@dis_critic on her anger and fear that politicians have allowed the dismantling of safeguarding by deliberately blurring the differences between the sexes
Life changed significantly when my daughter was born. “It’s a girl but…”
I was told I might experience grief, and I did. Being told my child had a significant disability that would affect her learning was the most difficult thing I have ever had to hear. Mourning for the baby I had expected to have was compounded by the fear and worry that set in quickly for the baby I was holding in my arms.
I now had responsibilities that extended beyond my own lifetime. Knowing your child will grow up to be an adult who is vulnerable is a terrifying prospect. It means entrusting society with that which is most precious to you – even as I write that sentence, I feel the weight of fear creeping into my stomach once more.
Early on, what did, to some extent, allay those fears for my daughter’s future was believing we lived in a country that, for the most part, was compassionate and had the NHS as well as social work services. We were lucky in that respect, I reassured myself.
Where is her protection from bad actors?
At no point, while I was coming to terms with how my daughter’s future was set to unfold, did I expect to find myself in a position where I would be forced to remind my elected representatives about something as basic as my vulnerable daughter’s need for same-sex care.
Anxieties about her having to endure acts of negligence, or maybe even cruelty, at the hands of an unprofessional person, once I am gone, have haunted some of my sleepless nights. However, I have been consoled with the knowledge that regulations and safeguarding policies would be in place to offer her protection from bad actors.
But what happens when somewhere along the line the differences between the sexes become artificially blurred, and the safeguarding that was in place can no longer be relied upon because of proposed reforms to current law?
What happens when the result of this blurring means a man can say he is a woman and suddenly your daughter’s boundaries cannot be as fixed, her dignity as intact, and her privacy as guaranteed? What do you do then?
Maybe you write to your MSP to express your disbelief at your Government’s broadening of the definition of the word woman to include men? You think once you have reminded them your daughter deserves the right, now and in the future, to receive intimate care from a same-sex practitioner, that your elected representative could not possibly disagree.
Maybe you attempt to discuss the issue on social media with other elected representatives because it is just not possible that under these circumstances, they would be anything other than understanding!
Raising awareness of conflict of rights
However, you are not expecting what does happen, the gaslighting that follows, a mumbo jumbo of words that suggest your daughter’s physical reality is usurped by the mere thoughts in a grown man’s head. You do not expect to be told by those in authority the impossible is now possible, black is white, lies are truth and men can be women: “He thinks it; therefore, she is.”
So now you know your politicians are seriously suggesting someone with a penis can self ID as a woman without any medical gatekeeping, what then?
You are grateful for the courageous women and the fabulous women’s organisations who have fought this battle before you, and you try to play your part in some small way by spreading the word about this conflict of rights.
You fight back with ribbons, buying yards of the stuff in purple, green and white – the colour the Suffragettes used over 100 years ago – and tie them to lamp posts and trees and railings.
You post pictures on social media with the hashtag #WomenWontWheesht, hoping to reach the women who are still in the dark. Because you know when they find out what self ID really means, they too will be outraged. They too will find it unacceptable that their daughters’ boundaries are being eroded.
You also find there are lots of other women: #slatewoman, #stickerwoman and the Sole Sisters of this blog, all finding ways to spread the word that women’s sex-based rights are in jeopardy.
It gives you hope. And you keep going.
Life changed significantly when my beautiful, industrious, caring daughter was born. She is a girl. She will be a woman. She will be a woman who requires same-sex care. No buts.
3 thoughts on “My vulnerable daughter has a right to same-sex care”
My daughter has learning disabilities and needs help with personal care. I was pretty stunned to discover that even same gender care is not a guarantee when she is in respite care, nevermind same sex care. We can request it, I was told,but if we stipulate it as a necessity, our slot can be cancelled on the day if enough staff of the same gender aren’t on duty.
Our disabled daughter was seriously sexually assaulted .
We were assured she would always have women support staff especially as she needs assistance with all her personal care.
Well I’m not remotely reassured , in fact I’m terrified for her future .
This is so wrong on every level.
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Why oh why, even in 2021, does a woman’s wishes have to take second place to a mans desire? We allow medical professionals so much access to our body, depending on the fact that they are entirely professional and do not see us in a sexual way. Why is it so incredibly hard to allow those women who can’t make that reasoning for themselves, to just not be intimately touched by someone who is not of the same sex? It’s not a huge ask. It’s courtesy. When I was a student nurse, we were told that a patient has the right to ask to be given intimate exams or procedures by a person of the same sex. It could be very difficult because there weren’t that many male nurses at the time. But we recognised it as the right thing to do for the patient. It is just plain UNPROFESSIONAL for a medic to ignore the wishes of a patient and insist that their own ideology fulfils the brief. They need to understand it’s not about them. It’s about the patient – and their wishes, whatever they are – trump yours.
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