Author Topic: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms  (Read 1113 times)

Offline mint

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Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« on: Nov 09, 2017, 06:11:41 PM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/topshop-removes-women-only-changing-rooms-shops-policy-single-sex-high-street-gender-neutral-a8043771.html

What do you think? A step in the right direction in terms of inclusivity or unfair to women who may feel unsafe with a changing room open to anyone, cis men included? Honestly I'm torn on this myself because I absolutely don't want trans people to be excluded or made to feel uncomfortable by policies but at the same time I would NOT feel comfortable getting channged and trying things on often using the long mirrors in the changing room corridors with men about. I don't just stay inside the cubicle/curtain area, I often walk up and down to get a better look and I wouldn't feel comfortable with men being in there. At all. But what's the answer? I think the best idea is to keep men and women's changing rooms but to have everyone self define where they want to go, but I can see everywhere going gender neutral now. I wouldn't use changing rooms under these circumstances personally.

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2017, 06:20:35 PM »
I have not used Top Shop since I was in my early 20s so it does not affect me but for those that do it is a discrace

Offline mint

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2017, 06:21:20 PM »
Say if it was M&S then (not sure where you shop)?

Offline Trifle

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2017, 11:34:13 PM »
Iím not sure iím fully clear what this means. Have Top Shop labelled all their changing rooms as gender neutral now, or do they just mean that transgender people are welcome in whichever changing room they choose. I donít think Iíd feel comfortable sharing a changing room with men.

Offline mint

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #4 on: Nov 09, 2017, 11:50:24 PM »
All changing rooms are gender neutral

Offline mint

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #5 on: Nov 09, 2017, 11:53:34 PM »
Having said that, I think the articles may be completely misleading (and I'm tired, and didn't pick up on it) - but I think it may be the case that the changing rooms stay labelled as they are just anyone can use either? Rather than what the article implied which was there would be one changing room.

Offline Trifle

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #6 on: Nov 10, 2017, 12:02:11 AM »
I think that may be the case. I know they have an open policy as they told me I was welcome to use the menís changing room once as there was such a queue for the womenís one. I remember now I did use the menís changing room so perhaps I just feel more comfortable with it if itís my choice.
Iím glad theyíre not just having one giant changing room, sometimes the curtains in changing rooms donít even fit properly.

Offline Trifle

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #7 on: Nov 10, 2017, 12:06:33 AM »
I had a similar discussion with a straight male friend the other night about gender neutral toilets. He said toilets arenít safe anyway as any man can walk in to a womenís toilet at any time so it makes no difference if theyíre gender neutral. I didnít think it was a very good argument saying women are at risk  already anyway so why not add a bit more risk.

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #8 on: Nov 10, 2017, 12:09:08 AM »
I shop in Marks and Spencers and a few other shops

Offline mint

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #9 on: Nov 10, 2017, 01:10:00 AM »
Iím glad theyíre not just having one giant changing room, sometimes the curtains in changing rooms donít even fit properly.

Pet peeve! There's a sports shop I used to like where the changing room is directly onto the shop floor and it's a metal door with a gap at the bottom and top! Being tall I can see right over the top. I really dislike it when the curtain doesn't come all of the way across, is it that hard to get a curtain the right size?

Offline Betty Croker's frosted buns

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #10 on: Nov 10, 2017, 09:45:47 AM »
Specifically with Topshop, I think its retail opportunism. Retail is going through a huge crisis at the moment. Especially retail outlets with premium high street rents. Any cost cutting they can get away with they will. So the more cattle-market like the changing room the better. From a flimsy structure that makes nicking stuff more discoverable but affords less privacy to not having to worry about who goes where and which sex the staff need to be to police it. And they can likely calculate that their customers wonít be the type to protest too much. Top Shop has been the subject of calls for political boycotts before for other reasons that their customers have ignored or remained blissfully unaware of. Its not going to effect me directly, as far as Top Shop is concerned. I havenít been in there since 1995.

But it is bad in the sense that if it can be justified as standard industry practice it will come in across the board because the incentive will be there in that it cuts space and costs. And that will detrimentally effect women who shop on the High Street and donít want to be nose to nipple with some bloke. (And when I say bloke or men, I always mean actual men. Iím not including transwomen in that reference, as some critics of gender neutral space do).

And typically we will get the usual angry backlash, the insistence that it doesnít really effect us. That its just transphobic, hateful, pettiness to object. Because on the left there is never an acknowledgement of the glaringly obvious reality, that the interests of minority groups or interests can actually clash. There is always the pervasive myth that everything done to genuinely progress the interests of one minority will always benefit and never harm any other group. And itís rarely true. We just swallow it because we have no real mechanism for arbitrating the harms and benefits to each group. So we just beat one group over the head and call them haters and stop them from even articulating the issue from their perspective. And history shows only to well that the more that their perspective collides with the interests of men the more likely that they will be the group that is being silenced.

