Gender identity: there is time in Italy to stop it before it happens

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Unlike us Brits, Germans prefer straightforward truths to polite lies. This is why I was shocked to learn that in Germany the lie that it does not matter whether one is born female or male may soon be law. In the UK, plans to introduce 'gender self-identification' were largely thwarted thanks to a push by feminists, but the battle in the Bundestag has only just begun.

Biological sex is probably the most important factor in shaping our life chances. Sex determines the probability of being a rapist or raped, domestic abuser or victim, prostitute or pimp. There are particular cases, but the pattern of male violence cannot be denied, nor can it be undone by a change of pronouns or legal identity.

Today, in the UK as in much of the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to say that sex matters without falling foul of the law. Citizens are expected to agree that if someone says they are of the opposite sex, then they are. The approval of theHate Crime and Public Order Bill in Scotland (which will come into force by the end of the month) puts feminists at risk of arrest and prosecution for stating facts such as 'women don't have penises'. This is to avoid the upset of 'trans women' with penises.

Similar legislation has been used elsewhere in the UK to enjoin women to comply, and many are afraid to speak out for fear of ending up in court and being fired. In the dark echo of the witch trials that swept through Europe almost half a millennium ago, Today, those who work for large institutions are forced to pretend that 'trans women are women' and 'trans men are men' in order not to be prosecuted, forced to leave their jobs, ostracised socially or even physically assaulted.

About six years ago I began to reflect on the personal, political and social implications of the belief that people can change their sex. Over a warm British beer in the garden of a cold pub, a friend asked me why I had referred to Caitlyn Jenner as a woman. Without thinking, the words "because trans people are women" came out of my mouth. She simply asked, "if you're a woman and Jenner is a woman, what is it that brings you together?" Instead of answering, I got angry with her and cried, but after a while I realised I was repeating a polite lie. The blunt truth, namely that Jenner is a male, seemed rude. Jenner's transition to "Caitlyn" was announced via a photo shoot. Covered in make-up, with a well-combed wig and uncomfortable underwear, Jenner's 'transition' was based on a pornified stereotype of what a woman is. This masculine idea of 'being a woman' depends precisely on the beauty practices that feminists have been fighting for decades, reducing the reality of being a woman to a fantasy in a man's imagination. This should anger any self-respecting woman; it is the eroticization of the tools used to oppress us. Recognition of this has led a lesbian feminist scholar, Professor Sheila Jeffreys, branding transgenderism as a 'men's sexual rights movement'.

Only a few years ago, many of the men who call themselves 'trans' today would have been understood as heterosexual cross-dressers. Today, some of these men are promoted by mainstream LGBT organisations as 'lesbian role models'. Alongside these men, mostly middle-aged, an increasing number of children and young people are coming out as 'trans'.when in previous decades they would have been considered same-sex attracted, autistic or traumatised. The needs of these groups are very different. For advocates of transgenderism, the increase in the number of people identifying as trans is due to increased social acceptance that allows people to become their 'authentic selves'. (a state that can apparently be achieved by changing clothes, taking hormones or having surgery). For critics, the increase is due to social contagion, to theinternalised homophobia and, in the case of adult males, pornography. This has led to a growing problem: how to balance the right of people to identify themselves as they wish without impacting on the rights of most people.

Around the same time that I had my personal epiphany about transgenderism, a political enquiry was underway. The British government had consulted with transgender lobby groups in order to change the process by which legal gender can be changed. Just as is now being proposed in Germany, the British government seemed keen to introduce such a self-identification system. La MP Maria Miller, who was the initiator, thought this would allow her to appear 'compassionate'. Miller actually came across as a fool for failing to consider the impact of allowing men who identify as trans to enter prisons, hospital wards and single-sex locker rooms.

Our feminist forefathers fought for single-sex spaces because they understood that men were far more likely to be predators than women. Statistics bear this out: 2017 data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) shows that. 98% of those convicted of sexual offences, 92% of those convicted of weapons offences and 88% of those convicted of violence against the person are male. Males also make up 96% of the total prison population. It is interesting to note that Almost half of the inmates in UK prisons who identified themselves as 'transgender women' were convicted of sexual offences. This adds credence to the theory that for some people identifying as female is a fetish. Statistics show that in the UK, people who identify as transgender are more likely to commit murder than to be murdered. Yet, here as elsewhere in the world, the imaginary ghosts of 'dead trans people'. (read here on data mystification) infest media reports. On social media, feminists are routinely blamed for their own deaths, as if those who criticise transgender ideology were the violent ones. This is a grotesque distortion; most of the 'trans women' who are killed are caught up in the sex trafficking trade that infests the south, and are killed by other men.

