MoD language guide

I wonder if I should add to my email signature block: My preferred pro-nouns are 'Sirs, Ma'ams, Ladies and/or Gents.'
How about just "Scuse ranks, [insert identifier here]"? If its good enough for RAF movers...
 
[Thread Drift]

Many moons ago, I was enthusiastically teaching Fire Control Orders to a group of Welbexian OCdts. One particularly sensible young lady was being most diligent, taking plenty of notes and asking pertinent questions, as befitting one of Her Majesties Potential Officers.

"So, we've talked a bit about target indication and as you can see there are a lot of things we can use in nature as reference points. But, what should we NOT use for the purposes of target indication on the battlefield? Mr Smith?"

"Cars, sir?"

"Yes, Mr Smith! Why would a car would be a bad choice?"

"Because it could drive off?"

"That's right Mr Smith! Excellent work. Any others? Miss Jones?"


Miss Jones, remember, up to this point, had been a model OCdt.

"Well sir, a cow would be a bad choice."

"That's right Miss Jones. Why do you say that?"

"Well sir...."
She put her hands above her head and pokes her fingers out to make horn shapes and completely deadpan, shouts:

"... because it mooooooooooves"



(She is now in the Int Corps, BTW :-D )

[/Thread Drift]

I am nicking that for when I next teach target indication and fire control orders...
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I've noted some places (*) where it would be nice if you gave direct answers - they don't need to be long - rather than general handwaves that are mildly unrelated to my points.
_________________

To start from the end - agreed, if you're a reasonably decent human being, the pamphlet won't make any difference, but then it is unnecessary for you. Not convinced that people who aren't reasonably decent human beings pay much attention to HR pamphlets, which make it unnecessary for them too. So exactly who are these things for? As both an experiential and an evidenced (economics / graph maths) principle, I'm firmly convinced that less centralisation of such rules is almost always preferable to more, so long as you think: most people are not intrinsically badly motivated (I agree). Getting out of their way works, in aggregate, better than micromanaging their responses. All of this argues against such pamphlets in general.

But Britain and particularly the Army are wedded to pamphlets in general, and I'm not going to get desperately excited at that alone. But this isn't a pamphlet in general, which is how your rebuttal seems to address it. It's a pamphlet in detail, and in a context. That is where I have problems with it, and that is where I point the accusations of authoritarianism.

For example, your directing a rebuttal at the idea that I'm reacting to this because of my experience in UK Defence. This is a set of guidelines specifically for UK Defence. I don't pretend that an Australian surfing guide should be treated as if it's going to be implemented by 4 RIFLES. But it is reasonable to think that the UK Defence Language Guide will be relevant to how UK Defence organisations work. So your main objection is simply misdirected - between your civilian optimism and my military cynicism, it's the latter that fits in this case.

So here are some specific, in context, objections:

1. It states "not all women are biologically female". This is not accepted scientific fact in biology. It places the authority of the document firmly on a particular political side in a highly charged debate. The MOD has implicitly put their weight behind that statement. Regardless of the mood music to listen to the views of others, the document nonetheless tells a large proportion of people exercising a (legally confirmed as protected) belief: you are wrong. It's a bit like if it spent 20 pages saying, you should not deny people's religious beliefs, and then on page 21 stated: "Jesus was not the son of God".

As a comparison: while ISIS were throwing gay people off buildings in 2014, there were plenty of their vanguard cheerleaders / recruiters on social media. Of course, these guys didn't advocate throwing the dirty apostate homosexual sinners off buildings. They quite often said that, in their opinion, we should be nice to them, understand the sinners, bring them into the community of God. But note they were still sinners.

This document is pulling the same trick - it doesn't sound like the virulent bullies visible elsewhere, but it accepts their premise. Well, the objection of people like me and - if you want to unwisely denigrate it like that, see point 5 - yes, I'm sure many Daily Mail readers i.e. much of the population, is that we aren't that stupid. This has been the cost to the wider DEI movement of failing to challenge extremist activism and bullying. The rest of us do not trust the nice platitudes from the moderates now. In the same way I don't trust the Taliban's pronouncements about having changed, while quietly hanging bodies in the Herat square, I simply don't trust moderate-sounding DEI advocates. Can this be changed? Yes. Stop supporting bullies.

