The Howard League


The Howard League is a U.K. based Prison Reform charity who formed in 1866. The previous Chief Executive, Frances Crook, had made previous observations that suggested she was aware of the kind of issues which arise when males are held in the female estate or male crimes were recorded as if they were committed by females.

I was minded to revisit the issue after seeing these tweets by the new Legal director, Gemma Abbott, qwho joined the Howard League in March of this year.

I managed to get a look at her bio, before she blocked me, and there was a clue. For anyone not aware the Good Law Project is the vehicle for an erstwhile tax lawyer, Jolyon Maugham, who, for reasons unclear, has determined that his white knighting is needed in the “trans” debate. He is also known for boasting that he battered a fox to death; whilst wearing his wife’s kimono.

Turns out that Gemma is an ex employee of the Good Law Project.

She also managed to secure a place on a government task force, run by the Government Equality Office, looking at period poverty.

She also was the director of this organisation and she can’t even bring herself to say the sex of the “children” who are vulnerable due to their periods. She is still listed as a director of Period Poverty Limited but the companies has applied to be struck of the register (source: Companies House).

I decided to have a look at the accounts for The Howard League to see if there were any clues in the Trustees, other staff, or their funders. What jumped out at me was the funding from Esmee Fairburn Foundation who have cropped up many times on this blog.

Esmee Fairbarn Foundation also and work with the Paul Hamlyn Foundationi (PHF). Paul Hamlyn Foundation have a history of funding trans Lobby Groups like Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence. PHF also shared a trustee with The Scott Trust, who oversee the Guardian Media Group. The Guardian was my paper so I did some digging to find out why they were so woeful about women’s sex based rights and I discovered the link to PHF and, via Julian Vigo, also realised that they had also take money from Open Society Foundation to do a series on “trans” people. You can read that series here:


Oakdale Trust is the foundation of the Cadbury family and have a wide portfolio of grants with one interest being in penal reform. The other trusts who have made small contributions also appear to make grants across a range of charities the usual gender identity lobby groups are not among the recipients.

Here are the trustees of The Howard League.

Professor Ben Bradford’s biography and research interests was easy to locate.

Here are details of some oof his research projects, you will see that one of them is funded by Open Society Foundations. I am told that the grants from Open Society Foundations are made in a decentralised way and it is perfectly possible that the OSF does not bring any pressure to organisations to conform to Transgender Identity Ideology but it does worry me when I see the same foundations recur and I wonder if this creates a chilling effect on staff in these charities.

Here are a couple more of his projects.

Adrian Briggs’ profile shows him to be involved with Amnesty International. Once again we cannot deduce, from this, that he endorses every position of that organisation but Amnesty International are certainly, now, on the Gender Ideologue side of the debate. I wrote about that here:

Amnesty U.K. What’s going on?

Professor McNeill appears to be a He/Him according to his University of Glasgow profile but, to be fair to him, it is Scotland so he/him may. ot have any choice in the matter.

On the other hand Lord Ken McDonald is one of the hosts of the Double Jeopardy podcast who has hosted Professor Kathleen Stock although he did, apparently, advocate for men in women’s prisons. (I did try to locate this episode but it’s not currently available).

In conclusion, it is concerning that a senior member of staff is so utterly captured. It may be that there is internal dissent and resistance to the imposition of males on female prisoners. On balance I don’t think the signs are looking too positive.They have a twitter presence and they did put out a report reflecting negatively on girls, held with boys, in youth offending units. Worth engaging with them to encourage positives and embolden any internal dissenters.

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Prisoner guidance from the PAS. 1


Given the topicality of the issue of prisons someone signposted me to two documents they provide on “trans” prisoners and a separate document on LGB prisoners, from the Prisoner’s Advice Service. Before I cover their guidance for “trans” prisoners I wanted to look at PAS.

You can find their website here:

Prisoner’s Advice Service

This is a registered company and a charity which operates in England and Wales. I have had a look at their records and nothing rings any alarm bells for any of the named Trustees.

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Then I went through their, publicly available, accounts from 2017 (earliest available). They make a point of saying they don’t take any government funding but, as a consequence, they are reliant on fund raising and this has exposed them to the many charitable foundations who use philanthropy to further their pet projects. Arundhati Roy called this “parlaying wealth into power”; nowhere is this more evident than in the societal grooming that has sold us synthetic sex identities, so named by Jennifer Bilek. This is a clip from Capitalism a Ghost story.

Sadly this quote begins with Roy describing “queer” activism and “sex worker” rights as a positive so it seems Roy, herself, has had her feminism circumscribed by the proponents of queer theory.

With this in mind I combed the accounts and annual reports of PAS to see who was funding them and who they were any partnerships that provided a clue on their stance on women’s sex based rights. The first clue was reference to training with a group calling themselves “Rights of Women”.

Below are the people who fund ROW, as documented in their own accounts. Esmee Fairbairn crops up a lot as a foundation who bankrolls “trans” ideologue groups as does Comic Relief and of course Garden Court Chambers who were the Law group involved in the Alison Bailey case.

To be fair to them I can find no evidence they are seriously committed to the “trans women are women” mantra though, though they do have this statement on their website.

It is telling that they do not appear to have spoken out about a male rapist being moved to the female estate but did find time to promote an event with Dr Proudman, who they follow on twitter and who had this to say.

I am straying into potential “fallacy of association” territory here but their follow list includes Nancy Kelley, of Stonewall, Stephen Whittle, trans-activist and a male barrister who is “trans” identified and is active in dismantling women’s rights; Moira White.

More digging in their public accounts reveal that PAS also partnered with trans advocacy groups. Bent Behind Bars and TELI.

The Trans Equality Legal Initiative (TELI) was founded by Tara Hewitt . Helen Belcher is also named as a co founder at the launch event held at Garden Court Chambers, A post about the launch is below.

T.E.L.I launch

Tara Hewitt is a trans-identified male who holds senior post in the NHS. He is also an ex Tory election candidate, anti-abortion, Catholic and a proponent of Bondage and sado-masochism.

You can read more about Tara Hewitt here:

Tara Hewitt: NHS.

For completeness I should also acknowledge the PAS also reference Karen Monaghan, now KC who has acted for many “gender critical” cases. It is perfectly possible that PAS are negotiating a difficult path trying not to betray female prisoners whilst also dependent on funding from those who want prisons organised on “Gender Identity” and not sex.

Something else I noticed was their partnership with Blackrock. We know from some diligent research, by Alan Neale, that Blackrock have investments in puberty blockers /cross sex hormones

On Blackrock.

Another Trust, Tudor Trust, I have encountered before also granted then £22,000 along with the Paul Cottingham Trust, who are new to me.

Most of the foundations, funding PAS, are not familiar to me, so, I will link them in case anyone is able to follow up these links. I did have a closer look at the Denton Charitable Trust,because of the Denton’s report, and because PAS report that Denton’s provided some legal help. 👇

However, as far as I can ascertain, it seems wholly unconnected. Here is the full list of foundations, just in case anyone else has intelligence or would like to do some digging.


