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Is it legal for a man to use the women's toilet in England? Scotland?

(188 Posts)
SerciteEland Mon 15-Jan-18 17:31:43

If not, can someone please point me to where I can find text of the law regulating this? I've tried searching here to no avail:

I was always under the impression that it WAS illegal for a man to enter the women's room but now I'm not so sure and it seems a rather hard thing to search for.

I assume it must be since apparently a reading of the 2010 Equality Act has been invoked to allow transgender women to use the women's room.

But I can't seem to find the original law prohibiting men from being in the ladies'.

Further, I've only really started to pay attention to the trans issue within the last few years (first as an ally from 2011-2014 and thereafter becoming progressively more and more gender critical after hitting peak trans in 2014/15) and I somehow entirely missed that it's now apparently legal for trans women to be in the women's bathrooms. Does anyone have links to good information on how this happened (focused on the UK)? And have there been any documented abuses of it so far?

IrkThePurist Mon 15-Jan-18 18:18:45

There is no law prohibiting anyone from using the toilet of the opposite sex. I've seen men take their kids into the women's to change them or help them, and no one minds. I've used the mens in an emergency and it makes men uncomfortable.

One problem is that if a man goes in to act inappropriately (eg to act out a fetish, masturbate, or assault someone), someone has to make a complaint.
Now all he has to do is say he identifies as trans and it becomes a legal hot potato.

Another problem is that having nothing in law means in some cases staff have to decide who gets to use which room. I dont think thats fair on them.

This is the advice being given out at the moment;
''The best way to be protected against discrimination under the 2010 Equality act is to go to your GP and have a
discussion about how you are considering transitioning, you don't have to start the process to be protected once
you've had such a conversation.''

It only mentions mens rights. It doesnt mention the rights of women who can only use a women only bathroom.
Because trans women dont care about them.

This is the guidance the government equalities office provides on this issue:

All it says is that you cannot stop a trans person using a unisex facility, which is reasonable.

EamonnWright Mon 15-Jan-18 18:22:50

If you had told me 10 years ago that there was a group of people campaigning to allow men into women's places like changing rooms prisons etc and they had the support of political parties I would have chalked you down as being off your rocker.

Deathraystare Thu 18-Jan-18 19:21:06

Well, let's hope they enjoy queuing!

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 19-Jan-18 12:51:18

There is no law prohibiting anyone from using the toilet of the opposite sex. I've seen men take their kids into the women's to change them or help them, and no one minds

Actually, I have seen this and I do mind very much.

Styrla Sun 21-Oct-18 20:15:16

I completely agree. I had the misfortune of opening the cubical door to a bloke putting something in the bin right outside the door and scared me half to death! He was like oh I’m just helping my wife change the baby. But I’m not being funny there were parent rooms and baby changing facilities around the corner they could have both gone in together without making me and a load of other women feel uncomfortable. A women’s toilet is a safe place where we can pee, pop and change sanitary products in private without worrying that a stranger of the opposite sex is around.

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Sun 21-Oct-18 20:26:29

The law doesnt say anything as far as i know

I dont think men should be in the ladies loo for any reason, as ive said before personally i dont have a problem with transwomen...but i do have a problem with men taking the piss

No pun intended

Imnobody4 Sun 21-Oct-18 20:29:29

Is common law any use here? I have never had any expectation of men in Women's toilets my whole life. Same for my mother. It might not be actual law but then it's been so accepted I doubt it's been challenged.

merrymouse Sun 21-Oct-18 20:39:45

No laws about who can and can’t enter a toilet. Just laws about what you can’t do when you are there.

scotsheather Sun 21-Oct-18 20:49:27

Yes is the short answer. A lot of people don't like that fact. Until recently it seemed a self regulatory thing - men use mens and women use womens without question.

Farahilda Sun 21-Oct-18 20:52:35

There has never been legislation about this, and common law (ie caselaw, precedent is AFAIK silent about. it too.

However other laws cover crimes (and can cover antisocial behaviour) wherever it takes place.

MrsAird Sun 21-Oct-18 21:08:07

The way the law currently stands in England is this.

It is not illegal for a man to go into the Ladies.

It would normally be illegal for the owner of the building to stop a man doing something that a woman can do, eg go into a certain set of toilets, because that would be discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
But in certain circumstances, such as toilets/changing rooms etc, it is permitted for the owner of the building to allow women in and keep men out, because they are allowed to have single-sex services in these limited circumstances (Equality Act Schedule 3).

As a result, women currently can feel confident to challenge a man who comes into the Ladies because the owner of the building appears to have provided a single-sex service, and men should not be coming in.

The position gets clouded by three things.

Firstly, it is illegal to discriminate against a transgender person on the grounds of their transgender characteristic This is often used by TRA to say that transgender people must be able to access any areas they want, otherwise it is discrimination. This was the argument being used in the BBC piece that the OP linked to. But this is wrong. Discrimination happens when you treat a person worse than you would do if they did not have that characteristic. So in our present example, a man who is transgender, who is being stopped from entering the Ladies, is not being stopped due to his transgender status, it is because he is a man. He is being treated the same as a man who is not transgender. This is permitted due to single-sex services, as above. It is not discrimination and it is not against the law.