2. The specific context of an authoritarian organisation. You explicitly assume that you have more say, power and freedom to challenge your work culture and superiors. But equally you acknowledge that may not be true in the military. Well, as I said above - this document applies to the military. Principles which may not be implemented or exploited in authoritarian ways, in an open organisation, can be in a closed one. So I don't quite get your point - it seems to be that this document might be fine if it applied to your company. But it doesn't. It applies to Defence. So, surely it is reasonable for me to behave as if it applies to Defence?*

3. The general context of the moment. Many of the people who are most vocal in objecting to the general direction of DEI initiatives are those who have looked into, or suffered from, the effects of them so far. I have highlighted many of them earlier in the thread, so read if you have not - I see no reference or evidence you have*. As I said previously, I suspect I've simply looked under the carpet of DEI more than you have. Again, while the surface debate and documents often seem quite innocuous, the practical implementation by a small, badly motivated core of extremists has been absolutely toxic: ostracising people for protected beliefs; getting them fired from their job; working to ensure they are never again employed in their chosen careers. So my respone is in that context. People who behave like that are beyond the pale, and anyone who supports them, tacitly or otherwise, is enabling toxic bullying. Given the many examples of such behaviour, I am simply unwilling to give anyone on their side an extra inch. Can this be changed? Yes. Stop supporting bullies.

4. The context of Defence as an organisation. A major problem, and the reason this stuff has become so toxic, is the total capitulation of senior management in many places to the unreasonable demands of extremists. Why they do this is examined elsewhere, but the pattern is, by now, unquestionable. This is what gives such demands their force. If therefore you have faith that senior officers and senior civil servants are uniquely competent, morally courageous, and driven by facts rather than perception, then it would be fair to argue that they might not fold in the same way as previous senior management have. Does this describe your understanding of senior Defence officialdom?*

5. This is, I think, the most interesting bit. You genuinely seem to think that a) this isn't much of a problem, and b) most people agree with you. The research indicates you are wrong. Depending on how you ask the question, the answers in the UK and US consistently come in at anywhere from small to very large majorities against speech codes, offense codes, and against "political correctness". The only places they occasionally get small majorities for them are European countries that have had speech codes for 60 years (Germany) and a totally different culture associated with them, but even then they are hardly resoundingly popular.

I am very curious what makes you think otherwise?* It is certainly possible, if you read a fairly narrow selection of even mainstream media, to not hear about this, but sources like The Atlantic and YouGov are neither obviously right-wing nor habitually unreliable. Will you consider that your statements about "the bulk of the UK" are at best a wild overstatement, or - if you are going to stick to the existing research - quite likely wrong?*

Finally, two questions which I think are fundamental to establishing good faith in these unfortunately fraught topics. The reason I do this can be found in literature on negotiation, but also because it's curious how many people fail to pick up the implied cue and do so without prompting. Note in advance that this is side-agnostic and I do and already have agreed to both statements.

A: Do you acknowledge that there are bad faith actors and extremists in this debate?
b: Do you disavow bullying, attempts to silence, and using force to attack opponents in this debate?

Yes, those are deliberately widely drafted.
 
I'll start with the questions you asked at the very end...
A: Do you acknowledge that there are bad faith actors and extremists in this debate?
b: Do you disavow bullying, attempts to silence, and using force to attack opponents in this debate?
A: Of course
B: Absolutely

It's also possible that the bad faith isn't just where you think it is. For instance, the efforts to make "Gender" a headline item. It's a gateway; just like those posts on Facebook that make a statement about how "people died for that Poppy, and that it isn't political, click if you agree!" that turn out to be from users who have a suspicious enthusiasm for flag-waving, jingoistic, nationalism, or a love of Turning Point UK. As a rather different example, our old Padre is a friend on Instagram; while I'm an atheist, I liked one of the posts he forwarded - to my irritation, I've had Christian memes and suggestions popping up on my feed ever since.

Like it or not, some extremist organisations have seized on the Gender debate with glee. It's an instant and obvious turnoff to make statements about Muslims, Jews, or Gays/Lesbians - but push out some statements about "how it's obvious", and some assertions about changing rooms or self-identification? Wonderful piece of target identification. If I was trying to make a joke, I'd mutter about astroterfed movements...


So here are some specific, in context, objections:

1. It states "not all women are biologically female". This is not accepted scientific fact in biology. It places the authority of the document firmly on a particular political side in a highly charged debate. The MOD has implicitly put their weight behind that statement. Regardless of the mood music to listen to the views of others, the document nonetheless tells a large proportion of people exercising a (legally confirmed as protected) belief: you are wrong. It's a bit like if it spent 20 pages saying, you should not deny people's religious beliefs, and then on page 21 stated: "Jesus was not the son of God".

