Scotland’s gender reform is a vote against reality
New legislation will have catastrophic effects on women’s rights
It’s like being in a strange, dystopian novel. I’m writing this in England, separated by an invisible border from a country where every single man is just a certificate away from being a woman. Make no mistake, what is happening in Scotland is seismic: in a few months’ time, no one will be able to trust the evidence of their own eyes.
The man sitting next to you on a tram in Edinburgh, or turning up for a women-only swimming session, may self-identify as a woman — and the law will support him every step of the way. Centuries-old assumptions about what is real, about what people see in front of them, are being overturned. And it’s coming to Westminster as well, if Sir Keir Starmer follows through on his proposal to ‘update’ the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
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We have less than two years before a Labour government comes to power, weighed down by promises to import the idiocy (I’m being polite here) of self-ID to the rest of the UK. Two years, in other words, to watch what happens when politicians reject biology, common sense and the imperative to protect women against male violence.
In the meantime, prisons, hospitals and refuges outside Scotland will face the headache of what to do when a man with a Scottish Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) — obtained with far fewer safeguards than elsewhere in the UK — demands access to women-only spaces. The prospect of expensive litigation is terrifying, but women’s organisations on both sides of the border are already preparing for the fight of their lives.
So crazed are MSPs by this ideology that on Tuesday evening they voted down an amendment that would have placed barriers in the way of convicted sex offenders who seek to apply for a GRC, complete with a new female name. They even rejected an amendment — proposed by Michelle Thomson, an SNP MSP who has waived anonymity to reveal her own experience of being raped when she was fourteen years old — that would have paused the process of acquiring a certificate for men charged with sexual offences.
This is an extremely troubling development. Let’s not forget that the SNP-Green government has pressed ahead with the legislation even after Lady Haldane’s judgment established last week that a GRC changes someone’s legal sex for the purposes of the 2010 Equality Act. Scottish women are now expected to accept that any man standing in front of them, waving a piece of paper, is a woman — even if they’re in court and the man is accused of raping them.
It’s clear that a bill that was supposedly purely administrative has hugely expanded the number of individuals who can apply for a GRC, with catastrophic effects on women’s rights.
The rest of the UK is about to find out what it’s like living alongside a country in which observable sex no longer has any meaning. Welcome to Scotland, where the word ‘woman’ will now soon include any man who fancies it.
We keep blaming the self-destructive, ideologically unhinged political elites for this garbage, but who the hell is voting for these people?
Most people everywhere have no idea what is going on. Legislation like the Scottish has already been passed in other countries, including New Zealand without most of the population being aware of it. There is a current rush to push through similar legislation in Spain. There is an international flavour to all this and some big funding from US billionaires. What is the main political agendum?
Been thinking the same thing… It’s got to be to create Distraction… Have multiple streams of “things” that mask changes happening elsewhere.
I listened to an excellent video that traced the history and purpose of the World Economic Forum. It was evidence based and incredibly interesting. The goal was plotted a long time ago and they – a growing network of extremely wealthy and powerful – have spread across the globe. Klaus Schwab has been very open, bragging about the fact that the WEF has people in most governments around the world. Blair, Brown, Macron, Trudeau, Ardern etc etc – the list is very long. Democracy is clearly a joke to them. It is quite extraordinary that one has read so little about it over the years but then their members control most of the media.
Unfortunately I am unable to post the link to the video here.
Janet, I tried to post a reply that expanded on the your point, however, it has not been allowed. I made no remark that is not out in the public domain but it did refer to the group of global billionaires and politicians that control so much these days. It seems we are not allowed to discuss that. How disappointing to find this kind of censorship at Unherd.
I think that one problem, that most people on this site fail to realise, is that the majority of people in this country still don’t really know what is going on, and if they do, they do not understand the consequences.
