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BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP  October 2018

BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP October 2018

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Subject:

Re: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action

From:

Ruth Lewis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ruth Lewis <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 08:08:33 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (1 lines)

Sorry, this msg was inadvertently released to the whole BSA Gender Study group when it was meant for only 2 named people. I'll try not to let that happen again. Sorry to clog up yr inboxes! 
Ruth 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Dr Sue Robson <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: 17 October 2018 08:56 
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask] 
Cc: Ruth Lewis <[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask] 
Subject: RE: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
Hi Elizabeth and Dyi 
 
First of all, apologies. My  problem has been that I am not au-fait with the BSA communication systems and protocols as I have not had particular reason to utile them before. I did not realise my message to Tom Vickers about perceived silencing (when I was  becoming frustrated by the systems) would appear in the Gender Studies Group as my initial response had not appeared in the Activism Forum (the latter group is seemingly actively moderated where the other is not). 
 
Having now got my head around how the communication systems and protocols for the two BSA forums and now and having received your responses and question , I am now (between caring and my day job), working on a reframed and properly referenced/evidence response to Dr. Pearce's call for action that I will post in both the BSA Gender Studies and Activism Forum later today. 
 
Thank you again for your interest and comments 
 
Best Wishes 
 
Sue x 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Ablett, Elizabeth <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: 16 October 2018 22:34 
To: [log in to unmask]; Dr Sue Robson <[log in to unmask]> 
Subject: Re: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
Dear Dr Robson 
 
Please be assured that your emails - and therefore your concerns - have been received, at least by myself, a member of the BSA Gender Study group and a recipient of their emails. 
 
In fact, as a member of both the BSA Gender Study Group and the BSA Activism in Sociology Group, I have received your emails more than once. 
 
I would therefore like to refute your claim that you are being silenced, and let you know that your views have reached a wide audience. 
 
I certainly agree with you that the GRA consultation is an important issue. 
But I would suggest that the 'oppositional politics' you so wish to avoid might be possible with a thoughtful and sensitive reading of Dr Pearce's original, meticulously researched, email. 
 
It is my view, however, that 'oppositional politics', is something inherent to the many forms of feminisms we have seen emerge over the decades, and is therefore unavoidable. To wish it wasn't so is to silence the contribution of those who pose a challenge to your beliefs. 
 
I therefore hope many colleagues on this list continue to stand with our trans brothers and sisters, and use the information provided in Dr Pearce's excellent email to form a GRA response that is firmly in solidarity with all trans people. 
 
Kind regards, 
 
Liz Ablett 
Department of Sociology 
University of Warwick 
CV4 7AL 
________________________________ 
From: Announcement list for the BSA Gender Study Group. 
<[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Dr Sue Robson <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: 16 October 2018 20:50:16 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
Also Tom, 
 
does the BSA Gender Study Group – have the same rules whereby there is no way of responding to this call for action – do you moderate that group too? 
 
Despite your explanation, I am feeling quite silenced here in what is a really important issue –I would really like to have my considered and reframed response airing. 
 
With the GRA  consultation closing in less than 3 days, the only option open to me seems to be to make a counter call for action – but that draws me into the oppositional politics that I really don’t think belong in a sociological forum 
 
I look forwards to hearing your advice about the way forward. 
 
Best wishes 
 
Sue x 
 
From: Dr Sue Robson <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: 16 October 2018 20:18 
To: 'BSA ACTIVISM IN SOCIOLOGY FORUM' 
<[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask] 
<[log in to unmask]> 
Subject: RE: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
Hi Tom 
 
I have reframed my email in response to  Dr Pearce’s call for action and tried to respond in the way that you suggest. 
 
However, after going through the registration process – I am getting a message “ Sorry, you are not authorized to post to the BSA-ASF-DISCUSS list from the email address ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) you entered in the login screen.” 
 
Can you help me to sort this out please? 
 
Thanks 
 
Sue x 
 
From: BSA ACTIVISM IN SOCIOLOGY FORUM 
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:BSA-ACTIVISM-IN-SOCIO 
[log in to unmask]>> On Behalf Of Tom Vickers 
Sent: 16 October 2018 09:16 
To: 
[log in to unmask]<mailto:BSA-ACTIVISM-IN-SOCIOL 
[log in to unmask]> 
Subject: Re: Fw: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
Dear ASF subscribers, 
 
In response to a reply we have received to the email below, I want to clarify that we have a very open editorial policy on this list and members are free to share calls to action, event listings, and so on, without the position they represent necessarily being shared by the ASF, BSA, or other list members. The message below was shared by Rumana, who is a Convenor of the ASF but was sharing this in a personal capacity. Anything posted by Convenors acting on behalf of the ASF will be clearly labelled as such. 
 
One limitation of this list is that it is not a forum for discussion. We host a separate list for those who wish to engage in discussion about issues related to our aims, on Jiscmail at BSA-ASF-DISCUSS<https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/BSA-ASF-DISCUSS>. We implemented this some time ago, following extended discussions on this list in which it became clear that many subscribers only wished to receive announcements. I realise there are limitations in this approach, and some subscribers may feel they are being denied a right of reply to posts that they strongly disagree with, but it is the best approach we have been able to devise to balance what different subscribers have told us they want from the list. Of course if you wish to respond to a post to the list you can also contact that person directly. As with everything we do, if you have suggestions for alternative ways of doing things we would warmly welcome your suggestions and promise to give them full consideration. 
 
