Define ‘Woman’

So, First Minister, do you think a ‘woman’ is an adult human female?

A lot of men and too many women are scared to challenge the ‘transgender’ nonsense. Personally, I readily admit I was bewildered by the arguments and apprehensive about writing on the subject.

Establishment figures who support Stonewall’s utterances and edicts, and social media sites too, can shut you down for expressing a view contrary to the received wisdom. The press avoid the subject, bar a few courageous columnists. Why are intelligent people and those in positions of authority getting behind the faux trans ‘gender’ campaign? Well, it makes them feel good, morally upright; they support an allegedly victimised minority. This is a nightmare.

Some people are confused by the terminology bandied about and withdraw, others repelled by the aggression used to push opinion, especially trans people with a score to settle with society. The reality of alien laws, however, are upon us. By devious routes and stealth this warped doctrine has managed to become legislation in various countries, advocated by politicians for reasons that are obscure. Our own SNP administration has embraced it with a vigour one wishes they had applied to securing Scotland’s independence.

In effect, the SNP has declared war on women, the First Minister stating that objections to proposed laws are not valid. Seeing a cash-strapped City of Edinburgh Council put £5 million of rates into creating single sex public toilets should tell women fighting to retain their rights the end is nigh. When our institutions are against women’s very existence they need a revolution, a popular mass movement, if they are to repeal laws, bills, and heal the damage done so far.

As a male of the species, one who penned a much praised screenplay exploring the sources of male aggression on women, physical and psychological, I cannot believe the fiasco has gotten this far. Do parent know what is being taught in our schools on this subject? I am all for children being knowledgeable not kept innocent, but trans gender theory is dangerous indoctrination. Scots are supposed to be famous for our down-to-earth common sense. And yet some women are leading the trans gender contortions as if biological fact.

All the experts tell us the ‘trans‘ gender does not exist. I see it as a patriarchal invention to make the categories of women and men invisible, to substitute feminism with something more generic. It undermines the feminist struggle for equality. As one feminist put it, “The word ‘gender‘ has replaced those of ‘women‘ and ‘men’; ‘gender violence law’ has replaced patriarchy, feminism, feminist struggle.” To my certain knowledge, trans people share the same civil and human rights as the rest of us, which makes the screams and squeals from certain frantic quarters very odd.

A man can become a woman just on saying that’s what he wants to be. And he can retain his beard and join all-women sports. The radical feminist Germaine Greer who knows her subject inside out – if you can forgive the pun, and is not someone to annoy by spouting waffle (I’m six feet, she’s taller), put it succinctly. “If I put on a long brown coat with big black buttons, and a pair of ear muffs, that doesn’t make me a f**king bloodhound!”

As the gender debate has esculated so has the tiny transexual lobby increased its demands. The debate has become bitter. Suddenly ‘queer theory’ is defussed, sexuality a fluid thing. I do not recall any societal threat to their existence, but here we are liable to be faced by a long-running perverse conflict. Having worked in theatre with some trans actors, and having known a few in ordinary professions, one an accountant, another an antique dealer, their existence is part of life’s rich pattern. They are friends, and that is that. What I see now is a madness, a profound detraction from far greater pressures on society, namely Scotland’s destiny and climate change. And I cannot recall voting for this grotesque trans policy, or the SNP explaining their intentions in detail to the public before an election. It has arrived by force.

Anybody trying to study the arguments is confronted by incomprehensible discussions about the meaning of the term ‘gender‘. It has gone so far that women are now the people marginalised and oppressed. A massive amount of the SNP’s time has been devoted to and still is, invested in, pushing forward legislation that will see a small group dominate the mass of the population and effectively have women disappear. It is the rot that will kill the SNP.

On independence, the SNP has declared war on its own people, shutting down honest criticism and dissent about ways and means. They have also weaponised the trans ‘gender’ debate and used that too to declare war on women. The First Minister – a woman opf sorts – dismisses protest as ‘not valid’. Politicians are not elected to wave aside protest, but to listen and understand its source. Helping the SNP to build this Trojan Horse is their political partners, the Scottish Green party, and yet that party is also riven by the debate it has helped create and nurture.

