Sex-segregated spaces

This page is devoted to the conflict over sex-segregated spaces other than prisons, which are on a separate page here.

There are reasons why sex-segregated spaces exist. These reasons pertain to the wish for privacy, dignity and – in the case of women – safety, both physical and mental because many of us are survivors of physical and sexual abuse by men. Wanting to keep male-bodied people – however they “identify” – out of places where vulnerable women are housed (e.g. prisons and refuges) or where women are potentially vulnerable (e.g. hospital wards and changing rooms) is one of the hottest potatoes of the debate around trensgenderism. Yet the opnions and feelings of women themselves are being disregarded by most of those in power, who frequently resort to offering the unsupportable and divisive claim that transwomen are women in order to close down debate.

Toilets, bathrooms, restrooms…

…or whatever they are called where you are from, are one of most commonly searched-for topics on this site. I’ve avoided writing anything about them so far, partly because I feel they are less important than other sex-segregated spaces but mainly because it’s a quandary for which there is no ideal solution. There is no policy that would be both practicable and acceptable to everyone and would cover every kind of toilet outside the home. And, by the way, let’s quickly dispense with the unutterably silly argument that I see from time to time on social media that goes like this:

If you don’t have sex-segregated bathrooms at home, why do you need them anywhere else?

Seriously? Do you share your home with complete strangers you know nothing whatever about?

Why not make all toilets “gender neutral” (by which we mean “mixed-sex”)?

This one sounds less silly and is a nice easy solution for service providers but not acceptable to a great many service users. Of course, many cafes and small restaurants have them. The largest Costa Coffee shop near to where I live, for example, has just one toilet for public use. Nobody minds too much because only one person uses that private space at a time.

But when I went to a party at a North London venue in 2017, I was distressed to find that their idea of “gender neutral” was to remove the Gents sign and make everyone use these conveniences that were clearly designed for males. Using them entailed walking past men urinating into a troth to get to the cubicles, which had no locks on the doors and were located facing the hand basins. Nightclubs, I would have thought, are places where women are best served by having sex-segregated spaces, where they can escape from drunken predators and make whatever adjustments to their appearance without being gawped at by men.

If you remove the urinals, what do you get? In many public places, even longer queues for the cubicles than there were already. Don’t expect women not to mind queueing even longer than we do already. Look what happened at the Barbican.

The most disturbing and unacceptable kowtowing to gender ideology, as far as I’m concerned, comes from schools. No adolescent girl should have to feel worried about being followed into the toilet and spied on by one or more boys – and vice versa for that matter. We all know how cruel teenagers of both sexes can be. Build additional mixed sex toilets if you want to reinforce a regressive ideology and encourage youngsters to believe they can be what they are not but don’t take sex-segregated toilets away from them.

Helpful pages from WPUK: Mixed sex toilets in schools and Gender-neutral toilets don’t work for women

The TopShop Debacle

Posie Parker video: Boycott TopShop

 

The above cartoon specifically lampoons the behaviour of one Travis Alabanza and how the fashion chainstore, TopShop, caved into his demands, while disregarding the possibility of causing discomfort to the very young women who comprise the bulk of the store’s regular clientele. The point of the cartoon is clearly to point out a possible consequence of having a gender-neutral changing areas, which is that sexual perverts – and there is nothing about either of those depicted to suggest they are trans – might abuse the policy for their own gratification.

Rather like these:

Tesco pervert caught with head under cubicle in women’s toilets at North Shields supermarket

Anthony Sampieri pleads guilty to kidnapping, raping 7yo in Kogarah dance studio toilet

Teen peeping victim spreads message of vigilance after changing room incident

Pervert filmed 22 women and girls getting changed at Darwen Leisure Centre

Woman says man took photos of her in Target fitting room

Yorkshire man jailed for filming teen girls as they got undressed in changing rooms and bathrooms

Man jailed for filming woman in changing rooms

Man Dressed as Woman Arrested for Spying Into Mall Bathroom Stall

Transgender woman’s behaviour in changeroom unacceptable

The above cartoon upset a few people when I tweeted it because they said it was transphobic though they didn’t explain how and I was left to conclude it was a knee-jerk reaction from a bunch of idiots.