A significant percentage of live births are intersex. That's somewhere between tens to hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, even if you use the most conservative estimates of prevalance, and the narrowest definitions...

So be careful about what you insist "isn't an accepted scientific fact". Those words have been devalued by every polemicist trying to deny an inconvenient truth - the effectiveness of COVID vaccines, anthropogenic climate change, the dangers of smoking.

I rather like Oliver Cromwell's famous line; you may not believe me, but I generally run this against my own opinions (be that Brexit, or Scottish Independence; I voted against both, but I could be wrong):
"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

As a comparison: while ISIS were throwing gay people off buildings in 2014, there were plenty of their vanguard cheerleaders / recruiters on social media. Of course, these guys didn't advocate throwing the dirty apostate homosexual sinners off buildings. They quite often said that, in their opinion, we should be nice to them, understand the sinners, bring them into the community of God. But note they were still sinners.

This document is pulling the same trick - it doesn't sound like the virulent bullies visible elsewhere, but it accepts their premise. Well, the objection of people like me and - if you want to unwisely denigrate it like that, see point 5 - yes, I'm sure many Daily Mail readers i.e. much of the population, is that we aren't that stupid. This has been the cost to the wider DEI movement of failing to challenge extremist activism and bullying. The rest of us do not trust the nice platitudes from the moderates now. In the same way I don't trust the Taliban's pronouncements about having changed, while quietly hanging bodies in the Herat square, I simply don't trust moderate-sounding DEI advocates. Can this be changed? Yes. Stop supporting bullies.

Hold on - who's doing the bullying and extremism here? The narrow-minded people throwing gay people off buildings, and hanging their political opponents? Or the transsexuals just trying to get on with their lives, and asking not to be the latest vehicle for extremist propaganda efforts?

Because this is where we differ. I haven't seen bullying from LGBT activists - but I've seen bullying by bigots and homophobes. Look back at your school experience - were there many gangs of gay men terrorising the rugby team? Or was it more likely the toxic twats making life a living hell for anyone insufficiently "sporty" or "macho"?

2. The specific context of an authoritarian organisation. You explicitly assume that you have more say, power and freedom to challenge your work culture and superiors. But equally you acknowledge that may not be true in the military. Well, as I said above - this document applies to the military. Principles which may not be implemented or exploited in authoritarian ways, in an open organisation, can be in a closed one. So I don't quite get your point - it seems to be that this document might be fine if it applied to your company. But it doesn't. It applies to Defence. So, surely it is reasonable for me to behave as if it applies to Defence?*
And here's where I quote those parts of the document marked "This guide is not..." (page 4 of the rather helpful link you provided). You're saying that the document is the first step towards abuse and bullying, within an organisation that demonstrably already has problems with abuse and bullying.

Again, I must have missed something here - is there really much risk of all those angry young homosexuals becoming the terrors and bullies of the Regiment? And where there are cliques of terrifying lesbians, did they ever succeed in hanging bodies in Herat Square or throwing young straight men to their deaths?

Or are you worried that straight men will abuse other straight men, because this is just the excuse they need, they've never done it before, it's the first step on that slippery slope?

I am very curious what makes you think otherwise?* It is certainly possible, if you read a fairly narrow selection of even mainstream media, to not hear about this, but sources like The Atlantic and YouGov are neither obviously right-wing nor habitually unreliable. Will you consider that your statements about "the bulk of the UK" are at best a wild overstatement, or - if you are going to stick to the existing research - quite likely wrong?*

My younger son is gay. I look around at his schoolfriends, at the students in firstborn's University flat, and the tale is one of acceptance and tolerance: "it's who he is". I know two trans women. One at work, who wasn't "out" - I'd occasionally give her a lift home, because the bus routes can be a sod. The other from our club; and who announced her transition to be met by near-universal support (yes, I'm aware that non-support would have been silent, but nobody yelled "burn the witch"). My more-conservative-than-me beloved's PA became a trans man - she was nothing but supportive, and watching her explain the transition to our (then) eight and ten-year-old sons was impressive.

