Patricia Reid, a retired police officer, was told by a manager to leave the female toilet she was using after she challenged the presence of a man in the facility at the Old Dairy Farm Campsite, in Cropredy, UK.
Reid was attending the Cropedy Music Festival with her husband on August 12, 2022, and they had their campervan “in one of the official campsites, which was about 500 meters away from the one in question.” She says that she and her husband went to the Old Dairy Farm Campsite in Cropedy for lunch only. When she went to use their toilets, Reid came “face-to-face with a man coming out of the first cubicle,” who told her to “not go into that cubicle.”
“I assumed that he had come into the women's toilet by mistake,” Reid told 4W, so she said “I think you're in the wrong toilet." According to her, he asked "What do you mean?" and she told him that he was in the women's toilet. But the man said to her “I am a woman.” Reid replied “No, you’re not.” The man then told her that she was upsetting him and left.
“A couple of minutes later another male arrived,” Reid recounted. “He told me he was the manager and that someone had upset his member of staff.” She explained the situation, but the manager was “very agitated and angry” and attempted to intimidate her. “He spoke loudly and angrily… he kept saying "he's our cleaner, he’s a woman, he's had full surgery,” to which she responded that the manager was referring to his own staff as a “he,” and that ‘he's still got a penis.” The manager then told Reid: “Get off the campsite "now" because she had “upset his member of staff.”
“The man in the toilets was 45-50, large build (beer belly), 6ft tall, gray untidy hair and balding. Male presenting as a male”, Reid said. “The toilets were single sex in a self-contained building. Men through a door on the left. Women through a door on the right.” Reid says that is the reason why she, initially, “genuinely thought he'd walked into the wrong toilet.”
“I'm okay now but it was quite surreal at the time,” Reid said. “There was another woman in the toilet with me.” According to Reid, the other woman came out of a cubicle, heard all that happened and was “very supportive” to her.
“I have not come across any other women who have experienced this,” Reid explained. “Of course, I've read about it on Twitter.” She said that she didn’t expect it to happen to her and didn't expect it “to be a man, being a man.”
“I thought if it did happen, it would have been a man dressed as a woman.”
After revealing her story on Twitter, Reid was told to leave reviews at Old Dairy Farm Campsite to state her position on single-sex spaces. But several women who tried to leave reviews said that Reid’s review can’t be found or has been hidden by the campsite Facebook page and site. Reid has also sent an email to the Cropedy Village executives, saying that women need to be aware of this situation. “Not many women are going to be happy to allow their daughters into a toilet with a man behaving like this,” Reid wrote.
“Perhaps the manager needs to make it plain that the toilets are mixed sex so that people can decide whether they want to visit, because as it is he is breaking the law. He needs to make himself aware of The Equality Act 2010 which Attorney General, within the past fortnight, has re-iterated with regards to legal protections for single sex spaces.”
Reid’s story resonates with Julie Jaman's, an 80 years old woman who was banned from Mountain View pool, Port Townsend (US), after she spotted a man “watching” little girls undress their swimsuits. To the media, Jaman said that she "heard a man's voice" and confronted him about whether or not he "had a penis." The man responded that it was “none of her business,” and Jaman told him to leave. When she called the manager, she was told that she was “discriminating” against a member of the pool’s staff and that they would call the police.
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