Meanwhile, in a parallel universe….

feminist

A well-known high street store – a women’s clothes shop – is attracting fierce criticism for not allowing a man dressed up as a woman to enter the changing rooms (yes, that’ll be because there are no changing facilities for men, what with this being a…um….women’s clothes shop).

Said shop is being accused of discriminating against transgendered people because the poor shop assistant had the audacity to prevent a man dressed up as a woman from entering the changing rooms.

This man feels like he’s a woman, he says on YouTube (my answer, as a female, is that you may think you know what it feels like to be a woman, but how do you know for sure?)

To be frank, I am unhappy and uncomfortable with the idea of sharing a changing room with men. This would be especially true if I had my young daughter with me. It would make me feel vulnerable, as well as bloody angry.

Why angry? Because, in this parallel universe, certain people believe that our feelings as females matter less than the feelings of the person who calls himself a woman. Because he thinks of himself as a woman, we – females, that is – are meant to put our discomfort and unease at having to share our changing rooms and toilets with men to one side. We are meant to just put up and shut up. To do otherwise is to be discriminatory. We are told we are discriminating against somebody who is a woman, just like us, or who deserves to be treated as a woman, just like us. But he is not just like us. He is a man. HE might identify as a woman; that doesn’t mean I have to accept this or be damned.

If this were me – if, say, I wanted to buy clothes from Topman (does that still exist?) – I would not demand access to their changing rooms. I’d buy the clothes and take them home and try them on there. I would do this because I have no desire a) to draw attention to myself, or b) to make anybody else feel uncomfortable because of my lifestyle choices. What’s that? Being transgendered is not a lifestyle choice, you say? It’s a condition, a medical condition?

A question: does this medical condition prevent you from taking into consideration the sensibilities of other human beings?

You feel like you are a woman? Why don’t you educate yourself, then, on how women have been oppressed and suppressed and raped and assaulted and attacked and murdered for the simple fact of being female? Why, instead of doing the male thing of trying to take control over us, do you not take a step back, engage with us, attempt to understand our feelings, our fears, our experiences?

Why can you not take the clothes home to try them on there? Is it, perchance, because you have a sense of entitlement? (hmmm, I wonder where you got that from?)

This is not some parallel universe. This is our universe – right here, right now. And it’s just wrong.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for this, It’s good to know I’m not alone.
    Amanda

  2. Maria Hernandež · · Reply

    I agree with most of what you wrote, However i do have a friend who is transsexual and she has lived this way for many years.
    She looks and sounds like you or me, female. she’s had a couple of operations and you honestly wouldn’t know she used to be a guy.

    So my question is would you feel as strongly if *she* was in the changing rooms with you? (i’ve shared bathrooms and other facilities with her before without incident) She has her own hair, her own style, her own business etc etc (she’s a super nice person too).

    I think that they had a problem because they looked like a man (albeit wearing womens clothes) and they sounded like a man. Yes i did see the video on youtube and i agree with you.

    but if you couldn’t tell that a trans-sexual was a guy, would it be an issue? (Sort of ‘what you dont know wont harm you’ type thinking lol)

    x

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comments. I have no doubt at all that your friend is a super nice person, and I don’t have anything against transsexuals per se. The thing which riled me about this particular incident is the sense of entitlement to female spaces. I don’t think that’s reasonable. It comes down to male privilege. It could set a dangerous precedent. What is to stop a man who is a sexual predator, upon hearing that men can now gain access to female changing areas etc purely for stating they are transgender, donning a dress and a wig and claiming to be transgender? What then for our women and girls? There have been times, I am sure, when you have been using public toilets when a woman has brought her son into the female toilet area with her, even though the boy might be old enough to take himself to the toilet? There is a reason for this and the reason is that, unfortunately, some men prey on children and women.

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