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Will Bill C-389 leave sex behind?


Will Bill C-389 leave sex behind?

Finding a distinction between trans rights and women's rights
Bill C-389 will enshrine trans rights in Canadian law, but some say it will leave women – non-trans women – behind.

“First of all, there’s nothing wrong with the bill,” says Conservative senator Nancy Ruth. “The bill’s fine. But there is an issue for me, in that other women are not included in Section 318(4) of the Criminal Code, and women have tried for decades – at least 20 or 30 years that I can remember – to get themselves into 318(4).”

Section 318 covers hate crimes. “Everyone who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years,” it reads. Subsection four reads that the identifiable groups include “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”

C-389 would add the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” to that list. Nancy Ruth, who prefers to be identified by both names, has been calling for “sex” to be included as well.

“Rights should be expanded, but there is a major problem in that you can’t give one group in Canada rights if you don’t give all people within that class the same rights,” Nancy Ruth says. “This is a problem, but I’m not going to kill the bill over it.”

NDP MP Bill Siksay, who authored C-389, says he was aware that “sex” would be left out of Section 318 when he drafted the bill, noting that the issue has been a hot topic for some time.

“It wasn’t my intention to exclude women generally in that clause, but it was my intention to deal specifically with a very marginalized group of women, specifically trans women and all transgendered and transsexual people,” Siksay says. “The private member’s bill was intended to be very specific, so we dealt specifically with the issue of full human rights for transgendered and transsexual people.”

“It is a concern, but my response to that is that my colleague Borys Wrzesnewskyj has a private member’s bill that would include gender in Section 318,” says Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings.

Bloc MP Nicole Demers’ Bill C-531 would do the same thing.

With his bill way down on the order paper, Wrzesnewskyj says it’s unlikely to make it into law.

“I’ve tried that three times, and every time it’s been knocked down by the Conservative caucus,” Wrzesnewskyj says. Still, he notes, “sex” would almost certainly be read into the law in a Supreme Court challenge.

Nancy Ruth notes that previous Liberal governments also resisted adding “sex” to Section 318(4) when Conservatives tried to get it included.

Vancouver lawyer barbara findlay, who specializes in queer and feminist issues, says including “sex” in Section 318(4) is important but that there are important distinctions between women’s rights and trans rights.

“It is a conceptual confusion to suggest that if people are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression that somehow gives trans women ‘more rights’ than non-trans women,” findlay says. “It gives all people, whatever their gender identity or gender expression, the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of gender non-conformity.

“Among other things, it protects lesbian women who look ‘too butch,’ and it would protect gay men who are ‘too femme,'” findlay says. “It would also protect trans people who don’t ‘look like’ the gender that they identify with. The addition of protection on the basis of gender identity and gender expression protects all of us who might be targeted for hatred or discrimination on that basis. It does not give any group ‘more rights’ than anyone else.”
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XY, really?
Sadly, it is not just as easy a xy chromosomes. There are 32 different chromosomal configurations possible in a human being. There a xy females and xx woman, and just about anything in between.

I think that Bill C389 will have huge positive implications for woman and the protections afforded them.
Maybe Todd is worried that this bill will make his bigotry a little closer to illegal. Hate groups have a lot of moral justifications that make sense to them perfectly well, that's why protections like this are so important. As for women being explicitly protected, that's been a problem with anti-hate legislation ( international and otherwise) since word one, not because, as Ruth seems to think, no-one wants to do it, but because it's a confusion of definitions. Consider what 'genocide' against a sex is, exactly. It requires a specific section, and the ICTY and ICTR dealt with this. Personally, I'm sure Ruth knows this and is being deliberately disingenuous to stir up s**t.
The fat lady must sing
The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings! Everyone should be very nice to Nancy Ruth because she can make or break this bill. Give her "sex" in section 318 of the Criminal Code and she will secure protection for gender variance in the Canada Human Rights Code. Trannies are always so very self-absorbed with an intense sense of self-entitlement that they can never understand the need for quid-pro-quo and a bit of ass-kissing in politics
in order to get what you want. Let us all sing the praises of Nancy Ruth, the butch Senator from Cluny!!!
@Todd Pearson
Just curious, as you're advocating for discrimination based on a medical condition...

Startlingly high rates of un- and underemployment, poverty, anxiety, depression, harassment, violence, and denial of basic services doesn't sound to me like something that would permit anyone to live with dignity. What scares you so much about the thought of a country where trans people would be protected by law?

(Please don't use the bathroom argument. First of all, it's bogus, and second, I've read the text of the bill, and it says nothing at all about legalizing predatory behaviour in washrooms. Likewise, 'I think they're confused and weird' isn't grounds for opposing legal protection for any group.)
If I were in favour of this bill...
I would tell Nancy Ruth to follow her own advice and "shut the f### up"!
Thanks Ruth, you did us a big favour. This bathroom bill speaks to our most base, morally confused level of human nature. We don't need to protect people with this disorder but help them to live with dignity in the bodies that they were born with.
Are you Trans or do you ride a bicycle?
Gender expression applies equally to people of color, people of faith, etc.

For example, People are not Jewish OR Trans...

Similarly, people are not Female OR Trans... So, to suggest that Gender Identity protection "leaves women behind" is complete disconnect. It's like saying that Gender Identity protection leaves visible minorities behind.

Love you to pieces Nancy Ruth... but please do Trans folks a favor...and try and think before you speak. (And do some homework on Trans issues please...)
Surgically re-sculpted genitals is not a female
Gender is not sex. Gender pertains to psychological beliefs and social mannerisms. Sex is physiological. So a Trans woman who has her genitals surgically re-sculpted to resemble a vagina, albeit without ovaries, may have a gender identity of female. But every cell of his/her body has “xy” chromosomes, so physiologically she is still a male. Quite a cuntnundrum.
Gender Identity and Expression covers all women
Why would that be an issue? By including gender identity and gender expression, all women would be covered. Cisgendered Women are those whose gender identity matches their physical body.

Aside from that, did not fully realize "sex" was not included in the Criminal Code, as one would think it is a no brainer after adding it to the Human Rights act.

Why did Nancy Ruth need to chime in on this? It's not like she did anything to help Siksay's bill or provide any meaningful contribution to it. And now she's raising a red herring issue? To say, "the bill is fine, but ..." she's just giving ammunition to her Conservative colleagues to pick it apart. Why can't she support it and build on its momentum? She is so infuriating.
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