Professor Sheila Jeffreys has penned a most comprehensive article for the Women’s Studies International Forum on the ‘degendering’ of women’s spaces. A PDF of the article is available from Professor Jeffreys’ website.
For far too long, women’s and feminists’ concerns about the erosion of women’s spaces—political, public toilets and changing rooms, shelters, to become either “trans inclusive”; open to all; or ‘gender neutral’—have been dismissed as trivial, irrelevant or selfish. Which is nothing new under patriarchy, except that now the accusations come from transactivists (usually claiming to be women), and the female supporters of trans/queer.
Jeffreys covers the feminist arguments to retain sex-segregated spaces and debunks the trans and queer arguments calling for the dismantling of sex-segregated spaces for females.
In ‘gender’ (identity) trumping biological sex:
The way in which queer and transgender activists use the term ‘gender’ is problematic because it obscures the existence of persons, women, who are biologically female, and their particular interests. It disappears male domination (Thompson, 2001) too, which is airbrushed out of the way in literature on degendering the toilet.
I would argue that trans particularly (with its adjunct queer theory) are the final elements to the backlash against Second Wave Feminism. ‘Woman’ becomes a meaningless category for protections when anyone who ‘feels like a woman’ can ‘be’ one. Ditto with female, given that official recognition of ‘gender reassignment’ amends the paperwork male to female. (Jeffreys covers some of this briefly).
Jeffreys goes on to illustrate how feminists’ concerns for female safety is dismissed, but transactivists’ concerns for ‘transwomen’s’ (only!) safety is deemed paramount in the quest to access women’s toilets and changing rooms.
Transgender activists argue that people who transgender are unsafe in men’s toilets and likely to be attacked, and that this undermines their rights to take part in public life, ‘Without safe access to public bathrooms, transgender people are denied full participation in public life.’ […]
It is puzzling as to why, when it is ‘sexist’ to say that men are violent towards women, it is not sexist for this male-bodied transgender to say that men are violent towards transgenders. Transgender toilet activists, it seems, can see the fears of men who transgender as well-grounded, whereas women’s concerns about the egregious violence visited upon them are spurious.
The dismissal of the concerns of feminists and women on these issues has been the main tactic of the trans lobby. Given we still live in a strong patriarchy, it works like a charm to dismiss dissenting women’s voices. Some of us persist, regardless.
Allowing male transgenders into the female toilets, argues Jeffreys, increases the risk of rape for females, as most ‘transwomen’ still retain their penises:
In a survey it conducted, the Transgender Law Centre in California found that only 15% of transgenders intended to have surgery to mutilate their genitals (Transgender Law Centre, 2005).
Yes, that means, more likely than not, the ‘transwoman’ you see in the Ladies room, is packing a peen. Which is why transactivists started gaslighting women, telling them “a penis is a female organ, if on a transwoman”. Biology departments around the world are now ‘transphobic’ for disagreeing!
Jeffreys covers the genderqueer call for ‘gender neutral’ facilities, the objections of trans to this (“passing” don’t cha know!), and the implications for gay men (their habit of cottaging in the men’s rooms). As well as some of the other nasty things that go on in men’s rooms, like smearing the walls with faeces. I would add that men’s rooms are frequently pungent with the odour of man-piss, no doubt they also spray the walls as well. I know from personal experience, that ‘gender neutral’ individual toilet stalls also end up smelling this way, needless to say, I ended up never using the new Council installed ‘gender neutral’ toilets. Just, ewww.
Jeffreys then goes on to highlight just why First Wave Feminists fought for female sex-segregated public toilets:
The absence of adequate toilets for women has impeded their entry into the public world. The idea that women have a right to toilets of their own was won fairly recently in the West, and is still being campaigned for in many parts of the world, such as the Indian subcontinent
I hope you all had the aha! moment there, with mention that lack of access to (safe) public toilets also impacts participation in public life. Yes, that is correct, transactivists just outright stole yet another piece of feminism and used it for their own ends. That is in part, why at least some of trans politics sounds credible—because they stole the exact points from feminists, to use against feminists! This is why I believe that transgenderism is the Final Phase in the backlash, they take the last of our political protections and points.
Jeffreys finishes the main body reiterating on female safety in toilets and changing rooms, citing a number of examples. The examples are of course, but a few of many, even though transactivists deny that such things happen, or in No-True-Scotsman fashion, deny that the perpetrator was a bonafide transwoman—except transactivists are more than happy to include all these other perverts under the ‘trans umbrella‘ when it suits them.
Jeffrey’s article is a fantastic resource, and I recommend you save a copy to your hard drive.