Sex-Based Issues Affecting Women and Girls
Washrooms, Change Rooms and Hospital Rooms How the removal of single-sex segregation of these spaces affects women and girls.
Women and girls in Canada are five more times to be sexually assaulted than males, with 99% of sexual assaults being perpetrated by men (SASHA, Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton).
Gender-neutral washrooms (and, in some cases, change rooms) can be found throughout
Canadian elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools (e.g., University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Winnipeg), as well as swimming pools (e.g., University of Guelph, Halifax’s Canada Games Centre, UBC Acquatic Centre), shopping malls (e.g., Yorkdale Shopping Centre), as well as other institutions (e.g., CNE, ROM). In November, 2019, Charlottetown, PEI, announced plans for all city-owned buildings to have gender-neutral washrooms.
shared hallway), many other gender-neutral facilities in Canada are not similarly designed.
To assume other men will not follow suit, pretending to be a woman, now that anyone who
“identifies” as a woman may enter a women’s facility, is obtuse. To assume other men will not follow suit, in “gender-neutral” facilities, is also obtuse.
Rape and Domestic Violence Shelters The impact on vulnerable women when these places of safety and healing are no longer a shelter away from males.
One of the most shocking instances, so far, of the cruelty inherent in the new gender-based policies is that of Kristi Hanna. In 2018, she was forced to share a room in a Toronto women's addiction recovery shelter with a pre-operative male-to-female trans person. Kristi, a victim of sexual assault and a recovering drug addict, suffered for two nights in the shelter on high alert. “It’s affecting everyone in the house. This can completely ruin your recovery, let alone your safety, let alone your life,” Kristi said in an interview with the National Post. When she complained about having to share a room with a male-bodied person, Kristi was asked to leave the shelter.
When a friend inquired about Kristi's rights at Ontario's Human Rights Legal Support Centre, the representative abruptly ended the call when her friend used male pronouns to refer to the subject of the complaint.
This new interpretation of VAW as gender-based, rather than sex-based, also has wider ranging consequences for women's shelters in their ability to operate effectively. In early 2019, amid trans rights activists' accusations of "transphobia", Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR), Canada's longest-running rape crisis centre, lost its city funding (representing $34,000 of its $1 million budget). The centre has a policy of accepting only biological females into its core programs – peer-to-peer counselling and shelter services. As the last remaining rape shelter in Canada which accepts women only, the defunding of VRR represented a particularly harsh blow to women's rights and protections.
These types of actions by trans rights proponents – which have included nailing a dead rat to VRR's doors and scrawling misogynist slurs on its windows – have served to create a chilling effect on the community which serves female victims of male violence. It's been reported to caWsbar that women's centre workers feel unable to voice their very serious concerns for fear of losing their jobs, and worry that their centres could lose funding and be targeted for abuse by trans rights activists.
It should be noted that while VRR acknowledges -- and caWsbar wholeheartedly agrees -- that transwomen also experience sexual violence and fully deserve care and support, biological women (including female-to-male trans people) have uniquely female life experiences and socialization from birth. These factors make the need for provision of sex-segregated spaces crucial to assist vulnerable women in healing from the trauma of male-pattern violence.
Links to supporting documentation on this issue.
Sporting Competitions How women and girls lose out when males are allowed to compete as females.
caWsbar strongly advocates for the segregation of girls and women from boys and men in competitive sport. We recognize the physiological advantages that men permanently hold in comparison to women, by having gone through male puberty. Such advantages include (but are not limited to) speed, strength, and size differences.
We are appalled by the changes in policy which have been occurring in sport, with athletes being segregated according to "gender identity", rather than sex. Such changes have trickled down to the school level, with provincial school athletic associations having enacted policies permitting boys and girls to participate in sport according to the gender they identify with (e.g., Alberta Schools' Athletic Association, Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations, Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association).
We believe that such policies place girls and young women at potential risk, in terms of their physical safety and injury (both on the field and in the change room). We also believe such policies unfairly place females at a disadvantage with regard to competition (e.g., obtaining medals and membership on future teams, acquiring university athletic scholarships --particularly important for young women who may otherwise be financially unable to attend).
Changes in policy have been occurring outside of schools, as well, instituted at regional, national, and international levels.
On a national level, The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport have urged that athletes in competitive sport be permitted to compete in whichever "gender" they identify, without qualifiers. Disturbingly, in their 2016 document, "Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport", they state:
"...it is recognized that transfemales are not males who became females. Rather these are people who have always been psychologically female but whose anatomy and physiology, for reasons as yet unexplained, have manifested as male.”
The EWG [Expert Working Group] therefore, in parallel with the Dutee Chand decision, opt against any ruling that might render a female ineligible to compete due to intrinsic factors that are beyond their control..."
They go on to state:
"The Expert Working Group felt that trans athletes should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify, regardless of whether or not they have undergone hormone therapy..." and stress that because trans athletes "face much higher than average instances of discrimination, harassment and exclusion" in society, sports organizations should include such athletes "into sport in a way that is neither discriminatory nor disproportionately burdensome to them".
