Maya Forstater has lost her case over being fired for insisting that gender transition doesn’t really happen. At which point a little conflict. For of course I would insist that any employer can fire any employee they like for whatever reason, anytime. Sometimes I am just a gammon however against the prevailing mores that is.
It’s also true that I vaguely know a couple of people in this dogfight. Maya herself I know online, I’ve been able to – very peripherally – contribute to a couple of excellent pieces of research she’s done. I’ve also nicked more than one of her ideas (her observation that tax avoidance by corporations is perhaps 0.5% of total tax revenues for example, along with the thought that who does think the world’s going to be much different if governments have 0.5% more money?). I also used to know – doubly used to, in the sense that used to know online, and he might have used to be, don’t know if still is – one of the bosses at her employer.
And sometimes I am just a gammon. At which point I do get very excited by these ideas of free speech. We all have the right to say anything we damn well want to and we all have the duty to accept whatever comes at us for having done so. It’s that freedom bit in the free there.
Which is what is so appalling about this judgement:
But Judge Tayler concluded that Ms Forstater was not entitled to ignore the legal rights of a transgender person and the “enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering a person”.
Judge Tayler concluded: “If a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), that person is legally a woman. That is not something [Ms Forstater] is entitled to ignore. [Ms Forstater’s] position is that even if a trans woman has a GRC, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman. That belief is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.
“Even paying due regard to the qualified right to freedom of expression, people cannot expect to be protected if their core belief involves violating others’ dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for them.”
Judge Taylor can fuck off ‘n’all, along with the horse. Consider for a moment.
Carrie Marshall is a bloke.
To be blunt, living as female while remaining legally male is getting on my tits.
So I’m applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate to cross the remaining Ts and dot the remaining Is.
The judge is stating that someone with a GRC must be described, addressed, as that gender on that certificate. Well, OK, but now think a little more. Someone without a GRC must be described as what? What they wish to be described, addressed as? Or what the law states that they are?
Yes, it gets that little more complex, doesn’t it? Because if we’ve now that legal definition of must agree with the paperwork then we’ve a legal insistence that gendering pronouns agree with the paperwork. Which means that Carrie is indeed a bloke, whatever xe’s desires, until the issuance of that document. The judge has just told us that this must be so.
Yes, English law does insist that for goose, for gander. That’s why we get women being banged up for domestic violence, despite the insistence that it’s all a product of the patriarchy. Why the melanin enhanced can be and are at times prosecuted for racism, despite the social insistence that such can only be a result of punching down. If it is the GRC which defines gender and modes of address then it’s the GRC which defines gender and legal modes of address.
Carrie Marshall is a bloke.
There is, of course, a solution to all of this. Which is that the law bugger off back to where it should be. The language any of us uses is our free choice. We have to accept the social consequences of it, most certainly. But those are for the society we live in to impose upon us. Whether that’s to say he not xe, or to fart at auntie’s tea table. Societal mores and fashions are for society to sort out.
The law’s restrictions upon speech should be limited to incitement to immediate violence and libel. It’s the rest of us who get to deal with everything else.
But then I am such a gammon, aren’t I? Insisting upon Owen’s freedom and liberty to employ as he wishes, being adamant that we free people actually are free in our speech. What a total, fascist, bastard, eh?
As to Carrie, well, the definition of a gentleman is someone who only insults when he means to. So while I often make fun of her logic and concerns I’ve been entirely happy to use that she because that’s what Ms. Marshall wishes to be referred to as. Just as I’ve been known to use the address “Matt” instead of “My Lord” – or even “William” for an Earl, “Malcolm” for a mere life baron when I worked for them. That was their wish.
But now we’ve all got to insist that Carrie’s a bloke and call her he, politesse be damned. Because the judge has just insisted so, it’s the GRC that defines, d’ye see?
Did I mention that the judge can sex and travel, along with that horse xe rode in on?