By: K. Walker
ClashDaily Associate Editor
What happens when women’s rights conflict with transgender rights? Here’s a case study…
A woman in Toronto, Canada has learned that in the realm of identity politics, there is a hierarchy. Male-to-female transgender individuals seem to rank higher than women. Some radical feminists that try to point out that this just might be the vilest example of the ‘patriarchy’ are shut down, harassed, and receive violent threats against them.
Kristi Hanna, 37, a former paramedic, has filed a human rights complaint against a Toronto shelter for recovering addicts. Hanna claims that the staff at Palmerston House, run by the Jean Tweed Centre, forced her to share a room with a pre-operative male-to-female transgender person without prior warning.
Hanna had been struggling with some lingering effects of sexual abuse which resulted in her seeking solace in alcohol and cocaine. She wanted to become clean, so the self-described ‘active ally of the LGBTQ community’ checked herself into the shelter to get the help she needed.
She now may be subject to a human rights complaint herself. In her discussion with the Ontario’s Human Rights Legal Support Centre, Hanna described her new roommate as a ‘man’ which is now considered illegal discrimination in Canada after the passing of bill C-16 into law.
Hanna now says that she’s been left traumatized and confused because women cannot defend their own gender-based rights without violating someone else’s rights.
Welcome to 2018.
Hanna speaks about her experience:
“It’s affecting everyone in the house. This can completely ruin your recovery, let alone your safety, let alone your life,” Hanna said in an interview.
She spent two nights sharing the room — constantly looking over to make sure her roommate was still in bed, she said — before taking an indefinite leave from the shelter. Hanna had lived for seven months at the central Toronto facility, located in an old Victorian house, but since last week has been staying with friends on couches, as a “transient,” she said. “Those two nights were hell for me.”
In her formal complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Hanna alleges the shelter “admitted a male bodied transgender into the safety of my home, bedroom and safe spaces.” She claims this has caused her stress, anxiety, rape flashbacks, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep deprivation.
“We were all choked by our own anxiety, our crippling PTSD symptoms. You could cut the tension in the house,” she said. She described other women having rape flashbacks, threatening suicide, and one requiring hospitalization.
She then describes the transgender woman that she was sharing a small double room with:
Hanna said the woman is in her late 20s, has facial hair, chest hair, and wears large black combat boots that “trigger” her with their thumping. She said at one communal dinner, the roommate talked about having had a wife in the past, and a pregnant fiancée, and was overheard talking about some unidentified women as “hot” and expressing her preference for Latina women. Hanna said her mannerisms came across as “piggish” and inappropriate.
But the outgoing executive director of the Jean Tweed Centre says that they don’t discriminate against transgender women.
Lucy Hume, the outgoing executive director of the Jean Tweed Centre said her agency is “fully aware of the requirements under the Ontario Human Rights Code and are well known for our work in providing trauma-informed care across our programs.”
“With respect to accommodating trans women, we do not discriminate; nor do we impose modifications with respect to accommodation,” Hume said in a written statement to the National Post. “We do, however, do our best to meet the needs of all parties affected in a way that complies with the requirements of shelter standards and trauma-informed practice.”
Hanna says that they didn’t offer her viable alternative accommodation — she was told ‘deal with it or leave’.
She said shelter staff told her: “We’re all about inclusion and it’s unfortunate that you feel this way… Deal with it or leave.”
She was offered the alternative of moving to a room that, because it leads to a fire escape, does not even have a door that closes. She declined.
When Hanna couldn’t ‘deal with it’, she sought assistance from her friend, Peta Nankivell, who helped the distraught Hanna on her call to the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Center. The legal support center declined to assist Hanna because she could be subject to a human rights complaint by describing her roommate as a ‘man’.
“What you’ve told me is potentially discriminatory and potentially a violation of the law, and that individual may file against you in the future, and our role is to keep those conflicts of interest in mind,” the advisor said.
Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Renu Mandhane, says that women’s shelters do have the right to restrict accommodation to women… but trans women are women and should be given accommodation as well. Mandhane says that maybe the answer was just having them not share a room.
“A trans person should have access to the shelter that matches their lived gender identity,” she said in a statement to the Post. “However, this does not necessarily require that a cis and trans woman share the same bedroom. An appropriate balancing of the rights of both women may require that one of the women be provided with non-shared accommodation.”
Here is Hanna’s friend calling a Human Rights Legal Support Center and being refused assistance because the women may have violated the trans woman’s rights by saying ‘man’:
The Ontario Human Rights Code says everyone has a right to equal treatment with respect to services and occupation of accommodation without discrimination because of various grounds, including gender identity and expression. It also says everyone who occupies accommodation has a right to freedom from harassment by other occupants because of the same grounds.
Source: National Post
So, what happens now?
It’s anybody’s guess.
One sex abuse victim’s rights have bumped up against a transgender woman’s rights, and who knows which way the pendulum will swing.
With the momentum behind the transgender lobby right now, I’m thinking it’s not looking so great for Hanna. After all, they’ll view her as an emotionally distressed bigot that is engaged in ‘hate speech’.
by Doug Giles
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