QotD: “This year really has demonstrated how lucky we are in the talents of our elected representatives”

The exchange [between David T.C. Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth in South Wales, and Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford, who is also a former science teacher; which formed part of a debate in Westminster Hall], captures a great deal about this issue, which has excited strong feelings among some woman (and men).

Some of them are unhappy about rules allowing male-born people to ‘identify’ as women. They worry that doing so could compromise the female-only spaces that society has provided in recognition of the potential danger that male-bodied people pose to their safety and privacy. They argue that if, as a slogan suggests, ‘trans women are women’ and a trans woman is anyone who says they are a trans woman, then there is nothing to stop a male-born person with full male anatomy and malign intent entering female-only spaces. And that, they say, is a problem, because a male body (especially one guided by male socialisation) is always a potential threat to female bodies, female privacy, and female dignity.

Ms Moran has said she believes trans women are women. Mr Davies has said he believes that a person with a penis cannot be a woman.

Their exchange is here:

David T. C. Davies:

‘I hear what the hon. Lady is saying. May I bluntly ask her whether she would be happy sharing a changing room with somebody who was born male and had a male body?’

Layla Moran:

‘I believe that women are women, so if that person was a trans woman, I absolutely would. I just do not see the issue. As for whether they have a beard, which was one of the hon. Gentleman’s earlier comments, I dare say that some women have beards. There are all sorts of reasons why our bodies react differently to hormones. There are many forms of the human body. I see someone in their soul and as a person. I do not really care whether they have a male body.’

And that, in a nutshell, is the transgender debate. Remember, Ms Moran, an intelligent and educated member of Parliament was speaking in a debate about laws that help determine how and whether people with female bodies can chose to separate themselves from people with male bodies. I’ll repeat her key observation again, just for clarity:

‘I see someone in their soul and as a person. I do not really care whether they have a male body.’

Truly, Britain is a fortunate nation. This year really has demonstrated how lucky we are in the talents of our elected representatives. But even after the masterful Brexit debate and all the other delights, we didn’t know just how blessed we are. Because it turns out we have an MP who has the gift of being able to see people ‘in their soul’.

That must come in handy for all sorts of things, including the sort of case Mr Davies raised: being able to look at someone and gaze deep into their innermost thoughts and essence and understand what sort of person they are and what intentions they have would doubtless allow you to decide whether you were happy to undress in their presence.

But what about those women who do not possess Ms Moran’s remarkable gift, and who might just be a little concerned about the anatomy of the people they share changing rooms and bathrooms with? Women who might not subscribe to the fact-free, anti-evidence superstitious gibberish contained in talk of seeing souls? Women who might just consider material reality, biological fact and thousands of years of accumulated evidence about male violence, committed with male bodies, to actually matter? Women who might be left asking, if even MPs debate laws on sex and gender on the basis of ‘souls’ not bodies, what hope is there?

Sadly, Ms Moran did not say anything about those women who are not fortunate enough to share her special gift. Perhaps she’ll get to them next time MPs debate this issue.

James Kirkup, This MP has summed up everything wrong with the transgender debate

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