UK to Ban 'Sex' Question on Census to Not Offend Trans, Nonbinary Citizens; Feminists Outraged

A union flag is seen near the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain April 18, 2017.
A union flag is seen near the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain April 18, 2017. | (Photo: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

The Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom has proposed that citizens should not be required to mention their gender in the next census so that transgender and other non-binary people do not feel discriminated against.

The country is scheduled to hold the next national survey, which takes place every 10 years, in 2021, and if the ONS has its way, the citizens would be allowed to choose not to state their sex, The Times reports.

The choice of male or female is "considered to be irrelevant, unacceptable and intrusive, particularly to trans participants, due to asking about sex rather than gender," the ONS said in a recent report.

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The report suggested that the question "should not be mandatory, for the benefit of particularly intersex and non-binary people who cannot choose male or female as a reflection of their current sex or gender."

Some feminists are opposing the proposal as they believe it could be a means to remove all mention of the biological female sex.

"I'm sick and tired of this," writer and academic Germaine Greer was quoted as saying. "We keep arguing that women have won everything they need to win. They haven't even won the right to exist."

"Women's biological sex is being erased and that terrifies me," feminist activist Stephanie Davies-Arai was quoted as saying. "Once you stop gathering information, that skews everything for women."

At least 150 schools in Britain now have "gender neutral uniforms," meaning students can decide if they want to wear skirts or trousers, irrespective of their biological sex, according to recent reports, according to the Mail.

Founder Dr. Elly Barnes of Educate & Celebrate, an LGBT charity, recently said, "We are ensuring that all students are represented within the curriculum, enabling well-being and full participation."

"Removing the association of 'boys' or 'girls' with particular clothes in a school uniform policy may not change the way students dress but it could be a huge deal to young people who don't identify as a boy or a girl," Jamie Barry, headteacher of Parson Street Primary School in Bristol, said recently while introducing the policy.

However, Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment at Buckingham University, warned against it.

"It's reasonable, I think, to have the same uniform for both – trousers and shirts and blazers," he said. "But allowing boys to wear skirts for reasons of political correctness could be unsettling and confusing to some children and is unnecessary."

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