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  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

My 71-year-old disabled mother was trying on clothes in a Millers (womens clothing chain) change room in Tasmania (where we have self-ID), and was horrified to find herself sharing the change rooms with a tall, muscular man with a shaved head, wearing stilettos and a bodycon skirt. The man was talking loudly about how wonderful it was that he was allowed to try on clothes there. My mother felt so uncomfortable being undressed beside a strange man with only a 2/3 height door to the change room stall between them -- in stilettos he was easily tall enough to see over. Being disabled, she often has to ask the shop assistant for help in getting different sizes to try on, and as her physical mobility is limited, sometimes she has to speak with the shop assistant while still partially undressed. Often the change room door is open while this happens. What bothers me most is that he could have chosen any chain store catering to both sexes, but instead he went to Millers, that bastion of elderly women's slacks, crepe frocks, and polyester nightgowns. There certainly weren't any more stilettos or bodycon skirts there, so I'm not sure what he expected to be trying on, but from the way he spoke, he was a regular visitor to those change rooms. Why, exactly? We're supposed to accept his presence because it would supposedly be unsafe for him to share male spaces with fellow men. But in this situation, who is the threat? A tall, muscular, middle-aged man, who feels confident enough in his self-expression to wear stilettoes and bodycon clothing -- or a 71 year old, disabled woman in a state of undress? This is just so wrong.


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