Abortion (Roe vs Wade) Attitudes Biology vs Culture (Sex & Gender) Clinics Education & Training Equality Funding Health & Illness Human Rights Language & Terminology Legal & the Law Mental Health Politics Prisons Psychology Research & Reading Research Safety Single Sex / Spaces Social Inclusion Sport Tavistock VAWG
Labour Women Voices is an informal group of women, all members of the UK Labour Party, who want to explore and better understand the issues and challenges around sex, gender and identity in our modern world. Our aim here is to share and examine as much evidence as possible with you, our readers.
Our overall position is that we respect the right of everyone, regardless of gender or other self-identification, to live their lives without fear or discrimination, provided only that they don’t thereby harm others. To that end we insist that biological women and girls have safe spaces in particular personally vulnerable at-risk situations, as discussed on this website…..
We also seek fairness and safety for biological women and girls in situations such as competitive sports, and we recognise that there are times (in particular medical situations) when a wo/man must be identified by biological sex in order to receive appropriate care or treatment.
We don’t have all the answers but we do have a lot of questions which we hope will be discussed here. Our aim is to understand these difficult issues better ourselves and with others, seeking ways in which everyone, from whatever ‘side’ of the contemporary debates, can feel respected, safe and valued.
We will share here the information and resources of which we are aware, examining the implications of the evidence to hand. We will also identify other matters relating to us as Labour women which require research and evidence; there is still a lot to learn.
Our website is anonymous only because we want to exchange our positive ideas safely and confidently, speaking in our own words as we wish, without fear of external compromise. How else can we learn and develop our aim of fairness for all?
Importantly, we respect all Labour women’s groups and are not in ‘competition’ with any of them. Our aim is to nurture discussion and supportive debate . We do not seek in this particular group to lead on policy as such, but rather to encourage research, understanding and insights into sometimes difficult issues
The LWV group is owned and managed collaboratively by a number of Labour women, the Founding Members, who have been active in the group from its inception in early 2022.
There is however a second group, the Labour Women Voices Talk, [a WhatsApp Group] which is now evolving, which other women members of the Labour Party from any sex / gender perspective are welcome to join.** To welcome you as a member of this group we need to know your (real) name, CLP, email and mobile phone number, and we ask that you commit to the Chatham House rules – no view may be attributed to any named or identifiable participant without their explicit written permission – a rule which the Founding Members all agreed when we first set up. There is no membership fee; just your goodwill. It is your particular knowledge and ideas shared which we welcome for the website discussion.
We are confident, despite the challenges which have beset these issues over the past several years, that we can and will move forward in a collaborative, accepting and friendly manner.
** If you would like to join the LWV Talk group, please send us your details as requested above via LabourWomenVoices.Talk@gmail.com. Thank you. We respect your privacy.
A note on ‘sex’ and ‘gender’:
There is sometimes confusion about the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’. On this website we use the term ‘sex’ as in a person’s status at birth (conception) as male or female. ‘Gender’ however is the term used to denote a person’s chosen, ascribed or assumed status as a girl / woman or boy / man.
Whilst not always in the use of other commentators, ‘gender’ in our LWV use of the term does not necessarily imply that the person concerned accepts the characteristics some others may assume are ‘appropriate’ for him or her. A person’s ‘sex’ however is a biological fact determined at conception by her or his genetic make up. These terms are considered in more detail here
SOME OF OUR TOPICS OF CONVERSATION SO FAR
We in LWV have asked ourselves a lot of questions, in the hope that Labour will come up with the necessary answers / evidence to take a properly informed and productive view on these difficult issues. ……
BIOLOGY vs CULTURE (SEX & GENDER)
- How important is biology / natal sex as a determinant of human behaviour and need?
- To what extend are humans like other mammals in their biological sex behaviour? (We are probably the only animal which can consciously control our future conduct, but there are very distinctive patterns in almost all fe/male mammals.)
- Is ‘sex’ (or gender?) as a formal category necessary?
- What can the psychology of group behaviour tell us about communities of variously gendered human beings (including groups of wo/men and of traumatised people, such as some who are trans)?
- What is a woman?
- What is a man?
- What are the public perceptions of sex, gender and trans-ID? (Does the general public know that most self-ID’d trans women in recent years are still ‘biologically’ men?)
- What vocabulary is (or is not) acceptable in civil / biological debate to refer eg to people who remain in their natal sex, or have transitioned to whatever degree? (CIS? TERF? ‘Chest feeders’… etc And who outside a tight-knit circle understand what GC – ‘gender critical’ – might mean?)
- Why is the reality of women’s and men’s physiological experience often seemingly denied? And is this denial of lived experience either rational or acceptable, especially in a major political party?
- Who needs single sex provision, where and why (privacy? dignity? safety??)
- Are the regulations re single sex spaces clear and functionable / operable? (Is too much responsibility laid on users of the space, rather than providers?)
- What about changing rooms, toilets, ‘sanctuary’ provision etc? (Do we need ‘third spaces’ to accommodate the needs of anyone – amongst others – who isn’t ‘biologically’ a wo/man? Is there need for extra requirements for children and vulnerable adults?)
- Is it acceptable that self-ID is currently adequate to allow trans women to serve their time in women’s prisons? (Why is pre-trans sex status not recorded in the consideration eg of assaults in women’s prisons? What proportion of ‘previously male’ trans women in prison were originally found guilty of sexual assault etc? What data do we have of assault by male guards?)
- How can the issues re trans inclusion in sport/s be equitably resolved, either generically or on a case-by-case basis?
- Are there conflicting human rights when trans and natal genders are considered?
- What are the reasonable limits of inclusivity?
- The recent history of GIDS is for many a matter of concern. What ‘rights’ do children and parents have? What can we learn from the (pending, final) Cass Report?
- To what extent can assessments of genuine risk (‘on the ground’) be brought to bear on human rights issues? (Might TUs be a good vehicle for some risk assessments, since they have a broad and respected remit? Which other bodies might also conduct risk assessments which would be widely accepted, and how much weight should be placed on identified risks ‘vs’ rights?)
- How much, in age-appropriate ways, should children learn in schools about ‘trans issues’ and inclusivity, via PHSRE etc?
- What can we learn from the current Scottish Government consultation on the GRA Reform Bill?
- What should be included in the current British legislation on ‘gender assignment’ and on the protection of children?
- Why is discussion around trans issues so fraught? (Is it underlaid by a wider, unspoken – perhaps not even conscious – political-positioning agenda?)
- What are the implications of the Roe vs Wade June 2022 US Supreme Court Judgement?
- What literature and reports are already available to help our studies?
- Where is, or should there be, the genuine evidence which would help us to respond responsibly to the issues identified above? (Who can require that the need for such evidence be properly identified and then acquired?)
- ‘Gender’ education and training in the workplace
- Education, schools and PHSRE