Here’s a superb response from Brendan O’Neill to the TopShop debacle: You are not a woman 19.11.17

 

Links

Middlesbrough Council to trial to gender-neutral toilets The Northern Echo 10.07.19

Woman is slammed on social media for saying she felt ‘VIOLATED’ after a man used a gender-neutral bathroom while she was in it Mail 09.07.19

We Need Sex-Segregated Toilets to Ensure Safety of Women and Girls Alessandra Asteriti 09.07.19

Response to Stonewall FOVAS 02.07.19

Chelmsford mum finds ‘hidden camera’ in Costa toilet BBC 15.06.19

Poll: Women in Scotland want to retain single-sex facilities The Scotsman 05.06.19

Sorry wagamama i love your food but i hate your mixed sex toilets Fair Play for Women 01.06.19

Wagamama to make its toilets gender-neutral Guardian 31.05.19

Can’t we all have a view on spaces for women? The Times 30.05.19

Pervert filmed 22 women and girls getting changed at Darwen Leisure Centre Lancs Telegraph 23.05.19

Strictly Orthodox women ‘to take action’ against opening Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond to transgender swimmers Jewish Chronicle 23.05.19

Transgender swimmers given official access to ladies’ pond at Hampstead Heath ITV News 23.05.29

Men ‘should accept trans women in changing rooms’ The Times 07.05.19

Students Do Not Have the Right to NOT Be Seen Naked By Opposite Sex, Judge Rules Women Are Human 30.04.19

‘Cross-dressing males’ to be allowed in women-only gym sessions in Glasgow Herald 22.04.19

Boys stormed a girls’ bathroom to ‘protest.’ A girl got expelled for fighting back, family says. Washington Post 15.04.19

ACTION: Call on Abraham Lincoln High School to Honor the Rights of Female Students to Safety and Privacy Gender Critical Action Center 14.04.19

Men who identify as women in Leeds can ‘change their gender’ with just a single phone call – without medical or legal proof Mail 14.04.19

Women’s Refuge Opens Doors to Male Transgender Who Threatened to Kill His Female Partner: Melissa (neé Mark) Addis Women Are Human 11.04.19

The inconvenient truth about unisex loos is that women – my wife especially – loathe them Dominic Lawson 08.04.19

When he was a man called Mark he was locked up after threatening to kill the mother of his child… today she’s a woman called Melissa and able to roam free at a shelter for female domestic violence victims Mail 06.04.19

Canada’s oldest rape crisis centre stripped of city funding for refusing to accept trans women National Post 18.03.19

Unisex toilets at new £47m Scots school could be removed over privacy fears The Scotsman 19.03.19

Now girl gymnasts have to share changing rooms with boys who identify as female (and trans girls don’t have to wear ‘revealing’ leotards) Mail 10.03.19

Refuges should be places where women feel safe – too often they’re not Morning Star 07.03.19

Swedish man ‘performs sex act in front of woman’ during monthly LGBTQ steam room session Mail 06.03.19

Transgender NHS rules that allow men to share women’s wards if they identify as female to be reviewedTelegraph 04.03.19

Row over Dundee Rep’s new toilet gender policy Courier 04.03.19

Warning after transgender sex offender placed in women’s hostel Courier 26.02.19

What are gender-free toilets, do we need them and should our schools have them? Sunday Post 17.02.19

Unisex toilets in schools are leaving girl pupils ‘too afraid to use the loo over fears of ‘period shaming’, sexual harassment and a lack of privacy’ Mail 17.02.19

Pupils are missing school because they don’t like mixed sex toilets and ‘period shaming’ is one of the main issues Wales Online 15.02.19

Women’s campaign group calls for ‘urgent’ investigation into gender neutral toilets at Tayside schools  The Courier 12.02.19

Pervert Stewart Ogorman admits flashing and spying on woman Brighton Argus 08.02.19

Female-only spaces ‘must be given greater protection’ The Times 06.02.19

When Feminists Abandon Girls City Journal 03.02.19

Human rights complaint filed over trans bathroom in BC tribunal office Daily Hive 29.01.19