I think PAS *may* be an example of a charity caught in a pincer movement. They want to remain independent from government funding but have ended up dealing with the “queering” of the charitable foundation sector. Like women’s refuges maybe they are forced to accept this funding and the ideology that goes with it, or cease their work. Maybe they are resisting as best they can? I hope the more I dig it will confirm this opinion because the charity do valiant work.

Next I will cover their “transgender” policy and their, separate, LGB policy. The fact they are separate *may* be a good sign. Let’s find out.

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Martine Rothblatt: A Billion Sexes!


Chapter 1.

This is part of a series on this book. This is the second edition. The original title was The Apartheid Of Sex.

In this edition Rothblatt elaborates on his original thesis and introduces us to the real project. A new type of human. Human Avatars.


I am allowing myself a wry chuckle at Rothblatt’s attempt to claim there are more than two sexes and also that “transgenderism” is a grassroots movement and labelling male and female is akin to South African apartheid. He also claims this emerged from feminist thinking which is a familiar distortion and, sadly, has convinced many a woman who claims the feminist label.

Rothblatt uses the fact that men and women don’t tend to adhere to sex stereotypes as an argument that male and female is a continuum. It is certainly true that many, I would even say most, people do not perform a pure Barbie or a G.I. Joe; I would argue that uber conformist “feminine” women or “masculine” men are a minority. If we were to draw up a list of characteristics, traditionally associated with either sex, I challenge you to find one person of your acquaintance who doesn’t deviate. This could be my body building, HGV driving, brother who is afraid of spiders and enjoys bird watching (feathered variety) and does a mean Beyoncé impression. Or his dynamo of an ex wife, a diminutive blonde, who dealt with the said spiders and is super ambitious, a leader and a force to be reckoned with. Rothblatt recognises all of this but, for him, it adds up to “Men can become women”; all entirely unconnected to his own identification as a “transgender woman” I am sure. 🤔

Sex assigned at birth.

The first step in embedding this ideology is to claim the identification of sex is problematic. Sadly the NHS and the British Medical Journal have both adopted this terminology. In fact there are a tiny number of babies, with an indeterminate sex at birth. A simple Karyotype test will confirm the biological sex and which disorder of sexual development (DSD) he, or she, suffers from. Each of these DSDs affect either males or females, conforming that we are, in fact sexually dimorphic.

Martina’s biology lets him down here because the vagina is not visible: he means the vulva. He is right that the life a baby will have be shaped from the moment they are dressed in pink or blue. The baby will be treated differently in conscious and unconscious ways. Girl babies are left to cry for longer, for example, boys rewarded for “cheeky” behaviour and girls admonished etc, etc.

From this Rothblatt leaps to the idea that sex is not immutable but is a “lifestyle choice”. Notice all these conclusions validate his choice to “live as a woman” whatever that means. Methinks the wish is father to the thought.

Professor Ann Fausto-Sterling.

It’s worth spending a bit of time on Fausto-Sterling and her views. The 4% is an exaggeration that includes all disorders of sexual development, many of which create no confusion about the sufferer’s biological sex and are only apparent when , for example, menstruation fails to start.

Here is another contribution from the Professor, in which she claims there are five sexes. Later she claimed she was being “ironic”.

I include this exchange because it amuses me. Colin is right but I have to admire her magisterial put down. 😂 (I know that makes me a bit contrary).

Richard Lewontin

Rothblatt also presses Lewontin into service. I have made some enquiries about his work to try to determine if Rothblatt simply inserted (sex) and Lewontin was talking about race; for which he is well known. Lewontin has now passed on so we have to rely on his existing body of work.

This is a quote from Lewontin, he argued against classifying humans by biology in terms of race. From what I can ascertain he also railed against the exclusion of women from specific professions but I would doubt that he also thought men should be able to undress beside his wife. (He had a long marriage and they died within days of each other).

Lady Brain.

I am not entirely sure where Rothblatt lands, ultimately, in relation to brain sex. He seems to argue that there are no biological differences, between men and women in respect of our gray matter, but then he also talks of the “transgendered brain”; the idea that a female brain has landed in a male body. I am going to assume that the Lawyer in him throws a number of arguments at the issue, in the hope that one will stick.

Rothblatt spends a bit of time on this and brings our old friend Fausto-Sterling into play. All that needs saying is that nobody separates spaces by “brain sex”. Spaces are separated on the basis of which sexed body houses the brain.

New Feminist Thinking

Let us see which feminists he has pressed into service. Sylvia Law is based in New York and employed at a University so I am going to assume she is on the same page as Rothblatt. Ruth Bader Ginsberg argued for fair treatment for the sexes using a man as her first case, reasoning that the all male panel adjudicating may be stirred to sympathy for one of their brothers; I think she knew biological sex was real. Simone De Beauvoir gets trotted out all the time by the hard of thinking.

Simone De Beauvoir

What De Beauvoir was arguing was that what we assume to be the nature of women is actually largely due to. female socialisation. You can watch her talk about her position in this interview:

Simone De Beauvoir

Here are a few clips:

Knows which sex gestates and bears children. Argues this is not the cause of female oppression it’s the pretext.

Finally Simone thinks women need spaces away from men to discuss issues that affect us.

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead is an anthropologist most famous for her book Coming of Age in Samoa. She also wrote a book called Male and Female. In that book she examines the different ways women and men are expected to behave in different cultures. In some women are regarded as too weak in another women are the beast of burden and believed to have more capacity to carry loads on their heads. Sometimes the male children are seen as the vulnerable ones, in others it is the female children. Like De Beauvoir she sees the way being male or female, in terms of expected behaviours, as societally constructed. She does not, however, disregard the existence of two sexes.

You can read the entire book via open She does have a lot to say about the way different societies accommodate more “feminine” men who are sometimes accommodated, as homosexuals, via various manifestations of transvestism. She does bear in mind that however the expectations of the sexes vary between societies there is a core truth that appears in all societies.

John Money

John Money was a sexologist whose posthumous reputation is now besmirched by his role in the Rheimer twins. One of the twins had his penis burnt off during a botched circumcision. His parents came to Money for help and they were advised to raise one of the twins as a girl. Later it emerged that the twins had been sexually abused, by Money, when they were taken to see him. In the end the twin, raised as a girl, discovered his secret which explained his inability to fit in as a “girl”. He reverted to acknowledge his birth sex. Both twins committed suicide. Rothblatt mentions none of this.

Money is brought in to claim that differences between men and women are few and that the day is coming for a male pregnancy since fertilisation has occurred in women without wombs. Even uterus implants in females have a low success rate in terms of live births.

