Stating the Obvious

This is not a blog post which explores fundamental truths of the human condition or even one which traces a pathway through legal complexities. Rather, it looks at the law in practice.

Regular readers of this blog will know that paragraphs 27-28 of Schedule 3 of the Equality Act 2010 permit a service provider to offer a single sex or separate sex service. Paragraph 28 in particular allows a service provider to discriminate on the grounds of gender reassignment. For the purposes of women-only services and spaces, it is generally understood that this means that a women only service may exclude all those who are biologically and legally male by virtue of paragraph 27, and may (if proportionate) exclude biological females who are legally male and biological males who are legally female by virtue of paragraph 28. There remains some discussion over whether “blanket” policies are permissible and whether paragraph 28 should be applied person-by-person or policy-by-policy, but the overarching principles are those.

In recent times organisations which hold their line on single sex services have been viciously targeted. The rat nailed to the door of Vancouver Rape Relief, the smoke bombs set off outside the WPUK meeting held near to Grenfell Tower, the violent and sexually aggressive imagery chalked on the pavement at FiLiA. 

This is a question for those who attend, or organise, such protests. If you heard that a women-only self-defence group had refused entry to a transwoman who approached them saying she was fearful of violence because of her gender and wanted to learn to defend herself, would you protest that organisation? Would you denounce them on social media? Organise a boycott? You’d probably want to write to all of their funders to try to have their funding withdrawn, at the very least, and notify the local council – wouldn’t you? Perhaps you could persuade the Good Law Project to bring a legal case against them? 

If the centre argued that their classes were for women who had suffered domestic or sexual violence, that wouldn’t change your view in the least, would it? After all, transwomen can also suffer domestic or sexual violence, and any woman who is triggered by the presence of a male-born person just needs to reframe her trauma, right? 

This is not a hypothetical scenario. In 2021, the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety declined to admit Annie Bryson to their women only self-defence course offered to survivors of domestic or sexual violence. But before anyone goes to organise a protest, there’s some additional important information to know.

In 2016 Annie Bryson – then Adam Graham – raped a woman. In 2019, he raped another woman. In 2021 he tried to access this course – a course for survivors of male violence where he would presumably have learned what techniques women use to fend off rapists, while triggering a trauma response among any survivors there. (The same year he enrolled on a beautician course which involved women removing their clothes to practise spray tan procedures on one another. Would-be protestors can pat Ayrshire College on the back for their admirably inclusive policy.)

In 2023 he was convicted of both rapes. His ex-wife said that she thought he was “bullshitting” his claim to be transgender, which had only developed after he was arrested for the rapes, and even that arch-proponent of self-ID Nicola Sturgeon can’t quite bring herself to call him a woman, saying “She regards herself as a woman. I regard the individual as a rapist.” 

It might be tempting to say – well, what’s wrong with that? The individual IS a rapist.

He is. But for the purposes of the criminal justice system, between 2016 and 2023 he was Schroedinger’s Rapist: he had committed rape but he was not convicted of rape. 

What motive could a double rapist have for wanting to join a class for survivors of sexual violence and learn what techniques they would use against a predator? What motive could a double rapist have for wanting to join a class full of semi-clad women applying beauty techniques? The answer is surely obvious on both counts. 

Now that Adam Graham / Annie Bryson / Isla Bryson has been reallocated from the women’s estate to the men’s estate, there seems to be a grudging acceptance that he isn’t “really” trans. After all, he’s a rapist. 

The problem for the protestors is that he wasn’t – in law – a rapist until he was convicted. 

If the protestors had their way, Adam Graham would have been welcomed in to any women only service he chose to attend. That in itself should be explanation as to why some services, particularly those where women are undressing or where they are survivors of male violence, want to exercise their right to remain female only under the Equality Act exceptions. It should take a lot more than a chalk willy on a pavement to persuade anybody otherwise. 

5 thoughts on “Stating the Obvious”

  1. Clear and to the point, as always. Just one thing – the meeting near Grenfell Tower where the smoke bombs were set off was organised by LWD, not WPUK.

  2. Self defence classes can be a deeply vulnerable environment, participants put their hands on each other. Also male bodies work differently to female bodies. They have different centres of gravity and muscle/bone mass, and different soft parts.
    I haven’t been a victim but I still felt my mental and physical boundaries being disregarded by the inclusion of male bodies in a ‘feminist’ self defence class.

  3. Why are we not taking notice of the herd of trumpeting elephants in the room?

    Why does a piece of paper allow anyone to *falsify* their birth certificate (and thus all other official ID plus NHS records) for a lie?

    No one can be “legally” the opposite sex as this is a lie.

    A suggestion then….
    1. Remove the “Gender reassignment” as a distinct and separate PC in the EA 2010 act.
    – if its a health condition, it gets covered under the Disability PC (no other health condition, not even cancer, has its *own* PC.
    – if its NOT a health condition, it gets covered under the Belief/Non-belief PC. Human rights not to be discriminated against even if one believes in something blatantly untrue, is still protected.

    2. Emphasise that the EA2010 and all relevant laws, polices etc, are hinged on biological sex and the associated sex classes:
    – Female (sex): Girl (juvenile sex class); Woman (adult sex class)
    – Male (sex): Boy (juvenile sex class); Man (adult sex class).
    The two sexes are binary and immutable.
    The two sex classes are binary and mutable *only through aging within that sex*.
    – Sexual orientation: Opposite sex attracted (heterosexual); Same sex attracted (homosexual: lesbian or gay) and Either sex attracted (bisexual). There aren’t any other sexual orientations and these are innate depending on what the *body* is attracted to.
    “Gender” is a set of socially imposed stereotypes depending on one’s sex and these should be rejected.

    3. Repeal the GRA entirely.
    – All those who have had their birth cert changed, should have it changed back to their biological sex.

    4. Provide a Self ID law to:
    – Change name
    – Declare “gender”.
    Both require a statutory declaration/deed poll with understanding in the case of “gender” that this is individual only and no one else has any obligation to take notice of it eg no obligation on *anyone* to have their speech or thoughts compelled to something that they *don’t believe*. If someone wants to pander then fine. But no one should feel obliged to do so.
    Both name (on its own or in conjunction with) and gender declaration, must be linked to an unfalsified birth certificate that states the persons’ birth name and sex.
    Any future changes to name and/or “gender” must be recorded and linked to that birth cert and any previous changes. This provides an audit trail of any changes and hopefully would reduce the cases of identity fraud and/or persons attempting to hide their backgrounds (eg for DBS checks or others of that nature).
    We already have a central database of marriages and anyone can access birth certs online so it should be very easy to link up to such a system for a nominal fee and notarised statement.
    Without changing the “legal” sex of a person…..which should always be the Biological Sex as established at conception and confirmed at birth. If further confirmation is needed or the individual as a baby has “ambiguous” genitalia, then a DNA test can be done to identify the DSD they have and confirm their sex.

    Then we might be able to start targetting the schools who are teaching lies, the businesses who are compelling employees speech and the charities harming vulnerable people, and the police arresting law abiding persons speaking the truth.

    GRA needs to go. PC “Gender reassignment” needs to go. Create a Self ID law instead which does not compel *anyone else* to believe a LIE.

    Because that is what any “gender” is….a LIE.

    1. I have been saying this since 2019, but I do not think we need a gender certificate. Their church of gender can issue them one if they want. The State should not have to.

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