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Today I will be live tweeting from @MForstater ‘s tribunal hearing where she will be giving evidence. #MayaForstaterCase2019
Ms Maya Forstater v Centre for Global Development in the Central London Employment Tribunal
A group of women have come to support Maya, including some well-know faces!
Today the court will deal with the matter of belief, presumably whether gender critical philosophy passes the legal test for a belief caught by discrimination protections.

Maya now being sworn in.
A reminder: MF claims that her contract wasn’t renewed after she tweeted basic scientific and feminist beliefs which ran contrary to the tenets of gender ideology. She was the family breadwinner.
Respondents’ counsel (RC) starts to question MF. MF’s beliefs re sex & gender crystallised in 2017. She realised the GRA reforms would effect the meaning of ‘man’ & ‘woman.’ MF - o hadn’t previously clarified how ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ were generally conflated, and how some believed
...they have an innate gender identity. Others mean norms imposed because of sex when they say ‘gender.’ In 2017 I understood the differences clearly.
MF - it wasn’t a formal research process but I recall Jenny Murray being criticised for saying transwomen are transwomen. That seemed a sensible statement in 2016. I didn’t understand the furore.
I first tweeted about it in 2018 when I felt confident in expressing my belief in public. I tweeted about the govt consultation on the GRA reforms, eg. this is an important current policy debate, here’s what I’ve read.
I already had a strong belief in the material reality of sex and how being female impacts on your life. Yes, it was 2 years between starting to research and tweeting publicly.
No, my views aren’t just two years old. For as long as I remember I’ve believed sex is material reality
RC is trying to frame MFs views of sex & gender as “toddlers of belief” ie. not held for a long time. MG refutes that. MF - when I met transexuals/transvestitesi treated them as they wished, but I never believed humans could change sex.
RC- how long have you believed people can’t change sex?
MF - before I knew how babies were made, as a child, I didn’t understand the difference between a persons appearance & biology, but by the time of GCSE Biology & Agriculture degree I understood. 30-40 year belief...
Observers are snickering at RC’s attempt to frame MF’s belief in human sexual dimorphism as “a very young belief” in comparison to Christianity...RC asks MF to name an ancient philosopher on sexual dimorphism.
MF referred to Darwin, for starters.

RC moves onto violence. Asks are trans people susceptible to violence.

Pause for more supporters to squeeze into room packed with press & MF supporters.
Aside: I am really deeply glad that I’m not counsel for the respondent right now...
RC - National Transgender Discrimination Survey of various Northern American nations. Suicide statistics of trans identitified people. High figures for assault.

MF - I want to look at how it was presented in the skeleton argument. It says something different.

J -you’re giving
evidence so can’t make representations.

MF - methodology says they surveyed those in homeless shelters receiving various social supppot, low income. Not representative of the wider trans community, only vulnerable communities surveyed.
RC attempting to make point about trans people being subject to high rates of violence.

J - it’s legitimate for witness nor to simply concur “that’s a high figure.”

RC - high rate of discrimination among trans community.

MF - no, there’s no control group & it’s restricted to
Vulnerable communities. I’m not saying trans people in general aren’t vulnerable.

RC - you don’t despite that violence on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity happens

MF - no
#MayaForstaterCase2019

RC confirms witness understands various gender ideology terms of art. MF knows what is meant by ‘cis’ & ‘nonbinary’ & ‘misgendering.’

MF - preferred pronouns differ from when someone uses pronoun to refer to someone’s sex.
RC refers to an article entitled ‘Please don’t refer to transwomen as having been born boys.’ Media guide by GLAAD for reporting on trans issues. Asks journalists to use “assigned female/Male at birth” etc. Are you familiar with this?
MF - not with this document but I understand
some people want to be called AMAB etc.

Pause for another new supporter to be seated. We have a very full house.

RC - you refer to Goodwin case re right to privacy & to marry.

CC (Anya Palmer) - the right to change legal sex, not biological

MF - one cant change sex but can
change sex marker on documents

RC - difference between legal & biological sex?

MF - yes, people who change legal sex don’t want to be outed as trans
RC - are you sure you harbour no ill feeling towards trans people?

MF - Yes.
RC - you say “people deserve respect but ideas don’t”

[aside: awesome quote Maya!]

Are you certain about that?

MF - Yes.
RC - you think someone male cannot become female, correct?

MF - Yes.

[We observers are on tenterhooks for the gotcha now...]

J - what does the “critical” in “gender critical” mean to you?
MF - it’s been used as a label for this set of beliefs.

J - “of vital importance”?

MF - gender norms are sex stereotypes (gives examples eg. girls shouldn’t get messy). Critical of social norms which treat women as subordinate to men. If you conform to gender norms that isn’t
what makes you a woman. Biology makes you Male or female. You can do and wear what you like, so critical of gender stereotypes.

