THREAD: Don't let the #EqualityAct erase sex in the law. Why we need to #AmendTheEqualityAct. Image
If the Equality Act were signed into law today (or in January 2021), it would erase sex by redefining sex as a matter of self-identity, not as a biological reality. But if the law can't see sex, the law can't address sex-based inequities.
In other words, the law can pretend sex = gender identity, but reality won't play along. Sex will still matter. What's at issue is whether the law will be able to address sex—or not.
Women and girls are oppressed on the basis of sex, not gender identity. Changing your gender identity does not change your sex. Therefore the law must continue to recognize sex and address the unique capabilities and vulnerabilities of women and girls as a sex class.
Rewriting the law to recognize gender id by erasing sex will harm women and girls, and make it more difficult to identify & fairly adjudicate conflicts that arise.
The #EqualityAct—as currently written—would make self-declaration what determines whether someone is "female" or "male," and who can use female facilities, be housed in female domestic violence refuges and prisons, compete in female sports, and represent female people.
But self-declaration has never been what determines women and girls' ability to exercise basic human rights or participate fully and equally in society. When we talk about the rights of women and girls, we're talking not about self-identity, but sex.
Women have never 'identified' as people undeserving of basic civil and human rights. 

Yet it doesn't seem to matter much how women identify.
US women in the last century have gone without the right to vote, inherit, get a divorce, seek custody of our children, access birth control and abortion, own credit cards, receive adequate maternity care and leave, seek redress for sexual harassment, and much more. Image
Just over 100 years ago we could not self-declare our right to vote—the law's refusal to recognize the rights of women as a sex class has held women back for much of US history. ImageImage
When it comes to menstruation, pregnancy, abortion, and childbirth, it's sex—not gender identity—matters.

We can't self-declare our way out of an unintended pregnancy or around abortion restrictions.… Image
When African-American women face high rates of maternal mortality, when Native women disappear, when women in ICE detention undergo involuntary hysterectomies—the relevant intersections are race/ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic status, and sex—not gender identity.
When it comes to access to political representation, women have been excluded on the basis of our sex, not gender identity. But women are losing representation for our experiences & interests.

Does this look like equal representation for men and women to you? Image
When it comes to refuges, homeless shelters & prisons, sex matters. Housing vulnerable women in mixed-sex spaces violates their rights to safety, privacy, and dignity. Special accommodations can & should be made for trans people's safety & dignity.…
When it comes to sports, it's sex, not gender identity, that determines whether competition is safe and fair or wildly unequal and dangerous for female athletes. ImageImageImage
At every step, the law has been a vital tool in (eventually!) recognizing and remedying sex-based inequalities. Take the example of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made it her life's work to fight discrimination on the basis of sex. Image
Why should women be redefined from a sex class to a mixed-sex class based on gender id that privileges the identity claims of male people over the lived experiences of female people?

Why not protect trans people as trans people, rather than writing fictions into the law?
Sex =/= gender identity. These differences matter. And the law—and our lawmakers—should not pretend otherwise. 

In settings where sex matters, the law needs to make it clear that it's biological sex that matters, not self-identity. That's why the language has to be clear.
There's a reason the UK just stepped back from passing similar legislation: Lawmakers recognized that sex matters, independently of gender id & that destroying sex-based protections is not necessary to protect the human & civil rights of trans people.
And there's a reason Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens, and the (ironically named) Women's Equality Party continue to lose female voters over their refusal to recognize the need for sex-based protections & an open, civil debate. 

(Nota bene, US Democrats.)
We can #AmendTheEqualityAct to protect the rights of LGBT people to safety, dignity, and freedom from discrimination while preserving the rights of women & girls and the ability of the law to 'see' sex. Image
Here are two proposals: @callie_h_burt explores why laws need to clearly and consistently distinguish sex from gender & how #EqualityAct can do so, by protecting sex, gender status, & sexual orientation separately:…
.@FeministStruggl drafted amendments to the #EqualityAct and is organizing to #AmendTheEqualityAct. Learn more here:
We've got ideas but we're short on lobbying $$ & beltway connections. That's why we need you call your senators (202-224-3121!) and ask them to #AmendTheEqualityAct so that we can recognize & protect women & girls on the basis of sex, while expanding protections for LGBT people.
We need an open dialogue as we navigate these issues and attempt to strike a balance between sex-based rights women and girls need and gender identity claims and demands.
As @callie_h_burt said, "the House passage of the Equality Act was not the outcome of a thoughtful, deliberative process with input from affected parties with a full consideration of unintended and intended consequences," demonstrating disregard for effects on sex-based rights.
(continued...) The #EqualityAct “fails to strike a balance between the rights, needs, and interests of two marginalized (and overlapping) groups—trans people and females—and instead prioritizes the demands of trans people over the hard-won rights of female people.”
The #EqualityAct is clear case of policy capture, w/ lobbyists working out of public view to pass radical policies at the expense of women's sex-based rights & creating a climate in which women raising questions &concerns are attacked, fired, no-platformed,& denounced as hateful.
This is part of a worldwide lobbying effort. When policies can't stand up to scrutiny, you need to obscure, avoid media coverage & public debate, & tether radical proposals (like defining sex as a matter of self-id, not biology) to more popular reforms.
This isn't acceptable. Women fought hard for our sex-based rights,reproductive autonomy,political representation,fair competition,& voice in political battles that shape our lives. Demands that we quietly accept our erasure in the law are not reasonable or just. The answer is NO.
Women in the US must speak up—as women elsewhere are doing—like @Womans_Place_UK, which asserts women's right to organize as a sex class, that sex matters, that any laws passed must work for women, and that wherever our rights are discussed, women must have a voice. Image
Erasing sex in the law is not equality. 

We can #AmendTheEqualityAct—but it will take all of us speaking out. Please talk to friends and colleagues and bring pressure on our lawmakers to ensure this law works for LGBT people and women and girls. Image
And if you prefer your #AmendTheEqualityAct graphics straight out of the art museum, here you go: ImageImageImage
Here's another way to get involved:

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