Ciswoman or Transwoman?

Kayla and Shelby identify as a transwoman and a ciswoman.  Although they consider themselves to be a married lesbian couple, Kayla hasn't had any surgery and they can potentially have children.


The early 2000's were an extraordinary period for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community. After decades of apparently fruitless campaigning, the walls suddenly fell, and politicians and big corporates began to compete to prove their LGBT friendly credentials at Pride and Awareness events.  Arguably transgender individuals have been the greatest beneficiary of this change, as laws were passed in country after country that allowed them to legally change their "sex" to match their preferred gender, and even a replacement Birth Certificate to be issued.   One example in the UK is that daughters have inherited hereditary titles as a man and become a Lord, whilst sons have married as a woman and become a Lady.

Okay guys, our new office dress code does state suit or knee length dress - but we didn't expect it to be taken so literally!
Trans-activists have continued to press for even more concessions, most controversially regarding transwomen who have had no medical treatment.  They are physically men but identify as a woman and want to be legally treated as such in all regards - from access to women's toilets to applying for (and often gaining) jobs such as a Rape Counsellor.

I find particularly worrying indications that teenage children are seeking to change their gender just because their friends are.  Social media sites are a massive influence on teenagers and encourage a bandwagon effect when popular infiuencers transition, whilst the mission of leading trans charities in the UK such as Stonewall and Mermaids leads them to encourage and support young children in changing their gender without questioning if this is necessary and in the best interests of the child.  Even worse, the NHS in the UK has been overwhelmed by the number of children who now apparently suffer from gender identification disorders (GID), and as result it's providing irreversible "gender confirmation" treatments and surgery to teenage children with minimal assessment.  I fear that there will be huge backlash by the end of 2020's, with thousands of young transmen and transwomen (it's rarely recognised that the former outnumber the later) bitterly regretting their poorly advised decisions as a teenager.


Gender vs. Physical Sex

Despite all the positive developments, huge problem remains in the wide-spread assumption that gender and sex are the same when in fact they are very different.  Gender is a mental and lifestyle attribute), whilst is sex is a physical attribute which includes genes, sexual intercourse and reproduction.

In the UK, the ignorance of Civil Servants and Members of Parliament about the difference between sex and gender resulted in the passing into law of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA2004).  This inaccurately confuses sex as being synonymous with gender.

In 2016 it was announced that GRA2004 would be reviewed after a campaign for a 'simplified' Gender Recognition procedure where the applicant could self-declare their gender with no medical assessment required, and that this declaration will be legally binding.  An amendment to the Act was expected to be passed allowing this in 2019, but other UK government priorities such as Brexit and then Covid-19 delayed the legislation, and it was eventually dropped.  However, the Scottish Parliament, which has extensive devolved powers, has continued to pursue the self-declaration route, for example the 2022 census will in Scotland allow anyone to self-declare their sex - regardless of what official documents such as their Birth Certificate or Passport may state.

Even without the amendment, under GRA2004 it is possible in the UK to legally to change sex from male to female, or vice-versa, without having had any medical treatment.  The requirements are: fill in a form; find a registered doctor who will sign it; and pay the requisite fee (just 5).  About a month later a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) will arrive in the post. 

Implementation of the GRA2004 has become a triumph of the views of a small but very vocal trans-lobby.  The rights, safety and best interests of women with a vagina (yes, I'm including constructed neo-vagina's) are subordinated to anyone with a penis who can coherently fill in a form.

A repeated sex offender (David Thompson) became legally a woman (Karen White) in the UK without having had any medical treatment. 

Possession of a GRC permits the holder to be considered female for all legal purposes, whilst often still physically a fertile male with a fully functional penis.  One (and not unique) appalling example of the consequences of this is the case of David Thompson.  Whilst on remand for grievous bodily harm, burglary, multiple rapes, and other sexual offences against women - David applied for and obtained a female GRC as Karen White.  When subsequently convicted as a male paedophile who had sexually abused young girls, her GRC meant that 'she' was sent to a women-only prison - despite having had no genital surgery or even any hormone treatment.  Within a few weeks Karen had raped or sexually assaulted four fellow prisoners.  As a result, Leeds Crown Court described Karen as being a "predator who was a danger to women and children".  However, whilst Karen had been temporarily relocated to a male-only prison, the court couldn't order this to be made permanent as she was legally female!

