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Biological men in woman only spaces

(206 Posts)
BlueRuby Fri 17-Sep-21 12:41:07

I was in a public womens toilet the other day and a couple of young women started talking to me over the basins and hand dryers. They were talking about men "self identifying" as women, and being able to use women only spaces, not that we have many safe spaces, but they mentioned changing rooms and toilets. I said I didn't like the idea of trans men, particularly men self identifying as women (so NOT those who have been through the whole surgical transitioning process) being allowed in those spaces. I am appalled that a man can decide to throw on a skirt one day and go to womens changing rooms and toilets. It is a risk. I genuinely sympathise with those who are going through the transitioning process - it must be hard to feel that you've been born into the wrong body. But I think the trans community has a very loud voice, despite being a tiny percentage of the population, because they are men and have been socialised, as men, to believe they should be heard. Their "rights" and "freedoms" seem to be regarded as more important than the rights and freedoms of biological women, who have had to fight for every little step forward. A biological man can never be a biological woman because you can't change DNA. Going back to the two young women, they were surprised when I said I didn't want biological men in women only spaces, and said they hadn't thought of the safety aspect. This is a difficult subject - ranging from the intensely personal to international sports - which I believe needs to be discussed openly and honestly, with no bullying to silence people. I'm pretty fed up with politicans, "influencers" and commentators jumping on the trans bandwagon and telling me my rights to safety and privacy don't matter. I fully expect some vitriol from some people, but women's rights are being eroded and we need to think about this.

vegansrock Fri 17-Sep-21 12:46:19

You are right but the trans lobby has a louder voice than women’s voices.

maddyone Fri 17-Sep-21 12:49:31

I agree that women’s rights are being eroded. I think men who have had the operation should certainly be allowed into women only spaces, and probably men who are living as women, taking hormone treatment and wearing women’s clothing. The difficult is that some men could choose to decide to be a woman and identify as a woman, and without treatment could decide to use women only spaces, and this can put women into danger. It’s a tricky situation.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 17-Sep-21 12:51:00

I personally think men have had a rough ride the last few years. Don’t know about trans men though, because presumably they’re women in all but how they look.

It’s a difficult one isn’t it? So much about it everywhere now. I can’t say I would be particularly bothered about the public toilet aspect. I do tend to avoid them anyway, just for hygiene reasons. Would it worry you to think there may be gay women in them?

I think as regards safety, you wouldn’t necessarily be safer with a woman than a man.

I don’t especially feel women’s rights are threatened, but I’m sure someone will disagree.

Mollygo Fri 17-Sep-21 13:09:14

BlueRuby you have re-opened a can of worms that’s already been well discussed. I’m surprised it’s got as far as 4 answers before you are bombarded with trans rights comments. I’ll watch and wait.

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Sep-21 13:15:32

It's not really transwemen that are the danger to women, it is men pretending to be transwomen. Which they will if self identifying becomes law.

lemongrove Fri 17-Sep-21 13:24:26

The leader of the Lib Dems was on radio 4 this morning and thinks that there should be no safe spaces just for women (biological females) so there you have it, don’t vote for them.

Doodledog Fri 17-Sep-21 13:46:50


It's not really transwemen that are the danger to women, it is men pretending to be transwomen. Which they will if self identifying becomes law.

I agree with this, and with vegansrock's comment about men's voices being louder than women's.

I think it is a nonsense to say that you wouldn't necessarily be safer with a woman than a man (and to suggest that gay women shouldn't use female toilets is just idiotic). Most men are, on the whole, significantly stronger than most women, and biological men are far more likely to commit crimes of a violent or sexual nature than women. Gay women are biologically female and pose no more of a 'danger' (danger of what?) than straight women.

As Mollygo says, this topic has been discussed many times before, and it is a matter of time before we get lectures on waves of feminism, accusations of being stuck in the 70s and reminded that we don't know what is under anyone's clothes and that transpeople have been around for ages.

All of that is true, but until now transwomen haven't been legally able to access female spaces, and until now we were all agreed on what being 'female' actually means. Gender and sex are different - gender is a social construct (ie we teach and learn what is appropriate male and female behaviour), but sex is a biological fact.

Being able to claim to cross sex means far more than someone using the wrong facilities. It means that research into sex-based inequalities is rendered useless. Read Invisible Women by Caroline Criado to see how many things use the male as default - from the size of iPhones to crash test dummies. If men define as women that sort of thing will never improve, and nor will government policies about things like gender pay gaps or pensions. Men can identify as women and insist on being housed in female prisons, or join female groups and access changing rooms and swimming sessions designed for women-only access.

It is a minefield. Many people (myself included) are supportive of those who are seeking to live as women and have gender dysphoria, but not of the right to self-identify and be granted automatic access to women's rights and spaces, whereas TRAs (trans rights activists) insist on No Debate, and call anyone who questions their insistence that 'women' means 'anyone who says they are such' is transphobic and must be opposed at all costs.

winterwhite Fri 17-Sep-21 13:47:11

So are the Government and Tory run councils supporting women's safe spaces? I must have missed something.

lemongrove Fri 17-Sep-21 13:49:32

I don’t know Winter but I think there are discussions and divisions about it.
The Lib Dems are actively embracing the change though!

