by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 21
December 2021
Debate
15:30

Caroline Nokes is confused about gender self-ID

It's necessary to know people's birth sex
by Joan Smith

Why is it important to know someone’s birth sex? The Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Women and Equalities Select Committee, evidently has no idea. ‘Why on earth would we want to?’ she asked during an interview on this morning’s Today programme. 

Where shall I even start? Maybe — and I’m just guessing wildly here — to avoid the wrong people being called for NHS screening programmes. I’ve just had a routine mammogram, which I was offered because I am female. It would be an expensive waste of money to screen me for prostate cancer because, funnily enough, I don’t have one.

Then there are prisons. Does Nokes really believe that court officials stand around at the end of a trial, not wanting to offend convicted offenders by asking their birth sex and wondering where to send them? Oh, but I’d forgotten: if said rapist announces that he ‘identifies’ as a woman, he may well end up sharing cells and bathrooms with actual women, regardless of how they feel about sharing intimate space with an individual with a penis. 

That’s what happens when you ignore the distinction between sex and gender; one is a fact, while the other is about someone’s feelings, and entirely subjective. It’s jaw-dropping that Nokes and most of her committee appear not to understand the difference, but the problem can be traced all the way back to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, an ill-considered piece of legislation that enshrined the confusion in law. 

Instead of listening to academic experts and women’s organisations, Nokes’s committee has published a report chastising the government for not pushing ahead with reforms to the GRA, which would make things even worse. It insists that being trans is not a medical condition, calling on the government to remove ‘medical scrutiny’ from the process of getting a gender recognition certificate, while simultaneously demanding better health care for trans people. Confused or what? 

The committee evidently thinks that replacing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria with a statutory declaration would be adequate protection against male predators abusing the system to gain access to women’s prisons, toilets and changing rooms. (It occurs to me that incarcerating a male rapist in a women’s prison is a unique example of allowing a convicted offender to maintain access to his weapon and potential victims.) 

Not quite everyone on the WESC agrees with a move to self-ID. ‘The conflation of sex and gender has created a conflict of rights which Parliament has so far failed to address,’ the Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price declared on Twitter. But it appears that a majority of the committee has endorsed the fiction at the heart of the GRA, which gives an official stamp of approval to the notion that people can change their sex. An individual with a gender recognition certificate can get a new birth certificate that erases their birth sex, even in the case of a man who still has male genitals. 

If any man can do this, merely by making a statutory declaration, it puts every protection natal women currently have at risk. Sex is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act, but how can a woman claim protection against someone who has a piece of paper saying he shares it? It is even a criminal offence, in certain circumstances, to reveal the trans status of someone with a GRC, with the courts able to impose an unlimited fine.

Endorsing self-ID is an astonishing conclusion from a committee that has the word ‘women’ in its title. I’m also wondering whether Nokes, who recently accused the prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, of slapping her on the bottom at a Conservative party conference, really believes her ‘birth sex’ had nothing to do with it.

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Oliver Elphick
Oliver Elphick
7 months ago

The whole idea of claiming a gender other than your biological sex is insane and should be abandoned.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
7 months ago
Reply to  Oliver Elphick

What is singularly depressing is that this woman is a Conservative MP. Unfortunately, I think it flows from the stupid idea of Theresa May that people thought of the Conservative party as the “nasty party” with the result that a lot of Tory MPs are so desperate to be thought nice they will sign up to any rubbish that might show themselves to be caring. The fact that being nice to self-identifying transsexuals is definitely not being nice to a much larger number of actual women escapes them in their eagerness to be nice. Nice but dim seems to sum it up.

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Indeed. Are there any actual conservatives in the UK Conservative Party?
I regret to report that the New Zealand parliament has recently passed a law allowing people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without providing evidence of a medical procedure. See here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/09/new-zealand-passes-law-making-it-easier-to-change-sex-on-birth-certificates
Supported by every single political party in parliament, include the supposedly conservative National Party. Mind you, the Nats stood a 17-yr old in the last general election, which shows what pathetic wokesters they’ve become: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117668485/national-selects-17yearold-william-wood-as-palmerston-north-candidate-for-2020-election

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Hurray for Bray! Hugely sensible contribution. So many dim-wits pushing this dangerous nonsense — an ideology which is not only patent bullsh*t, but is actually destroying our children, and erasing lesbians and women generally. Certainly let us be kind and accepting towards the genuine sufferer from gender dysphoria, a pathology on a level with anorexia and cutting, all of which proceed from an inability to accept one’s body, but Stonewall and the others are using trans not to help the trans people (which it doesn’t) but to push a political programme, whose end purpose is to destablise us and our society.and to usher in their dream of a totalitarian state.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
7 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lewis

Stonewall had won its battles on behalf of gays and lesbians. Perhaps finding a new group to champion was more attractive than closing down after a victory party?

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

More lucrative.

Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

She’s not conservative she’s just very silly.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
7 months ago

I will be blunt. This women is stupid, illogical, dangerous and reckless which should disqualify her from chairing any committee, least of all the Women and Equalities Select Committee.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
7 months ago

Excellent.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
7 months ago

“This women is stupid, illogical, dangerous and reckless which should disqualify her from chairing any committee”.
 Isn’t that rather what Murray accused Rachel Riley of being and Riley received an award of £10,000 from the English courts. Hopefully Noakes is not litigious particularly as I called her dim.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Jim Richards
Jim Richards
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think any jury who,listened to her interview would conclude that dim simply isn’t strong enough

Claire D
Claire D
7 months ago

Brave and well said.

