After all, when women first started advocating for equal rights, most men – and many women – reacted in horror. Granting women and men the same privileges and responsibilities in society was certainly against the law of God.
It took almost 140 years from when Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women to full universal suffrage in 1929, and another 40 years for the Equal Pay Act, before the law began to catch up with the law. idea that men and women are created different, but equal.
And it took the second-wave feminist movement, beginning in the late 1960s, to defend and win women’s gender-based rights, such as legal abortion, safe spaces for one sex, and greater protection against sexual abuse.
The study questions whether a person being legally recognized as male or female is something to “hold on to”, or whether it should be abolished to allow for “greater diversity in the world”. self-expression”.
Transgender debate in Scotland: Being trans is not a mental illness but the law…
The study is not some poorly researched dissertation by a fresh graduate, provocative for effect and doomed to failure. It is the result of four years of research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, under the direction of a respected law professor from King’s College London. It is a serious academic investigation, or at least has been treated as such.
The project carried out 200 interviews with a wide range of people, from unions and local councils to service providers and NGOs, as well as a public survey and a series of focus groups with experts in law and policy.
And while the report stopped short of making a definitive recommendation, it went to great lengths to highlight the benefits researchers believe abolishing legal sex status would bring.
These include the aforementioned diversity in self-expression, as well as greater legal parity with other social inequalities such as race. If there is no legal sex, the report claims, then people who want to change their sex can do so without “legal burden”.
And Professor Davina Cooper, head of the research, wondered if the government could tackle inequality ‘without fixing and defining who people belong to one category’.
“We live in a time of continued gender-based inequality and violence. Does having legal sex and gender help fight against these inequalities and violence? she asked in a press release marking the release of the report.
She continued: “Does this reinforce the idea that the sex a person is registered with at birth is important in shaping the life they should lead?
Stop there, professor. A person’s gender, whether male or female, shapes the life they lead since Homo sapiens rose to walk.
Pretending that there is no legal gender difference will allow men to be incarcerated in women’s prisons of their choosing, and it will ruin sport, because if there is no legal gender, there can be no “feminine” categories. If you can’t afford legal status for women, society can’t afford legal protection for us. It’s that simple.
And deep in the bowels of the Scottish civil service, a task force is asking whether the government should be doing more to achieve equality for non-binary people. His somewhat enigmatic minutes suggest that a report, with recommendations, is expected soon.
I doubt I’m alone when I ask what non-binary means in the context of sex? The dictionary definition is ‘not limited to two things’, while LGBT charity Stonewall says it is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not match ‘man or “woman.”
Both definitions dovetail nicely with Professor Cooper’s considered view that inequality can be tackled ‘without fixing or defining who people belong to any category’. So, is it really unthinkable that the Scottish Parliament will soon be debating the abolition of legal sexual status? Ten years ago, I would have said yes. Today, anything is possible.
I look forward to hearing her explain what pleasures there will be for women and girls in a world where their gender-based rights and protections have been sacrificed in the name of progress.