More positively, GRA2004 has helped to legalise thousands of marriages in the UK between a man and a transwoman.  For this, both partners must complete a statutory declaration for submission to the Gender Recognition Panel.  Whilst the vast majority of husbands are aware that their wife is transgender (or vice versa), there are a small number of instances where she has successfully been in deep stealth and this is a huge surprise, and a source of magazine articles!


Being Controversial

The pendulum has swung extraordinary quickly and I'm not surprised about the increasing number of cis women complaining about transwomen:

  • using women's toilets and changing rooms

  • participating in women's sport events

  • being admitted to female-only hospital wards and prisons

  • advocating radical feminist views on topics such as rape and abortion without having a vagina or uterus

  • availing of state benefits available only to women (such as an earlier pension age)

  • male rapists being able to self-declare on arrest that they are a woman, and then having to be treated as such by the police

I'm going to be controversial by stating that I consider some of the complaints to be valid.  For example in 2019 the UK's NHS published guidance (commonly referred to as "Annex B") that allows "physically intact men who identify as women" to be "housed on female-only wards" - this is surely an unnecessary source of problems and worry for both medical staff and other patients.  Meanwhile, my local swimming pool has put up a notice advising swimmers that they can use the Changing Room (Male or Female) that they are most comfortable with.  This notice extraordinarily ignores the fact that "bodies with vaginas" (a term adopted by the medical journal The Lancet to replace the word "women") are often horrified at sharing changing rooms with physically complete and sexually fully functional males.  It's a victory for the few over the many. 

Even outside a women's changing room or toilets', I've met some very scary (both physically and behaviourally) individuals who I've struggled to accept as being women.  I was once astonished to hear a very large and masculine looking transgender activist proclaiming as apparently a positive to 'her' LGBT+ credentials the fact that 'she' had had not had any medical treatment!

Some countries such as Japan (since 2002) and Sweden (until 2013) require an applicant requesting a legal change of sex to have been sterilized (most commonly via an orchiectomy) or have completed sex-assignment surgery before this is granted.  There is a lot of well-argued opposition to such rules, but after a bad experience I can reluctantly see some merit in favour of them.


The Thought Police

Extreme and polarised views are now dominating the transgender agenda in the UK and in other western countries.  For example, a lesbian woman (normally the good person in 'woke' thinking) who refused to have sex with a self-labelled lesbian transwoman who had not had "bottom surgery"and had an obviously  functional penis was damned on social media as being 'transphobic'.

Women find sharing gender neutral toilets with men distressing and avoid them if possible.

Supposed transphobic behaviour (e.g. posting a comment on Twitter that a post-GCS neovagina "goes nowhere" - which is physically true) has become so unacceptable in the UK that it can lead to a visit by the police, with a formal warning issued that "whilst a criminal offence has not been committed, you now have civil offence record for a hate incident". 

In the UK, thousands of companies, schools and public sector bodies subscribe to schemes run by the LGBTQ charity Stonewall, which is largely taxpayer funded.  It's unclear why Stonewall qualifies as being a charity, and when it appointed a new CEO in May 2020 her salary was more than the 160,000 paid to the UK's Prime Minister!

Stonewall advice participating organisations against the use of the words "mother" and "father" (instead use "parent who has/has not given birth"); "boy" and "girl" (instead use terms such as "learner"); and "he" and "she" (use "they").  Compliance will gain Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.  As a result, the NHS Scotland is busily removing these apparently offensive words from its forms, leaflets, website, etc. 

