According to reports on social media over 200 women are planning a ″mass resignation″ from the Labour Party over the party′s stance on including trans women on all-women shortlists.
A group calling itself ″Mayday4Women″ says they ″have over 200 women (100-plus happy to be named, 100-plus anonymous) who intend to collectively resign should the next National Executive Committee meeting pass self-identification for All-Women shortlists″.
On their Facebook page the group repeatedly refer to the issue as being one of ″men self-identifying onto All-Women Shortlists″.
The mass resignation was originally timed for International Women′s Day. It didn′t materialise. One person who was suspended pending investigation by the Labour Party has resigned before the outcome of that investigation.
This ″mass resignation″ is the latest in what has been a horrible campaign by some in the Party against trans people, mostly trans women. Some, at least initially, couched this in terms of ″legitimate concerns or questions″ about the proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Act, or of the in-practice implications of the use of self-identification for All-Women Shortlists.
However that mask slipped very quickly. People involved in the campaign routinely and deliberately call trans women men. They have celebrated the resignation of Munroe Bergdorf from Labour′s LGBT advisory committee (on the basis that as a trans woman she should not be in the role).
It is expected that the Labour Party will endorse the party′s current status-quo of all self-identified women being allowed on All-Women Shortlists. That will be the right decision.
Self-identification has been the norm in large sections of the labour movement for a while. A large number of other organisations also allow it without detriment to women, including those who work with women who are survivors of sexual violence.
Most women are not asked to “prove” their gender. We should not be in the business of saying some women don’t look or act enough like women and should be asked for “proof”.
Obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificates is a bureaucratic, often personally difficult, and costly process. Many transwomen will not have one, or not have one yet, or do not want one. We should not be demanding they get it in order to recognise and include them.
Why is there scaremongering over men entering All-Women Shortlists? There is not a queue of men who are going to identify as women to enter all-women shortlists. Why would they when life in politics (and in general) is much easier as a man?
This is scaremongering and it must stop.