In the United Kingdom, the definition of rape is written to exclude all forms of sexual assault committed by women. This means that no matter what level of sexual violence a female perpetrator might engage in, the recourse her victim can have will not include being recognized as a rape victim, or knowing their perpetrator must bear the stigma of the label “rapist.” The crime may be counted among some crime statistics that are used to influence law and policy, but not rape statistics.
Further, if a female perpetrator sexually imposes herself on a male victim by forcing him to penetrate her, that crime falls into the category “Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent,” which literally describes the act as if the victim were an active participant, regardless of whether he was conscious and unrestrained but coerced, or he whether was overpowered, or whether he was prevented from fighting back through restraint or incapacitation.
In this way, while victims of male perpetrators are fully recognized as victims of a crime involving imposition, specifically male victims of female perpetrators are described almost as co-conspirators in their own crimes. While the perpetrator’s jail sentence may be the same, the wording of the law betrays a stark difference in compassion for victims of the “wrong” category of sexual violence.
There have been several petitions to update the definition of rape to include female perpetrators, folding all crimes committed through imposition of sex involving penetration of or by the victim into that one category. Parliament has rejected all of them. Feminists have ridiculed the idea, stating that because the crimes to which female perpetrators are subject still carry the same terms of imprisonment, there is no discrimination in placing a different label on male perpetrators.
Ignoring for a moment the inequality in conditions of imprisonment between the sexes in the UK, especially after feminists have fought to replace just women’s imprisonment with therapy, let’s consider a gender-reverse scenario. Were it the other way around, with any crime at all being uniquely branded with a more stigmatizing label to be communicated to the public forever after one’s sentence was served only when the perpetrator was female, would feminist activists tolerate that?
Of course, we cannot expect them to care if their hypocrisy is known. As identity politics ideologues have shown over the past few years, they do not care if any of the flaws in their purported beliefs or their character are revealed, as long as they face no related consequences.
Well, intersectional feminist narratives around gender and transgender issues may have just created one.
For years, intersectional feminists have admonished the public that gender and biological sex are social constructs, the definitions of which are negotiable at best. We are told that it is sexist to rely on the biological science of anatomy to determine the sex of an individual, even though most individuals do that in regard to their own so-called gender-identity. Instead, gender identity ideology is the only truth, and you’re sexist if you either fail to accommodate it, or have the audacity to notice any details that contradict it.
This has resulted in changes to the dynamics of gender identity, as well. In the past, individuals who identified as transgender did so because they had experienced gender dysphoria, a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. In response to this, they either had or were preparing to have gender reassignment surgery, the process referred to as transitioning to the opposite sex. This preparation used to involve extensive therapy and hormonal treatment, as well as changing one’s style of dress and all other behaviors to live as a member of the opposite sex for a year to to acclimate oneself and one’s social circle to the change.
Now, under the intersectional feminist standard to be considered transgender, all one has to do is adopt a label for one’s gender identity. This has been adopted in some corporate and even government policy, including National Health Service policy. NHS policy on delivering same-sex accommodation states in its guidance that patients should not normally have to share sleeping accommodation, toilet, or bathroom facilities with members of the opposite sex, nor have to walk through an area occupied by patients of the opposite sex to reach toilets or bathrooms, except for hallways.
However, it also says that transgender people should be accommodated according to their presentation: the way they dress, and the name and pronouns they currently use, regardless of the physical sex appearance of the chest or genitalia, regardless of whether or not they have a gender recognition certificate or legal name change, and regardless of whether they live continuously or temporarily in a gender role that does not conform to their natal sex. This means a person can live as their birth sex up to the day they go to the hospital, but be accommodated as a member of the opposite sex upon admission if they simply arrive there dressed as such and describing their gender identity as such.
In light of all of this, let’s consider Hayley Dixon’s recent Telegraph article, “Hospital told police patient was not raped because alleged attacker was transgender.” Dixon reported that the House of Lords has recently been informed that, despite the assault being confirmed through closed-circuit television and witnesses, the hospital told police “there was no male in the hospital, therefore the rape could not have happened.”
The issue was raised with the House of Lords by Baroness Nicholson of WInterborn, who attributed it as a direct result of NHS policy. “The result of Annex B is that hospital trusts inform ward sisters and nurses that if there is a male, as a trans person, in a female ward, and a female patient or anyone complains, they must be told that it is not true – there is no male there,” she told the upper chamber. The victim, she told them, almost came to the edge of a nervous breakdown during the year it took for the hospital to admit the assault had occurred, because ”being disbelieved about being raped in hospital has been such an appalling shock.”
The article goes on to describe conflict between the interests of women’s groups and those of trans rights campaigners. LGBT adviser Dr. Michael Bradey promised that the “commitment from the team leading on the review is supporting the maintenance/strengthening of trans rights in the update. Meanwhile, Baroness Fox of Buckley referred to him as “the opposite of impartial” and called the review “not satisfactory” because it has “no public terms of reference” and is being “carried out in secret.” In response to the complaints of Lady Fox and Lady Nicholson, Lord Etherson QC is quoted as arguing that the current policy was “entirely appropriate and consistent with the anti-discrimination law in the Equality Act.”
The complaints of the women of the House of Lords would be familiar to victims of female-perpetrated sexual assault, especially male victims who experienced the imposition of reproductive sex, and then were told they were not rape victims because women cannot commit rape. While it is reasonable that there is outrage over the bad policy and subsequent gaslighting in the hospital incident, it certainly begs the question as to why there is no such outrage over the plight of similarly marginalized male victims. Does being excluded from recognition as a victim of rape really only look like a problem when a woman experiences it?
If so, why would that be the case? How can that be viewed as equal treatment?
And if we are to accept that transwomen are women regardless of whether they have transitioned, or not, isn’t defining rape around the use of a penis also discrimination against them? After all, other women cannot be charged with rape, but non-op and pre-op transwomen can… can’t they?
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