The public are unsettled and worried. But their confusion is understandable. They still have faith in our old institutions. It is easy to dismiss a few nutters in universities or grandstanding influencers on social media. So too the SNP which has disgraced itself with its multiple failures and ideological absurdity- ‘lets be independent and surrender independence to the EU’. What the public do NOT yet grasp is that this cultish Equality Mania is a GROUPTHINK hysteria which has gripped our entire Establishment and public sector. It is almost too incredible. But it is true. The Equalitarians have an evangelical force in the BBC. So the public are imbibing toxic identitarianism slowly, daily, on a drip from every direction The mania is actually a State-backed credo, pulsing out from our warped rights obsessed legal system, causing the mayhem on the Dover beaches or over eco protests which so angers them. The public also have not yet clocked that this Equality mania is the ONE and ONLY remaining credo which unites the knee bending diversity obsessed Labour Party. The SNP offers a dry run for ..a bitter foretaste of …the divisive toxic progressivism we will get if Keir’s cohorts win power. It is about time Rishi and the public woke up to these realities. Sound the alarm.
*identitarian mania dressed up as ‘equalitarian’ mania. The ruse is that most simply do not recognise the difference between the traditional liberal progressive rights moments and the postmodern Critical Justice Theory rights movements that have captured these institutions – and crucially – how counter liberal they actually are. Those same people tend to unwittingly offer their support to them.
100%. There are 50+ SPADs producing slick SM posts, a MSM dependent on Scot Gov advertising (STV was £12m last year). The photographs accompanying Independence events are several years out of date. Actual attendance is paltry and polls published are widely suspected to be inaccurate. The public are misinformed and the SNP/Green coalition dominates the legislature where the arithmetic means any Bill they introduce however unpopular with the public is passed and there can never be a VONC. Public services are in rapid decline and Audit Scotland is unable to trace literally hundreds of millions of pounds. All of this information is easily obtainable but not reported by the MSM.
What is more Linda, even Unherd does not want to let us explore this fully in the comments section. It seems that to mention certain names is to guarantee a direct ticket to the ‘awaiting approval’ department.
That is my go-to reply too. And they will win again the next election too…
I truly hope not, any woman who votes for them whatever their feelings about the Union, is heralding a return for women to second class citizens.
Not me for one,could note vote for a party who is pushing this through
The people didn’t vote for this. The SNP manifesto referenced simplifying the process towards a GRC but did not mention self ID. They also claimed that they will listen to womens’ groups but haven’t. The subject of gender reform never arised once in the campaign and next to no one reads the manifestos before casting their vote. We’ll be aware next time.
Where is the choice?
I don’t know but I would assume that many who vote for them, the SNP that is, aren’t preoccupied with gender but rather that they buy into it’s anti English, victim pathology.
Scotland mounts a serious challenge to New Zealand’s title of Absurdistan.
Perhaps because large numbers of Scotch settled in NZ?
Good point. The Scots have a naive ‘fair chance for all’ instinct which is so easy for cynical socialists and wokesters to exploit.
What the hell is going on in the world?
Reality seems to have been “lost in translation”.
I now think it is a capture of most democratic institutions by organised extremist activists, devoted to identity marxism ideologies.
The institutions have been weakened by the advent of social media as outlined in this impressive, IMO, article.
Politicians’ primary goal is power. By appealing to minority interests they hope to increase their power. They assume their cohort of die-hard voters will continue to vote for them regardless of their policies. The unintended consequences of supporting legislation which is abhorrent to a greater number of their supporters than the minority they wish to attract is they will alienate more voters than they attract, hopefully. I know I would never vote for anyone who claims not to know the difference between a man and a woman. I suspect Sturgeon believes this legislation will aid her cause, be another step towards independence. Queen Nicola has probably already chosen her crown.
The only reason she’s supporting this is because it’ll mark out Scotland as more ‘progressive’ (woke) than Neanderthal England, and when their new law is quashed by U.K. equalities law in due course, they have another bullet to fire about Scottish culture being held back by England. It’s pretty cynical, but she has no principles at all.
Yes, Sturgeon must maintain the myth of England as the enemy so voters will be looking outwards and not inwards at the actual achievements of the SNP as, by proxy, the perceived enemy of a society will be scapegoated. Sturgeon will then not be held responsible for plummeting educational and health standards, and lack of any positive contribution to Scottish society will be overlooked.
