Obituary: Jan Morris, a poet of time, place and self

She was an award-winning journalist and author with more than 40 books under her belt.

Jan Morris, who has died at the age of 94, was one the finest writers the UK has produced in the post-war era.

Her life story was crammed with romance, discovery and adventure. She was a soldier, an award-winning journalist, a novelist and – as a travel writer – became a poet of time and place.

She was also known as a pioneer in her personal life, as one of the first high-profile figures to change gender. Continue reading

Is Scotland changing the law on gender by stealth?

It’s not often that feminists threaten legal action over plans to increase women’s representation on public boards, so the Scottish Government has managed something of a feat. ‘For Women Scotland’, a volunteer-funded gender-critical lobby group, isn’t against the principle of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act. It’s the Scottish Government’s definition of ‘women’ they have a problem with.

The statutory guidance for the Act defines ‘woman’ to include a transwoman without a gender recognition certificate who nonetheless must meet three criteria:

1) enjoys the protected characteristic of gender reassignment under the Equality Act 2010

2) is proposing to undergo or has already undergone a process to change their sex from male to female

3) is living as a woman.

The law ‘would not require the person to dress, look or behave in any particular way’, but ‘it would be expected that there would be evidence that the person was continuously living as a woman’, for example, by employing female pronouns or using their female name on their driving licence, passport and utility bills.

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