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Teen DC sharing a room on a school trip with DC of opposite sex

(63 Posts)
TeenTimesTwo Mon 12-Mar-18 19:29:08

I am hoping not to be shouted at for this, but this topic is being discussed elsewhere in respect to girl guides and I think it is important for secondary trips. I suspect that some people here don't frequent AIBU or the other relevant boards.

Girl guiding have changed their rules to say that a boy who feels he is a girl can join guides and then go on camping trips sharing tents with other guides without any of the other guides parents being informed their DDs aren't in single sex tents . The boy does not need to have been seen by a doctor or having undergone any formal counselling. He just needs to 'self-id'.

If this can happen in girl guides it could happen in secondary school trips too, couldn't it? I can't say I would be happy if my 13/14/15yo was sharing with a boy, even if he felt confused over his gender/sexuality. You may think this would never happen, but I wouldn't have thought guides would allow it, so who knows.

There is a petition regarding asking the government to consult with women's groups before enshrining this 'self-identification' right into law. . Note this isn't about stopping people going through counselling / treatment to help their body fit their sense of who they are. It is about considering the impact on girls (and women) if boys and men can just 'declare' themselves to be the opposite of their biology (and of course vice versa).

If you want to sign please do, if you don't want to, then fine. There are loads of other threads elsewhere for in depth discussion. I just want to ensure that parents of teens in education are aware.

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MrsFogi Mon 12-Mar-18 19:36:43

I think schools would need to be very careful because they need to balance their safeguarding duties to all the children. For a start it would run contrary to NSPCC guidelines to be mixing sexes in sleeping accommodation.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 12-Mar-18 19:41:32

You would think so wouldn't you MrsFogi . But then you would think that for the Girl Guides too ...

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MedusaBadHairDay Mon 12-Mar-18 20:55:01

This whole self id is a minefield

Globetrotter100 Mon 12-Mar-18 20:58:48

Signed. Thank you for sharing OP

MedusaBadHairDay Mon 12-Mar-18 21:13:51

I’ve read a lot of the other threads on this and what is in the news, if you question it you get called a bigot and anti-trans. It’s good to have a healthy debate and to raise concerns that affect both sides of the story. But I have to say I’m concerned by how quickly things are changing and how it will affect those who are vulnerable.

titchy Mon 12-Mar-18 22:22:54

* For a start it would run contrary to NSPCC guidelines to be mixing sexes in sleeping accommodation.*

No it doesn't mrsfogi. The NSPCC has swallowed hook line and sinker Mermaid and GI's view and think there's nothing wrong with that.

BringOnTheScience Mon 12-Mar-18 23:07:49

There is too much fear that such a boy-to-girl teen is doing this for dubious reasons. If a child, especially a teen, has decided to transition, they don't want to be sharing rooms that make them uncomfortable. They will be far more aware of this than their potential room/tent mates.

Teen boys don't decide to pretend to be girls just so that they can share a room/tent. It takes immense bravery to transition. They will face frequent hatred, fear and abuse.

I know that this is not the prevalent MN view... but I stand by it.

- Our daughters are not under threat.
- My Brownie unit will continue to welcome all comers.
- My DCs, who are both in the LGBTQIA+ community, will have the full support of their Mama Bear... as will any other child.

NB - I may choose to answer reasonable questions in response to this but I will ignore ill-informed attacks on my position.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 08:11:07

Science The petition is just about women's groups being consulted.

I don't particularly mind about the reason why a boy teen would feel he is a girl. It absolutely doesn't have to be for 'dubious' reasons at all.

But school groups are currently separated by sex in accommodation. I don't think a school (or guides) should be able to override that basic safeguarding without at least a discussion with the girls involved and their parents (which is what girl guides are effectively saying they will do).

Now it may be that in particular cases I wouldn't mind, but I sure as hell would want to be given the option to mind!

If the boy in question doesn't want to share with other boys (why?) why should girls rights be overridden without asking them or their parents so he can share with girls? (Sex specific pronouns used for clarity.)

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Allthecoolkids Tue 13-Mar-18 08:17:29

This is a watershed moment.

titchy Tue 13-Mar-18 09:19:20

Science your viewpoint is solely that of the trans person. You have completely and utterly ignored the feelings of girls.

Whether the boy transitioned for nefarious reasons is irrelevant. What is relevant is that we teach girls that it's ok to say no to someone to a male body encroaching on their space. No to unwanted cuddles from Uncle Dave. No to the touchy-feely gym coach. No to the boy at school who twangs our bra strap and looks up our skit. THAT is safeguarding for life.

And you're happy to tell your Brownies to ignore all of that because HIS feelings are more important. Shame on you.

MrsMcGarry Tue 13-Mar-18 09:24:45

No it's not OK for us to tell girls it's OK to say no to someone with a male body encroaching on their space. In the same way as it's not OK for men to tell women they can't encroach on theirs.

What we need to be telling girls is that it's Ok to say no to ANYBODY encroaching on their space, regardless of the way they present or what's in their pants.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 09:52:31

MrsMcGarry I agree that no one should encroach on people's personal spaces.

But also I respect the fact that many girls do not like to get changed in front of boys (and probably vice versa). Which is why many (most?) primary schools instigate sex separated changing for PE from around y4/y5.

