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The Law Society is promoting a template for law firms to incorporate into their HR policies which abolishes single sex spaces. Feminist lawyers called it "baffling".

The 'Transition and Change to Gender Expression template’ is intended for firms who want to be able to assist staff who wish to "transition or change their gender expression".

Written by the Law Society's LGBT+ Committee, but published and promoted to law firms without wider consultation of Law Society members, the template states that the Equality Act 2010 is not fit for purpose. It also dismisses sex, one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act, as being based on stereotypes, placing a question mark over the Law Society's support for sex-based rights and issues.

Some of the policy content is uncontroversial and will only disturb people with rigid ideas of what men and women should wear. Touching on gender non-conformity, the template sets out that employees “should feel encouraged to wear the clothes that make them feel most comfortable”. Cardigans included.

But the template also serves to codify more contentious positions.

It embeds in law firms the position that the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) “fall short in protecting and assisting the trans and non-binary community". 

The template states that "We intend to exceed these pieces of legislation, e.g. by recognising all gender identities".

"Gender identity" is defined in the template as “an individual’s innate sense of their own psychosocial place in society”. The document states that "many gender identities beyond man and woman exist", although the Law Society was unable to supply a list of them. Its template does refer to "genderfluid", which is where a person’s sense of their gender is not fixed.

Whereas the GRA sets out various requirements which people must satisfy in order to qualify as the opposite sex, the template provides for 'Self-ID' at law firms which adopt it, whereby a person must be treated as having a particular sex or gender identity if they declare it to be the case. 

Law firm staff who "transition" in this way, which under the template does not require any medical change or alteration in appearance, are to be told to use the toilets and changing facilities "that make you feel most comfortable". 

"This may change over time, in which case you should continue to use the facilities you prefer", the template states. 

The same access rights are provided to staff who alter their "gender expression", which is defined as something which is "influenced by culturally accepted behaviours and presentations" associated with a particular sex, such as dresses for women and short hair for men, and which people alter by adopting a gender expression "in contradiction to societal norms".

Although the changes would appear to potentially impact other staff by opening up single sex facilities to anyone who wishes to occupy them, the Law Society template does not provide for firms to consult with those other groups.

In fact, the template‘s definition of transphobia includes the "denial of or refusal to accept a trans person’s gender identity", which means that if anyone complains about the consequences of the policy, such as a male using women's facilities because he identifies as Maverique ("a core gender identity that’s independent of existing categories"), they risk being reprimanded and written up as a transphobe.

In a statement, the Law Society declined to address whether other groups might be impacted, reiterating that “action points should always be agreed with and tailored to fit the individual staff member“ who is transitioning or changing their gender expression.

In contrast to its treatment of gender expressions, the template takes a dim view of sex, defining it as "biological differences that have been stereotypically grouped into male and female categories". Which might surprise biologists as well as lawyers.

The Law Society declined to address whether its dismissal of sex as a worthwhile category meant it would have difficulty supporting the inclusion of sex as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act, or the collection of sex-based data in the profession, or tackling discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex.

A Law Society spokesperson said, "We hope this will help firms regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to comply with Principle 6, which requires law firms to act in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion".

He declined to say whether the Law Society considered if other groups could be adversely impacted by its policy, such as women for whom their religion, disability or past trauma meant they would be uncomfortable with biologically male bodies in their changing rooms.

“Our ‘transition and change to gender expression template’ was written by trans and non-binary people in the legal profession as a piece of educational guidance on the key areas for law firms to consider when a staff member wishes to transition or change their gender expression at work,” said the spokesperson.

"The Law Society's template is baffling", said a spokesperson for Legal Feminist, a collection of solicitors and barristers interested in feminist analysis of law. "Women disproportionately experience sexual harassment while being paid less and promoted less. No doubt many law firms would like to believe that they exist in a plane that transcends this troublesome reality, but without recognising sex they cannot deal with sexism".

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Comments

Stephen Mayerson 02 October 20 08:46

I've Just read the guidance for my self.  It's actually really good.  It does not say that  single sex spaces should be abolished at all.  Big surprise.

I further reaserched the Legal Feminists group. Goodness they really don't like trans people.  They wrap it up in law but really are just awful.  It's all about trans women only, they seem to have a problem with them using toilets, which I understand they already do without incident.  If single sex spaces don't want trans women to enter, The Equality Act 2010, allows them to turn the trans women away. Which they don't, because trans women are not a threat. Hate seems to be fuelling all this anger.

Last point, to consult employees before making changes in an organisation before recruitment of trans people is to single them out.  You don't consult before recruitment of disabled people, black people or women. 

Pretty one sided article, fuelled by this awful feminists group.

S 02 October 20 08:58

The Equality act can’t be treated as an irrelevance just because this committee decides it’s a good idea. Employers are bound by the law.

Single sex spaces are important and there are a raft of cases where individuals have been a danger to women by relying on this kind of inclusivity 

Brillo 02 October 20 09:02

I have also read the template Stephen. You are either struggling to comprehend it or you are being disingenuous. It says anyone who has a change in gender expression can use the facilities that make them feel comfortable. As gender expression is drawn incredibly widely, it means anyone can use them, effectively. It does away with the exception under the equality act.

I’m male, I don’t have a dog in this fight (anyone can come into my loos, more fool them). But clearly there is a conflict here between male staff who want to use the women’s facilities to feel comfortable, and women who feel uncomfortable about that. The Law Soc appears to have come down firmly on the side of the former group. 

A 02 October 20 09:06

I’m a female lawyer. I and a few other female colleagues in my team think there’s an issue, but we’ve agreed not to talk about it at work because, - see Stephen. People who say things like ‘nasty feminists’ have the ear of the leaders. Come across all nicey nicey to them, of course. 

Robert Galbraith 02 October 20 09:10

Years ago i came up with a plan to deal with the gender pay gap apparent at most firms and the lack of diversity in the LGBTQ space.

Simply pay a "coming out present" to any man employed by the firm of say an extra £10-£20,000 p/a as long as they identify as a women.

Then on the gender pay gap form you just record the self identifiers as women. Hey presto Gender Pay gap sorted.

Also larger number of trans employes. Double hey presto

And just because Gary from the Litigated Employment team still reads the Sun and has 5 o clock shadow doesn't mean he isn't! a women

You can't say anything or you're a transphobe. 

I know that at least one practice manager/HR manager is taking notes.

JK

 

Anonymous 02 October 20 09:10

"Women disproportionately experience sexual harassment while being paid less and promoted less. No doubt many law firms would like to believe that they exist in a plane that transcends this troublesome reality, but without recognising sex they cannot deal with sexism".