Secondly, a person who has obtained a Gender Rights Certificate must be treated for all purposes as if he/she was the opposite sex. What does this mean for the single-sex services? It has not been tested in law. On the face of it, it means that anybody with a GRC can go into single-sex services designed for the opposite sex and nobody can stop them. This is why self-ID is such a big deal, because it means that anyone can get a GRC.

Thirdly, real life. In practice, nobody asks for documentation before going into toilets. Anybody can walk in. But if a person is obviously a man, at the moment women can shout and complain and challenge them. If self-ID is introduced, those women who challenge and complain may find themselves being sued, being arrested, or at the very least, being chucked out of the venue, or being told that they are transphobic and must accept this male person.
The big problem is that so many large organisations have fallen for the lies about what the law currently says, and have changed their policies to say that self identified gender is what matters.

wingwarbler Sun 21-Oct-18 21:08:47

It was based on respect though wasn't it. For women, privacy, dignity and for social conventions, other people's opinions. For not wanting to be accused of being a pervert by being a man seen using the women's loos. Not having to have laws to make sure people respect other people's spaces, people just did. These are all good things.

Now the trans ideology and genderists are saying (men) do you what you like, you don't need respect, or to consider anyone else, only yourself. What are women going to do? Complain? Let them. We'll also make laws to make sure you can force yourself amongst unwilling women.

How is this progress? It isn't.

Qgd2019 Sun 25-Aug-19 01:43:53

I am actually a transwoman and however you wanna insult me and people like me over petty nonsense is your problem. Males and females use your bathroom at home. If someone wants to sexually assault people I doubt they would go through the hassle of pretending to be trans to do it. They'd just sexually assault women and kids in the street, This is transphobia. We just wanna pee. Leave us alone.

DustyGrapevine Sun 25-Aug-19 02:01:03

I am so fed up with the argument that these interlopers just want to be left alone to urinate in peace.

I feel like I've read it a million times and it's starting to make me very angry indeed.


Get it?

We shouldn't have to fight and argue and defend and push-back against the discourtesy of newcomers barging in without considering our prior claim and our communally agreed privacy.

This isn't just about the law, but about outsiders deciding to try to overturn social and cultural norms without any thought for he feelings of those already there.

We don't want you there. Leave US in peace to go to the loo you bunch of spoilt toddlers.

Fraggling Sun 25-Aug-19 02:11:17

There aren't laws about bogs.

It was a commonly understood social thing.

Which has been eroded.

Nowhere to hide, now.

Fraggling Sun 25-Aug-19 02:14:51

I think that there is a lack of understanding of the range of troubling behaviour that girls and women are subjected to, that is not illegal. That is the gap here.

Lollygaggles Sun 25-Aug-19 02:17:58

Thank you MrsAird,

I wish we could sticky your post somewhere on here, so that more women see it and we can feel confident in protecting our own spaces.
I will print it out.

AnotherAdultHumanFemale Sun 25-Aug-19 02:36:49

Really interesting thread, thanks to those who shared valuable information.

I find it amazing that some people still can't see that if any man can call themselves a woman through self ID and access women's spaces, then abusive males will (and already do) use that as a very easy loophole to get access to women and girls. This doesn't mean we think all trans people are abusers, it means we have an issue with self ID.

Women have had an element of safety for decades by having our own toilets. If any man can enter them, that safety is lost. A lot of women, especially disabled and religious women, for fear of encountering a man in the toilets, will just stay at home rather than go to the gym, go shopping etc in case they need to use a public toilet. This therefore has huge implications for the rights and liberties of women - it effectively erodes and removes them, in favour of men who want to use our toilets.

I find it strange when people genuinely can't see the issues here, which are glaringly obvious.

AncientLights Sun 25-Aug-19 02:47:10

Some people are willfully blind AdultHuman. Anyone who writes stupidity such as the 'men use your bathroom at home' line and thinks they are making a valid argument is simply showing they have no grasp of the realities of women's lives. Or maybe they know they are being gf.

ShortCircuit181 Sun 25-Aug-19 02:53:09

I've seen men take their kids into the women's to change them or help them, and no one minds. I've used the mens in an emergency and it makes men uncomfortable.

I'm guessing the reason for said men's unease is because many of them will have their genitalia out whilst using the urinals, unlike in the women's where everybody has their modesty protected by a cubicle.

That said, I do know more than a couple of men who've admitted to sneaking into the ladies at work when they need to drop a deuce as it's so much cleaner than the men's.

ShortCircuit181 Sun 25-Aug-19 02:55:33

You shouldn't really be using the men's though unless you're happy for them to do the same.

GirlDownUnder Sun 25-Aug-19 03:08:38

Males and females use your bathroom at home.

Eh? That’ll be my family and friends then? I’m sure my bathroom at home isn’t a public one? Or did I miss a memo?

Datun Sun 25-Aug-19 03:12:40

This is transphobia. We just wanna pee. Leave us alone.

Don't be silly. If you need to pee, use the men's please.

NotBadConsidering Sun 25-Aug-19 03:33:35

I doubt they would go through the hassle of pretending to be trans to do it. They'd just sexually assault women and kids in the street, This is transphobia. We just wanna pee

Tell that to the two child victims of Katie Dolatowski, sexually assaulted in toilets.

Also, weird to resurrect a Zombie thread to to express outrage. hmm

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