I have added some text to the footer included with every post to this list, to try and clarify these questions (if I've set it up correctly it should appear at the bottom of this email). This is adapted from the very useful footer used by the BSA Gender Study Group. 
 
If you have any concerns about this approach please feel free to contact me about it directly. 
 
Best wishes, 
 
Tom Vickers 
BSA Activism in Sociology Forum Co-Convenor 
 
--- 
 
On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 2:26 PM Rumana Hashem <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote: 
Dear all, 
 
Please see below for your information - thought that some of you may like to respond to the call below. 
 
Sorry about cross-posting! 
Rumana 
________________________________________ 
From: Announcement list for the BSA Gender Study Group. 
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP@JISCMAI 
L.AC.UK>> on behalf of Ruth Pearce 
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
Sent: 14 October 2018 15:25 
To: 
[log in to unmask]<mailto:BSA-GENDER-STUDY-GROUP@JISCMAIL 
.AC.UK> 
Subject: Stand up for trans rights - call to action 
 
(with apologies for cross-posting) 
 
Dear colleagues, 
 
The UK’s Government Equality Office is consulting on possible changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA). Anyone can respond. The consultation link is here: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reform-of-the-gender-recognition 
-act-2004. 
 
The consultation ends at 11pm on 19 October 2018. 
 
There has been a large backlash from people hostile to trans rights. It is important that UK-based academics who support trans rights respond to the consultation, ideally with reference to relevant evidence from scholarly research. I have produced the following advice on doing so. 
 
Background 
At present, the GRA enables adults to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and change the gender on their birth certificate from female to male, or vice-versa. 
 
* This has consequences for the registration of sex/gender upon marriage or civil partnership and affects some insurance and pensions. 
* It is of symbolic importance for many trans people. 
* Non-binary genders and trans people under the age of 18 are not recognised. 
The GRA is not relevant to legal changes of name or sex/gender marker in any other arena. 
 
* Trans people are already able to change their name and sex/gender marker with organisations such as banks, schools, universities, social services, the DVLA and NHS. No medical evidence is required for this process. 
* Trans people are already able to change the sex/gender marker on their passport with a letter from a doctor. 
Trans people have criticised the GRA for being unnecessarily bureaucratic and intrusive. 
 
* Applicants submit evidence – including medical records, letters from mental health specialists, and proof that they have lived in their ‘acquired’ gender for at least two years – to the Gender Recognition Panel. 
* The process costs £140 (plus additional costs) and there is no right to appeal. 
* An official list of people who have changed their sex/gender in this way is kept on a ‘gender recognition register’. 
Note: I use the term ‘sex/gender’ as current UK law does not distinguish between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’: the two are used interchangeably (I also regard ‘sex’, like ‘gender’ as a social construct, but that’s a conversation for another time and place!) 
 
Backlash 
 
Since the GRA consultation was announced, numerous single-issue anti-trans groups have emerged to oppose amendments to the GRA and argue for a wider push back against the social recognition of trans people’s genders and access to sexed/gendered spaces. 
 
Anti-trans groups have spread misinformation about the GRA. 
 
* e.g. the purpose and function of the GRA has been conflated with the Equality Act 2010, which governs trans people’s access to sexed/gendered public spaces. 
 
These groups have a powerful voice in the mainstream media. 
 
* Factually inaccurate, anti-trans news and opinion pieces<https://www.rewriting-the-rules.com/gender/2017-review-transgender-mo 
ral-panic/> are published every week in outlets such as the Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, News Statesman and Spectator. 
 
These groups have access to significant funding that trans groups do not. 
 
* Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent on billboards and newspaper adverts opposing trans rights. 
* Anti-abortion American fundamentalist groups such as ‘Hands Across the Aisle<https://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/i-had-no-idea-we-ag 
reed-on-so-much-the-christian-right-makes-new-friends/>’ and far-right publications such as Breitbart and The Federalist have extensively promoted<https://twitter.com/CaseyExplosion/status/1048237057779404800> the work of ‘feminist’ anti-trans groups and shared crowdfunding pages. 
 
These groups claim to represent feminism. 
 
* They 
wrongly<https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13178-018-0335-z> argue that gender recognition poses a threat to women’s rights. 
* Trans women are often represented as potential or actual sexual predators. 
* Trans men and non-binary people often are represented as tragic or deluded. 
* By contrast, numerous groups who work with vulnerable women (e.g. Scottish Women’s 
Aid<https://www.engender.org.uk/content/publications/Scottish-Womens-Sector- 
response-to-the-consultation-on-proposed-changes-to-the-Gender-Recognition-A 
ct.pdf>) have supported trans affirming reforms to gender recognition. 
 
These groups are encouraging their supporters to respond to the GRA consultation. 
 