Girls encounter ‘naked man’ at Palm Springs Swim Center. Police say person ‘self-identified as female’ Channel 3 News 23.01.19

Why did trans women lead the Women’s March? Jo Bartosc 23.01.19

D.C. restaurant fined $7,000 for trying to stop transgender woman from using women’s bathroom Yahoo 18.01.19

Anger over ‘naked men’ at unisex changing rooms in Bath BBC 14.01.19

Alaska: Faith-based shelter fights to keep out transgender women AP News 12.01.19

NHS trans row as men get access to women’s wards if they identify as female Telegraph 10.01.19

Should companies install gender neutral bathrooms? Holly Lawford-Smith 03.01.19

Uni says sorry for barring trans man from using men’s toilet Metro 31.12.18

Criminal Records Show Women Are Prudent To Not Want Men In Their Bathrooms The Federalist 19.12.18

Criminal Records Show Women Are Prudent To Not Want Men In Their Bathrooms Jamie Schupe 09.12.18

Men – however they identify – shouldn’t be allowed in shelters designed for traumatised women Maria MacLachlan 06.12.18

Man arrested, accused of recording women in dressing room at Woodland Hills Mall Fox23 News 05.12.18

It’s always about toilets. It’s never about toilets. It’s Not A Zero Sum Game blog 20.11.18

Ambulance chiefs trap defacer of unisex signs The Times 18.11.18

Anger as gender neutral toilets introduced at primary school without parents knowing
Warrington Guardian 02.11.18

Women accuse Poverello House of allowing transgender resident to sexually harass them Fresno Bee 12.10.18

A Gentleman In The Ladies Jean Hatchet 11.10.18

Youth Hostels Association allow trans guests to use female dormitories Times 08.10.18

Transgender toilet row – Protesters gather outside Lion Yard toilets to oppose changes Cambridgeshire Live 30.09.18

Transgender councillor criticises proposed change to Cambridge City Council equality policy amid toilets row Cambridge Independent 26.09.18

Unisex changing rooms put women at danger of sexual assault, data reveals Independent 02.09.18

Parents anger over new ‘gender neutral’ toilets in primary schools Herald Scotland 22.08.18

Anti-Discrimination Laws Are Wielded against a Shelter for Battered Women in Alaska National Review 16.08.18

Berlin’s new toilets: Would you use a women’s urinal? BBC online 11.08.17

Forced to share a room with transgender woman in Toronto shelter, sex abuse victim files human rights complaint National Post 02.08.18

One thousand people sign petition for greater privacy at pool changing rooms Wales online 27.7.18

Gender‑neutral toilets: My daughter was called selfish for wanting girls‑only loos at school Times 26.06.18

Man admits filming women in nightclub toilets BBC online 22.06.18

Debate over inclusion of trans women in women-only spaces intensifies Guardian 09.02.18

Women’s refuges may get transgender staff The Sunday Times 04.02.18

Lancaster mum with “fear of men” locked on hospital ward with transgender patient Lancaster Guardian 18.01.18

An Open Letter to Topshop Jeni Harvey 10.11.17

Transgender policies in schools ‘a waste of time and money’, claims leading academic Independent 23.06.17

A man in the restroom at Disneyland the get real mom blog 13.03.17

Shelter forced women to shower with person who identified as a transgender woman and sexually harassed them, lawsuit says Action News 23.05.18

Our swimming pond is NOT gender fluid: Fury of Hampstead Heath ladies after men identifying as women are allowed into their famous bathing lake Daily Mail 30.12.17

Miscarriages in pub toilets. Is gender neutral ready?  Fair Play for Women 05.12.17

Women’s right to sit comfortably Museum of London 06.09.17

Man abuses trans rules to strip in woman’s (sic) bathroom Pink News 18.02.16

A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms Kaeley Triller Haver 23.11.15

University of Toronto alters bathroom policy after two reports of voyeurism The Star 5.10.15

When I was raped, it was female-only spaces that helped me recover Rachel Hewitt 24.02.15

Videos

Two Women Evicted from Womens Shelter to Make Room for Transgender Male

Cathy Brennan on the transgender bathroom debate

 

And, finally, another cartoon from the extraordinary Feminist Heretic.

 

Page updated 15.07.19