Sajid Javid condemned for saying it’s a ‘scientific fact’ that only women have cervixes
Health secretary Sajid Javid is facing strident backlash after he said it was a “scientific fact” that only women have cervixes.
Javid made his comments after Labour leader Keir Starmer touched on the subject in an interview with Andrew Marr on BBC One.
In that interview, Keir Starmer was grilled on comments made by Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield, who faced criticism when she tweeted last year that “only women have a cervix”.
Starmer replied: “It is something that shouldn’t be said, it is not right.”
Total denial of scientific fact.
And he wants to run the NHS. https://t.co/zdQjJU55r3
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) September 26, 2021
Shortly after the interview aired, Tory health secretary Sajid Javid shared Starmer’s comments on Twitter, writing: “Total denial of scientific fact. And he wants to run the NHS.”
Sajid Javid’s comments distract from the real issues facing trans and non-binary people
Javid has been roundly condemned by LGBT+ people for his comments, with many replying to point out that a person’s gender is not determined by whether or not they have a cervix.
Twitter users were quick to point out that many trans women, non-binary people and some cisgender women don’t have cervixes.
Others drew attention to the fact that debating who does and does not have a cervix only serves to distract from the real issues facing trans and non-binary people, such as the crisis in healthcare.
The fact that you do run the NHS and don’t realise the life-saving nature of inclusive language is truly frightening. Next time you’re in a hospital ask someone why they often have about 15 posters that basically say the same thing in different ways, and let them educate you.
— David Duffield (@duffster84) September 26, 2021
My sister has had her cervix removed, are you saying she’s no longer a woman ?
— Monsignor it’s all Corbyn’s fault. (@ItCorbyn) September 26, 2021
You run the NHS, which cares for trans men.
— lines (@thatinterlace) September 26, 2021
From the NHS website. All trans people deserve access to appropriate healthcare, without the literal health secretary seeming to deny them this on Twitter. Shame on you. pic.twitter.com/wEFcvUIdNj
— Young Liberals (@YoungLiberalsUK) September 26, 2021
Some trans men and non binary people have a cervix
They need healthcare
And you RUN the NHS
— Cllr Diane Roscoe ? (@DianeRoscoe2) September 26, 2021
Hi Sajid, you might want to read up on your 'science'. Especially since you're the UK's Health Secretary. Would be embarrassing to get things wrong! https://t.co/ZY1hSjM6jM https://t.co/sIp8eITG7j— British LGBT Awards (@BritLGBTAwards) September 26, 2021
Can’t believe I cried to my mum about the state of trans healthcare on Friday because I won’t get to have lower surgery before I’m 30 and I was referred at 20 and the health secretary decides to come out as a transphobe today— Arthur Webber ?️?? (@BernieTranders) September 26, 2021
The debate is just the latest chapter in Britain’s ongoing transphobic culture war. That “debate” has frequently erupted within political circles – but it was a tweet from Labour MP Rosie Duffield that generated particular controversy last year.
In August 2020, Duffield said “only women have a cervix” in a controversial tweet. She initially apologised for her comments, but she later doubled down on her views.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has generally remained tight-lipped on the issue of trans rights – but that changed during his Sunday morning (26 September) appearance on The Andrew Marr Show.
When asked if someone who believes only women have a cervix is welcome in the Labour Party, Keir Starmer replied: “Look, we need to have a mature, respectful debate about trans rights and we need to, I think, bear in mind that the trans community is amongst the most marginalised, abused communities and wherever we’ve got to in the law we need to go further.”
He continued: “And we want to go further on that. But whatever the debate is, it needs to be a tolerant debate and I’m absolutely sure our conference will be a place that is safe for the debate to take place, and it is.”
When asked if it is “transphobic” to say only women have a cervix, Starmer replied: “It is something that shouldn’t be said, it’s not right.”
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