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WOMENS WORDS

Manchester: Where Some Groups Are More Equal Than Others

On 2nd Feb, Manchester City Council held one of their regular meetings. It included the usual mundane tasks of any normal council meeting, such as approving minutes, confirming appointments, etc. But, one little item crept in under the radar.



Item 5: Trans Rights Are Human Rights


Yes, of course trans rights are human rights. Who could possibly disagree with this statement?

But, of course, reading the text that accompanies item 5, you realise the rights that were being demanded are far more extensive than the rights normally granted to other groups of humans. And would come into conflict with, and have potential detrimental impacts on, the rights of other protected groups.


You can read the full text of item 5 for yourself. The agenda is published on the council’s website: Council Meeting Agenda

Item 5 on The Manchester City Council Agenda.

I could pick holes in the evidence presented to support item 5, such as the publishing of discredited statistics on suicide, and the incorrect description of the term “spousal veto” to describe the humane process for ending a marriage when your husband or wife decides they want to live as the opposite sex. But, what I really want to focus on are two dangerous paragraphs. The first is obvious. The second is hidden and may pass unnoticed at first glance.


In the first paragraph of the demands listed, the council are asked to affirm that, “trans men are men, trans women are women, non-binary people are non-binary”. This is a breath-taking denial of biology, and Orwellian in its implications.

Trans men are, of course, women who want to live as men. Trans women are men who want to live as women. There is no such thing as non-binary in human biology. Even people with the rare disorders of sexual development can almost always be categorised as male or female when properly investigated.


In the immortal words of Professor Winston on Question Time in October 2021, “You cannot change your sex. Your sex actually is there in every cell of your body…”


Therefore, in the very first paragraph of this motion, the council is being asked to affirm an untruth and to deny science. In other words, to affirm a lie.

Does it matter? After all, the council could say the moon is made of green cheese and, unless they are designing a manned mission into space, it doesn’t really make any difference. Well, in the case of the denial of sex, it does matter, because when you say that any man can be a woman, just because he says he is, you break down the sex-based and sex-specific rights that women have fought so long and hard to have enshrined in law.


But the real gut-wrenching paragraph is further down in the list of demands that the council is asked to affirm. It’s in paragraph 5. Here, the council is asked to “Conduct an audit of Council services to ensure they are as accessible as possible to trans and non-binary people.”

This could mean all sorts of things, but I suggest it means what it says. That the council should systematically go through all its services to allow men who say they are women access to places and services that are currently supposed to be for women only. This includes services such as women’s toilets and changing rooms, where those facilities are provided by the council.


It will probably also include services which the council funds or part-funds. I’m not familiar with the details of such services in Manchester, but I imagine they could include gyms, swimming pools, women’s centres, and women’s charities.


Just have a think about what this means. Any man can call himself a woman, and this means he IS a woman in the council’s eyes. And we, the real women, will just have to put up with men entering spaces that are supposed to be for women and girls.

Surely someone should have flagged up concerns in the council meeting? Surely one or two councillors should have brought up safe-guarding issues, and sought reassurance that the safety of women and girls would not be compromised? Shouldn’t someone have considered the rights of human females?


Apparently not. You can watch the whole meeting online at Council on Vimeo. Agenda item 5 begins at 23 minutes into the meeting.


A great number of councillors spoke at the meeting, but not one of them raised the elephant in the room (or the penis among the women, if you prefer). Instead, they all spoke glowingly about the motion and their unquestioning support for the demands made.


Agenda item 5, including that sneaky little paragraph 5, was passed unanimously. Not a single dissenting or questioning voice was raised.


Shame on you, Manchester City Council, for failing to protect women and girls.


If you live in Manchester, and are concerned about what this means for you, your friends, and your daughters, please speak up. Local election canvassing begins soon. Let’s make a noise about this. Make sure you ask the candidates how, if men can call themselves women, they plan to protect the safety of women and girls.


No X without respect for our sex.

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