Perhaps a tightening of a few Barnett purse strings might just bring about the dose of reality the Scottish public needs.All well and good giving freebys out here there and everywhere and blowing money away like confetti.A bit more accountability would not go amiss.Perhaps a reminder to the faithful, especially those on benefits who keep this mob in power that there will be very little spare cash should they ever get independence and that benefits will be rather scarce in an indy Scotland.
I’ve never understood how the Barnett formula can still be applied when it’s so unfair to those elsewhere in the U.K. who are far worse off.
It is difficult to comprehend what motivations may be driving Sturgeon’s insistence on this legislation.
I did wonder whether it may also be a form of pathological maternalism?
Interesting point, she does seem a bit ‘out there’.
I suspect an ulterior motive, and it really should not come as a surprise to anyone.
The SNP’s reason for being, it’s one AND ONLY purpose is to dissolve the Union, and this (GRA) is the shiniest new weapon in their armoury. That women concerns (rights) are being thrown under a bus and driven over, repeatedly, is to be expected from a party whose manic faith in one, and only one, destination cares not for those ‘lesser mortals’ who get trampled on the way to Scotopia. The sole purpose, against anyone with even half a brain cell, and those driving it forward are far cleverer than that is to cause friction between Westminster, Holyrood, and the laws enshrined there in. Trans people, and their supporters, are foolish enough to think that the Scottish Assembly (SNP /Greens) is on THEIR side. Maybe they should look to the women of Scotland, to see what happens when they have outlived their usefulness in Saint Nicolas march towards independence.
Despite being English, I always had a certain amount of sympathy for the Scots and their desire for independence. Our past actions certainly weren’t always right and/or justified, let’s just take the Highland Clearances as one example, but if what you write is true, and I believe it is, the SNP and its followers can go to that Biblical place, which is rumoured to be even hotter than the Sahara Desert in mid-summer. I still find it difficult to fathom that the majority of Scots whom I know as mostly sensible and grounded people would approve of something as ludicrous and dangerous as this? Do they not understand the implications? It truly boggles the mind!
It is already pretty similar in the UK. Self id is just as mad as Doctor approved gender change.
You cannot change your Sex/gender. Full stop.
This is just a great piece of writing by Nina Welsch about the weirdness of society’s adoption of the trans cult:
“One of the most memorable lectures I had as an undergraduate student at university was on Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros”, a defining work of the Theatre Of The Absurd genre. It is both a timeless and timely text, on a par with 1984 or The Crucible.During the opening scene, the everyman protagonist Berenger sits having coffee with a friend. Midway through their conversation, a rhino charges past the café. Berenger is startled and concerned but his friend seems unperturbed, in denial that they even saw a rhinoceros.Throughout the rest of the play, Berenger watches in incredulity and terror as, one by one, every person around him, colleagues and friends, transform into rhinoceroses, the cause seemingly being part-infection, part-capitulation.In the final scene, he stands at his window looking out over the carnage, and in a moment of desperation, tries to force himself to transform into a rhinoceros. Despite his efforts, he is unable to and upon regaining his senses, vows in a hopeless frenzy that he will never capitulate.The play is often read as an analogy for how fascism and Nazism spread throughout Europe in the early 20th century but truthfully, it resonates with almost any ‘ism’ or ideology – be it Thatcherism, Marxism or gender ideology. “Blind conformity makes dangerous fools of us all”, would be the layman’s analysis.The first rhinos heralding the arrival of gender ideology in the mainstream happened in 2015, it is generally agreed. Stonewall had firmly fastened the “T” onto “LGB” and “Women’s Studies” had been cheerfully rebranded and redrafted as “Gender Studies”. “Intersectionality” was the big fourth-wave feminist buzzword.I was at university at the time, in my third year, and remember exactly where I was when I glimpsed the animal: in a tutorial discussing Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble”. I’m ashamed to say, my outlook was closer to Berenger’s friend than Berenger, although I did not deny the presence of the beast. My reaction was closer to: “Oh wow, a rhino! This is fascinating! Let’s study it rather than immediately call the authorities to have it removed from civil society”.In my