Nicola Sturgeon defends trans women’s rights amidst Gender bill controversy that included a rally outside Hollyrood and backlash from J.K. Rowling.
Sturgeon was attacked by the author and Twitter personality when Rowling posted a selfie wearing a t-shirt accusing the First Minister of being “a destroyer of women’s rights”.
The tweet and rally were in response to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, which is due to be debated after the October parliamentary recess.
The bill proposes a change that would make it easier for people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC) by changing who can apply and the information needed to make an application.
The law looks to change the legal age to apply from 18 years old to 16 years old, and to remove the difficult external barriers of needing to be medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Trans-people would also only need to live in their preferred gender for at least three months- a significant drop from the current two years- to be eligible to apply for a GRC.
In an interview on BBC Best of Today podcast, Sturgeon defended the proposed changes against criticism that the bill could endanger cis-women: “Men are the risk to women, not trans-women. Any man who seeks to abuse any process to attack women, we should deal with that. We shouldn’t stigmatise further an already stigmatised group of people. “
She added: “This is a statutory process. There are criminal implications for anybody who abuses that.”
The First Minister went on to explain how traumatic the current process is for trans-people and how they currently need to prove that they are “mentally unwell” in order to be legally recognised as their preferred gender.
“Abusive men are a risk to women and where men abuse women, that’s what we should be focusing on.
“There are no shortage of attacks on women that feminists, real feminists, as I consider myself to be, should be focusing on right now. The threat to women in our society today is not from trans-women. It is from abusive men and from lawmakers who want to take away our rights and that’s what we should be focusing on.”
Featured Image Credit: BBC News