JC - aren’t you being critical of transgenderism?

MF - I don’t use the term transgenderism. It’s critical of idea there is a right way to be a man
eg. he has to wear a suit, and if he wears lipstick he’s not a man. Imposing sexist ideas on children eg. by stopping a boy dressing as a princess. Some are helped by transition, yes. But unless you’re at the extreme of the binary, you’re deemed not to be a ‘real’ girl/boy. I’m
critical of that idea.

RC - your email to your MP says “transwomen are men.”

MF - that summarises my belief in context of my question to my mp about the GRA.
RC - [here comes the intersex ‘gotcha’...]

MF - in incredibly rare cases sex can’t be readily visually determined

RC - isn’t that like Biblical Genesis?

MF - I don’t believe in god.

RC - neither do I, but your view that sex is binary is the same as biblical view
MF - sex is based on gonads & gametes

RC - males have XY chromosomes females have XX

MF - production of gametes is key to determining sex
RC - World Health Org on sex & genetics.

MF - reiterates that potential to create one of two gametes determines sex

RC - you’re avoiding adopting chromosomal definition because it shows a fundamental flaw in your belief
[reiterates intersex gotcha]

MF - Those conditions are
not outside the XX/XY model. The conditions a - f are intersex, g is irrelevant as all their organs develop outside their body.

[Poor babies & parents]

MF - intersex conditions don’t show binary sex is fallacious: each of these conditions effects either males or females
[she goes on to list whether each condition effects either males or females]. In mosaic Turner syndrome docs have to analyse cells to discover sex. They cant grow up to produce opposite sex’s gametes. Many intersex people are fertile.

RC -circles back to intersex chromosomes
RC - intersex conditions undermine theory that there are only two sexes, correct?

MF - No. that’s not true. Doctors can still diagnose whether they’re male or female from gene expressions. Nobody produces both gamete, there is no third gamete. Sex means producing one or other
RC - you must admit intersex conditions disprove binary sex

MF - no. I haven’t said it’s XX/XY which determine sex, but gamete production. There are infertile males & infertils females. They’re not lesser people, they just have pathologies if reproductive system.
RC - [tries again]

MF - [stands firm again]

“There are no true hermaphrodites among humans. There are only two types of gamete therefore only two sexes in humans.”

RC - [ploughs onward, repeating]
MF - doctors don’t “assign sex at birth.” Sometimes they have to do more than observe.

RC - they look at the baby and that’s just guesswork isn’t it?

[Room explodes in laughter - mostly the women present. J let’s it go.]
J asks for new topic and recess.

Back at 11.50 👋🏻
Back in session

RC - you’re not a biologist are you?

MF - no

RC - you recognise you can change sex via a gender recognition certificate

MF - no, that doesn’t reflect anything about changing a persons reproductive sex. The law was made to accommodate those w gender dysphoria
RC - you can change legal but not biological sex

J - what consequences of someone changing legal sex?

MF - to do with privacy & marriage, marriage case out of date as gay marriage legal now. Privacy for someone who doesn’t want to reveal natal sex. I respect people’s pronouns
but if Male in my gym changing room I wouldn’t care if they had a certificate or not. Underlying reality.

RC - tho someone can legally change sex, you wouldn’t accept it?

MF - no just that Eq Act allows single sec services eg smear test, service for female people. Bodies
and legal status can differ
Having a GRC doesn’t effect whether you need s smear test

If I walked into a changing room, found naked man, I wouldn’t worry about their pronouns but the physical reality. I’m everyday social situations I’d respect preferred pronouns
It hasn’t happened to me, no

DC - refers to MF tweet (I think) re manels, would you do a manel with Pips Bunce? You compare transitioners with trans race. DC raises Rachel Dolezal. You don’t see the difference between transgender & transrace. It’s not true that they’re the same?
MF - Dolezal honestly identifies as black, not pretending, that’s my comparison. That’s not the comparison made re Pips Bunce who identifies as a man, has a feminine persona & goes to work in a dress.

RC - you say you don’t see difference btwn trans race & trans gender
MF - reiterates Pips Bunce says he hasn’t transitioned

CC - clarity two diff twitter conversations for witness

J - let’s focus on Dolezal Twitter conversation

RC - “neither trans race nor trans gender are grounded in reality”

MF - yes

RC - Dolezal was paid to be
professionally black

MF - yes. That’s how she feels -black. Yes she changed her appearance. No she didn’t become trans race for financial gain. Not all TW claim they are female.