About a decade ago, on this site, a serving SNCO described in great detail her transition - her experiences, her background, what made her go through with it. The medical aspects, again in detail. The ways in which she tried to be mindful of, and coped with, other peoples' opinions. She also described the support she got in her Mess, from the RSM downwards. Her description of her colleagues' behaviour (and the majority of the readers on the site, at the time) was closer to my position, than to that of the Daily Mail. I don't think anyone who read those threads at the time, could be unsympathetic or doubtful. The people who I know, who know transgender people, are in the great majority accepting of their decisions. As with many other areas of disagreement, it's often the people who have no personal experience who seem to be the most "against" stuff - e.g. Merthyr Tydfil against EU immigration, non-domiciled newspaper owners against UK taxes...

So yes, I do accept that "slippery slope" arguments are valid - my skepticism is that an "inclusive language" guide is a good example, and the first step on the road to a Thought Police. If you want to see me worry about "slippery slopes", I worry about my son's future - because whipping up fervour against transsexuals is very definitely a first step for the hatemongers; we know exactly who they'll go for next, because history (sadly) supports my perspective rather than yours.

You asked for specific examples. Fine. The people who delivered Clause 28 in the UK, or its equivalents in Russia, or Hungary, or Nigeria; are just itching to get back on that bandwagon. Even the USA only accepted gay service personnel ten years ago (and still has politicians trying to ban transgender personnel). You keep insisting that it's the LGBT activists who are the intolerant, writing the Nuremberg Laws, sitting on the "wrong side of history"; please do give similar examples where they've achieved anything similar in law?
 
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1. It states "not all women are biologically female". This is not accepted scientific fact in biology. It places the authority of the document firmly on a particular political side in a highly charged debate. The MOD has implicitly put their weight behind that statement.
Butting in but this seemed an odd point to argue.

As I understand things the MoD have no choice in that. If someone is legally recognised as female the MoD have to follow the law. The alternative would be to put in writing that transgender women are not actually women which falls foul of various bits of legislation (equality act and hate speech for a start).

Unless I'm missing something?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
@Gravelbelly If it's ok, I'm going to do a quick response to what I can read fast, as I don't have time to read fully. First off, thanks for agreeing with the statements about extremism and bullying, I'm glad you do.

A) Yes, many online profiles / preferences will lead to rabbitholes. The same applies to far-left, far-right, Islamism, etc. I've done research on this all around the world, all the clean profiles I make get clogged up with the ideological flavour researched. None of this is a reason not to engage in the above the line debates which can lead there - your criticism is of Facebook etc algorithms, not the ideas. Are you suggesting that because social media sites won't change their business model, the rest of the world cannot talk about anything vaguely controversial? Not sure I understand your point.

B) Incorrect definition of "biological female" with intersex - it's about chromosomes, not presentation. Besides, that is not what the inclusion in the document was about, and you know it. Ten years ago the statement was uncontroversial. There has been no major intersex activist movement since then that exerts huge social pressure on people who disagree with them. Are we to believe that now the MOD now feels inclined to mention this tiny group with no public presence, entirely coincidentally to the very vocal trans activist group demanding the same thing? I think not.

C) You haven't seen bullying by LGBT activists? This is why I keep saying: I'm not sure you've been paying attention. Here's the live updated record of bullying by LGBT activists: www.twitter.com I have also previously linked many examples of people being demonised and chased out of their livelihoods by the same, including L G B and even T people. Try addressing those rather than saying you haven't seen it on your street. Yet. How do you square this with the fact that the founders of Stonewall have publicly disavowed what they see as bullying by the 'next generation' of LGBT activists?

D) This point requires more depth than this paragraph ("is the risk really from angry young homosexuals..."). No, of course not, and of course, I didn't say anything like that. I did say there is a core of bad faith activists who act like bullies, but more pertinently, the real damage is done by supine and cowardly administrators and managers who institute terrible decisions and policies under pressure from said activists. The reasons for this are many and complex, and for another time. But, again, there is very clear evidence over nearly 5 years that this has consistently happened. I'd like you to engage with that evidence that I've been throwing up over however many pages: if we have not yet reached the point that you will acknowledge it has been happening, it's pretty difficult to establish a shared reality to discuss.

The rest - I'll address when I can read and consider with more time.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Butting in but this seemed an odd point to argue.

As I understand things the MoD have no choice in that. If someone is legally recognised as female the MoD have to follow the law. The alternative would be to put in writing that transgender women are not actually women which falls foul of various bits of legislation (equality act and hate speech for a start).

Unless I'm missing something?
You are missing something.

The idea that "transgender women are women" has no legal grounding. It can be a belief, it might even be a protected belief (as defined in legislation) but it isn't yet clear that it is a protected belief. The sparse case law on the topic is a study in contradiction, which is why you continually hear of one judgement saying A being contradicted by an appeal saying B.