It seems like the problem is with harassment and with treating people differently for arbitrary reasons. I struggle to see how letting trans people use the loos they feel comfortable with interferes with tackling those problems, but maybe I’m not understanding the issues properly. 

Lydia 02 October 20 09:20

Most of those of us who want to ensure work lavatories for women do not include people with a p enis have no problems with trans people. I couldn't care less what people wear if they do the job and look professional to clients. I wear the same clothes every day.

 

Women do all kinds of things in the toilets. I used to express breastmilk in there and for that you need to feel completely peaceful so the milk can "let down" and that is hard to do if you think people with a penis might be coming in. We deal with mopping up dripping menstrual blood in there. Those women who wear make up might be doing that and I am afraid we just don't want anyone with a penis in there. If however Janice has had it chopped off and is part way through her transformation etc then I don't particularly mind if she is in there as long as she doesn't get aggressive, noisy, messy, forceful like sadly more men are than women.

Nice Feminist 02 October 20 09:25

No one is singling out transpeople or suggesting that staff are consulted about recruitment of transpeople Stephen. All that those pesky feminists are suggesting is that staff whose interests are impacted will be consulted about the approach to facilities 

Gobblepig 02 October 20 09:39

I am struggling to understand the point of the Law Society, now that its useful functions have been passed to the SRA. Another pointless quango for the bonfire. 

Ming the Merciless 02 October 20 09:41

If I’ve got this right it’s either-

A make some males who want to use the ladies sad by stopping them from coming in, or

B make some ladies sad by letting those males in.

Whose right not to be sad outweighs the other? Is there a fair solution?

What a mess. Strange that the Law Soc didn’t think B mattered (or existed?) as a factor. 

Gobblepig 02 October 20 09:51

I also think it's pretty awful the way the Law Society excludes people from its membership just because they don't meet its arbitrary patriarchal cis-definition of "lawyer". Surely everyone has the right to self-identify as a lawyer, without having to conform to your outdated "qualification" principles, you gammons. 

Woman barrister 02 October 20 09:53

The idea that transitioning people should use the toilets they feel most comfortable with seems totally uncontroversial to me, and is probably what is happening in any event. If someone behaves in a creepy way in the toilets, then surely that can just be dealt with by HR.

By the way, no one should have to express breast milk in the toilets - you’re entitled to a private space to do this in.  Not sure I’d be comfortable enough to express in a work loo, no matter what the gender of the person having a sh*t in the next stall.

Pat 02 October 20 10:09

So a man (with his genitals intact no less) who wants to enter women’s facilities can, because to say no to him makes him feel sad. No thought for how the women feel being forced to share their facilities with strange men, all that is important is the man’s feelings. This is a revolting display of pandering to men’s every desire, and ridding rough shod over women’s rights to privacy, those who came up with this should be ashamed of their blatant sexism. It seems like we are living in the most sexist times since the early victorian era, where men won’t even let women use the toilet in peace without demanding entrance, I feel sorry for the young girls being brought up in this increasingly sexist society.

Grazing 02 October 20 10:11

Woman barrister - you’re fine with it, but does that mean all women should be?

And bear in mind it’s not just ‘transitioning’ staff, like the lovely old school transexuals, who qualify. It’s Brian from accounts who’s decided he’s agender or something.

According to Stonewall’s definition of trans, it’s men who crossdress, too. It’s anyone with a ‘gender expression’ (whatever that is) who says their means they can use women’s facilities.

But if they do something ‘creepy’ women can report it, can they? Yeah, good luck risking your career telling HR the poster child of its progressive policy stared a bit too long or wouldn’t put a towel on. 
 

These may sound like trivial things to you, but to some women (many, in my experience), they are not.  

Some women are not happy with males in their loos and getting changed with them, full stop, even if they don’t do anything creepy.

Staff should be able to be comfortable, of course they should - but if it’s at the expense of the comfort of another group with legitimate concerns (and I think females objecting to males in their loos and changing rooms is a legitimate concern), then at least those concerns should be aired and seriously considered at the point policy Is formulated, no?

Anon71 02 October 20 10:19

I know a young trans woman who transitioned 7 years ago and went through all these issues in school - @Lydia..long before she would legally be allowed to have surgery and I genuinely thought the “I’m scared if she uses the same bathroom as me” young teenage girl brigade were being their characteristically dramatic selves - and whilst cruel, it seemed to me it was something they would grow up and be embarrassed and ashamed of their youunger self.   It seems I was naive...

A trans person changes their outward appearance - that’s all. I would argue if they were someone to be feared before transitioning then likely they will remain someone to be feared - NOT because they are trans - just because that is who they are!  
 

To the women who fear sharing a bathroom - what happens when your 11 year old son comes to you one day and says “Mum, I’m a girl..” Is your first thought going to be....ooooh you are so scary - you CANNOT be allowed to share bathrooms - you have a penis and therefore pose a risk to all the biological little girls out there....when the reality is - that little girl standing in front of you is the one having to brave the “wrong” bathrooms every day or her life - show her some love and support!!!  And maybe start by showing it by stopping make an issue out of who can and cannot use what bathrooms.   Come on people - live and let live - and stop denigrating something just because you don’t understand it...maybe educate yourself first - and always, always, imagine - what if it were me or mine..Might help you to remember to be kinder.

Mark Prendergast 02 October 20 10:22

Single sex spaces are also important for some observant religious groups. Before praying, Muslims perform ablutions and this cannot be done in a mixed sex space. Older Muslim girls who wear head coverings may also need to adjust them, but again this cannot be done in front of boys. It is important that an equalities impact assessment is done, and that this should include the impact on the protected characteristics of religion and of sex. (Women's Place UK).

 

female1 02 October 20 10:23

Stephen, Woman Barrister,

You are missing the point.

1. It's not (just) fully transitioned transgender woman we're talking about here.  I do not care about the transwoman at my work using my loo. She is a TW with a GRC who has been living as a woman for decades etc.  Read the guidance. It's also talking about anyone who IDs as non-binary or gender fluid or changes their gender expression.  So what it states is that anyone can enter anywhere; they just have to say their not identifying as 'cis' that day.

2.   It is not just toilets, changing rooms are mentioned.  I used to use my firm's changing rooms in the late evening after a run - they were in the bottom floor, often I would be one of the only people in there.  I have to say I would not feel happy with a male bodied person I don't know coming in, particularly if I knew the firm had absolutely no policy in place to ensure the safety/comfort of women in such spaces.

