Note: Last week I wrote a diary similar to this one. It and other diaries and comments posted over a period last Friday-Saturday got scrubbed from the database due to a glitch in an upgrade conducted by Soapblox (our current host platform). I didn’t have a backup copy of the diary. Since it doesn’t appear that it will be restored any time soon, I have re-written it from memory and with the help of fragments captured on other websites.
Responding to a Call for Communications: Human Rights Violations Affecting the Status of Women posted by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, lesbian attorneys Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford submitted a letter last week opposing laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity and expression.
[The] proliferation of legislation designed to protect “gender identity” and “gender expression” undermines legal protections for females vis-a-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as “female only”. Females require sex-segregated facilities for number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females and the uniquely female consequence of unwanted impregnation resulting from this relatively common form of violence.xxi
Brennan & Hungerford are alleging that laws protecting all our rights — but in particular trans women’s rights — to use public bathrooms and locker rooms puts non-trans women at greater risk of predation by men. It’s “bathroom bill” rhetoric dressed up to look like feminism.
The problem for Brennan & Hungerford is that their allegations about the consequences of including gender identity in anti-discrimination laws are not only dehumanizing to trans people, they’re based on intellectual dishonesty and the same fear mongering used by the radical religious-right.
Like Brennan & Hungerford, I am a lesbian born with a female brain and a female body. (For a trans woman’s take on the letter, read Mercedes Allen’s post at Bilerico.) Unlike Brennan & Hungerford, I demand solid reasoning from anyone who would seek to deprive a class of people of their civil rights. So when I see members of my demographic jumping on the international stage, engaging in intellectual dishonesty while seeking to deprive others of their rights, I am compelled to call them out lest my silence be interpreted as tacit support. It is not.