Regardless, the idea that biological females are women has considerable legal grounding, including in acknowledgement of science, the legal definition of women, and various legal protections for women. Various womens rights are also clearly stated as a protected belief.

The current debate is intractable because it involves what's called a rights conflict - one legal or argued right that directly contradicts another legal or argued right: in this case, the idea that men can become women (particularly through self-ID) invalidates many of the criteria on which womens rights are based. Rights conflicts exist, and in some number, but currently the political debate likes to pretend that they do not. Generally conflicts get solved, or at least addressed, through legal decisions which establish precedents.

Classic rights conflicts:
  • When free speech infringes on the rights of others (generally understood as you can say anything that doesn't immediately cause harm to others);
  • Right of an embryo / foetus / baby to life vs right of a woman to make decisions about her own body
  • Right of states or individuals to defend themselves against attack and how (often raised as the "when can you shoot an intruder" problem)
This is clearly another one, but much of the media and politicians refuse to admit this is the case. The bizarre thing is that institutions like the MOD have taken the (presently) weakest side - they behave as if the (not yet legally determined) rights of trans people are inviolable, while the (legally enshrined) rights of women can be disregarded.

PS The issue is not primarily around fully transitioned people who are legally recognised as women - it's around the idea of self-ID, which is not UK law, but in principle would mean anyone could choose their gender and be legally recognised as such without anything further.
 
You are missing something.

The idea that "transgender women are women" has no legal grounding. It can be a belief, it might even be a protected belief (as defined in legislation) but it isn't yet clear that it is a protected belief. The sparse case law on the topic is a study in contradiction, which is why you continually hear of one judgement saying A being contradicted by an appeal saying B.

Regardless, the idea that biological females are women has considerable legal grounding, including in acknowledgement of science, the legal definition of women, and various legal protections for women. Various womens rights are also clearly stated as a protected belief.

The current debate is intractable because it involves what's called a rights conflict - one legal or argued right that directly contradicts another legal or argued right: in this case, the idea that men can become women (particularly through self-ID) invalidates many of the criteria on which womens rights are based. Rights conflicts exist, and in some number, but currently the political debate likes to pretend that they do not. Generally conflicts get solved, or at least addressed, through legal decisions which establish precedents.

Classic rights conflicts:
  • When free speech infringes on the rights of others (generally understood as you can say anything that doesn't immediately cause harm to others);
  • Right of an embryo / foetus / baby to life vs right of a woman to make decisions about her own body
  • Right of states or individuals to defend themselves against attack and how (often raised as the "when can you shoot an intruder" problem)
This is clearly another one, but much of the media and politicians refuse to admit this is the case. The bizarre thing is that institutions like the MOD have taken the (presently) weakest side - they behave as if the (not yet legally determined) rights of trans people are inviolable, while the (legally enshrined) rights of women can be disregarded.

PS The issue is not primarily around fully transitioned people who are legally recognised as women - it's around the idea of self-ID, which is not UK law, but in principle would mean anyone could choose their gender and be legally recognised as such without anything further.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I still don't see how the MoD have any other option as once someone is recognised as having changed from male to female they are legally female, even though they will have their original male DNA.

I agree that self-identification would be a very dangerous idea.
 
I agree that self-identification would be a very dangerous idea.

This seems to me, as something that has been propagandised by bad faith actors; the notion that somehow, a trans person "just self-identifies". The implication being that some weirdo can wake up one morning, decide that they're now trans, announce that the rest of the world MUST now treat them that way, and promptly uses it to perve in the womens' changing room / enter the Olympics as a woman. And once they've had their jollies, changes their mind. Because that's what it sounds like. Cue the moral panic.

Except, that's not how it works: here's the BBC summary of the current situation in the UK. The British Medical Association supports an approach of a sworn, witnessed, statement: that is what "self-identification" means.

Question 1: Do we accept that a very few people are genuinely born with the "wrong" genitalia? That transsexuals are a real thing, and here to stay? The law says yes.
Caveat A: there are going to be people for whom reassigment isn't the correct solution. The NHS appears to have a reasonable attitude; it's why the Tavistock clinic only puts a small percentage of the 16-18 year olds that it treats, onto puberty blockers. AFAICT pushy woke parents and depressed teenagers aren't typically making over-hasty life-changing choices, in spite of anecdata.
Caveat B: of the very few people who make it through all of the assessments, waiting periods, and reassign, another very small percentage of them will discover that they shouldn't have. No system is perfect. So...does this mean that absolutely no-one should reassignment surgery? Or just that we need to develop better assessments?