3. Why do single sex spaces exist? And why is sex a protected characteristic under the Equality Act? 

  • women are significantly more likely to have experienced sexual assault than men.
  • The vast majority >90% of those who experienced rape report that the offender was male.
  • Many victims suffer mental or emotional problems as a result of such assault.
  • Disabled women may feel particularly vulnerable, as may women whose religion requires them to use single sex spaces.
  • Sexism, maternity-related sexism, gender pay gap. These things still exist.

If anyone can use any changing room or 'single sex' space how do we fairly consider those who have rights and concerns that conflict with this?

Why are you happy for the comfort of one group of people to take priority over the comfort and safety of another without question, or possible compromise? 

 

Mark Prendergast 02 October 20 10:25

Anon71 Parents of these children need to focus on and campaign for 3rd spaces for them. Their children will grow up a lot happier and with a lot more acceptance if they do not demand others believe their illusions.

Cathy 02 October 20 10:27

Women want privacy for bodily functions. The transgender definition includes part time cross dressers. Ask women what they want when balancing interests.

the Law Soc is actually advocating ignoring the provisions of the Equality Act which protect sex not gender, unless there is a GRA and even then not compelled to allow admission of trans women to the ladies. 
 
What about observant Moslem women? Are they not to be supported in the profession?

Woman barrister 02 October 20 10:28

If I’m a white person who is uncomfortable being around black people, should my feelings be accommodated?  Obviously not.  Simply saying that a certain number of people will be subjectively uncomfortable isn’t enough imho.  Surely the test should be something like, would the reasonable person who uses these facilities be uncomfortable? Personally I think the answer is no. I also don’t see why cis women will necessarily feel less comfortable sharing a toilet with a trans woman than a trans man (who may convincingly present as male).  

Cathy 02 October 20 10:30

Women want privacy for bodily functions. The transgender definition includes part time cross dressers. Ask women what they want when balancing interests.

the Law Soc is actually advocating ignoring the provisions of the Equality Act which protect sex not gender, unless there is a GRA and even then not compelled to allow admission of trans women to the ladies. 
 
What about observant Moslem women? Are they not to be supported in the profession?

Hoe 02 October 20 10:37

'Woman barrister'

-equates women who want single sex spaces with racists

-believes woman who are uncomfortable changing in front of men are unreasonable

I'm beginning to suspect 'woman barrister' may not be a woman barrister.

female1 02 October 20 10:42

Woman Barrister,

Do you read all the other comments?

It's not just transwomen (or transmen) using the loos.  It's ANYONE who does not identify as 'cis' that day can use the loo or changing room of their choice.

For me changing rooms are a trickier area than loos.  How do you ensure the comfort, rights and safety of say, women in the changing rooms after work who have a right to a female only space to change?

Also, as others have said, what about those women who are religious or those who simply want privacy from men where possible to deal with lactation, periods etc.   

How should these rights be considered?  Or do you think they should not be considered?

Anon71 02 October 20 10:42

Mark Prendergast - As a parent of that child I used to think exactly the same thing - have a 3rd space available - problem solved.  Until the same child explained that all that does is add another burden - highlight an area she doesn’t always want to  highlight and have this follow her around for the rest of her life - publicly identifying her as being “different” when all she wants is to be the “same”.  Think of something that you struggle with - something you have to overcome but do not want the rest of the world to focus on or to forever be aware of - and then think that you are then forced to highlight that very thing each and every day.  Whilst the 3rd space would be a good thing to have, I totally agree, it’s not as an alternative only option for a trans person.  Perhaps those are non-binary spaces?

Gill R 02 October 20 10:46

Stephen (first comment) appears to be wilfully misunderstanding this:

--------------

Toilets and changing facilities

Please use the facilities that make you feel most comfortable. This may change over time, in which case you should continue to use the facilities you prefer.

-----------

This *is* abolishing single-sex spaces. 

Susy 02 October 20 11:05

Why do we have single sex spaces?  They were provided for the dignity, privacy and safety of women.  Single sex provision is in place because a significant minority of men have used places were women are undressed and vulnerable to target women for assault, harassment and rape. According to research, mixed sex provision massively increases assault on women. Transwomen, according to statistics, offend at male rates. Over 80% of transwomen are fully functioning male-bodied people. 

Woman barrister 02 October 20 11:12

I have no reason to lie about my gender.  Being so convinced that your position is right that you think All Women must agree is tin foil hat territory imho. This is obviously a difficult and complex issue, so the insinuation that there is only side of the argument isn’t helpful.

Generally my view is that in a ‘clash of rights’ situation you have to view it as a two step process. First work out what rights a person has. Then ask out whether those rights might impinge on anyone else and ask if this can be mitigated. I don’t think it’s fair or logical to have the second step before the first, or to say that a person can only have a right if it is convenient to others (that’s not what a ‘right’ is).  
 

In my view, in answer to the first question, everyone has the right to be treated in line with their own gender identity.  In answer to the second question, I think you have to make accommodations that work around this. There are some accommodations that are In my view reasonable- eg individual cubicles within changing rooms and bathrooms, bio sex segregated prayer rooms with a tap in, private space for expressing breast milk if toilet was previously used (which should not be happening anyway!!).  Personally I don’t think it’s reasonable to exclude people from the toilet they want to use altogether.  

The fact that this might result in discomfort for some isn’t a compete answer to that. As I said, there are some circumstances where someone might feel uncomfortable but we don’t take that into account (eg if they are racist, homophobic etc). I mention that not to equate racism with the sentiments being raised, but to point out that saying “I am uncomfortable with this person’s presence” is not a complete arguments (because there are some instances where it clearly fails).

Johnny B 02 October 20 11:17

The fact is some men have fetishes like transvestism, i.e. they can become sexually aroused by dressing in clothing associated with women and autogynephilia, i.e. where men become sexually aroused by the thought of themselves as women. Are we supposed to pretend these fetishes no longer exist in men or to simply take a man at his word he doesn’t have these fetishes?    

Other men are voyeurs or like to expose themselves to women. How can a man be identified as committing these crimes if he claims he has a right to be there and states the women are unfairly accusing him due to their ‘transphobia’?

It appears this policy will enable men with various sexual fetishes to impose their themselves onto others under the guise of ‘equality’, ‘inclusivity’ and ‘diversity’.

Dearie 02 October 20 11:18

Oh hell no. Some people might want to perform mental gymnastics to separate gender and sex (or completely confuse them as Law Soc has do clearly done) but I am sick to death of biological men shutting down women's voices all because of their "feels".

Men who want to be women want the stereotypical tropes of being "female" and "pretty" but with all the advantages their male body and upbringing has given them. I don't mind this except where it infringes on women's rights. Personally, I'd prefer people to come to peace with their body and dress how they damn well please and for kids to play with whatever toys they want without being labelled anything, but that does not change your innate sex.

