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Which women-only spaces do you use, and how would their removal affect you?

(162 Posts)
catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 14:59:55

I am new to this. I’m struggling to think of any, personally.

At the swimming pool, I use communal showers with my costume on, then change in a cubicle. At the gym, I tend to just walk home in my sweaty clothes rather than use the communal shower/changing area - I’d love for cubicles to be put in and change in the toilets if I have to. I used to change in changing rooms at an old gym but felt uncomfortable.

I don’t use the women-only slot at the doctors or the pool (though would if the timing suited me better). I have private healthcare so had a private room last time I had an operation; prior to that I’ve had an uneventful stay in a mixed ward (with the exception of a children’s ward with a violent eight year old boy). I’ve never been in prison. Some of my gym classes tend to be women only, but men can, and sometimes do join. I’ve been in a book club with mostly women and one man. My doctors are male, including a gynaecologist. Didn’t go to boarding school; did stay in an allocated all-girls room on school trips, but an allocated mixed room on uni trips.

I do use women’s toilets but have no issue with using gender neutral ones and prefer cubicles with their own mirror and sink. At hostels I’ve always paid for private rooms because I wouldn’t want to share with men or women (and if it came to it, would choose whichever was quietest/emptiest).

Am I missing anywhere?

ladyballs Wed 07-Feb-18 15:17:50

I've recently spent 10 nights in hospital. I was very sick, in extreme pain and weak. I felt very vulnerable and was grateful to be on a female ward.

MiMi78 Wed 07-Feb-18 15:18:55

Am similar to you OP, in that a lot of spaces I use are gender neutral.
But in my Sport, if men identifying as women took part, it has potential to harm them due to men generally being stronger and taller than us.
My role involves providing a sex segregated service, which would have to change, I think unfairly on the existing users, and has potential to be very dangerous to them if accessed by a predatory male.

furcoatnaeknickers Wed 07-Feb-18 15:28:42

I would definitely want same sex as me clinician for smear etc, and single sex wards, as having been in hospital before when I was very ill I know how vulnerable I would have felt with a man in the next bed.
My dd is sporty and if she suddenly has to compete against boys that’s a huge issue. Also if school follows Scottish government proposals she could end up sharing with a boy on a residential trip without my knowledge (if the boy identified as female)
Huge safety concerns with that

Not an issue now, but with aging parents I would hate them to have a male bodied career providing intimate care should they need it

And I’m horrified that male sex offenders are being moved into women’s prisons. It doesn’t matter that I’m not in prison myself, as an educated woman with a voice it’s my duty to speak out in support of those less able to do so

UpstartCrow Wed 07-Feb-18 15:29:32

Hospital wards.
Psychiatric wards. I have PTSD after I was attacked and have been hospitalised twice as a result.
Rape Crisis.
Smear tests and mammograms.
Changing rooms.

I havent had to use a DV shelter but if I did I would only use one that was women only.

I'm not a bigot. I dont hate men. I do have PTSD.
There should now be 3 options IMO; men only, women only, and gender neutral.

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Wed 07-Feb-18 15:29:35

Toilets. I appreciate not having to share with males.

Changing rooms.

My ability to ask for a female for medical examinations.

catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 15:30:02

Is that because you felt a man would be more likely to hurt you ladyballs ? I do understand that.

Should have added, I don’t play any combat sports or any sports to a competitive level. I played county hockey as a teenager on a mixed team.

What sport do you play MiMi ? It seems in some sports (eg roller derby) trans people are fully accepted already. I have a big, big problem with transwomen in competitive sports like the Olympics, though.

BarrackerBarmer Wed 07-Feb-18 15:31:45

Swimming pool. My daughter and I use it. Communal changing rooms and showers there, and full nudity.
Smear test. I expect a female nurse.
Menopause clinic. I'm not going to discuss meneopause specifics as comfortably with anyone who is never going to experience it on account of being a bloke.
Feminist groups. I expect to be able to meet with other women without being forced to admit men.
Hospital wards. I would expect same sex.
And lots of informal arrangements, like a recent amateur theatre show I was in where the men changed in one room and the women in another.

catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 15:34:45

I don’t think sex offenders in prison should be sharing facilities unsupervised with anyone.

I do agree in scenarios where there’s mental health implications or prior abuse, same sex facilities should be provided (sex, not gender. AND trans-only places).

Am I unusual in not really caring about shared toilets and changing rooms, if there’s cubicles? Or not caring about having a man for an intimate examination? (They always have someone else in the room too, presumably for their own protection too.)

TimesNewRoman Wed 07-Feb-18 15:37:01

Changing rooms at Gym/ sports place
Changing rooms in shops

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Wed 07-Feb-18 15:38:39

cat I also don’t mind the toilets much as long as it’s proper enclosed cubicles as you say.

I don’t mind having a man if necessary but I would prefer a woman. It makes me feel more at ease. So I appreciate being able to ask for one.

UpstartCrow Wed 07-Feb-18 15:38:39

Your 'solution' of safe spaced for abuse survivors is not acceptable.

OutyMcOutface Wed 07-Feb-18 15:38:42

Communal changing rooms-would be uniclined to use them with my children but would be fine alone and there are cubicles available so I could use those with my children. Loos are always in cubicles. Showers at gyms I frequent are also in cubicles. Private health insurance as well. So it wouldn't really effect me now. However I did go to a girls school as a child and it was absolutely wonderful especially during the teenage years where being with your own sex is actually quite liberating (in comparison to when you are an adult and have gotten over the whole puberty thing). I don't think I would be as open about and accepting of my body if I hadn't had that environment in my formative years. I would think it a bit sad if I had daughters who didn't have the same option.

stoneagefertilitydoll Wed 07-Feb-18 15:39:48

I go swimming at a hotel spa - the changing rooms, and a little spa area with Steam room are women only, and it's lovely.