The unescapable fact is that womens spaces such as toilets, changing rooms and refuges exist because they are necessary due to male violence and particularly sexual violence and unwanted sexual attention. When those safe spaces are made gender neutral, even though the change may be justified for a good reason, the safety of those spaces and the sense of safety around those places is diminished. Womens actual safety and sense of security suffers. Yet on the left not only are we being told that that the detriment to women doesnít matter, doesnít exist, wonít be acknowledged. We also being told weíre are not even allowed to speak about it in public or hold meetings to discuss the potential  impact of it on us or explore what alternatives can be put in place to protect the interests of transpeople without disproportionately further damaging the interests of women as a whole. Itís a new tyranny for women and one which coincides with the macho mosh pit mentality of the new left.
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2017, 10:07:10 AM by Betty Croker's frosted buns »

Offline Trifle

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #11 on: Nov 10, 2017, 10:24:22 AM »
Iím glad theyíre not just having one giant changing room, sometimes the curtains in changing rooms donít even fit properly.

Pet peeve! There's a sports shop I used to like where the changing room is directly onto the shop floor and it's a metal door with a gap at the bottom and top! Being tall I can see right over the top. I really dislike it when the curtain doesn't come all of the way across, is it that hard to get a curtain the right size?

Yes, especially as the mirror means anyone can see you getting changed through the gap too.

Interesting post, Betty. I hadnít thought about the cost cutting angle before but iím sure that plays a big part in all this too.

Offline mint

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2017, 12:23:35 PM »
The unescapable fact is that womens spaces such as toilets, changing rooms and refuges exist because they are necessary due to male violence and particularly sexual violence and unwanted sexual attention. When those safe spaces are made gender neutral, even though the change may be justified for a good reason, the safety of those spaces and the sense of safety around those places is diminished. Womens actual safety and sense of security suffers.

It's a great post. This is what concerns me. If I try something on and a woman turns to me and says "ooh yes love, that looks nice on you, you should get it" I don't feel there's any intent there whatsoever, and judging by experience I'm right. If a man turned to me, in a changing room, and said that, I'd probably want to vomit as I'd feel they had evaluated my body and yes there often is intent there. 100% of the hassle I've gotten in public is from men, not too long ago since I've started being more active I was walking from the shopping centre to parking and a man was sitting with a group of his disgusting friends on some benches and said "I'd f##k that" as I walked past them. It's revolting. The thought of people like that being in a changing room there would make me feel uncomfortable to the point I wouldn't use the changing room. I'd buy the two items I thought were most likely to fit and take them home and try them on in my lounge. But with some shopping centres due to distance you can't do that.

I also think the 'unisex changing village' at my local swimming pool is a stupid idea but that's another topic probably.

HOWEVER, with toilets, lone cubicles, I do NOT have any issue with them being open to everyone. The reason being they are standalone little locked rooms and I think it's a very different issue. I think when it's a space that's shared at once time it becomes an issue. As Betty says it's like they're ignoring what are very real experiences for women.

Offline Betty Croker's frosted buns

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #13 on: Nov 10, 2017, 01:02:07 PM »
Thanks Mint.

I think that is the point no one wants to accept.

When there are conflicts of interest and is a change is being proposed, we usually say;

1. Is the change for a good reason?

2. If so, is any group adversely effected by it? Does this make anyone feel uncomfortable or worse off?

3. If no, let's do it.

4. If yes, can we do it a different way to reduce or stop the harm to those disadvantaged?

5. If no, would it be right to go ahead having identified and considered all possible alternatives?

Yet, with this issue we get to stage 2, (because it's obviously a good reason at stage 1) and then the conclusion is drawn that no one is adversely effected. But then all these women say "Hold on, we are. We'd like to tell you how we feel potentially disadvanteged by it"

And they say, even at a Government Consultation level, "No f*ck off. We deem you the "wrong" sort of feminist and we're not even going to listen to you.

We never even get to stage 4.

Because its women and they'll just stand up and give up their seat.

Offline Trifle

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Re: Topshop removes women-only changing rooms
« Reply #14 on: Nov 10, 2017, 03:13:24 PM »
One of my friends got raped in a toilet so I have more of an issue with that than a changing room where the likelihood is it wonít be late and there will be lots of other people around.

Yes, very disappointing we canít even get past Bettyís stage 2 description.