Deep breath, it’s politics and science time on Muscleguy’s blog. I come at this issue as a Biomedical scientist and a brother, father and uncle worried sick about the increased risk to sisters, daughters, wives and nieces and of course cousins and aunts.
Firstly a disclaimer: I have nothing against Trans women or Trans men and wish them no harm whatsoever. The problem is you do not gain rights by trampling all over the rights and protections hard won by a still oppressed group in society. Doing that simply makes you an oppresser.
So by all means call me a TERF or other epthets. I have broad shoulders, I can take it.
This is in support of https://radfemrebecca.com a woman hounded unfairly off Twitter by Trans Rights Activists (TRA’s) wrongly laying complaints. It is also in support of @fairplaywomen and the new LGB Alliance formed because Stonewall is no longer campaigning for anyone other than TRA’s.
As a scientist I can tell you that you cannot change sex. Sex is determined by chromosomes (functioning normally) and there is no known or likely/possible mechanism to swap every Y chromosome for an X or vice versa. Doing so would also not diminish the increased size, muscle mass and bone density of a male body or turn a female body into Mr Universe. It would not make testes secrete oestrogen and progesterone or ovaries descend into a scrotum and just make testosterone. I’m sorry to be the bearer of such science but it is ineluctable and no amount of determined wishful thinking or self declaration will achieve this.
No amount of gender realignment surgery taking advantage of developmental leftovers can achieve this either (the lining of the scrotum is the tunica vaginallis which is a serosa which secretes fluid to stop the testes sticking together thus it can be used to line a ‘vagina’ which functions a bit like a real one. However it is much harder to turn a clitoris into a penis and a functioning one is not possible).
Stonewall spread lies and advice have caused councils to make changing rooms at baths and gyms unisex and turn women’s toilets unisex often leaving the male toilets alone. The Equal Rights Act 2010 makes the protection of women and their single sex spaces law. Legal challenges to this are being mounted in Scotland by civil society.
We are already seeing the downsides. A woman went into the unisex toilets on the ground floor of the Tron in Glasgow and was set upon by a man who admitted he was lying in wait for a woman to attack. A man has been convicted for filming a mother and daughter changing in the next door cubicle of unisex changing rooms. Ignoring the fact that bad actors will and are taking advantage of new unisex facilities to harass and attack women and girls is atrocious beyond words. This is happening and our sisters, daughters, wives, nieces, cousins, aunties are no longer safe.
What is the solution? Trans facilities. Women have had to campaign for decades to get things like public toilets. Active political campaigning and organising and lobbying. Not hounding people on twitter or calling them names. The first public toilets were male only and women had to fight to be included. TRA’s are freeloading on the efforts of women. Get out and raise money and lobby for separate facilities for Trans people. Women have shown you how to do it, the path is clear. Get going. I will support you.
We would all like to live in a perfect world but we don’t and until we get there we have to live in the real world. The real world where self declaration doesn’t trump biology. Where sex and gender are not interchangeable terms. One thing about being a scientist is using terms properly and understanding the need for them. Conflating sex and gender is simply wrong. You will not erase discrimination against Trans people by conflating the two. Those pesky chromosomes are still there, still as ineluctable as always. CRISPR/Cas9 will not rise to your rescue. It cannot do whole chromosomes and there’s a small delivery to every cell (good luck with postmitotic cells) problem. As well as that you cannot revert to an early embryo and go through development again as the ‘right’ sex.
I have had cause to describe myself as a molecular geneticist, no snigger at the back, a mountain of transgenic mice says otherwise. I am also a Developmental Biologist and i understand how male and female reproductive organs and genitals develop. I also understand various conditions lumped into ‘intersex’ and they do not validate anybody’s Trans identity except their own, if they choose. Stop co-opting them.
Stop hitting on the Lesbians and crowding them out of Pride marches. They are another ineluctable fact which no amount of wokeness or wishful thinking will make go away. They can also choose they have sex with and how. A penis is still a penis if you put ‘lady’ in front of it.
I think that’s about it for now. [girds loins for brickbats and epithets]