A Twitter thread by @radicalhag
I’ve seen a petition doing the rounds about not criminalising misgendering, which I read briefly and haven’t signed.
It’s complaining about using the police as thought police etc, all of which is true and very alarming in a supposed democracy.
But there’s another point which is niggling me even more. How does policing misgendering not violate Eq2010?
Sex and gender reassignment are both protected characteristics. TW without a GRC are legally male but can still have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if they’ve started the process.
Sex-specific exemptions are *lawful*. So eg Jane runs a DV refuge. A TW requests admission and is refused on the basis that admitting a male would further traumatise the inhabitants.
For simplicity let’s say this is someone who doesn’t have a GRC yet but is still protected by gender reassignment. Jane refers the TW to a shelter which will cater for their needs.
The TW calls the @Humberbeat Woke Stasi, who pay Jane a visit for her misgendering activities (in, let’s say, Cornwall).
How does this not put them in conflict with Eq2010? Jane has acted legally. To invoke sex-based exemptions you must be able to name a person’s sex. Lawyers, pse?
Does this change if the TW has a GRC (the bit we all want clarity on) and if so, how does it not discriminate against the first TW (who is still protected by gender reassignment)?
It all speaks to the impossibility of trying to wodge two completely different characteristics into the same legal category, of course. I fail to see how this can be done without violating women’s Eq2010 rights (yes, we’ll sue).
There is also the public interest issue of DBS and fraud checks etc, which is more pertinent to deadnaming, especially given self-id, as well as the recent EHRC guidance that it is quite legal to see TW as men (so hard to construe this as hate speech, although it’s impolite)
But my main itch is as above – how do you enforce sex-based rights if misgendering is treated as a crime, given that acquired gender obscures sex class?
And why is missexing not an equally severe crime, given that sex is also a protected characteristic?
The police have clearly not done their homework, but the law isn’t fit for purpose either – it encodes these conflicts and hopes women will just budge up. We won’t.