When people think of single-sex spaces, the first thing they think about is usually public toilets, and they imagine very sympathetic fully-transitioned transexuals who “pass” for women, deeking in for a quick pee. Totally harmless – what’s the big deal?
Trans-activists are quick to trivialize any concern by stating “We just want to pee” and presenting themselves as extremely vulnerable people – even more vulnerable than biological women and girls. They insist they need to use women’s toilets and other facilities to be safe.
In reality, the situation is far more complicated than that. To start with, it is not just public toilets being accessed – though this is serious enough. But the reality is that trans-identified males are demanding access to a whole range of single-sex spaces and facilities such as: Toilets, Changing Rooms, Locker Rooms (and Showers), Shelters, Transition Homes and Prisons.
What Does It Mean To Give Up Single Sex Spaces?
In the case of toilets, changing rooms, lockers rooms and communal showers, these are places where women and girls remove clothing. Furthermore, current self-ID laws permit any male who identifies as a woman to gain access – no medical transition required. Many trans-identified males never get surgery and do little to alter their appearance. Fully intact males with a beard, chest-hair and penis can enter a woman’s locker room and undress, and watch while a teenage girl undresses. A fully intact male is allowed to shower alongside women and girls who are showering. When women complain about this, they are reprimanded and shamed and it is the men who are made out to be victims.
Trans-identified males have managed to create a reality where they can violate women and then claim to be personally injured by any objection. Women as a group have suffered a huge loss of sex-based protections due to the demands of trans-activists.
Women have been sexually harassed in shelters and transition homes by the biological males in their midst – for example, men exposing themselves and masturbating in front of the female residents. Ironically, these “safe” spaces are where traumatized women go to get away from male violence, and staff often feel paralyzed to do anything because of their dependency on government funding. In Toronto, a woman with PTSD entered a shelter and was forced to share a bedroom with a biological male. She was so triggered and distressed that she complained to the staff, who then asked HER to leave – she ended up sleeping on the street.
But is it really true that trans-identified males are as vulnerable as they say they are?
The answer is no. While it is true that trans-identified males may be victimized, they are no more vulnerable than gay men. While there has always been discrimination against gay men which has included gay-bashing, gay men have never demanded to use women’s toilets, locker rooms and safe spaces. And the reality is that trans-identified males have a male physique – they are able to defend themselves against other males to a far greater degree than females can defend themselves against males. Yet women are essentially being used as shields to protect trans-identified males. It is not the job of women to provide the solution to male-on-male violence.
This is not to say that trans-identified males do not have some legitimate concerns, but if they are so concerned about their safety they can create their own safe spaces such as shelters and transition homes for transgender people. The problem is that transgender people are never interested in this. They are NOT interested in setting up their own services because their primary concern is not safety, it’s validation. If it was really about safety, they would have no hesitation in setting up safe spaces for themselves, just as women did in the sixties and seventies. Trans-identified males prefer to ride on the coat-tails of feminism and elbow their way into women’s spaces, rather than do their own work – they are latching onto resources that were built from the ground up by women. All their energy is focused on accessing women’s spaces because they are chasing validation. Women are now expected to sacrifice their safety and well-being to provide this validation.
It is not the job of women to provide therapeutic validation to trans-identified males.
1. Create a system of Transgender Shelters specifically for transgender / LGBTQ people – adults and youth. These shelters can be staffed by LGBTQ people who are sensitive to the unique needs of that population. This solution would provide an actual service to a population in need. Women’s safety would not be compromised and trans-people would be better served in the long run. OR…
2. Organizations and/or municipalities that run women’s shelters can designate one house for trans-identified males, separate from biological women but providing the same level of service.
A lot of people think that equality requires that trans-identified males must be allowed into women’s shelters to share space with women. Equality does not require that. Equality requires providing the same LEVEL of service, not the same service. If the facilities are just as good, there are enough beds to meet the need, the staff is properly trained and able to provide counselling and referrals, then it can be said that equality has been achieved. Equality does not mean sameness.
In regards to public and private facilities that have changing rooms, showers and toilets, the solution is to provide a third space for transgender people, who would have the option of using either the transgender facility or the facility that conforms to their biological sex. This would meet the need of ensuring their safety and dignity while not compromising the safety and dignity of women.
As a society we must figure out a way to accommodate transgender people that does NOT forfeit the rights of women and girls. There is a middle-way and we must find it. In order to do this, it is essential to have open discussions and not be cowed by accusations of transphobia and bigotry.