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Letter to members of the German Bundestag: Self-ID harms women and girls

Brussels, 28 February 2023 Dear members of the Bundestag, We are writing to you to express our grave concerns about the consequences of the proposed Selbstbestimmungsgesetz, or gender self-ID law, currently under discussion in the German federal parliament. According to the proposed law, "Geschlecht" will no longer be defined based on the material reality of sex, but on self-declared gender identity. Along with many people in your country, we are concerned about the consequences of such a legal change for the rights and safety of women and girls. We are WORIADS, and we represent a coalition of concerned citizens, activists, and professionals from across Europe who insist that biological sex is real, important, and immutable, and that it should not be conflated with gender. Here are our concerns about the proposed law:

  • It would allow any man to legally declare himself a woman

  • It would require no diagnosis, psychological evaluation, hormonal treatment or surgery

  • Even if fraud is suspected as a motive, officials would not be allowed to refuse an application for a legal sex change.

Males would automatically be permitted to use facilities for women and girls, including women's shelters, female saunas, and female-only dorms. The law would make it easy for abusive men to get access to places where women and girls are naked and vulnerable. Even convicted sex offenders would be able to avail of the self-ID procedure, thus making it easier to hide their previous offenses. The proposed law is an egregious violation of women's boundaries. It also breaches the Istanbul Convention, as it is impossible to protect women and girls from violence if 'woman’ and ‘girl' are redefined to mean 'whoever feels like one'. Publicly-owned single sex spaces are particularly important for women; if single-sex spaces are only provided by private businesses, privacy will only be available to those who can afford it, excluding marginalised women. Furthermore, the owners of private establishments (e.g. women's gyms) will come under pressure from trans activists to allow men to access their women-only services. We are asking you to consider the well-being of women who have been raped and feel unsafe in the presence of men, as well as religious women and adolescent girls who dread having to share school toilets with boys. We are also asking you to take into account elderly or sick women who need intimate care in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as women in homeless shelters and prisons. We would also implore you to consider the consequences on women’s sports and policies regarding equal political representation. As fellow European citizens, we support German women in their demand that members of the Bundestag take their concerns seriously. While we defend non-conformity and the right of every citizen to express themselves in whatever manner they choose; and while we recognise that many men find comfort from living in a social role stereotypically associated with women, those rights should never override the rights of other vulnerable groups. Our name, WORIADS, stands for “Worthy Of Respect In A Democratic Society”. Our views on this issue are held by many people in your country and they deserve to be heard and defended. Kind regards, WORIADS Brussels, Belgium

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