defence, I was 21, extremely precocious and still suffering from imposter syndrome at being accepted into an elite university. Critical theory, as espoused by Butler, is a gift to the intellectually insecure as it wraps very simplistic ideas in poncy, impenetrable academic language and allows you to deconstruct anything, regardless of complexity, into a neat hierarchy of oppressor/oppressed.Moreover, the theory being taught to me was presented as inherently truthful, with little or no invitation to challenge it from the tutor. The rhino was stunning and brave, not aggressive, I was informed, and no more dangerous than a strapping grey unicorn.In 2018 I had a considerably more uncomfortable brush with the gender rhino, one that frankly left me shaken. After graduating university, my first job was in a public library. Throughout the summer we held a reading challenge for primary school children and on the sign-up forms there were three options for gender: “Boy”, “Girl” or “Other”. It was advised we asked each individual child which box they preferred to be ticked.Somewhere in the back of my mind, a kernel of sense began to stir but not enough for me to challenge it outright. No, the harm didn’t truly hit home until a little boy, aged about six, came to the desk with his Mum, clutching a batman toy. I filled in his details then came to the dreaded gender box. Uneasily, I tried to make a joke of it, lightly prompting: “And, um…you’re a boy, yes?”I will never forget the look of shock and hurt on his face, the confusion as he looked down at himself as if trying to understand what was making me doubt his sex. His mother narrowed her eyes at me. (I’d have gone through me for a shortcut.)You can scoff and sneer at my stupidity for ever having gone along with this nonsense in the first place, and maybe I deserve it, but gender ideology indoctrination runs deep for the young and idealistic, cloaked in the language of virtue and kindness.Nonetheless, at that moment the hypnosis lifted, the spell (curse?) broke. It was as stark and harrowing as, well, a two-tonne horned beast rampaging towards me: This stuff makes no sense in the real world.Over the next few years, I began to see more and more rhinos. Pronoun badges. Bizarre new discrimination policies at work that told me if I referred to someone as ‘she’ after they announced they were a man, even if they made absolutely no change to their physicality or general demeanour, I’d be committing a transgression on a par with calling someone a racial slur.I watched as Professor Kathleen Stock was bullied from Sussex University by a small but lethally strong stampede, cheered on by rhinos in suits in the UCU. They wreaked havoc in bookshops, stamping and eating up any text that challenged their dogma to the point the books had to be hidden away lest they be trampled. They invaded academia, publishing, the arts, the corporate world, the police force, education – even nurseries.But that wasn’t the most horrifying thing. The most horrifying thing was witnessing people in power who were not rhinos adorning horns and painting their faces grey in a bid to appease them.”
You can read the rest on her Substack page It’s My Room, where the original version of this article appeared.
The 1950s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers describes this very well too.
Yes. I was driving home today and thinking about an essay from Heterodox Academy, written by Jonathan Haidt, when my mind alighted on Forbidden Planet(also known amongst us Trekkies as the 1st pilot episode).
Anyway, the essay detailed out the advent of social media and the addition of the ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons and how these presaged the apparent explosion of capitulation, and fear and cancellation in Unis, then education, then coporates and then governments etc.
The film Forbidden Planet accounts the total annihilation of a species known as the Krell after they had built a machine for instantaneous thought-to-realisation and communication. Unfortunately, all manner of monsters arose from what they called the ‘ID’.
I couldn’t help but think that predicted social media.
Here is the essay(I also posted it elsewhere on this site)
I like the analogy of the trans issue with Eugene Ionesco’s play, “Rhinoceros”. I played the part of Beranger in a school production decades ago, and I agree with your analysis.
We (i.e. the peoples of the ‘democratic’ West) are witnessing the rapid transition from the Age of Enlightenment, which spawned democracy (‘majority rule’, as the supporters of African nationalist movements so referred to the notion of democracy), scientific method and human rights to the Era of Minority Rule – a tyranny of minority interests imposed upon the majority by activist, Woking Class elites which have found the perfect way to gain and maintain power and control over the ‘Little People’ [Dave Cameron].