Rothblatt argues that technology has made the differences between males and females irrelevant because machinery can allow anyone to do the “heavy” work and formula can substitute for breast milk. Martine seems to have a bad case of womb envy.

I will leave this chapter there and return with Transgenderism, The Apartheid of Sex and Persona Creatus.

This should give you an idea of Rothblatt’s scattergun style of argument. He is a master of appropriation, cherry picking arguments, leaving out inconvenient facts. He is compulsively driven to mould the world to validate his desire to be the opposite sex while, at the same time, obliterating the reality of the sex to which he claims membership.

If you want to see male entitlement, ruthless quest for dominance and a desperation to achieve mastery there is no better case study.

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Who decides if I am a woman?


This is a post based on a Radio 4 programme, from 2013. Whittle is just one of a number of people interviewed. This programme also alerted me to the role of Alex Carlile, ex of the Liberal Democrat’s, who has sat in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Most of the contributors are proponents of Gender Identity Ideology with the exception of Julie Bindel.

Transcription here:

Analysis Woman Defined FINAL

I transcribed it because I find these sources are in danger of disappearing but you can still listen to it, as of March 2022, here 👇. {The featured image is the one used by the BBC by the way}

Analysis: Women. Who decided

The list of contributors:

James Barrett is features, lead clinician for the UK national Gender clinic, as is Alex Carlile, ex Liberal Democrat who tabled a bill to allow ”trans identified” people to change their birth certificates, in 1996. Also interviewed are Melissa Hines, who believes in self-defining your sex/gender and Richard O’Brien who believes he is 30% female and takes oestrogen, Ruth Pearce, a trans-identified male, and Stephen Whittle, a trans-identified female. Julie Bindel is somewhat outnumbered. Here is the presenter, Jo Fidgen.

The format is not a round table discussion. The presenter asks some direct questions and interjects her own voice as narrator, whether the notes of incredulity are faux-naive I will leave you to judge, when she reaches her breathless, excited conclusions.

First up Whittle casts doubt on the rigour of hospital staff assessing sex at birth. I find the calibre of this argument ludicrous, to be frank.

The presenter raises a contemporary furore after the Observer published a provocative comment piece by Julie Burchill calling “male-to-female” transsexuals a ”bunch of bedwetters in bad wigs”. The context for this piece was that Burchill’s friend, Suzanne Moore, had posted a piece about body shaming women; who are being sold the idea the ideal body shape is one favoured by Brazilian “Transsexuals”. Cue threats of rape and violence which resulted in the police being called and, predictably, claiming to be unable to help.

The presenter omits the above context but does admit it plays into the current debate and claims, whilst once she was confident she was a woman, ”Now, I’m not so sure”.

Next up Alex Carlile explains how he became interested in the plight of transsexuals. He was approached by a female constituent about which he has this to say:

Carlile goes onto explain how his constituent had various difficulties being a female but ”living as a man”. He then claims his constituent faced difficulties in using male facilities because he could have been accused of doing something wrong. Females are always used to support this argument because we all know it’s not females who commit 99% of sex offences, overwhelmingly against women. Men are unlikely to by intimidated by a female who, according to Carlile, is indistinguishable from any other man.

We are informed that Carlile tabled a bill, as far back as 1996, to allow ”transsexuals” to change their birth certificates to reflect the sex they wish they were. I had a look at that debate and was struck by one comment which sheds light on why falsifying birth certificates was more acceptable than gay marriage, which by the way was not legalised until nearly a decade after the Gender Recognition Act. Note also that Press For Change were lobbying these Conservatives decades ago. (Source:Hansard).

The Bill did not pass but, Carlile explains, it piqued Labour’s interest. Next up Whittle waxes lyrical about the UK, Gender Recognition Act which is described as ”State of the Art” in comparison to ”anywhere in the world”. In just five short years Whittle would see the GRA as out of date and advocate for self-identification of ”sex”!

We have a slight detour at this point to explain that Whittle has a ”vested interest” in this debate as a ”transman”. We also hear about how Whittle now has a surgically constructed ”penis” but has kept some, unspecified, female parts so has a sort of “mixed body”. Next Whittle says the quiet part out loud.

Fidgen interjects with a question about how radical this is and, finally, brings in Julie Bindel, who explains it is, in reality, ultra conservative.

Whittles rebuttal of this point is astonishing, to me, makes perfect sense to anyone whose thought processes have been addled by Queer Theory. 🤦‍♂️

Jo goes back to Bindel to ask if Stephen has a point. Bindel cuts to the heart of the matter. Feminism wants to dismantly gender stereotypes, transgender people want to uphold them. They rely on stereotypes of masculinity and femininity so they have a template to ”perform” their gender.

Ruth Pearce, a trans-identified male, repudiates this and claims he is quite scruffy and generally in jeans and T Shirts, even hoodies 🤷‍♀️. Pearce argues that Bindel is out of date. Stereotypical expectations are simply not a feature gender clinics anymore. Pearce claims he is a feminist and a trans perspective is not necessarily at odds with feminism. Ruth explains that he was seen as weird and strange as a teenage boy and was often asked if he was gay. His interests were typically associated with being a girl so now he identifies as one. To Ruth this is not shoring up stereotypes (🤔) and he believes, ultimately, we will abandon the categories of male and female. This is the magical thinking driving this ideology. Ruth thinks they are going to dismantle the ”gender binary” by, checks notes, aligning their own self-perception with what society says are typical interests for a woman. Ruth has rejected his sex on the basis of the very sexist stereotypes he claims he wants to destroy. Make it make sense!

Can’t defend what you can’t define.

Bizarrely the presenter thinks Pearce is agreeing with Bindel. To be clear, one of them is living a life embodying a stereotype which Bindel wants to dismantle. Bindel is not seeking the destruction of sex based categories which underpin women’s legal right to single sex spaces.

Hines, no not that one!

We are then introduced to a Cambridge Professor, Melissa Hines, to introduce some science. Hines is a neuroscientist and spends a lot of time working with people who have disorders of sexual development. I could take some headlines from her work which focus on toy preferences and ”gendered” brains influenced by higher than normal levels of testosterone. Hines recognises the importance of socialisation but also argues there are biological processes at work. This, seems perfectly plausible to me since humans are sexually dimorphic and evolution is likely to have introduced differential development in the sex that does the child-bearing. Conceding the complex interaction between nurture/nature doesn’t mean we are all biological essentialists who think women belong in the kitchen. It’s also important to retain some skepticism about claims in respect of #LadyBrains which is just as ideologically predicated as a 100% denial of the role of biology. Three books for anyone interested in following this up.

Hines lost me at this point, even the interviewer sounded a note of incredulity.

Hines therefore argues that exposure to higher levels of testosterone pre-disposes some females to adopt preferences associated with the opposite sex. Jo Fidgens adds in the known association of victims of childhood sexual abuse and a rejection of your sex. This gets little attention because we then proceed to discuss research into post mortem examinations of the brains of male transsexuals. Interestingly, Hines is on the fence about this research; questioning whether the experience of “gender dysphoria” causes the change in brain structure. (Search neuroplasticity).

