The Attorney-General Michaelia Cash announced the appointment of a new Human Rights Commissioner, Lorraine Finlay, this week. I live in hope that she will help Australian women lead the world in correcting the breaches in protective mechanisms that are failing with the placement of gender identity in law.
You may remember I wrote a little while ago about the issue at the Wi Spa in Los Angeles, where a video of a plain-speaking woman went viral as she objected to a “man” in the women’s section of the Korean spa. It was later revealed that the woman on the video was a Christian woman who goes by the name “Angel”. She claimed that the man was not just naked, he was “slightly erected.”
In response to the article, I got in an exchange with a trans activist named Zinnia Jones who I mentioned in the article. Jones, who is transgender, and fiercely defensive of the right to unlimited and unchallenged access to female spaces, argued that mothers should “tell a 9-year-old not to stare at people’s junk maybe?”.
In writing in defence of Angel and her right to privacy, dignity and safety of single-sex spaces, Jones said I was “absolutely out of line and just completely irresponsible for depicting every single innocent member of an innocent…minority in this way”. I pointed out that the purpose of single-sex safeguarding wasn’t to discriminate against all members of an innocent minority, but all members of a particular sex.
In what has now become a familiar show of coordinated gaslighting, the media went on to silence and discredit Angel’s story and that of other women at the Spa that day. Slate reported the story was a hoax and that the ensuing protest by women’s rights activists was “anti-trans” and “dangerous”. The Guardian reported that “Wi Spa represented a nightmare scenario of what can happen when far-right groups, rightwing conspiracy theorists and gender-critical feminists are all aligned against trans rights”. Both the Guardian and Slate have now backpedalled without apology.
Angel’s religion has been used to negate her supposedly valued voice as a “woman of colour”, and the truth of her testimony has been argued against with her Instagram post that demonstrates quite a devout Christian faith. In the race of protected characteristics, gender identity is being backed by the progressive left, government and capital interests against, race, religion, and sex. Gender identity seems to be proving much more valuable as an authoritarian and political tool.
This week something entirely predictable happened. The New York Post has reported that charges were filed against Darren Agee Merager for indecent exposure in relation to the incident at Wi Spa by the Los Angeles Police Department. Merager, who identifies as a transgender “woman”, is also facing “multiple felony charges of indecent exposure over a separate incident in Los Angeles.” ABC7 in the US has reported that Merager has been a registered sex offender since 2006. They claim that a search of court records show “more than 40 cases of various types under Merager’s name filed in courthouses around Southern California, dating back at least three decades”. Merager is claiming innocence, and that the charges arise from discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
In the wake of the revelations, I had a renewed exchange with Zinnia Jones, whose revised position is that it is extremely problematic for a 9-year-old to be in a space where there is “mandatory nudity.” In the fight against the rights of women to implement single-sex safeguarding, women are themselves being cast as dangerous and untrustworthy custodians of girls and persistently unkind to “minorities”.
I pointed out, in the politest way possible, that Jones was never a girl and may not understand the safety girls feel in single-sex spaces, even when there is female nudity. Having grown up in a swimming obsessed nation, I remember many times being a girl in a change room with naked women, with no discomfort or fear. I have vivid memories of ageing and differently shaped female bodies with rolls of flesh unfolding as they peeled themselves out of reinforced, brightly coloured swimsuits. Such things were not distressing or frightening. Girls are safe with women, girls are safe with mothers, and grandmothers and aunts.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have recently reported on the fight women are waging for sexual sovereignty over public spaces. The Nine papers prioritised the two main arguments that stand against women having rights to define themselves and their spaces by their biology. Firstly, that trans-identified males are absolutely no danger to women in public facilities, and secondly that “trans women” are the most vulnerable of all people (both arguments Jones made to me). Neither of these things is true.
The Nine papers claim that there is “substantial evidence” that “trans women” are subject to “assaults, sexual and otherwise, far more than any other group in society”. For this evidence, they cite a large US study on transgender people. If the journalists at the Sydney Morning Herald or Age had read the US Survey they cited, they would find that the survey in question covered a majority of female people (57%) of which it was shown that people who were born female (“trans men”) were “more likely to have been sexually assaulted”, (58% of respondents) than transgender “women” (38% of respondents). Advocates for single-sex spaces, like myself, consistently argue that “trans men” (biological females) will continue to require the option of women’s spaces for safety.
The Nine papers stated that “65 per cent of young trans and gender-diverse people avoided using public toilets”, but they ignored the US survey finding that “Transgender men [biological women] were far more likely to report sometimes or always avoiding using a public restroom (75%),” in contrast to transgender women (53%). This data confirms that sex is a persistent and dominant risk factor, regardless of gender identification.
The next claim is that Trans identified males are no risk to women. The crux of the argument is that “trans women are women”, and therefore trans identity abates male pattern risk to women. The latest annual report by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons in the UK shows that the proportion of male prisoners who identify as transgender is higher than in the general population 2%. Given that women are only 3% of the male prison population, even a crude understanding of statistics can demonstrate trans identification does not abate male pattern offending, and the risk of male people to female people can’t possibly disappear with a slogan.
The broader point is not that genuine trans people, or what we used to call “transsexuals” are a risk, it is that replacing sex with gender identity in law, obliterates safeguarding in a way that sex pests can simply identify as “female” to access women in vulnerable states. That this has to be pointed out repeatedly by women in the face of being called “bigots” and “transphobes” is tiresome.
The Nine papers gave the last word on bathrooms to Mama Alto, CEO of Transgender Victoria. Alto suggests the solution is lockable single rooms in a mixed gendered space. It is unlikely that Mama Alto has needed the use of a public female facility while experiencing post-partum bleeding (that can go on for weeks), and be in the custody of a newborn baby and a toddler, as I have. Women in this situation need the privacy of a stall, the safety of a single-sex space to leave the children outside the stall, and the dignity not to have to beg for these requirements.
The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt has recently ruled that it is in all likelihood becoming unlawful in Australia to discriminate against “types of bodies”. Public facilities like bathrooms and change rooms are made for “types of bodies”, not types of identities. Our governments are becoming legally unable to protect women and girls, and the progressive media are cheering it on. I am genuinely devastated that we have had to see serial sex offenders flashing at little girls for awareness to grow, but here we are. Please, Ms Finlay, return to women the dignity not to have to beg for our privacy and safety that our grandmothers had already gained.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.