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Trans people's experiences in male-only spaces

(57 Posts)
Thanksforthatamazingpost Thu 19-Apr-18 10:27:29

Can we talk about this? (sorry if it's been done before).

What experiences are male-born trans people having in male-designated single-sex spaces? What experiences have they had in the past?

How are these experiences affecting later decision?s they make about where to be, how to identify?

Is the behaviour of men - and women who choose to join in policing the definition of acceptable male behaviour - not the root problem here? Can we get more attention on to it?

Yarnswift Thu 19-Apr-18 10:41:24

Something I wonder about... if the root issue is fear of Male violence then the answer is to fix the Male violence problem. Not to displace the males into the female spaces (since TIMs have the same violent offending patterns nd rates as men.)

If they want to tackle Male violence, I’m stood with them. If they displace the issue into female spaces then I’m afraid I have to fight back.

I’d also be interested to ask why, if the danger is from males, are attacks only directed against feminist women? Where is the campaign against anti-trans violence from men? The campaign for safer Male spaces?

MsBeaujangles Thu 19-Apr-18 10:41:55

I feel incredibly uncomfortable about transwomen having to use male-only spaces if this isn't their choice.

I feel extremely passionate about access to sex-based provision being determined by the sexed-bodies of people using them, because of the dignity, privacy and safety that this affords many.

If transwomen want to change in spaces for male-sexed people, I think this should be their right and that steps should be taken to make this a safe option. However, if using these spaces would undermine feelings of dignity and privacy, I find the idea of them being expected to use them truly awful.

This is why, in my view, we need third spaces.

Yarnswift Thu 19-Apr-18 10:49:01

I too would support third spaces. I believe that no one should feel unsafe or threatened in a space like a toilet or a changing room. I also believe that male bodied people should not access female only spaces - for the privacy and safety of he women involved and also because this does NOT solve the root problem of transwomen feeling unsafe in the male space. We cannot have one group accommodated at the expense of another. only a solution where all groups retain safety and dignity is acceptable to me

As a mother of boys I’d also like to see safer male spaces in general.

Thanksforthatamazingpost Thu 19-Apr-18 10:51:20

thanks for replies.

obviously I don't own the thread but am hoping to gather some information about experiences in male only spaces.

northender Thu 19-Apr-18 10:54:16

Society's (men in particular) attitude to men & boys who like to wear make up/"feminine" clothes etc is at the root of a lot of these issues. At the moment, it is acceptable for women to dress as they wish, have their hair how they want, etc, although maybe not as much as it was say 20 years ago. Unfortunately I think that message has been derailed by labelling those boys & men as transgender. We are now even further from a situation where all people can present themselves in a way they feel comfortable without having to identify as anything other than their natal sex.

Havoc Thu 19-Apr-18 10:56:11

obviously I don't own the thread but am hoping to gather some information about experiences in male only spaces.

Have you looked at trans forums? They might have the experiences you are looking for.

0phelia Thu 19-Apr-18 10:59:39

Hope Lye and Hope Pink (OK maybe the same person! ) they go into male spaces as a transwomen. Could help your research.

TeaScum Thu 19-Apr-18 11:00:44

For quite some time now (as a direct result of all that has been happening) I have been using male toilets/spaces when there has been no unisex available.

I’m happy to report that apart from a few raised eyebrows as I waited for a cubicle, and one incident of a young man trying to show off to his friends (which was easily defused with humour- he was only a teenager) it has been uneventful.

I’ve said before though that this does not mean that I now think all men are cuddly pussycats and therefore should be allowed into women’s spaces (I have had my words twisted like this before)

A) I am somewhat slightly smaller than Andre the giant, and am clearly not physically weaker or biologically female (though I’ve surgically modified my body, my stature is what it is)

B) The kind of men willing intruding in to women’s spaces will be self selecting, and any man that wanted to do that is exactly the type who could never be trusted around vulnerable women and children.

Greymisty Thu 19-Apr-18 11:02:03

Hopepinkboots on Twitter was discussing this a few weeks/months back, he's male, wears whatever he likes and goes by he. I think he used to identify under the transgender umbrella but rejected it. He's the only person who I've come across who talks about this critically.

picklemepopcorn Thu 19-Apr-18 11:23:29

"somewhat slightly smaller than Andre the giant" grin love that! MNers are so good with words!

Hopepinkboots has been pretty vile to a few people on twitter. The posts I have seen have been fairly indiscriminately hateful. However, I'm sure there is more than one side to it, I find twitter hard to follow.

SusanBunch Thu 19-Apr-18 11:24:28

Another for third spaces. It’s easy to say ‘just tackle male violence’ and expect trans people to use male spaces. But it’s endemic and ingrained and using these spaces makes trans people feel uncomfortable (it’s not always about risk of violence but dignity).
So male, female and third spaces is the way forward imo.

crispbuttyfan Thu 19-Apr-18 11:32:03

The male violence in mens spaces potentially used by trans women is not really the point. Trans women aren't men, even if it was perfectly safe to use either toilets changing rooms etc thy would still use womens facilities, and trans men would still use mens facilities.

Trans men are not in danger so much in womens spaces, they still use male facilities.

As always in these discussions its a moot point, as accotding tothe equality act, trans people have access to the sex-segregated spaces they identify with without any problems.

Why are people so desperate to re-visit years old legislation that works just fine.

RatRolyPoly Thu 19-Apr-18 11:32:51

I'm not trans so can only speculate, but I imagine it would be profoundly psychologically upsetting and deeply uncomfortable for some trans people to not be able to use the facilities of the gender they believe themselves to be. Particularly younger trans people - teenagers for example - and those who have experienced negative reactions to their transitioning, or even violence or transphobia.

