Anne Robinson has said she’s ‘horrified’ for women’s safety as she waded into the debate on trans issues, defining a woman as ‘someone who has a vagina’.
The former Countdown host, who recently quit after just a year on the show, spoke out on the trans community, seeming to suggest that a trans woman is not a woman unless she has had surgery.
‘A woman is someone with a vagina,’ Anne, 77, said, adding that people are ‘entitled’ to disagree.
‘But I am just horrified that we can’t have a debate about this. That’s what really troubles me. I’m horrified by the lack of safety in women’s changing rooms, in swimming pools and that sort of thing,’ she added to The Telegraph.
‘I think the most interesting statistic is that the amount of trans [people] who actually surgically get altered is minuscule. So you are talking about men in women’s changing rooms.’
Trans people can apply to legally change their gender under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (although it’s a process that can take a very long time).
There are various reasons why a trans person may not have had surgery. It can also take a long time (in many cases, years) to be referred for an initial appointment at a gender identity clinic, let alone to get surgery.
It can also sometimes be very expensive to get surgery, with some trans people turning to crowdfunding.
In other cases, a trans person may simply not want to get surgery.
Some people have likened the fight for trans rights to the fight for gay rights, but Anne disagrees.
‘No. I’m sorry. Gay marriage, gay rights – we could all debate it. Show me a programme that’s debating trans [rights] on television. What are they so frightened of?’ she asked.
In the UK, ITV programmes including Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, and Loose Women have featured many debates on trans rights over the past few years, with there also being prominent debates on the BBC’s TV and radio shows.
In the US, programmes including The View have also featured such debates.
Most recently, trans rights were debated in programmes across the world in March, when trans athlete Lia Thomas won America’s top trophy in university sport.
Anne, who previously hosted The Weakest Link, recently confirmed her departure from Countdown after taking over from Nick Hewer last year.
She recently claimed she turned down the BBC twice after being asked to return, claiming that ‘wokeness has taken the heart out of comedy’.
‘I wouldn’t want to be a cheesy game-show host, and that is what the BBC wanted,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘Where’s the fun if you can’t ask, “What do you do when you’re not eating?” or “Have you had that hair cut for a bet?”‘