Anon 02 October 20 11:20

Female here. Feminist too. Would love to see all toilets redesigned to be neutral. It's really not hard. At least for most law-firms it shouldn't be too hard. When there are no designations we won't have to ask questions people to whether they identify as male or female. Problem solved.  

Alan Henness 02 October 20 11:34

Woman barrister said (02 October 20 11:12): "In my view, in answer to the first question, everyone has the right to be treated in line with their own gender identity."

Is your view founded in any particular law?

Anonymous 02 October 20 11:35

“Woman barrister 02 October 20 11:12

I have no reason to lie about my gender.”

What about your sex?

 

Woman barrister 02 October 20 11:39

@alan No. As far as I’m aware there isn’t any legal protection against discrimination unless you actually get a transition certificate. Not my area of law.  I just meant everyone should be entitled to identify as whatever gender they like.

Anon 02 October 20 12:11

Shameful for this nonsense to come out in the Law Society's name.  How about they consult their female members on whether they're happy to invite anyone who identifies as a woman into their single sex spaces?  Spaces segregated by sex - not gender - for their dignity and protection.  Here's my answer: no, I'm not.  "Identify" however you wish (we are all different...) but let's not pretend that biology doesn't exist / matter more than one's feelings.  Any lawyer who thinks it doesn't needs to look beyond their own priviledged position and consider whether it matters to the female inmates soon to be accommodated alongside "Barbie Kardashian" in Northern Ireland.

Woman barrister 02 October 20 12:14

As should have been clear from my allusion to having expressed breast milk upthread, I am a cis woman.

Lawyer 02 October 20 12:20

Love that under this template you’re transphobic if you don’t accept someone’s gender identity - but the document doesn’t specify what gender identities there are, so you can’t know from the template if you’re going to be caught by it.

Leaves it wide open.

It’s like a contract that hasn’t been given to the other side yet (which I guess it is).

There’s no way you’d let that liability stay in!

Anon71 02 October 20 12:25

@Woman Barrister - Thank you for making the only comments that allow for actual equality and not equality based on what a few think should be allowed to those who are different from themselves.....and isn’t it a pity we still need laws passed to ensure people treat each other with basic respect.  

Paul 02 October 20 12:26

Although the comments so far are mainly about a woman's right to privacy, I have to say (as a man) I think men are also pretty keen to have a degree of privacy from women when attending to their bodily functions. 

Alan Henness 02 October 20 12:49

Woman barrister said (02 October 20 11:39):

"@alan No. As far as I’m aware there isn’t any legal protection against discrimination unless you actually get a transition certificate. Not my area of law.  I just meant everyone should be entitled to identify as whatever gender they like."

I assume you're referring to Gender Recognition Certificates but that have nothing to do with 'transition'.

However, one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 is 'gender reassignment' and this protects those with that characteristic against discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Another protected characteristic is sex and the Act also permits exemptions from its discrimination provisions on the grounds of sex for single-sex spaces, where that is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. It should not need to be explained why this exemption exists.

Those who are male can be legitimately excluded from female-only spaces - such as toilets and changing rooms - regardless of whether the male in question has a GRC or whether he claims to have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

People can 'identify' how they like, wear what they like, call themselves what they like. That does not entitle them to enter spaces reserved for the other sex.

Alan Henness 02 October 20 12:51

Woman barrister said (02 October 20 12:14):

"As should have been clear from my allusion to having expressed breast milk upthread, I am a cis woman."

You mean your sex is female?

The banality of trans rights 02 October 20 13:10

I'm amazed so many people are so fascinated in this guff.  The tedium of privileged people inventing problems is so banal. I just think - in the era of a pandemic - there are real things to worry about.  If the act of going to a men or womens loos traumatises you, perhaps the legal profession isn't for you?

Libel Bint 02 October 20 13:11

Am (genuinely) interested to know the views of Stephen Mayerson and Woman Barrister on the Karen White case, and how they reconcile it with their views on thinking women only spaces should be abolished. Because this is where I really start to struggle with it all, despite being a liberal/centrist generally. 

For those not familiar with it here is an extract of an article (which - note!- comes from the Guardian, not the Daily Mail or the similarly transphobic Times). And this is not an isolated incident, there have been a number of assaults on female prisoners (and of course many more on females generally) by male bodied people identifying as women. 

"Transgender politics – like any politics – can be divisive. Yet in the case of Karen White, who is legally still a man but was put in a female-only prison, both sides of the transgender rights debate are united in the belief mistakes were made.

White entered the UK prison system as transgender. However, despite dressing as a woman, the 52-year-old had not undergone any surgery and was still legally a male. She was also a convicted paedophile and on remand for grievous bodily harm, burglary, multiple rapes and other sexual offences against women.

In September last year she was transferred to New Hall prison in West Yorkshire. During a three-month period at the female prison she sexually assaulted two other inmates.

The decision to move White to a women’s prison was made public after she admitted in court to the sexual assault and to multiple rapes committed before she was sent to prison."

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/11/karen-white-how-manipulative-and-controlling-offender-attacked-again-transgender-prison,

I am (obviously, I hope!!) not suggesting that all trans people are actual or prospective sex offenders or that they are all a threat to women/anyone else. But the White case does, I'm afraid, show that the risk are actual, not merely theoretical/dreamed up by the Daily Mail/a bunch of man-hating feminists as the likes of Mr Mayerson would have us believe.....

Woman barrister 02 October 20 13:13

Is this what they call mansplaining Alan??  Yes, obviously if I say I am a cis woman that means my sex is female but thanks ever so for spelling it out.  And as I made clear in my comment above, I wasn’t purporting to set out the law but what I personally think is right. However, on the law I don’t think that you can be right that trans people who benefit from protection under the equality act can be excluded from single sex spaces without an objective justification (in the same way that such a justification is needed for discrimination on the basis of any other protected characteristic). If that were right the protection under the act would be robbed of all its force.

Anonymous 02 October 20 13:38

@Lydia 02 October 20 09:20

"Women do all kinds of things in the toilets. I used to express breastmilk in there and for that you need to feel completely peaceful so the milk can "let down" "

I hope you recorded your time for that...  

Alan Henness 02 October 20 14:08

Woman barrister said (02 October 20 13:13):

"Is this what they call mansplaining Alan??  Yes, obviously if I say I am a cis woman that means my sex is female but thanks ever so for spelling it out.  And as I made clear in my comment above, I wasn’t purporting to set out the law but what I personally think is right. However, on the law I don’t think that you can be right that trans people who benefit from protection under the equality act can be excluded from single sex spaces without an objective justification (in the same way that such a justification is needed for discrimination on the basis of any other protected characteristic). If that were right the protection under the act would be robbed of all its force."

