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Are trans rights taking priority over women’s safety?

The Law Society Gazette recently reported on a new phenomenon in Irish jails, where “male-bodied” prisoners can now be housed with women – even when said prisoners have a record of sexual assault against women. 

There hasn’t been a peep from Irish feminists about this. Clearly the new obsession with trans rights now takes priority over the safety of women.

Criminal defence lawyer Robert Purcell told the Gazette that the 2015 Gender Recognition Act – which was passed, as I remember it, without any real public debate or discussion,  has created “an impossible position” with regard to transgender prisoners.

‘Purcell believes there is, potentially, a safety issue for women inmates housed alongside a male-bodied prisoner,’ the Gazette reports.

Well of course there is. The Gender Recognition Act is absurd. As previously noted on this platform it is permissible to legally changer gender in Ireland by simply signing a sworn statement.

So we now have a case where a dangerous prisoner, born male, is insisting he is a woman, even though he has not undergone any hormonal therapy or surgery, and his claim has legal recognition under the law.

He was previously convicted of ten counts of sexual assault and one count of cruelty against a child.  And he is now being housed with women, many of whom are vulnerable and who may have already experienced sexual and domestic violence.

I’m completely at a loss as to the silence from Irish feminists on this issue. Of course, the women who are being endangered in this instance are disproportionately poor and disenfranchised. They might not be of much concern to Irish feminists who spent all their taxpayer-funded time obsessing about abortion and seeking power.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission told the Gazette they had no comment to make on the matter. Good to know where they stand.

Purcell, who is chair of the Law Society Criminal Law Committee, told the paper that the 2015 legislation put forward by Labour’s Joan Burton “did not envisage this situation”. Well why on earth not? Isn’t that meant to be the job of law-drafters and law-makers – that they foresee obvious problems with legislation, especially when that legislation upends some important and enduring norms in society.

In our eager rush to be seen as the most liberal and most progressive country ever, Ireland has become one of just four countries to allow a change of gender to be recognised simply by swearing a statement.

Prior to the 2015 legislation, any person wishing to legally change gender would have to have have been seen by endocrinologists and psychiatrists, but this requirement was dropped after a campaign from transgender activists as they felt the conditions were too burdensome.

Some experts have suggested that one way of dealing with what is clearly a dangerous situation is to have prison accommodation specifically designated for transgender prisoners.  No doubt that will be met with shrieks of rage and accusations of oppression.

In the meantime, a ‘male bodied’ violent sex offender – with ten counts of sexual assault and one count of child cruelty – is being housed with women prisoners. And the silence from women’s rights campaigners is deafening.


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