Stonewall is far from unique, numerous other LGBTQ organisations and individuals are demanding similar changes to accepted terminology, for example:

  • "mother" to "the birthing parent"

  • "breast-feeding" to "chest-feeding"

  • "woman" to "cervix-haver" or "menstruator"

I find it impossible to defend this situation - it's a modern incarnation of the Thought Police in George Orwell's novel 1984.  If the recommendations of Stonewall and similar organisations are followed, the resulting genderless society seems akin to a science fiction book - and certainly does nothing to advance women rights.  Indeed, women's rights are becoming subsumed into the rights of transwoman, even if the later have had no medical treatment.  For example, in 2021 the medical journal The Lancet tried to be progressive and inclusive by avoiding the word "women" and instead used the phrase "bodies with vaginas" on its front cover in reference to an article about menstrual periods.  This nevertheless created a hail of criticism that the phrase was prejudicial and exclusionary to transwoman, in the midst of which a senior British politician unhelpfully stated that "it was not right [to say] only women have a cervix".  A scene in the 1986 movie the Life of Brian lampoons the current situation with surprising accuracy:

Stan (left) out's himself as Loretta, and wants to have babies.

Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: But you can't have babies.
Stan: Don't you oppress me.
Reg: I'm not oppressing you,
Stan: You haven't got a womb. Where's the foetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?
Judith: Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the "right" to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.

In 2023, John Cleese came under huge pressure to delete this scene from both the movie and a stage show because it might offend some people. 

Despite all the high profile and superficially very successful LGBT+ campaigning (at least in the USA and Western Europe, I suspect that the vast majority (99% ?) of the world's human population still identify themselves as 'male' (a man) or 'female' (a woman).  Trying to encourage or even enforce the use of gender neutral terms such as 'them' (rather than 'he' or 'she'), 'person' (rather than 'man or 'woman') and 'parent and co-parent' (rather than 'mother and father') seems to me to be an oppressive rather than liberating action.  The words 'women' and 'woman' have social connotations for people who describe themselves as such that don't deserve to be destroyed by a very small minority with a differing opinion.  Deleting the word 'mother' is surely simply putting wishful or woke thinking before the reality of biology.

In October 2021 the European Commission published communication guidelines which attempted to ban gender specific words and phrases such as "man-made" and "ladies and gentlemen" and replace them with neutral phrases like "human-induced" and "dear colleagues".  This was withdrawn a month later with the official reason that it was not "a mature document and more work was required".  An alternative reason is that examples were in English but the French language categorises every noun as masculine or feminine, and France is strongly advocating that French should replace English as the primary working language of the EU post-Brexit.


Allyssa (right) was born the brother of Aine.  After her transition they developed a sisterly relationship - including some competiveness in appearance and relationships
A Moment of Sanity?

To widespread astonishment, in April 2022 the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) unexpectedly pushed back against the headlong acceptance of transwomen who were still physically completely male as women.  It published guidance that allows "where proportionate" transwomen to be excluded from female-only changing rooms and lavatories, and said that a "service provider can exclude, modify or limit access to their service for trans people" ... "for reasons of privacy, decency, to prevent trauma or to ensure health and safety”. 

Examples of where restrictions would be applicable included:

  •  "group counselling sessions for female sex assault victims where it is judged the victims are likely to be traumatised by the presence of a person who is biologically male”
  •  "a domestic abuse refuge that offers emergency accommodation to female survivors"; and
  • "female-only fitness classes because of the amount of physical contact involved".

The EHRC's guidance immediately hit a storm of criticism, including from the NHS which would have to change its Annex B policy to comply.  Legal challenges to the guidance are almost certain.


Women / Woman

Since renaming this website as Second Type Woman in 2003 I've occasionally received comments and complaints about the name.  These essentially suggest that transgender women are just 'women', not a 'second type' of women.  I personally believe that the spectrum of sex and gender is very wide - but that the two can't be completely separated.  For example, I gather that as the years have passed I've become ever more like my mother in both appearance and behaviour, but unlike her I will never experience the highs and lows of pregnancy and child birth.  I consider this to be a major differentiator from a First Type Woman and thus that the name I adopted for this site is still valid. 

Adele caused controversy at the 2022 Brits Awards by stating that she was a woman and female.

I've also received several quite strongly worded emails about my use of the word "transwoman" rather than "woman" in some articles.  I accept that the world has moved on immensely in the last 20 years and confining the word "woman" to essentially cis women is now potentially offensive.  However, I remain reluctant to include as "women" genetically XY men who self-identify as women without having had any professional medical treatment.  I struggle to support the decision by the SNP to allow respondents to the 2022 census to in Scotland to self-declare if they are male or female - among other things it will make the census useless for heath care planning for cis women.

