From our U.N. submission:
Females require sex-segregated facilities for a number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females and the uniquely female consequence of unwanted impregnation resulting from this relatively common form of violence.[xix]
We raise two concerns in this sentence:
- the quantity of male-perpetrated sex-related violence against females and
- the unique sex-based harm of unwanted impregnation that only males can cause females.
Let’s look at the second concern first. This refers to a specific kind of sex-based harm that only females bear the risk of. Many of our critics seek to dismiss arguments about reproductive harm by pointing out that not all females are impregnable. While this is true, it is not a successful refutation of our points. We have not said that impregnability is the definition of female; however, if a person is impregnable, she is female by definition and biological fact. The overwhelming majority of females who reach sexual maturity and have normal lifespans are impregnable for nearly 40 years of their lives. Girls and women within that age range are the largest category of females and constitute a group of over a billion people worldwide. That’s a lot of people who are capable of having the very specific sex-based experience of pregnancy.
But aside from that reality, the fact that not all persons in an identifiable class experience a particular harm does not lead to the conclusion that nothing should be done for those who do. The reality of impregnation, therefore, cannot and must not be dismissed as irrelevant to any conversation about the protection of female legal interests. This is particularly important to remember in discussions about sex-segregated spaces. In these spaces, where fertile and non-fertile women are mixed together sharing the same facilities at the same times, protection for some necessitates protection for all.
Returning to the first concern, regarding the well-documented frequency of male sexual violence against females, first and foremost, this is a serious problem. Females are the primary and majority of targets of male sexual violence. This should concern all people who care about girls and women of any kind — fertile or not. In this way, transsexual women, non-fertile, and fertile women are similarly situated. And as long as girls and women remain the primary targets of sex-based violence by males, all women — including transsexual women — share an interest in maintaining the boundaries of female sex-segregated spaces such that the possibility of fraudulent male intruders is minimized.