Sarah Phillimore: 'If A Rapist Named Tiffany Isn't A Woman, Why Not? What Is The Test?'
The Phillimore Question
The Scottish government has halted all transfers of male prisoners to female prison facilities pending review of the policy that allowed such an absurdity in the first place.
Public outrage at the transfer of an intact rapist to a women’s prison, and further weekend revelations that Adam Graham had also used a transgender “identity” to access college coeds in states of undress while awaiting trial, embarrassed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
A second male prisoner, Andrew Burns, was also due to be housed in the same prison until press questions forced a halt to his transfer. Burns stalked a 13-year old girl before his “transition,” which seems to consist of saying the words: I am a woman.
Ignoring public dissent, Sturgeon’s ruling coalition had just passed "self-ID” legislation enabling male access to female bodies in every area of Scottish life. Asked to debate the issue on GB News, Sarah Phillimore decided it was time to force the question on “identity” versus reality. (Tweet is the beginning of a thread, do click through and read it all.)
A barrister working in family law, Phillimore has been subject to police recording of “non-crime hate incidents” for tweeting wrongthink about “gender identity.” Despite her using preferred pronouns out of careful “respect,” angry men have gone out of their way to harass and silence her.
Since everything she says is going to be “hate speech,” then she might as well speak her mind.
“I’m not going to check myself. I’m going to use the pronoun I think is appropriate to the sex of the person I’m discussing. And I will call these men by their male names,” Phillimore said, naming Graham and Burns.
Phillimore was once again paired with fellow barrister Robin Moira White to speak for the other side of the issue.
Prior to the clip embedded above, White proposed to use “they/them” discussing Graham and Burns, granting some doubt that both men are “sincere” in their transgender “identity.”
“Because that really underscores exactly what is the problem, doesn’t it?” Phillimore said. “What is it about Adam Graham and Andrew Burns that means they’re not women?”
“What is the test?” She asked. “If a rapist named Tiffany is not a woman, why not? What is the test?”
Call it the Phillimore question. Like software engineer Helen Staniland, who earned the wrath of Twitter activists for always asking a question they cannot answer without revealing too much of themselves, she has forced a confrontation with cognitive dissonance.
Resolving dissonance is a grief process. The stages, of course, are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
People can get stuck in any stage to avoid reaching acceptance. Along the way, they look for any story they can still believe that will fit with the facts.
Sturgeon denied that intact male rapists “identifying” into women’s prisons would ever be a problem, and right away it was.
At least one SNP politico, a Mr. Austin Sheridan, reacted with anger that television news acknowledged Bryson “was a man” when he raped two women.
No reality-based risk assessment in the universe will ever conclude that women have complete safety being housed in a prison with a man. Nevertheless, a bargaining phase is evident: whatabout non-violent criminals? Whatabout men who are raped in prison? Yes, whatabout those poor, vulnerable young, pretty men who attract the attention of rapists in prison? Let’s deal with prison rape, and stop blaming transgender people! They are rationalizing.
Depression, leading back to denial: a Scottish man with a “gender identity” declares that he feels unsafe, an LGBTQAlphabet activist calls for a bill to make Canada a sanctuary country for trans people. The problem isn’t reality, you see, the problem is all the transphobia in Scotland.
In their latest turn, the Scottish government is claiming that no transgender prisoner has assaulted a woman in any Scottish prison. Yet. Or maybe, like most prison assaults, they don’t know about any because the victims have been terrorized into silence. Anyway, no blood no foul, right?
All of these people, at every level, are admitting that Tiffany is not a woman. They dare not defend the woman-ness of Tiffany. So if Tiffany is not a woman, then why not? What is the test that Tiffany must pass in order to be one?
According to Nicola Sturgeon and the ruling coalition in Holyrood, the test is that Andrew should be have to fill out paperwork and wait three months.
This absurdity has been called into question. Everyone must keep asking the question.
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