If girls (or their parents) feel uncomfortable changing in front of a boy, or sleeping in the same room as one, why should that boy's rights (to say he prefers being in the girls space rather than the boys) trump the rights of the girls? If the boy doesn't want to be with the other boys then a solution needs to be found. But that solution doesn't need to be putting him in with the girls without consulting them or their parents.

Similarly if a girl preferred to be with the boys. Why should her rights trump those of the boys?

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MsBeaujangles Tue 13-Mar-18 09:53:51

I think that thinking of this as a trans issue is unhelpful. Whilst trans kids are caught up in it, so are children who have been abused, who have any kind of body dysmorphia, those with self esteem issues (especially those relating to coping with body change during puberty)

The key issue is fro us to carefully consider when and where we think it is important to differentiate by sex and when are where we think it is important to differentiate by gender.

My view is that it is never appropriate to separate children or to treat them differently because of gender and we should limit when we do so by sex.

@BringOnTheScience. Are you against all types of sex segregation? If we are going to allow male bodies young people into spaces designated for female bodied YP and vice versa, why segregate in the first place. Why not just have mixed sex arrangements?

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 10:03:56

My view is that it is never appropriate to separate children or to treat them differently because of gender and we should limit when we do so by sex.

I think this is a good point. And we have come along way in the past 50 years. When I was infant school age, the boys did woodwork and the girls did sewing. That wouldn't happen now. Women weren't permitted to do certain jobs. Equal pay had only just become law. When I was in my first job we used to go bowling. I remember my Mum saying don't be too good because the guys won't like it hmm.

But biology is biology. People do feel self conscious of their bodies and often don't want to change in front of people with different body parts. And also to put it baldly there is only one sex that can get pregnant, and it needs the other sex to achieve it.

If people want to challenge gender stereotyping then I'm right behind them. But not at the expense of doing away with separate sex spaces where many people feel vulnerable. And certainly not for teens on school trips or guides whilst camping.

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athingthateveryoneneeds Tue 13-Mar-18 10:13:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 17:54:30

If anyone doesn't think this could really be happening in the Girl Guides, there is a thread started by the aptly named @AgnesBadenPowell which has more details. clicky link to thread

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TERFragetteCity Tue 13-Mar-18 18:09:19

There is too much fear that such a boy-to-girl teen is doing this for dubious reasons

You are so right. I've never met a teenage boy even slightly interested in getting into teenage girls' knickers.

Oh hang on...

AgnesBadenPowell Tue 13-Mar-18 18:46:50

Hi @TeenTimesTwo thanks for the heads up.

I would recommend that anyone with a DD in GirlGuiding or who believes that the NSPCC will back parents who are concerned about mixed sex accommodation head over to the linked thread.

From my perspective as a leader, the risk of sexual activity between a trans girl and girl is a remote but serious concern, as the outcome could be catastrophic. I think we would also do well to remember that gender identity does not indicate sexual orientation - a trans girl is not necessarily a gay male.

My most pressing concerns are around girlguiding unilaterally deciding that GG has always been a single gender organisation; around the endorsement of gender stereotypes that GG has done so much to fight over the past 100 years and that GG’s own research shows is damaging to girls; plus the fact that the trans child’s dignity, privacy and choice is put above that of all other children present. I will not stand by and let an 12 year old girl struggling with her first periods and the usual embarrassment that comes with puberty be labelled a transphobe for not wanting to share accommodation with a biological boy. I will not stand by and let that girl feel like she either has to give up her boundaries or leave girlguiding.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 18:53:35

I am concerned about the implications of the GG decision.

To me if the GG feel that their decision is right, what is to stop secondary schools from making a similar decision regarding school residential trips.

I feel parents and children should be informed / consulted before an opposite sex child is put in accommodation with them, and if they are not happy then alternative arrangements made. I do not feel the rights/desires of a trans child should override those of other children and their parents.

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ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 13-Mar-18 18:59:55

I’ve signed this. It’s crucial.

MrsMcGarry Tue 13-Mar-18 19:10:20

So AgnesBadenPowell - do you also think that every parent should be informed if one of your guides came out to you as female? Would you have the same concerns about a lesbian guide sharing accomodation with straight female guides?

Surely your safeguarding procedures should look at each child and each situation as an individual set of risks? Nobody is suggesting taht you stop doing this - if you have genuine concerns about the behaviour of a trans child you should be allowed to bring that up, just as you would if you had genuine concerns about the behaviour of a cis child. Base your assesment on the risk of them acting like a dick, not on whether they were born with one.

MrsMcGarry Tue 13-Mar-18 19:11:02

Sorry - that should say came out to you as lesbian.

Evalina Tue 13-Mar-18 19:11:42

Already happening in a state secondary age school:

"Gordon's School in West End is drawing up plans to accommodate transgender pupils.

The state-run boarding school, which accepts children aged 11-18, will allow pupils to wear the uniform of the gender they identify as, be addressed by a different name or pronoun and use gender-neutral toilets.

They will also be allowed to change which boarding house they sleep in, to reflect their gender identity."

TERFragetteCity Tue 13-Mar-18 19:13:38

So AgnesBadenPowell - do you also think that every parent should be informed if one of your guides came out to you as female? Would you have the same concerns about a lesbian guide sharing accomodation with straight female guides?

Lesbians don't tend to rape women. Men, including teenage boys - have been known to. Hope that helps.

[Surely that is the fucking point?]

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