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No Conflict, They SAid

In Australia and around the world, legislation is being introduced that replaces sex with gender identity. Advocates insist that there is no conflict of interest. But governments are not collecting data on the impacts of this legislative change. We're worried about the impacts on women of men using women-only spaces, including but not limited to: changing rooms, fitting rooms, bathrooms, shelters, rape and domestic violence refuges, gyms, spas, sports, schools, accommodations, hospital wards, shortlists, prizes, quotas, political groups, prisons, clubs, events, festivals, dating apps, and language. If we can't collect data, we can at least collect stories. Please tell us how your use of women-only spaces has been impacted. All stories will be published anonymously. If you know of other women who have been impacted, please encourage them to tell their stories too.

This site is run from Australia, New Zealand members of the LGB Defence, and Speak Up for Women, supported by LGB Alliance.

  • @ConflictSaid
  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

When using the women’s bathrooms in a major shopping precinct two young teenage males were in there “doing their makeup”. They were posing and pouting in the mirror and clearly attention-seeking. The bathrooms were full and there was a line of women waiting that snaked out the door - elderly ladies, young girls, mums and their young children. I’m pregnant and I recall feeling uncomfortable with their presence and not to mention a little intimidated at their cockiness. If I hadn’t been pregnant maybe I would’ve asked them to get out - but maybe not - they seemed like they might turn hostile. But why did they need to use the women’s? They were clearly males, why is their “gender identity” being placed above the rights of girls and women to a sex-segregated space away from male bodies? I felt particularly bad for the elderly ladies being confronted with these teenage boys in a space where they might feel vulnerable or uncomfortable.

#australia #bathrooms #womensbathrooms #singlesexspaces

  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

I've been part of an online community in the testing space for some 9 years. For women in test, it’s a particularly abusive space because women are finding flaws in software developers’ code, never a thing that wins a popularity contest. Overall tech is a crap space for women, there's a lot of bullying and misogyny. So, some of the best of our breed created an online community for women only, it’s for sharing new tech, ideas, and of course support. At first for how to handle stuff at work and as we’ve got to know each other, we’ve shared a larger part of our daily lives. I know 15 or so face to face and the larger worldwide community we meet 2-3 times a year at conferences and are on Slack every day.

In my company I train marginalised youth, those on the spectrum, couch surfers, bipolar, high anxiety etc, and put them into employment. These women have been my mentors, coaches, and champions. As I've had to resource and learn from them to quickly come up to speed with some new tech, methodology and I call on them to inspire or evaluate my trainees. I got into this space because I’ve experienced what those youth have been through and I wanted to be the kind of person I needed at their age. So I seek out any youth that might have fallen through the cracks of one system or another.

I trained therefore a trans male to female a few years back for that reason to start to learn how to support trans. He told me recently he’s been diagnosed as Autistic and when we’d first met, he told me he didn’t want to be a man, because his father was a man, and he was brutal. His father told him since he’s attracted to males, he was meant to be a girl. So, he became one and it’s been really difficult. I came to learn about these gender clinics giving drugs to mainly gay children, who weren’t sure what they were, like my friend given sex hormones and body parts removed to make him (and they) match the gender they think they should be. All this feels like so much systematic abuse. I started, confidently, telling my fellow test/applied critical thinkers about the impact of drugs, the surgery, and other issues like the loss of women's rights, expecting them to become part of the fight.

I had facts. I had data. I have the stuff we live for in our community. I was stunned though that most condemned me for bigotry. But worse every kind of principle/heuristic we rail on about, in finding out what is real - is abandoned when someone said, 'some people here will no longer be safe'. We recently have had a number of social (non-surgical) trans gender males join the community who have been vocal about their wants. Women weren't engaging with what actually was said no matter how gently or rationally put. Discussion was shut down. Worse they said this ‘hurts trans children’, which is a gutting comment to hit me with and this community, therefore, wasn’t for me. My faith in people has taken a hit. It will impact my work this year. But what sores my heart is that on one hand, it is about stopping the drugging and cutting of kids. And on the other silencing what’s going on, so it continues.

#virtualspace #womenintech #testing #australia #singlesexspaces #freespeech

  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

I am a lesbian. I was using the dating app Hinge, and had selected to see / be seen by women only. There were many men listed as women, and I was trying to negotiate a way to signal clearly that as a lesbian I wasn't interested in matching with them. I added a picture of myself wearing a 'woman: adult human female' t-shirt, standing in front of a bookshelf packed with JK Rowling titles. And I added in one of my comments that I agree with Rowling about the importance of women-centred language, that it's women who have periods not 'people'. Hinge then banned me permanently. When I questioned this, they wrote "Your account has been removed due to the volume of violations you've received against your account by other members and/or our own independent determination". When I followed up, asking what people had been reporting me for, they replied "To protect members' privacy, we do not disclose the volume or content of reported violations. We understand that this policy may be frustrating but it's an important part of our efforts to keep Hinge safe. Please know that our decision has been carefully considered and is final." That was it.

#australia #datingapps #language #lesbiandating #virtualspaces #singlesexspaces

organizations working to protect women-only spaces

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