Alarmingly, in 2018, U Sports (an organization that governs 56 Canadian universities) instituted a policy permitting trans athletes to compete in varsity sports in whichever "gender" they choose. U Sports stipulated that an athlete may only choose one "gender" per academic year, a condition which some individuals have actually found restrictive.
On the international stage, in January 2016, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) officially changed their previous requirement that transwomen athletes undergo reassignment surgery, followed by two years of cross-hormone therapy, prior to competing in the women's category.
The new IOC policy states that male athletes are merely required to have declared themselves to be female for at least four years, and to have maintained a lower testosterone level for one year -- a regulation that has not been proven to dramatically alter any of the physiological advantages accrued from male puberty. Interestingly, it should be noted that transmen (biologically female) athletes are able to compete as males without restriction.
Several high-profile women athletes have voiced considerable concern with regard to males competing in women's sport, including Martina Navratilova, Sharron Davies, Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe.
According to British swimmer and silver medal Olympic winner Sharron Davies: “I believe there is a fundamental difference between the binary sex you are born with and the gender you may identify as. To protect women’s sport, those with a male sex advantage should not be able to compete in women’s sport.” (Twitter, March 1, 2019)
As members of caWsbar we demand that previous sex-based policies in all levels of women's sport be reinstated, and that any upcoming changes be halted, until regulations are grounded in solid, evidence-based research.
To find out more about the "transwomen" competing in womens sports, please see Save Women's Sports' extensive list.
Links to supporting documentation on this issue.
Programs, Resources and Awards What is the effect of allowing males to take women's places?
In the recent past, a major step forward occurred when the Canadian government and various organizations recognized that girls and women had been consistently disadvantaged when it came to accessing various resources. Funding for programs, university scholarships, and financial aid started to become available, geared exclusively to women.
Since Bill C-16, however, what was exclusive has become inclusive, with girls and women once again placed at the bottom of priority lists.
University Scholarships & Grants
The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW/FCFDU) is a non-profit organization with national, provincial, and local chapters. Their “Vision” is to “ensure that all girls and women have equal opportunities and access to quality education…” CFUW funds a range of scholarships and grants, many of which are geared to more vulnerable populations, who might otherwise be incapable financially to further their educations, including:
- CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award ($10,000-$25,000)
- CFUW Dr. Alice E. Wilson Awards (4 in total), for a mature student returning to graduate studies (each $5,000)
- CFUW 1989 ÉCOLE POLYTECHNIQUE commemorative awards ($5,000 for an MA student, $7,000 for PhD).
It must be emphasized that any student who identifies as a woman is eligible to apply, thus substantially limiting the aid available to the students such scholarships were initially intended for. It is worth noting that transwoman Stacey Piercey is a member of the standing committee on advocacy with the CFUW.
University-based scholarships/awards also exist, specific to campuses themselves, some providing aid to just one female and one male student. In small universities such as Brandon University (Manitoba), or Algoma University (Ontario), the possibility of aid being taken from worthy women applications is considerable. In describing aid specific to female students, Brandon University’s website indicates that all applicants must be “women-identified students”.
Resources & Programs
The Canadian government’s Status of Women Canada (recently changed to “Women and Gender Equality Canada”) now incorporates the GBA+ (gender based analysis +) approach, and, in fact, has a GBT+ module that is recommended on their website, with a quiz (you can obtain a certificate if you obtain 80%).
The newly-named Women and Gender Equality Canada now includes transwomen as women in terms of any program given or aid provided. Not surprisingly, Stacey Piercey is also a Co-Chair for the sub-committee on human rights for the organization.
Women and Gender Equality Canada provides ample government funding for women’s programs, the assumption being, of course, that transwomen are also eligible to apply. Recent grants include:
- $288,219 to a 36-month project, addressing the needs of women who are victims of sexual exploitation in the Saguency-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
- $399,977 to a 36-month project, seeking gender equality for women in Quebec City and the Bas-Saint-Laurent regions.
- $450,000 to a 36-month project, engaging collaboratively with urban Indigenous women across Alberta regarding violence against girls and women.
- $50,000 to aid communities in Nova Scotia regarding cyberviolence against girls and young women.
Elsewhere, large, national non-profit organizations such as the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) have also subsumed transwoman under the woman umbrella.
CWF receives funds from the government, private foundations, and major corporations, including Always, CIBC, TD, Scotiabank, and Winners. In June, 2019, the federal government announced that it will provide CWF with $3,000,000 over the next two years, and will “apply a gender lens throughout, using GBA+”. In their program funding section, the CWF state: “We prioritize programs that are designed for women, girls, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary peoples who face multiple barriers”.
As changes in who is eligible for academic scholarships, funding for programs, or other aid meant for females continue to widen to include males, the future outlook for vulnerable girls and women seems bleak, indeed.
Links to supporting documentation on this issue.
Prisons and Law Enforcement The lapse in ethics when allowing male prisoners to be housed with incarcerated women.