Ask an SNP politician to define what a woman is and they choke on their words, scared, as I mentioned earlier, to give a straight-forward answer. This is a party that is in complete confusion about its role and its ideology. They have allied themselves with a fraudulant cause invented by the controllers of capitalist propaganda. We are liable to see us faced by the dangerous absurdity of passing laws to eliminate any reference to women and men. As it is, women are to be seen no longer the exploited class. This puts the women’s cause back a hundred years or more.

The distinguished author and journalist (and independence supporter), Iain Macwhirter tackled the subject in a recent newspaper column. I reprint his observations. They largely mirror my own. Whether his scrutiny or mine, or both, mean anything to readers curious about the bitterness of this supremely divisive subject, is another matter.


It’s the shortest questions that are the most dangerous for politicians.

On his television show, Andrew Marr asked the Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, what looked like the simplest question imaginable: what is wrong with saying that a woman is an adult human female? Mr Davey was stumped. He couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t answer after being asked three times. He flannelled about it not being relevant and said that Boris Johnson was “toxifying” the whole issue of trans rights. That may well be true, but it didn’t answer the question: is a woman an adult human female?

That is, of course, the dictionary definition of a woman. It is also a proposition that 99 per cent of British voters would see as wholly unobjectionable, indeed, self-evident. Obviously a woman is female. So why could Mr Davey not answer, and why, indeed, was a LibDem party member, Natalie Bird, banned from standing as an MP because she wore a tee shirt with this dictionary definition on it? Why has the Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, been forced to avoid the Labour Party conference on safety grounds for agreeing?

Is ‘convener’ male or female?

Earlier this year, the SNP’s elected Equalities Convener, Lynne Anderson, and its Women’s Convener, Caroline McAllister, both resigned over the definition of a woman. The Green Party has also split from top to bottom with departures and resignations, including that of the much-respected former Scottish MSP, Andy Wightman who said he couldn’t stay in a party that refused to discuss women’s sex-based rights. The UK Green Party co-leader, Sian Berry, resigned apparently because there was too much discussion of women being female.

Like Ms Berry, Mr Davey was trying to keep on the right side of the transgender debate by not deviating from the Stonewall mantra: “transwomen are women”. He appears to believe that this means it can never be assumed that a woman is actually female. Indeed, a “woman” could be someone who was born a man and has transitioned to female. But this involves an excruciating logical contortion. Why, if a transgender woman is literally a woman, should it not continue to be the case that a woman is an adult female? Hapless politicians like Mr Davey have been forced into holding a proposition which is manifestly absurd: that women are not adult human females but transwomen always are.

Mr Davey’s predecessor, Jo Swinson, got into similar difficulties. During the General Election campaign she dissolved when asked by a BBC presenter whether babies were born male or female. After much faltering and deviation, she said she didn’t think they were and that they might be “non-binary”. Labour’s then Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler, went further and asserted that “a child is not born with a sex”.

Both of them were basing this on the assertion by transgender activists that sex is “assigned” at birth and not observed. This has become an article of faith in the rarified world of non-binary theory, as expounded by the American gender philosopher, Judith Butler. She says sex is a social construct. Or to be precise: “sex is an ideal construct which is forcibly materialised through time. It is not a simple fact or static condition of a body”. Butler is herself non-binary and insists on being called “they”– which means they is always referred to in the plural.

Waffle and wiffle

Make of they’s definition what you will, but it doesn’t exactly make for a snappy sound bite. Most voters would prefer not to be bothered with incomprehensible structuralist jargon. But they are going to be very bothered indeed if they keep hearing party leaders, like Ed Davey, dissolving into confusion when asked whether a woman is an adult female.

This, of course, has been brought to a head by the row over transgender self-ID, which is coming soon to a parliament near you. One of the key planks of the Green-SNP alliance is a new law saying that, since transwomen are women, they should be permitted to change their legal sex merely by giving a declaration of such. No medical intervention, surgery or lengthy record of living as a woman is necessary.

