Defining women is not an 'anti-trans' hate crime

They interpret our refusal to pretend that humans can change sex as evidence that we wish they didn't exist.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

An event as mundane as someone putting stickers on lampposts may seem unlikely to be newsworthy. But this is Canada in 2022, so nothing should surprise us. The stickers at the heart of this latest controversy appeared in downtown Ottawa earlier this month, and on them were messages such as "woman. noun. adult human female" and "Keep Prisons Single Sex." These were messages about women's rights. Nothing more, nothing less.

This stickering prompted an outcry from the local transgender community. There were accusations of transphobia, allegations that this was a hate crime, and even, from an Ottawa city councilor, a call for witnesses to contact the police—over stickers with women's rights messages.

It was suggested that these women were "trying to frame trans rights as being at odds with women's rights."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but surely there can be no more perfect example that trans rights are indeed at odds with women's rights than calling the dictionary definition of woman transphobic.

If women cannot even define themselves without being accused of transphobia, that is evidence of a conflict of rights. If women advocating for female-only prisons is an act of transphobia, that is also clear evidence of a conflict of rights. It is somewhat baffling that this even needs explaining.

Another wildly inaccurate statement was this interpretation of the motivation behind these stickers, proclaimed by a member of the Ottawa trans community in a blog post a few days later:

"that's what they want: for people like me to be scared. For people like me to "stay in our lane", be out of sight, or better yet - not exist at all."

As a Canadian gender critical feminist, I would like to set the record straight on this. That is not what I want. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe every member of the transgender community deserves a life free from discrimination and violence. I do not wish harm on anyone, nor do I wish that anyone live in fear. And I certainly do not wish that transgender people did not exist.

However, I am aware that some of my beliefs are deeply offensive to certain members of the transgender community. But, as causing offense is not a crime in Canada, at least not yet, I shall take the time to explain what those beliefs are.

I believe that a woman is an adult human female.

Now, if someone had told me ten years ago when I immigrated to Canada that in 2022 this belief would be considered a hate crime, I'd have thought them completely mad. But here we are.

More of my controversial beliefs include: humans cannot change sex; there is no such thing as a gender identity, and no child is born in the wrong body.

All of these beliefs are perfectly valid, grounded in reality, and, as the landmark Maya Forstater ruling in England concluded, are worthy of respect in a democratic society. But therein lies the problem. Canadian trans activists appear to have forgotten that Canada is a democratic society.

They seem to have forgotten that our country is liberal and pluralistic, and that freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression are enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that an important part of freedom of belief is freedom from belief: the freedom not to believe.

I no more believe that being in possession of a female gender identity transforms a man into a woman than I do the Earth is flat. But while a flat-earther cannot impose their absurd belief onto me, Canadian trans activists think they are entitled to do precisely that.

It is not enough for them that people accept transwomen as transwomen; instead, we must believe they are actual women. They demand that we all believe in the existence of magical gendered souls that turn men into women, and women into men.

Without a doubt the most harmful consequence of imposing this belief in gender identities onto Canadians is that we are forced to believe children also possess these gendered souls, and that if a child possesses a mismatched one, they should be chemically castrated with experimental puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

When we meekly surrendered our most precious Charter rights to these gender ideologues, we surrendered along with them the ability to protect our children from this dangerous ideology. Shame on us.

We have mollycoddled the transgender community here in Canada for far too long, silencing opposing viewpoints to ensure that these supposedly fragile individuals never encounter an idea that may offend them. So much so that they now mistake a difference of opinion for hate. They interpret our refusal to pretend that humans can change sex as evidence that we wish they didn't exist, and they confuse our wanting our legitimate political opinions to be heard as a desire for them to be excluded from society.

If even one politician from a main political party would find the courage to speak on our behalf, or if one mainstream media outlet were willing to give us an opportunity to express our point of view, women wouldn't have to resort to measures such as putting stickers on lampposts. One thing is certain though: we will no longer be compelled to deny reality, not when we see vulnerable women and children coming to terrible harm as a result of this denial. Now that we have found our voice, nothing is going to silence us.


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