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Tory minister for women and equalities Liz Truss launched into an anti-trans tirade about women, cervixes and self-identification, days after slashing aid for women and equalities by more than half.
Speaking to The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics Podcast live event at the Conservative Party Conference on Sunday (3 October), Truss – who was recently appointed as foreign secretary alongside her equalities role – said trans people shouldn’t be able to declare their own identity, and should instead be subjected to invasive “medical checks”.
Currently, to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which is required for trans men and women in the UK to amend their legal sex on their birth certificate, trans people must first get a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
This can take years due to the painfully-long waiting times at NHS gender clinics, and trans people must also have medical reports submitted to a panel of cisgender people, whom the applicant will never meet, to judge whether they meet the criteria for legal recognition.
Truss said at the Conservative Party Conference: “I think we’ve taken the right approach with transgender people. We’ve made the process simpler [and] we’ve made the process kinder.
“I have full respect for transgender people, however it wouldn’t be right to have self-identification with no checks and balances in the system.
“Is it clear process of medical understanding of how that process works, and those medical checks are important.”
Truss did not elaborate on what she had done to make the process of legal gender recognition “simpler and kinder”. The only change made during her time as minister for women and Equalities has been that the price for a GRC has been reduced.
In May, 2021, Truss said the process for applying for a GRC would move online to make it “simpler”. This is yet to become a reality.
The minister for women and equalities agrees with anti-trans Labour MP Rosie Duffield that ‘only women have a cervix’
Liz Truss also said that she agrees with Labour MP Rosie Duffield that “only women have a cervix”.
Duffield has repeatedly inserted herself into the so-called “debate” on trans rights since she tweeted last year that “only women have a cervix”, and her statements about trans people have become increasingly “harmful”.
Truss told the Conservative Party Conference: “You see the absurdity of identity politics last week at the Labour conference, which is ending up saying ‘women don’t have cervixes’, or whatever.
“[Roșie Duffield] is right that women have cervixes. But more than that, she’s also right to be able to express her view… when we try and brush things under the carpet and can’t have an open, honest and sensible debate, I think that’s a huge problem for British politics.”
Liz Truss positions herself as a defender of gender critical ‘feminists’, while slashing foreign aid for women
While it’s certainly a stretch to call the “debate” over who does and does not have a cervix “sensible”, Liz Truss’s comments seem even more bizarre when contrasted with the fact that just days before, she cut foreign aid for education, gender and equality by more than half.
During her first week as foreign secretary, while holding on to her role as minister for women and equalities, Truss approved £183 million in cuts to women and equalities aid.
According to The Mirror, in 2020/ 2021, £308 million of Overseas Development Aid (ODA) spending was directed to women and equalities, meaning that Truss’s cut amounts to a shocking 60 per cent.
Wera Hobhouse MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for equalities, said: “How can the Minister for Women and Equalities be pushing forward a huge and cruel cut which will damage the prospects of millions of vulnerable women and girls?
“It is utterly unacceptable. Truss has a clear choice: if she wants to press ahead with the cut, she must resign as Women and Equalities Minister.”