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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Marks & Spencer protest

371 replies

invisibleoldwoman · 18/04/2018 14:39

Here is an email sent to M&S today.

"I needed new bras. Normally I go to one of your stores, get fitted, get advice and buy several. Have a look around generally and maybe coffee or lunch in the cafe. Now, I cannot deal with the stress of worrying about whether I will have to deal with a male fitter, or men in the changing rooms. So I have bought my bras somewhere I don't have to deal with this. I have decided not to use your online shop as I do not wish to support a company that makes it impossible for me to feel comfortable visiting a changing room or asking for a personal service."

I have decided to send this sort of feedback everytime I fail to buy something somewhere where they have gone along with the self-id policy.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 20/04/2018 21:56

Susan I wonder where they got all that money? Just to reinforce what they believed at the start?

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 21:57

Perhaps, but the moment Justine gets a sniff that ad revenue might be drying up or if the pressure on her to censure gets too much, the space to discuss this will be zapped. Then nobody will be having any debates.

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:01

You know, Susan, most people can cope with being disagreed with without getting quite so enraged or accusing others of having "pilloried" them.

Even if this space was to be shut down, which I and many others hope it won't be, the debates would not stop. The genie isn't going back in the bottle no matter how much some may hope that it would.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:08

The money came from the Economic and Social Research Council. I am not saying it's a foregone conclusion at all (and this is all guesswork), but given the current climate, I would personally be surprised if the findings came out in favour of biology-based definitions.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:10

You know, Susan, most people can cope with being disagreed with without getting quite so enraged or accusing others of having "pilloried" them

I have not got enraged.

Italiangreyhound · 20/04/2018 22:10

@MadBadDaddy I don't want to derail but you started that portion before with men fighting dragons and then say..."Sorry I meant the 'collective', historical problems of violence, supression, etc. by men."

I'm not sure I see evidence that men have solved the problem of the 'collective', historical problems of violence, supression, etc. by men either.

I am just as fearful for my son as my daughter but then I do live in the west (of the world, minority world etc).

"We only do simple problems." I don't necessarily agree. Some men have done amazing things. I'm not anti man.

I just think a few thousand years of men running the world their way has left us in a bit of a pickle. It has actually caused men huge problems too. They can't always see if. Toxic masculinity is not nice for men either.

What I think is partly at issue is men's inability to see women's oppression is linked to our sex.

Some men are also oppressed, but it seems to be rarely linked to their sex. So women could experience all the same oppression as men (pretty much) and then some more.

Trans people may also be oppressed and feel oppressed. I don't want anyone to feel like that or experience that.

Maybe we need those third unisex spaces so all (and the non-binary people) can feel OK too. But don't take away females spaces in the process.

The 'cost' of additional safe spaces must be born by the shops/society as a whole etc, not by individual women.

Rufustheconstantreindeer · 20/04/2018 22:14

susan

I dont think she was talking about you

I might have that wrong

Italiangreyhound · 20/04/2018 22:16

"I would personally be surprised if the findings came out in favour of biology-based definitions."

Just that sentence makes me think education is fucked!

Although with university fees what they are I wonder if universities will retain their influence.

I wonder if women need to start more things on their own.

I am not sure how we share spaces when biology doesn't matter to half the population and does matter but can't be acknowledged by the other half?

How do we reconcile those positions? Genuine question.

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:18

I was most definitely saying that one is being pilloried was an over the top reaction to the relatively mild pushback that Susan has received.

People disagree on forums, and this is a particularly contentious issue. Everyone of course has the right to not like being disagreed with much, but others also have the right to roll their eyes at what seems like a bit of an overreaction on their part.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:19

I dont think she was talking about you

She was, sadly (and I am sure she will confirm it). I used the word pilloried in one of my posts. I was told I was completely lacking in empathy for vulnerable women and that me working in academia explained a lot because I had clearly never been challenged on this issue before.

It might be because about a week ago, I do admit I flounced from a thread. By way of explanation, I was having a tough time offline (not that it's a justification or whatever, just an explanation). Since then, I have not reacted with any anger or rage so surely if 'pilloried' is OTT, so is 'enraged'.

Rufustheconstantreindeer · 20/04/2018 22:20

Ooopsie sorry

I obviously missed the bit where susan said she felt pilloried

And yes eye rolling is deffo allowed!!

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:21

I am not sure how we share spaces when biology doesn't matter to half the population and does matter but can't be acknowledged by the other half?

