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The Man Friday campaign is likely to harm cisgendered women

(341 Posts)
SarahAr Thu 22-Mar-18 18:44:08

Although I applaud the audacity and bravery of the women who decided to identify as men and use the mens' changing room at the Dulwich Leisure Centre, sadly their campaign is misguided and is likely to lead to harm to cisgendered women.

The only law in England and Wales that gives someone who was born male the right to use female spaces, such as changing rooms, is the Equality Act. On the face of it the act only applies to those who propose to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process to reassigned their gender. To understand how it is interpreted though you need to look at the case law. The leading case is Croft v Royal Mail and although it applied to an earlier statute in a slightly different context, it is still good law. This case held that a transwomen would only acquire the right to use the women's toilet at work when she was significantly advanced in her transition.

So the law today does not allow men (or women) to self-id their way into the opposite gender's changing room. And the government has stated that it is not going to change the Equality Act so the law in this area will not change. And as far as I know, no pervert has succeeded in using the Equality Act to access a changing room in the 7 years that the Equality Act 2010 has been law.

The government has announced however that it is considering simplifying the process of changing legal gender under the Gender Recognition Act. However, and this is the crucial point, if a man changes his legal gender to female it does not give him access to female spaces.

There is a myth that with self-identification a man would be allowed to say that he is a women - say on Friday afternoons. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If the process in Ireland is followed a legal instrument - a statutory declaration - has to be filled out in front of a solicitor or other suitably qualified person. And the wording has to say he has a "settled and solemn intention to live in the preferred gender of female for the rest of [his] life". And lying on a statutory declaration in the UK is a criminal offence - punishable with up to 2 years in prison under the Perjury Act.

If a man were to change to his legal gender to female and sneak his way into the women's changing room it would still not prevent him from committing the offences of Voyeurism and Exposure. Both of these offences are drafted in gender neutral terms.

Not only is the Man Friday campaign unnecessary, it is positively harmful. The constant stream of articles in the media saying that men can identify as women on a Friday and use the women's changing rooms have two effects. Firstly, people who work in leisure centres believe this to be the law and stop challenging creepy guys trying to access the women's changing room. Secondly, it gives perverts the idea that they have the legal right to perform perverted acts. (they don't and these acts remain criminal offences)

And this is not just a theoretical analysis - this actually happened in Seattle, Washington. After a prolonged Republican media campaign stating that a new law allowed perverts to access the women's changing room, a man took them at their word and, claiming rights under the new law, decided to change with the women. And the sad thing is that the staff confused by the media coverage did nothing to stop him. But the kicker is that the new law did not allow a man to self-id his way into the women's changing room. And this is not my legal analysis - this is the legal analysis of the Washington State Human Rights Commission.

So in summary women's spaces are not threatened by either the current law or the government's proposed changes. However, if the Man Friday campaign plants the idea into people's minds that men can self-id their way into women's changing rooms, then expect to see perverts take them up on the idea.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 22-Mar-18 18:50:57

Doesn't matter if it's law though. Places are already acting as if it is or they wouldn't have done it in the first place

Girl guides
Top shop

Looking at stats will be pointless. Crimes will be recirded as having been done by women and how many of these crimes are actually reported.

It not being law may not stop a man doing what they would have have done anyway.

But it removes the right to challenge them for being there and getting them removed

If you don't think they are in danger you are very wrong.

SquirrelChaser Thu 22-Mar-18 18:52:37

Why do you say cisgendered women? Surely you mean women?

DamnDeDoubtanceIsSpartacus Thu 22-Mar-18 18:53:04

I must have dreamt it all then, silly old cis headed me!

Self id is already happening and because of emotional blackmail, threats and good old fashioned misogyny people cannot question the ideology.

Go and do your homework and come back.

Stuffofawesome Thu 22-Mar-18 18:53:18

agree problem is changing policy ahead of the law even if it clashes with Equality act.

