Tory peer wants to scrap gender-neutral toilets so women can ‘wash their bloody underwear’ in public
Conservative peer Lord Lucas has spoken out about gender-neutral toilets, which he bizarrely thinks should be scrapped because women don’t want to “wash their bloody underwear” in front of men.
During a House of Lords debate on Monday, Lucas claimed that gender-neutral bathrooms should be scrapped because women are “unsafe and uncomfortable” sharing space with men when they’re on their period.
“I do not think that any woman really wants to wash her bloody underwear when she has flooded during a period in front of men,” said Lucas, who, despite what this statement would have you believe, has been married to three women and has two daughters.
“So, altogether, what are we doing?” he asked. “Why are we seeking to make women feel unsafe in the toilet provision we make for them – unsafe and uncomfortable?”
Lucas went on to explain that he thinks gender-neutral bathrooms should be abolished for a number of reasons, including that women deserve toilets that are clean and toilets that can be used as a refuge from men’s “serious unwanted behaviour”.
It apparently did not occur to Lord Lucas that the better solution, rather than maintaining the status quo of women having a “space where they can be free of… overt male sexual behaviours” could be to work harder to address sexual harassment and male violence against women.
And also for men to be cleaner.
“Many men – they have even flashed me – act in such a way, and it seems reasonable that women should have a space where they can be free of that,” Lucas said, an entirely reasonable point that misses the wider, also entirely reasonable point: that women should not be flashed by men anywhere.
But Lord Lucas did have one inarguable point. “It does not suit me to have just gender-neutral toilets,” he said. Well, clearly.
“I see very few people who would genuinely benefit from having universal gender-neutral toilet provision,” he went on to say, perhaps unsurprisingly for a man who spends most of his time in an overwhelmingly white, male, straight and cisgender institution.
Lucas then added that a better solution would be to “convert the gents”.
“Pretty well all men could survive having a brave enough woman as company in the gents. I do not think it would upset them. If we are going to provide gender-neutral facilities, convert the gents; do not convert the ladies,” he said.
While his argument against “woke” gender-neutral bathrooms mostly focused on women, and he has previously spoken out in favour of reforming the Gender Recognition Act to simplify the process by which trans people can update the gender on their birth certificates, Lord Lucas did eventually reveal his distaste for allowing trans women into women’s bathrooms.
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“I do not personally have any difficulty with the idea of self-identification as to how we behave and act in the world,” he said. “But that does not necessarily mean that men should have access to women-only spaces, and that I should be able to march into the ladies over there just because it is a nicer facility than the gents and I feel like identifying as a woman at the moment.”
“On changing facilities, I do not think that there are any circumstances under which it is appropriate for women’s changing rooms to include exposed male genitalia.
“That is going beyond what we would all consider reasonable… Stonewall should put away its kimono and baseball bat and settle down to the idea that maybe it needs to modify its rather extreme views.”
Lord Lucas was followed by Lord Blencathra – most notable for having been forced to apologise to the House of Lords in 2014 for accepting £12,000 per month from the Cayman Islands’ government to lobby its members.
Blencathra was also notable in this debate for being far more overt in his statements on gender-neutral toilets and the trans community than Lucas had been.
“My blunt message to the government tonight is this: when will you stand up to the small, militant, transgender fascist lobby and say that the rights of 32 million real women… are more important than the rights of tens of thousands who identify as transgender?” he said.