Medical evidence of gender dysphoria

Yes but this all misses the point.

Scottish ministers are facing a massive public backlash over their planned gender recognition reforms, according to a poll.

A Panelbase survey suggests the vast majority of voters in Scotland (71 per cent) oppose their plan to let people officially change gender quickly without providing medical evidence of gender dysphoria. Ministers plan to allow trans people to apply for a gender recognition certificate after declaring that they have lived in their acquired gender for three months, and then wait just three months for the certificate to be granted.

The plan follows complaints that current procedures, which can mean transgender people wait for two years for formal recognition, are bureaucratic, invasive and humiliating. This month the Scottish government announced £2 million of funding for gender identity services to help cut waiting times for trans healthcare.

One, what would “medical evidence of gender dysphoria” be? That’s a real question, not a sarcastic one. Dysphoria is a mental state; how does one provide medical evidence of a mental state?

But two, length of time really shouldn’t be the issue or the solution. People should be able to “change gender” at a moment’s notice, just as they can change their political allegiances, their religion, their taste in literature, their favorite color, their haircut. People can’t change their sex, and changing gender needs to be understood as similar to changing an allegiance, not as actually magically becoming the opposite sex.

The poll finds a high level of concern over the implications of gender recognition reforms for spaces currently confined to those who are biologically female, a concern shared by some of the SNP’s own parliamentarians.

Just over two thirds (67 per cent) believed trans-women should not gain full access to female-only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards and women’s refuges if they still have a penis, while a third who expressed an opinion thought they should.

At the same time, 86 per cent believe that women and girls have the right to expect to be able to receive care, including intimate care, from biologically female staff in hospitals, care homes and rape crisis centres while 14 per cent disagree.

The first is penis or no penis, the second is woman or not. I think the woman or not bit matters a lot more than the penis or no bit.

The SNP MP Joanna Cherry, a vocal critic of aspects of the proposed gender recognition changes, said: “These poll findings are stark and demonstrate very significant public opposition to the government’s current proposals for self-identification of sex.”

She said that Scotland had very good rights-based protections for women and girls and for trans people but warned: “We are at risk of undermining this if we do not seek to address the significant problems with the planned legislation.”

At risk of driving a tank through it.

Marion Calder, co-founder of For Women Scotland, a feminist group, said that ministers were “rushing into legislation with no regard as to the impact on women’s rights, and have completely forgotten as to why we sometimes need to separate spaces by sex”.

She added: “Allowing the teaching in schools of the ideology that it is possible to change sex will have far-reaching and damaging consequences for Scottish children, which the Scottish government will have to address in the not-too-distant future. Unless halted it will be their shameful legacy.”

It occurs to me that if everyone stopped sleeping at the wheel and said “just forget the whole idea of changing sex, it’s not possible, just accept that all you can do is perform various customs that you consider typical of your preferred gender, and leave it at that,” then people would have to do that, and the idea of bullying women into agreeing that men can be women would die a swift natural death. That would be nice.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We recognise concerns raised by some women’s groups. Our proposals to reform the current gender recognition act do not introduce any new rights for trans people or change single-sex exceptions in the equality act.”

He said the government is committed to making changes “to improve and simplify the process by which a trans person can obtain legal recognition”.

He added: “We will do this while ensuring we uphold the rights and protections that women and girls currently have under the equality act.”

That sounds sweet, but it isn’t fucking possible. The whole idea of “legal recognition” is stupid and bad. Nobody needs legal recognition to swap jeans for skirts, and doing more than that is doing too much. The point of “legal recognition” is to make the whole world play along with the fantasy that sex can be changed. We don’t want to play along with the fantasy.

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