Updates to the UK’s Gender Recognition Act

Somebody let the TERFs off their leash, and they started braying about how the world is going to collapse if we stop erecting onerous administrative barriers between trans people and accurate ID.

They have no data.

Helen Lewis of the New Statesman separately argued that the proposals will make rape shelters unsafe for women, and lead to people with beards flashing their penises in women’s toilets across the country.

Melanie Phillips of the Spectator, meanwhile, added that it will lead to “oppression, socially engineered dysfunction and the loss of individual freedom”.

But will the sky actually fall in?

We don’t have to look far to find out.

The Republic of Ireland quietly adopted a liberal gender recognition law back in 2015, allowing transgender people to change their gender on a self-declaratory basis by filling out a simple form.

The form to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) in Ireland is just two pages long – compared to the UK, where the process includes a form of 16 pages, plus 24 pages of guidance notes, with several pieces of supporting evidence required on top.

Compared to two years minimum in the UK, you can change your gender in Ireland in just weeks.

Given the sweeping changes, which allow transgender people to gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor or requiring medical treatment, Lewis and co. would presumably expect all women’s toilets in Ireland to have been besieged by bearded penis-flashers.

But it turns out that’s not quite what happened.

Irish government data released earlier this year showed that so far, 240 GRCs have been issued in the country – a modest takeup in a country of 5 million people.

All of the evidence to date suggests the only impact of the law has been affording vital legal recognition to the country’s trans community.

So, how does the TERF argument actually work? A predator files a false change of gender and… then what? Sexual assault is still a crime. Voyeurism is still a crime. The mechanisms of persecution aren’t going to vanish in a puff of smoke because trans people don’t have to file 24 pages of paperwork.



  1. EigenSprocketUK says

    I had a similar conversation about this the other day. If someone goes through everything fundamentally existential that they go through to get to the point of affirming their true gender out loud and in public, the last thing they need is some no-nothing numpty claiming that it might be just a whim and maybe they should think about it some more.

  2. says

    Helen Lewis of the New Statesman separately argued that the proposals will make rape shelters unsafe for women, and lead to people with beards flashing their penises in women’s toilets across the country.

    I did a bit of searching around to find her article, that I might have a chance of understanding it, and finally found it:

    Transgender people face discrimination at work, casual abuse in the street and long waits for NHS care. None of those problems will be addressed by the government’s plan to change gender reassignment to a matter of simple declaration.

    That sounds like a lead-in to “hey, we need to fix discrimination, casual abuse and long waits for health care, also. I sort of expect a journalist to be more experienced at thinky stuff than to start off by weighing oppressions as a way of dismissing a problem.

    And Oohhh

    That’s why feminists have raised the alarm over the move to self-identification, along with some older trans people who fear that “trendsters” will erode the goodwill they have worked hard to acquire.

    She’s really trying to say that it’s feminists raising the alarm about bearded men – nice deflection.

    “Perhaps these underpaid women BBC presenters should write again to Tony Hall and say that from now on they all want to be regarded as men,” joked Channel 4’s Michael Crick. But you can’t identify your way out of the gender pay gap.

    There shouldn’t be pay gaps for any reason other than merit.
    Now, if someone were to tell me that Helen Lewis gets paid substantially less than other journalists who write and think well, I’m going to say “I’m not surprised at all.” But if it were because of gender, identity, politics, or anything else, I’d say “pay staff with comparable experience the same, or fire them outright.”

  3. jazzlet says

    I would go as far as to say that sight unseen if Melanie Phillips supports something I am against it. And I considered describing my reactions to her views as prejudice, but no, it is a reasoned response to the garbage she spouts, admittedly after the initial reaction that tends to be ‘AAAARRRRGGGHHH’ then along the lines of ‘stick her in a privately rented flat trying to claim benefits (with no access to her priviledge or the build up of resources it provides) for say six months, and then lets see how she feels about the oh so many things she is just wrong about.’