This notion that we should…

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A Twitter thread by @radicalhag

This notion that we should open up women’s spaces because “a sign on a door won’t stop a sex offender anyway” is bizarre and, I think, very misogynistic.

A determined burglar will get into your house if he wants to. But nobody suggests that we shouldn’t lock the front door or have burglar alarms as a result. We understand the value of a deterrent, which will stop some burglaries if not all.

We understand that the deterrent is worth it because of those burglaries it will prevent. We don’t rip off our locks to appear more friendly, because we know that by having a deterrent in place we reduce our risk of being burgled.

But women’s safety and privacy is apparently so undervalued that we are not supposed to use women-only spaces as a deterrent, as places where anyone male-presenting is not permitted and can be asked to leave or forcibly removed.

This is so that the identity of any man who claims to be a woman can be validated, whether he is a transsexual who has gone through full SRS or whether he is Danielle Muscato. The price is a higher rate of sexual assault on women; apparently this is acceptable.

Women, it seems, can be raped and murdered at higher rates, as long as men’s identities are validated.
This is wrong; in fact it’s evil. Christopher Hambrook should never have been able to gain access to his victims in the first place.

Our response to all the incidents like Hambrook and others should be “never again”. We should acknowledge the risk and immediately modify our policies to ensure that women are protected. Why are we instead faced with greater risks to our spaces and greater demands for access?

When it comes to spaces in which women are vulnerable, what matters is sex, not gender. We have to be able to name sex to get the right policies established, and constant accusations of misgendering are disingenuous, dangerous and an attempt to silence us.

Accusations that we are trying to deny trans people healthcare, facilities and a place to pee are even more disingenuous. When we are trying to protect ourselves from male violence, the gender identity of the male is irrelevant.

And what matters in this regard is that most violence is committed by males. Nobody thinks that all transwomen are deranged perverts any more than we think all men are deranged perverts. Males are simply much more likely to aggress than females, and are thus a higher risk.

Nothing prevents us being kind and courteous to trans people (and being rude or harassing them is unacceptable). We can do our best to understand their needs and support them in campaigning for the provision of healthcare, facilities, additional gender-neutral toilets etc.

We can be good allies.
But what we should reject is
a) the conflation of trans rights with automatic access to sex-segregated spaces – they are independent
b) the notion that if we do not do a perfect job of validating someone’s identity, this is transphobia.

No-one is entitled to validation, or the obedient adoption of their belief system. And they are certainly not entitled to it at the expense of women’s physical safety. To suggest that there is any equivalence here is moral bankruptcy and extreme misogyny.

Worth noting that this data suggests that 9 out 10 offences will be prevented by keeping single-sex spaces. They *are* a good deterrent.