Julia Hartley-Brewer lashes out at Topshop’s gender-neutral changing rooms

Jess Glass November 9, 2017
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Radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer has condemned gender-neutral changing rooms after Topshop restated their inclusive policy.

Presenting her show on TalkRadio, Hartley-Brewer launched an attack on gender-neutral changing rooms in clothes shops.

She said: “What about a man who is a paedophile, or a man who is a sex attacker of young women who can pretend [to be trans] to gain access to young women.

“People will be so PC. They’ll go, ‘well this is a transgender woman, they’re not a risk to the girls in this changing room’ but, actually, it’s a paedophile.”

Related: An Irish university has created dozens of gender-neutral bathrooms, and everything is fine

Julia Hartley-Brewer continued: “It’s not an anti-trans feeling for people to be concerned that people could exploit trans people in this way.”

Appearing on the show with Hartley-Brewer, boxing promoter Kellie Maloney suggested that:”maybe stores should have three sets of changing rooms – one for females, one for males and one for people that are going through the transition”.

Maloney added: “Sometimes I would say to the shop assistant, ‘you know that I’m a transgender person? Is it ok if I can use your changing room?’ To be honest no one ever said no to me – including Topshop, at the time.”

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding about gender-neutral changing rooms and bathrooms, particularly in regards to the safety of women and girls.

There are currently no recorded cases of somebody pretending to be transgender to gain access to a restroom to harass or abuse someone.

Maloney and Hartley-Brewer were responding to a recent controversy over Topshop allowing trans people to use their changing room of choice.

Performance artist Travis Alabanza was denied access to a changing room in a Manchester branch of Topshop.

They tweeted their experience to Topshop where it was quickly shared.

Julia Hartley-Brewer lashes out at Topshop’s gender-neutral changing rooms
(Photo: @travisalabanza /Twitter)

Evidence then emerged that Topshop had changed their policy to allow customers to use any changing rooms in the store prior to this incident.

Julia Hartley-Brewer lashes out at Topshop’s gender-neutral changing rooms
(Photo: @Topshop / Twitter)

However, despite this being company policy, Alabanza was refused access to the changing room in the Topshop section of the store and was told to use the facility in the Topman section.

Topshop gave a statement to Buzzfeed News, confirming the existence of the policy, though they did not clarify when it was changed.

“All Topshop and Topman customers are free to use any of the fitting rooms located within our stores,” Topshop said in a statement.

Gender neutral changing rooms and bathrooms are frequently debated, with a Daily Mail columnist claiming that gender-neutral toilets are ‘trans tyranny’ earlier this year.

The Scottish government announced plans earlier this year to provide gender-neutral spaces in schools, citing the obvious benefits to trans and non-binary youth.

More: bathroom bills, bathrooms, changing rooms, current affairs, gender neutral, julia hartley-brewer, topshop, Trans

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