I think it does matter to men too, though it's more about privacy and less about fear, it's just that so far they haven't experienced the same degree of intrusion that women have, nor have they been accused of bigotry for not being happy about it in the way women have. If this issue starts inconveniencing men on a regular basis I'm guessing that they'll complain too.

(And be more likely to have their complaints taken seriously than us, because they're men.)

Rufustheconstantreindeer · 20/04/2018 22:22

Oh god

How the fuck did i end up in the middle of this

Me and my (trying to be helpful) big mouth

Actually i think i may have answered my own question

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:23

Of course people disagree, Angry, but what might seem like mild pushback from your end doesn't always feel like it from my end, believe me. Grin I think it's the nature of forums though- words can look innocuous when written, but they are perceived very differently by the person who reads them.... And that goes both ways, I am sure. Anyway, as I said, I think enraged falls in the same camp as pilloried so maybe we can agree to disagree?

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:25

Apparently not, Rufus! I've been being as polite as possible in disagreeing with Susan while still making it clear that I strongly disagree with what she's arguing. I guess diligently policing women's language for niceness is a time-honored way of controlling what we are and are not able to object to.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:25

No problem, Rufus, I know you were only trying to help. Smile

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:26

No worries, Rufus, not your circus not your monkeys! At this point I'm pretty much assuming that I'm going to get this same reaction from Susan every time I disagree with anything that she says. Such is life.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:29

Well, to be fair when I used the word pilloried it was in a slightly different context. I meant that although some on here might see me as [insert chosen word here], you should meet some of my colleagues! It wasn't actually a complaint over my treatment. But I do accept it was an OTT word to use and I apologise if anyone was offended by it.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:31

At this point I'm pretty much assuming that I'm going to get this same reaction from Susan every time I disagree with anything that she says. Such is life.

Please don't think that. It is not my intention at all. As I have said in my last post, I have apologised for using an OTT term. I also apologised on the other thread for coming across as sealioning.

MadBadDaddy · 20/04/2018 22:41

" Italiangreyhound : What I think is partly at issue is men's inability to see women's oppression is linked to our sex.

Some men are also oppressed, but it seems to be rarely linked to their sex. So women could experience all the same oppression as men (pretty much) and then some more."

Oh god thank you for saying, so simply, what I've been trying to say.

thebewilderness · 20/04/2018 22:47

For what it is worth and in general, claims like being attacked or pilloried when all that happened was someone argued with you about something make you look foolish in my eyes.

thebewilderness · 20/04/2018 22:49

Hyperbole much? is what I am tempted to say far too often here on the when they go low we are supposed to go high but criminy it is hard.

SusanBunch · 20/04/2018 22:50

For what it is worth and in general, claims like being attacked or pilloried when all that happened was someone argued with you about something make you look foolish in my eyes

I am sure, but if you read my posts, you will see that a) I have apologised and admitted it was OTT and b) when I said it I was referring to the difference between myself and colleagues in academia. But bad choice of word.

MsBeaujangles · 20/04/2018 22:52

Thanks for the link to the research Susan.

I keep wondering which 'memo I have missed' (I am becoming increasing concerned that I must have a massive blind spot!).

In the link it says 'Professor Cooper said: 'We are particularly interested in the implications that follow from assigning gender as a legal status at birth. Should this be reformed? What are the benefits and challenges

I genuinely have no idea what Professor Cooper is going on about and I have a PhD in Psychology and supervise doctoral research. I am supervising research in the area of gender non conformity at the moment and have examined doctoral research in this area. Sex and gender are always defined separately and the relationship between the two discussed. My mind is blown by the idea of gender as a legal status at birth. I clearly don't understand the law. I thought sex was a protected characteristic, as was gender reassignment.

People are observed to be male or female at birth. We don't assign a species, we easily observe that a baby is a human and that it is male or female, or we observe that there is an anatomical anomaly that prevents observation of the sex. People just are male or female from conception. We know nothing of their gender identity until they can express it.

What is the Prof going on about???!!!!!

AngryAttackKittens · 20/04/2018 22:54

Yeah, I totally get that being in the minority on a forum is never all that much fun. My point was that if you're going to be very strong and assertive yourself in putting forward your perspective then you kind of have to expect the same in return. A conversation where one person can speak clearly and the other has to watch their Ps and Qs isn't going to work for long.

Re colleagues that was what I meant - if you're coming from an environment in which the perspective exemplified by Butler is the norm then the way people like here talk about the same issues is going to be a bit of a shock.

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