Gender is a ”biological reality” and it is good that the government has paused the new bill that would make it easier to “change gender”. This is what the Swedish pediatrician Mats Reimer writes in a debate article where he points out that the change would primarily affect women negatively.
The new proposal on gender identity legislation includes discussions on whether the legal age limit for gender reassignment should be lowered, and whether it should be possible to legally change one’s gender even if no treatment has been carried out. In practice, this means that a biological man could legally “become a woman”.
However, the bill has been blocked by the Minister of Social Affairs, which pediatrician Mats Reimer believes is a good decision. He adds that he thinks it’s a shame that few Swedish feminists have dared to enter the debate, because with hindsight they have seen how women have been negatively affected in other countries by such legislation.
”The fact that the negative effects of gender selection will mainly affect women has put J.K. Rowling and other British feminists on the barricades, and their politicians seem to be listening”, Reimer writes in an opinion piece in Uppsala Nya Tidning.
He cites the UK as an example, where male prisoners with “female identities” were previously allowed to serve their sentences in women’s prisons. This year, however, the country’s laws were changed to no longer allow biological men to serve their sentences with women because of the security risk. He also points out that in sports, it is “absurd” to allow biological males into the women’s class as “male puberty” in most sports creates a “huge advantage”.
”Women should be guaranteed gender segregation in toilets, changing rooms, sports competitions and especially in women’s prisons”, the pediatrician writes.
Reimer also discusses Norway’s current gender identity legislation, which allows 16-year-olds to change their gender without a trial and only by submitting a form to the tax authorities. There have been discussions in Norway about whether these simple “gender changes” can be used, for example, to get into education programs in the country where female applicants get extra points. Reimer believes that this could also have “negative effects” in Sweden.
”It is naive to think that simplified legal gender reassignment will not be abused, and it is high time to bring feminist perspectives into the debate so that the current government does not present this poorly researched bill,” he adds.
Reimer believes that gender is a “biological reality” and notes that we are all “born of a woman”.
”There are only two genders and you cannot change”, Reimer concludes.