Labour’s Angela Rayner shuts down degrading debate on whether a woman can have a penis

Angela Rayner

In an appearance on Sky News, Labour MP Angela Rayner perfectly shut down the degrading and disingenuous “debate” on whether or not a woman can have a penis.

Rayner was grilled by Kay Burly on Tuesday (29 March), who referenced Keir Starmer “struggling” to answer a question put to him by LBC host Nick Ferrari on Monday (28 March): “Can a woman have a penis?”

Burly asked the deputy leader of the Labour Party the same question, and also said that men were being asked if they were pregnant before having NHS scans, referencing a recent article from The Telegraph. She added: “Has the world gone mad?”

Angela Rayner took a deep breath before responding: “This really upsets me because I think about a young person who’s struggling at the moment, who’s struggling with their identity, and when we’re having a social media or a debate around what genitalia someone’s got, I think it really debases the serious issues that people face in their lives.

“I think we should be taking it off social media and taking it away from commentators. There [are] protections for women and women that are in vulnerable situations, and we should also be looking after our young people who may be facing identity crises and making sure they get the help and support they need.

“When we debase it to what genitalia you’ve got, I think all that does is damage people and it doesn’t help us go forward on some of the real issues that people are facing.”

The Labour MP’s considered response was praised on social media, as many shared further thoughts on the dehumanising so-called “debate” which reduces all human beings to their genitalia.

“Reducing trans women (and by default, cis women) to just body parts dehumanises them,” wrote one Twitter user.

“This allows for them to be oppressed, subjugated and for acts of cruelty to be rationalised. ‘Gender critical’ transphobes and the media are actively driving this!”

Another said: “UK media is obsessed with the phrase, ‘Can a woman have a penis?’

“They think it’s a slam dunk, but all it does is remind us that they define women as nothing more than a part of their body.”

For clarity, as gender is about identity rather than physical body parts. Men, women, non-binary people and intersex folk are all able to have penises.

The question, “Can a woman have a penis?” is already answered in UK law – under the Gender Recognition Act, there are no physical requirements for a person to be legally recognised as a woman.

Kay Burly tells Angela Rayner that pregnancy questions make men ‘anxious’

In the Sky News interview, Kay Burley pressed on, insisting that if men were asked if they’re pregnant when in hospital for a scan or surgery, it would make them “anxious” and “uncomfortable”.

She told Angela Rayner: “We have to take everybody into account.”

Again Rayner shut down the ridiculous so-called “debate”, responding: “Sure, we have to take everybody into account, and that’s why it shouldn’t be debased into a debate that is being had in media by people who are not qualified to discuss some of these issues.

“They’re very sensitive issues, I think we should be protecting women’s spaces, of course we should, and we should be supporting people who are going through transition.”

The recent article in The Telegraph sensationalised the fact that the Walton Centre NHS Trust asks “all patients under the age of 60, regardless of how they may identify your gender” whether there is a possibility they could be pregnant ahead of having an MRI or X-ray, which can harm growing foetuses.

But, as many on social media pointed out, lots of NHS services have used non-gendered forms for years.

Actor David Paisley tweeted: “I’m a man, I’ve had MRIs and scans and felt anxious about my health.

“Being asked to tick a box about whether I’m pregnant was the last thing on my mind. This is a non-issue.”

Another Twitter user said: “I think if I, as a cis man, was asked if I’m pregnant before a scan that I’m “nervous” about, I’d laugh, I wouldn’t be freaked out. Don’t know what planet Kay Burley is on.

“For much the same reason I don’t freak out when someone asks if I have a car when I don’t drive – it doesn’t f**king matter.”