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.