A local Labour party has suspended a man who previously made it onto the list of candidates for women’s officer because he “identifies as a woman on Wednesdays”, under their “self-id” rules.
In order to stand for the women-only position, the candidate has to self-identify as a woman, but there are no other stipulations about gender.
David Lewis, a Labour activist, told the Spectator he identifies as a woman “on Wednesdays, between 6.50am when my alarm goes off and around midnight when I go to bed.”
Some feminist activists have raised concerns about self-identification, arguing it could cause men to stand on the all-women shortlists the Labour uses to improve gender equality. They have tried to bring a legal challenge against the party, saying where transgender women do not hold a gender recognition certificate, they should not be allowed to stand in posts the law reserves for women.
Mr Lewis said he stood as candidate to: “inform the CLP, and maybe some other people, about what this policy means, about what happens when you say that someone’s gender depends only on what they say and nothing else.”
He added: “anyone else’s criticism or questions about my gender identity are just not relevant to the Labour Party at the moment, given the current policy. If I say I’m a woman, I’m a woman.”
And of course no one is happy that he’s exposed the contradictions in the policy. Everyone would rather he just shut up.
If it is possible to gain privilege through simple self-identification then people will self-identify in order to gain privilege. You know, incentives matter?