Claire D
Claire D
7 months ago
Reply to  Claire D

But, to be fair, sort of, to Caroline Nokes; just how independent is she on this issue ? Is it not highly likely that as head of the committee under a Conservative government, it is her job to put forward the party line, and the party line is (despite some words to the contrary), there is no longer any such thing as a ‘woman’ in the true sense ? Nokes is just the ambitious mouthpiece, who, if the government changes it’s mind at a later date, can of course be used as a scapegoat.

Last edited 7 months ago by Claire D
George Glashan
George Glashan
7 months ago

Caroline Nokes isn’t confused, she’s thinking exactly what Stonewall and her LGBT focus groups told her to think. What she is is an idiot to stupid to even look down and understand what her own body is.

Peter LR
Peter LR
7 months ago

Adult human females aka women have significant biological differences which it is dangerous to ignore. They are more likely to suffer from different illnesses to men and should be not only screened for them but check themselves for symptoms.
What is not so well known is that they also have different nutritional requirements. Calorie difference is significant and fat balance in the diet reflects the difference in fat distribution in the body. Women have different requirements for calcium especially in relation to motherhood. They also have different requirements for folic acid.
How can so many well-educated people be so deliberately ignorant?

Claire D
Claire D
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Because they are ambitious; approbation from their peers leads they hope to power.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
7 months ago

Caroline Nokes is clearly insane.

Margaret Bluman
Margaret Bluman
7 months ago

Nokes ignored all the evidence presented to the committee by the many women’s groups who explained clearly and at length the problem of conflating sex with gender. Are women now at the mercy of Liz Truss in hoping that she will ignore this unhelpful paper?

James Joyce
James Joyce
7 months ago

The government has no right to know one’s gender, but ALL of the government and random people have the right to check your identity and Corona status before one can do such high risk things as entering a pub, going shopping, going to a mall?
The inmates have taken over the asylum.

Last edited 7 months ago by James Joyce
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

One’s SEX is the word. The conflation of terms and takeover of biological definitions has definitely advanced the Stonewall agenda. No such thing as a “transwoman” they’re TIMs (trans identified males). And vice versa. The amount of fetish amongst this population is horrifying even if the offending rates remain the same as men who don’t claim they’re really women!! Nearly half of sex offenders in gaol in the U.K. say they are women.

James Joyce
James Joyce
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

I stand corrected, I think. It’s all so exhausting–sex, gender. I’m not really that interested and wish I could be just left alone. I treat individuals with respect. Isn’t that enough?

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Sex=biology
Gender=social expectations
And we need to abandon the use of gender as a polite euphemism for sex which has a clear definition entirely related to type of gamete produced, applicable to almost all living organisms!
Very little respect for female humans in this proposed legislation!!

Lennie Wafer
Lennie Wafer
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

TIMs is new to me, but I love it!

R MS
R MS
7 months ago

OK, so what’s to be done?
I’d guess the Tories are split down the middle on this. And the other parties with some honourable but singular exceptions are either Stonewalled through conviction or cowed with fear.
Fortunately the Govt are increasingly sceptical. But hey, they may not be around for ever. Or going by the last few weeks, even that long.
So how do you shift the dial with MPs?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
7 months ago
Reply to  R MS

Her constituency is just up the road from me. I’m thinking a little local activism to let her voters know about her extreme views could be helpful.

Andrea X
Andrea X
7 months ago

Why do you use the expression “natal women”?

Frederick B
Frederick B
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

The only word needed is “women”.

Andrea X
Andrea X
7 months ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Quite.
In saying “natal woman” you are accepting that “natal women” are just a subset of “women”.

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I generally stick to ‘real women’, though occasionally use ‘proper’ or ‘actual’ as a prefix.

Frederick B
Frederick B
7 months ago

Nokes is a “Conservative”. She has form for always coming down on the left side of any debate.

Morry Rotenberg
Morry Rotenberg
7 months ago

It is incredible that the West has just accepted that somehow a man can declare himself a woman and vice versa. Gender dysphoria is a mental illness. Would we encourage some unfortunate person with schizophrenia that we also hear the demons that are tormenting them? Would we encourage a poor young woman with anorexia nervosa to continue to lose more weight because we agree with her delusion that she is too fat?

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
7 months ago

Yes, this is what I don’t about understand about the policy. Rightly or wrongly, there has been an increasing focus on mental health. Clearly if someone doesn’t feel comfortable in their own body – or God help them – want to mutilate it, they need help!

Christine Hankinson
Christine Hankinson
7 months ago

and Nokes wasn’t intelligently challenged on Today either. grrr. either she is stunningly ignorant or wholly captured by Stonewall’s TRA’s. This self-harming female is in a position of power so we cant just roll our eyes. She thinks she is progressive. God help us…well in the end reality will because TRA’s believe in the fictitious and reality has a habit of biting you on your bum.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago

Joan you are absolutely right on this. But given that it’s women who suffer as a result of this, will anything change?? The GRA was brought in so that a man who pretends he is a woman could marry another man (not possible in the U.K. back then). There is no longer any reason to issue a false birth certificate which overrides biological reality.

Lennie Wafer
Lennie Wafer
7 months ago

Excuse my ignorance, but what would be lost if we dropped the word ‘gender’?

Andrea X
Andrea X
7 months ago
Reply to  Lennie Wafer

Endless amusement in the comments’ section.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Lennie Wafer

If I remember correctly (and it’s possible I don’t) the word “gender” was adopted by early feminists specifically to differentiate the social aspects from the biological reality of being a woman (and incidentally also of being a man). To now see the word used instead of, or as a synonym for, “sex” could be seen as retrogressive as it appears to imply that sex and gender are the same. Also it means that we will never again see a satistical analysis entitled “The House of Commons: Broken-down by Sex and Age”; I don’t know if such a report actually existed, but it should have.