Debbie Hayton Debbie Hayton

No, Keir, trans women like me do not have cervixes

Andrew Marr’s question was simple and straightforward, ‘[Is] someone who thinks that only women have a cervix welcome in the Labour party?’ As a party member who still clings to science and reason, I willed Keir Starmer to give a simple and straightforward answer. Instead, he blustered:

Well, Andrew, we need to have a mature, respectful debate about trans rights and we need to, I think, bear in mind that the trans community are amongst the most marginalised and abused communities.

It’s not true, Keir. Some of us in the trans community are doing rather well for ourselves, certainly in the UK. We have robust legal protections — we even have our own protected characteristic under the Equality Act — and most people wish us well. Some trans people do fare less well but whether it is because they are trans is a question in need of serious research.

But more to the point, this was a question about women’s rights. It concerned Rosie Duffield and her right to claim the word ‘woman’ for someone who has a cervix — in other words, an adult human female. Starmer’s instinct to defend trans rights suggested that while he might claim we are marginalised, the truth is rather different. We are central to his thinking.

Marr tried again: ‘Is it transphobic to say only women have a cervix?’ At that point, the wheels came off the bus.

If there is any consolation to Starmer, Ed Davey is in exactly the same pickle.

‘Well, it is something that shouldn’t be said. It is not right. But Andrew, I don’t think that…’

Shouldn’t be said? It’s the truth, for heaven’s sake! Only women have a cervix. Just like only men have a prostate. These facts are fundamental to human biology, but the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition thinks we should keep quiet about it.

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