A robust and consistent approach

The Guardian reports a policy change:

Transgender women have had their right to use Hampstead Heath ponds formalised in a new policy.

The City of London Corporation (CoLC), which manages Hampstead Heath and its ponds, announced that it had adopted a new gender identity policy to make sure services in the area “are fully compliant with the Equality Act 2010, and do not discriminate against trans people”.

In January, the City of London, confirmed that the ladies’ pond – which counts people such as the actor Helena Bonham Carter and novelist Esther Freud among its swimmers – was open to transgender women. That was formalised in an announcement on Thursday that the new rules would “ensure a robust and consistent approach to gender identity”.

But what is “gender identity”? And why does the City of London need to have a robust and consistent approach to it? And, most to the point, what about the other rights? Why is the supposed right of transgender women to use the ladies’ pond more important than the right of women to use it? Why is it bad to discriminate against trans people but fine to discriminate against women? What is the point of having a pond for women and then ruling that men can use it too while bragging about rights?

Edward Lord, the chair of the establishment committee, which leads on the CoLC’s workforce and inclusion policies, said: “All communities should be fully respected, and equality and basic human rights upheld.”

Except those of women.

I could see it if the City of London had decided that sex segregation at the Hampstead ponds was an anachronism and a bad idea in light of moves to segregate Muslim women at university events and the like, but that’s not what this is. This is keeping the sex segregation but saying a particular subset of men have the “right” to creep on women while pretending it’s a matter of respect and equality and basic human rights.

A statement on the CoLC website said the new approach would “minimise potential issues of exclusion and discrimination”.

Will it? How can they know that? How can they know there won’t be women who wonder how anyone one will know that all the trans women are genuinely trans women, with not a single opportunistic dude among them?

The announcement comes after a consultation on attitudes to gender identity held last year received nearly 40,000 responses, of which 21,191 were deemed valid. CoLC said 65% of those valid respondents favoured ensuring trans people did not suffer discrimination.

In other words they threw out nearly half the responses in advance. Well that’s one way to get the desired result.

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