James Barrett

James Barrett was lead clinician at a U.K Gender clinic and has appeared in my blogs frequently because he often appears as an expert witness in legal cases I have covered. Here he talks about how he would assess a patient who presented with gender identity issues. He makes if clear that the assessment must involve not just your self-identificaion but how you are percieved by others. This puts the burden for acceptance on females, in the main, who are mandated to #BeKind, validate these men and accept them men in our spaces. #NOThankyou

Born This Way?

Whilst accepting the evidence of a biological explanation is inconclusive we now consider the issue of Puberty Blockers. In 2011 the Tavistock Gender Clinic began experimenting /researching the effect of placing ”Gender Dysphoric” children on medication to block a natural puberty. This is still often described as a ”pause” and ”reversible”. It is not a ”pause” the long term impact is uncertain and 98%+ proceed to synthetic drugs to mimic the effects of cross-sex hormones. I have written about this a few times here:

Puberty Blockers

Julie Bindel is asked for her thoughts on this:

Julie is right to point out the danger of over-diagnosis in young Lesbians and Gay males. Not conforming to sex stereotypes is elevated in children who, left alone, would become homosexual adults. These are the last figures I have on same sex attracted referrals to the Tavistock Gender Clinic. With all the fuss about the #GayConversionTherapy ban why haven’t people realise that the main place this is happening is at Gender Clinics?

Single sex spaces.

Julie Bindel then brings up an incident with a pre-operative male behaving aggressively in a space for vulnerable women. I think the law is misinterpreted here because it is technically permissible to exclude a male, even with a GRC, from a single sex space. Though it is correct to say too many organisations fail to apply this exception. Bindel then raises the issue of males in female prisons even when he has committed a an offence against a female.

Fidgen then puts this hypthetical to Lord Carlile which leads to this, astonishing, exchange. {Worth noting, at this point, that Carlile was head of a Penal Reform charity, the Howard League, for a number of years}.

We next take a detour to learn that Richard O’ Brien takes oestrogen for his 30% female part. Ruth Pearce thinks the next legal battle will be to recognise people who don’t identify as male, or female, and Whittle boasts about how we have been ”de-gendering the law for twenty years. Whittle then tells what I am certain they think is a cute anecdote about his three year old asking how they know their twins are girls. Whittle’s wife explains they don’t. They made a guess and the babies can tell them, when they are older, if they got it wrong. I find that a rather sinister tale.

This was Jo’s conclusion.

The Denton’s document is a must read to understand how we got here. I covered it here:

That Denton’s Document

The conclusion Jo comes to reminds me of the book Pollyanna. It has not worked out that way.

The Battle of the X’s.

Time for a new suffragette movement and thankfully one is here:

You can learn about Sex Matters, and donate, here.

Respect my Sex

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Researching Gender Identity Ideology and it’s impact on women’s rights, gay rights and the healthy bodies of our kids. Trying to get one step ahead of the people who are deleting evidence as the medical scandal unfolds.


Limerick Prison Report.

This is a special report into Limerick Prison since housing three male prisoners in the women’s wing. The full report is below. 👇


I did a piece on Barbie Kardashian for Graham Linehan’s substack; a seriously disturbed young man with convictions for violent attacks on women. Brought up by an abusive father he was recruited to join in the violent assaults on his mother. I have reproduced this on my blog with a link to the court case which brought this young boy to my attention. Now he identifies as a “woman” and has been transferred to the female estate, in Limerick Prison. He has not only committed serious violence against women but he threatens sexual violence and has a specific resentment for the female sex. 

I blogged on him here. Article contains links to the original court transcript, relating to a previous detention order. This was prior to his current conviction for which I have not managed to get a court transcript.

Barbie Kardashion

Limerick Prison was subject to an official inspection in April 2021. At that time three males, with a transgender identity, were held in the female estate. Limerick Prison houses both males and females who are, normally, held separately. 

Because males are generally held in the estate suitable for their sex the inspections cover the male and the female experience. For the females one of the issues raised was lack of access to tampons even through there was a scheme to provide them free of charge.

The other issues mentioned were the lack of any toilet facilities, for females, in the exercise yard. There were facilities for males. Without a trace of irony the inspection report points out their own recommendation which states women should be allowed time to exercise “out of sight of male prisoners”. The total and utter disrespect shown by making female prisons mixed sex and still feigning support for women’s dignity!

That is about as much attention as they gave to female prisoners. But they do spend an inordinate length of time angsting about the male sex /violent offenders they have put on the women’s wing.

The Yogyakarta principles are a document drawn up by some of the more extreme trans-activists. These principles have no standing in international law despite being referred to by many HuMAN rights organisations, who claim they promote best practice. One of the men involved recently broke ranks to criticise them and admit that too little thought was given to the rights of women. Robert Wintemute, one of the signatories, to the principles admits the rights of women were not given sufficient consideration. 👇

The Irish Prison Inspectorate seems to have fully aligned with the Yogyakarta principles as they demonstrate below. 👇 Note the prisoner has a voice about where they are placed in the prison accommodation. What about the women?

Ireland operates on the self-identification principle such that even a male with a history of violent/sexual abuse of women is not precluded from obtaining a gender recognition certificate. There is no safeguarding built into this process. Any man who claims to identify as a “woman” is granted a GRC. This has created the inhumane policy of housing males in female prisons. (Not just Ireland, by the way, Scotland allows “self-id” and so do England. There are no female prisons in Wales. I don’t know the situation in Northern Ireland). 

Now we come to the conditions in which the males, with a claimed trans-identity, are held. They are held in their prison cells for 23 out of 24 hours. They appear to have single cells, which are somewhat of a rarity in Irish prisons. I agree it is inhuman to restrict prisoners in this way, unless the alternative is to expose women to risk. Notice the Irish prison service have adopted the language of gender identity ideologues so you have to do some mental gymnastics to realise we are not talking about women here. We are talking about males. At least one of those males is a grave danger to women.

The situation for these detainees is, I agree, likely to be causing them psychological harm. However, the risk to females, if they were allowed free association, is likely to be more than psychological.

If ever there was a prisoner that could use access to a “listening” service whilst in prison this person would appear to be one. However, having read some prisoner accounts of the “listener” service it would appear it is not an unmitigated good. The service is run by other prisoners and there are reports some use information shared, by vulnerable prisoners, for nefarious reasons. It is not clear if the “listeners” are male or female.

I would agree. 👆 the prison service are in an impossible position. Forced to allocate dangerous males, in a female wing, afraid of the consequences of fully unleashing them on the female population, then criticised for segregating them. Either the trans-identified, and male, prisoner is placed in a solitary /segregated scenario or they are allowed to mix with “general population”. The population referenced here would appear to mean the women on the wing. The prison service would be forced to deploy staff to protect, potential, female victims.