Since 1999 the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has, on a case-by-case basis, allowed males who have had their penises surgically-removed accommodation in women’s federal correctional facilities. A 2001 ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal determined that CSC’s policy denying male offenders access to “sex reassignment surgery” was discriminatory on the basis of both sex and disability. Until 2017, CSC maintained a policy requiring that males who maintain that they are women but have not surgically removed their penises be accommodated in men’s facilities.
This policy was changed overnight after Prime Minister Trudeau was asked a question regarding transgender prisoners during a town hall in Kingston, Ontario, on January 12, 2017. The Prime Minister responded that “yes” he would address this issue despite having never “thought” of it before. The next day the CBC announced that the policy had been changed to allow males accommodation in women’s prisons on the basis of their self-declaration that they are women. The justification for this change is Bill C-16 which amended the Canadian Human Rights Act making gender identity and expression a prohibited ground for discrimination.
An Access to Information request that asked for data on the number of males in women’s federal correctional facilities was initially denied by CSC citing “no records”. This response was appealed and CSC provided a transfer list which shows that 7 of 8 offenders who transferred from men’s to women’s federal facilities between June 2017 and December 3, 2018 are violent offenders.
Self-declaration of gender is adequate justification for opposite sex accommodation not only in federal correctional facilities but also in many provincial facilities. Male offenders who have been accommodated in women’s prisons in Canada include dangerous offenders Patrick Peasall and Adam Laboucan as well as serial pedophile Matthew Harks.
This is of the utmost concern as many incarcerated women have a history of being abused by men. Forcing them to be imprisoned with violent male predators constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In addition to this the presence of violent male offenders is also inappropriate due to the existence of mother-child programs in women’s facilities. These programs allow young children to stay with their mothers in designated living units.
Links to supporting documentation on this issue.
Same-Sex Attracted Women How women's right to have sexual boundaries is being erased by gender self-idenitification.
Transgender ideology creates particularly harmful consequences for lesbians in its insistence that gender identity take precedence over sexual reality.
Lesbians, by definition, are homosexuals. They are exclusively same-sex - not same-gender - attracted. However, trans rights activists insist that transwomen are women and, therefore, that a transwoman's penis is a "female penis." (Here, it should be noted that approximately 80-97% of all transwomen retain their male genitalia.)
Transgender activists began gaining support for their agenda from mainstream sexual health organizations as early as 2012, when Planned Parenthood Toronto held a workshop entitled "Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling". Borrowing language from Second Wave feminism (i.e., the "glass ceiling" which represents the invisible barrier preventing women from advancing their careers), the workshop's goal was to examine how male-to-female trans people could "overcome barriers," hence the reference to cotton underwear, and gain access to lesbians as sexual partners.
Thus, transgenderism's ideological assertion that gender identity trumps biological reality effectively serves to erase homosexuality. Further, it creates an attitude which encourages coercion of lesbians to accept male-bodied sexual partners -- an insidious new form of "corrective rape" and, ironically, even conversion therapy.
Lesbians who object to having transwomen as sexual partners are vilified as "transphobes" and silenced by the very organizations which purport to advocate on their behalf.
UK lesbian advocacy organization Get the L Out states: "The LGBT community, including Pride events and marches, are denying the definition of lesbianism, defining lesbianism’s exclusive same-sex attraction as hate-speech. The LGBT community is coercing lesbians to accept penises as female organs and heterosexual intercourse as a lesbian sexual practice."
In 2019, as a result of trans ideology having fully captured policy at leading LGBTQ advocacy organization Stonewall UK, a breakaway group was formed. This new organization, the LGB Alliance, recognizes that transgender ideology is working at cross-purposes to the life experiences and aspirational aims of the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
Kate Harris, a former volunteer fundraiser for Stonewall and signatory to the LGB Alliance position statement told The Telegraph: "The main difference is that lesbians, gays and bisexuals have something in common because of our sexual orientation, that has nothing to do with being trans."
caWsbar rejects that notion that lesbians can be attracted to gender identities (trans-identified males). We support same-sex attracted women in their rights to openly and proudly acknowledge their homosexuality, and to set their own sexual and cultural boundaries, free from guilt, coercion or harassment.
Crime Statistics How recording crime data by gender, rather than sex, undermines the reliability of statistics.
As of January 2019, the sex of criminals, and victims of crime, are no longer recorded in Canada. Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) have replaced the variable ‘sex’ with self-declared ‘gender’ in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey.
The UCR is compiled from police data and it is a vital tool for researchers and policy makers who seek to understand the frequency and characteristics of crime in Canada. By making this incoherent change, the Government of Canada has undermined the reliability of crime statistics.
Labeling male-perpetrated crime as female-perpetrated crime is not only inaccurate, it is obscene. No woman, under any circumstances, should have to endure the criminal justice system referring to her male rapist as a "woman."
In addition to allowing criminals to self-declare they are male or female, the new Statistics Canada definitions have created a third category labeled ‘gender diverse’. Gender diverse denotes people who label themselves either both male and female, neither male nor female, or unsure whether they are male or female.
Using “gender identity” instead of biological sex threatens maternal rights, women’s right to assemble and organise without including men, and data collection on violence against women and girls.
Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights, Women's Human Rights Campaign (WHRC)