Following what has become the "woke" norm, the British Music Awards ("the Brits") went gender neutral in 2022, i.e. no more male and female categories. There was thus a sharp intake of breath when the singer Adele proclaimed when accepting the Artist of the Year award that "I really love being a woman and a female artist".  Whether this was a deliberate brave statement by Adele, or simply any impromptu remark remains uncertain.  Nevertheless, she immediately joined the likes of J.K. Rowling on the naughty step of trans-rights advocates for daring to imply that there may be fundamental differences between 'women' and 'men'. 

The trans lobby has become hugely and perhaps disproportionally influential, in the UK at least. The reality is that in the UK no more than 1 in 100 women are transsexual women, and that is a high estimate which includes a disproportionate number of teenagers where challenging one's gender identity is currently very fashionable.  Also, most transwomen keep a low profile - I doubt if even 10% would consider themselves to be a LGTQ activist.  But even among activists, I've never heard any complain at the words "woman" and "mother" being used in a context that excludes transwomen, e.g. pregnancy and childbirth.  It appears that in the UK, and other countries, officials are now trying to second think what might offend anyone suffering with Gender Identify Disorder, and are thus putting in place rules and regulations that only benefit a miniscule percentage of the population, whilst simultaneously worrying and stressing many more.        



Vittoria Schisano, Abril Zamora and Angela Ponce shown attending an event about Gender Affirmation Surgery in Madrid, Spain, in March 2022. Whilst considered success stories, they nevertheless don't menstruate and can't bear children.
My Experience

Since 2020 the term Sex-Reassignment Surgery (SRS) has largely been replaced by the term Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS).  I prefer the later term as SRS didn't change my physical sex - I'm still genetically XY and can't get pregnant baring a miracle. 

I'm unsure what gender confirmation surgery really means, but it sounds like a better fit than SRS to my life.  As a teenager I knew that I was a boy and fancied girls, but also envied girls.  After many difficult years I reluctantly accepted that for reasons I can never explain, I needed to live my life as a woman.  To do this successfully has required me to take female hormones and have major surgery.  But does living my life as a woman to the extent that I'm now married and a wife mean that my sex is female in all aspects?  I'm dubious that that is reasonable or factually corrrect.  For example, when we first married I still just young enough to be regularly asked if I might be pregnant, and in later years I'm occasionally asked if I've had children - sadly neither was possible.

Finally, as a woman of an increasingly mature age, I have regularly have intimate medical examinations and tests.  These often lead to mutual embarrassment.  For example, after several requests to attend a cervical cancer screening for a PAP test, I complied as there is a small possibility that my 'neo-vagina' made from my penile skin can contract this.  But my visit resulted in a confused nurse, a very puzzled doctor, and my having to out myself yet again.


Impact on Children

Children are now being bombarded on social media, television and even at school by LGBT+ messaging.  Organisations such as Stonewall are sponsoring television programmes and making adverts to encourage children 'to be themselves' and come out as transgender.  Their pamphlets and posters have also appeared in almost every school.  It's become trendy and attention gaining among teenage children to come out as transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, gender neutral, etc.  UK children with Gender Identify Disorder (GID) are almost doubling annually - the NHS accepted 77 children for treatment in  2009, 2,590 in 2019.  A typical UK school now has 1% of its pupils registered as having GID.  

We seem to be getting close to a once Science Fiction like scenario where every child can decide if they want to be male, female or something else - both legally and in their secondary sexual characteristics (i.e. external physical appearance).  As a society, we need to consider carefully the implications of giving children that choice, a choice which that they may later bitterly regret.

In my own (medically unqualified) experience there's a small proportion of transgender children who after expert medical assessment should be given pro-active medical assistance (including blockers, hormones and surgery) at the earliest possible age.  But there's also a greater number where it would be best not to intervene medically - even if that meant them passing through puberty.  Unfortunately, there are a substantial number of children in the middle that require the "Wisdom of Solomon" to assess correctly.

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Last updated: 1 April, 2022

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