The Prison confirms that the processes needed to protect these trans-identified males are labour intensive. Nowhere do the prison inspectors cover the issue of the risk to actual females by forcing the prison to adopt the, naive, recommendations of the Yogyakarta Principles. They do at least manage to include a reference to female staff being coerced into giving bodily searches to males. 

The prisoners have complained about mis-gendering so naturally the prison staff are also to be forced to undergo re-education programmes. Prison staff will be forced to call a violent male, with a deep seated loathing of women “Barbie”.

The prison inspectorate mandates prison staff should receive training on LGBT + issues. They do not recommend any training covering the impact, on females, of being housed with males. Males, let me remind you, with histories of violence /sex offending against women. This is despite the fact that female prisoners have been shown to be disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and sexual assaults, by men.

As far as I can ascertain the requirement to draft a new policy has not yet been undertaken or is not yet published on the Irish Prison service website. The inspectorate makes clear, in its action plan, they will be closely monitoring compliance with the LGBT+ training. This will be developed in collaboration with an appropriate civil society organisation, which, I infer, means a Trans Lobby group. The transgender prisoners will also get a voice in this training. Not the women. The Inspectorate also require attendance numbers and frequency of delivery/updates to the training programme. Big Brother is watching you!

The interesting double-think required for these policies is evident in the policy written for the Scottish Prison Service. The policy for trans-identified females, in Scotland, specifically highlights the danger of sexual assault to a female held in the male estate. Trans-identified men are invariably held in the female estate. Sex would appear to matter for the trans community after all. The Scottish policy does claim the trans-identified females should be given a choice. The other women get no choice about forcible detention with males.

Would love to see the LGBT training materials the prison are now using. They provided them, to the inspectorate, in June 2021. They don’t appear to be available on their website.

When will they listen to women’s groups?

Lord Patel: Insider Gender Identity 2


This is part two of a series looking at a document produced, with their input, on prisoners with a transgender identity. No women’s groups were included in discussions about making prisons mixed sex. You can read part one here. 👇

Lord Patel: Inside Gender Identity 1

Part 1 also contains a link to the full document.

I am not going to cover all the details in the document, in this post, because they are repetitive and the arguments are familiar. Notable are the absence of any women’s rights voices Three trans-identified prisoners were consulted. The transgender community are portrayed as a vulnerable group, despite the massive institutional power they have attained in the past decade. The report relies, heavily, on U.S. data to accentuate the theme of vulnerability. The U.S Prison system is far more brutal, than that of the U.K., which lends more credence to arguments about the vulnerability of trans-identified males. The report also makes good use of research covering the whole of the LGBTQ + “community” without disaggregating the data to reveal how much is based on gay males or Lesbians. {I will return to this document to cover some of the issues about access to medication and competing mental health diagnoses, within the transgender population. That needs a post in itself and is the one area where I think claims of vulnerability stand up to scrutiny for *some* of those with a transgender identity.}

There are lots of claims about ”transphobia”, in the U.K. Prison estate which turns out to mainly focus on not using preferred pronouns or lack of access to make-up or wigs.

High rates of participation in prostitution are blamed on family rejection or employment discrimination. Mental health issues are blamed on ”minority stress” rather than considering if vulnerable individuals are latching onto a transgender identity. There’s also a note of nervousness in the foreword as if the authors sense the tripwires built in to the, ever evolving, transgender ideology.

In this post I am going to look at whether any contributors considered the impact on female prisoners. Note that the document itself refers to trans-identified males as ”females” and vice versa. Who was it that said the word ”woman” would never be enough?

Quite early in the report the authors make the extraordinary claim that modern medicine is too pre-occupied with treating health issues as if they only relate to men or women.

The truth is that medicine treats men as the default human and women’s health is much neglected. This topic has been covered by many feminists including by Caroline Criado-Perez in her book ”Invisible Women”.

The consultation is also intended to provide insight into the health needs of imprisoned trans-identified males /females and some of the contributors express frustration at the level of attention afforded to the sexual (“genderal”) politics of prison allocation. I am old enough to remember when changing female only prisons to mixed sex would have resulted in a rather robust, public, debate. Instead much of this has been achieved by consultations, such as this one, which excluded women’s groups.

The guidance put out in 2016 advised prisons that transgender offenders should be accommodated in the estate that accords with their “gender identity”. Those with a Gender Recognition Certificate already must be housed according to their ”legal gender”. This new instruction allowed for males, without a GRC, to be located in the female estate.

Many of the commentators welcomed this clarity. I will spare you the comments about non-binary prisoners and how to accommodate ”gender fluid” people. Some of the more activist contributors were critical of the binary nature of the prison system. 🤷‍♂️. One brave soul raised a question about transvestites, unaware, presumably, that we can no longer talk about sex offenders with a history of transvestic fetishism.

This was typical of the published responses. Staff welcome the move away from requiring a GRC, to a policy of self-identification, and think we should be less preoccupied with female penises.

The report betrays some inconsistency about the index offences for the majority of trans-identified males. The use of ”female” applied to male prisoners is, no doubt, strategic. Who was it that said the word ”woman” would not be enough for the trans-language grab. They have also appropriated ”female”. It does mean you have to remember we are talking about males; who are responsible for 99% of sex offences and whose victims are 88% female. Here is one quote based on research from the United States which is immediately contradicted. So which is it? Are they more likely to be sex offenders or not?

Attempts to get data, disaggregated, to demonstrate the offending pattern of trans-identified males are hampered by the practice of recording male crimes as if they were committed by females. Women’s rights groups have been forced to put in endless freedom of information requests to try to assess the risk. A task that should not have fallen on women, most of whom are unpaid.

Here is the outcome from an FOI response. The MOJ seem to have changed to a different software format which I had to download. The data released is here 👇. For comparison the figure for sex offenders, held in the male estate, is 18%. This figure is approaching 50%. All the more alarming if you consider that men with a GRC will have their crimes recorded as ”female” crimes. Either we have a problem of sex offending in this demographic or sex offenders are using the loopholes allowed by self-identification. Which ever it is, and I suspect it is a bit of both, we have a problem.

Source for the above 👇. I had to go to some lengths to access this and download new, open source, software. I am sure this is motivated by egalitarian principles and not to make it more awkward.

Scroll down to Transgender Prisoners

Now we have some context let us return to our focus group. Some of the contributors did raise concerns about male sex offenders in the female estate. I had not even thought about men trying to avail themselves of anti-libidinal medication, to deal with their sex drive, while in prison. Apparently it’s a thing!

Another interviewee raised a similar concern, only to be immediately undercut by the next commentator, in what I imagine was intended to be a reassuring comment. Men don’t need a penis to sexually offend is not allaying my fears for these, vulnerable, women.

