You'll have to excuse the husband, whose only regular exposure to social media is LinkedIn. He has Facebook but rarely glances at it. He wanted to know what all the fuss was about, 'cancelling' JK Rowling when she only expressed an opinion.
(My opinion shouldn't be a spoiler: I don't think gender is a useful concept, but we're stuck with it. We just are who we are.)
Let's just say he is now very clear on what I've read on the gender critical movement, transphobia, and the far-right (and how the three are coming together). He's in favour of consequence culture, he is very critical of the extreme's notion of freedom, which assumes freedom from consequence.
It got me thinking. Given that the UK government uses language and proposed policy to culturally divide and anger the nation, it's no wonder the far-right feel emboldened to threaten violence, it's been sanctioned. It's no wonder anyone who is arbitrarily deemed as different apparently has 'no right' to occupy the same spaces.
And now, the fun topic of prisons and transgender inmates. In reading the BBC summary of the Bryson case and issues surrounding the controversy, this sentence stands out to me:
The prison service has said the decision on where to house trans prisoners is taken on a case-by-case basis.
I'd be so grateful to be pointed to opinions of those who study these sorts of things — criminology, gender, and so on. To my mind, a sexual predator is a sexual predator — it doesn't matter what gender they are, even if it is different from the one they were assigned at birth. If they are to be remanded in prison, their rights and the rights of those who have to share a space with them have to be taken into account. So, for Bryson — if they go through gender reassignment surgery, will they be accepted as having changed gender? Will they then be moved to a women's prison? But they are a violent sexual offender — will they be segregated from the general population? Will there be any attempt to rehabilitate them — can they be rehabilitated?
Surely it is right that the prison service examines each case on its merits and doesn't make a one size fits all policy decision.
So, trans people. Be you. I defend your right to be you. You should have a right to be anywhere and do anything, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
21st February 2023