Canada Fails on Equal Rights Again

Senator Don Plett, you don’t know me but I suspect we have a few things in common. At the most basic level we are of course both humans, we are also Canadian citizens and happen to both be married. My wife was born in Manitoba, just outside Winnipeg, and in my travels around her homeland I have been lucky enough to meet many polite and wonderful Manitobans, no matter how chilly the weather.

 

It was incongruous to me then why yesterday you amended bill C-279 to prevent some Canadian citizens having equal rights to other Canadian citizens. You said by your actions that some Canadians are more equal than other Canadians. Your amendments to C-279 will force the entire bill back to the commons which as you know has killed any chance of me, a transgender woman, having protection under the Human Rights Act of Canada in 2015. I was justifiably upset about this.

 

When my ten year old daughter came home from elementary school yesterday she asked me why I was upset. I carefully explained to her about bill C-279 and how it was intended by MP Randall Garrison to give me the same protections under the law that all other Canadians receive. I went on to explain to her that a Senator from Manitoba has been the main reason I still don’t have the same rights as other Canadians.

 

She was upset at this and couldn’t believe that this could happen in Canada and because of a Manitoban too! Where her grandparents live! After her initial shock her response was succinct, she turned to me and asked if I needed a hug. I thought about this for probably as long as you thought about these amendments, no time at all, and I sat and hugged my daughter. I cannot believe that you have thought enough about these amendments because they have no factual basis. I can only conclude you are misinformed, a bigot or under instructions from Prime Minister Harper.

 

As a polite Canadian I will work from the position that you are misinformed Senator Plett. You propose that allowing a transgender woman into a bathroom, or other women’s only spaces, somehow presents a danger to cisgender women. I’d like to see your evidence regarding this please. Evidence, not opinion. I did a bit of reasearch and I cannot find a single case of a transgender woman attacking a cisgender woman in a bathroom or any other women’s only space in Canada. Not one single case.

 

Even if you try and argue that a straight cisgender man may dress up as a woman to gain access to women only spaces, logically your opposition to C-297 still doesn’t make any sense. This is not a reflection on transgender women, a sexually motivated attack by a cisgender man pretending to be transgender would be a reflection on straight cisgender men, so why would transgender women be punished for the actions of cisgender men? As I’m sure you know, and talking with any of the world’s foremost medical experts confirm this, transgender women are not men.

 

I’m talking to today Senator from my perspective as a transgender woman, yet I need to acknowledge that is not just transgender women that have been impacted by you killing off bill C-279. Transgender men will be forced into women’s bathrooms and women only spaces. They are not happy about this because those men are not women. How will intersex or non-gendered people cope too, Senator? Your amendments push women into men’s bathrooms and spaces, and push men into women’s bathrooms and spaces. You don’t seem to have put much thought into these amendments.

 

Transgender women do not think like cisgender men so they do not interact with or react to the world in the same way a cisgender man would. I’m going to get a little graphic now Senator and I apologise in advance. We don’t have the same sexual impulses that men have. Getting changed around other women is not erotic to us. The idea of this might be for you as a cisgender man but that is a reflection of your sexual desires, not mine. I can assure you that going to the bathroom and getting changed are mundane requirements of life for transgender women and not erotic experiences in the slightest. When was the last time you got sexually excited in a male bathroom Senator? Or when you are getting changed in a men’s locker room? Never I presume. that’s exactly the same for transgender people too.

 

The sexual response of transgender women is very different than that of a cisgender man. This is exacerbated when a transgender woman is on hormone replacement therapy. Talking to my doctor and other transgender women across the world I can assure you that transgender women do not have the same, shall we say, snappy response to sexual stimuli that cisgender men get. Like women – shocking because that is exactly what we are – we require a time to warm up. Talk to your wife Betty Senator, she might be able to assist on this point.

 

So in general, we do not react to the world as men and do not physically react to sexual stimuli as men in the same manner, and are not in fact men, you are imposing your own male sexuality onto transgender women incorrectly. Talk to medical experts, talk to transgender women. My contact information is on this page Senator Plett. I urge you to stop thinking of bathrooms and changing rooms as sexual spaces because they are not. The fact is Senator I sometimes need to pee, and I need to change too, and I’d like to do it safely and not be forced into a men only space to do it. I deserve the same rights as other Canadian citizens, don’t I? After all we have bigger issues in Canada that need dealing with.

 

This might be shocking fact but I assure you that it is true: Most crime in Canada, most violence, most murders and domestic abuse, most peodophilia and sexual assualts that take place are committed by one subset of people in Canada. Seriously, just one group does the vast majority of all crime in Canada. These are straight white males exactly like you Senator. Take a look at the crime statistics, talk to the police and you’ll find this is a fact. Unlike your belief that transgender women are a danger, which has no basis in fact, statistically Canadian straight white males like you are the biggest danger to Canadian society.

 

So I ask you, rhetorically and tongue firmly in cheek, what are you going to do about a straight white males, Senator Plett?

 

Media: This is available for republishing at no cost. I am also available for discussions and interviews. Please contact me via here or @marcyjcook on Twitter.

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Female geek, author and blogger. Non-cis, non-straight, non-single, non-asshat.

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