This blog is in response to an interesting article on LibDemVoice. I agreed with most of it but my comment was too long to be acceptable to wordpress, so I have published it here.
The excellent article by Miranda Roberts (Sun 22nd July 2018) was a forceful plea against giving support to feminist groups who are anti-transgender rights because of the risks this supposedly creates for non-transgender women. I am conflicted, and I suspect a lot of people are in the same place. From where I stand (I confess I am a happily married hetero-sexual middle class white pensioner, not so old age if you please though I have to admit I am probably horribly old to some) there are genuine concerns but more importantly attitudes need to change.
When I was young boys and men changed for the swimming pool in open spaces. No one thought twice about the naked man next to them, although you did of course not stare. When I was a teenager and young adult I believe that many clothes shops had open changing rooms for women, though I never came across one for men, you always had a cubicle. But this was not a problem for the ladies (as far as I know, much as I would have liked to check for myself). Now I am older (or rather actually old), I find it strange that my (adult) son will only undress in a cubicle and is shy about his body in front of me or the general public.
I don't have the advantage of seeing what happens in the ladies changing room, but I wonder what would happen when a self-identifying woman with a penis gets naked in the ladies? You can guess the range of reactions if someone with a woman's body, however they self-identified, did the same in the gents. This is all a bit light-hearted but when you think of men crossdressing to gain access to women-only environments then it becomes serious.
We seem to have arrived at a point in society when we are questioning what it means to be male or female; is it physical attributes, genetic or a psychological outlook? in the short term we will not solve the problem of toilets and changing rooms but in the longer term we can - it is only a matter of money. Many new buildings are already provided with unisex toilets and changing rooms are no different other than that they may be in different stores (shelters should not be any more complicated because the people who need shelter are in fear of someone or something and just need a space away from everyone).
But is it not time that we moved on? We have male and female, bisexual, homosexual (male and female), transvestites, transgender, CIS, and I am sure other groups you could add. Should society not simply start treating everyone as human beings? I am a heterosexual male, but am called out for occasionally wearing a dress because I am being disrespectful, of transgender women, who by the way are allowed to wear trousers like any other woman. Why? What you wear does not define you. Whether you want to pee sitting down or standing up does not define you. Whether you wear make up or not does not define you. Society should stop trying to pigeon hole everyone, and I mean everyone should stop doing it including the self-righteous minorities who complain in our multi-cultural society, about cultural appropriation.
Politicians must start to think in this way and not always to think about how to protect one minority or another. Instead we need to respect everyone's right to be themselves and provide a safe environment, and legal framework, in which they can do that.