I've also used gyms with shared sauna/steam rooms, and given the choice of being around half-dressed women, and half dressed men, I'll take the women - they don't have loud guffawing chats with each other, they don't take up all the spaces on the benches (and move up if they need to, without being asked) - it's just more harmonious.

BertrandRussell Wed 07-Feb-18 15:40:44

I want to be able to step out of the shower at the swimming pool into a space where there are no penises- and I want my dd to be able to do the same. I want my frail vulnerable elderly mother to receive intimate care from female bodied people. Ditto women in rape crisis centers and women’s aid

I want girls and women not to have to compete in sport against people who have previously trained as boys or men.

I do not want programmers designed to redress the under representation of women to be taken by people who previously had the advabntage of living as men.

I want crime and other statistics not to be confused by the labelling of crimes of violence in particular by transwomen to be classified as female crimes.

And, more than anything else, if any of the things I listed are going to happen, I WANT A PROPER EXPLANATION WHY!!

SpartacusReality Wed 07-Feb-18 15:48:00

I have used communal changing rooms in both public swimming pools and private gym (as a guest). I would not feel safe or comfortable getting changed with men also there. I probably wouldn't use the pool anymore if that was the only option. And I certainly wouldn't let my DD get changed on her own if there might be men in the changing room.

I prefer seeing a female GP and nurse for anything pregnancy or gynae. I will (and have) see a man if necessary but am much more comfortable with a woman.

I haven't needed to use other female only spaces or request a woman, but some of those situations could come up in future. If I became severely disabled or ill and needed help with intimate care; if I needed the services of a women's refuge. I will endeavour not to commit a crime and go to prison, but if I did, I would still deserve the right to not be housed with men.

catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 15:48:12

Do elaborate, Crow grin

Crime statistics is a big issue for me too. I struggle to explain why though! It feels particularly wrong to have women convicted of a crime that requires a penis.

Presumably health clubs etc which are privately run could have a membership requirement which forbid people from certain areas, just like members’ clubs can forbid women? Right of entry refused and all.

Outy I enjoyed being with teenage girls too, when I was one, but went to a mixed school so it was all at sleepovers etc. Private events can’t be legislated against.

My thought pattern is that a lot of women are aware of women-only spaces being under threat, but they don’t use them, so they don’t care.


UpstartCrow Wed 07-Feb-18 15:53:27

Your thought pattern is not correct. A lot of women have no idea its an issue. It doesn't affect you, and you seem to think its all tres amusing.
I guess it really isnt a big deal to you, but maybe if you had to spend a month on a mixed psychiatric ward you might get it.

I dont think its amusing to make women declare abuse to get access to a space or service we currently have a right to.
Do I have to get a card to carry to declare PTSD? What if I recover, will 'they' take it away? then what if I relapse?

grasspigeons Wed 07-Feb-18 15:55:07

I use toilets and whilst nothing stops a man coming in - its a clear signal to get the pepper spray out and exist quickly as its so unusual.

I have requested a female GP for smear tests and for a lump that was on my labia

I 'use' female only short-lists in that I expect a woman who has suffered the biological disadvantages I have experienced to speak on my behalf as those are the issues that are relevant to me as a woman. If no such woman is placed I feel I have no voice.

my niece swims competitively. I enjoy watching her swim and seeing young women getting the health benefits / camaraderie and status from competing in a sex protected category.

catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 15:58:29

I don’t think it’s “tres amusing” Crow but telling me I’m flat-out wrong without any elaboration isn’t the best way to spark a discussion or influence someone’s opinion.

A lot of women have no idea it’s an issue. But let’s not assume all women who don’t agree with us are uneducated, unaware fools - a lot of women are aware, and don’t care.

Identifying and highlighting the concerns that are the most serious, and affect most women, is a strategy to gain support. Most people are, at heart, self-interested.

busyboysmum Wed 07-Feb-18 15:59:57

I went to an all girls school which really pushed science. I was happy there and had no bad experiences.

I ask for a female doctor always. I expect to get an actual biological woman. I would refuse a smear if given a man or TIM.

At my gym I shower and get changed naked in an open area women only. Again I expect biological women only and would not use if I had to share with men or TIM.

In hospital I would wish to be on a ward for biological women only.

catscan Wed 07-Feb-18 16:01:56

I have never asked for a specific doctor or nurse so I’m not sure of the proceedings. Can you ask for someone else, just if you feel uncomfortable with the person assigned?

bebanjo Wed 07-Feb-18 16:03:01

I've been sending my 11 year old daughter to kingswood camp for a week a year since she was 7. She loves it, sharing a room with 3 other girls.
I've told her she may never go again if they allow boys in the rooms with them.
She is gutted, but does not want to have to share a room with a boy.

AriadneThread Wed 07-Feb-18 16:06:49

I hate unisex toilets and feel really unsafe. Would not sleep in mixed sex hostel dorm, ditto. Imagine that or changing with a load of men. No!

grasspigeons Wed 07-Feb-18 16:08:10

I forgot i'm a guide leader too!
which describes itself as a collective of women and girls empowering each other

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