Striving to be inclusive

Marks and Spencer recently announced a “gender-neutral” policy for its changing rooms. Quite a few women objected; some of them wrote to M&S directly. Rose George is one:

A response from @marksandspencer about their awful decision to refuse to guarantee single-sex changing facilities to women and girls. Pretty much identical to what they tweeted @JeanHatchet

And my response.


Just look at that pathetic mess. “As a business, we strive to be inclusive and therefore, we allow customers the choice of which fitting room they feel comfortable to use, in respect of how they identify themselves.” But not “in respect of” what they really are and how vulnerable they may be to spying creeping perving men if they can’t have women-only changing rooms.

How is it “inclusive” to put women at risk for the sake of indulging the fantasies of a few men that they are women underneath their skins? Men are not made more vulnerable either way, but women are. Why are people suddenly so willing to put women and girls at risk from men?

“We understand your concerns and I want to make it clear that if any customer was [sic] to act inappropriately or cause intentional offence, the necessary action would be taken.” Oh that’s all right then – they’ll do something about it after it’s happened. Why not just make customers change in the middle of the shop then? Why not yank their clothes off them the minute they walk in, for greater ease of trying on and oh yes being “inclusive”?

The fire department will take the necessary action after your house burns to the ground. The doctors will take the necessary action after you’ve died of your treatable illness. The police will take action after you’ve been raped and strangled. Preventive action has been ruled transphobic.

Also note the careful intentional offence stipulation. They won’t take the necessary action if it’s just an unintentional offence, like being a naked man in a space where women and girls are trying on clothes.

Kind regards though. Thanks for that.

10 Responses to “Striving to be inclusive”