This is presented as merely a means of simplifying the bureaucratic process of achieve gender reassignment, changing legal sex, which has of course been the law since 2004. But many women, sometimes called “gender-critical feminists” (or “fascists” according to Judith Butler), do not accept that it is or should be legal for people born male to be allowed to enter women’s spaces like changing rooms, prisons, or women’s refuges. Many say they feel threatened by the presence of male-bodied individuals.

The damn thing is everywhere

People may be surprised at how far down this road we’ve already gone. The CEO of Edinburgh Rape Crisis, Mridul Wadhwa, was born a man. Prisons are now legally obliged to place male-bodied transgender offenders in women’s prisons. Schools are being told to use gender-free pronouns and recognise primary children as transgender whatever their parents may think. Women are often now referred to as “persons with a cervix” or “menstruators” by medical professionals who fear that they might fall foul of the 2010 Equalities Act in which “transgender reassignment” is deemed to be a “protected characteristic”.

But the trouble with the Equalities Act is that it says a lot of things, most of them mutually contradictory. Sex is also a protected characteristic under the legislation, a whole section of which specifically refers to “single sex services” being a “legitimate aim”. A legitimate example given is a transwoman being excluded from counselling group of female victims of sexual assault.

Stonewall says that women do have a right to single sex spaces but do not have a right to exclude transwomen from them, because such exclusion would be discriminatory under other provisions of the Act. This abstruse legal argument used to be very much on the fringes of political life. But it is about to become centre stage.

Nicola Sturgeon says she has found a way of achieving self-ID without diminishing women’s sex-based rights. Good luck with that. We’ll know if and when she agrees that a woman is an adult human female.

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18 Responses to Define ‘Woman’

  1. ObairPheallaidh says:

    Excellent commentary. Thanks for posting the article below it. I would have missed it otherwise.

  2. duncfmac says:

    Child poverty rife, chronic shortage of ambulances, a growing ferry fiasco, care crisis, unfashionable minority groups abandoned, climate crisis, a corrupt CPS, an elderly journalist jailed, a cabinet of nodding dogs, an independence campaign destroyed and split asunder…….. let’s have a nonsensical and divisive debate about gender centre stage. Too much heat and not enough light from our self obsessed ‘leaders’. The architects of the current shambles of governance in Scotland couldn’t have hoped for a better result.

  3. History will not be kind to La Sturgeon and her wee cabal.

  4. duncanio says:

    “It undermines the feminist struggle for equality.” I agree GB.

    Self-identification of gender also undermines those people who have in reality either transitioned, or are transitioned, from man to woman or vice versa. You know, people who have ACTUALLY CHANGED SEX (or are in process of doing so).

    The process of changing sex (I have little doubt) involves torturous discussion and reflection, counselling, treatment and (ultimately) surgery undergone by those persons who feel imprisoned in their own body and moved to make the physical adjustments they feel are necessary for their own well-being.

    I fail to understand why, for example, a man would wish to self-identify as woman – I’ll use the old-fashioned term here, for clarity – and not complete the transition.

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    I have to accept that some men may be genuine in wanting to be a woman, but when they remain extremely male with a beard? Really?

  6. Absolutely spot on Gareth. We are being forced down a road that the greater majority of the population finds bizarre and indeed offensive. Let us hope that common sense prevails. Oh, wait a minute, we are speaking about the SNP and Greens.

  7. I’m in agreement with duncanio when he says’ “I fail to understand why, for example, a man would wish to self-identify as woman – I’ll use the old-fashioned term here, for clarity – and not complete the transition.* I would suggest that’s it’s the old British Unionist trope of “having your cake and eating it” simple as that assertion may be.

  8. lorncal says:

    “… People may be surprised at how far down this road we’ve already gone… ”

    Not really, Grousebeater, because Stonewall and its allies have been limbo-ing under the radar of the law for quite some time. In order to do so, they lie/obfuscate/gaslight/threaten. No medical evidence or scientific evidence exists anywhere in the world to suggest that men can become women and vice versa – i.e., change their sex. Neither is there an iota of evidence to suggest that a female brain can actually exist in a male body and vice versa. Our DNA is cell deep, including those cells that are in the brain, which correlate with those in the body. If evidence is out there, Stonewall would have unearthed it by now and would have been using it for its propaganda long since. Laws should never be promulgated on speculation of what might be at some indefinable point in the future, anymore than they should be retrospective without very good reason.