One would have thought the research should have been done before inflicting men in female prisons but hey that’s just me! Next we get some revealing statements about why so many thought it was a solution to place trans-identifying males in with women.

There is a breathtaking lack of awareness about the sexism involved in projecting stereotypical expectations on women. They are treating women as validation aids /support humans. As if we are the universal mother!

Some did express reservations, however, once again it is the concerns of the ”trans female” that are centred and lack of a warm reception is not framed within the context of women’s safety or dignity.

All of which reminds me of this statement, by James Barratt, a gender identity specialist. This was revealed in a court transcript, involving a male prisoner who won a legal challenge to be moved to the female estate. Before I tell you what his index offences were this is how women who object are described:

Yes! You read that right he anticpates any woman who objects will be ”The sort of women who enjoy conflict” 😳. So let us look at ”Karen’s” index offences and parole assessments. Manslaughter, released on licence (to a female bail hostel, by the way) and within five days had attempted to rape a woman. (It was a vicious assault).

Just in case you think it could not have got any worse. Here’s the ”mitigation” for the attempted rape put forward. Whilst Mr Spurr did advocate for detention in the male estate his explanation for the rape beggars belief. Personally I think the motives outlined here point to a specific type of risk which may present from these prisoners. He was jealous of her being a woman.

After all this the reason a male (attempted) rapist was moved to the female estate was because he needed to ne with his ”peers” and the women were needed to act as therapeutic aids. If this does not make your blood boil what will it take? 🤦‍♀️.

My digression to cover this case is because the above prisoner, Karen Jones, was invited to the House of Lords, by Lord Patel, to advise on the treatment of transgender prisoners. I have no idea if he was one of the prisoners who were allowed to input to Lord Patel’s work, developing policy which directly affects female prisoners.

I will look at this document to cover some of the issues raised about competing mental health issues, in this demographic, in another post.

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Lord Patel: Inside Gender Identity 1


This is a document was produced by an organisation led by Lord Patel. You can read the full document here. 👇

Inside Gender Identity Lord Patel

Part 1: Who is it by? Who is it for?

This document was produced, in December 2017, to look at the needs of those identifying as transgender. In particular the focus is on how these ”identities” could be accommodated in a prison system that separates the estate by sex. This practice originated for reasons of dignity and privacy and because approaching 99% of sex offenders are male and their victims, overwhelmingly, female.

These are the authors :

Lord Patel authored the forward and talks a lot about how the transgender community are poorly understood and ill-served by a prison system based on binary ideas about sex and the way the prison allocates inmates. This document is underpinned by a belief system that accepts the notion there is an appropriate way to behave dependent on your biological sex. This is biological essentialist thinking; which is an accusation frequently levelled at feminists who reject the ideology surrounding “Gender Identity”.

Lord Patel is, therefore, a fully paid up believer in the idea someone can be born in the wrong body.

In the long list of acknowledgments he includes a trans-identified male who has also given evidence to the House of Commons. This is he speaking to a select committee for the transgender equality inquiry. This is what Megan had to say about housing male sex offenders with women: “we would not exclude male to female people from the female estate because they have committed a sexual offence”. Not one of the women challenged this statement.

Here are the list of acknowledgements. Spot the women’s organisations who were consulted? Thats right there are none but they did manage to talk to many trans lobby groups including one for transgender children (Mermaids) who seem an odd choice to input to adult, prison policy.

Of course other key trans activists were consulted, including Stephen Whittle who is never far away when there is an opportunity to dismantle women’s rights and prove they are not one of us.

Press for change are another trans lobby group who have been working to change laws since 1992. They specifically do not like laws which allow for discrimination on the basis of sex. This would be those permitted discriminations that cater for women only spaces and services. They therefore work against the rights of women.

Gender Ideology: Terminology

There follows a long section on terminology which has been rammed down our throats by these lobby groups and completely captured our political elites. The total surrender to this nonsensical ideology seems near complete. A sample below:

First up is an attempt to problematise the recognition of biological sex and public records. It is rarely necessary to resort to chromosomal checks and, as I have noted many times, those with chromosomal abnormalities are not a feature of referrals to gender clinics. This was researched and resulted in the abandonment of karyotype tests for those at odds with their biological sex.

Karyotype tests abandoned at Gender Clinics

Here we are also being manipulated to accept that fully intact, biological males, can identify as women. Lord Patel knows some of these ”women” don’t take any medical steps. For the record I don’t think any policy should be linked to whether or not anyone is pre or post-operative. {Prisons should simply base allocation on biological sex with appropriate provision in the female estate for the tiny number of women who have XY chromosomes but have an oestrogen led puberty because they have conditions like complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) }

Lord Patel doesn’t even see a problem with accepting men, with a sexual fetish, under the trans umbrella. This is a paraphilia. It includes men who wish to publicly parade in women’s clothing and force women to participate in their sexual practices. This goes against principles of consent.

To which I object!

Next up the ridiculous notion that we should accept the nonsensical idea of people who claim not to have a biological sex or those with a fluid identity. Naturally there is the offensive repurposing of the word “queer” which Lord Patel advises has been reclaimed. Tell that to the gay men who actually were on the receiving end of the ”queer-bashing” which, let me remind you, is not a historical phenomenon but a contemporary occurrence. I can think of racist terms that have also not been rehabilitated. I am sure he would, quite rightly, object if I , a white woman, started to lecture him on how they had been ”reclaimed”.

Finally it is outrageous to tell those of us who own our biological sex that we are, simultaneously, accepting of the sex stereotypes projected onto our bodies/personalities. I know I am a woman. I am not a fecking stepford wife/cisgender. I find the term offensive.

Finally we are told who the report is aimed at. Turns out it was to inform the Prison Service, Probation Service, the Criminal Justice system and NHS England. It is intended to influence policy across all these sectors.

In part two I will look at what the document recommends.

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More on Trans-Identifying males


Matthew Maycock. Further data on male demands re female prisons.

This is based on the same group of people, mainly males, I covered in my last blog which you can read here 👇

Trans-identifying people & Prison

This paper is again looking at the demands made by the, predominantly, male prisoners about access to the female estate. Part of this paper looks at reactions to the Transgender Wing at HMP Downview. As you can see from the headline to this paper the loudest voices demanded to be included in the facilities set aside for the opposite sex; though this demand was more muted from the trans-identifying females.

There was some differences, in respect of at the point in “transition” a male would access the female estate. However, as you can see with the follow up clip, even for the hesitant access to the female estate was the ultimate goal.

Another was happy for there to be a transgender wing to get support before they undertook ”the operation”.

The article leverages the suicide of three male inmates, who identified as ”women” to argue for access to the women’s estate. These are very sad stories which reflect poorly on safeguarding, of vulnerable males, in prisons. However, women are not human shields for men, even those at risk in the male estate.

The above clip was followed up by a brief reference to Karen White. The offences in question were rape and sexual assault. He was not the only one. This was a predictable outcome of putting men in women’s prisons.