Chewbacca Fri 17-Sep-21 13:56:14

Doodledog @ 13.46, you're absolutely right. No winterwhite, the quest to eradicate natal women appears to be cross party, particularly in Scotland but slowly and surely moving South.

The irony of the Lib Dems statement on Radio 4 earlier today coincides with a statement issued by Priti Patel today: Tackling violence against women and girls should be as much of a priority as countering terrorism, a police watchdog has said. A report was commissioned by Home Secretary Priti Patel after the murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year.
According to official statistics, in the year ending March 2020 there were:
An estimated 1.6 million female victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales
618,000 female victims of sexual assault
892,000 female victims of stalking

Who thinks that removing the few remaining "safe spaces for women" will reduce these statistics?

Bridgeit Fri 17-Sep-21 16:55:35

Perhaps now is the time to add ‘ spaces ‘ ‘ toilets etc for those who identify as ‘non specific’ or the undecided.
Unfortunately public toilets rarely feel safe , especially at night or in less busy places.

maddyone Fri 17-Sep-21 17:22:11

Excellent post Doodledog. I agree with everything you’ve said.

varian Fri 17-Sep-21 18:49:23

Why don't we just look at the evidence and see whether other countries have experienced any problems as a result of enacting this legislation?

Galaxy Fri 17-Sep-21 19:04:40

Yes because Mermaids are well known for their accurate reporting. The utter sexism and stereotypes that have been used by their founder alone is enough to raise concerns. There are numerous reports of incidents in other countries, have you seen the recent case in Anerica which is causing them to look again at their prison policy. Please stop telling women that these things arent happening, it's not kind.

Shelbel Fri 17-Sep-21 19:10:48


You are right but the trans lobby has a louder voice than women’s voices.

They are certainly loud and demanding but I'm sure they are still a small minority.

After all the years of seeing women fight for equality and their rights, to see them having to compete against a masculine build trans 'woman' in sport is very saddening. I'm thinking of an article I read recently about a women's boxing match between a woman and a trans woman. The woman was almost killed by being choked in the fight. She didn't have the equal strength.

I think there Is a problem with allowing what are biologically men into women's spaces and especially as the OP said, those who have self identified.

To me it makes the fight for womens rights pointless. Also, I refuse to be referred to as 'Cis'. Its a name they made up to further their own agenda.

It's time people spoke out against this and women should drown out that small minority.

Rosie51 Fri 17-Sep-21 19:12:03

Well varian California has the self ID law, did you miss everything about the traditional Korean WiSpa? A "transwoman" went into the obligatory naked women's section and sat on the spa side with a partially erect penis inches away from naked women and girls. It has since been discovered this is a convicted sex offender. This was not the first time this man had done so. Still what's the debate, be kind, it never happens.

Aveline Fri 17-Sep-21 19:45:02

Being female is more than a feeling.

Chewbacca Fri 17-Sep-21 19:48:00

varian are you seriously referring us to Mermaids for unbiased reporting? That's like referring us the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre for a completely unbiased opinion on whether a man with a penis, who wears a frock, should be housed with vulnerable battered women.

welbeck Fri 17-Sep-21 19:50:47

i saw part of that ?mixed martial arts contest, it was hard to watch.
and what kind of a person who was formerly a male soldier and MMA fighter, would want to get into a ring with a born female and fight her so ferociously.
it was dangerous.

Callistemon Fri 17-Sep-21 19:58:37


BlueRuby you have re-opened a can of worms that’s already been well discussed. I’m surprised it’s got as far as 4 answers before you are bombarded with trans rights comments. I’ll watch and wait.

It might have been well-discussed on here and elsewhere but it is an ongoing problem.

Doodledog has expressed it all well (again) but it needs to be reiterated.
Women's rights are being eroded.

lemongrove They have just lost my vote.

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Sep-21 20:00:12

To add to the post from Rosie51 about the spa in California.
First we were told that there never had been a man in the spa, that the women who complained had made it up.
Then we were told that it was a transwoman in the spa, so her penis, was not intended to intimidate, and that the children who noticed it were being rude.

But it fact the man was just a common or garden flasher, with previous form, who saw an opportunity to intimidate women and girls because he wanted to.

This is bound to happen here if self id is introduced with no qualifiers. Instead of pretending that this will not happen, isn't it better to try and work out a way to cope. The law as it stands here in the UK could have given the staff at the spa in America a reason to eject the man, but with self ID they felt unable to do that because he claimed to be a woman.,

trisher Fri 17-Sep-21 20:07:57

It has been reported recently that butch lesbians are experiencing criticism and negative remarks when they use women's loos. Nothing to do with anti-trans publicity or things like the OP of course. Which I very much doubt ever happened. Still who cares if women who don't conform with the accepted norms of femininity have problems.

trisher Fri 17-Sep-21 20:11:18

By the way self ID has never meant for trans people just the chance to decide you are a different gender. They just want a simpler legal process which isn't as expensive and doesn't require a medical diagnosis. It would still need some legal input and a GRC.

Doodledog Fri 17-Sep-21 20:11:45

I care. But I see that as a different issue. Conflating it with trans rights isn’t helpful.