RC - Dolezal deceived via her changed appearance, chose to cross from white privileged to
More marginalised identity

MF - she claims it’s her true self, I have no way of knowing

RC - people don’t become transgender for economic benefit

MF - I cant judge someone’s internal motivation

RC - becoming trans exposes them to difficulty

MF - yes. Males have taken
places on all woman shortlists, as women’s officers of political parties. Legitimate question re whether that’s a good idea
MF - Dolezal feels black, it’s how she wants to be recognised. That’s the same as transgender people. Make comparison b/c Dolezal widely criticised. Contrars with expectation to respect transgender identity in every situation.
She expresses she’s black where material reality is her parents are white, she wants to be treated as black. Same as transgender person wanting to be treated as opposite sex for internal reasons.
RC - that’s about showing trans people’s actions are rooted in deception

MF - that’s not what I said. Trans persons feelings are real but don’t change material reality

RC - [tries again] if I’m right your take is demeaning to trans people. It’s not your position that trans
people are liars?

MF - no that’s not what I said. Some people lie, some are mistaken. Eg if you lie about your sex when in hospital you put yourself in danger when giving/receiving blood. Misrepresenting your sex puts you and ors in danger.
MF - children’s understanding of sex goes through a developmental process. Starts with ‘-a man / woman is someone who dresses like a man /woman’ moves on in secondary school / when you learn abt sex / how babies made. Yes I’m not a child developmental psychologist I’m a parent
MF - I think you can tell children ‘my name is x, Id like to be called she,’ can recognise social gender, but it’d be untrue to lie about their sex

RC - colluding in a deception

MF - yes, but that’s different from recognising social gender identity. I don’t think biological
males can become females. [repeats intention re Dolezal tweets]

J - re talking to a boy called Jane, you’d accept that, but if male Jane said ‘I’m a woman’ would u accept that?

MF - would depend on context. In supermarket with your kid you want interaction to be easy, not to
explain sex to child who isn’t developmentally ready for it. You give children what they’re ready for but don’t lie to them. There are situations with safeguarding guideline, where adults have responsibility for a child, and relationship is close, wrong to say a male is female
Eg. You might say that teacher is called Jane, is welcome in the community, but Jane is male

J - so even if Jane had a GRC you wouldn’t describe them to a child as female?

MF - that’s difficult but there is a tension. Safeguarding means children must be allowed honest qs re
sex. Child must be able to say exactly what is making child uncomfortable.

J - I asked if it would make a diff if Jane had a GRC?

MF - their pronoun would make no difference to their sex

J - how would you introduce them?

MF - I wouldn’t lie to child. If child says
“Miss are you a man or a woman?” I would question whether someone who couldn’t answer that honestly should be in that position of responsibility with children. Shouldn’t lie to kids or expect kids to lie abt somones sex.
J - even if they have a GRC?

MF - they could say ‘it’s not your business.’ No child should be expected to accept a lie and keep the truth a secret. [gives understanding re GRC - if you got info re natal sex in an official capacity, you can’t divulge it,but if you know
Jane is male it’s not so secret that you simply can’t allude to it at all. My understanding.

J - provisions re what info you can give, general effect of legal fiction of sex change. You’d say they’d be lying to say they are a woman?

MF - if to a child of presexual developmental
stage then yes you’re lying

J - [reiterates]

MF - distinction btwn things you skate over with kids and responsible adult in an institution. School and trans teacher would work out form of words truthful to children, respectful of trans individual
Safeguarding principles must be protected, trans person must be respected. Not easy question but these are the considerations.

J - you return to ‘its wrong to lie to children.’ Do you consider it to be a lie?

MF - yes. At young age, if you@don’t distinguish sex & gender
you’re lying to the child

J - what about visitor giving talk at school? Are they lying?

MF - yes I think it would be. Appropriate answer is evasion. Adults do that all the time with kids. So many situations where people said ‘priests/scout leaders/
swimming teachers are
safe. Come to see nobody is safe. Principle protects children.

J - “let’s strip our safeguarding, someone just visiting school so absolutely no safeguarding issue. Is it an untruth?”

MF - that’s a violation of their dignity isn’t it?
MF - [denies, reiterates] trans is about Gender identity

RC - [reiterates]

MF - when I say I am a woman, it says nothing about my gender identity. Someone else could claim I’m lying because sex & gender so thoroughly conflated now. People not lying to one another but
Interpreting the word gender differently. This conflation can put people in danger eg in hospital.

J - [pulls back to setting aside children’s safeguarding, which MF wasn’t alluding to]

MF - need to differentiate concepts of sex & gender. Form for this tribunal
Asked my gender. I don’t have a gender, but had to tick box up get to the next stage. In some situations the conflation doesn’t matter but in ors it’s vital eg medical, safeguarding, privacy
Court re-convenes at 2pm but alas I have to leave then for the school run. Hopefully someone else will step in #MayaForstaterCase2019
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