And cisgendered women are not a thing. We are women

SwearyG Thu 22-Mar-18 18:53:56

I don’t think they want a discussion. That seemed to be a (particularly boring and misguided) sermon.

Don’t feed it.

UpstartCrow Thu 22-Mar-18 18:54:23

There is a myth that with self-identification a man would be allowed to say that he is a women - say on Friday afternoons.
Every time someone claims 'thats a myth' we can show evidence its already happened.

Callum/Abi is the gender fluid police officer with 2 warrant cards that can frisk you on days s/he identifies as a woman.

Wake up.

DamnDeDoubtanceIsSpartacus Thu 22-Mar-18 18:54:32

I love the fact that it's women to blame if anything bad happens to women too. No misogyny here people, move along, nothing to see.....

FencingFightingTorture35 Thu 22-Mar-18 18:55:41

Are you aware that the term 'cisgendered woman' is offensive to many women on here?

I appreciate your analysis of the situation but I don't think you're correct simply because most places aren't really thinking about the Equality Act. They're thinking of how to be progressive and inclusive and if a man tries to access a female space, most people will be too intimidated to kick up a fuss and it will just happen.

OlennasWimple Thu 22-Mar-18 18:55:44

I'm not a cisgendered woman, so that's OK - phew!

MickHucknallspinkpancakes Thu 22-Mar-18 18:55:44

You lost me at CIS. biscuit

Fekko Thu 22-Mar-18 18:56:29

You lost me at cis...

Juells Thu 22-Mar-18 18:57:33


HerFemaleness Thu 22-Mar-18 18:57:48

Mate, lesiure centers, clothes shops, political parties already believe that it's enough for a man to self-ID as a woman for him to have access to women's spaces. That was the whole fucking point of the campaign.

PositivelyPERF Thu 22-Mar-18 18:57:58

You lost any respect when you used the word cis. We are women, not cis.

CadyHeron Thu 22-Mar-18 18:58:20

Exactly what I was thinking sweary.Reads like a post that wants to shut down any debate.

TerfsUp Thu 22-Mar-18 18:59:12

As soon as I read the word 'cis', I knew that the post would be idiocy. And I was right.

UpstartCrow Thu 22-Mar-18 18:59:25

So the law today does not allow men (or women) to self-id their way into the opposite gender's changing room

That is a flat out lie.
Maria Miller stated that there is no situation in which it is appropriate to exclude a trans person. I assume you would know who Maria Miller is and why her opinion counts.

AngstySpanksey Thu 22-Mar-18 18:59:40

Plain old woman/women will do, thanks.

Fekko Thu 22-Mar-18 19:00:31

There is a myth that with self-identification a man would be allowed to say that he is a women - say on Friday afternoons. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm sure someone will know the name, but there is a serving police officer who does just that and do please google Pippa/Philip Bunch.

PositivelyPERF Thu 22-Mar-18 19:00:54

Every time someone tries to gaslight a woman a fairy dies. 🧚‍♀️

Well, let’s face it, that’s as true as the nonsense you’re coming out with mate. Maybe the OP thinks we’re all silly middle aged, confused women. 🤪

gussyfinknottle Thu 22-Mar-18 19:03:04

Woman. Not cis-gendered woman. Woman.
Get your terminology right.

53rdWay Thu 22-Mar-18 19:03:27

simply because most places aren't really thinking about the Equality Act.

Indeed. And framing the GRA reform as progressive is inevitably leading to this. How can you expect organisations to maintain sex-segregated places, when the message to the public is increasingly heard as “anyone who says they’re a woman is a woman, and if you have any definition beyond that you’re a gatekeeping bigot”?

SlowlyShrinking Thu 22-Mar-18 19:04:36

When I see cis/CIS I think of cooperative insurance services

thebewilderness Thu 22-Mar-18 19:05:05

1st rule of misogyny: Women are responsible for what men do.
2nd rule of misogyny: Women saying no to men is a hate crime.
3rd rule of misogyny: Women speaking for themselves are exclusionary and selfish.

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