Our freedoms are vanished without us comprehending their one-way passage into a denied, vilified, cancelled history. The ugly side of humanity will prevail in the decades and centuries ahead.
If this authoritarian madness came to England, I would feel compelled to make copious use of my new right to be a woman.
I would register as a woman, and as a 6′ 2″ male, I will insist that everyone uses my new female pronouns, particularly public servants. Perhaps I’d make the extra effort to look especially male by growing a big beard and dressing like a lumberjack.
Hopefully right thinking men and women (ladies dress as feminine as possible and register as men) would join me, and in doing so expose the absurd regime to such ridicule and public disapproval that it becomes untenable.
If you’re convicted of a crime involving any kind of custodial sentence, you’d be an absolute mug not to whistle up a quick gender change.
Absolutely. Anyone with any intelligence and foresight can see that this is going to be an unmitigated disaster that will inevitably inflict a terrible cost on a large number of women and girls.
In a just world Sturgeon and any MSP voting for this would be subject to potential criminal and civil liability for the damage and suffering their gross negligence in passing this dangerous bill causes to the inevitable victims of it.
In the first quarter of 2021, there were approximately 250 male criminals in California who self-identified as women in order to get into female jails.
Yes, and it is absolute terror for the incarcerated women! I’d also like to point out that this horrid bill which violates the rights, health, and safety of women was introduced by a gay man, Scott Wiener! I am quoting from an article in the Daily Signal: “One biologically male prisoner who was transferred to a women’s prison through these policies is a twice-convicted baby killer who is now incarcerated in the same facility as the mother of his children, who he killed.”
It is utterly horrendous, and so absurd that it’s hard to belief that reality has been turned upside down.
Members of the public don’t really grasp the full implications – they think the outlandish scenarios they hear about are misinformation but I seriously do wonder how this can be imposed on the Scottish public without its consent. J.K. Rowling has likened it to the Poll Tax and I think she’s right
These are fundamental boundary stones in our society which are being shifted without proper scrutiny, with scant interest in the consequences, and against the wishes of the majority of ordinary people. It’s an insurgency that deserves an equally aggressive response. The Law is moot once it throws half the population to the wolves of ideological fashion, and no State can expect obedience under these circumstances. The social contract is broken. Women need to start organising for their own defence throughout Britain.
Once you accept the fundamentally illiberal notion that the government should be in the social engineering business, then you have to accept what follows: social engineering will become the primary focus of government and politics. We will only put an end to this nonsense when we agree that the government’s role is not to engineer the perfect society, righting whatever wrongs that pop into their heads. For now, I can only watch with amusement as the feminists lose control of the very forces they unleashed and hope that one day we re-discover that which was so hastily discarded.
Well said. There was a Times article today about the dual conflicting threads within New Labour, represented by Blair and Brown, and how they will battle again for Keir. Brown put the ideal of equality and redistribution at the heart of all. Blair was for technocratic reform. It is clear now that it was Brown and Equality mania that won. It is a Brownite State we live in now. We cannot now even consider tax cuts to support enterprise and the wealth creators. Its a vile hateful idea!!! Redistribution is all – just ask new recruits Liz and Rishi. Browns tax credits still corrupt the labour market.His splurgy Welfarism is alive and well (the Tories have lied about progress on this front). How else are 5m happy in perma furlough?? The baleful Re Engineering universities they expanded are now are home to a ghastly Ponzi scheme churning out vast armies of sad flatened bewildered grads. Equality is now THE central obsession of the UK State as well as the Left so it is inevitable that the illberal flawed Brownite social revolution will prevail again under Keir. Why wouldnt it? It has flourished under our fake Tories and their masters in the Blob.
Not just the feminists – those supporting gay rights too. The founders of Stonewall are cringing now, aghast that Stonewall has condemned as bigoted a charity, LGB Alliance, set up specifically for gay people.