I'm not saying at all that women and girls may not have a comparable emotional reaction to the presence of male born or male bodied people in the same toilets/changing rooms etc., or that the feelings of one trump the feelings of the other; but this thread is about what those trans people might experience, so I wanted to point out that for at least some of them there is probably a great deal of very real emotional distress.

AngryAttackKittens Thu 19-Apr-18 11:35:10

Hope looks pretty tiny for a man to me, so if he's not running into problems that's a pretty good test case. Obviously there could be problems, because we already know that some men are extremely hostile to other men who're GNC and/or who they think are gay, but it is an interesting counterpoint to the idea that entering a man's space while male and wearing a skirt means instant attack.

SirVixofVixHall Thu 19-Apr-18 11:36:51

I was also going to suggest Hope Pink ( on twitter, and very friendly and helpful ). Hope uses male spaces, and posts pics on Twitter about it. I love Hope, an amazing person.

AngryAttackKittens Thu 19-Apr-18 11:37:54

But yes, the provision of third spaces is the obvious way forward. That way nobody's privacy is being violated and male individuals particularly vulnerable to male violence are protected.

SarahAr Thu 19-Apr-18 11:45:15

Presumably if transwomen had to use male single sex spaces then transmen would need to use women's single sex spaces. After all by this logic transmen are really women.

OP - how would you feel to be using a women's changing room with a muscled, bearded man?

"We cannot have one group accommodated at the expense of another"
@yarnswift Transpeople have been using the appropriate single sex spaces in the UK for over 50 years now. I don't see any evidence of a problem.

Elendon Thu 19-Apr-18 11:47:46

Third spaces is the only and obvious way forward.

Then trans can police their own private spaces.

Justanotherzombie Thu 19-Apr-18 11:48:06

Something I wonder about... if the root issue is fear of Male violence then the answer is to fix the Male violence problem.

The irony.

MadBadDaddy Thu 19-Apr-18 11:52:21

It's a really interesting way of flipping the problem.

What is a 'male space'? Apart from public loos and changing rooms, I'm struggling to think of what else could constitute a 'male space', ie no females expected or allowed. I suppose you could include a lot of Gay Male spaces but they seem exclusive to more than just women.

Talk of 'Female spaces' includes many things - from swimming days to shelters & refuges for vulnerable or victimised women. I'm not even sure if similar spaces exist for vulnerable or victimised men, but I assume they do. In any case, there can't be that many of them. No-one ever mentions them though, or suggests that Transwomen access these services. Weird?

Yarnswift Thu 19-Apr-18 11:59:12

I'm struggling to think of what else could constitute a 'male space

The masons
Gentlemen’s clubs
Men’s changing rooms
Men’s toilets
Male support groups for various medical issues
And things like having a Male carer for personal care or a male doc for s prostate exam

It’s actually not the precise mirror of the need for female only spaces anyway. The requirement for female only spaces is prinarily because a significant number of men are a physical danger to women the reverse is not true. So Male only spaces are historically more about privacy and dignity (which is as important for men in medical situations etc as it is for women) and also for the maintenance of historical power structures, like the gentlemen’s clubs in which our Old Boys still make so many of the world’s decisions.

DisturblinglyOrangeScrambleEgg Thu 19-Apr-18 11:59:32

Trans men are not in danger so much in womens spaces, they still use male facilities

That's not always the case - I've read at least one article by a transman talking about using the women's toilets for safety reasons.

I think a 3rd space has to be the solution - segregation by sex is legal where there is a need (and womens and men's dignity is a perfectly fine reason I would have thought). Single sex provision of toilets in a workplace is required by UK law - and that is sex not gender

Yarnswift Thu 19-Apr-18 12:20:30

*"We cannot have one group accommodated at the expense of another"
@yarnswift Transpeople have been using the appropriate single sex spaces in the UK for over 50 years now. I don't see any evidence of a problem*

They have. Up until now the arrangement has largely worked and the transpeople concerned have been largely accepted under a sort of gentlemen’s agreement. What’s changed recently is the population mix - previously, this was a small number of people who had transitioned or were what I’ve often seen called ‘old school transsexuals’ on here. Basically people with gender dysphoria.
Now, we have a very vocal, larger population of people of whom a significant number appear to be more AGP. They want to access women’s spaces while at the same time being vocally anti-woman. I don’t feel comfortable with people who hate women and who have a paraphilic motivation being in my spaces, no. And I don’t expect many other women do either, regardless of how we have previously been OK with those with gender dysphoria.

This is what worries people. Not the small number of transsexuals there have always been, but the presence of AGP individuals with no respect for boundaries and a propensity for abuse.

What worries people is convicted rapists self IDing to be housed in the female prison estate.

What worries people is the fact that a convicted sex offender and rapist is asked to advise the HoC/HoL instead of a more moderate voice who is... well not a rapist would be jolly nice. Doesn’t seem much to ask. There are plenty of transwomen on here who would have been suitable people to advise, why choose a violent rapist? It boggles the mind.

As for where transmen should change. They don’t present a danger to men do they? The reason women need single sex spaces is because a significant proportion of men are a physical danger to women. A trans man in a male space is more in danger from the men. And yet... it’s not an issue is it? Where are all the transmen punching 60 year old women to the floor? Screaming abuse on Twitter? Abusing elected positions? Could it be that they retain the offending patterns of their biological sex, like men do? And just quietly pass and get on with it? And are not a danger to men and boys? Could it be, whisper it, that there’s not as much paraphilia involved?

Ohforfoxsakereturns Thu 19-Apr-18 12:25:53

I like HopePinkBoots very much and suggest you follow him on Twitter (‘he’ is his preferred pronoun now).

I first came across Hope on the No More Page 3 campaign a couple of years ago. I’d like to buy him a drink.

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