Question 2: How, then, does someone who is genuinely gender-dysphoric proceed (see the BBC link above)? What is their first step? How do they demonstrate that this is real, is serious? Are there enough qualified medics across the UK, to support them?
Caveat C: AIUI, there aren't enough medics to keep the reassignment surgery waiting lists down, even for those for whom the NHS agrees it's fully appropriate. It's why many trans people travel abroad to be treated privately.

Question 3: How do we treat people in the interval between that first step, and them having fully-adjusted hormone levels / surgery? Do we make that interval period humane, or do we make it hellish? Should they have to carry a certificate everywhere, to prove themselves to the Toilet Police?

Question 4: Where does the real risk lie? @Sarastro has pointed out the instance of a trans woman who raped and abused while placed in a Womens' Prison.
  • Do you think that more trans women be raped and abused by men in a mens' prison, than cis women will be raped and abused by trans women in a womens' prison? @Sadurian mentioned his experience of that.
  • Which do you think is more likely: that a man will go through a legal process of gender reassignment to gain entry to womens' spaces just to physically abuse them / spy on them, or that a rapist will just walk in anyway (or the pervert plant a camera)?
 
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enpointe

Old-Salt
You are missing something.

The idea that "transgender women are women" has no legal grounding. It can be a belief, it might even be a protected belief (as defined in legislation) but it isn't yet clear that it is a protected belief. The sparse case law on the topic is a study in contradiction, which is why you continually hear of one judgement saying A being contradicted by an appeal saying B.

Regardless, the idea that biological females are women has considerable legal grounding, including in acknowledgement of science, the legal definition of women, and various legal protections for women. Various womens rights are also clearly stated as a protected belief.

The current debate is intractable because it involves what's called a rights conflict - one legal or argued right that directly contradicts another legal or argued right: in this case, the idea that men can become women (particularly through self-ID) invalidates many of the criteria on which womens rights are based. Rights conflicts exist, and in some number, but currently the political debate likes to pretend that they do not. Generally conflicts get solved, or at least addressed, through legal decisions which establish precedents.

Classic rights conflicts:
  • When free speech infringes on the rights of others (generally understood as you can say anything that doesn't immediately cause harm to others);
  • Right of an embryo / foetus / baby to life vs right of a woman to make decisions about her own body
  • Right of states or individuals to defend themselves against attack and how (often raised as the "when can you shoot an intruder" problem)
This is clearly another one, but much of the media and politicians refuse to admit this is the case. The bizarre thing is that institutions like the MOD have taken the (presently) weakest side - they behave as if the (not yet legally determined) rights of trans people are inviolable, while the (legally enshrined) rights of women can be disregarded.

PS The issue is not primarily around fully transitioned people who are legally recognised as women - it's around the idea of self-ID, which is not UK law, but in principle would mean anyone could choose their gender and be legally recognised as such without anything further.

i suggest you familiarise yourself with the Equality act 2010 , specifically section7 thereof,

it is also quite clear you have no idea what self ID means , how it operates in terms of relationship to S7 of the Equality act or how it would interact wit hthe issue if a Gender Recognition Certificate and the associated correction of Documents

are you aware which documents this actually impacts and which have been self-ID or other than GRC for 20 + years ?
 

enpointe

Old-Salt
This seems to me, as something that has been propagandised by bad faith actors; the notion that somehow, a trans person "just self-identifies". The implication being that some weirdo can wake up one morning, decide that they're now trans, announce that the rest of the world MUST now treat them that way, and promptly uses it to perve in the womens' changing room / enter the Olympics as a woman. And once they've had their jollies, changes their mind. Because that's what it sounds like. Cue the moral panic.

Except, that's not how it works: here's the BBC summary of the current situation in the UK. The British Medical Association supports an approach of a sworn, witnessed, statement: that is what "self-identification" means.

Question 1: Do we accept that a very few people are genuinely born with the "wrong" genitalia? That transsexuals are a real thing, and here to stay? The law says yes.
Caveat A: there are going to be people for whom reassigment isn't the correct solution. The NHS appears to have a reasonable attitude; it's why the Tavistock clinic only puts a small percentage of the 16-18 year olds that it treats, onto puberty blockers. AFAICT pushy woke parents and depressed teenagers aren't typically making over-hasty life-changing choices, in spite of anecdata.
Caveat B: of the very few people who make it through all of the assessments, waiting periods, and reassign, another very small percentage of them will discover that they shouldn't have. No system is perfect. So...does this mean that absolutely no-one should reassignment surgery? Or just that we need to develop better assessments?

