suppose, not unreasonably, that the term “transwoman” refers to a biological woman who wishes to be seen as a man (which is why the results from surveys asking “the public” whether they think transwomen are women can be thrown away without reading them).
God I hope Baroness Falkner stays, she’s been so good for us.
Last night channel four news, which is my usual go to, reported on this in a totally biased fashion only giving the TRA side. They didn’t even mention women’s rights or the case against gender ideology. I am not surprised they are captured but disappointed. I thought they would give a balanced view but the impression left was that the baroness was a right wing bigot beyond the pale.
I do worry that ‘gender critical’ sounds negative to the general public who are most used to the term critical meaning ‘anti, hostile etc. And of course the word gender has good uses so should of course not be banned. Its a case of improper usage. It’s a difficult one,
‘Women’s Rights’ opposed to ‘ ‘Trans Rights’ sounds really old: we fought for them, got them now they are robustly being withdrawn in the most dishonest manipulative way, how do you express that? Well channel four didn’t know. (And as for using ‘ sex rights’ far too many meanings cases, etc. )
Gender ideology has now grabbed the word ‘woman’ as Keir Starmer and Ed Davey concur,, women do have penises without any proper explanation: the current difference between the law and biology. And the law is winning against all sense .
Oxfam’s latest playbook, 94 pages long, on usage of terms advises against using the word ‘mother’ as it is sexist, preferring the term ‘birthing partner’. Reality is only for bigots. We have to fight this.
What suggestions are there that would be understandable accurate positive and appealing?
As a side issue, but a very important one, the way Wikipedia has been taken over by activists editing the bio of anyone like Kishwer Falkner is a disgrace and the ruination of a once useful resource.
I got this idea a few weeks ago that there is a super crazy group of nasty people in power who want to give a push to the “production” of humans and even more so of other bio-products with “human” characteristics, in laboratories. Some years ago, when the sheep Dolly was created in a lab, most of the world’s voices said a clear and fearful NO. The trans terror is used to alter people’s minds and make them “open” to the idea of transhumans and the like. If the trans agenda survives, Pandora’s box will be wide open. Following these thoughts I heard Mary Harington concluding the presentation of her book saying “they are coming for your children”.
Trans persons themselves are easy to manipulate as any marginalized group of people can be. As for the young leftists and activists, they also form a group of people easy to use and manipulate. You only need to convince them that THEY are the force that will change the world to its perfection. In “modernity”, youth has been a destabilizing mass again and again. There are many forces and factors to blame for the youth’s mischiefs. Day by day these issues slide from being serious to being unsolvable. Return to conservatism can only be reactional. It can’t give fulfilling answers. We will need to do better than that.
“I got this idea a few weeks ago that there is a super crazy group of nasty people in power who want to give a push to the “production” of humans and even more so of other bio-products with “human” characteristics, in laboratories.”
This is exactly what IS happening! Look up Martine Rothblatt (formerly Martin Rothblatt) see:My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality (Martine Rothblatt | TED2015) https://www.ted.com/talks/martine_rothblatt_my_daughter_my_wife_our_robot_and_the_quest_for_immortality?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tedspread via @TEDTalks
It’s all VERY scary!
Jennifer Bilek (@bjportraits on twitter), an excellent investigative journalist, goes into all this in great detail – see eg Jennifer Bilek: Transhumanism & Autogynephilia https://youtu.be/q1uUY7U7-rc via
Jennifer Bilek | Who is Behind the TRANS AGENDA? https://youtu.be/tLXdoqXbC6k via @YouTube
While any “normal” person reading this comment will probably think you sound batshit crazy (which it does) – it’s entirely true. Martine Rothblatt (a man who purports to be a woman) is probably the most important figure behind the rise of transgenderism and the title of his books tell it all:
– From Transgender to Transhumanism: A Manifesto on Freedom of Form
– Virtually Human: The Promise —and the Peril— of Digital Immortality
– Your Life or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve the Conflict Between Public and Private Interests in Xenotransplantation (this last one is particularly frightening)
“What activists are demanding is additional rights…”
for which the correct word is “privileges”.
I wonder if part of the reason the young are all on board with this is because the trans radical activists have co-opted the expression”Be Kind”. Anyone who questions or opposes their ideology is immediately seen as NOT kind – mean, hateful bigots etc. Caring about the safety of women and children does nothing to change this narrative. Only TRAs are Kind.
At this point, I truly cannot wait for the pendulum to swing back to the other side, and I don’t even care anymore how far it swings as this nonsense has taken on absolutely extreme proportions. The viciousness displayed by the supporters of this absurdity shows who the real fascists are, and fascists can only be defeated with utmost force.
It really is quite simple. No-one should have any form of Rights or privileges in law based upon anything not amenable to objective verification – ie, have they been assaulted / stolen from / deceived / misrepresented. Has their capacity to observe their religion, or none, subject to the over-riding law of the land, been observed? That should be the limits of the law’s concern.
If men wish to walk the streets dressed as women, feel free. If small boys follow them jeering, so it goes; hard luck.
at least they have the Trans Pennine railway?
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