Labour frontbenchers unable to define ‘woman’

Two Labour frontbenchers were unable to define what a woman is during media interviews this week.

As the country marked International Women’s Day earlier this week, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Anneliese Dodds, and Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, dodged the query multiple times in radio interviews.

Labour has pledged to remove safeguards in the Gender Recognition Act and enable people to ‘change sex’ by self-declaration. The Party would remove the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and to have lived as though a member of the opposite sex for at least two years.

‘All kinds of things’

Speaking to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Dodds struggled to define what a woman is, in light of listeners’ concerns about the push to change the term’s meaning.

Dodds claimed there were “different definitions legally around what a woman actually is”, listing “the biological definition, legal definition” and “all kinds of things”.

When pressed by Barnett for Labour’s definition, Dodds claimed it depended on “what the context is”, claiming that because a number of men “transitioned” to live as women “they want to be defined as a woman”. Speaking separately to Times Radio, Cooper said it was “pointless” to try and explain what a woman is.

A Labour spokesman later denied that Dodds “struggled” to define the term, adding the Party’s definition was: “A woman is a woman.”

‘A dictionary and a backbone’

In response to the Shadow Minister’s comments, author JK Rowling tweeted: “Someone please send the Shadow Minister for Equalities a dictionary and a backbone.”

She added: “Apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day.”

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, veteran journalist Suzanne Moore said: “In the space of a few years we’ve reached the point where a politician can’t explain what a woman is on the radio on a programme called Woman’s Hour, showing how mad the debate has become”.

Moore was joined by transsexual Debbie Hayton, who stressed: “A woman is an adult human female”, adding “transwomen like me are not women”.

Rosie Duffield

Last year, The House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle hit out at trans activists’ threats towards Labour MP Rosie Duffield after she said she would not attend the party’s conference because of the abuse she has received.

Duffield, head of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, pulled out after being threatened online for defending the reality of biological sex.

The mother of two has been branded ‘transphobic’ for affirming that only women have cervixes and for her concerns that removing single-sex spaces puts women at risk.

Also see:

Commons Speaker blasts trans activists’ intimidation of Labour MP

Court of Session rules term ‘women’ only applicable to females

‘Scot Govt subverting definition of legal sex’, says women’s rights group

Observer: Freedom of speech ‘key’ in trans debate

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