Question 2: How, then, does someone who is genuinely gender-dysphoric proceed (see the BBC link above)? What is their first step? How do they demonstrate that this is real, is serious? Are there enough qualified medics across the UK, to support them?
Caveat C: AIUI, there aren't enough medics to keep the reassignment surgery waiting lists down, even for those for whom the NHS agrees it's fully appropriate. It's why many trans people travel abroad to be treated privately.

Question 3: How do we treat people in the interval between that first step, and them having fully-adjusted hormone levels / surgery? Do we make that interval period humane, or do we make it hellish? Should they have to carry a certificate everywhere, to prove themselves to the Toilet Police?

Question 4: Where does the real risk lie? @Sarastro has pointed out the instance of a trans woman who raped and abused while placed in a Womens' Prison.
  • Do you think that more trans women be raped and abused by men in a mens' prison, than cis women will be raped and abused by trans women in a womens' prison? @Sadurian mentioned his experience of that.
  • Which do you think is more likely: that a man will go through a legal process of gender reassignment to gain entry to womens' spaces just to physically abuse them / spy on them, or that a rapist will just walk in anyway (or the pervert plant a camera)?
q1 caveat A and B - the rate of desistence and de transition on a permanent basis is 0.3 %

the approach GIDS take is not evidence based and is 30 years out of date , look at the Australian, Canadian , NZ or Spanish guidelines as the current state of the art in evidence based care for trans yuong people
 

enpointe

Old-Salt
Thanks for the detailed reply. I still don't see how the MoD have any other option as once someone is recognised as having changed from male to female they are legally female, even though they will have their original male DNA.

I agree that self-identification would be a very dangerous idea.
do you understand what the law currently says , as it appears you don;t understand what S7 Equality Act 2010 means ?
 
q1 caveat A and B - the rate of desistence and de transition on a permanent basis is 0.3 %

the approach GIDS take is not evidence based and is 30 years out of date , look at the Australian, Canadian , NZ or Spanish guidelines as the current state of the art in evidence based care for trans yuong people

You sound like the Captain of the Vogon constructor fleet.

Please don't read us any poetry.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
This seems to me, as something that has been propagandised by bad faith actors; the notion that somehow, a trans person "just self-identifies". The implication being that some weirdo can wake up one morning, decide that they're now trans, announce that the rest of the world MUST now treat them that way, and promptly uses it to perve in the womens' changing room / enter the Olympics as a woman. And once they've had their jollies, changes their mind. Because that's what it sounds like. Cue the moral panic.

Except, that's not how it works: here's the BBC summary of the current situation in the UK. The British Medical Association supports an approach of a sworn, witnessed, statement: that is what "self-identification" means.
There is a bit of a paradox here, but it doesn't necessarily originate on the "anti-trans" side.

Yes, it's not how it works at the moment. Those opposed to self-ID are arguing for the law to essentially stay as it is. But the trans activist side are arguing for changes, and it's the exact changes that are under debate or concerning. The issue with that is then: which activists do you listen to? There is a fair range, and many of them are quite seriously demanding the version of self-ID you describe as a moral panic. Bear in mind both the BBC and the BMA are not sources in this, they are riders and hangers-on - the BMA in particular are a union who get barely any of their demands about doctors, it's not clear why you would think they have much influence on this one.

So when people raise the idea of unfettered self-ID, it's because they are quoting back the stated demands of some (of course not all) activists.

Combine this with advice such as in this document here which makes various recommendations, including:
  • "NGOs need to intervene early in the legislative process and ideally before it has even started. This will give them far greater ability to shape the government agenda and the ultimate proposal than if they intervene after the government has already started to develop its own proposals.";
  • "another technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure."
You can add to that's Stonewall's wheeze of funding their campaigns by getting large corporations, including the MOD, to pay them to consult/draft on their DEI policies. All this together means there are reasonable grounds to question how good faith their approach to debate on the subject is: bypass the public, go direct to government, write government policy yourself. None of this adheres to democratic norms.

