The social networking giant, Twitter, censored tweets which state what the women say are ‘basic, incontrovertible biological facts’, claiming the content goes against its ‘hateful conduct’ policy. The group, Fair Play for Women, wrote an open letter to Martha Lane Fox, a peer who also sits on the board of Twitter, asking her to help stop their views being silenced. She is yet to respond to them. The letter speaks out against a ‘concerted attack on women’s free speech’.
Fair Play For Women describes itself as ‘a group of ordinary women who are concerned that in the rush to reform transgender laws women’s voices will not be listened to’. It said: ‘Online, women are threatened with violence for saying things that should not be controversial, but have become so. For saying that males cannot become females. For saying that women do not have penises. Women must not be shamed or silenced for speaking the reality.’
Meanwhile, as the Scottish Government consider liberalising the law to make it easier to ‘change sex’, Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner, Bruce Adamson, a former lawyer and family law specialist, claimed that denying children the right to legally change sex could breach the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also said children as young as 12 should be allowed to make the life-changing decision without parental approval.
However, the Faculty of Advocates said a child could be unduly influenced by a single person, referencing a case in England of a boy who was forced to live as a girl by his mother.
Arbury Primary School in Cambridge has been telling children that calling someone by the ‘wrong’ pronoun is ‘illegal’. Children are allowed to use whichever toilets match their chosen gender identity, and it urges parents to change their child’s name by deed poll if they ‘change gender’, in guidance which is being used by a number of other schools.
David Davies MP criticised the school’s ‘completely irresponsible’ advice, saying: ‘It’s ludicrous that a school would suggest something as radical as a legal name change for children this young.’ He added that the school should instead concentrate on teaching pupils reading, writing and arithmetic.
Open door to abuse
Schools in the Vale of Glamorgan have also issued transgender advice, which says that boys who say they are girls will be allowed to share sleeping quarters with girls on school trips. The guidance states that ‘trans pupils and students should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity’.
The Youth Hostel Association’s new Inclusion and Diversity policy also invites transgender guests ‘to use the accommodation and facilities which match their gender identity’.