WHEN is a woman not a woman? When she’s being addressed by the Scottish Government. It is now “pejorative” to call a person with a uterus and XX hormones a “biological woman”, according to a spokesperson quoted in The Times. In future, the Government intends to use the term “cis-gender” instead.

This, apparently, is to educate heteronormative women about their “privilege” – the fact that they can use the toilets, sorry “washrooms”, of their choice and access healthcare. I’m not sure who exactly has been preventing transgender women using public conveniences. So far as I know, you don’t have to show a birth certificate, or undergo a medical exam to have a pee. But what do I know as a pale, stale male.

What I do know is that “cis-gender” is an ugly neologism which many women find offensive. They are content with their present sexual terminology. “Cis” is in the same linguistic ballpark as “TERF” – trans exclusionary radical feminist, which is a term of abuse used against women who believe persons with penises are, er, male. I should be careful here because a number of TERFS have been banned from social media for saying that a person with a penis is a man. So I won’t say that.

Instead, let’s just take it as read that in future we are going to have to accept that the concept of sexual differentiation with which we have been living for thousands of years is finally being exposed as a malign transphobic falsehood. At any rate, the Scottish Government appears determined to press ahead with reform of the Gender Recognition Act, which will allow trans people to assign themselves legally and biologically female. Hitherto, trans people have had to undergo medical examination and get a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria”. No more. From now on, anyone can change their birth certificate to whatever they wish.

Earlier this month, Holyrood’s culture committee warned that ending binary “Male or Female” questions in the Scottish census will render much of the results meaningless and, willy nilly, import an unscientific definition of sex into the law. But the Scottish Government is not listening. Nicola Sturgeon told a UN equalities conference last week that the concerns of feminists about the GRA are “misplaced”.

Women – sorry, “menstruators” – who say that self-ID erases their sexual identity will be told: just get over it. They can complain that “sex” is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equalities Act, and that women therefore have a right to their own unique spaces. But now that men can actually become women under the law, this right will be impossible to articulate. Trans women with male anatomy will be entitled to enter women’s changing rooms, girl guide troops or women’s prisons. Women who complain will be guilty of transphobia, and are likely to be visited by the police recording a “hate incident”.

Now, I have nothing against adults changing their gender, or identifying as women, queer, non-binary, intersex or whatever. It seems to be reinforcing outmoded concepts of gender to suggest that, because someone wants to wear dresses, play with dolls and put on makeup, they must have a lady brain in a male body. I thought we had left pink-for-girls gender stereotyping behind. But never mind. No-one wishes trans people any ill – certainly not me. But now that we are abandoning the very biological definition of sex, there are some anomalies that need to be addressed.

Last week, a British transgender man, who had IVF by sperm donation and gave birth, won a court battle to prevent his child having “mother” on its birth certificate. It will be the first child in history to have no mother. The The AIRE Centre, a human rights charity, contested this on the grounds that it would make life difficult for the child in future, when they apply for visas or anything which enquires about family background. The Government said simply that this isn’t a problem. From now on, fathers can give birth – end of.

But I’m not sure this is the end of the matter. Children have not been included in the gender recognition debate thus far, even though they have rights too. It could be psychologically disturbing for a child to find, one day, that its mother has decided to become its dad. That song “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” takes on a whole new meaning.

Of course, the trans parent will still be present, but is it OK to expect a child to suddenly start calling her natural mother her father? I would have thought that a child has a continuing right to a legal mother if they were born with one. If misgendering a trans person is unacceptable, surely demothering a child should be too. This is going to be confusing to say the least.

Then there is the question of sport. The controversy over athlete Caster Semenya, a woman with high testosterone, raises the question of how to regard trans women’s participation in women-only sport. Athletes who have testes, and therefore posses greater body mass, muscle strength and bone density, have an unfair advantage over old-fashioned women who have genetically female bodies.

Next week, the International Association of Athletics Federations will argue in a hearing in Switzerland that people like Semenya should take testosterone-suppressing drugs before competing. Not only would this drive a coach and horses through the anti-doping protocols, it surely poses problem for transgender athletes who, of course, also take drugs like testosterone to help them transition to their “correct” male sex. I hope the sporting authorities can get their heads around that because I can’t.

Yet this is a very live issue in many sports. In the US, the ban on trans women taking part in power-lifting events is being lifted to prevent accusations of discrimination. You might have thought that having beefy, male-bodied women participating in these contests is discriminating against women athletes. Though, of course, only transphobes would say that, so we won’t go there.

The logical solution to this conundrum is to end sexual segregation in sport. And if women who are born biologically female never win any medals, tough. Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be the same issue about female-bodied trans men participating in male-only sport (and presumably also becoming part of the patriarchy). I’m sure that has nothing whatever to do with the fact that they won’t win anything.

So welcome to the brave new world of post-sexual differentiation, where men become women and fathers have children. It is one of the most radical and abrupt cultural changes in human history.

Women have had a pretty bad deal in previous centuries, when they were regarded often as chattels without rights. In some Muslim societies they’re still second-class citizens. Now, as women are finally emerging from the shadow of patriarchy, they are being told, by men, that they no longer have exclusive rights to their sexual identity.

It’s a weird turn of events. It seems women are just on the wrong side of history. But somehow, I don’t think they’ll go quietly.