    Two things about those who claim to be trans: the majority are believed to be autogynephilic straight men with fetishes/paraphilias, and this can be the case even in those who have fully transitioned (as admitted by Dr Debbie Hayton, a well-known trans woman, who also admits that ‘she’ is a man and will always be a man and what we call transsexuals) and the paraphilia might or might not be accompanied by body dysphoria (sometimes not, in the case of cross-dressing straight men). Professor Ray Blanchard’s work in this area of male sexuality has not been overturned and he is still the foremost expert in this area. There are also homosexual paraphilics/fetishists, but, Professor Blanchard’s studies showed that these men are rarer in the West, and that almost all trans women in the West are heterosexual autogynephiles with or without body dysphoria.

    Many fetishes exist, but here are a few: listening to females peeing; upskirting and filming females naked or peeing and without their knowledge; flashing, or showing the genitalia to females of all ages. Others include rubbing up against females of all ages, touching females’ genitalia without consent (on tube trains and other public places, etc.), listening to rape and sexual assault evidence for sexual thrills, wearing fake breasts and vaginas, pretending to be pregntant or to breastfeed a baby, pretending to menstruate and have period pains. Many more exist. This is what the Scottish government wants to allow into women’s spaces and rights – and has already allowed, in fact, against the law as it stands. These men will allow the real predators access to women, girls and children on their coat-tails.

    It is not only about female spaces, though: it is also about trans women entering women’s sports, women’s sex-related jobs, women’s sex-related services, women’s short-lists. It actually means pushing women out of all public spaces and rights designed for females on the basis of their sex, including rape crisis centres, women’s aid organizations, domestic abuse organizations, and so on.

    The greatest scandal of all this is the transition of children because if you can convince people that there are many, many trans children, they will have to accept your story about being convinced you are the opposite sex from the time you peered over the pram, for which not one iota of evidence exists. This is pitiless narcissism taken to extremes on the bodies of innocent children. Let’s call a spade a shovel.

    That is not to say that trans people should not have all their civil and human rights (which, incidentally, they already have, unless someone can point to one they don’t have?) and it should never be the case that we lack compassion for people, even if they are narcissists or fetishists or paraphilics, but we cannot, as a society, indulge them and collude in them, or be COMPELLED to participate in the sexual fantasies of others, brought out into the light of the public arena from the dark places of the porn-soaked internet.

    If we do, we are colluding in Queer Theory, and Queer Theory knows no boundaries to freedom, including sexual freedom, and consent has no relevance. Can anyone hazard a guess as to which sections of human society would benefit most? A wee hint: not females of any age; not children; not animals. Those who are disabled physically or mentally would also be outside the charmed circle.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    A fine contribution to the discussion, Lorncal. I had witten two paragraphs on the dysphoria aspect but decided I was not sure enough of my ground, so I deleted them. I appreciate your erudition and sources.

  10. Excellent article. I hope some courageous Scottish journalist will ask Nicola Sturgeon the definition of ‘woman’. I have emailed 3 MSPs asking them to oppose the GRA bill but still waiting for a reply.

  11. helentyates says:

    Am I alone in thinking that GRA is only part of a much bigger story, one that has been long in the making.
    I’m not a great believer in coincidences and with all the very strange things happening in our world right now I can’t but help wonder if most of them are red flags, whether to distract us from something even bigger I’m not certain but I see the divisions caused by GRA, Climate Crisis, the craziness of what we’ve seen with Afghanistan, Brexit and yes even the “pandemic”.

    There is little that makes sense to me these days and that’s before I even look at my own country and the mess we’ve found ourselves in, I see my country being broken apart in every sense.
    We have a parliament that is overrun with fools and a leader who in my opinion is set on a path of creating as much division and destruction as she can before she is brought down or she steps down, whichever comes first. she is destroying all the institutions that at one time were a cut above those of most countries, or at least I believed they were.

