The decision in Scotland to allow Gender recognition on the basis of self ID from the age of 16 is bad law.
As someone who is an active advocate of women’s rights, I bear the scars of engaging in the toxic debate around trans rights. I am pleased to say that I have also received the thanks of many women and indeed from a number of medical professionals who feel that gender dysphoria is not widely understood.
In a liberal society we should respect the rights of others to express themselves and identify how they wish - providing that in expressing those rights they are not compromising the rights of anyone else. The truth is that gender self-ID does create a conflict of rights with those of women who wish to have their own spaces. This desire is based on privacy, security and dignity. In a society where violence against women and girls is commonplace the need for our own spaces remains as strong as ever.
This desire is often presented as an irrational fear of transpeople. Our fear is of sexual predators. It is rational to seek to avoid risk from these men. It is self ID that is the problem here – not transpeople.
Our sex is a biological fact. It cannot be changed. Being a woman isn’t just about the clothes you wear. A medical diagnosis is required before issuing a gender recognition certificate so that there is a balance between enabling transition and protecting the rights of women.
Experimenting with image and gender expression is a natural part of growing up. It is extremely common for girls going through puberty to react against the changes happening to their body. We risk putting children on an irreversible course of hormone treatment, sterility and other harmful side effects if we enable self ID at 16. We should let children grow up before encouraging these choices.
I hope a remedy can be found to address the situation in Scotland and I expect the UK Government to do all it can to make Scotland think again