Tuesday 6 June 2023

The distinction between being a woman and pretending to be a man


Every few years there is another of those rather bizarre cases of a woman pretending she is a man tricking another woman into having sex with her. So now again we have someone called Georgia Bilham who called herself George Parry deceiving her girlfriend into thinking they had a straight relationship by taking off her very short-sighted girlfriend’s glasses.

These cases always seem peculiar, not least because it would appear unlikely that the deception would work. Human beings are very good at identifying whether someone is a man or a woman even a distance and a first sight. This is why we have a language involving words like He and She that does not depend on asking someone whether they are He or She. Only rarely in the case of babies do we not always know. Normally when I say that I met a woman I neither need to ask the woman whether she is a woman, nor do I have any doubt even in the case of witnessing a crime. Courts will normally accept witness statements about criminals being men or women without question.

But there are too many such cases of women pretending to be men in order to have straight sexual relationships to doubt that such cases are real, and that the deception works even when the couple go to bed.

What is interesting about these cases however is not what they say about such rather strange relationships, but what they say about the issue of transgender.

Georgia Bilham victim had consented to sex with George Parry a man and not with Georgia Bilham a woman. Georgia Bilham has therefore been charged with multiple sexual offences including sexual assault and assault by penetration. It is the deception and false pretence that means that the sexual activity could not be consented to.

But this whole case and others like it depends on the distinction between Georgia Bilham really being a woman while she was pretending to be a man. But how do we determine that she really was a woman and only pretending to be man? It can only because she is physically a woman. Whatever she used to penetrate her victim was not real, because it was not part of her actual anatomy.

If this is how the law determines who is really a woman rather than who is merely pretending to be a man, it is quite devastating for the trans argument.

What is to stop Georgia Bilham saying she is really a man? She is a trans man and according to the mantra trans men are men. But what about the deception? But we don’t require trans people with Gender Recognition Certificate to tell everyone they have a relationship with that they are trans. We don’t require it even if they don’t have such a certificate.

But then let’s imagine a case of a woman who says she is a trans man. She obtains a Gender Recognition Certificate and has surgery to approximate the appearance of man. If she then enters into a sexual relationship with a woman and uses her new anatomy to have sex with that woman, what would be the difference between that case and the case involving Georgia Bilham? The trans man need not tell anyone that she was born a woman, she need not admit that she had surgery. But in that case the deception would be the same. Only in the one case someone is charged with sexual assault while in the other we have to accept that the trans man is really a man in which case there is neither deception nor assault.

But this is absurd and unjust. If there is a real distinction between being a woman and pretending to be a man, then it has to apply in both cases. If there is not a real distinction between being a woman and pretending to be a man, then Georgia Bilham can legitimately claim that she really is a man and merely used a fake penis without having an operation that would have given her a fake penis. The distinction can hardly be that a fake penis created medically is legitimate while non medically it is merely a pretend penis.

If consent requires that the sexual partner knows that she is sleeping with a real man rather than a pretend man, then a trans man or a trans woman would need to say although I might approximate the look of a man, I am really a woman or although I might approximate the look a woman, I am really a man. But if that is the case then the whole trans argument collapses.

If we determine who is really a man and who is really a woman by means of anatomy, then why would we allow some people to use a different method (feelings, thoughts, identity) to determine whether they are men or women? That would be to create two classes of human beings, one who are men and women because of anatomy, the other because of feelings and thoughts. But why would we allow this, given that in ordinary life we determine who is a man and a woman objectively by physical appearance?

The whole problem with the trans argument is that if it were true it would have to be applied universally. But in that case, there could be no distinction between being a woman and pretending to be a man. But we know from history that there are numerous examples of woman who dressed as men, e.g., to become soldiers, only to be discovered later after being wounded to have been pretending. But if the trans argument were true, we would have to conclude that these women soldiers were really men, just as we would have to conclude that there was no deception in the case of Georgia Bilham and that she really was George Parry.

If the trans argument were true, there would be no such thing as being a woman as distinct from pretending. It is for this reason that the trans argument erases what it is to be both a man and a woman, because it erases the anatomical distinction between being a man and being a woman. But it is just this distinction that the law requires in order to charge Georgia Bilham. She is not really a man, because she has the anatomy of a woman.

Worse the Georgia Bilham case shows the perniciousness of the idea that in order for a girl who fancies girls to have sex with them she needs to be a man. She doesn’t. She needs to be a Lesbian. So too boys who fancy boys don’t need to become women, they need merely to be gay. That way there is no need for deception and no need to pretend that you are something that you are not.