Earlier today I was involved in a discussion regarding human rights and trans rights as they relate to the Canadian context. As some of you may know, Bill c-16 was introduced by the Liberal Government in the House of Commons this past summer. It’s purpose is to include the rights of the Trans* community in the Canadian Human Rights code, and also amend the Criminal act to make it an offence punishable by jail time. The Bill did pass third and final reading in the House of Commons in the fall and moved on to Senate to repeat the same process of three “readings” before going to a vote. Being the legal eagle that I am, I was asked where it was in the process. I knew that it did not go to a vote prior to the Christmas break as some where hoping, but didn’t know exactly where it was stalled.
So, I was wondering where it was on the docket in our illustrious Senate, so off I go to the website for the Canadian Senate. I found the minutes of one of the most recent debates, and found some of the content somewhat disturbing. Why I was surprised, I have no idea. It’s not like I haven’t heard this before. But during second reading, where much of the debate of a proposed bill takes place, a question was asked of the Senator speaking in support of the Bill. Here is what was said:
“My question to you is this: I have received, on this particular bill, dozens of e-mails, phone calls and letters from transgender people who are not supporting this bill; from feminists who are not supporting this bill, feminists who are saying they have worked their whole lives in favour of the feminist situation now biological men are saying they are becoming that.”
WTF??? How does the trans community threaten feminism??? Okay, I’m a “girly girl” I will admit that, just as a huge percentage of Cis women are. But I too fight for women’s rights. Not as a trans person, but as a woman. I just don’t get this. This type of bickering, which, I somehow get the feeling is a bit of an understatement??? is just an energy and resource sucking vortex.
We may march to a different beat, but we are all playing the drums. Why can’t we just all get along and advance the rights of all peoples?!?!? Sigh.