    All these things happening at the same time says to me there is something very sinister behind them all.
    For all our sakes and especially for our country we must in my opinion remove this cabal from our parliament and remove them sooner rather than later.
    I fear we are fast running out of time.
    I would hope that if there are any genuine people left in the SNP that they will vote against GRA and then walk away, I doubt anything will stop her majesty pushing this bill through regardless in any case but it would be a start.

    One last thought, when it comes to standing up against governments women have always been at the forefront, maybe that’s why they want us cancelled.

  12. lorncal says:

    Helen: I agree. Something is happening in the West, in particular, that is very disturbing, and may well be a prelude to collapse. It may be that Western governments have given in so much to the capitalist behemoth that politics have become its handmaidens with lobby groups as the middlemen and women, and donations speaking louder than sense or policy.

    I, personally, have never seen a time, or read about a time in modern history that has been so bereft of statesmen and women, so bereft of experience and deep thinking. We seem to exist on a river of vacuous sludge that carries us along and we have all but given given up fighting against the current. After WW II, our politicians thought and planned at least fifty years ahead right across the board: with electricity projects; with industry; with welfare and the NHS.

    Now? They are hard pushed to look five years ahead, and rarely, even then. They are almost universally, in the West, besuited middle-of-the-road bureaucrats who surround themselves with very young and inexperienced, yet overly-confident, acolytes or they allow themselves to be manipulated like puppets on a string by self-interested, middle-class people driven by ennui and privilege to find the next vacuous policy that is intended to prolong the status quo.

    The West has become one big virtue-signalling, so-called progressive, but actually regressive, dung heap, and, in Scotland, the lack of independence has led directly to this abdication of sense on a grand scale, where duty of care, due diligence, proper impact assessments, legal advice are abandoned in favour of populist nonsense that is mostly self-contradictory.

    Self ID will lead, in time, to the total elimination of women and girls from all public society, to attacks on the laws that seek to constrain anti social behaviours and sexual crimes. Access to women’s spaces is just the beginning of a much bigger project for men’s sexual rights/men’s rights. In essence, it is the Taliban in a western suit. And, if anybody thinks that the politicians and the elites don’t know that, they are living in cloud cuckoo land. They know perfectly well what they do, but any scrap of power and influence and good old-fashioned filthy lucre is worth it to them.

  13. diabloandco says:

    Thanks Grousebeater , I find this whole subject utterly ridiculous and the fact it is now embedded in the curriculum for schools upsets me. I wonder how much parents know of what is being ‘taught’ particularly in the 2 years disruption of basic education.
    Music and Drama can take a back seat while LGBT is taught according to the will of Stonewall , the SNP and the Greens.
    I fear for the impressionable young as I see this as grooming with a capital G and slid in under the cloud of Covid – along with its protection of the Hate Bill.
    Where are the MSP’s who will speak out ? Hiding under their beds and bank balances.

  14. lorncal says:

    Toni Giulini in The National today, Anne. An entire page of shallow, non-evidence-based assertion. So many of our politicians are a self-serving bunch of groupies who appear to have, and display with pride, the intellectual depth of a very shallow puddle.

    Few of them ask the questions that need to be asked on a range of issues, and if anyone dares to, he/she is shut down and sidelined. I cannot recall politicians being so desperate to tell teenage girls with the form of body dysphoria that took the shape of anorexia (literally, starvation to the point of death) to hurry up and starve themselves to death, because it was recognized that long-term counselling was necessary, yet gender dysphoria, so-called, is pandered to as if it was the Holy Grail.

    No, no one should have to undergo medical treatment and surgery just to feel better about themselves, but neither should an entire society, particularly its vulnerable young, who are its future, be subjected to what is a massive propaganda campaign of gaslighting and anti science/anti biology by the self-serving and self-seeking and utterly amoral Stonewall and its equally ridiculous allies. You are so right.

  15. sadscot says:

    The things you hear coming out of the mouths of politicians, when you sit, mouth open, thinking, “Please! Did you really just say that?”
    I give you Emily Thornberry of Labour who leapt in to defend Starmer’s claim (on Marr) that it “isn’t right” to say only women have a cervix. She said of course he was correct to say this because, after all, some transmen, (who were once women, remember) had opted to retain their cervix, so, you see, some men (errm, transmen who used to be women) can have a cervix too yet, they are not women, they are men!
    Ye Gods! This is the sort of absolute nonsense which some people, who are actually women, are prepared to actually say in public.

