It sounds utterly daft to me that we should be arguing about what it is that makes a man and a woman in 2022. That we need to waste time worrying about who’s allowed access to our changing rooms and toilets. We should all know by now that we need to keep this confusing nonsense away from our children. Drag queens in libraries reading stories to toddlers, men putting on “womanface” and visiting schools talking about their life to teenagers is all wrong in my opinion. The gender movement has expanded quite astronomically and with its expansion has raised a whole plethora of concerns. One of which I would like to talk about today – Self ID and single sex spaces.
So many times I have seen the “Be Kind” brigade question why women like me take issue with “trans” identified males using female bathrooms, changing rooms, prisons, women shelters, hospital wards etc.
“They just want to pee” they argue. “Why are you so obsessed with what is in a person’s pants” “Transgender women are women” and “Why are you such a fascist/Nazi/bigot”
Just a fraction of the responses we get when trying to justify our need for single sex spaces, something probably most women couldn’t have imagined losing some years ago. Men may only use bathrooms “to pee” but women use them when they’re suffering miscarriages in public or they’re needing to wash their mooncup. Two unnerving instances which require a certain level of respect, privacy and understanding. Not many of us are comfortable doing these things in front of strange women, let alone men. Both sexes have their individual sex based rights set out in the Equality Act, which serves as a shield to protect everyone, and both sexes have lost those rights due to the Gender Recognition Act. We no longer have the same rights as we did have because anybody is now allowed to ‘identify’ themselves into that group. Self ID means there doesn’t need to be a Gender Recognition Certificate, a man can wake up one morning and grant himself access to female spaces and women will be arrested if they challenge him.
This matters for men too, in things like sport. For example I have had a conversation with a female who identified as a male and therefore played on a men’s rugby team. So a team of non-professional male rugby players would have to accept a female player to play and train alongside them simply because she “feels” like a man. The team that play opposite her now have to face a decision; play normally and risk injuring the biologically weaker female player, or play ‘softly’ and risk losing the game. The same applies to all contact sports. But it’s not just the biological aspects of it, it’s the social ones too. Men should be able to meet up with other men for male bonding and such, just as we demand female only groups and clubs, it makes perfect logical sense to me that both sexes would not only need but like their own spaces, and why not?!
But I do believe that women suffer differently, in a way that most males could not comprehend. And I’ll explain why.
It is a biological unchangeable fact that for the most part women are smaller and weaker than our male counterparts. There will always be exceptions to the rules, but mostly men are stronger and would overpower us with ease. If it hasn’t happened to us, we probably either know someone it has happened to, or we have seen it somewhere on the news with quite terrifying regularity. Bear with me while I run through some numbers with you.
According to ONS 194,683 people were sexually assaulted in the year ending March ’22. An increase of 32% from the previous year. Of those assaults 70,330 were rapes. A 26% increase and only 2223 charges were brought forward. Rape Crisis England and Wales claims that 1 in 4 women have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult and 1 in 6 children have been sexually abused. And as it states on their website 98% of adults prosecuted for sexual offences are men. They do say that most rapes are committed by someone you know. Both sources claim this but fail to specify relation, friend, acquaintance or even someone you pass daily on your way to work. I might speak to Dave the lollipop man every morning but do I ‘know’ him?
I’m not trying to make the point that all men are rapists and women should live in a perpetual state of fear, far from it. I’ve met some incredible ‘protector’ type men that have no interest in hurting women and I do believe that they are still the majority. Some may make the argument that men can get attacked and raped just the same, which of course they do. The difference, and the point I would like to get across is the frequency in which it occurs and that women know these threats exist, we live with it daily, we know we’re weaker and we’ve had to know it from quite a young age, and to be fair all throughout the history of our species, it’s ingrained in us. And while most of us, quite rightly, don’t walk around classifying ourselves as permanent victims, we always know, consciously or subconsciously that there is potential threat in public spaces. We live with that knowledge daily and most women I know have made a plan in their head on what they would do in that situation. We have to think about our safety a lot more than men I believe, which is why these spaces exist. They can serve us as places of comfort, safety and respite.
For the most part, I don’t believe that the vast majority of these men are even “trans”. I read countless stories of men dressing as women to satisfy their own sexual deviance. Autogynephilia (AGP) for example is when males become sexually aroused by the thought of being a woman. Wearing women’s clothes, being in women only spaces, this turns them on. It’s why we see/hear so many stories of men pleasuring themselves in women’s bathrooms, they get off on being there, making women uncomfortable appears to be their foreplay.
So it beggars belief that we still hear stories of male rapists who find themselves in a female prison, where according to the numbers so many of these women have suffered at the very hands of this type of man, and they have no form of escape. I heard a testimony of a woman not long ago that was so scared of being raped and impregnated in a female prison she asked the doctor for a coil implant for her time inside. Women on wards are being told they have to share their recovery space with a male, or have a male be involved in their intimate care, like their fears not only do not matter compared to the feelings of the male, but that she’s a bigot for not allowing it and her views may result in no further treatment. On two separate occasions a man, walked into the women’s bathroom in a supermarket, the first time he was caught videoing a 12 year old girl above the cubical, the second he pushed a 10 year old back into her cubicle and demand she remove her trousers, she punched him and ran to her Dad, a brave act, which I think deserves a round of applause. He was arrested and charged but served no jail time, he first ended up in a women’s shelter and then in a housing complex that housed children.
Women and children shouldn’t have to give up their spaces. Rape and assault victims shouldn’t have to put their trauma aside to satisfy the feelings of these individuals. Individuals that do not care about boundaries or the feelings/reactions of trauma, only that they get what they feel entitled to, no matter the expense. We cannot tell which man that walks into women’s bathrooms will have nefarious reasons for being there, it would be impossible to tell them all, so the best solution, in my opinion, is to not have men in there at all. Some may argue that instances of male violence in female spaces happens so rarely it is pointless to argue against it, but if it protects even just one woman or one child it doesn’t seem all that pointless to me. And if they were kinder to us when we tried to raise these concerns, they might have a better shot at being included, but every time we try and hold meetings, raise questions, start a debate or just vocalise our opinions on the matter this is what we’re met with. Every day they demonstrate why women need single sex spaces. They don’t make us feel safe in their presence when we’re fully dressed, how do they think we feel with our pants down, at our most exposed.
Unlike the likes of Eddie Izzard, I cannot change my shoes and opt out of being a woman, because being a woman is not a costume one can take off and put back on again. We don’t get that choice. Biology chose for us all a long time ago. And facts don’t care about your feelings.
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Author: Jen Wallington
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