I asked a simple question to help clarify your obfuscation.

You may not like the single-sex exemption, but it is what it is, despite some organisations campaigning to have it removed - a move that would be to the detriment of women and girls.

But no need to believe me on this. Here's what Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities said last week:

"The Equality Act 2010 clearly protects transgender people from discrimination. The same act allows service providers to restrict access to single sex spaces on the basis of biological sex if there is a clear justification."

Woman barrister 02 October 20 14:09

I don’t think the Karen White case is a ‘hard case’ at all.  As the article you quote says, no one supports her having gone into the general population of a women’s prison.  She was known to have committed violent and sexual crimes against women- there was no need to exclude her on the basis of sex/gender, but a look at her own history made it obvious she was a risk to other prisoners.

Prisons have a duty to work out if a prisoner may be a risk to others and to put effective measures in place to mitigate this.  In this case they failed.  Not a trans issue imo.

Anonymous 02 October 20 14:39

There are numerous examples of shares facilities working without problems. Many bars, restaurants, airplanes, conference centres etc have lines of cubicles for example.

Perhaps we could look at them to see whether there are any problems etc and what can be learnt.

Adult female person 02 October 20 14:58

That definition of "gender identity" (“an individual’s innate sense of their own psychosocial place in society”) is one of the most frightening ones I've seen yet.

I'm a woman because I was born with a female body.  I didn't have the choice to be born with any other kind of body.  That women and men have different social places in society is also not my choice (don't blame my psyche! She had nothing to do with it).  But now, to acknowledge my female body is to make a claim about my "innate sense" of my "place in society."

I guess that's always been the idea.  But I don't think I've seen the quiet parts spoken as loudly as this before.

femalefightback 02 October 20 14:59

While 97% of sex offenders in prison continue to be male, females need protections, safety and dignity in spaces where they are vulnerable such as changing rooms. 

What exactly do males Eddie Izzard, Barry Humphreys (Dame Edna), Paul O'Grady (Lily Savage) and other part time cross dressers have in common with females that entitles these males to access to single sex spaces? 

If male cross dressers feel uncomfortable in male changing rooms then why doesn't the Law Society start a campaign directed at male lawyers asking them to "be more kind and inclusive" to their gender non-conforming colleagues?

 

 

Anonymous 02 October 20 15:17

@10:22 Get with the times grandad. Those muslim women are disgusting transphobes.

Just because they feel 'uncomfortable' performing religious rituals in front of women, simply on the basis that those women happen to have penises and would be regarded as male by 100% of independent observers who were shown a picture of them, that is no reason to deny those trans people their innate human right to self-identify on a whim.

To be clear, those people with penises are not men. So devout muslims aren't allowed to say or believe that they are. Those women have self-identified as women so they are women (and it doesn't matter how or when it happened, if they say they are then that's good enough). If that fact isn't clear to some muslims - or anyone else stuck in the mediaeval mindset of thinking that being born with a penis and XY chromosomes makes you male - then that's their problem. If they complain about that fact in public then it's quite right to call them out as bigoted transphobes and to call for them to be sacked.

To be clear, that isn't discrimination or persecution of people with different opinions to mine - it is rightful activism to protect trans lives from being literally erased. I think those women with penises are women, so that's the right answer. No quibbling.

Whatever next? Muslims complaining about being given a pork sausage for lunch? I mean, don't they know that I coloured it orange and called it a carrot? It's now officially a carrot! Also it's organic and it was grown in Slovenia, because I believe that to be true and said so on my way from the kitchen.

It's 2020, there's just no room for bigoted views that rely on 'objectively observable facts' as a crutch any more. Get with the program already.

Cathy 02 October 20 15:26

Woman barrister days:

” Prisons have a duty to work out if a prisoner may be a risk to others and to put effective measures in place to mitigate this.  In this case they failed.  Not a trans issue imo.“

Not a trans issue but a woman’s rights issue. Female prisoners are vulnerable and there should be no question of a penis-haver in their cell or shower room. 

 

Libel Bint 02 October 20 15:27

Woman Barrister, you don't really address my point which is a wider one: how do we protect women from male bodied sexual predators (and I don't think there can be any doubt that the overwhelming majority of sexual predators are indeed male bodied) if we take away women's spaces? The Karen White case was just an example to show that the threat is very much there. Proper prison procedures could have prevented these horrific attacks, of course, but where does that leave women's toilets/changing rooms/prayer spaces and the like, where there are no other procedures? Obviously women get assaulted in all sorts of different places - their homes, their workplaces, bars, on public transport, outside etc etc and I suppose that a male bodied person could barge his/her/their way into a women's toilet even if there was an absolute ban. But even if you pay short shrift to the idea that women should have a right to feel safe in women's spaces, what about women actually *being* safe? 

As I say, this is a major stumbling block for me when otherwise I would be all in favour of agreeing that trans people should be treated in all respects as whatever gender/non gender they wish to identify with.

And I'm still to hear anything even vaguely approaching a credible/coherent argument as to why women shouldn't be entitled to safety in single sex spaces...

Woman barrister 02 October 20 15:30

Not sure what is obfuscatory about the term ‘cis woman’ - it really has only one possible meaning!

I am not denying that it is still possible under the equality act to discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic (in fact I mentioned this in my comment above) - but you need to have a justification for any such discrimination.  This means a justification relating to the particular circumstances of the discrimination.

You said this:

“Those who are male can be legitimately excluded from female-only spaces - such as toilets and changing rooms - regardless of whether the male in question has a GRC or whether he claims to have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.”

You seem to be suggesting that it is always justified under the equality act to discriminate on the basis of gender reassignment in the provision of single sex spaces for women.  

I would be interested in seeing some authority for this (case law, not that respected legal mind liz truss, lol).

It seems to me that this has to be wrong, for the reason I said - it would rob the act of all its force in relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.  

I agree there will be some cases where it will be justified (for the purpose of the equality act) to provide a single sex space that is for cis men or women only.  But it would be extraordinary if the exclusion of trans people who enjoy the protection of the equality act from single sex spaces were always or automatically justified (for the purpose of the act), and I do not believe that you are correct in suggesting that this is what the law is.