Since Matthew failed to uncover any violence of sexual assault, against trans-identified males, in Scottish prisons, he falls back on research done in the United States. Given there is no easy way to quantify if the risk is higher, than for other vulnerable males, I think we need to stick to the U.K context. Here the ”risk” seems to focus on issues like pronoun misuse which are hardly a matter of life and death.

Other issues raised are similarly superficial:

There follows a series of unrealistic demands for non-binary and intersex wings which even the author recognises as impractical. One participant is not happy to have been allocated a single cell though these are in short supply and much coveted. Here a prisoner complains about not being subjected to body searches as frequently as other prisoners. 👇 Given that females are being forced to perform body searches on, fully intact, males I am not surprised this is being avoided.

I am going to hazard a guess this is a male prisoner who is advocating for more body searches. This seems like a ⛳️⛳️⛳️ to me!

Next up is a common Trans-activist argument which attempts to infer sex separated spaces are akin to racial segregation.

Once again the argument about learning your social role is advanced. How does this square with arguments someone has always been a woman? This is incompatible with a demand to access women so they can lean how to assimilate! This 👇 makes it clear the women are being used as validation aids, for males. The females, as I have already covered, remain in the female estate so no emotional labour is requires from men.

Not content with access to the female estate some also demand they should be allowed to shower with the opposite sex. Again this will be the men. Matthew is using ”people” here when it is really about men asking to shower with women! ⛳️⛳️⛳️

By the time he was writing this Dr Maycock was no longer working for the Scottish Prison Service. Maybe it is this that allows himself to dip his toe into a more controversial suggestion. He admits this paper privileges the experience of males and recognises that trans-identifying females have contrasting views. Why it is almost as if their experiences are shaped by their sex. 🤔.

His final observation tells you this has been written by a man. It is inconceivable to Dr Maycock that the views of women would not be considered. REALLY! By your own admission the women were only asked how they felt AFTER they had been incarcerated with men. Its all a bit May Cock’s do as they like and to hell with what women want/need.

Even if some women have are willing to share intimate space with men they cannot be used as a loophole. Firstly we have been subjected to societal grooming for a decade to forget all of the facts about male risk factors. We should not jettison single sex spaces to appease males who demand access. Women fought for these rights because of 98% of sex offenders are male. The overwhelming percentage of victims are female. Furthermore male free spaces are also about dignity and privacy. Any male disregarding this has no idea what it means to be a woman.

Rhona Hotchkiss (retired Prison Governor) points out that, of the women interviewed, who were part of the wider project, 80% objected to sharing their incarceration with males. Only 3 had no reservations at all:

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Trans-identifying people & Prison


Some more research about Scottish Prisons; who employed a researcher to draft reports justifying, I would argue, their policy of allowing self-identifying males to be housed in the female estate. This researcher had also undertaken research into the females forced into mixed sex spaces. You can read about their experiences here:

Female & ”Transgender” Inmates

This research paper covers his work with trans-identifying prisoners. They were overwhelmingly male. The first paper he published, on this group, can be read here 👇

Maycock pains trans prisoners

He followed this up with another paper on the same subjects so I will cover that next. Matthew begins by referencing the paper, linked below, covering female experiences in the prison system.

Women in Prison:

Women in Prison

This paper focuses on sex differences in prison experiences. The researchers reported that the experiences of the female prisoners were so harrowing those conducting the interviews were left ”reeling”.

It is well worth reading the entire paper to get a sense the ways in which the female experience of prison is materially different to that of male prisoners. One of the key deprivations the women highlight is loss of privacy.This makes it all the more astounding women have been forced into mixed sex spaces. Here is another quote from that paper:

Matthew references this paper but his comment concentrates on the fact it is not inclusive of self-proclaimed ”women”.

Wrong Hall. Wrong Clothes.

The contrast between the experiences of female prisononers and the travails of the transgender prisoners is stark. The incidents considered ”transphobic abuse” were linked to the need for validation in an opposite sex identity. The title of the study gives a flavour of the sources of pain for these prisoners. These were being housed according to their biological sex and not having access to opportunities to ”perform” a new gender identity.

The sample interviewed is set out below:

The females, who identify as men, are held in the female estate. The Scottish Prison Service claims Gender Identity takes primacy, in terms of prison location, but recognises the vulnerability of females to sexual assault, in the male estate. It is also significant that of the males there are 5 held in the female estate, 5 were assessed as too high risk and a further prisoner was segregated. This is very much a pattern reflective of biological sex not ”identity”. Notice also that the SPS operate on a self-identified basis and include ”social transition” as valid. Here’s what the paper had to say about the risk assessed males: This was also described as a source of ”pain”.

Here is a summary of the kind of pain unique to the experience of transgender prisoners:

The key issues identified are not having access to the estate housing the opposite sex, misgendering, misnaming and transphobia. Since we already know, from the women’s accounts, some of these men were fully intact, bearded males, who re-identified with their sex on release, is it any wonder that some were ”misgendered”?

The author makes much of the concept of “authenticity” or the ”real deal”. Some of the pain attributed to the community centres on a lack of available opportunity to display your ”gender” and have it recognised by others. Here one prisoner outlines their experience and the role of the prison staff. Assessing motivations for transition would seem to be an essential part of any risk assessment but here it is approached as insensitivity on the part of the prison staff. A healthy degree of suspicion would seem to be an essential attribute when dealing with incarcerated criminals. 🤷‍♂️

This prisoner is half right. Your personal identity is your own business right up to the point when you demand we participate in your identity and that the world be reorganised to validate your self-perception. Then it becomes a societal issue.

Here the author raises the issue of disparity of treatment between the women and the females with a male identity. He is avoiding the issue here. The trans-identified males are held in the female estate because of the danger of sexual assault from males. The rest of the women were given no such consideration when they were allocated to mixed sex spaces.

I am struggling to muster up the prescribed amount of empathy for the deprivations described here. Maybe I am non-binary? Why is the prison service pandering to this level of entitlement and narcissism?

There are quite a few quotes in a similar vein. What strikes me is how much is bound up with a performance with all the stereotypical expectations of what makes a woman. Clothes, hair and make-up do not a woman make!

The prison is described as undermining the transition journey by not supplying the accoutrements, deemed necessary, to perform femininity. Maycock frames this as an abuse of prison power. This is what we call ”transperbole”.

Many of the quotes relate to lack of progress in their transition because they are unable to access hormones on line, as they had done outside. Appointments at Gender Clinics are difficult to arrange and one even complains he didn’t get enough notice to ”get ready”.

A number of the prisoners raise the issue of lack of role models for their social transition because they are not able to mix with their target sex. This makes it clear that the women are being treated as validation aids and expected to behave as support humans.

Here is another quote from a female. How are you really a ”man” if you have to copy men to learn how to do it? How is any of this authentic? What is a ”proper man”?