Over the course of a decade, in secret and without parliamentary debate, institutions across the UK have moved to record 'gender' rather than 'sex'. Government-funded transgender lobby groups have spread the message that it is illegal to maintain single-sex spacesspreading a "guide to inclusion who mistakenly told employers that they must open female facilities to trans women and male facilities to trans men. Whereas there is no legal obligation for anyone to do this, a system has been created de facto of gender self-identification. This situation is strikingly similar to a strategy outlined in a report produced by the LGBT pressure group IGLYO (international organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex youth and students, see here) written report with the staff of the international law firm Dentons and supported by one of the world's largest charitable funding organisations, the Thomson Reuters Foundationin which transgender lobbyists were advised to "get on with the government's agenda".

The report, entitled "Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for young people", focuses on how to change social attitudes, policy and law by looking at 'best practice' across Europe. Without doubt, the effects of theIGLYO children, clinicians and parents experience them every day. I Referral rates to gender identity development services in the UK reflect a profound social change; in less than a decade there has been a 1460% increase in referrals of boys and a 5337% increase in referrals of girls. The majority of those referred to services have a range of comorbidities; It is estimated that about 35% are autistic and many have suffered sexual abuse or other trauma. Clinicians denounced the impact of transgender pressure groups on treatment, stating that the Fear of being branded as 'transphobic' has stifled clinical research into the staggering increase in cases.

Parents who try to explain to their children that their transgender identification may simply be transitory are at risk of intervention by social services, and thanks to the advice of the transgender lobby schools often call children by new names and pronouns without informing the family (courses on the so-called alias career are already carried out in Italian schools, ed.). The parents' fears are not unfounded, the report IGLYO advise "states should take action against parents who obstruct the free development of a young trans person's identity".

As was the case in Germany last year, the UK is currently discussing the inclusion of 'gender identity' alongside sexual orientation as a prohibited object of conversion therapy. But for many young people who identify as the opposite sex, it is a way of understanding their feelings of same-sex attraction. Adding 'gender identity' to an otherwise uncontroversial ban on conversion therapy for lesbian, gay and bisexual people is in line with the strategy outlined in the report IGLYOwhich advises those promoting transgender ideology to 'link your campaign to more popular reform'.

The impact is not only on children, as in the UK the statistics on crime, the gender pay gap, the veracity of data recording the different experiences of men and women has been compromised. In January, the Daily Mailone of the UK's leading newspapers, headlined: "The number of female paedophiles has almost doubled in four years.. Feminists have pointed out that this figure now includes men who identify as women. While some sections of the UK media question the ideology of transgenderism, fear of legal action prevents many from doing honest reporting.

After the backlash against the proposal to introduce gender self-identification in the UK, an army of women started to wake up. Groups started to mobilise, some gathered through the website for parents Mumsnetand others through social media. Just as happened to those who fought for women's rights before us, feminists were excluded from the parliamentary process, branded as bigots by the liberal media, fired, threatened and dragged into court. However, through direct actions, public meetings and protests, the voices of feminists are finally starting to be heard.

New and active women's groups that have emerged in recent years include We Need to Talk, Man Friday, Women's Place UK, Standing for Women, Fair Play for Women, Get the L Out and ReSisters. Unlike the glossy document IGYLO, there is no well-funded lobbying strategy and these groups often disagree on how to bring about change and with whom to ally. British feminist organisations cut across the political spectrum; views range from a liberal approach to radical lesbian separatism. Despite their differences, they are united in understanding that women need and deserve spaces and services for one sex.

With the introduction of gender self-identification having remained, British feminists are now beginning the slow process of eradicating transgender ideology from our institutions. This has led to high-profile legal cases, including the detransitioner Keira Bell who sued NHS who gave her puberty blockers as a child, and lawyer Allison Bailey who sued the transgender lobby group Stonewall. There have already been some significant successes, and in March, the campaign group Fair Play for Women won a High Court challenge against the Office for National Statistics by ensuring that the data collected in the Census was accurate.

Although my father is German, I can safely call myself English, and my knowledge of politics outside the UK is patchy; but I can tell you that transgender ideology is internationally funded and promoted. From Iceland to India, legislation is being passed to promote transgender identities over gender. If we allow this to happen without opposition, young people will continue to be medicated and sterilised, we will not be allowed to prevent men from breaking into women's spaces, no matter their motivation, and we will see the end of women's success in sports, awards and scholarships. Also, we will lose the right to define ourselves as 'adult human females'. Our best weapon is the truth; deep down everyone knows that 'trans women' are men, and 'trans men' are women. I started this essay by saying how much I respect the frankness of the Germans. Like Martin Luther and his Bible, which speaks clearly, the message feminists share is easily understood: we need to break sexist stereotypes, not people's sexed-up bodies. Whether they are standing in pulpits or marching in front of Pride, theres women, we must refuse to have our rights taken away from us by misogynistic men in women's clothing.

Josephine Bartosch

For the original article (published in Germany by Emmathe most famous German feminist magazine). here

(translation by Elisa Vilardo)

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