Alex 02 October 20 15:41

I am not a lawyer, my background is in psychology, and am baffled that the existence of sexual transvestism is completely ignored, even though the evidence for it is overwhelming and it is featured in the DSM V.

https://www.theravive.com/therapedia/transvestic-disorder-dsm--5-302.3-(f65.1)

People need to understand that not all of the men who ‘identify’ as women are gay men who have undergone full surgery. Many are autogynephilie men (men who feel sexually excited at the thought or image of one’s self as a woman) who are attracted to women and often do not undergo full surgery. It has been found that 75% of men were autogynephilic compared to only 25% who were gay men in 2010.

https://quillette.com/2019/11/06/what-is-autogynephilia-an-interview-with-dr-ray-blanchard/

There are also several subtypes of autogynephilia that can manifest, which are;

Physiological: sexual excitement at the idea of having the bodily functions of women, e.g. menstruation, lactating, giving birth etc.

Anatomical: sexual excitement at the idea of having the body parts of women, e.g. breasts, vagina, round hips etc.

Behavioural: sexual excitement at the idea of doing stereotypically feminine things, e.g. knitting, hair flicking, etc.

Gender dysphoria is a mental health condtion, that currently is not being treated appropriately in my view, it needs to be treated the same way every other body dysmorphia are treated. I agree with the former chief of psychiatry at John Hopkins on this:

The doctor explained that trans people, those who don’t identify as their biological sex, exude behaviors of “sexual misdirection,” called “autogynephilia.” Such behaviors do not cease post-op:

For the post-surgery transgender men, data collected by one of McHugh’s colleagues showed that most of the patients did not regret the genitalia change “[b]ut in every other respect, they were little changed in their psychological condition,” said Dr. McHugh. “They had the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions as before.”

https://www.dailywire.com/news/former-johns-hopkins-chief-psychiatry-transgender-amanda-prestigiacomo?_escaped_fragment_=

Of course now these men are not even undergoing full genital surgery. Pretending it is a civil rights issue for these men to be treated as if they are women, leads to people with mental health issues saying it is their right for others to view them as they see themselves, regardless of how that impacts on the rights of others, it is not at all reasonable and must stop.

Adult female person 02 October 20 15:59

"Not sure what is obfuscatory about the term ‘cis woman’ - it really has only one possible meaning!"

No, not really.  It could mean:

1. A female person who has made no particular attempt to modify her body or her appearance to be perceived as anything other than a female person.

2. A female person who has a female "gender identity" - an "innate sense of her psychosocial place in society" - whatever that means.

Which of those do you think is the one possible meaning?

Woman barrister 02 October 20 16:35

Here you go, not one but two definitions for you:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisgender

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning

why bring Muslims into this 02 October 20 17:06

Mark, Cathy,

I don't have a fixed view on this topic, but unless you are Muslim, I don't understand why you would instrumentalise Muslim preferences for single sex prayer spaces here.

There are different strains of thought on this in every religion.  However Islam is often held out in the UK social debate to be an unusually strict / unyielding religion on all kinds of social issues.  This doesn't accord with my understanding of the diversity of thought within Islam, let alone the generally liberal views of Muslim friends and colleagues.

Using Muslims specifically in this argument feels tenuous, and also subject to reversal, with the same sceptics of transgender issues, also often being against separate treatment of men and women in religious events.

Alex 02 October 20 19:25

“You’re a psychologist, and you’re quoting Blanchard? Really??”

Autogynephilia is clearly the cause of gender dysphoria for many men, we know this from the men’s own accounts, as well as from the wives and female partners who describe living with these men. Moreover, one only has to look on social media and they will be able to see for themselves men displaying autogynephilia in numerous ways.

I am aware many men desperately don’t want to accept autogynephilia led to their gender dysphoria and prefer to argue that they have a ‘female brain’ or a ‘feminine essence’ and other such nonsense.

However, some men have been brave and admitted that autogynephilia has caused their gender dysphoria. The psychologist Anne Lawrence admits that autogynephilia caused their gender dysphoria. Lawrence also suggests that the abuse and threats that has come from some autogynephile men, against anyone who mentions autogynephilia, is caused by narcissism and I tend to agree.

http://annelawrence.com/shame_&_narcissistic_rage.pdf

Trying to discredit those who understand autogynephilia does not help anyone least of all those struggling with it. Where I disagree with Lawrence and Blanchard is on the method of treating it. I do not believe it is ethical to indulge these men, instead I believe they should be helped to control their autogynephilia, and a lot of focus need to also go on treating any underlying personality disorder. Not easy, considering narcissism in particular is very difficult to treat, but we should not be enabling these men to infringe on the rights of others, that is not ethical.

Beth 02 October 20 20:18

It is never men having to put up with women using their loos, because we would never want to. Men aren’t threatened by this. As usual, it is women who are expected to give up their spaces to cater for anyone with a penis who might decide to identify as a woman forever or just for a day. We have spent  decades fighting for equal treatment but now our hard won rights are trampled over for the benefit of a few men who want to be women. 
 

the Law Society takes fees from all us. These days there are more women than men in the profession but it’s women who have to give way. Well I won’t and the Law Society can put its template where the sun don’t shine.

Anonymous 02 October 20 20:32

Seem to be far to many people purporting to be lawyers or barristers whom seem to have a complete lack of understanding the EA 2010 and the exemptions ! And their applicability 

Anonymous 02 October 20 20:41

Libel Bint - the flaw in your argument is that trans women are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crime in prison. 11 were sexually assaulted in 2019, while one 1 was a perpetrator.

Making all women safe includes making trans women safe.

Anon 02 October 20 22:21

&Beth so you, like many, would deny or ignore the position of trans-men who would quite naturally prefer to use “male only” single-sex spaces?

Sanity 03 October 20 10:12

"Anonymous 02 October 20 20:41

Libel Bint - the flaw in your argument is that trans women are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crime in prison. 11 were sexually assaulted in 2019, while one 1 was a perpetrator.

Making all women safe includes making trans women safe."

 

 

Everyone should be safe in prisons. So you have a wing for TW in addition to the male and female wings. That makes everyone as safe as possible. 

Anonymous 03 October 20 10:35

‘It is never men having to put up with women using their loos, because we would never want to.’

You’ve obviously never been to a pub, nightclub or festival.

Anonymous 03 October 20 10:58

Er, feminists? I'm a feminist and don't think like this. Looking at their literature, seems more like an anti-trans fringe group. Frustrating that ROF presents this legal feminist group as a mouthpiece for feminism, they don't represent my views or, I believe, the views of most feminists.

Becca 03 October 20 11:37

Can the grown ups at the Law Society over turn this appalling and legally incorrect document produced by its trans society? If it wasn't produced through any democratic procedure, then surely it should be possible to have it removed if it doesn't reflect the wishes of the members

Bekksy 03 October 20 13:05

Anonymous 03 October 20 10:58

"Er, feminists? I'm a feminist and don't think like this. Looking at their literature, seems more like an anti-trans fringe group. Frustrating that ROF presents this legal feminist group as a mouthpiece for feminism, they don't represent my views or, I believe, the views of most feminists."