In a secular age where to mock the Christian who believes in an invisible being ruling over us is commonplace we have elevated the fantasy of the fluidity of sex to a religious level so that legislation now ensures that a denial of this untruth becomes a punishable blasphemy. Who is more primitive in their thinking? One who insists we believe and act on that belief in a clear untruth under pain of punishment or the believer in a story that can’t be disproved even if it may be greeted with scepticism.
Your definition of a Christian: someone “who believes in an invisible being ruling over us” is obviously mischievous! In reality, the sheer volume of philosophical, scientific and historical evidence for the Christian God overwhelms all other religions and non-theistic philosophies. But I suppose that makes your point even more strongly.
Is this why Scotsmen wear kilts?
Very droll Steve.
And going pantless beneath the kilts will no longer provide confirmation that you are a male.
At my wedding I made the best man and the usher, who are thoroughly English blokes, wear the full highland regalia including kilts. I love those photos.
Allowing people to self identify their gender might be kind to a few but it doesn’t seem aligned with the reality that some people will exploit any opportunity for their personal advantage.
Other legislatures have passed measures to define pi as 3.
In either case the laws are nothing to do with reality – they are just political point scoring because they can.
Generosity without wisdom. And indifference to the suffering of women.
Scottish politicians voting for this claimed there is no evidence that male sexual predators will exploit it: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11492797/Four-10-transgender-criminals-prison-guilty-sex-crimes-new-data-shows.html
It’s not just a matter of violence against women. What about women’s privacy? Would many women be happy to share a changing room with naked men?
Yes. In an age where men are demonized as potential rapists, men in dresses are exempt from this stigma.
On wings over Scotland the latest post mentions by name and link to relevant web page all the MSPs who voted against the Thomson amendment.
Remember their names, especially if you think of voting lib dem! (I assume that here no one votes SNP)
Ah, and saintly Forbes is just as guilty, while she is absconding in the bosom of her family. When she comes back she must be just as bad as the others, if not worse.
fight this hard. 19 country’s have self ID now. here in new zealand we are one of them. human rights have been flushed down the toilet. please don’t let this happen to your country. somewhere has to survive this horror.
If self-identification is enough, I would like the Scottish government to recognise my right as self-identified legitimate absolutist ruler of Scotland on such grounds.
… in a few months’ time, no one will be able to trust the evidence of their own eyes.
Of course they will. The point is that a GRC, built on a legal fiction, is not an arbiter of reality. Fiction does not alter material reality.
Human beings are remarkably adept at discerning the sex of another, merely by facial characteristics for example. Punishing someone for acting on the evidence of their own perception so as to make them live by a lie, is tyranny.
It doesn’t matter if this ridiculous law directly harms anyone. It is an attack on reality and thus an assault on all of us.
And for most of the criminals behind it it is just the preliminary bombardment.
The future looks horrendous.
I have for some time wondered – what does Sturgeon self-identify as?
I’m surprised that this is a devolved area at all. It clearly shouldn’t be. I’m also surprised that the Westminster government haven’t said anything. Perhaps they just think “what’s the point?, when labour get in it’ll be a free for all anyway”.
Also with Gordon Brown’s proposals for further devolution we could end up with some regions trans-friendly and some not.
Once upon a time you could get on a plane and fly to the other side of the world and be certain that 2 plus 2 would always equal 4. That however strange the landscape or the customs this would hold as reality.
Soon you will get on a train from Euston and somewhere past Carlisle enter a world where 2 plus 2 no longer equals 4. The people might look the same and speak roughly the same tongue but there reality will no longer exist as you know it.
That will have consequences. This place has a small population compared to the land from Carlisle southwards where for now 2 plus 2 still equals 4. It might be for the best if we in the latter land cut the smaller part adrift as soon as decently possible and even take a loss in doing so. It might make the leaders of the top bit content and free to develop new sums. Such as 2 plus 2 equals infinity or zero or declare that full civil rights should be given to the beavers on the Tay and other rivers . After all beavers work hard and why not ? Anything is possible .
Scots are weird.
I’m not quite sure what we do about food in a trans world. With the rejection and denial of nature and faith will we have cockerels’ eggs, pollen instead of fruit, catkins instead of nuts, bulls’ milk?
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