I'd strongly suggest that the reason a slippery slope argument is needed here, and the reason people decreasingly trust the trans rights side, is because they have been extraordinarily poorly represented by certain activists and organisations who have massively overreached themselves. If those activists and organisations (the bad faith actors) were cut out of the debate, things might improve - but they have not been.

It's largely about mistrust, but that mistrust has been earned.

In addition: (still short on time)
Q1 A might apply to the UK at present. It massively does not apply to northern America, where there have been huge upswings in presentation as gender dysphoric, the reasons for which are extremely murky (likely a combination of availability due to press coverage; internet echo chambers; and pressure on diagnostic criteria and psychiatrists to affirm as a default). The argument is precisely whether we should be more north America.

Q1 B - of course not, but much more data is required. We simply don't know how prevalent this is at the moment, which should be of concern.

Q2 - no, but this is a resource problem, not the "how do we deal with it in principle" problem we have been discussing. You need to sort out the principle first.

Q3 - of course we shouldn't aim to make anything hellish, but as previously rights conflicts do exist, so neither should we pretend that "best" for one group cannot impact on "best" for another group. Balance is required.

Q4 - is more complex, because you are almost certainly correct, but both raise the issue of: what happens when badly motivated individuals exploit the gap between respecting those differences and not. The argument from women's groups is simply: of course badly motivated individuals will exploit it, which is already what has happened - quite recently in the news in California, despite the Guardian et al trying to pretend initially it didn't happen.
 
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Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
q1 caveat A and B - the rate of desistence and de transition on a permanent basis is 0.3 %
Curious that basically every opinion from practitioners I've read says: we don't know what the detransition rates are because no valid studies have been conducted.

Can you link the source of studies or statistics you're citing please?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I think this article sums up the effects I'm trying to get at quite well. Rather than smooth a transition to a point were basically everyone accepts the minority group rights within a short period (example: change to LGB openly serving in Defence twenty years ago), I suspect current activists have created an environment as described above, where we have simply traded the minority's discomfort for the majority's discomfort. That is unlikely to last well for the minority in the long term; or it will require increasingly authoritarian policing of a dissenting majority.
 
do you understand what the law currently says , as it appears you don;t understand what S7 Equality Act 2010 means ?
I don't pretend to be an expert, no. My understanding is that the act identifies various characteristics that may cause people to be discriminated against, specifically bans employers from discriminating against those identified characeristics and requires employers to make reasonable adjustments if necessary.

Being transgender is one of those protected characteristics. It therefore follows that if John becomes Jane, goes through sex reassignment surgery, has a government gender certificate, has changed their name and sex on their passport etc. they are legally considered a woman.

To call them a man or continue to refer to them as John would seem to be discriminatory ie. treating them differently to other women because they used to be a man. It would also not be making a reasonable adjustment to their work environment as it could easily be solved by treating them like a woman.
 
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This seems to me, as something that has been propagandised by bad faith actors; the notion that somehow, a trans person "just self-identifies". The implication being that some weirdo can wake up one morning, decide that they're now trans, announce that the rest of the world MUST now treat them that way, and promptly uses it to perve in the womens' changing room / enter the Olympics as a woman. And once they've had their jollies, changes their mind. Because that's what it sounds like. Cue the moral panic.
No moral panic but what you have described is what I think is currently happening with a number of young teenagers (apart from the perving in the changing rooms bit). I won't drag this off topic but I've mentioned it before in the Poor Education Standards thread.

It's another case of words being used correctly by both sides but meaning very different things.
 

Yokel

LE
I don't pretend to be an expert, no. My understanding is that the act identifies various characteristics that may cause people to be discriminated against, specifically bans employers from discriminating against those identified characeristics and requires employers to make reasonable adjustments if necessary.

Being transgender is one of those protected characteristics. It therefore follows that if John becomes Jane, goes through sex reassignment surgery, has a government gender certificate, has changed their name and sex on their passport etc. they are legally considered a woman.

To call them a man or continue to refer to them as John would seem to be discriminatory ie. treating them differently to other women because they used to be a man. It would also not be making a reasonable adjustment to their work environment as it could easily be solved by treating them like a woman.

I fail to understand why people cannot accept the difference between genetic and functional/gender - the XX or XY chromosomes are in every cell of the body. As such biological sex/gender is real. Surgery and hormones cannot change that. However, the majority of sexual characteristics are controlled by hormones, and physical things can be changed either as the result of taking hormones or by surgery, and the person can function as such, regardless of what the chromosomes say.

I am not sure why so many people have difficulty with this.
 

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