Interesting, exactly what views do you disagree with?

We are lawyers and legal academics. Some of us specialise in discrimination law; all of us are personally opposed to arbitrary discrimination on grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, disability, age, marital status, gender reassignment or religion or belief. We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, and should be able to live their lives free from unlawful discrimination, abuse or harassment.

We also believe that sex is biological, and (in humans) immutable: we do not believe that it is possible for a human being literally to change sex. We think it self-evident that biological sex has material consequences. We think there are circumstances in which it is necessary to draw distinctions between (natal) women and trans women.

Viviane Morrigan 03 October 20 15:31

I'm a lesbian feminist with gender critical views on the transgender controversy. This Law Society document appears to have been produced by a committee that has been captured by gender and sexist ideology. As a result, the rights of women are under attack (yet again). The very meaning of the term woman is becoming meaningless. Biological women and our rights are being made to disappear. And who is responsible? Men who want to be women and their supporters and apologists. Why don't we hear much from transgender men in this debate? It's the transgender women with their male sense of entitlement and fragile identies who are stirring the pot. Their attitude and behaviour are similar to men's rights activists. All are men shit scared of losing their power over women. If they can't beat us, they want to join us. They are especially pernicious in their attempts to invade lesbian women-only spaces.

Onanymous 03 October 20 17:25

What a silly, undignified affair this gender business is. Building your identity around how the fact that you'd rather be a member of the opposite sex causes you trouble is palpably immature, in poor taste, and arguably unwise, as it is likely not going to help you live a fulfilling life at peace with your condition.

Play the cards you are dealt. Come to terms and bear the suffering that is associated with it. That's what adults do.

Seymour Johnson 03 October 20 17:25

I feel sad when ladies are upset by my penis.

I was positively distraught in the Arndale Center the other day.

Anon 03 October 20 18:20

@Lydia in my experience as a Facilities Manager it's often women's toilets in corporate firms that are worse than men, we have to constantly unblock their toilets as women seem to think it's ok to flush sanitary products down the loo.  Nice.

anonymous 15 03 October 20 22:02

Anonymous 03: specious, apples-to-oranges argument. The problem is dangerous and violent men. Why should women (much more likely to be imprisoned for non-violent crimes than men), be exposed to biological men, many of whom have histories of violence and sexual assault, because other violent men don't like the way they self-identify? This is a biological male on biological male aggression problem, and natal women and their spaces should not be sacrificed on the newly disguised penis-alter of transzealotry in an attempt to present a solution acceptable only to those who refuse to admit to the real issue, and who really don't care about biological females and their safety.

Anon 04 October 20 16:48

Pathetic, an extremely small minority 0.1 percent imposing their rights on so many. 

This is the way the world is going, and will be unable to function without upsetting someone.

Barista 04 October 20 20:54

The law society and the SRA claim they aim to ‘exceed’ the equality act, as if what they’re doing is only improving the legislation and bringing more benefit. That is sophistry. By ‘exceeding’ the EA to bring more benefit to males, they ignore the manner in which the EA defines and balances protected characteristics, and degrade the protections which the EA allows to be provided to women.

They are driving a coach and horses through the the EA, carrying one group in comfort while knocking the other into a ditch. 

Patrick McCann 05 October 20 09:38

I'm interested to read that many of you appear to work in organisations where you feel that a gender-agnostic cubicled toilet arrangement might result in some sort of abuse/aggression/assault taking place.  Your organisations might have bigger problems at play here, I am thinking.

Three things:

1 Do we not all have gender-agnostic toilets in our homes? How on earth do we cope with those?

2 Can we not let people be and have them use the toilet cubicle they feel appropriate?

3 Pls can someone show me the data evidencing that gender-agnostic toilets/changing rooms bring about dangerous behaviours?  I must have missed it.

 

 

 

Munday 05 October 20 10:09

Patrick

-it’s ‘sex agnostic’ we’re talking about. You frame it incorrectly as ‘gender-agnostic’, presumably to try to use terms that sound nice and ignore that it actually means the end of single sex spaces.  You need to recognised that sex=biological difference between male and female whereas gender=societal stereotypes of what it means to be a man or woman. If you try to fudge that difference you come across as arguing in bad faith.

1. we cope with those loos in our home because we choose who uses the loos in our home. And we tend to use them one at a time. Do you have a line of cubicles and shared sinks in your house that’s open to the public? Interesting. 
 

2. Your view is ‘can’t we all just get along? Be kind!’ I’m not sure you have read the other comments, you certainly haven’t taken them in. You still do not grasp that this change does not ‘let people be’, it lets males be, at the expense of females. I wonder if you do understand this, and you’re trying to muddy the water by appealing to people’s desire to be nice.

3. it’s not just (or even) abuse or assault which women are concerned about. It might be just that they feel uncomfortable with a male in a women’s changing room (or loos). Why should their discomfort be outweighed by the male’s discomfort changing with other males? There is a conflict here, and women who are in it deserve to be listened to.

 

Onanymous 05 October 20 10:21

Patrick. One chooses who enters one's home. The same is not true for the workplace.

Please do not pretend you do not see the obvious benefits of sex-exclusive spaces for personal hygiene. The only argument you could make is that accommodating the feelings of trans people outweighs these benefits. I do not think they do, neither qualitatively and obviously not quantitatively.

Also, do you not feel silly when you type of "gender-agnostic toilets"?

Anonymous 05 October 20 14:36

Perhaps I am missing something obvious, but isn’t there some nuance around when single sex spaces may be needed, rather than them being required everywhere or nowhere?

While I am not sure I agree, I can see more logic for the argument that single sex spaces are needed in places like hostels, shelters or prisons where people are extremely vulnerable, but the office toilet in a law firm? A place where you’re likely in a locked single occupancy cubicle for the majority of the time and in which you spend relatively little time anyway? Seems like the incremental danger of that is extremely low.

As for the suggestion that legions of men will suddenly purport to be women in order to use the ladies’ toilets, is that genuinely thought to be a likely outcome? Seems more likely that a majority of law firms will have zero trans people and really large offices may have 2 or 3 (assuming the figure if 1 in 1,000 people being openly trans is broadly in the right ballpark), in which case you may be in the same bathroom at the same time maybe once or twice per month max.

Blus 05 October 20 15:37

Anonymous 05 October 20 14:36

‘Seems like the incremental danger of that is extremely low.‘
 

Nevermind that the risk nonetheless exists, and that you think as it is small it doesn’t matter, why does there need to be ‘danger’ to justify single sex space? Why isn’t women’s discomfort sufficient?