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    Incredible an adult would get themself twisted up in paroxysms of gobbledygook just to hold onto a few measley trans votes.

  17. lorncal says:

    sadscot/grouse: what is even more jaw-droppingly stupid is that there exists not one iota of evidence for any of this s***e – anywhere, at any time, any which way. Absolutely none. Zilch. Nada. Nichts. Rien. Not one tiny shred of evidence whatsoever, yet many of our politicians are perfectly happy to proclaim from on high that this stuff has been carved into tablets of stone and are equally happy to overturn all biological science and the whole of Western society to pander to a steaming pile of lies. Reeking lies. Delusion, at best. Children are being maimed for life in its name.

    Apparently, the parents of a two-year-old have been the latest converts. Did anyone suggest that they might actually be suffering from Munchausen’s-by-Proxy? Because two-year-olds say all kinds of things. They are the most imaginative wee things on the planet. Lots of bairns tell you they can fly. Do we then throw them off a cliff or catapult them into the sky? No, not if we don’t want a visit from Social Services and the Police to find out why we killed our child. Errr… I believed wee Shuggie when he said he could walk in the middle of the road and survive because he was a superhero with a superhero’s powers, Sir. Was I wrong to encourage him? Ay, you were, you brain-addled moron.

    Somebody is going to die painfully of cancer – of the cervix (trans man) or testes/prostate (trans woman) because medical people, many of who also support this nonsense, were thrown by the self-ID. If factual data as to birth sex is not stored, I would expect there to be an avalanche of trans people dying of various sex-specific diseases in the near future. Dr Debbie Hayton (trans woman) has stated in the past day or so that the Labour leadership and virtue-signalling careerists like Emily Thornbury are utterly wrong and deluded, and that no one can change sex, that sex is binary, even where people have abnormal development and that the human species is a dimorphic species. She has also admitted openly that she is an autogynephile, and a man and will always be a man even though she identifies as a woman. On the other hand, another trans woman, India Willoughby, has said that all trans women have a cervix, which, of course, is utterly impossible. Even vaginoplasty cannot give a man a real vagina, and, for anyone who is interested in the mechanics, it can be an eye-opener.

    Ray Blanchard’s studies found that, even where body dysphoria existed, autogynephilia (a paraphilia) also existed, and that almost all men in the West who claimed to be trans women were, in fact, autogynephiles (in love with themselves as a woman, and a submissive, dominated woman, at that). It must be pointed out, too, that most autogynephiles will not admit that they are autogynephiles even when they know they are, and construct an elaborate narrative of womanhood to justify what they see as a deviant sexual fetish. Others, fewer, are able to assimilate the truth and accept themselves as they are (Dr Debbie Hayton, for example).

    What not one trans woman claimed in the Blanchard studies was that ‘she’ was actually a woman. That has been tacked on to the narrative because it was necessary to actually BE a woman in order to gain access to all women’s spaces and rights, as the trans child (body dysphoria in the very young can be handled with counselling, as it can also, in some cases of adults with this condition) absolutely had to be manufactured in order to construct the “I knew I was in the wrong body from my pram days” narrative.

    For some adults and for some children, hormone treatment and even surgery might alleviate the worst aspects of this condition, but the rate of suicide of trans people even after surgery or hormone transition is still high, suggesting that something else is at the root of it, and that something might be contained and alleviated better with deep counselling. Another type of body dysphoria which also gripped the young female population in its day, was starving oneself to death in the deluded belief that you are too fat, but no medical person advocated letting the young women starve herself to death. What is different this time? Because it is the trans women part of the trans equation which is in the driving seat – men are controlling the narrative here, and trans men (women) are not very important in the overall narrative, not when the supposed human right to absolute sexual freedom for themselves to the point of annihilation of everyone else’s human rights, are at stake. This stuff starts and ends with sex, profit and exploitation.

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