Feminist Writing. Fourth Wave. For Women.

Misogyny & Sexism: This Isn't Any Changing Room Policy...

Once the purveyor of reliably safe knickers, they're now nicking the reliably safe spaces of women and girls instead.

Misogyny & Sexism: This Isn't Any Changing Room Policy...
Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

The hashtag #boycottmarksandspencer has gained a lot of traction in the last few days, because of the risible decision they've made in allowing customers to use 'either' the male or female changing rooms, regardless of their gender.

Numerous people have complained to them online - via Twitter and aired their concerns about privacy and safety, because, y'know they happen not to want to be confronted by a penis when they're trying a bra on. Just simple, everyday safeguarding stuff. Nothing to see here (except a hairy chest, obvs).


In typical fashion, M&S has responded with what can only be described as 'a right meaningless load of old guff' designed to keep the TRAs at bay and women shopping elsewhere.

So, if you're a man - and you say you identify as a woman, it's happy days. Take all the skirts you want into the changing room and have the time of your life masturbating into them. If you're a woman (or a young girl) tough luck. Buy your bras online, or shop elsewhere.

A lockable cubicle doesn't cut it, baby. Especially if there are gaps underneath or over the top. Gaps that could fit, say, a phone (with a camera) in them.

Naturally, women (and male allies) are angry and upset about this and have taken to social media to complain. Many are voting with their feet and refusing to shop with M&S again. Some are taking to shopping online in a variety of sizes and sending multiple items back - to make a point.

My favourite argument for gender inclusive changing rooms reared its delightful blue fringe again. "But but but...you have a GENDER NEUTRAL TOILET at home LOL" Indeed, I and many others do. The difference between this and the changing room (or toilet) in a public space is that I can choose who uses it. And that's restricted to family or visiting friends. People who I know and trust and feel safe with. It isn't open to people wandering in off the street and using it on a daily basis. It also (like my front door) has a lock. So that family can use it privately and safely (and in peace). Go away with this pathetic, whiny take - it's as lukewarm as your piss.

Once again, women must make space for the men who might have hurty feelings if they can't try on a spinny skirt in the same space that an 11 year old girl might be in for her first bra fitting. Or, a woman who needs space and privacy because she might be recovering from any number of ailments or serious conditions. Or you know...a woman who just needs some privacy because she's a woman.

What's the answer? It isn't pandering to men, or TRAs. It's listening to women and their explicit needs. This isn't just plain old misogyny. This is M&S Misogyny.

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