Here an inmate claims they can’t learn to perform their ”gender” from prison officers of their target sex. It has to be prisoners. Why? Are the female prison officers not performing their gender accurately?

The study then covers issues of social isolation, lack of support from families, some of whom are unaware of the new gender identity, and missing LGBT support groups from the outside. There are mixed feelings about ”Transgender” wings which don’t provide sufficient opportunities to mix with the target sex.

There are also mixed views about how safe it is to be transgender whilst in custody. One male shares an in incident where he was subject to sexualised comments about his “breasts” and penis. Another shared an anecdote about an aggressive female:

It is noticeable that these incidents are taken at face value. This in marked contrast to any tales of aggressive or sexually inappropriate behaviour shared by the females, in Maycock’s previous paper. In that paper he was skeptical often juxtaposing another women’s comment which undercut the testimony. The author says these tales are typical of the transphobic abuse meted out to the prisoners but does note an absence of transphobic violence or sexual abuse. Note that some females have actually been raped/sexually assaulted by male prisoners who were allocated to the female estate.

The report suggests that the lack of transphobic abuse is because the prison authorities respond to reports of transphobia and report any prisoner found to have indulged in this. These reports can result in time added onto sentences. I suspect Maycock sees this as positive but I find it deeply sinister, especially if correctly sexing someone comes under that heading. And it clearly does: 👇

Maycock then ties himself in knots about the issue of reporting other prisoners. Snitching is seen as something bound up with femininity so the trans-identified males don’t mind reporting because it validated their “identity”. I find the logic here quite torturous. The transgender person here would appear to be able to unleash the prison authorities on other prisoners. This looks more like an act of male dominance to me.

The author does not report all his findings in this paper as he is intending to publish another one. He does manage to throw in a reference to biological essentialism which none of these queer theorists appear to understand.

We are not saying that women have to be nurturing, emotional support humans who demonstrate their maternal instincts at every opportunity. We are just saying sex matters and is a reliable indicator for male pattern violence and sex offending. The amount of time Maycock uses the word ”support” in relation to what he expects of women, vis a vis transgender prisoners, is very revealing. He seems to have very stereotypical expectations about women and how men need make-up, hair and clothes to perform their authentic self.

I will leave you with this observation by Frances Crook of the Prison reform organisation , the Howard League.

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Scottish Prison Service


This is a companion piece to a blog covering a survey of female prisoners with experience being held with trans-identifying males.

You can read my blog about that research here:

Female & ”Transgender” Inmates

In this blog I will look at the Scottish Prison Service guidance for the treatment of Transgender inmates.

The guidance was written in collaboration with the Scottish Trans Alliance and was endorsed by Stonewall.

You can read the full document here:


James Morton: Scottish Trans Alliance

The guidance was a collaboration with Trans Lobby group:Scottish Trans Alliance. The document references James Morton in the appendix. Here is what Morton had to say about the collaboration. {From the book Trans Britain by Christine Burns}. The decision to implement mixed sex spaces in the most challenging of environments was a strategic tactic. If they could persuade Prison’s to pilot this, on the most vulnerable women in our society, they could extend it to other single sex spaces. James even has the gall to use the word ”ethically” about this live experiment!

The document opens with a high minded statement about making sure the prison is free from homophobia and transphobia. The stated aim is to ensure everyone is treated with fairness and respect. Judge for yourself if any of this is fair to the women prisoners or the female staff.

Geneva Convention

The first thing that struck me is the claim that the guidance is evidence based. Their own research, which I covered in my previous blog, demonstrates they did NO research on the impact this would have on female prisoners. Even the, very biased, research project the SPS commissioned, showed 50% of the women had serious misgivings about the enforcement of, mixed sex, custodial facilities. It is worth noting that if these women were prisoners of war the Geneva Convention would protect these women. The Geneva convention repeatedly emphasises the need for women to be accommodated away from male prisoners. Here is article 25.

This principle is repeatedly emphasised to cover circumstances where women were subject to disciplinary proceedings

The Scottish Prison Service seems to be under the misapprehension that ”Gender Identity” is a legally protected characteristic. It is not. Gender Reassignment is the legally protected characteristic so is SEX. The Gender Recognition Act does not over-ride the legally protected characteristic of sex. Single sex spaces could be retained providing it is ”a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.


The Scottish Prison service made an ideological decision to make custodial facilities mixed sex. As the policy is endorsed by Stonewall it is worth a reminder of Stonewall policy about single sex spaces. They campaigned to remove them!

Scottish Prison Policy

The SPS mandate pronoun use according to Gender Identity, not sex. Many of us may have been relaxed about maintaining a “polite fiction” prior to the onset of compelled speech. However, mandating pronouns signals an allegiance to an ideology that has had a deleterious impact on women’s rights and this has made me a pronoun refusenik.

Pronouns, however, are the least of my concerns re this policy. First of all, for the female staff, they are being forced to perform ”rub downs” and even full body searches according a self-declared ”Gender Identity” .

Staff are also told not to react discourteously when presented with a ”physical variation” they were not expecting. Such as, I imagine, a penis. 😳. The staff are taught to treat a surprise penis like a disability! Anyone raising any concerns should be dealt with by staff training or “re-educated”.

The document is keen to emphasise the fact that it is not a requirement of the Gender Recognition Act that any bodily modification have taken place; which is why we have the concept of the “female penis”.

Staff are instructed that prisoners should be located in the estate that matches their “Gender Identity”, not their sex and irrespective of their anatomy. Here is what they say about the male prisoners. Notice staff are told to discount the possibility there could be a nefarious motive for wishing to access the female estate. Furthermore the male is described as living as a ”woman” but the females having this policy imposed upon them are described as “people”.

The hypocrisy of the policy is exposed by the differential treatment meted out to females, who claim a male identity. This is not EQUAL treatment. A female with a trans-identity is to be given every consideration if they are fearful of sexual assault, in the male estate. A female in the female estate has NO voice in terms of forcible co-location with males.

The policy also makes a special mention of a category of ”non-reassigned trans people” which, we are told, includes the following groups:

The policy mandated that these groups should also be allowed certain items not traditionally associated with their ”Gender”. This can include a prosthetic penis or breasts.

The policy also makes it clear that information about someone’s ”Gender Identity ” should not be disclosed to other prisoners. In practice this means a female prisoner could be presented with an obvious male and the staff would not be able to confirm this. For those who have a Gender Recognition Certificate any disclosure would be treated as a crime.

It is also emphasised that a person who acquires a different gender identity on reaching the prison system should be accepted as the gender they now declare. There is also a rather sinister sentence about what questions the Prison Officer should ask following this disclosure:

All in all this policy is unfair to women. Its discriminatory and, frankly, a bit bonkers. How could a profession, dealing with people who have broken the law, endorse a policy that presumes people are who they say they are? Criminals lie. #JustSaying.

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