* This happened in response to a similar consultation by the Scottish government. While in that instance most respondents supported extending trans rights, thousands of anti-trans responses were also submitted. 
 
Responding to the consultation as academics As academics, it is important that we support good governance grounded in empirical evidence and the principles of equality and equity for all. As feminists and/or LGBTQ+ people, it is important that we recognise that current attacks on trans rights echo and are linked to similar attacks on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. 
In responding to the consultation: 
Concisely reference scholarly evidence where possible. 
 
* Assert your own expertise where relevant. 
* In the linked PDF below, I have used in-text citations for brevity. 
However, Government bodies tend to prefer links or full-reference footnotes, so please bear this in mind. 
Ensure your response to each question makes sense as a stand-alone comment. 
 
* Don’t build an argument across the entirety of your consultation response or cross-reference your previous answers. 
* Consultation responses will be analysed on a question-by-question basis. 
Responses from organisations are given more weight by the government. 
 
* If it is possible to submit a response on behalf of your department, school, centre, professional organisation or academic special interest group, please do so in addition to your personal response. 
If you have limited time and energy just responding to the tick-box questions will make a difference. 
Please share this information with your colleagues to ensure a large, evidence-based trans-positive response to the consultation. 
 
Resources 
 
Here are two documents I have produced to help you and your colleagues in responding to the consultation. 
 
GRA consultation – suggested starting points for responding to consultation questions<https://transactivist.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/gra-consultation 
-suggested-starting-point.pdf> 
This document includes information on each consultation question, including relevant evidence and citations that you might want to use in your submission. 
 
GRA consultation – a guide for feminist and LGBT+ academics<https://transactivist.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/gra-consultation 
-a-guide-for-feminist-and-lgbt-academics.pdf> 
This document includes the full content of this blog post plus the suggested starting points for responding to consultation questions. 
 
For guides to the consultation from non-academic organisations, see: 
Amnesty 
International<https://www.amnesty.org.uk/have-your-say-gender-recognition-ac 
t> 
LGBT Foundation<https://lgbt.foundation/gra> 
Mermaids<https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/assets/media/Mermaids%20Guidance%20Pa 
ck_Responding%20to%20the%20GRA%20Consultation.pdf> 
Stonewall<https://www.stonewall.org.uk/gender-recognition-act> 
National Union of 
Students<https://nusdigital.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/document/documents/43 
614/9d6f51dba8993b819565ea229abf31e5/GRA_consultation_guidance.pdf?AWSAccess 
KeyId=AKIAJKEA56ZWKFU6MHNQ&Expires=1539348311&Signature=4c4tnsm2bawgJrw%2Feu 
qpXqNztGI%3D> 
 
Thank you very much for your time. 
 
In solidarity, 
 
Ruth 
 
Dr Ruth Pearce 
Research Fellow 
School of Sociology and Social Policy 
University of Leeds 
http://ruthpearce.net<http://ruthpearce.net/> 
 
My monograph “Understanding Trans Health” is out now: 
https://ruthpearce.net/understanding-trans-health/ 
 
Read about the Trans Pregnancy Project: 
https://transpregnancy.leeds.ac.uk/ 
 
 
The BSA Gender Study Group mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information related to any aspect of Gender Studies and scholarship. We do not undertake editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party. 
The information transmitted in this e-mail and its contents is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. If you are not the intended addressee you are prohibited from storing, copying or using the information in any way. This email has been checked for viruses and malware but no liability is accepted by UEL for any damage caused by any virus or malware that may be transmitted by this email. 
________________________________ 
This email has been scanned for email related threats and delivered safely by Mimecast. 
For more information please visit http://www.mimecast.com ________________________________ 
 
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________________________________ 
The BSA-ACTIVISM-IN-SOCIOLOGY-FORUM mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information. We do undertake minimal editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. Unless Convenors specify they are posting in their capacity as a Convenor, their posts should be treated in a personal capacity. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party. This list is not intended for discussion, but we do also host a discussion group on Jiscmail, BSA-ACTIVISM-DISCUSS. We respectfully ask that any list members wishing to engage in discussion use that list for discussion rather than this one. 
To unsubscribe from the BSA-ACTIVISM-IN-SOCIOLOGY-FORUM list, click the following link: 
https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=BSA-ACTIVISM-IN-SOCIOLOGY 
-FORUM&A=1 
The BSA Gender Study Group mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information related to any aspect of Gender Studies and scholarship. We do not undertake editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party. 
 
This message is intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. Any use, disclosure or reproduction without the sender’s explicit consent is unauthorised and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please notify Northumbria University immediately and permanently delete it. Any views or opinions expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the University. Northumbria University email is provided by Microsoft Office365 and is hosted within the EEA, although some information may be replicated globally for backup purposes. The University cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and/or amended. 
 
The BSA Gender Study Group mailing list is for the exchange of ideas and information related to any aspect of Gender Studies and scholarship. We do not undertake editorial control of postings; viewpoints and information posted to the list do not necessarily represent the views of the convenors or association. We encourage respectful communication on the list and ask that questions related to specific postings be directed to the appropriate party. 

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