Alan Henness 05 October 20 19:33

Indeed Barista (04 October 20 20:54).

In privileging some men over women, they may inadvertently be unlawfully directly or indirectly discriminating against women. That would make an interesting employment tribunal.

Anonymous 05 October 20 22:01

To Blu’s comment at 14:36, it can’t be that any amount of cis women’s discomfort is sufficient to prohibit something that is clearly desired by trans women. Where the balance lies is another question, but it can’t be that any amount of discomfort for cis women above zero justifies excluding trans women.

I imagine not being allowed to use the bathroom of their identified gender has a pretty negative effect on trans people. It shouldn’t be controversial that any argument that such negative effect is justified as a result of the harm it causes to cis women should have to show that such harm not only exists but that it exists to a degree that makes it proportionate to deny trans women their preference.

That should be the case whenever two groups in society have legitimate but mutually exclusive interests.

Patrick McCann 06 October 20 07:49

Munday

Your employer doesn’t monitor who it invites into its buildings, including who works there? That’s worrying.

Do you not think trans and non-binary people are already using your toilets, without incident? You appear naive, trans and non-binary exist everywhere.

How are you going to police this? who gets to decide who does get to use the toilets? Will you be guarding? What’s the entry validation process?

Onanymous - please explain to you when the number of a minority’s populace is sufficient to be a valid factor - you appear keen to link rights to the number of people seeking to exercise them.

Blus - have we not seen the access-excluding “discomfort” excuse before, for example in 1950’s USA? Are we to allow that to be an unchallengeable justification? 
 

All of you, where is the data to evidence that there is in fact a risk attached here - I’m looking for evidence that trans and/or non-binary people do do harm to others. No one seems to be providing that.

 

 

 

Munday 06 October 20 08:43

Oh Patrick. Darling Patrick. 

“Munday

Your employer doesn’t monitor who it invites into its buildings, including who works there? That’s worrying.”

The employer does - I don’t. Are you trying to equate a private home, where I control who comes in, and we use the bathroom one at a time, with a workplace, where there are hundreds of people I don’t know, and communal bathroom areas? I think there’s a difference.

“Do you not think trans and non-binary people are already using your toilets, without incident? You appear naive, trans and non-binary exist everywhere”

But it’s not for you or me to give single sex spaces away. The point is, women should have a say. Closing women down as transphobic just for having a different view to yours is wrong. That is what this guidance does.

Have you considered, Patrick, that one reason there may not be ‘incidents’ is because women are uncomfortable but feel that they cannot complain? Why does your compassion run only one way, Patrick?

“How are you going to police this? who gets to decide who does get to use the toilets? Will you be guarding? What’s the entry validation process?”

The point is not that this rule can be broken, it’s that it is a rule, and if broken, women have a basis on which to complaint about it. You want to remove that. 

“Onanymous - please explain to you when the number of a minority’s populace is sufficient to be a valid factor - you appear keen to link rights to the number of people seeking to exercise them.”

This is a bit garbled, Patrick, but I think you’re suggesting that it’s ok for women to be made uncomfortable if enough males say they really need access to women’s single sex spaces. It’s for you to make that argument that it’s right to change the status quo which women have fought decades for.

“Blus - have we not seen the access-excluding “discomfort” excuse before, for example in 1950’s USA? Are we to allow that to be an unchallengeable justification?”

Oh, Patrick. This is not on. You’re trying to make women feel they are as bad as racists if they don’t want males in their single sex spaces. You’re saying that because racists were uncomfortable with black people, women who are uncomfortable with males in their single sex spaces are like racists. That’s gaslighting, Patrick. 

Anonymous 06 October 20 12:18

@10:28 I think you will find that you mean "Why can't women just use the disabled toilets".

Stop trying to other trans people by using language that suggests they're somehow 'different' to other women.

They are simply women, it is transphobic of you to treat or address them as anything else.

Patrick McCann 07 October 20 08:52

And still no one can show me any data to show that allowing trans and non-binary people choice around which toilets they use has led to any actual incidents.

Again, much like black people being told which water fountains to use because others felt uncomfortable sharing that water-based facility. 

 

Female 1 08 October 20 06:54

Patrick 

1. Stop pretending it’s just about toilets. Changing rooms are included which in my view are more important. 

2. No one is denying there are non-binary people out there. The point is should Bob from accounts who now IDs as non-binary be able to use whichever changing room he chooses, without question & regardless of the impact, safety or comfort of women? 

3. (Also, if you’re only focused on ‘incidents’ most women are not concerned about genuine transwomen - you must concede it’s possible that cis men could abuse such an open door policy iro changing rooms.)

This is an unprecedented area. It is the -first time really that single sex changing rooms are being opened up to anyone in this way. I have shared toilets happily with transgender women for years. Please don’t pretend this is only about toilets or transwomen. 

4. Re ‘incidents’ - if you ask most women if they’ve experienced sexual assault, harassment, exposure, etc they’ll say yes. Often far more than once. I have experienced sexual assault at work & incidents i now know to be ‘sexual harassment’...and never once reported it. Not once.  

It becomes commonplace for people to choose their changing room in such a way regardless of transition, it means you have more of a unisex access rather than single sex. Where the sexes mix in changing rooms the rate of ‘incidents’ are said to increase: 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/sexual-assault-unisex-changing-rooms-sunday-times-women-risk-a8519086.html%3famp

5. HOWEVER, I do not agree reported incidents should be your only criteria. In a still often male-dominated society where women are statistically more likely to have experienced harassment & sexism and the perpetrator is almost always male-bodied I think that yes women‘s comfort in not wanting to get changed with Bob from accounts IS a relevant factor. 

Anon001 09 October 20 08:21

I'm female, and I will admit that I would feel uncomfortable with a biological male (regardless of how that individual identifies) in the toilets/changing rooms which I use.  If things were to change, I would alter my own behaviour to ensure that I felt comfortable (and in all honesty would probably result in using the disabled toilets, given that they accommodate a single individual). 

Quite frankly, I don't want to see a random pen1s, only one I choose to, er, "know", and being "shy", I don't want to hear the groans of a man taking a number two whilst I am trying to go to the toilet (and like a poster has stated above, some men do not want face women in that environment).

So what happens next?  What if things were to change, it becomes a free-for-all, and I am changing in the changing rooms, and a biological males walks in and starts changing?  Do I walk out?  Do I have to put up with feeling uncomfortable, and potentially humiliated, in favour of another individual?  IF I do choose to walk out (re-dressing appropriately), does that individual then have a right to feel offended and victimised?

Where does it stop?!  

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How satisfied are you with your work/life balance?*
How satisfied are you with your firm's culture?*