Looking for advice (RE: Mermaids and the workplace)

(26 Posts)
EverydayBelongsToWomen Fri 26-Mar-21 13:07:19


A male friend of mine (let's call him "Ted") works for a large UK bank. He isn't in a customer-facing role; he works with the bank's software. Ted has a formal diagnosis of high-functioning autism (I know this term is disliked on here, but I am just trying to give the context of the situation). His workplace know that he has autism.

Ted is gender critical and has been following the trans debate for several years.

His workplace has recently partnered up with Mermaids and are encouraging their staff to use pronouns, raise money for Mermaids, and so on. Ted has also been told that he (and everyone else) will need to attend Mermaids training over the next year.

Ted is very unhappy about all of this and wants to put in a formal complaint so that he doesn't have to participate. As part of his complaint, he is going to say that as an autistic person, he finds Mermaids offensive (given that a high percentage of the children Mermaids "help" are autistic). Would be be wise to do this? Has anyone else challenged an organization like Mermaids on these grounds?

Personally, I think you need to choose you battles. If it was me, I'd probably just go to the training, but not add my pronouns or raise any money for them. I've told him this, but he's adamant that he doesn't want to do the training.

Thoughts? Advice?

OP’s posts: |
NecessaryScene1 Fri 26-Mar-21 13:10:07

He may not want to go to the training, but...

How about he goes along and records it? We got some mind-boggling stuff from a previous session.

That's what I'd do. (And I'm a bit Ted-dy).

CrazyNeighbour Fri 26-Mar-21 13:13:04

Could he ask whether Mermaids will be permitting any questions to be asked, or must the material be accepted in full and uncritically?

AnneofScreamFables Fri 26-Mar-21 13:15:20

I would ask what the training is for. My workplace is having Mermaids in soon but it is for an optional event (badged under family friendly I think).

As far as I know Mermaids advocate for transgender children. Are they branching out? What training can they offer bank employees?

CrazyNeighbour Fri 26-Mar-21 13:15:28

Alternatively, could he print off the FPFW letter to CEOs and ask to discuss it in the context of reputational protection, and the fact Mermaids are such a high rock organization to be associated with?

7catsandcounting Fri 26-Mar-21 13:17:15

Ted should go and find out what they have to say and get a list of questions ready to ask the trainer. He should make the most of this opportunity. If he doesn't go, they'll just get away with feeding his colleagues' minds with a shitload of propaganda. He needs to go and make the GC argument if he feels so strongly about it. He's got time to prepare for it. He can do it in a very non-aggressive way and really put them on the spot. I'd love to go to a training session like that and find out what goes on at those things.

NecessaryScene1 Fri 26-Mar-21 13:24:54

Here's the thread about the last recorded session.


persistentwoman Fri 26-Mar-21 14:24:46

Below is a template of a letter from Safe Schools Alliance for parents to use if Mermaids are trying to access their child's school. There are some issues in it that highlight the biased nature of the training and the issues that breach safeguarding children advice. Some of this may be of use for Ted?


WarriorN Fri 26-Mar-21 16:00:07

I'd be recording it and then asking about their residential weekends and how he could become a volunteer if I were Ted.

Not hugely helpful I know, sorry.

Hibari Fri 26-Mar-21 16:16:47

Ted should either stop being a transphobe or resign in a huff.

Leafstamp Fri 26-Mar-21 16:33:50

Just to say, and I'm sorry to be a spoil sport, but I think you need permission to record someone?

I just wouldn't want Ted to get in trouble.

OvenPizza Fri 26-Mar-21 16:36:10

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

andyoldlabour Fri 26-Mar-21 16:38:00

Why is Mermaids involving themself with a bank?

ValancyRedfern Fri 26-Mar-21 16:38:17

I think Ted should question what on earth the relevance of training from a youth charity is for a bank.

andyoldlabour Fri 26-Mar-21 16:39:40

"Ted should either stop being a transphobe or resign in a huff."

It seems as though the bar for "transphobia" is at ground level now.

EverydayBelongsToWomen Fri 26-Mar-21 16:58:23


Ted should either stop being a transphobe or resign in a huff.

Did you read my post?

Ted finds Mermaids offensive because he is autistic.

The majority of children that Mermaids deals with are autistic. I would probably (wrongly) get banned for saying what Mermaids are doing to these children. However, I will say that it is terrifying.

If Ted were born today, he may have fallen into Mermaid's hands, and that scares him (as it should!)

OP’s posts: |
WarriorN Fri 26-Mar-21 17:39:53


I think Ted should question what on earth the relevance of training from a youth charity is for a bank.

Is it virgin money?

Last time I checked they donated to mermaids.


WarriorN Fri 26-Mar-21 17:41:07


WarriorN Fri 26-Mar-21 17:42:36

In fact, you can donate to mermaids or to the residentials directly.

Hibari Fri 26-Mar-21 17:53:37

Ted finds Mermaids offensive because he is autistic.

I manage to be on the autism spectrum without being transphobic.

Lettera Fri 26-Mar-21 17:58:07

In my wokeplace I could be disciplined for refusing to attend such training so I'd take the day off sick.

Manderleyagain Fri 26-Mar-21 17:58:11

It might be worth putting him in touch with Counterweight (Helen pluckrose & others). They are an organisation that help ppl who think their workplaces are expecting them to take on beliefs they don't share through training and policies. They have a web site.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 27-Mar-21 09:24:12

Maybe he could ask I don't understand questions.

And I find mermaids offensive too.

Tibtom Sat 27-Mar-21 10:46:57

I think putting in a complaint saying because of his autism he finds mermaids offensive is a good idea as this would constitute harassment under the equality act and is a protected act so any action talen against him because of his complaint would then be victimisation. (get proper advice about this first)

hallouminatus Sat 27-Mar-21 11:20:40

"I think you need permission to record someone?"

Is this true?

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